That was my thought around 3:30 this afternoon. "Thanks a lot, Carnie Wilson!"
I'll be honest and say that I was more than frustrated while in the breakroom at work to prepare my afternoon snack of PB2 and mashed banana. (Did you all know that I really like PB2?!?!) On the counter was some leftover food from a luncheon today. Sandwiches, chips, cookies, etc. I didn't hear the first part of the conversation, but two other employees (one male / one female) were discussing carbs and needing to lose weight etc. Then this comment by the female caught my attention: "Well, the risks far outweigh the benefits!" The guy jumped in with, "And it's not permanent anyway. You can stretch your stomach back out. Look at Carnie Wilson. She gained all her weight back. Even had the surgery twice."
I looked up from stirring my snack and really REALLY thought about joining the conversation. Yet, I didn't know these two. I didn't want to be THAT person. And I wasn't really sure that I wanted to be judged for the decision I made to have gastric bypass surgery. So instead, I listened as they continued. The snippets of "My doctor would NEVER recommend it - it's too risky." and "Sure, she'll lose weight, but it's highly unlikely that she'll keep it off." and "It will be interesting to see how she does." (pretty sure I knew who they were referencing...) made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I was mad! I was mad that they are not well informed. I was mad that they were so judgemental. I was even mad at Carnie Wilson!
Then the thought occurred that maybe, just maybe, they were a tad "jealous" (for lack of a better word) that someone else had the courage to battle their food addiction head on. Maybe they secretly wished they had that same courage but are scared (regardless if it was through gastric bypass intervention or not). I remember days like that. When I'd make comments like, "I could never have gastric bypass..I'm too chicken!" And I remember my post from a few days ago asking that we (weight loss surgery patients) show grace to people like these two. So I finished making my snack and left them to carry on without my two cents. (I'm quite sure they would appreciate knowing that I had a filter in place this afternoon!)
I want to reiterate something I've been saying a for a while and something I remember MD telling me very early on in this journey. This surgery is not a cure all. If I didn't (don't) make permanent changes - physically and emotionally, then I will not succeed. I cannot (and will not) try to speak for anyone else on why they may have gained most or all their weight back. I am not privy to their personal lives. What I can tell you is that this process is not an easy process. It is not the secret weight loss miracle everyone is in search of. It's hard work. Emotionally you MUST be ready. You must be willing to address issues like emotional eating, binge eating, all that excess baggage that you've picked up along your way to the point you decide to have surgery. The surgery alone will not "fix" your food addiction. The surgery alone really won't even touch the surface of your food addiction. You must be willing to take responsibility for your actions and you must be willing to make permanent changes. You must have accountability. (My blog is part of my accountability...if that makes sense.) If you are considering this surgery, be ready to address all of that...and more! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Not the doctors, not the surgery, not the dietician. Not your family and friends. You. (Me).
So thanks a lot, Carnie Wilson, for helping to remind me that I am responsible for how I use this tool (gift) that God has given me. I will not take it for granted.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14