I missed Star Jones' appearance on Oprah last week, but it's never too late to discuss the issue of gastric bypass surgery. Whether we're obese or not, women are insanely hard on themselves when it comes to dieting and will usually go to any length to lose the weight, especially those post-baby pounds. What people (including her former co-hosts on The View) resented about Star though, was the fact that she hid the truth from the public rather than open up about it. I decided to talk to qtmomof2 who is open about the procedure and can tell us what it's really like to go through with gastric bypass surgery.
When did you decide that gastric bypass surgery was for you?
I'll never forget this date: January 31, 2008. I was sick and went to my doctor who asked me to "hop up on the scale." It read 285. I was shocked and disgusted with myself. I told my doctor that my weight was really getting to me and all the previous things we tried (including prescribed weight loss pills) were not working. I walked out with a phone number for a bariatric doctor and had surgery on May 5th.
What were your fears going into surgery?
Death was my biggest fear, but I was so ready for a change. After having three knee surgeries due to weight, enough was enough.
Did you tell your friends and family?
I told my family the day I had my first appointment at the bariatric center. Coming from an obese family, they were all excited and nervous for me. To this day, I send everyone pictures and updates -- they can't believe I'm the same person!
What do you think of Star Jones' recent admission?
I don't know why she denied it. It's one of the best things that's happened to me and I love sharing my story. She should be proud of herself and let the world know it.
How long did it take you to recover emotionally and physically?
Emotionally it took a good couple of months. I was so drained. Adjusting to a whole new lifestyle was hard especially when just about every commercial is for some fast food joint. My surgery was just before Memorial Day weekend and while my family was having fun at a barbecue, I sat there eating applesauce.
Physically I was up and walking the day after surgery. My surgery was laparoscopic and I was off pain medication after four days. I was extremely tired for the first month or so, but it didn't stop me from doing anything. And since people do ask, yes, I did lose a lot of hair.
What changes have you seen in your body and your attitude?
My attitude prior to surgery was pretty sour. I didn't like my body one bit. I didn't care what I looked like or how I dressed. A pair of men's baggy jeans and tee-shirt did it for me. I had little confidence and wasn't social -- I was the one who sat in the corner hoping not to get noticed. Today, I love to shop. I love being a size 8. I'm outspoken, friendly, and love to try new things. And, I love getting my hair done and taking care of my body. I can see things I never saw before, like my hip and collar bones.
What did you learn through this process about yourself? About other people?
When you're told for so many years (even as a young child) how fat and disgusting you are, it hits a nerve. I'm finally showing off the real me. Going through this transformation so quickly I've seen firsthand just how people are. Instead of being laughed at, I'm being treated like a normal human being. As great as it feels, it's still sad.
What are your words of wisdom about the procedure? Is it for everyone?
This surgery is definitely not for everyone. I still attend monthly support groups through my bariatric center and I see people come and go all the time. Some make it through. Some give up. But a lot aren't ready to make the changes. Weight loss surgery, whether it be gastric bypass or the lap-band, is nothing more than a tool to help you along the way. You must be willing to step away from the cookies and soda. Fast food restaurants are a thing of the past. My life now is about working out, eating healthy, and enjoying all of the many things I couldn't do before because of my size.
Photo by qtmomof2
For more information on gastric bypass surgery, visit MayoClinic.com.
Do you think gastric bypass surgery is for you? Do you know anyone who's had it?