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HELP, 24, Male on the fence (important Qs)



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Hi all, my name is Collin and im just freshly 24 years old. Im posting here because i need some help and input. I have been almost at the cusp of clearence for surgery twice now in the last 2 years.... im 530 pounds and have self sabotaged and then backed out once i get close to clearence. Any people out there who struggled with mentally accepting all of the changes that post surgery brings and accepting them and actually find out that it wasnt as difficult as tbeg thought ir would have been? I fear so much when i think i can only take cap full sips and never go out randomly down the road and eat a guilty pleasure food without thinking i have to finish it all. How did you guys truly get mentally in a good spot? I feel like my brain cant grasp all of the changes that im so used to abusing in mt daily life. Im such a thirsty individual. Also, do you feel like youre not you anymore after surgery? Like does your stomach and insides feel weird or do you eventually feel like you did internally prior to any surgery? ANOTHER IMPORTANT Q i have is - i am a college student and would like to plan for my surgery either over christmas break or over the summer, how much time do you think i would need to recover before being able to handle school(columbia college chicago) !? Please help

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Hi all, my name is Collin and im just freshly 24 years old. Im posting here because i need some help and input. I have been almost at the cusp of clearence for surgery twice now in the last 2 years.... im 530 pounds and have self sabotaged and then backed out once i get close to clearence. Any people out there who struggled with mentally accepting all of the changes that post surgery brings and accepting them and actually find out that it wasnt as difficult as tbeg thought ir would have been? I fear so much when i think i can only take cap full sips and never go out randomly down the road and eat a guilty pleasure food without thinking i have to finish it all. How did you guys truly get mentally in a good spot? I feel like my brain cant grasp all of the changes that im so used to abusing in mt daily life. Im such a thirsty individual. Also, do you feel like youre not you anymore after surgery? Like does your stomach and insides feel weird or do you eventually feel like you did internally prior to any surgery? ANOTHER IMPORTANT Q i have is - i am a college student and would like to plan for my surgery either over christmas break or over the summer, how much time do you think i would need to recover before being able to handle school(columbia college chicago) !? Please help
Hi Collin. It is a huge deal, and if you're not engaged mentally with the whole process. I'm not sure the process in the states, I'm in the UK and I had to do one to one counselling sessions to understand why I had the relationship with food that I did. If we don't discover why we overeat, or eat the types of food we do even tho they do us no good, then all the operations do is fix the effect and not the cause.
I'd strongly suggest doing some counselling as part of your prep for surgery. It's taken me 18 months from asking for help at the docs to date of operation.
In terms of recovery, I'm having 2 weeks off work. So probably your Summer break would be best if you can time it.
Good luck, keep pushing forward x

Sent from my E5823 using BariatricPal mobile app

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How did you guys truly get mentally in a good spot?

I think of it like the smoker with emphysema. Some keep smoking, some quit using varies methods to include medications, Patches, nicotine gum, or cold turkey. The ones that find a way / tool that helps them quit extend their life expectancy and their quality of life.

WLS is a tool that can help you extend your life and improve your quality of life. That being said, I think I would have had a hard time wrapping my head around that at when I was 24. Talking with a counselor prior to making a decision is a good idea. I also agree with summer time if you decide to do it. The bottom line is even if you did not gain another pound your current weight is a health risk.

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My mental spot/thinking was: I don’t want to die without experience things. I don’t have kids. I want to ride amusement park rides, I want to hike without stopping every 15 minutes, I want to buy smaller clothes, I don’t want my chest to hurt, I want to have fun while working out etc.

You just have to want this more than anything. And I am 6 weeks out and I no longer take cap sized sips. It doesn’t last forever. The idea is they want you to sip constantly so you don’t guzzle Water all at once. They want you to stay hydrated.

I am only on soft foods and realize we don’t truly need to finish outback plates or eat for the satisfaction we had pre-op. I felt like my mind rewired itself to say “ok, now you’re eating for life, just to satisfy & give you nourishment”.

