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HELP! Pre-op, Almost at Finish Line... Thoughts of Bailing



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So I'm on the 11th day of my pre-op. It's going OK, have not strayed or anything, but I keep having intrusive thoughts (or maybe logical thoughts) that I should bail. Not because I have a better way or think I can lose it on my own, but because cutting out half my stomach inviting in possible unknown complications and more stress into my already complicated life seems pretty irrational.

Fear of the unknown is in every corner. I could have issues in other areas of my life arise, and would have to deal with them as they come. But this seems like an unnecessary venture - at least that's what 1/2 my brain is telling me.

The other half is excited and thrilled with the idea of feeling better in my own skin, continuing working on a healthier relationship with food, and getting to a new normal that is satisfying. Literally telling people about the surgery, my husband has off, I've got my Protein, my physical being is proceeding forward as if this is going to happen, That's my plan, at least.

But then a part of me just wonders why I don't just DO that without surgery. Work a healthy path of eating, etc. I may not lose as much weight, but I can continue on the path of healthier relationship without surgery and without inviting the unknown complications in.

I realize this is probably part of the mental battle. And maybe it's harder because I'm pre-surgery. Post, I wouldn't have the option of deciding on surgery or not, just to move forward and work on the food/emotions/etc.

I had surgery scheduled for May, but got sick and had to delay. Part of me wondered if that was actually serendipity/God/fate letting me know that it wasn't for me. There was relief, but also sadness. Regardless, I stuck with the program. I've learned healthy habits, and learned a lot about myself through the program, honestly. But my weight hasn't really changed because of it. Just my head.

Did anyone else get cold feet? Sometimes I hate my brain!

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I did not have a lot for some reason but it is not at all uncommon to have doubts pre surgery. It is a major surgery which is a major decision. You are the only one who knows what’s truly best for you but my guess is that you are doing this because you have already tried everything else. Try to focus on WHY you want the surgery? And your non scale goals. You started down this path for a reason. What is your why and what do you hope to gain. There is a thread on here called “weirdest non scale victories” that I think everyone considering WLS should read. It will help you if you don’t already have a list on non scale goals for after surgery.

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27 minutes ago, ShoppGirl said:

I did not have a lot for some reason but it is not at all uncommon to have doubts pre surgery. It is a major surgery which is a major decision. You are the only one who knows what’s truly best for you but my guess is that you are doing this because you have already tried everything else. Try to focus on WHY you want the surgery? And your non scale goals. You started down this path for a reason. What is your why and what do you hope to gain. There is a thread on here called “weirdest non scale victories” that I think everyone considering WLS should read. It will help you if you don’t already have a list on non scale goals for after surgery.

Thanks, I'll check that thread out 👍🏽

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I had exactly the same thoughts... if I can drop this weight like this during the pre-op diet, why can't I just... continue?

But I couldn't have, and I talked to my surgeon's staff about it.

The pre-op diet (not that I had one necessarily, I put myself on it so I didn't go from nought to sixty in one day) is meant to be a crash diet. It is meant to shrink things and get a little visceral fat off you so that it's safer to do laparoscopic surgery. It is not sustainable long-term without surgery, and it is not meant to be.

The other thing is—all or nearly all of us have binge-eaten in our past. Whether we have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with food, we've all overindulged. Well, after surgery, you literally CAN'T binge... and, bizarrely enough, most people don't WANT to. The first time you take ONE BITE too much, you will really feel that restriction and the resulting sensations (for me, it's massive chest pressure, and terrible gas that causes me to spit up) will make sure you learn what "full" feels like.

I was a pizza eater. I could demolish an entire pizza myself in one sitting, because once I started I couldn't stop. Yesterday (just over 7 weeks post-op) I delivered pizza to my daughter's dress rehearsal, opened up the box, took a slice, had one bite, shrugged, and threw the rest of the slice away. It's like my body's been given this tool and it is forcing my brain to reckon with how I eat/ate.

I wish I had found this site and gone for this surgery ten or more years ago. When I was nervous about the surgery—I had exactly the same thoughts as you—my family reminded me that I had tried REALLY hard, and never gotten below 330, then gained it all back until I was two cheeseburgers shy of 400 lbs.

I went below that 330 mark 13 days after surgery. I'm now closing in on TWOsday, and I honestly feel like a different (and happier) person.

Ultimately, only you can make the decision, but I think you'll find the ratio of yeasayers to naysayers here at BariatricPal to be massively tilted in the "yes do it" direction.

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3 minutes ago, vikingbeast said:

I went below that 330 mark 13 days after surgery. I'm now closing in on TWOsday, and I honestly feel like a different (and happier) person.

Thank you for your thoughtful post. Right now I'm scouring through the "NSV" thread that was quoted above, and my heart is letting some joy come in thinking of these things. Having lost some weight before, I can recall how GOOD some of them felt. So freaking GOOD!

Congratulations on your being thisclose to the twos as well.

