(pictured at right: My mother and 3 of her sisters. All of them have type 2 diabetes)
It has always gotten on my nerves when people change their lives and get preachy. You know who I'm talking about... the perpetually single chick who finally finds a husband and now wants to enlighten you about relationships... the dude who got promoted yesterday and now feels the need to tell you how to do your dang job... I don't want to be THAT person. Several years ago a friend of a friend lost a bunch of weight. I made the mistake of telling her how good she looked and then she spent the next 1/2 hour telling me how I could be like her. I came very close to delivering a classic "Matt and Ramona Show" signature THROAT PUNCH.
If you compliment the way I LOOK since losing 73.9 pounds, I will tell you how good I FEEL. If you ASK me how I did it, I'll tell you I had gastric bypass surgery in January of 2012 at Catawba Valley Medical Center. I'll share my diabetes-in-remission testimony and then I'll leave it there. If you ASK me about what I eat and how much I eat I'll tell you. If you ask questions about my journey, I'll suggest a seminar. I simply refuse to be the person offering unsolicited weight loss advice or the person behind you in the buffet line advising you on portion size and food selection.
I will admit that sometimes its hard to hold back on food advice. I've had excellent training from Lynn, the dietician for CVMC's surgical weight management program. When I find out some post-op folks went elsewhere for their surgery, it makes me anxious. When I learn what they HAVEN'T been told about protein consumption and sugar content I get concerned. If you have struggled with morbid obesity to the point that you are considering weight loss surgery, you aren't looking for a band-aid. You are hoping for a permanent resolution. The permanent resolution is made possible with the help of a team who can help you navigate our high-in-fat, sugar-loaded world long after your surgical incisions have healed.
The problem for me right now is finding a balance between trying to help people I care about and becoming that annoying preachy person. Once you've found a way out of the darkness, it's important to find a way to lead other people to the light. I spent last week at my family reunion and I watched a few diabetic and pre-diabetic relatives eat some things that should NEVER cross their lips. I had to remind myself that before my surgery, saying NO to those things felt practically impossible. My type-2 diabetes isn't in remission because I woke up one day and said NO to sugar. I'm healthier because I sought out help.