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Doubting Whether I Should Proceed



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Hi. This is my first post, though I have been lurking in the shadows for a few weeks now.

I am scheduled for my VSG this Wednesday the 3rd of August. I started by pre-op diet on the 20th of July. The first few days - maybe even out to the first week of my pre-op diet were tough. I was constantly starving, especially at first. But, I stuck with it, haven't cheated, and am honestly less hungry in general now, though I still get a craving here and there. I have lost 20 pounds so far on my pre-op diet.

I am now starting to have some serious doubts about proceeding with the surgery. I have lost more weight than I though I would pre-op. In fact, I am under my pre-op goal weight considerably. I am already starting to feel better physically, I am seeing drastic improvement in glucose readings, and despite the seriously reduced intake, I am more energetic. Also contributing to my doubt is a very close family member that is vehemently against my choice to have the surgery. I value their thoughts and input, and all of the factors have planted a significant seed of doubt in my mind. I worry that down the line I will be faced with a serious dose of regret.

Has anyone else experienced similar situations? How did you proceed? Regrets either way?

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What you achieve in pre-op is rarely sustainable in the long term without surgery, even with surgery, that much weight loss in that amount of time is only achieved by some those with very high weights...well over 400 or 500lbs.

Only you can decide if you go ahead with surgery or not based on your personal circumstances. That said, I would always recommend questioning why those who are close who are against surgery as to their reasons. Its your health, its your body, its been your struggle (all those times you've attempted to lose weight and maintain the loss), etc etc.

I didn't lose a lot of weight pre-op, I've lost more on other occasions, but I've never been able to sustain the weight loss or maintain without the surgery I eventually had.

A question to you, without the pre-op diet you wouldn't have achieved the weight loss, but what have you done in the mean to make sure you can maintain it? What caused you to become overweight? What have you done or will you do to overcome what caused you to become overweight? This equally applies to having surgery or not?

Being nervous or having seconds is quite common in the days and weeks leading to surgery, it may be useful for you to work out those feelings with a counsellor or therapist. You may decide to put your surgey on hold, you may not.

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It's worth keeping in mind that the pre-op diet isn't a sustainable diet - it's a medically approved short term starvation diet designed to shrink the liver for a safer surgery. A lot of nervous folks after losing some decent weight in the pre-op phase then question whether they need the surgery. Do you think you can sustain the lifestyle change without the surgery tool to continue losing? This is something only you can honestly answer.

Why is your relative vehemently against it? What are the reasons? I'm yet to hear of a partner or relative with reservations who isn't simply misinformed or flat-out wrong and/or driven by other emotional reasons. The surgery these days is very safe. This isn't to sway you either way, only you can make that call, but have all the facts and honest truths before you before you make the choice.

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they say that fewer than 5% of obese people are successful in keeping off lost weight. I, unfortunately, was not one of those people. I spent decades losing weight, only to gain it all back. Surgery was the only thing that allowed me to lose my excess weight (I lost over 200 lbs) and keep most of it off.

no one can tell you whether or not you can do this on your own - but I agree with the others. A pre-op style diet is not sustainable long term.

I would do this surgery again in a heartbeat. The first few weeks can be trying, but I have zero regrets (other than I should have done it years ago). It was the best decision I ever made.

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That preop diet concept has come in handy for dealing with stalls. Keep that in your toolbox as an example of what you’re capable of down the road, after surgery. As everyone else has said, that kind of weight loss without this tool of wls is not exactly sustainable.
I have been on full liquid diet since last Sunday and dropped 7lbs out of my stall, so far.
People like to insert their opinions on what you should or shouldn’t do and what is or isn’t the best way to manage your success, but ultimately, it’s up to you.
Good luck!

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4 hours ago, Smanky said:

Why is your relative vehemently against it? What are the reasons? I'm yet to hear of a partner or relative with reservations who isn't simply misinformed or flat-out wrong and/or driven by other emotional reasons. The surgery these days is very safe. This isn't to sway you either way, only you can make that call, but have all the facts and honest truths before you before you make the choice.

