Emily Bell, 43, has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity.

Today’s post is written by BWH patient Emily Bell, a 43-year-old woman who has made the decision to seek surgical treatment for her obesity. Emily will be blogging about her experience throughout her journey to better health.

A couple of months ago, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year. We were once in Weight Watchers together, and neither of us was new to weight loss. We’ve shared the tribulations of “keeping it off” and commiserated over the way we’ve dieted our hearts out and always gained the weight back.

When I saw her recently, I noticed that my friend had lost weight again. “What have you been eating …” I trailed off, realizing that her body wasn’t just smaller. Something was different. I changed my question. “How did this happen?”

She answered in a dramatic stage whisper. “I got the surgery.”

It took me a minute to figure out what she meant. I frowned. “Obesity surgery? Really? But that’s …” In my mind it was like admitting failure. Except my friend isn’t a failure. She’s a highly functional, social, confident, and intelligent woman. I asked, “What procedure did you have?”

“Gastric sleeve,” she said with a wink and a nod.

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