A Response That Got Rambly

This morning, one of the blogs I read – Bits & Pieces by Cathy Zielske – posted an interesting question:

Have any of you ever had one of those realizations? That feeling of being drugged and then wondering, “Where did this come from?” and then looking at that box of Cheez-It’s and thinking, “Ohhh, so that’s what happened?” 

Yes, Cathy. Yes, I have.
And not just with food*, although I certainly struggle with that. I have all my life. It got to be such a struggle that at my heaviest of 285 lbs, I had borderline high blood pressure, was pre-diabetic and my cholesterol levels would have staggered a rhino.

It wasn’t so much that I was big. I know many a BBW who are far and away healthier than I am now. No. It was I could see this direct correlation between my Type II diabetic, congestive heart failing, liver-damaged from being overweight, random bleeding into his stomach father.  At the time, I would get out of breath playing with my Girl and think to myself: Is that really the sort of example that I want to be setting for her?

Nope. It wasn’t. I wanted her to see her mom living a healthy lifestyle, moving around a lot and not being winded because she took the stairs at more than a sedate pace. Also? I really, really wanted to look good in a bathing suit. So, I dieted. I exercised. I starved. And I failed.  A lot. A whole lot. Every time I lost weight, I would put it back on with interest.** Eventually, I stumbled across the notion of surgical intervention in weight loss. Oooh!  A way to lose weight that will train me to hate sweets/high fat meals AND let me lose at least 50-60% of my excess weight?***  Woohoo, sign me up!

So, in August of 2004 I had a roux-en-y-gastric bypass. Go ahead and look that up. I’ll wait.

Back? Good. 🙂

So, I had gastric bypass surgery. Which – if you believe all the hype – makes losing weight like “Super-easy, oh-em-gee!”


Actually, what it did do is make me intimately acquainted with my toilet bowl. There for awhile if I so much as looked at food, I would spend the next several hours barfing up my toenails. Gastric bypass has made me functionally bulimic.  To this day, if I eat and drink within 10 minutes of each other it causes me discomfort/nausea. Sexy, eh?  Also, there are long term health issues that are associated to WLS.

Don’t get me wrong. I initially lost 135 lbs with it. I then bounced back up to a more reasonable place. Then added more weight on top of that. Because what they don’t tell you – or, probably more accurately – what you don’t hear them tell you is that you can most certainly gain weight after WLS. Especially if you don’t deal with the issues you have with food in the first place.  Also? You can be skinny and still heave like a winded slug at the top of a staircase.  To change that, you have to move and move often.

Wow, this got to be a long and complex post. I was mostly just writing to say “hey, yeah  – I totally grok what you’re saying.”  And I do.  Now, if you will excuse me? I have to go hula-hoop with my Girl.





* – I am 2 weeks out from my last cigarette. I have stopped wanting to throttle everyone in reaching distance. I am told that this is “progress.”  Go, me.

** – Anyone who has ever yo-yo dieted will tell you that this is a pretty common occurrence. Also? My relationship with food was not what experts would call healthy. “Bat-shit insane” is probably the phrase they would use.

*** – It was couched in medical terms but that is effectively what I read or was told by the center who did my surgery.

2 thoughts on “A Response That Got Rambly

  1. I know a few people who’ve had various forms of weight loss surgery, and only one of them is *really* happy with the results. I think she’s happy with it because it triggered her to actually think about her relationship with food, and in the two or so years since her surgery she’s spent a lot of time thinking about what she eats and why. If she’d done that without the surgery, she’d probably have lost the weight, but she’s happy.

    Almost everyone else I know who’s had some form of weight loss surgery tells a story just like yours, that there was initially a huge weight drop, and then the habits that had only been hidden by it, not resolved by it, cropped right back up.

    I’m still fighting a few of my food issues, but I find myself profoundly glad that my heaviest years were 1999 and 2000, before “Gastric Bypass will save us all!!!!” really gained traction. I was desperate and in an abusive relationship that left me feeling I was a worthless loser who’d never be able to control what she ate, and that would have made me a perfect target. Oddly enough, those were my years of functional bulimia due to gallstones, so I had much the same effect as gastric bypass, but doctors called it a sickness instead of a treatment…

  2. I eventually did the “thinking about food relationship” – and yes, the surgery triggered. But it wasn’t for years. :/ Realistically, I don’t know that I would have ever dealt with my food issues on my own.

    Oh, ack. I hope I don’t ever get those. I am one of the few (the proud?) WLS patients to still have her gallstone. Everything I have heard/read about them tells me that they are made of woe and suck. Did your doctors not effectively treat them?

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