• Janis Schole

Perspective on The Passing of Time

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Aug. 30, 2018

Regarding weight loss: "We overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year."

Having lost 150 lbs (so far) is like a dream come true! It really does feel like I'm dreaming, or that I've been granted a miracle. I do thank God for every good thing in my life, and ultimately, He has given me everything I needed to get where I am today, but it was in His timing and not mine. I wanted this kind of progress literally decades ago, and yet, I couldn't seem to make it happen. This goes to prove we should never give up, no matter what the challenge is.

I've made much progress over the last year and a half (feels like the blink of an eye), but I still need/want to loose a lot more weight. I've been soaking up all of the knowledge, advice and inspiration that the wonderful people at the Edmonton Bariatric Clinic's Weight Wise Program have offered me, and I've been immersing myself in as many other motivational tools as I can, from collecting and sharing inspirational Facebook memes, to seeking professional mental health counseling on dealing with stress without emotional eating, to reading a ton of personal stories/before and after photos on bariatric weight loss support pages on Facebook, to joining the comradery of a local Facebook weight loss challenge group, to simply sharing my story with all of my Facebook friends, and making myself vulnerable to potential judgement/jealousy from others who now know a lot more of my personal business. So far, that last one has not been a mistake - I've received nothing but love, encouragement and the motivation to keep on improving my health and trying to inspire others.

My friends, I feel like we're being a source of strength for each other - and I thank you for this huge role you are playing in my success. I love helping people and giving them hope. I never thought I'd be in a position to do this, but that was before I, myself, had hope. When you start to really believe great things are possible, you can actually achieve them. From my experience, it starts out as a tiny trickle of hope, and builds momentum as you continue to not give up.

Getting back to the Weight Wise Program, the various resource people there helped me to be mindful of my thoughts, feelings, eating and motivations, without pushing any particular diet. (After I had already lost about 80 lbs, they asked me to go on the 900 cal/day Optifast liquid diet in preparation for my hysterectomy. It shrinks your liver, helps you get used to only 300 ml meals, 4x a day, and encourages faster weight loss while being nutritionally balanced. The Weight Wise Program required me be accountable to myself and to them by recording everything I ate in a journal, weighing in at every appointment, and tracking my exercise. One of the options available to patients at the clinic is to have bariatric surgery. This is something that can vastly improve the likelihood of losing more weight and actually keeping it off long term.

I went through the WW program about 9 years ago, lost 43 lbs, was offered the surgery, and declined it because I was afraid of the potential risks/complications. Well, guess what? Like so many people, once I was "released back into the wild," instead of continuing with all of the healthy habits I had learned, I promptly gained back every pound I had lost, plus many, many, many more! I hadn't been convinced that I needed bariatric surgery, but I sure am now. I need every tool that's out there, that's been proven to help... and it's STILL no guarantee.

This time, I had decided I would be asking for the most restrictive of the two main types offered - the gastric bypass. I thought I should just "go big, or go home." If I was going to be having surgery, I wanted to get the best weight loss results I could. Bypass still has fairly low complication rates, has been around the longest, and I thought it would give me the best outcome. The simpler, less invasive surgery known as "gastric sleeve" has an overall lower risk of complications, but one is that it can cause heartburn, and I didn't want that.

Anyway, in the meantime, it was discovered that I have gall stones, and I had actually been having occasional attacks (but none since I've been eating better the last 2 years). I didn't know what these attacks were at the time, because they were mild enough that I never went to the hospital. So... my bariatric surgeon, who I told that I wanted the bypass, said that I would have to have my gall bladder taken out first, before I could have the weight loss surgery. Because of the nature of bypass, he was not willing to do them at the same time, or in reverse order. Okay. Then enters the need for a hysterectomy. Another delay.

Earlier this week, I met again with my surgeon, and much to my surprise, he successfully made the case for having the sleeve surgery instead of bypass, and he will do the gall bladder removal at the same time. PLUS, this will probably all happen in about 6 weeks!! (Waiting lists for the alternative route would have meant I wouldn't be completely done with surgeries for 6 months.) He assured me that the average weight loss success results for the sleeve are extremely close to those of the bypass, and on top of that, "highly-motivated" patients like myself often match or out-perform the average bypass weight loss statistics. Guys, he called me "highly-motivated!!! Lol

I'm so excited! I'm hopefully going to get the gall bladder and the bariatric surgeries over with all at once, and in only a few short weeks! My hysterectomy was laparoscopic, and these two will be, also. I found the last one super-easy and almost no pain, but I'm expecting a lot more pain with these, however, it won't last long and I have no problem taking pain medication.

So, yeah, YAHOO!!

In the meantime, I have 3 educational, pre-surgery group meetings to attend, and also have to meet with my nurse and dietitian once more before surgery. Time is going to continue to fly by!

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