Monday Madness: Just where is Easy Street?

March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Remember that store I love to go in? Homestead Handcrafts?

I went in there the other day to get bows for Charlotte and Annabelle to wear to Showcase.

And while I was there I saw this

Now this is very fitting, I thought.

 VERY fitting.

Because even though I had weight loss surgery, there is nothing easy about this process.

There is nothing “easy” about having 80% of your stomach cut out and removed from your body.

I mean who volunteers for surgery? Who signs up for that on purpose?

You have to be some kind of desperate to willingly subject yourself to surgery, right?

And then there is the recovery

And relearning how to eat all over again.

With a new stomach

Feeling like you’re choking to death or you have something trapped in your throat because you ate more than you should have

Panic attack anyone?

Are those easy?

There is nothing easy about walking around the block at 400 pounds

The surgery had nothing to do with that.

That takes effort.

That is real sweat.

Real tears

And this reminded me of a magazine I saw at the grocery store last month

And by the way I’ve lost more weight than both of them.  137 pounds.

And my brother has lost more weight than both of them PUT TOGETHER.

Not that it matters since we took easy street.

Gimmicks?

Isn’t a gimmick something they try to sell you? Something that they make sound awesome?

You want to know how they advertise gastric bypass surgery?

By telling you after the stomach is divided, the small intestine is cut  about 18 inches below the old stomach.

The cut end of the intestine is looped up and then connected to the new  small pouch, which will hold all of the food as it is eaten.

The 18 inches of  intestines, which are left attached to the old stomach, are now bypassed in the  digestive process.

Oh yes! Cutting intestines.

 Fun!

Let’s sign up for that!!

What about the vertical sleeve surgery?

Just hop over to youtube and watch some videos of your stomach being sucked out through a tiny hole.

 Fun for the whole family!

If a gimmick is supposed to be attractive and appealing then this doesn’t sound like much of a gimmick.

If anything it sounds horrible.  Scary in fact.

But that’s……Easy street???

Writing up a will and kissing your children goodbye wondering if you’ll ever see them again because people at your weight can die on the table..is that easy street?

Having someone give you a big shot in your stomach and slap you on a tiny surgery table at 400 pounds

Then tell you to count backwards

So they can cut 80% of your stomach out of your body?

That’s Easy Street?

I suppose these are the things written, thought and said by those who haven’t had weight loss surgery.

Trust me–I admire people who have lost half their weight without it.

I wish I was one of them.


So does my bank account.

But I spent 10 years climbing the scale and for whatever reason I couldn’t do this on my own.

I don’t know why.

I spent enough years asking myself that question.

What’s wrong with me?

Am I defective?

Am I morally bankrupt that I can’t stop eating?

Why am I always hungry?

 Always?

And then I got to the point where the answer to that question didn’t matter because pretty soon I wouldn’t be around to ask it anyway.

 Because I’d be dead.

And what does that magazine mean by ‘Real Success’?

My brother used to be diabetic.

He had sleep apnea

He was on oxygen

 He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure

He was waiting to die.

And then he had weight loss surgery and he lost 250 pounds.

And he isn’t diabetic anymore.

And he doesn’t have congestive heart failure even though the medical doctors said that isn’t even curable.

And he doesn’t have sleep apnea or need oxygen

He just ran the Marine Corps 10K and he’s training for a triathlon.

And he’s earning his certification to be a personal trainer because he wants to work with people like me.

Like all of us who have walked this path of obesity.

And he inspired me to start this journey.

 And now I’m playing baseball with my son.

And shopping with my daughter.

And I’m alive.

But that isn’t real success?

So what is real? Because in my world that’s REAL.

All I know is this.

Choosing weight loss surgery is not easy.

 It’s scary.

 It can be risky

 And it’s expensive.

 14,000 dollars self pay because the insurance denied me 3 times.

Does that sound like Easy Street?

 But dying–that’s real.

Leaving your kids motherless.

That’s pretty real.

The scars I have where the surgeon pulled 80% of my stomach out through a tiny laparascopic hole.

That’s REAL.

The tears I’ve cried.

Those are real.

Whatever route you choose to help you succeed in getting your health back will have its ups and downs.