It may help to go to counseling to talk about these things. Lots of people do it and love it. I don’t feel different after surgery in terms of my insides...I feel the same. I am a much more confident person though

I would also recommend getting the surgery over summer break. Gives you a bit of time to really take in this new life and get adjusted and heal.

good luck to you

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Hi Collin,

It sounds like you are describing food addiction. Any time you try to quit an abused substance your mind and body will initially fight change. Have you tried Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts Anonymous? The basic idea is that you alone cannot conquer your addiction but you can with the help of a higher power. I also struggle with addiction and I attend both OA and therapy to help. Please don't sell yourself short on considering this life saving procedure. I'm almost 2 weeks post op and I feel like I am a better version of myself because I'm not spending so much time obsessing over my next binge. I know it's scary but so is diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiac arrest and early death. You can do this yes it's challenging but in a good way because you are helping yourself. Make a list of the pros and cons of your current life versus your normal BMI life. I think it will surprise you. Best of luck with your decision.

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I would plan the surgery over the summer just to give you a little more time adjusting to it.

I had gastric bypass surgery and one of the interesting points was that after surgery I completely lost my hunger. (It didn't happen immediately but when I reached the solid food stage. And it didn't happen forever but it lasted for about a year post-op.) As a result, it didn't really feel like a diet. I just followed the instructions and the weight dropped off like magic.

I do not feel like I changed inside. When you are overweight and obese in todays world, you are somewhat invisible. Many people treat you like you are not even there. Once you lose the weight people notice. So from my perspective, it was not I that changed but how the rest of the world began to treat me.

I don't know what you mean by "I am such a thirsty individual." After surgery, you will need to drink a lot of fluids. You may find it difficult at first to meet your daily requirements. But if you mean by thirst the need to consume alcoholic drinks, that might pose a problem.

My stomach and insides do not feel weird an I feel like I did internally prior to any surgery. The first year my stomach was sore but then it healed.

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And weighing in(pun or not) with my 2 cents We all come to the realization we need this surgery at different points in life, you are in your 20s and a college student, I am 72, widowed, grandmother twice over, and just now seeking surgery too. And my reasons maybe different than yours but still vaild. If you would like a bari- godmother/grandmother to talk to I'm almost always here. I realized I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. My life as an older obese person was and isnt as happy as it should be. I hurt in every joint, arthritis has held away over me since 25. I could view my own mortality looming in the not distance. Do I fold up sit down and let the Death Angel hold sway over me? Nope I came into this world screaming mad with red hair, I resoled not to go gentle into that good night(sorry Dylan Thomas- I lifted that line from you) There are things to do, promises to fulfill, people yet unmet, and I will not check up just yet. How to improve my health and lifespan? The more I thought on it and explored possibilities Bariatric Surgery popped up. Now to check into it, in the past 60 or 65 was the highest range, well I am atypical. Except for obesity and arthritis( nasty critters in themselves) I am remarkfully healthy for my age. My PCP tells me I am a 40-45 year old trapped in a 72 year old shell. So next month, Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I will be undergoing RnY bypass surgery. at OSU-Wexner Medical Center in Columbus Ohio. Am I excited for July to come? Oh yeah, this is my chance at a future. I want to walk easier and lighter, do the things I go out of breath doing, fit in chairs again, visit relatives and be allowed on their good furniture because I'll no longer be a breakage risk, oh their are a lot of things you take for granted as a small typical sized person that heavy persons are barred from . I'll no longer be known as the old redhead fat broad, I'll reclaim being known by a name and for my inner soul instead of my outer covering. Portions of my recovery may be slower than people,your age but they will be all the sweeter because they will be m8ne and is my story written and no one else's. Care to join me on this wonderous journey? May not always be easy but it will be great. I am committed and it will be achievable.💥😛💥

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4 hours ago, Collin Clark said:

