Lifestyle or Bariatric Surgery Mo?

Obesity Campaign Poster

Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

The time has come for me to make a decision. My deadline is April 9th, 2013.

I am part of the Alberta Health Services Weight Wise program. It is a program to help over weight (obese – worst word in the world) people figure out their eating issues and lose weight to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I have been going to the clinic since November but have been working on this for two years. My team consists of my Doctor, Nurse, Dietician, kinesiologist and the Doctor at the clinic,psychologist, group therapist and surgeon. I have met with everyone but the surgeon because I am not sure about that yet. All of this is paid for by Alberta Health Care as preventative medicine. By getting my body healthy, I save the system cash down the road. I am no longer a candidate for Diabetes, heart disease  stroke or other problems associated with obesity. I am 80lbs lighter thank you very much and 9 of those lbs are from the last couple of weeks. So it is all good on the health front.

The program consists of 9 modules specifically designed to help you understand how food works for you and gives you strategies to overcome major problems. For example, there is a /dinning out module that teaches you about choices, strategy and techniques to use so you can make better choices and avoid bingeing or the “all or nothing” technique. The bottom line is there is not a magic formula to help you lose weight. Most people who are overweight use food in the same way smokers, alcoholics and drug addicts use their substance of choice. The difference is you can’t go cold turkey with food – you will die. That sucks.

After I did the modules, I learned about physical fitness. Physical activity will not lose the weight for you. You need to reduce the calories as well. Lean muscle will burn calories while you are at rest – so that is one of the reasons to engage in physical activity but not the only one. There are a ton of health benefits and trust me, it takes a long time before you start seeing them so keep at it, I promise you it is worth it in the end. Your body will begin to crave the activity of choice. Today is a scheduled rest day, but my body wants to run. I am not letting it because I need to increase my distance tomorrow and I do better after a day of rest.

Once I met with my dietician today, we talked about how I am STARVING before dinner. So we made plans to up my protein levels for lunch and then add protein to my afternoon snack. I need 60-80 grams of protein daily. You need a different amount. Don’t guess, go see a dietician. Worth every moment. We also talked about the BIG DECISION!

I need to decide which path I am going down by my next visit. Do I want Bariatric surgery OR maintain the Lifestyle program.

I didn’t know for a long time.

Bariatric surgey isn’t a quick fix or a cure. It is another tool I can use to change the way I eat, however, the changes are drastic.

1. No carbonated beverages EVER

2. No fluid intake and food intake at the same time – 30 minutes apart

3. Tiny portions – 1 cup of food

4. Bread must be toasted, not fresh from the oven.

These are FOREVER.

I like beer – it’s carbonated. Could I give it up? Yes.

I like wine with my dinner. Could I give it up? Yes.

I like big portions. Could I give it up? Yes and Have already! Yeah me!

I like fresh bread. Could I give it up? Yes, but I don’t want to.

Lifestyle change means, keeping up the work I am doing. Track my food, make smart choices, think about if the calories I put into my mouth are worth it and keep going with the physical exercise. I have already lost 80lbs and am shooting for 10-20% of my total mass. Doable? YES. Do I think I can do it? Absolutely, in fact I AM doing it.

I have made my decision. I am not going to have surgery. Does this mean they will kick me out of the program? No, I will just take the other path, the lifestyle path. Then they will teach me how to maintain my weight.

The bottom line is, surgery is serious. It is a BIG DEAL. I am capable of doing this without it, so I will continue along my journey to health. Making changes that become habit that will lead to forever.

I’ve got this.

2 thoughts on “Lifestyle or Bariatric Surgery Mo?

  1. Congratulations. It sounds like a healthy lifestyle has become a part of who you are and as long as you maintain focus, nothing can take that away from you. Good luck on the next part of your journey, I bet it feels good to make a decision so that you can move forward!

  2. Hey good woman. I’m nearly four weeks post-op after my RNY operation and I can totally relate to what you’re saying. Bread was my favorite food and I probably ate 80% carbs (mostly baked goods) pre-op. You know what? i’m not really missing it. I gave it up some time ago for the pre-op diet and its not really bothered me.
    I’m not a huge fan of beer, but going out for drinks becomes a challenge for sure. It’s trial an error, but not loads of options because of the carbonated drinks thing.
    I’m talking from my opinion, but I’m glad i took that leap. Yeah, its a tool, but it’s a good one.The weight is dropping off me.
    Best of luck. x
    If you’d like to, come and visit my blog at

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