Weighty Matters

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A Friend’s Turn

on October 8, 2012

A friend of mine is scheduled for weight loss surgery on Wednesday.  I’m not going to out her by name.  If she chooses to share, that’s up to her.  However, I will ask everyone to please keep some good thoughts and positive energy for her on Wednesday.

I just want to say to her and to any of you who might be thinking about or planning to have surgery, that you have guts.  This decision, and following through with it, takes heart, courage, and determination.   Remember everything you’ve done to get to this threshold.  Hold onto the thought that you have already taken great strides to improving your life and health.  This is the next big step.

Knowing she’ll have surgery in less than two days really takes me back to January.  It was less than a week before my surgery.  I’d been on the full liquids diet for a week and a half and pounds were sliding off.   I shared my progress with a woman I’m close to, one who’d been supportive since the day I shared that I was working toward having surgery.  All of a sudden she asked me why I had to proceed with the operation if I was doing so well.  Why couldn’t I just keep going?  She was afraid for me, she said, and I could see the tears she tried to blink back.

That moment was so tough for both of us.  She was torn between being supportive in the way that I needed and being honest as someone who cares about me a great deal.   I was torn because I knew that I could not give her the answer she wanted.  I could only speak the truth. My truth.  That I had no confidence that I could ever continue with a  diet on my own to lose all of the weight that I needed to and I absolutely did not believe that I could keep whatever weight I lost from coming back on again.  Been there, done that, a dozen times.

I realize now that, at no time in my journey, did I ask anyone else if they thought I should have surgery.  In fact, I didn’t share with anyone until I’d already made the decision.   Before I had the one-on-one consultation with the surgeon, I didn’t want people to know I was thinking about this.

This wasn’t like me.  Most of the time I ask my family and my closest friends for input and value their thoughts.  Not doing so on this major change didn’t mean that I valued them less.  It meant that I understood that this was something so life changing that only I could make it for myself.  I needed to do it on my own and not come to the decision influenced by other peoples’ opinions.

That was an important lesson.  The only one who can make this decision for you is you.  When it’s done, you can accept support and help from others as you proceed with the journey, but ultimately, you’re responsible for each step.  You’re the one who will get you where you’re going.  It’s your body.  Your need.  Your health.  Your journey.

Know what you want.  Don’t do it because someone else thinks that you should.  Do it because it’s what you think you need to do and even then only because you are 100% committed to all that this decision entails before, during and after.

When it’s your turn, you can go into surgery completely confident that you’re doing the right thing for you.   No regrets.

It’s your time to take care of yourself.  It’s your turn.

2 responses to “A Friend’s Turn

  1. Skye says:

    Good thoughts winging their way toward your friend, now and on Wednesday. That’s got to be a tough call. I know a couple of people who had surgery a long time ago, when there was just the bypass, I think. One it helped, one it didn’t seem to do a whole lot for. But I think one worked harder at maintaining it than the other. And you’re right: some decisions only you can make and no one else even gets input. So good thoughts and good fortune to your friend.

    And you are such a great writer!

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