Patient Blog

Why I Never Wanted to Have Bariatric Surgery

Measuring tape coiled on the left half of the image

My story is one of senselessness, stubbornness, weakness, and despair – you get the point. It’s a classic story of someone seemingly on top that drops to the bottom and then quite a bit further below that. And I did it to myself – a classic self-sabotage. Is this a common thread in those needing a life-altering change like bariatric surgery? Maybe.

What you need to know for me to tell THIS story is that I suffered a personal trauma and, as a result, experienced an excruciating emotional collapse.

My life came to a complete halt. I didn’t care about anything. It was a struggle to get out of bed day after day. I stopped taking care of my body. I stopped going to the gym, and on top of that, I began to eat. I ate because it gave me a brief bit of pleasure. And that’s one of the problems with emotional eating – the pleasure derived from eating unhealthy junk lasts for moments. My weight ballooned, putting on almost 300 additional pounds. And that led me to where I am today. Or I should say where I was about four months ago.

I got myself to that point. Would I do anything about it? Did I want to fix it?

No, I did not. I acted as if I had arrived at the point of no return. Sometimes I would try to regain control and find my way again. I wanted to try during these times, but I don’t know if I did. These seemingly half-hearted efforts only fueled my belief that I was going through the motions until my body and mind gave out, and I just left this world.

Complete honesty here – most nights, I went to bed hoping I wouldn’t wake up the following day. Suicidal thoughts entered my mind daily, although I never actually attempted anything. Life to me was pointless. I didn’t want it or anything to do with existing.

The thing I wanted LEAST OF ALL was weight loss surgery. My family would make suggestive comments about it occasionally – not too often. Their concern for me was apparent. There was even a week in 2013 when my little sister – mind you, she was maybe 110 pounds and always led a healthy lifestyle – went away with me for a week to what I refer to as “fat camp.” It was a resort created by the popular TV show The Biggest Loser. The week was about working out as hard as you can – all forms of exercise – while also learning about proper nutrition after returning home. So, my healthy little sister took a week to support me, hoping I could catch some momentum and turn things around. My dad paid for it – the whole family tried to get me back on track. I lost 17 pounds in that one week. I worked hard. I felt I could keep it going once I returned home. It lasted about a week.

So Why Was I So Against the Idea of Getting Weight Loss Surgery?

My ego. That’s it—my stubborn ego. Many thoughts and perspectives fueled my ego. And that is a long list!

  • I’m too good for that. It really doesn’t even make sense, and looking back, it is laughable.
  • No way I’ll ever get that surgery. I got myself to this point; if I’m going to fix it, I will fix it myself!
  • That’s taking the easy way out!
  • I don’t need help!
  • Only weak people get weight loss surgery.
  • I’d rather die than get that surgery. No kidding – I embarrassingly said this many, many times.
  • I don’t think it will help me.
  • Will it even help me change my unhealthy habits? (Great question many people have) – I questioned it until I got to post-surgery.
  • Here’s a big one – I’m still going to look horrible, even if the surgery works because I’ll have pounds of loose skin. I’ll loathe myself. I’ll be honest again – this is going to be the case. There’s no way around it. But it can be fixed with surgery, too, and I will do that. I’ll write about that experience when the time comes.
  • I didn’t want the stigma of having bariatric surgery attached to me.

So, I was decisive that bariatric surgery would not be an option for me at ANY point in my life. My mindset was firm. And there are probably other thoughts I had, but I can’t recall them now.

I mentioned the “stigma” of weight loss surgery. That honestly wasn’t one of my biggest concerns. But I think the stigma and other misconceptions substantially prevent many people from moving forward with this process. So, what exactly does this stigma mean? What are some misconceptions about bariatric surgery?

One of the more common misconceptions from patients is that they don’t need it. If they had enough willpower, they could diet and exercise independently.

Other significant stigmas and misconceptions about weight loss surgery include the following:

  • It is ONLY for the morbidly obese.
  • Weight loss surgery is the “Easy Way Out.”
  • It is too expensive.
  • Shouldn’t insurance be paying for this? Ironically, insurance companies also hold this stigma and are not fond of paying for these procedures.
  • This is cosmetic surgery; it’s not about your health.
  • Actual fear of the surgery and potential complications.

Yes, these were the REAL thoughts I had. And I hung on to them as long as I possibly could. But, as with every life journey, you get to a crossroads. At these crossroads, a person needs to decide which way to go. I cannot tell you how badly I finally wanted to change my life. How bad I wanted to fix myself. Sadly, I couldn’t get out of my way. I couldn’t drop my ego and stop the mind games.

And then it came.

The Aha Moment. My moment. If you’re blessed enough, like me, to have a “why” magically appear in your life, then great! But if not, FIND IT! Find your own “WHY.”

There is so much more to this story, and the journey that unfolded following that “Aha Moment.”

But that IS another story.

Meet Chad

Chad is a recent bariatric patient that now shares his experiences and a renewed passion for life with the Bariatric Surgery Corner, as well as through his personal Instagram account. He is also an account manager for Fortris Corporation, helping to manage marketing and SEO strategies for bariatric surgery practices. He was a journalism major at the University of Florida for two years before transferring to Penn State University to finish his bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Chad spent time traveling and living in different states on the east coast, but he now resides in Western Pennsylvania just outside of Pittsburgh.

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