This is a longer post than usual so please sit down.
I find the more I grow up, the harder it is to make friends and the pickier I get about who I associate with. I’m not a snob by any means, although, if you ask my peers, they’ll tell you to watch out cuz I’ll shank ya. When I first started working here, I sat next to a gal whom I quickly warmed up to and became friends with. We would chat at work, go out to dinner, hang out after work, and even went to visit my family in Wisconsin together. She and I got a long great! She was a little eccentric but that was ok in my book. I liked this girl. She was on the chubby side so I knew she always had good snacks and wouldn’t judge me for how much food I shoved in my word hole. My friend, we will call her Bridgette, decided she wanted to have the gastric bypass surgery (this is before my surgery too). She started the long journey of dieting, exercise, and mental health visits. Her doctor told her to hold off on surgery because he didn’t feel she was mentally ready to commit to such a life style change and he curbed her surgery date. Bridgette didn’t like this so she went to a different doctor who OK’d her surgery.
Bridgette scheduled surgery and I went to visit her in the hospital. How exciting that she got to have this gift and get the help she needed to become healthy. I’d love to say Bridgette and I lived happily ever after and we are both bikini shopping together but what fun would that be? Bridgette slowly but surely started to change. She was dropping weight and looking great but her little comments started to bug everyone around us. “Bridgette, would you like <insert relatively healthy food here>”, Bridgette would say, “No, I CANT eat that”. I’m not quite sure why, but this just enraged everyone in sight. No, Bridgette, you CAN eat that but maybe you just SHOULDN’T eat that. They teach you this when you talk to your doctors pre-surgery. Bridgette then went out and spent like $300 on new shoes when she was still WAY over 200 pounds. Like, seriously Bridgette, we all know you’re super excited to be losing weight but maybe you should just slow your roll. Please, understand that we were happy for Bridgette but Bridgette was getting too big for her britches. She was getting sassy about what WE were eating and how we were living our lives, almost like she was too good for us. As far as the shoe thing, we all love new shoes and your feet do change when you have surgery but I kid you not, the $300 worth of shoes were taken to Goodwill 2 months later because they were too big.
Bridgette slowly but surely started to slip away. Whenever we would ask her to hang out she would say she was too busy or she just didnt have the time. The straw that broke the camels back was when my friend, we will call her Jessica, asked Bridgette what she was going to do that evening. Bridgette weaved a delightful story about how she was SO excited to spend a relaxing evening at home with her dad and simply watch a hockey game. As it turned out, Bridgette had a pre-planned dinner date with her new boyfriend and another co-worker. Why lie to Jessica? Jessica didn’t ask to do anything with Bridgette, she just wanted to be polite and ask her about her plans.
Bridgette came to me a few days later at work and asked how I was doing. Oh, thanks Bridgette for finding time in your crazy schedule to say hi to me! She asked me how I was doing and I could not contain my anger anymore! I blew up! I could not stand idly by while she lied to my BFF for no good reason. I told her point blank I thought she has changed to a completely different person since surgery and I do not want to be friends with this new person. She looked at me like I slapped her in the face and walked away. I haven’t talked to her since.
Why did you bring up this story, Linda? Why are you so mean? Well, I’m not mean. I tell it like it is. If you’re going to become a completely different person (and it wasn’t just me, ask like, everyone) and lie, I don’t want you in my life. I bring this up because I still work with this person and I can see her progress or lack there-of. Bridgette started drinking diet soda even though she was supposedly allergic to aspartame prior to surgery. She started eating out for EVERY single meal because it was easier than cooking for one. She would go to the movies and eat an entire large popcorn with extra butter. This is POST gastric sleeve people. Why is she sabotaging herself? Bridgette never lost more than 100 pounds with her gastric sleeve surgery. She was well over 300 pre-surgery. It has been about 3 years post-op and I just saw a picture of her on Facebook and she has gained every single pound back. Now, maybe you’re thinking because I was mean to her she went in to some sort of funk. No, she has a boyfriend who proposed, she is socially active with other people, and seems to be happy. I bring this up because she was NOT ready for bypass. Her doctor even told her that but she went around him and got some quack to approve her for surgery. She was not mentally prepared. Please let me tell you that pre-surgery this girl would eat three McDonalds breakfast sandwiches and wash them down with a large Frappuccino. That is more calories in one meal than you should eat in an entire day! Obviously she needed help but surgery at that time, was not the answer.
Please don’t think I’m gloating or I think I’m better than she is. If anything, I feel really bad for this girl. She deserves to be happy. When you think this surgery is magic and you just sit back and continue to make bad decision, the weight will not stay off. It will come back with a vengeance. Weight loss surgery is ONLY a tool to help you get to a weight where you can maintain, make better decisions, exercise, and eat right. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING will help you KEEP the weight off except hard work and determination. There is no magic patch or pill or drink. Healthy diet and exercise. That’s it. Bridgette went through all of that pain and agony of surgery just to throw it all away in less than three years. Why spend all that money and go through all of those appointments to just do what you did to begin with? Bridgette’s doctor told her she wasn’t ready but I guess she just knew better…