Why Didn’t I Have Bariatric Surgery Years Ago?

48053083 - vector illustration of vertical sleeve gastrectomy vsg

Four days ago, on Wednesday, July 5, I had bariatric surgery – specifically, a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – at the Maine Medical Center, through that institution’s Weight & Wellness Program.

Since that time, my recovery has been remarkable. Without question, the first couple of days were difficult. The resulting physical pain was far more intense than I had imagined it would be, and there were most definitely times when I wondered what the hell I had done to myself. Four days later, though, that pain is receding. I’m up. I’m walking around. I’m getting plenty of fluids, and I’m eating solid food, such as it is in Stage One of my Bariatric Plan.

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The author, shortly before entering the operating room.

And, counting the pre-operative diet I began on June 21, I’ve lost 23 pounds.

More importantly, I feel different; I feel better, not just physically, but more hopeful than I have in years. Yesterday I found myself thinking: why didn’t I do this years ago?

Here’s why: bariatric surgery is not a decision arrived at lightly. To work – and it is far from a guaranteed success – it can’t be. For me, it is very much a weapon of last resort in my ongoing, lifelong battle with my weight.

When it comes to losing weight, I’ve pretty much tried ’em all, from the name-brand, corporate products to the sketchy, fad diets. I’ve counted calories. I’ve eaten less and moved more. I’ve gone low cal, low carb, and low fat. I’ve fasted. Each time, I had a degree of success but eventually the weight came back, and then some.

Truth be told, this isn’t even my first run at the bariatric program. Two years ago I was considering it, and began working with the Weight & Wellness Center team in preparation for bariatric surgery. When you enroll, one of the things you learn right up front is that to qualify for bariatric surgery you have to lose some weight on your own.

Which I did. I lost a lot of weight – about 75 pounds to be exact – and ultimately, I decided that losing weight was something I could do on my own, after all.

Wrong.

Two years later, I was right back where I started, weighing in at 340 pounds and wondering where the hell I went wrong, an abject failure. Again.

So I made another run at the bariatric program, vowing to actually go through with the surgery if I qualified.

Which I did. And here we are.

One of the things I discovered as I worked through early stages of the bariatric program is that there are a ton of blogs about bariatric surgery out there targeted at women. But there are very few targeted at men. Precious few.

So I’m starting one. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll use this space to talk honestly about my experience as a male bariatric patient – a Bariatric Boy, if you will – as much to keep myself accountable as anything else.

So check back often, because I’ll be posting new material frequently. Maybe one day, it’ll be a protein-shake taste test, and the next it’ll be a detailed look at whether a man’s penis actually gets bigger when he loses weight. Or maybe it’ll be a quick and easy recipe for a tasty and nutritious dinner. Or a discourse on some of the more surprising and, umm, earthy effects of the bariatric program.

My goal is to always keep it both honest and interesting.

Thanks for reading.

2 Comments on “Why Didn’t I Have Bariatric Surgery Years Ago?

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