Thanks for taking the interest in my post enough to respond. Some context that might shed some light on their position follows.

This relative has shared concerns that I would be miserable down the road and feel awful about all of the things I couldn't eat or experience. They lament on the emotional pain that they anticipate I will feel as I distance myself away from my prior foods and eating habits. It is noteworthy to add that they also have been someone that provided "treats" for me in the past (I have heard the term "food pusher" recently and it struck a note with me here in this situation). Everyone else in my family, my medical team, and the few that I have told, all congratulated me and expressed their support.

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4 hours ago, Hop_Scotch said:

A question to you, without the pre-op diet you wouldn't have achieved the weight loss, but what have you done in the mean to make sure you can maintain it? What caused you to become overweight? What have you done or will you do to overcome what caused you to become overweight? This equally applies to having surgery or not?

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and offer a thoughtful response. This is an excellent question/point you raise. I am certain I don't have the market cornered on the yo-yo effect of gaining weight and my attempts to lose weight in the past. At the end of the day, I am where I am with my medical team and my decision for surgery because everything I have done in the past has failed.

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Being nervous and doubtful - especially when making such a big decision is natural.

I had doubts and canceled my first surgery - because I didn’t think the program I was in was the right fit. (Found another program and I’m scheduled for surgery in a few weeks). I regretting canceling for a time, thinking how I could be 6 months further down the road if I had just gone through with the original plan, but ultimately I’m glad I waited to find the right program for me.

I constantly ask my husband - is this the right decision, because I was sure if I had just tried harder, I could do this without the surgery. (For perspective I’m 48… I’ve been over weight all of my adult life). I was also worried about the inconvenience the surgery, diet and lifestyle chances would impose on the household (hubby and 2 adult-ish kids).

I spoke to my pcp, my endocrinologist, two different therapists (mine and the one from the program) about all the reasons I’m afraid to have surgery and all the reasons why I should have the surgery.

The program therapist was very direct - telling me no one (in the program) will be upset if you are unsure and want to postpone for up to a year (tests could be used for a certain period) or even cancel. “We will do this when it is right for YOU”, she assured me. My therapist, PCP and endocrinologist (who both advised me to consider this as an option) agreed and said the same thing. My husband has been nothing but supportive. But all of them said I needed to make the decision that is best for ME, not worry about what others personal opinions are, because ultimately I’m the one that has live with my weight and the health issues that go along with it.

I’m not going to lie, the idea of surgery of any kind scares me, but I made the decision to have surgery to become healthier, to improve my quality of life. As nervous as I am about things that can go wrong, about having this surgery and messing it up by not being successful, I know I won’t forgive myself if I don’t try. The things I have been doing for the last 30 years have not worked long term and as I get older, it’s likely to get harder - not easier. I owe it to myself to try every resource at my disposal and this surgery is just that, a resource or a tool.

I choose not to share my decision with family (outside my house) and most friends (need to know only) while going through pre-op because I didn’t want to invite the opportunity for negativity. Most know I’m working with a nutritionist (I’ve lost about 50 lbs over the last year) and getting a hernia repair (both of which are true), but not that I’m having WLS.

The family member opposed - do they struggle with weight or health issues of their own? Why don’t they support your decision? If they raised questions or concerns you thought were good points, did you discuss with your therapist/nutritionist/ drs? While you value their thoughts and input… are they valuing yours? It’s one thing to express concern about someone you care about, but it is absolutely possible to do so in a supportive way.

What ever you decide, best of luck.

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I think it's good that you have control while on your pre op diet. It indicates that if you choose to go forth with your surgery, you can be very successful.

The pre op diet is meant, as others said, to be temporary as a means to shrink your liver so that surgery is safe. A diet that is that low in calories, if maintained long term will only do harm to your metabolism, and slow it down.

Weight loss surgery is a way to stop dieting and live a healthy life without harming our metabolisms and bodies.

The choice is ultimately yours whether or not to have surgery.

And I read your response about the family member that has issue with your choice to look into weight loss surgery. They themselves seem to have "food issues" if they look at food as an "emotional experience"

You do what you feel is best for you, because it's your life and you are the one that will live with your decision.

