This Takes Guts …


MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT TIME:It’s been a while since I have had one of these, but this is a big one, so …

This maybe something that you might have noticed or might not have … it is kinda hard to pick up, but only if you look really hard.  You see … well … I kinda have a teensy weensy bit of a weight problem.  Okay, maybe a little more than that.

Seriously, for those of you who have known me for any more than five year, you are sure aware of a major effort I made in 2009 & 2010 to lose considerable weight. At that time I dropped over 200lbs, and bottomed out around 195lbs.  I couldn’t keep that weight off, and even put on extra above the top.  While I have made other valiant efforts to lose the weight again, ultimately,

At this point, I have a hard time moving around, everything hurts, and I have more problems than I can shake a stick at.  Or to start a trend #somethingsgottochange

I was challenged in my mind with the concern that any further effort just wouldn’t be permanent.  I needed to work on a solution that would be just that.  That’s what I found.

A week from today, on November 18th, I will be receiving a procedure called a Mini Gastric Bypass.  It is a weightloss surgery.

I haven’t told many people I am doing this, but those I have had some common questions.  To be honest, you can generally classify those questions between those that are interested in how this is going to make me better, and those that are interested to know if I have made the right decision (classify them as ‘worriers’ and ‘haters’).

If you are a worrier, here are some of your answers:

First – A bit about what is going on.  This is a laproscopic surgery that will reduce my stomach size, and adjust the entry of the stomach contents further along my intestinal track.  Unlike standard Gastric Bypass surgeries, this procedure will leave a larger stomach sack (standard leaves a sack the size of a coin purse, this is more the size of a large magic marker).  Additionally, the procedure will not remove anything from my body (so, No, Auggie doesn’t get a new chew toy), nor put any restrictive items (e.g. lap bands) into it.  It’s not as significant of a change, thus making it both reversible and repairable.  In short – it is on par with a Gastric Bypass, but is not as significant of a procedure (thus calling it a ‘Mini’ Gastric Bypass).

Second — The recovery time is quick.  45 minute surgery.  On my feet the same day.  Overnight in the hospital.  Cleared to drive & be back at work in a week.

In fact, I should start feeling the weight loss within a few weeks. Part of the process requires your digestive system to heal, so liquids and soft / easy to digest foods – and very little at that.  I’ll be running off of about a 1000 calories pending what I actually have.  Soon enough I can start an exercise routine, and then things just accelerate from there.

Third — I chose this procedure because I liked the long term look of it.  I know people who have had it done, and they stand out to me in two ways:  1) They have kept most of the weight off.  2) They are like normal people.  And by normal, I mean – they go out to dinner.  They eat tasty food.  They drink wine.  They can’t have everything (dairy and high acid foods can cause problems); but everything they have is alot – they just don’t eat alot of it.

Fourth – No, it’s not happening in Boston.

The surgery will take place in Joplin, Missouri.  This procedure is specialized and currently only a couple doctors can perform it – the main one and the inventer is Dr. David Hargroder there in Joplin.

Finally — My parents will actually be with me during the surgery – coming down and staying with me through the mandatory one week we need to be nearby in case there is complications.  So in a way, they are getting a bit of a vacation (we aren’t locked to Joplin, we can spread out a little bit).  While I could have had anyone come down to be my support team for this surgery, I am pretty happy they agreed to come – even though they are my parents and sorta kinda have to, you know (they really didn’t, but … I am still glad they are).

As for those hater questions …

Yes – I have thought about this.  Been thinking about a surgery for nearly 10 years.  But when I heard about this earlier this year, I began to believe it was the right one for me.

Yes, I understand that surgery isn’t a fix-all.  It’s going to take work, lots of work, and if I don’t stick to it things are going to happen different than what I want.  Truth of the matter is, this is the spark I need to be inspired for a more permanent solution.

Yes, I have tried normal diet and exercise.  You name it, I tried it (except for that weird paleo thing … if we were meant to eat like cavemen, we wouldn’t have left the cave).

