September... as a grade-schooler this month always signaled the start of the school year, always ushered in by the purchasing of schools clothes. While my classmates went shopping at the local hot spot known as "The Mall" -- the place to see and be seen -- Mom and I always would schlep our way to the girl's department at Sears, specifically to the Chubby section or "Chubbies." Here, as the name suggests, was a selection of "charming chubby-sized clothes" for girls too chubby to fit into regular sizes. With all due respect to Sear's marketing department's friendly euphemism, shopping here was sheer embarrassment. My goal was to get in and get out as quickly as possible.
Well, it took thirty-something years for me to get out of the Chubby section.
In 2003, I made a decision that would forever change my life when I underwent laproscopic RNY gastric bypass surgery. Since that time, I have been following a program of lifetime disease management to maintain long term weight loss. My program began with a safe and appropriate operative procedure followed by changing the way I eat forever, incorporating mild exercise into my life forever, and attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings for the rest of my life.
Everyone knows someone who has had weight-loss surgery and lost a lot of weight, and subsequently regained some or all of it back. Moderate fluctuations are normal, but the vast majority of patients who regain are those who have failed their operations. Unfortunately, there is not any operation that a bariatric surgeon can perform that is foolproof. I'd be overjoyed if my surgeon would perform such an operation that allowed me to lose a great deal of weight that stays off NO MATTER WHAT I DO -- I'd never have to change the way I eat, exercise regularly, or attend OA support groups.
Obesity is a multi-faceted disease involving both the physical and the psyche. I have maintained long term weight loss using a multidisciplinary approach that combines surgical intervention with behavior change. It's concerning to me that so few programs take this approach, but rather seem to focus either on the physicial (surgery) or on the psyche (counseling). What's also concerning to me is the lack of patient education in the realm for using the weight-loss surgery "pouch tool" successfully.
For these reasons I have chosen to create write these blog posts to share my personal experience with weight-loss surgery and the clinical data I have gathered, so as to present a resource center for bariatric surgery patients who have had or are contemplating a weight-loss surgery procedure. Those who are contemplating conservative measures for weight loss, such as diet and exercise, may benefit, too, from the postings on behavior change.
It took thirty-something years for me to get out of the Chubby section. Today I am a size medium and living larger than ever.
You can read about tools I use, such as FitDay.com, and recipes I've created like OMG! Almond Joy Protein Bars, so as to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management following my weight-loss surgery in 2003. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.