Like most things in life what works for one person may not work for another

Does it really matter how you get there?

Everyone’s journey may be different but none of them are easy.

Like the sign said…Where the heck is easy street?

I’ll tell you where.

There is no easy street.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda March 12, 2012 at 6:49 am

There is such a misconception that having WLS is the easy way out. It sure isn't!

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Barbara March 12, 2012 at 7:34 am

Wow, Holly, I love the way you speak from your beautiful heart. There is definitely NO Easy Street. I admire your courage.

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Lori March 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

It's interesting how the compliments/comments I had received in the past when I lost weight on my own (and have since gained it all back, of course) were about 100% more than they are now since I have had WLS.
Apparently it isn't worth commenting on now, since I'm not really doing it myself?
For the most part, I remember I didn't do it to get other's approval. However, I sure felt that I carried their disapproval when I lugged around all the extra weight. I guess your post struck a chord, no? 🙂

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Band Geek March 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

What a great, thought-provoking post. It actually got me a bit riled up. No apologies for the WLS routes we have taken….

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Jacquie March 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

New Follower here! Great post!

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~TMcGee~ March 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Honestly,I think weight loss surgery (and all the scary parts that go with it) is harder sounding than the "old fashioned method". I never knew about the choking sensation, the vomiting etc. until I started reading WLS blogs…to those who have had, I regard you highly because you have so many extra worries that you are dealing with in the process. My hat is off to you, Holly and many others and I think People Magazine did a huge disservice by essentially calling WLS a gimmick.

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Heaton Photography March 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

WOW, I just had surgery, and can say from experience….it's NOT Easy Street. Like you said, the tears are real, the sweat is real, and the fear is real. I'm down 19 lbs since March 2nd! I need to lose 100 more. Kudos to you for taking the initiative!

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Heaton Photography March 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

WOW, I just had surgery, and can say from experience….it's NOT Easy Street. Like you said, the tears are real, the sweat is real, and the fear is real. I'm down 19 lbs since March 2nd! I need to lose 100 more. Kudos to you for taking the initiative!

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Sheila March 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Once again Holly, you deliver! I love your post and you are soooooooooo right! Point most of us in the direction of easy street and we will all gladly walk down THAT street, too bad in the world of weight loss there is NO EASY STREET!! No matter how you do it, it's all real and it's all work. Your brother sounds awesome and I'm giving you an assignment to write a whole blog about him and his journey (if he is okay with it.) Alright, truth be told I *wish* my brother would look into surgery, but so far even with me as a living example nada. Maybe I can learn some tips if you write about your brother. 🙂

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Staci's Slimdown March 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hmmm, I posted a reply last night but it's never come up. Wonder if it got lost in computer land??? lol

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Samantha March 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Oh Holly!! You are so right on with this. Let people think what they're going to tbunk because we didn't chop up our insides to please everyone else. We did it for ourselves and families and whatever other reasons we may have. The world can kiss butt, they only appreciate people when tbey're smaller and look good enough. You and your brother along with thousands of oybers are true success stories. To each their own right

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Anonymous March 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss so far! Your video was touching. I was sleeved on 12/12. Definitely was not the "easy" way, but it is MY way. We can do it! Keep up the great work!

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Anonymous March 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Yes another new follower, I love your writings, they are inspirational, and speak volumes for so many of us. I am going back and forth with the WLS, I have a consultation tomorrow. I am on weight watchers to bide time. I am a "frequent flyer" of weight watchers. But I am so afraid of long term…5 years out, 10, 20. We don't really hear from that population who have had WLS for very long. Are there resources on long-term WLS patients? If there are please help me find them. Thank you Holly for your courage and honesty in what you post, as well as everyone else. Thank you.

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MandaPanda March 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

Amen! Easy Street my butt!

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Andrea March 14, 2012 at 9:44 pm

You are so right! BTW…I like the new blog layout and pics!

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Simmone June 2, 2012 at 2:17 am

Thanks for writing this article. It is very eye opening. I have not had a weight issue, and i realize that it is easy to judge people struggling with theirs. I am learning through some family members just how difficult it may be. Keep sharing your story.

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