Exposed! The Bravery of Weight Loss Surgery

I walked in the door of the hospital. I wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was doing. I held my husband’s hand and tried to appear calm but in reality I was screaming inside. Am I really here?

Flashback to January 1, 2014,  the day of “the picture” that showed me just how far I’d fallen off my latest weight loss wagon. That day I started researching weight loss surgery with more than a passing curiosity. I knew I needed help but weight loss surgery seemed so drastic.

Drastic. Dangerous. Risky. These were the words that filled the internet about weight loss surgery. Those were the more kind descriptions. There was also a lot of references to people who’ve reached a point of no return. Hopeless. Cheaters. Is this really something for me? I just wasn’t sure.

Everyone knew someone who had a terrible experience with Gastric Bypass. From fatalities to gaining all the weight back it seemed like a huge risk to take for potential failure. Remember, I cornered the market on weight loss failure for 30 years.

Then I remember reading an article from a heart surgeon and he was answering questions about weight loss surgery and someone brought up the word drastic again. He said:

Removing a vein from your leg and use it to replace a vein to your heart is drastic but we do it everyday!

Shift. In. Perspective! Looking at surgery as an actual medical procedure instead of a place where the unfortunate weight loss failures go was a crucial step to exploring Gastric Bypass.

The next part was much more harrowing. Everyone can do research in the comfort of their own homes but actually heading to the hospital for the information session is different.

It’s a public proclamation that I needed help.

That my weight was out of control.

That despite how many times I told so many people that my weight didn’t bother me, I was going to walk in this room and show that it does.

memories
In 1988, Billy Crystal and Alan King did a movie called Memories of Me and it was the first movie directed by Henry Winkler. Yes, the Fonz. The film was not a critical success but there was a part that stayed with me for decades. Alan King’s character Abe Polin said:

The loneliest feeling in the world is to be standing up when the whole world is sitting down.

Preparing to walk through those hospital doors that’s exactly how I felt.

Open.

Exposed.

Vulnerable.

Afraid.

The doctor walked us through every part of the surgeries and informed us about the risks, the lifestyle changes we would be tasked to make, and all of our options. I looked around the room. There were so many people who looked like me. Not just overweight but hopeful, ready, determined, and fearful. We stood up. We walked in. We decided in that moment that even if we never had surgery we did have the bravery to stand up, be counted, and expose our heart of hearts to try to be better.

A single act of bravery that truly changed my life.

lonely

Author: Regina Bartlett

Regina Bartlett is a blogger and speaker from the gorgeous Rhode Island coastline where she spends her days with her amazing husband Jeff and their combined family of six adult children and two very tiny adorable chihuahuas. She’s active in her church, sings on the praise team, and is amazed every single day at how God has totally changed her life. Formerly 425 lbs she’s battled her weight for 30 years until RNY Gastric Bypass surgery in December 2014 where she lost 250 lbs and gained a new lease on life. She wants to share with anyone who thinks that they MIGHT be interested in surgery and knowing the real truth behind the surgery since there are a lot of misconceptions and fears. Deciding that she needed a challenge to continue with her weight maintenance she decided to embark on running the NYC Marathon in 2016 on Fred’s Team for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Like so many people, her life has been touched by people affected by cancer. Discovering that her friend of over 25 years was diagnosed with breast cancer she had even more inspiration to run. On November 6, 2016, she completed the grueling 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York City and realized her 20 year dream of completing the largest marathon in the world. This blog will travel with Regina as she laces up her shoes and continues to challenge herself while sharing stories of her life and the people who have been an influence on her over the years. You’ll find stories, recipes, crafts, photographs of the wonder that is Little Rhody and countless photos of her tiny pups Sid Vicious and Taxi Fitzgerald. TL;DR: Wife, mother, writer, avid crafter, lover of Jesus and tiny dogs everywhere with a story to tell. FOR BOOKING INFORMATION please use the contact form below or email navigatingweightloss@gmail.com. Thank you!

3 thoughts on “Exposed! The Bravery of Weight Loss Surgery”

  1. You are so brave!!! About all if it. I know if it were me, I would be terrified of the surgery but I would be terrified of what came after too! Would I be able to change? What if I didn’t change even after the surgery?
    But you took the step and did it. In your video, you said the first step is God. Amen to that. I promise am praying for you you to have continued success. 🙏

    1. It was definitely afraid of the surgery but the way I was living was also making me afraid so it was choosing where my fear would live. God was definitely the game-changer in my weight loss (and my entire life). Thank you for your prayers! Very much appreciated!

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