Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a Canadian doctor posted this guest post on his site today. It’s from a woman who underwent Gastric Bypass surgery and is sharing all the good and negative things that come with it.
Nine months ago, I had a gastric bypass. When I told people what I was going to do, they were shocked. I wasn’t that big. Was I really sure I wanted to do something so drastic? Couldn’t I try just one more time to lose weight? Shouldn’t a gastric bypass be reserved for people who are sick and fat, instead of just sick and tired of being fat?
Here’s my response: the decision to have major surgery with very real consequences was not taken lightly. It took an entire year from the time Dr Freedhoff first suggested it until I was ready to be referred to the program. But once I made the decision, I wanted it to be done with. I wanted my new life to begin.
I did everything right – I researched, I read, I went to a psychologist, I made sure that both my head and my heart were ready for the significant change in my life. I followed every instruction that my surgeon gave me to the letter. And my results have been spectacular.
Pretty good, so far right?!
Still, there is something about my weight loss that upsets me in a fairly fundamental way – I have moved from being invisible to visible, and it is both uncomfortable and enraging.
I read a lot of people talk about this, but for some reason, I do not notice it. I’m sure it’s happening, because it IS human nature. Most people are not overly accepting of MO people. But, I just don’t notice it. Maybe I was oblivious before. Maybe I wanted to be invisible before and don’t want to be invisible now?
There are only 2 instances that stick in my mind, where I have noticed being treated differently. I was at Home Depot once, and had 3 2×4’s in my cart. I was rolling it to the checkout and an older man asked me if I needed help. While it didn’t phase me at the time, it dawned on me that NEVER in my life at Home Depot have I ever been asked for help with my large wood products, and there has been many times I have bought really bulky, awkward things to build with. The other was when I tripped in the summer on my show on the way to the train. I think 2 men kinda came running to see if I was ok. That was a little strange.
Maybe I’m a realist, and just understand how people treat MO people. I just expect to be treated differently, I guess? It doesn’t bug me either. And do you know why? Because I believe it. I think I felt that when I was MO, I didn’t deserve the attention, and truthfully, didn’t want it either! Who knows.
And then there are the well-meaning, the beneficent, the ones who cannot understand what their words mean.
- “You look so much younger.. taller… better… prettier… smarter” (that one was tough).
- “You’re not going to lose more weight, are you? You’re done, right? Maybe you should eat more – you don’t want to lose too much.”
- “I wish I could have that surgery – it’s such an easy way to lose weight.”
I got the last one once. I don’t think she realized what she said until after it came out. I got the “you’re not losing anymore right?” more than a few times. That one made me angry. I felt that they were basically telling me I look ugly, because I was too thin.