11th January 2017: Weight Loss Surgeon Appointment Booked!

Last week I bit the bullet and booked my first surgeon consultation. It was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time! My appointment is booked for February 15th 2017.

This was the surgeon I had wanted to see from the first day I started researching surgery/surgeons. I had poured over his website and saw that he’s actually a professor as well, so he teaches the thing he does – which I find quite reassuring. For some reason, I got it in my head that he only performs lap-band which I was not even remotely interested in. So I moved on and found a different guy who I thought seemed like a good option. I sat on it for probably a month before I finally called and they said that this surgeon only takes public patients for lap-band, but not for VSG or RNY (Roux-en-y aka gastric bypass). Cue my tantrum.

To clarify for anyone who doesn’t live in Australia: In Aus we have 2 ways of paying for our surgery. 1) have private health insurance that covers the bulk of your costs and just pay a co-pay/gap fee or 2) go in as a public patient and fund your surgery on your own through savings/loans/superannuation etc. We have a public health care system so not everyone has private health insurance. I’ve generally found it to be unnecessary and touch wood it will remain unnecessary – so I’m funding my own surgery.

Basically that meant that the surgeon I wanted (my second choice) wouldn’t do my surgery unless I had health insurance. Now, normally I’d be ok to wait. But in this case I have a made a decision and I don’t want to wait a year for my insurance company to cover me, and I don’t have to because I can access the funds. I was pretty deflated. I’d put off making the call for a month and when I finally did it turned out he wouldn’t operate on me. I wish they’d put that stuff on their website. SO ANNOYED.

I was browsing my list of preferred surgeons (based on qualifications, location, surgery type, recommendations etc) and I saw the first surgeon I’d wanted, and I thought “Why not?!” so I called and he DOES take public patients.

My appointment is booked for Feb 15th and honestly I am SO excited. Now that I know it’s in motion, I don’t even want to wait that long! I’m hoping it will mean I can have my surgery before the middle of the year because I’d love to be well on my journey by my 30th which is July 2018.

So, now I just have to wait 35 days to see the surgeon! Tell me in the comments how you chose your surgeon!

 

MJ xx

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6th January 2017 – The Beginning.

Welcome to my new blog! My name is MJ and I am here to write about my journey of weightloss and fitness. I’ve been overweight my entire life. I come from a family of fat people, I was a fat child, a fat teenager, and now a morbidly obese adult.

I don’t enjoy being fat. Although, up until about a year ago I didn’t realise just how much it was impacting my life. I’ve always been someone who says “Being fat doesn’t affect my lifestyle” but when I look back at my life, it definitely has. And now, I find myself obsessively conscious of my body and how it fits into space. Am I taking up too much room because I weigh as much as 2 adults? Are people staring at me? Are my clothes covering my body in a way that I look somewhat like a “normal” person?

I am conscious of always dressing nicely, and doing my hair/makeup etc. because I feel like the pressure to take care of yourself is so much greater for fat people. If I’m not dressed up, I feel like people are judging me and thinking I’m a fat lazy slob who doesn’t care about myself.

 

Last year I met a woman at my job who had recently had weight loss surgery and she was very open about it. She was having great success and she was unbelievably happy. I thought ‘Good for her!’ but I’ve always been afraid of surgery so any curiosity I had about the process was overwhelmed by my fear. Then, earlier this year 2 people I know had surgery (one had lap band, the other had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy/VSG) to help them have babies. I don’t want babies, so again, it just seemed like it wasn’t for me. But the more aware of it that I was, the more it showed up in my life. More and more people that I knew were having it done, and I could see how hard they had to work to get results. I could see that it wasn’t the easy way out and slowly, it went from being ‘not for me’ to maybe being for me.

So I started doing my research. Months and months worth of reading about surgeries, complications, eating plans, successes and failures. I started listening to The Weight Loss Surgery Podcast to hear the opinions of medical professionals. I created a new instagram account (@fit_miss_mj just in case you were looking for me) and started following a bunch of people who have had surgeries of different kinds, at different times. I could see the people who were in pre-op having noting but optifast shakes 3 times a day, the people in the early stages of post-op who have to re-learn how to eat, the people who are a year out who are dealing with excess skin, learning to eat enough to maintain their weight and coping with the fact that they will need plastic surgery if they want to have their ideal body. I learned a lot, and over time it stopped being so scary.

I started talking to my friend E.S about it. She’s my closest friend and my person. She’s the one that is open to talking about just about anything and everything so I knew that if I wanted to have a conversation about something she would be the best person to do it with. Lo and behold, she shared with me that one of our good friends had had surgery a while ago and it changed his life.

It became a genuine option. I talked hypothetically about it to my boyfriend and he was wary but supportive. I talked to my sister and she said if she could afford it she would have done it a long time ago. Slowly it went from being not-terrifying to being a little bit exciting and over the Christmas break when I was thinking about the things I want to achieve in 2017, I made the decision that I wanted to have weight loss surgery this year.

I want to share this journey on here because there is a serious lack of PRACTICAL information online that can help people. It’s like a secret club that you only learn about after you join. But I’m a strong believer in educated decisions and I’m hoping that one day someone who was in the same position as me will find this and can read through my experiences. If that’s you, hello!

So that’s the beginning. I’ll be throwing up quite a lot of entries over the next little while to catch up with where I am, then going forward I’m going to try and update regularly with my eating and with some fitness related stuff. I want to try to share exercises that I find easier to do when you’re a fat person too – all of the “beginner” exercise programs are designed for skinny people who are unfit so I’ll try and share that stuff too because I do exercise quite a lot.

That’s it!

MJ xx