For as long as I can remember I have whole heartedly been against gastric surgery. Why? I've always seen it as the easy way out, the quick fix. But do I think this because this is what society is "taught" to think. I've never previously done any research into gastric surgery - just quick to assume. The same with such "soup and shake" diets as I often refer to them, I have fond memories of being in university and the girls I lived with used to mute the TV when Jenny Craig or other adverts came on because I would get on my soap box about it.
My mum has always said she want gastric band, I have always bottom line said a big fat NO. So when a recent visit to the doctors started this process of gastric surgery it was all happening a bit to quick for me to come to terms with. How do you accept something that you have always, always, been against. But why am I against it? Perhaps it is jealousy that I work hard day in day out to see the scales go down when it is often portrayed that gastric surgery is the quick fix - something I now know it is not. Stigma - there is, like with everything stigma against gastric surgery - people seen as lazy, that it is there own fault - I don't want that stigma for my mum. I know how much this surgery means to her, how excited she is about it - and like she has been there for every decision I have made, I have to be there for her too.
This post was sparked by an article I read online about how a woman had lost so much weight with the quote "wants people to help lose weight the healthy way, not cheat with gastric band". Previously I would have skimmed over this article, but I read it. It angered me. In no way is a gastric band cheating. It is often the last resort, when people are at a weight that they would benefit from drastic weight loss in a short space of time - for health reasons it is the option. Often not accessible to some people on the NHS as there are certain criteria to fill such as not being able to work, not getting out of bed, and being on benefits as well as a long list of other boxes to tick. So basically if you are fat but you can get off your bum and go to work the NHS won't help you. Yes the NHS offer referral schemes to things such as slimming world and weight watchers but they don't work for everyone. The debate about gastric surgery being unhealthy is something I have learnt in the last few weeks is a load of rubbish. The team that you see make sure pre surgery you are as healthy as you can be, giving you a diet plan to follow to ensure minimal risks of complications, and post surgery you see dietitians to ensure you are still getting all the healthy stuff our bodies need you are getting.
Having done quite extensive research recently into gastric surgery I have in fact realised it is not the easy way out. There is so much more to than just having surgery and eating smaller portions afterwards. There is the psychological element. When you've been large and eating what you want all your life, to then go to having to eat liquidized food for a while & much smaller portions to never being able to eat what you want has got to be hard - mentally. I know I couldn't do it.
The surgery part scares me - but it's done through keyhole surgery, and the consultants have all said there is minimal risk so fingers crossed everything will go smoothly.
It has taken me a few weeks to get to this point, of accepting gastric surgery. But what it comes down to at the end of the day is life and death. It sounds harsh, and when someone first said that I had to accept mums decision because it was the choice of having her around for 20 years or 40 years I cried. I knew it was true. But it's so hard to come to terms with. But I have. I have to. I know that mum wants this more than anything and is so excited about it - I'm now excited for her too, for her to begin her new life after the surgery.