The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way Out #weightloss #realoilfieldwivesJust shy of 2 years ago I underwent a surgery that changed my life. Sort of.

I’ve always been ‘heavy’ (putting it nicely). Growing up I was the ‘big girl’ that struggled to find cute clothes to enter 1st grade in. I knew embarrassment and shame at an early age. I knew bullies and the pain their words caused. It wasn’t pleasant, and almost 30 years later I still feel the sting of my past. Partly because I’m still suffering from it.

August 12, 2013 I had gastric bypass weight loss surgery to help me be healthy. Up until then I was told things such as: “You’re pretty, for a big girl”, “…but, you carry it well!”, and “You don’t look like you weigh that much!” Um, thanks? I know those statements were meant to help me feel better, but they didn’t. Now I hear other words of “encouragement”. One of the big ones includes: “Oh, you had surgery for a quick and easy way out!” No. No, I did not.

At my highest weight, 9 months pregnant, I was 330 (give or take a few pounds). After giving birth to my daughter I lost the “baby weight” and returned to my normal 295. Nothing about my decision was easy. I knew the moment my body hurt getting on the floor to play with my daughter that I needed to do something. Another trendy diet? Another membership to a weight loss group? Another weight loss pill? Yeah, because those had all worked well in the past. Sure, I’d take off some weight, feel good, slip back into life, and before I know it I was right back to square one plus 5 pounds. I knew better.

That’s when I went to the weight loss surgery information session. It was there I knew what I had to do. What I wanted to do. What was right for me. But, the easy way out? Oh no. Far, far from it!

It wasn’t easy starting the long process of getting my insurance company on my side. I endured many appointments with nutritionists, psychologists, surgeons, my primary care physician, and support group meetings. I underwent pre-surgery surgery. The day I met with my weight loss surgeon I also started tracking my eating habits and changed them drastically. And to top off all the long months of “easiness” I had to endure a two week liquid diet before surgery, two weeks liquid following surgery, pureed food for two weeks after that, soft foods after that, and then finally trying to find a food that didn’t feel like it wanted to kill me. Yes! You’re exactly correct, that was the easy way out! Oh, did I mention the incisions and weeks of healing? That was fun too!

Right now I sound like I’m complaining. I’m doing no such thing. I made that choice. I knew what I was getting into from the very start. I had an amazing team of doctors supporting me and an even bigger team of supporters at home! It was an incredible journey and I wouldn’t take back a second of it!

So, why did it “sort of” change my life? I’m sitting here at 190 pounds, 105 pounds from my “normal” weight for me and I’m saying it only “sort of” changed my life. Yes, for one reason. It’s a tool, not a magic wand. I still struggle with weight loss. My lowest weight out of surgery was 168. Granted, I developed complications and was sick for a while, but I’ve still gained about 15 pounds I would LOVE to see gone again, and I’m only 2 years out. Every day I still struggle with cravings, extreme hunger, emotional eating, and so on. Every day I feel like I’ve failed in some way because I know I could be doing better, and I should be doing better. No excuses.

Weight loss surgery will change your body, not your mind. To the people that think everything mentioned above and still facing your demons every day of your life was the “easy way out”, I ask you to reconsider before you say something like that to me or any other brave soul who has had weight loss surgery.

It’s up to me to change my life from here on out. Some days are harder than others, but I’ve got to keep going. I have to.

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!

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