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Problem Girl – Pride Before Weight Loss Surgery

Athena Perez

June 23, 2016

Moving forward in the process, the next step officially was “Say hello to new eating and drinking habits”.

A few weeks after my initial appointment with the Bariatrician, I received a packet in the mail that contained a new pedometer and a 2-inch thick workbook that worked in conjunction with six sessions of phone coaching that would take place every two weeks. I was already looking at a minimum of 12 weeks out. Seriously I was feeling a lot of WTF’s doing during this time because I really couldn’t understand what took so long.  I didn’t need coaching – this was ridiculous. I had already made my mind up that I needed surgery. I just needed to get this shit over with. All I wanted to know was the date. Seemed easy enough to me? Put it on the calendar! This was also the time they told me that I needed to see a psychotherapist. As part of the process, 3 sessions with a third party therapist is mandatory. Ugg. This process just kept getting more tedious by the hour. 

Annoyed, I figured I would play along. I didn’t have much choice, right?  I started trolling through the workbook briefly reading each page.  “Setting Smart Goals,” “Self-Monitoring,” “How Weight Loss Occurs.” All I learned to be honest that first month was “blah blah blah blah.” I wasn’t interested in the least in learning all of this stuff. I spent ten years of my life hating surgery and judging those who had decided to get it. I knew everything I needed to know.

I knew everything until I got the chapter called “Benefits and Risks.” The benefits section had one full page describing the benefits.….. However……. then I turned the page. The risks section of the book took up two full pages.  I was stunned.  I remember sitting in my chair that night staring at the ceiling in my living room trying to figure out if I could reconcile these.  I didn’t know if I could. Some of the risks were pretty scary and I started second guessing my decisions.  


Phone coaching is designed to walk you through the process starting from pre-op to post-op. Two weeks later when I had my first phone coaching appointment, my nurse figured she would just dive in and start discussing post surgery diet. I believe one of the meals she described was six strawberries and 1 oz of cheese. Honestly, I laughed and asked her if this was a snack and she firmly replied, “No Bean, this is lunch.” I don’t remember the rest of the conversation and I do remember the book getting thrown to the corner of that living room where it sat for weeks. I wasn’t sure I wanted anything to do with this. 

At this point, I was trying to wrap my head around getting rid of all my favorite things. No more cigar smoking, no more drinks. Now, before you start thinking I’m an alcoholic, Im not. In fact, I’m not really a drinker at all but….. I do like occasional Mimosas (Champagne and orange juice).  Coffee. OMG….. 


I love coffee.  I don’t drink coffee for the caffeine, I never did. I love the way coffee tastes. I love the fact I can tell if someone uses grounds or fresh beans. I can tell if they kept the beans refrigerated or in the cupboard.  I can taste (generally) the type of roast; whether it’s a mild, strong, or HOLY HELL blend. I love coffee and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to drink it anymore almost sent me over the edge. Seriously.   

I heard a lot of “Bean, you can’t have this anymore” and I suppose I wasn’t hearing enough about all the wonderful things that were going to happen. It didn’t feel exciting.  None of this process was fun and I wasn’t thinking about long term benefits or potential. The only thing I felt was that I was leaving one hell for another.  Obviously I knew this had to be done, but I wasn’t embracing the process early on. I felt like I was fighting it every step of the way.

I was the problem girl. Maybe I was?  Pride like promises can let you down and I was damn sure I wasn’t putting my coffee, mimosas or cigars down. Nope.



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I’m Athena Perez, a Christ-loving dog mom and CrossFitter who has lost over 200 pounds on a long journey of self-discovery. I’m obsessed with sharing everything I’ve learned to help you too!  

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