“How Did You Do It?” I know people who have undergone gastric bypass, lost weight, and are afraid of the question: “How did you do it.” They are afraid of the reaction of some people who say: “Oh, I thought you did it yourself.” There are people who do not understand that you did indeed, do it yourself. Against all odds, and at great personal cost and risk, you did it. Let me say it again: YOU DID IT!
Let that soak in for a second… for a minute. Revel in it. You did it. Nobody else did it for you. Nobody else experienced the pain, the fear, the cost. Nobody else will be making the same life-long commitment that you did for yourself. It is you. Do not let anyone try to make you feel less than proud about your accomplishment. EVER. Celebrate what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished. Let it show in the happy expression on your face, in the excited words of your voice, in the exuberance of your attitude and your body language. It is nearly impossible for someone to make you feel bad about what you’ve achieved or how you’ve accomplished it when you are beaming with pride and self-confidence. Your joy will overcome their ignorance (or their jealously, or their callousness) every time, easily seen by anyone watching the interaction.
Dozens of times I have been met with the “Oh” reaction from people who just heard me answer their “How did you do it” question with ‘gastric bypass’. Their look of amazement morphing into that of ‘less than impressed.’ And dozens of times I’ve changed their opinion by simply being so overjoyed to talk about the surgery and how I now manage myself successfully – how I eat right and exercise. Truth be told I couldn’t care less if they think I took the easy way out, or if they are impressed with what I’ve accomplished. Usually I am telling my story as a form of self-reinforcement. I hold my own ‘group session,’ my own motivational talk, my therapy. But most importantly I speak the truth… I don’t lie, to myself or others, about what got me into trouble, about my struggles to get deal with my weight issues, or about the fantastic tool that gastric bypass is and how I’ve been able to use it to achieve my dreams.
I find that most people are inspired by my story and that they find my honesty refreshing. Almost everybody has an issue that plagues their life. Almost everyone lies to themselves about something they know is ruining their life, something they need the courage to change. Alcoholism, gambling, addictions of all sorts. I’ve had people breakdown and cry, right in front of me, as I was telling my story. Hearing me speak truthfully about my own weaknesses, my own failings, they realize they’ve been lying to themselves and others for so long, and they want out. Out of their bad habits, out of lying, out of what scares them, and into whatever I have found. And I want it for them.
Yeah, there are people who don’t right away see gastric bypass as a real and legitimate weight loss method. I love running into those people. I love the opportunity to tell my story and bare the truth in front of them. I love being able to be open and honest and to share the supreme joy I have at what I’ve gone through and what I’ve accomplished. And when they look at me again, this time with respect and awe in their eyes, I know that honesty, with myself and with others is essential to my success. There is no other way.