“Knowledge is love and light and vision” – Helen Keller

First and foremost I would like to extend a giant hug to everyone that offered their support, it means so much to me, I am filled with tears of joy every time I think of it. Sharing this blog with the people I know is probably one of the scariest things I have ever done. Isn’t funny how we often don’t care what strangers will think but it terrifies us to be judged by those we know and love? I was shocked to see how many people actually took the time to read it. Before I kind of felt like I was alone trying to find my way in the darkness with only a head lamp. Your support is like love and light guiding my path which is much brighter now.

It feels so much better now that everyone is aware of what’s going on, and that I don’t feel like I have this huge secret I am hiding. I am very independent, and not the type of person that likes to ask for support or help, so admitting I have a problem and that it’s going to need outside help to solve it was something that was weighing on me heavily. It was also something I was afraid to admit because it makes me feel like a bit of a hypocrite to have preached love your body, that numbers on a scale don’t define you, and sexy comes in every size for so long that people would think that I don’t believe in that because I am dramatically altering my body. I still believe all of those things. I am not doing this because I hate my body, I am doing it because I love it and I don’t want it to give out on me. Don’t worry kids I haven’t come to hate myself I am still the bubbly spirit you have come to know and love.

Since I have shared my big news I have found out from many friends and family members that they don’t actually know much about Gastric Bypass, or the different bariatric surgeries that are available. I figured I would use this post to provide a little information about them. I will explain each procedure but the graphic provided by nordbariatric.com contains much more information but not much about the procedures.

Gastric Bypass – also known as Roux-en-y, is considered the gold standard for weight loss surgery and is performed more than any other weight loss surgery. It also has been medically researched more than the other options. The procedure is done laparoscopically and takes about 90 minutes to complete. The surgeon will make several small incision to access the stomach and intestine. They will then reduce your stomach by 90% by creating a small pouch that is roughly 15-30 ml in volume or about the size of your thumb. The second part involves removing 45 inches of your intestine and then connecting it to your new pouch. The surgery works by restriction and malabsorption. Not only are you able to eat less you also only absorb a small portion of the food that you consume.

Lap Band – Is a restrictive surgery where the stomach is reduced in volume (to about 100 ml) by an adjustable band. It is done laparoscopically and takes about 40 minutes. The reduction in size allows the patient to feel full more quickly thus reducing the amount of calories consumed. The band has a reservoir filled with saline which is connected to a capsule under the skin. This allows for the band to be adjusted as needed after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve – Is a restrictive laparoscopically performed procedure where the stomach is reduced by about 75% creating a tube or sleeve like new stomach. The surgery works by restriction but they also remove the portion of the stomach that produces ghrelin (the hormone that tells you your hungry) greatly reducing the amount of ghrelin you produce. The surgery takes about 2 hours to complete.

I have chosen to go with Gastric Bypass because it’s the most successful of the 3 surgeries (see the graphic below), even though it poses the biggest lifestyle changes. More people reach their goal weight with bypass than with the other bariatric surgeries. To read more about where I am in the process of getting approved and scheduling my procedure see this post.

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