Hi all, my name is Collin and im just freshly 24 years old. Im posting here because i need some help and input. I have been almost at the cusp of clearence for surgery twice now in the last 2 years.... im 530 pounds and have self sabotaged and then backed out once i get close to clearence. Any people out there who struggled with mentally accepting all of the changes that post surgery brings and accepting them and actually find out that it wasnt as difficult as tbeg thought ir would have been? I fear so much when i think i can only take cap full sips and never go out randomly down the road and eat a guilty pleasure food without thinking i have to finish it all. How did you guys truly get mentally in a good spot? I feel like my brain cant grasp all of the changes that im so used to abusing in mt daily life. Im such a thirsty individual. Also, do you feel like youre not you anymore after surgery? Like does your stomach and insides feel weird or do you eventually feel like you did internally prior to any surgery? ANOTHER IMPORTANT Q i have is - i am a college student and would like to plan for my surgery either over christmas break or over the summer, how much time do you think i would need to recover before being able to handle school(columbia college chicago) !? Please help

There are a lot of changes you need to accept and adapt to with weight loss surgery, but let’s be honest...being super morbidly obese has lots of challenges you need to adapt to as well. You are going to reach a point in your life when you are going to have to choose what you are willing to adapt to. At 24 years old, maybe you haven’t hit the bottom yet.

Many people that have weight loss surgery struggle with diabetes, degenerative joint disease, sleep apnea, heart problems, depression, social anxiety, etc. Do you think your quality of life now is as good as it could be? If you don’t have any of these issues now, how much longer do you think they will be avoided?

One thing we see on these boards time and again is people wishing they had done this sooner.

Will you occasionally wish you could eat more but you just physically can’t because of your altered stomach? It is likely. But I think you should consider the risks of staying super morbidly obese. It is a disease you can treat, and if your insurance will pay for the surgery you should do it now, while you are so young and can gain such enormous benefit.

Best wishes to you whatever you decide.

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6 hours ago, Collin Clark said:

Hi all, my name is Collin and im just freshly 24 years old. Im posting here because i need some help and input. I have been almost at the cusp of clearence for surgery twice now in the last 2 years.... im 530 pounds and have self sabotaged and then backed out once i get close to clearence. Any people out there who struggled with mentally accepting all of the changes that post surgery brings and accepting them and actually find out that it wasnt as difficult as tbeg thought ir would have been? I fear so much when i think i can only take cap full sips and never go out randomly down the road and eat a guilty pleasure food without thinking i have to finish it all. How did you guys truly get mentally in a good spot? I feel like my brain cant grasp all of the changes that im so used to abusing in mt daily life. Im such a thirsty individual. Also, do you feel like youre not you anymore after surgery? Like does your stomach and insides feel weird or do you eventually feel like you did internally prior to any surgery? ANOTHER IMPORTANT Q i have is - i am a college student and would like to plan for my surgery either over christmas break or over the summer, how much time do you think i would need to recover before being able to handle school(columbia college chicago) !? Please help

First I'm going to share my top 10 tips with you:

Here's my top 10 tips!

