Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Because the closer you get to the end, the faster it unrolls. How true is that? It seems like just yesterday I made a life-changing decision to have my stomach stapled. But indeed, it was August 1991. I didn't do it for vanity reasons but to improve my health and increase my longevity chances. It wasn't an easy decision, but I figured the benefits outweighed the risks, and I was right...at least for a while.

I lost over 110 pounds and I managed to keep it off or at least maintain for several years. Now, after all this time of eating smaller amounts, bypassing things I used to gorge myself on like pizza, hamburgers, fries, and thick, thick juicy steaks, the weight is coming back. What do I do now when I've undergone the most drastic measure left to someone with a weight problem? Short of becoming an avid exercise buff, which I won't ever be, I'm lost.

What they don't tell you in those pre-surgical seminars is that after a period of time, your body re-sets its thermostat at a lower caloric intake level, and everything beyond that turns to fat. On me, it applies itself to my legs and butt. :) One of the side-effects I've suffered all these years is vomiting. It comes when I least expect it, and has hampered my ability to be sporadic and free. I'm actually even afraid to eat out because that's when it seems the worse. I'm sure it all has to do with nerves. Anything stressful brings it on, and the stress from my recent disappointment has caused a major flare. Most of the people I know who've had the procedure suffer the same problem.

Why am I sharing such a personal side of myself, you might ask. Because if there are any of you out there considering the surgery, I want you to ask all the right questions. Not just ones that pertain to five years down the line, but far beyond that. The organization that did my surgery is long defunct. Before my surgery, I saw countless albums of success stories, people who went from fat to fabulous. I should have asked to see them ten years later. I doubt they could find many among those models that could still say positive things about the procedure. I'm sure that there are those who managed to stay slim, but unfortunately, I'm not among those ranks.

My surgery was called gastroplasty...not to be confused with the bypass surgery they're doing these days. Buteven that has it's downside. I friend of mine who has battled her weight for years had the gastic bypass done last year. Her problem isn't keeping the weight off, it's keeping it from coming off. She went from over 200 pounds to 108 and just recently got back up to 114. The 'new' stomach banding isn't without its own risks and problems. My brother-in-law had that done, and has lost weight, but he, like me, has to excuse himself from the table and head for the nearest toilet.

I'm not telling you NOT to do what you feel you need to do. Just make sure you ask all the right questions so you don't have unpleasant surprises down the road. Would I have still done it knowing the things I know? I'd like to think so, because I really enjoyed feeling good about myself for a while. But at this stage of my life, I'd have to think long and hard because I'm pretty sick of looking at the inside of the john... or as my husband says...'selling buicks.'

I fully understood going in that it was a tool and not a cure, but now the tool is working against me and I'm not sure where to turn. It's a pretty helpless feeling.


Griefcase said...

Hello Ginger Simpson. What an exciting blog! I especially like your blog entry, "Life is Like a Roll of Toilet Paper." The reason? Because it is.

Thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,

Linda Della Donna

Kathe Gogolewski said...

My heart goes out to you, Ginger. Food is my drug of choice, and I have battled weight gain for most of my adult life. It's down right now, but I live every meal drooling over what I can't have, and I make endless trips to the fridge to open it, close it, open it again. I am a slave to food, whether my weight is up or down. I suspect I always will be. I admire your courage and thank you for sharing with us.
Kathe Gogolewski

Carma's Window said...

Hello Ginger, Your blog post title is funny and true at the same time.

My brother and sister in law had the stomach stapling about 20 years ago. She gained it all back and he did not.

I can't say for sure why she did other than she did not change her eating habits or type of food.

thanks for sharing your story. Surgery, no matter how common, is always a risk and should not be accepted as a cure all.

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