Weight loss surgery is very liberating imo. You don't necessarily have to give up anything, (but do follow any guidelines your team has for you ie: soda is one my team doesn't want me having) you eat smaller portions of foods and feel satisfied.

Best wishes!

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I was worried about that also (limitation on foods and experience as your food pusher has warned you), but the reality is that you have no limitations on the types of food you’ll be able to taste and eat once you have healed from your procedure and have maximized your weight loss - though you don’t have to wait for the maximization to sample some yummy foods, if that is your choice (once you’ve healed).
The real life frustrations I do experience involve limiting meals out - especially hard when husband is athlete and bodybuilder and wants to eat all the time. I have recently had to ask him to stop talking about food. I’m not in any mood to have someone talk about endless options of food that I won’t be entertaining. He asked for pizza and French fries while we were out the other night running errands and I refused to drive to either place.
I also try to be outside as often as possible bc when I’m in the house food seems to want to call my name and I’m avoiding it. My will has strengthened since surgery and I can imagine that might be something to fear for a food pusher.

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14 hours ago, djhobbes said:

Thanks for taking the interest in my post enough to respond. Some context that might shed some light on their position follows.

This relative has shared concerns that I would be miserable down the road and feel awful about all of the things I couldn't eat or experience. They lament on the emotional pain that they anticipate I will feel as I distance myself away from my prior foods and eating habits. It is noteworthy to add that they also have been someone that provided "treats" for me in the past (I have heard the term "food pusher" recently and it struck a note with me here in this situation). Everyone else in my family, my medical team, and the few that I have told, all congratulated me and expressed their support.

I have to say, that is raising a lot of red flags. If they're a treat pusher, they have an ulterior motive here and I'd be vary wary.

So you've been losing weight on the pre-op diet. This is a STRICT diet, and if you were to cancel surgery and try to keep losing the old fashioned way, that is still a diet and you'll have to go without eating the comforting/fun bad things your relative is dangling over you with their "reservations". Are they anti all-diets for you for this reason? As I said: RED FLAGS.

You WILL have to stick to a restricted diet while you heal, and there is a plan you must follow while you're losing, but contrary to what your relative is claiming, you WILL eat fun/interesting things again once you hit maintenance, just in sensible portions.

If there is a chance that you will suffer any emotional issues with the surgery, please get bariatric counseling. They will arm you with the tools you'll need to push through any mental health hiccups.

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First I'll say I was lurking in the shadows for a while before posting anything also. I would like to start with you started this journey for a reason and if that reason is still there I would stay with it. It will get tough especially the first couple of months but so worth it. My mom was worried about it because she knew a couple of people who the surgery and went the other getting to skinny and looking sucked in. But I'm doing good right now and glad I did it. Though I was upset in the beginning because of sever complications. But with all that I would do it again. Do what you feel is right for you. Congratulations on taking the first steps of this journey and hope you find what is best for you

Sent from my SM-A716U using BariatricPal mobile app

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If I were you I would seriously consider bariatric therapy. You can work out what’s right for you in terms of surgery or not at this time, get the tools to deal with your food pusher either way and they can help you to address this person when and if you decide to tell them you want surgery. You will most likely be required to see one to get an evaluation at some point during the process anyways and many people swear that they help them tremendously to deal with food issues that Some of us have.

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I was in a similar situation to you. Amazed that I was finally able to lose some weight on the pre op diet when I always failed in the past. In my moments of doubt I would think "I don't need this surgery, I've proved to myself I can do this on my own" My next thought - "and if I cancel we can go out to eat as a reward and I can have anything I want." Bingo. Proof in point. I did need this surgery to break this cycle and get healthy again.

I'm so very happy I didn't cancel. I'm only 3 1/2 weeks out at this point so I don't have a lot of historical experience, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was worth every gross Meal Replacement shake and even that bottle of mag citrate.

One difference from your situation is that I don't have a family member trying to talk me down. That's probably because I didn't tell them.

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Lots of thoughtful responses to my post - thanks all.

My surgery day is tomorrow and I am proceeding.

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