Yes REALLY, I have tried diet and exercise.  Telling me I should have skipped that cookie yesterday wouldn’t change my decision.

I suspect some of you out there are wondering why I would have haters at all.  Some of you maybe wondering why I would care what they think.  And I know some of you are wondering why I would go public with this surgery anyway (why not just get it and let people notice the weightloss).

Haters are out there, haters gonna hate – though they really aren’t haters.  They are good intention people who just don’t know any better.  Probably never had to fight to get up a flight of stairs.  Never had to special order clothing because stores don’t carry your size.  Chances are they weren’t the ones that sat there on a plane from Hawaii happy in the bliss of a great vacation when some young guy stops and says ‘if you work out once a day, you’d be healier, just saying’ – and you are immediately reminded that a stranger can see you are overweight.  They never had that trainer who thinks that all you need to do is learn to like quinoa and all your problems will be solved, when they don’t even know that ice cream solves more problems than quinoa ever will.  I care about what haters think because I care about what haters think.

…. so now that stuffs gotten so real, let’s get back to the happier stuff …

Why I am telling you this – why I am going public with my surgery is for clear reasons ..

By telling myself that there are people who read this and follow what I am doing means that I am now accountable to you to be successful.  It was what worked for me in the past, and will work for me this time.

But just as much comes back to something a great friend told me once:
“We are not in this alone”
When I was losing all that weight back then, Brad Barnes, a long time drum corps brother, told me that telling everyone about my success was an inspiration to people like him fighting the same problem.  It won’t be enough to be successful alone, I need to belong to those who fight through it as well.  Brad and I are going through this together.

Or to try to close the look on a very weird blog post I wrote this summer (To Belong to YA); we throw our arms around each other in hopes we wouldn’t change – but we have to change, you know to belong to ya.

So that’s the big news.

I expect to blog going into getting my guts cut up.  I expect to blog coming out.  I expect to blog for the months to come.


6 thoughts on “This Takes Guts …

  1. dianaschnuth

    You know what, Biscuit? Weight loss is like religion: most everyone has an opinion about it and thinks that theirs is the only right path.

    I’ve done Atkins and Weight Watchers (and my own half-assed things, too). I lost 50 on Atkins and regained 10, and have lost 40 more on WW. I have 10 more to go until Goal. Whatever way you do it, it’s hard but rewarding.

    NO ONE has the right to judge you for any of this. Not for your weight gain, and not for your methodology for losing it again. You do what works for you to make yourself healthy and happy.

    We’re all behind you. You got this!

  2. Jayne Sherer

    I am so proud you decided to go this route. You are right you have tried everything, and this is the thing that will help you permanently keep the weight off. Although be careful with high calorie drinks. They can bring weight back very fast, and drinking is definitely something you can do with weight loss surgery. So be very mindful and keep track of that. That is my best advice. Oh, and for the first month or so, you most likely will regret your decision. Almost everyone does. After a month or two when you start seeing weight coming off, and get to know your knew stomach, things will get much better and you will be so happy you did it!! You have to totally rethink how you eat. You have to eat to live, not live to eat. But you are right you can still have all the foods you want, but just in smaller portions. Getting enough protein is key. Good luck and I look forward to continuing to read your blog.

  3. tsweichen

    Good luck! The thing about weight loss is, what works for one person isn’t necessarily gonna work for the next. I’ve lost 30lbs through stress & figuring out when I’m actually hungry. I have 20 lbs to lose til my goal. I have to get back into exercising to meet my goal. Good on ya, Mitch!

  4. Sorry I’m late to the party. I took a Facebook sabbatical, and am mostly enjoying it; Really I’m completely enjoying it from a “vastly reducing the BS, whining, bitchy, moany” junk in my life perspective. Unfortunately, the baby got chucked out the window with the bathwater, so I lost the ability to keep track with geographically different friends.

    I’m proud of you for having the courage to make the effort, and even more proud of you for taking public steps to make yourself accountable.

    I’m praying for you, and am always available if you need me to channel my inner drill sergeant. 🙂

    Be blessed, my friend.

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