  1. Start altering your diet now. Cut out processed food, or at the very least processed sugar. Practice eating your Protein first and then focus on non-starchy veggies.
  2. Find something that you like to drink that doesn't have calories. Try different caffeine free teas and Water additives. I still can't drink plain water....so you want to have something on hand that you know you like.
  3. Cut out caffeine. Most programs allow caffeine back in relatively quickly, but caffeine can hinder your body's ability to heal. You don't want to go through caffeine withdrawal along with the aches and pains of surgery.
  4. Don't use Protein Shakes before you absolutely have to! I made the mistake of supplementing some of my meals with shakes to "prepare myself" for the pre-op diet. Big mistake. You will get to the point where they are DISGUSTING, and you don't want to increase the timeline of that by drinking them before you need to.
  5. Start incorporating exercising (even if it’s just walking) somewhere in your daily routine. It will make it easier if it’s already a habit.
  6. Practice chewing your food at least 20-30 times before swallowing. Muscle has memory and it will be so much easier if you already have this habit. If you screw up and swallow too soon after surgery, you will pay the price.
  7. Set timers and don't drink and eat at the same time.
  8. I highly recommend having at least 1 visit with a therapist to establish with someone for after surgery. It’s not required, but everyone seems to have some emotional struggles afterwards. Whether its 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years you may struggle with the changes.
  9. I personally wouldn't share with people, unless you know they will be 100% supportive. It is nerve wracking already and you need nothing but positivity. Plus it’s a lot of pressure from people who know you've had WLS, versus people who think you are on the weight loss track. People think that the weight is going to melt off after surgery, and sometimes it doesn't. You don't want the extra judgment. ***Newly Added**** Don’t engage people with people who say “WLS is too dramatic” or “You could just diet and loose the weight” or “You aren’t big enough for surgery” or “It’s the easy way out”. SCREW THOSE PEOPLE, they don’t know. They will never know how triumphant our victory will be. I would also remember that you need to make time for you! Make the time to shop healthy, meal prep, cook healthy, and plan ahead. And I’m talking to all the selfless mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives. We give so much to our families, but NOW is the time to focus on ourselves. We are doing it for them, after all. We are doing it to prolong our lives and improve the quality of our lives.
  10. Come up with a reward system of sorts. You want to acknowledge your successes. For my 50lb mark, I went and got pedicures with my girlfriends. For my 75lb mark, I bought myself some new dresses. For my 100lb mark, I already bought myself a really nice full length mirror.

Please pay special attention to #8. This is a HUGE mental game, its about 80% head, and 20% body. I personally hit my rock bottom and knew that I *had* to make these changes. I had many comorbidities, and I knew that I didn't stand a chance to have a family without taking control back. I was miserable being that overweight, and I knew in my heart, that nothing could be worse that how I was feeling then. You may think food is everything now, but when you finally start this journey, you'll come to see that food is not everything. Eating mindlessly, becomes a disgusting thought. And I'm not saying that you are disgusting now, or that I was then.... but it truly becomes disgusting after surgery. You won't be able to fathom your habits before. The biggest thing I struggle with now is that I don't do any sweets, at all. I don't want to dump, and I struggle from time to time, thinking.... I absolutely CAN'T eat that. Its not like, I can have that in moderation, but I truly can't. (I mean, I could, but I'd be so sick, I'd want to die for about 30 mins). Ultimately, when I look in the mirror, or walk across the parking lot, wipe my butt, or tie my shoes... the struggles of what I can't eat anymore, disappear. I know in my heart, I am better off and I am a much happier and healthier person.

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1 hour ago, KimTriesRNY said:

One thing we see on these boards time and again is people wishing they had done this sooner.

This is so true, my only regret is I wish I did this 5-10 years ago, I needed this when I was 18 years old. I wasted my whole 20's being overweight.

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On 06/23/2018 at 04:20, Collin Clark said:



Hi all, my name is Collin and im just freshly 24 years old. Im posting here because i need some help and input. I have been almost at the cusp of clearence for surgery twice now in the last 2 years.... im 530 pounds and have self sabotaged and then backed out once i get close to clearence. Any people out there who struggled with mentally accepting all of the changes that post surgery brings and accepting them and actually find out that it wasnt as difficult as tbeg thought ir would have been? I fear so much when i think i can only take cap full sips and never go out randomly down the road and eat a guilty pleasure food without thinking i have to finish it all. How did you guys truly get mentally in a good spot? I feel like my brain cant grasp all of the changes that im so used to abusing in mt daily life. Im such a thirsty individual. Also, do you feel like youre not you anymore after surgery? Like does your stomach and insides feel weird or do you eventually feel like you did internally prior to any surgery? ANOTHER IMPORTANT Q i have is - i am a college student and would like to plan for my surgery either over christmas break or over the summer, how much time do you think i would need to recover before being able to handle school(columbia college chicago) !? Please help


