People don’t realize how much work it takes to lose weight. I was tired of the yo-yo dieting. I had tried everything. I did weight loss programs with meal delivery in high school and lost a few pounds, but the weight always came back. I got a personal trainer and lost 25 pounds, but gained it right back. It became embarrassing telling my friends that I was going on a new diet, depriving myself of things I enjoyed, only to have the weight I lost come right back. I thought, the diets didn’t work because of me. I blamed myself.
Nothing worked long-term for me, so I considered bariatric surgery. I’ve heard people call it the easy way out—that if I was really committed, I could lose weight on my own and keep it off. That’s obviously not entirely true. I had tried on my own. When I did my research, I realized going it alone didn’t work for a lot of others, either. But what I did hear were more success stories with surgery than failures.
I reached out to Dr. Dominick Gadaleta, chief of general surgery at North Shore University Hospital and director of the bariatric surgery program, and scheduled a consultation. From our conversation, it was clear that nothing about this would be easy! I had to get blood work done, demonstrate that I could lose weight ahead of time on my own, go to monthly weigh-ins, undergo a lengthy physical exam to determine if some undiagnosed medical condition was causing the weight gain, endure a cardiology stress test, and pass a psychological exam before my surgery would even be scheduled! It would be an intense, months-long process.
It was a little daunting. I wanted to do it all, but it was easy to think it might not be worth the trouble. I was afraid I’d never be able to eat my favorite foods again. I thought, better get them in as much as possible now! That strategy backfired on me. I gained 10 pounds by my first weigh-in.