I met a young man at a local thriftstore the other day. I have seen him in several of the local Goodwill stores and he has started to recognize me as well. He stands out. He currently weighs between 300 and 400 pounds and is about 5 feet 10 inches tall. Lots of tattoos on his neck and arms. He has been very polite in all of our interactions, and I told him that I had once weighed 300 pounds. He looked at me carefully and asked how I had lost the weight. I told him weight loss surgery. That opened a flood gate of questions, concerns and a clear dialogue was developed. He was in the early stages of the 6 month program at Kaiser leading to potential weight loss surgery. The program requires you to make a concerted effort to loose weight on your own, before they will do WLS. They provide weekly group meetings to help you in the process. He seemed happy with the progress he had made and looked forward to the weekly guidance sessions. He told me he didn’t have too many risk factor issues like heart problems, diabetes and other physical problems. But I wasn’t sure he was telling me the complete truth.
We spent some time discussing the surgery (proposed gastric sleeve) and what were things he could anticipate down the road after the surgery. I l=told him about the rapid weight loss amd some of the dietary problems I encountered. I also told him about my current battle to take off some of the weight I gained after that first amazing year of weight loss. The psychology of the weight loss process is extremely important in that post-surgery world. Failure to exercise, increased snacking, and eating the wrong kinds of foods can all be part of a problematical resolution. I asked him about why he felt he needed to have the surgery and he told me about failed attempts to lose weight in the past. Now he said he was doing it for himself. He was going to try to lose the weight so that he could be healthier, happier and in a better place. He had the right attitude and I wished him luck. But it is not just luck. It is the will to not go back to where you were before you lost weight. There is no alternative that says that you can return to your old habits. There are sacrifices that have to be made. As this blog has stated many times this WLS should not be a sentence of dull, tasteless food or the ability to go out to restaurants and eat with your friends. It opens new life vistas that while they do have some restrictions on how much you eat, do not restrict you at all about the types of foods you eat. So Eric, get through this early stage process and get the surgery done as soon as possible. You will be starting a whole new life. Get started as soon as possible.