Hi there Collin!
Well, the first thing is everyone saying that we constantly see “I wish I’d done this sooner” all over the boards is correct. I’m only 34, and I wish I’d done this in my late 20’s when I needed it.
I don’t know what kind of process you’ve had to go through to get clearance in the past, but one of my requirements was to see a WLS psychiatrist at least 3 times. I saw him 5 times. And I see a regular psychiatrist every 90 days (or more if I need to.) I think everyone should do this before surgery. The majority of this change is changing your brain and your relationship with food. By self-sabotaging, I’m thinking maybe you haven’t done this before. I highly recommend this because this person will be able to get to the root of your problem and answer a lot of the questions you’re asking yourself.
Two weeks post surgery I was able to drink pretty normally. I can take 3 sizable swallows in a row at this point.
When you say you’re thirsty, is it because you’re diabetic? If so, i was as well. It’s actually work to remind myself to drink these days because I used to always be thirsty even though my blood sugar was well controlled. Now I’m not thirsty. Like ever. And I’ve been off all my diabetes meds since the day of surgery.
As for food, I’ve already indulged in some guilty foods. I had VSG 5/10/18. But the difference is that I don’t feel compelled to eat a huge portion of it. I have a nibble of someone else’s and I’m good to go. I just don’t really get hungry, and when I do, it doesn’t take much to fill me up. You won’t WANT to finish it all. At least I don’t. I know some people eat a bunch later and gain back, but, knock on wood, that’s definitely not me right now! I still have yet to meet my calorie goal of 800-1,000 a day. It’s crazy.
That being said, it’s pretty crazy good. I’m not losing super fast like some people I’ve read about, but my life is so much better now. Many non WLS victories!
I ended up taking about 3 weeks off and then returned to light duty. So I would definitely schedule your surgery during a break in school.
As for do my insides feel weird? No. Right after surgery I felt fine. Normal. I thought for sure that they’d just messed with me because there was no way having the majority of an organ would feel like dang near nothing happened. But it did! Shoot man, I hardly had any incision pain. I took regular old Tylenol 2 times a day for 2 days post surgery and I was good with nothing after that.
I feel BETTER than my old self! I’m off blood pressure, diabetes, back pain meds. I’m more cheerful and I have more energy.
I won’t like to you, I did have complications. But they were because I was pushing myself to be the ideal WLS patient instead of following my body and how it needed to heal. I wasn’t listening to myself. That’s important. Don’t push yourself just because someone else is doing steps faster than you. Do what you need to do the way that you need to do it.
Anyway, I hope everything works out for you. I don’t want to sound morbid, but I knew if I didn’t do this I would die sooner. I didn’t want that. I don’t have kids, my mom is still relatively young and in great shape and everything. I don’t have anyone depending on me is what I want to get at. But I want to get the most out of the longest life I can. I had 6 friends, good ones, die of various causes in under a year. I didn’t want to join them.
But I’d recommend starting with that psychiatrist. They’ll help you out A LOT.
Best wishes

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Thank you all for the outstanding feedback. I am taking it all in.

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Hi Collin I’m 27 so a tad bit older but first get a therapist any major change like this is going to affect u I’m still pre surgery btw but also honestly find friends that encourage good habits within you find a core like a good core group I’ve had the same 3 friends from college two of whom have had bariatric surgery with my same hospital so find your tribe I’ve been spending time with the same core group for 10 years my husband 18

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Colin... I was in therapy with a psychologist for a year before i decided I was ready to look into surgery. I am now 2 weeks post op and am thankful that i have that mental support. Everyone os different but for me the mental and emotional aspect of it is where the true work is.

I smoked for 18 years... my dr told me that i need to quit but also i can keep trying and failing... and when i was mentally and physically ready to quit i would. He was right! I had to quit to get approved and it was easy for me.

When you are ready to change you will know it... and it will seem easy to do. Until then don't beat your self up too much. Keep at it and when the time os right you won't look back.



Sent from my SM-G965U using BariatricPal mobile app

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