Sometimes we are faced with a feeling of certainty so deeply embedded in our gut, that even though we don't know for sure how someone else feels, we are almost positive that we are correct.
I've been dealing with this feeling for quite some time about someone I always considered myself close to, though lately this person, to me, feels like she is withdrawing from me entirely. The reason? I'm not completely sure anymore so than I am completely sure that this isn't all in my head. What I have to wonder is if this person thinks either a) that I am taking the "easy way out"; b) that I am setting myself up for failure or; c) that I could lose weight the old fashioned way if only I would set my mind to it.
When someone is your friend, any of these three options are painful for me, and here is why:
a) I'm taking the easy way out: I've addressed this one before, so in a nutshell, I have spent the majority of my life dieting in one form or another. I have exercised, done diet programs, starved myself, you name it, I did it. All the while I have continued to walk the path of my life in this body that has become somewhat of a prison for me. I do not take this surgery lightly; not even close and this option, if it is true of this person or of anyone, pisses me off, whether it is thought about me or some other WLS patient. Walk our lives in our shoes, go through the agony of making this decision, come to terms with the possibility of all that can go wrong. Easy? Anyone who thinks that is so incredibly misguided that it makes me sad.
b) I am setting myself up for failure: Part of preparing for this surgery is preparing for the life that is to follow. I almost have to laugh after I think about all the research I have put into this, all the prep, all the conversations and appointments, that someone might think I will fail. See, here's the thing for me. I've been fat all my life, hindered by weight all my life, sometimes more pounds, sometimes less, but never at a healthy size. I have vowed to myself that once I lose this weight, I will NEVER put it back on again. EVER. I would hope that those who know me would know me well enough to know that I would not make as drastic a decision as surgery to simply blow off the after care I will be doing for the rest of my life.
c) I could lose weight the old fashioned way if only I would set my mind to it: Yup, that is an accurate statement and lemme tell ya'll how that works. I work my butt off exercising and dieting for months to drop minimal weight. Then, I go on vacation, or something stressful happens or who knows what and it comes back on with some additional. So, sure, I could lose weight the old fashioned way and I have...about fifteen or twenty times, so as Dr. Phil would say "So, how's that workin' for ya?" Yeah, it's not and it hasn't, which is the reason I am leveling the playing field, so that I, who has to lose about 150 pounds have a chance, a real chance at being able to accomplish that goal. Then, and only then, can I lead my life the way any other normal person who has to watch what they eat has to do. This surgery will place me in the game for the first time in my life. If I had fifty pounds to lose, I would so not be opting for surgery, but that isn't my situation. I wish to hell it was, but it isn't. I'm mad as hell at the fact that this is what it is going to take to put me where I need to be, but it's a fact I have accepted. I could spend the rest of life doing diet after diet, trying to make one work for the long run, the way I have the first half of my life, or I could give myself a running start. Six year olds don't chose to be fat. In the year between being five and being six, I didn't change my eating habits. My body changed and I have been fighting with it every year since then and I'm tired of this fight. I'm tired of it all falling apart and hitting brick walls. The time has come for me to give myself a fighting chance.
I may be wrong about this person and what she thinks, but even if I am, there are other people out there thinking the same things about someone they know who is going to have this surgery. So, if I'm wrong, I write this for them. The folks who have made the agonizing decision to have surgery as a way to finally conquer weight issues need the support of those they love and those they call friend. I'm not asking anyone to fawn all over me; that's not what this is about. This is about knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt who is part of your support system. There is nothing worse than not knowing where you stand with someone you have always trusted to be in your corner.
I know that I have enough people in my corner and I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart as it means more to me than you will ever know. WLS patients do not want to set themselves up for failure; so it would be nice if those we loved didn't do that for us.