I have summarised American Singer and Television Host Carnie Wilson struggles with her weight loss post a 2 different types of weight loss surgery. Can you relate?
“I am morbidly obese—I am so obese that the fact is, I could die”—that was me before weight-loss surgery. I found it very easy to become addicted—whether it was drugs, alcohol, or food. Thus, this was a huge obstacle for me to keep the weight off.
Since then, I have had multiple surgeries. I had the gastric bypass surgery in 1999, where I lost 150 pounds. However, I regained two-thirds of that weight back and became borderline diabetic. I was doing well after my first surgery, up until I had my two daughters. After the pregnancies, I lost my focus and I reverted to old habits. This included my weakness for cheese, and I restarted my “mindless eating”, which I thought was a concept of the past. I’d snack on my kids’ food, a scone, half a doughnut, and cookies. One day I counted what I’d eaten—it added up to 2,300 calories! I also gave up my workouts with my personal trainer. After having kids, you focus on being a good mom, and you forget about taking care of yourself. To be honest, I lost myself a little.
I was at the point where I needed intervention. I needed to take action. I needed to help myself again. With the help of my doctor, I realized I could have surgery again. Why surgery again? Well, because I was forty-four years old. I didn’t see the scale move for two years. In saying that, it’s not about how I look or what the scales say—it’s about my health! I was borderline diabetic!
There has been research that shows that surgery can reduce blood sugar levels, so to prevent becoming a full-blown diabetic, my doctor and I felt that lap band surgery was what I needed. Thinking of having surgery and doing it all over again wasn’t easy. But I remember being in bed with my husband, Rob, and he said, “I’m scared for you”, I said, “I’m scared too”. I felt out of control. Honestly, I wasn’t scared about the procedure. I was scared about what could happen if I didn’t do anything about my weight. This was the reason why I went under the knife for the second time.
Keeping the weight off is not as simple as surgery. You have no idea how hard it is to manage your lifestyle even after surgery. The one thing I hate is when people simply say that weight loss surgery is the easy way out. It’s not! It’s hard work! Now, I eat five small meals, each containing one cup total of protein and veggies, a day. I’m keeping the cupboards cookie-free. I’ve eliminated flour and sugar from my diet, and I eat only brown rice.
It’s not even just diet changes, but you need to exercise too. I’ve moved my treadmill to the family room, where I work out at least three times a week. It’s seriously hard work and if you think it’s easy, you’re wrong. It’s about not losing focus and that’s what I’m going to do—I am determined not to repeat old mistakes and I want to change my life forever.
I can also tell you now that emotional support is crucial after lap band surgery. My daughters and Rob have been supporting me through this all, and they remind me every day that it’s worth it. I’ll show my daughter, Lola, my belly, and she’ll scream, “Wow, Mama, it looks more flat!”
My children keep me inspired. I want to be there for them as they grow up. If I’m changing for anyone, it’s for them. As my own mother’s child, I can tell you that my mom was a wonderful mom, although she didn’t have very good eating habits. I know the importance of having a good role model who puts food as a priority—so I’m raising my daughters very differently.
What I really want others out there to understand is that surgery is not the be-all, end-all, to weight struggles. It’s not about going out and getting surgery today, because in the end, going under the knife isn’t necessarily a long-term cure for obesity. If anyone can tell you that, it’s I. I’ve already had one surgery, and that didn’t keep the weight off.
My message to anyone wanting surgery is to understand that what you really need is to change your psychological mindset. I didn’t realize that last time. I have children now—I realize how important it is to look after myself, and this time around, I’m approaching my new lifestyle more like an adult. It’s my health, and I’m changing the way I live my life. Forever.
Ultimately, I know that lap band surgery was the right decision for me, and I’m doing really well so far. What I feel now is the sensation of being full quickly. This feeling was not something I felt when I had the gastric bypass. Now it’s all about changing my mindset emotionally and psychologically and maintaining it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it—not only myself but for my two beautiful daughters