My favorite weight loss blogger Lyn asked a question today…
The truth is I consider Lyn a friend of mine. I have a lot of respect for her and I think she is a very strong person.
I feel she puts so much into her writing and her talent shows.
I also would like to give her my answer, in the style of her writing, because she inspires me….
I will never forget February 12, 2008. I remember it like it was yesterday. Walking into the doctor’s office with the same outfit I have worn all week. The same Reebok shorts, the same sweatshirt, and the same untied shoes.
I remember the nurse calling me to the back. When we went to the scale we both stared at each other. It seemed like it was a pretty good laugh. I mean, we both knew the scale ONLY went up to 400 pounds. You would think the scale would go higher, but alas, 400 pounds was their standard.
The nurse took my blood pressure. 210/180. She seemed shocked, like I was going to pass out. Well, I felt fine, or as fine as I was going to feel.
Why was she shocked actually? I was 420 pounds. I knew I was not leaving with the doctor telling me “Wow, it is amazing you are in such great health!” My arm went numb a lot. I never slept because I felt like I was going to die. My wife could hear me breath across the room.
The doctor finally came in and just stared at me. It seemed like everyone just stared at me. Maybe I am paranoid? Maybe?
The doctor was someone who has seen me kill myself over the last few years. He has already given me the “You can do it.” speech. He was not going to give me one this time, and I did not expect it.
“Three months. You will live for three months going like this. Do you understand? Your blood pressure is out of this world. Your cholesterol is over 300? Do you even care?”
Care. Maybe I did not care. In fact, if my wife did not make me go the doctor, I would not have gone. But of course I had to lie.
“Yes I do care!”
“You really do not have many options right now. I gave you medications for your heart and cholesterol before, and it is obvious you are not taking them.”
Well, he was right. I was not taking them. One of them made my leg feel funny at night and the other one made me pee a lot. Keep in mind it was hard to go to the bathroom, so peeing excessively was something I could do without.
“What are my options?”
“Surgery. Gastric Bypass. You are a perfect candidate for it.”
Perfect candidate. That is what my overeating has done to me. I am a perfect candidate. I am the surgeon’s dream. The 400 pound guy coming losing a ton of weight hugging the surgeon afterward.
Perfect candidate never sat well with me. It was demeaning. It was cruel.
Yet it was absolutely true. Very few people were my size. I was the perfect candidate.
I do not think my insurance would have covered it, but I had family who cared about me. I could have borrowed money.
“What about Alli?” I asked. Pills never worked but I have been a dieter for a long time. This pill was FDA approved. Maybe it was the wonder drug?
“Really, surgery is your only option. You could do Weight Watchers, South Beach or something like that, but you really need to drop weight quick. I do not think you have the dedication for portion control.”
On the way home I started to cry. Who wouldn’t. Surgery. That was my only option. Even in Let’s Make A Deal they can choose from three doors. I basically have one door to choose from, and kind of a shoebox.
When I got home my wife was waiting for me. Shocking since she only called me 200 times and I did not pick up the phone.
“Well, well…..what did he say. WHAT DID HE SAY?”
It is amazing that the inspiration I am called today, she saw in me at my highest weight. She saw a strong person that hundreds see in me, that even I did not see.
I looked in her eyes. I said..
“The doctor told me I had one option. I guess I am going to go to Weight Watchers.”
Surgery was not for me. I am a food addict and always will be. I struggle every day with portion control, and I can overeat in a heartbeat.
Surgery is a personal decision. Surgery is not easy, there is a lot of recovery. I know some very strong people who have done it. It is not an easy way out. it is not an easy way to lose weight.
I will say this though, it is nice to have options.
For me, there was no option.