Beyond the surgery, going through a weight-loss surgery process means getting involved with a comprehensive plan to arrive at a healthy weight. And that means lots of counseling and lots of follow up.
Rosten said he’d gone through several meetings with doctors and other medical professionals — he even had to take a psychological exam — before he got the green light from Abbott Northwestern. Afterward, he was scheduled for monthly visits, then more visits even more spaced out. In August, he had his two-year, follow-up visit.
He says his life changed dramatically when he had surgery.
“People would say to me, ‘You can’t eat the way you used to,’” he said. “And I’d say, ‘Yeah. But look at where I was. I like where I am now.’”
There have been sacrifices, of course. Rosten loves pizza, and he used to make a weekly stop at Papa Murphy’s for a large pizza where he’d eat half and put the other half in the fridge for the next day. Now he stops at Papa Murphy’s maybe three or four times a year. Instead of half a pie, though, he cuts it up into little squares and eats just a few pieces. The rest goes into the fridge and gives him a dozen more meals.
He eats a lot less. Right after his surgery, he was consuming maybe 500 calories a day. Now he’s up to about 1,200.
His attitude from the beginning, when he decided to do the surgery and take on the challenge that would come with it, was this: “It’s not ‘Can I do this?’ It’s ‘I can do this.’”
Gilmore says any weight-loss surgery is just another tool. But if used properly — by understanding how difficult the road can be, and by truly committing to lifestyle changes in diet and exercise — it can be life changing.