Why I Chose Not to Have Surgery

I know several people who have elected to have bariatric surgery.  Some have gone the route of bi-pass while others chose gastric banding.  With each of these bariatric surgeries, some of the people I know have had great success and others have made little progress in their weight loss.  I realize that the gastric banding does not work as efficiently as the bi-pass, thus weight loss is expected to be at a slower rate, with efforts being made.

Admittedly, I have thought quite a bit about the surgical option.   I have even gone as far as getting the preliminary test and psych evaluations done.  Ultimately, though, I decided that surgery just wasn’t for me.  After months of agonizing over the decision, I finally concluded that if I opted for the surgery, I would never appreciate it (especially had I elected to have gastric banding). 

Unlike gastric bi-pass, which is a permanent procedure, gastric banding is not considered permanent, and only works as well as the effort you put into it.  With gastric banding I would have been forced to make significant changes to my relationship with food in order to have success.

My thought is, if I am going to have to evaluate and change my relationships with food, why put myself through the pain of surgery?   To me, if it is too “easy” I won’t work at it.  I am in no way insinuating that someone who elected surgery has it easy, I am only talking about myself and how it would have worked for me.

Recently I have become keenly aware of the fact that I self sabotage.  And, if I had gone ahead with gastric banding, I am positive, I would have done just that.  I would have either not gone in for my band fills or I would have learned to eat around it or both.  For me, at least, when I elected not to have surgery, I made the decision to tackle my weight/health the “old-fashioned” way.

My relationship with food and my non existent exercise life style have been called into question.  Rightly so.  Like most people I do not like to admit my failures or when I am wrong.

But, I have failed and I have been wrong.  Wrong in the way I was living (or not living) my life, it certainly hasn’t been working.  Also, I have failed.  I’ve failed myself by allowing myself to be so out of control/undisciplined for so many years.  Instead of thinking of food as fuel for my body, I have lived to eat (vs. eat to live). 

I love food.  I love the comfort it gives me when I eat it.  I love that full (mostly over-full) feeling in my belly after a good meal.  I love that I have never had a pint of ice cream tell me no, or shut me out, or expect anything out of me.  Maybe, my approach to food should be  “and this too shall pass”!  It always does.  However, once it does I am left feeling empty (literally and figuratively) and regretful.

I failed myself by allowing myself to not move or get up and out.  I have not only gained a gross amount of weight, I have become socially isolated.  Mostly though I have failed my husband and kids.  I could go into a huge, long commentary about why this is, let’s just suffice with, who would want a wife/mother like me?  A wife/mother who eats every meal as if it were her last and never moves or goes out?

So…I have been thinking.  What if I approached my weight loss journey from a different angle?   What if I put the Lord first in this journey (as He should be with all things)?  Honestly, the Lord is probably the only thing I haven’t tried when it comes to weight loss.

A few weeks ago, I googled “biblically based weight loss”.  The results were pretty much the same…eat less, exercise more.

However, what I have taken away from reading through countless websites and blogs on the subject are as follows:

  • Overeating defiles your own body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, with medical problems such as back pain, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
  • When you eat anything to make yourself “feel good” you reject and defile divine grace, the only source of goodness, and you subordinate the desire for holiness to the desire for self-satisfaction.
  • Overeating scandalizes children with the impious example of self-indulgence and gluttony.
  • Overeating causes you to carry around excess weight, thus wasting energy that could be used for productive labor.
  • Overeating drains the environment of needed resources.  Food consumed to excess could be better used to feed the starving poor. Oversized clothes that covers an obese body could be better used to clothe the naked.  Fuel wasted in transporting an obese body could be better used to warm the poor shivering in the cold.

The general consensus to this is:

  • Make exercise a constant part of your life.
  • Eat food made with whole grain flours.
  • Eat vegetarian as much as possible.
  • Avoid fried food.
  • Coffee and tea with meals.  No sodas.  About 8 oz of water every hour throughout the day.
  • Whenever you are about to eat anything, whether it be a full meal or just a sip of water, take  time to give a proper thanks.  Developing this habit will help you avoid “automatic eating” and will encourage you to reflect on whether you really need the food or not. 

And here is what I took away from all of this:

I can live within a normal and healthy weight limit if only I love God more than I love my stomach.  right now I use food and excess body fat as psychological defenses.  Therefore, to overcome the habit of constantly reaching for something to fill my stomach, I should endeavor to teach myself to act in new ways.  Recognizing the urge to use food as a way to numb emotional pain, and the return of food to its proper place in my life:  not as a psychological defense but as a gift of nutrition.

With all of that said, it just makes sense to me.

My reward?  Aside from salvation…NYC Marathon 2013.  Sort of a belated 38th birthday present to myself.  I want the full marathon.  42k or 26.2 miles.  Good thing I have set this goal now, because apparently it will be an ordeal to get accepted. 

To start me on my path to NYC, I am going to run/brisk walk my first 5k ever, February 26, 2011,  The Cowtown Marathon.  I am nervous and excited, both at the same time.  Baby steps right?  5k = 3.1 miles.  I can do that.  And it gives me something to concentrate on over the holidays.

Have any of you tried the faith-based approach to weight loss?

Do you view eternal life/heaven or Jesus Christ as your reward?

Anyone want to join me for a 5k run in February?

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1 Comment

Filed under General, Health, Spiritual

One response to “Why I Chose Not to Have Surgery

  1. thebettylife

    Great attitude! Doing it the hard way is so much more rewarding. All the best with your goals 🙂 Betty x

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