I never thought I'd see 300 again, and I did just before my pre-op diet. That, also, was a reminder to me of where I've been, how far I've come, and where I want to be a couple years from now. ♥️

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I think those thoughts are pretty normal. I had them myself. BUT....I know what would happen because it happened a million times before. I tried to lose weight for DECADES (I'm in my 60s). On my more successful attempts, I'd lose 50 or 60 lbs. I'd sit there for a couple of months, and then the weight would start piling back on. On my less successful attempts, I'd lose maybe 20 lbs. Same thing. Every time. Over and over. For decades. I was over 200 lbs overweight. I finally had to get real with myself. If I couldn't even keep 50 lbs off, how in the heck was I going to lose and keep off 200 lbs? I came to the conclusion that weight loss surgery was the only way I was ever going to get the weight off and keep it off.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat and my only regret is that I didn't do it years ago.

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All parts of your brain are spot on.

The idea of feeling better in your own skin and being healthier is appealing.

It *IS* possible to do it without surgery. Up to a massive 3% of morbidly obese people actually accomplish lasting weight loss without surgery. I wasn't one of the 3%. For years I got bigger and bigger with the belief I could do it through diet and exercise. I finally admitted I couldn't.

Fearing the unknown is a waste of time and energy. Commit to dealing with whatever comes, period. So many people speak of regretting surgery because of pain in the first few weeks post-op. Consider problems as the cost of getting from here to there. Every fear you have has an answer. Do research on your fears. Knowledge is power.

Every problem you encounter in the first weeks or months post-op are simply the price of admission. Problems will teach you to listen to your surgery teaching you to live again.

Good luck,

Tek

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@catwoman7

Same here with all of the attempts. My last real one was quite a bit back, and I lost a significant amount, but I did put it back on. I don't see myself getting there again without this support (surgery). I need the extra tools in my box, so to speak. I'm in that same boat (which is why I'm here, haha).

2 hours ago, The Greater Fool said:

Fearing the unknown is a waste of time and energy.

Very true... I'm working on managing that! Thanks.

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I can't tell you how helpful it is to read this today. I am feeling the EXACT same way. My surgery is a month out, and I'm starting to panic. My rational brain tells me that some day I can enjoy food again (albeit is much smaller amounts), and I won't have to abstain from alcohol forever if I don't want to, but my neurotic brain is worrying about doing something irreversible to my body, and that I could end up going through this for nothing if I gain all the weight back. Glad to know I'm not alone, that this is normal, and that most people don't regret it in the long run.

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10 hours ago, heysam said:

I can't tell you how helpful it is to read this today. I am feeling the EXACT same way. My surgery is a month out, and I'm starting to panic. My rational brain tells me that some day I can enjoy food again (albeit is much smaller amounts), and I won't have to abstain from alcohol forever if I don't want to, but my neurotic brain is worrying about doing something irreversible to my body, and that I could end up going through this for nothing if I gain all the weight back. Glad to know I'm not alone, that this is normal, and that most people don't regret it in the long run.

I'm being encouraged by my NUT to eat a more diverse array of foods, and she wants me to have carbs in there too if there's room. So I eat really tiny normal meals. Today for lunch I had 3 oz. of ground turkey cooked with a little Korean barbecue sauce; about a quarter cup of basmati rice; and five asparagus spears.

It is possible to eat "normally", just not as much, and not right away. And I'm still losing weight hand over fist.

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It is common to have doubts. Make a list of reasons/fears why you shouldn't take the leap, and another one of the reasons why you should.

I made these lists, the one with fears was mainly that, fear of the unknown, fear of complications, etc. This forum helped me tremendously to put a lot of those at rest.

Now, my list of why I should take a leap.. well that one was pages and pages long.. :)

So, I took the leap!

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I’m three months post op and feel absolutely great now. You will feel so much better too after your body heals. Likely you will surprise yourself each day with another activity you couldn’t do before. Like doing a lunge in yoga or walking up the stairs without getting winded. Focus on your goals.

I kept in mind that during the actual surgery I was going to be asleep. I wasn’t in charge of doing the actual surgery. It’s silly but it calmed me down. All I had to do was go to sleep and wake up, and I did. I was still me and felt like me afterward too. You will too.

I also use a piece of jewelry as an anchor to remind myself to keep my focus on weight loss and self care. (WW idea) I have a ring. I couldn’t wear jewelry into the hospital but tapped my finger to remind myself of self care when I got scared. My old WW leader had a charm Bracelet from her MIL who had died from diabetes complications. I still use my ring to refocus after missteps like Halloween candy lol.

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12 hours ago, learn2cook said:

I kept in mind that during the actual surgery I was going to be asleep. I wasn’t in charge of doing the actual surgery. It’s silly but it calmed me down.

This does make sense.

I'm now on my last day of the pre-op. Tomorrow I drink some sugary drinks and clear liquid. The sugary drinks are supposed to kick you out of ketosis. It's weird now today I was just trying to enjoy my Protein Drinks as a "last meal" since tomorrow it's changing again.

I'm still pretty nervous. Re-reading this post. Trying to focus on the good stuff. Still wondering what I'm thinking with the stomach removal, though. Worries are mostly about my new insides and that I don't want to end up with a revision. I don't have to worry about a revision if I don't have the surgery.

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