"Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect." Romans 12:2
So, I'm not sure if you realize this or not, but it's been a few years since I've been in school! But over the last few weeks, I feel like I am learning so many new things! When you decide to have gastric bypass surgery, it is not just a matter of deciding to do it and picking out your surgeon and your date. Because it is so complex you are required to do many steps before it is a reality. Most of these steps your support person (or persons in this case!) do with you as well. Last week, Jordan, Jessika and I attended both the information seminar and the first education class. Because we had been to one information seminar last December, there was not much that we did not already know. You learn about the genetics involved, they describe the difference between lapband and the bypass, they give you statistics on the percentage of those who have actually been cured from the diabetes or high blood pressure and in this latest one, we learned how the Dr. had done a fellowship in robotic surgery for the bypass and showed how it was done. Now anyone who knows Jordan, knows that he has been involved with robotics since Middle School. For him to learn that he is a candidate for robotic surgery, truely made his face light up! I think I could even say, it possibly even excited him about the surgery!
The other class we took was an education class that explained to him how he needs to change his diet now to start preparing, how the surgery will take place and what to expect and the changes that will take place after surgery. The nutritionist came in at the end to get them started on what they need to start doing as they prepare. We had already gone to a low carb, high protein diet since our first appointment. Jordan has taken all soda's out of his diet - whether they be caffeine free, sugar free or regular. This will be something that will continue for the rest of his life. We are taking all refined sugar's out as well. Even natural sugar's may have to be limited. After having a gastric bypass, a patient can experience something called "the dumping syndrome". While I cannot tell you all the "scientific" reasons for this, it is caused by refined sugar's and carbs. As one Dr. explained it, you won't die from it, you'll just wish you had! Because they are taking his 40 oz. stomach down to 2 oz. they explain that the first thing he should eat will be protein. He will be taking supplements for the rest of his life that will help with absorption of vitamins and minerals he needs, but the protein is harder to come by.
We will actually attend a class on nutrition itself, but until then, I have been doing my own research. This totally changes the way I've cooked for most of Jordan's life! I've tried over the last several years to cook healthier - going to whole grain pasta's and breads and taking the white flour out of as much as I can - but now I'm looking at recipe books for whole grain scones and cookies, whole grain birthday cakes and even a whole grain pumpkin pie! (have you noticed all of these are desserts? Hmm?) It is a completely different way of thinking!
The last couple of weeks in church, we have been talking about how to change our thinking. If I can quote our Pastor (Thanks Pastor A!), "How we think relates to how we feel. And how we feel relates to how we act. So to change how we act, we have to change how we feel. And to change how we feel, we have to change how we think!"
Without discipline, this is never going to happen. You cannot just decide to change. It requires a lot of hard work. Jordan cannot just decide "I'm going to lose weight" and then not do anything about it. He must change his old habits. They make it very clear in the classes that this surgery is not a cure. It is a tool and you must learn to use the tool correctly. And it will take perseverance. It will not change overnight.
As Jordan goes through all these processes, one of the things they do is to weigh them at every step. Classes, support group, appointments. One of the things Dr. Nguyen is looking for is commitment to change their thinking. When Jordan stepped on the scale last week, eight days after his first appointment, he had lost 14 pounds!! I think he's on his way to a new way of thinking, don't you?! I know I am!