in my own words

(This reblog was originally posted on one of my previous blogs/websites. I'm reposting it here because of any of a number of reasons that make it a post I feel is worth still having available for discussion. Minor editing may have been done for clarity, or in some instances maybe there was some additional clarifying my original intent, or removing out of date information. Just letting you know. Unless noted, the publish date here reflects the originally published date.)

In the further adventures towards a possible bariatric surgery, I received a “health history form” from the doctors at the bariatric clinic. It’s 15 pages of questions and such asking me about everything from allergies and current medications, to family health issues and eating patterns, including questions on my psychological and social history. I was able to skip most of one page that was devoted to “female” stuff.

I have most of it filled out. I do still need to talk to some family members about a few of their history items, and add in the information regarding my current medications, but other than that I just have the last page to do. This last page states the following: “Why I want this surgery” In my own words.” followed by “Write in you own hand writing using your own words to express why you want to have weight loss surgery. Include your understanding and expectations of the surgery. Include physical and emotional benefits you hope to experience from weight loss.”

On the surface it seems a pretty simple question with a simple “I don’t want to be fat” type answer.

But as I have been thinking more the last day or so maybe it isn’t so simple, especially when you throw in the part about “understanding and expectations” and “physical and emotional benefits”. The physical benefits are pretty straight forward. Less joint issues, no more high blood pressure, eliminate possibly ending up with diabetes, etc, etc.

Emotional benefits? Not something I’m quite as sure there. Is losing weight automatically going to make me “happy”? No… I mean, It isn’t like I’m depressed now. Does losing weight mean I’m suddenly going to find ‘the one’ for me, get married and live happily ever after? Doubtful. But will I be… happier?

I guess I would hope so. I think emotionally, a lot of my down time of late has to do with not being able to do things that I was able to just a couple year ago. Easily get down on the floor and play with my niece and nephew, play paintball all day, go for walks around Lake Phalen with my friend, and at some point maybe taking up riding a bike again. So yes, if those things are physically easier to do because I lose weight… Cripes, being able to shop at most stores, even if I’m still a XXL instead of XXXL or XXXXL, those things will make me happier.

Then, maybe I can focus on things that will make me “happy”.

This surgery, quite simply, is a huge deal. There’s no getting around that. But the last 30+ years have shown me that this is not something I can tackle with out help. I’ve known for years that I need to make a life-style change to get rid of and keep the weight off. I just have not been able to make that change through simply changing some habits, I need help.

This is not going to be some sort of wave of a magic wand solution, where once I have the surgery everything will be sunshine and flowers. There are still going to be a lot of challenges, a lot of ups an downs. In many ways the same sort of ups and downs I’d face no matter how I was trying to lose the weight. The thing is, I feel like I’m running out of time.

I will probably use some of what I wrote here in answering the question for the doctors. I’m still pondering a bit. But a few friends I’ve talked about this with have been very encouraging. It is good to know that I have friends that care, that have been concerned about me as I’ve been gaining weight the last few years, and will be there to help if I need the support. No matter which way this process takes me.

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

Originally posted October 20, 2008.

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