Not Easy.

On June 7, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

For years, many of my brothers and sisters in the weight loss surgical world have kept quiet about their surgeries because they get flak and criticism about WLS being the “easy way out.”

And let’s face it — there’s been a healthy dose of Dr. Oz, and Oprah, Dr. Phil and many, many other pundits that continue to drive home the need for “balanced portions” and how surgery is “risky” and at worst “deadly.”  Seeing posts such as this one from a Yahoo message board is just the an inkling:

User Post: Jealous of Gastric Bypass

by dino, on Fri May 21, 2010 11:50am PDT

Yes, you heard me!  I am jealous of my friend who had gastric bypass last Friday morning at 11 a.m., when I spoke to her on Tuesday night she was down 30lbs!  30lbs!!!!!!!! DID YOU HEAR ME?  That is more than half of what I want to lose!!

Ok, so let’s put this in perspective, I don’t want the surgery – nor do I think it should be an option for anyone EVER!  But people are doing it,  I know of two ladies who I had not seen in two or three years and had no clue who they were when they approached me after losing over 100lbs each.  Now I will watch my good friend waste away, literally starving herself to nothing!

She told me on the phone “you give up alot, they warned me, but I had no idea” and I understand, no food, barely able to drink anything her stomach is now so small.  More surgery later to deal with the inescapable sagging skin from the rapid weight loss – but to me it still just seems the easy way out.

I work so hard, watching my diet, getting up an hour earlier to exercise before my girls get up, walking the dogs an extra 30 minutes each night AARRRGGGGHHHHH!  As I set here typing my shoulders and back are sore from the plank and push ups – but it will be worth it in the end.  To accomplish something, maintain, be healthier, in better shape and feel good!  I can’t wait!

Oh and I do get to splurge when I want, she doesn’t………….hmmmmmmmmm maybe I’m not so jealous after all!  :)

What do you think of the weight loss surgeries?  Gastric Bypass?  Lap Band?  Do you feel the way I do, that they are the easy way out and that those who have them actually learn nothing?  Or do you feel they are a medicall necessity?

What, of course, these people don’t realize, is the hard work necessary in the long run, that it takes to succeed.  Or the fact that this surgery does not fix one’s head, only one’s gut.

It can be likened to a roller coaster:  while it’s easy to get on?  You can’t get off once there.  And yes, that part is easy.  But dealing with the aftermath that can occur with having one’s guts rearranged, sliced, and diced is not particularly easy.  Fighting a food addiction, or not being able to do something spontaneous is pretty damned difficult.  Even years out, and being fairly normal?  I still have to plan.  I had fasting blood work this morning (12 vials, y’all — and that’s not all.. there’s more to be drawn..) which took until 11:30 to complete.  I had to take sufficient food (which had to be a protein shake because the pouch doesn’t do well with solids until at least 12) with me.  There’s planning even this far out.  Imagine being 2 weeks out and having to plan even more than that?

Or wanting to go to a movie and can’t because the smell of popcorn could make you so nauseated it makes you sick?  Or wanting to celebrate a birthday of a child, but having to explain why the cake makes you ill?  Or a mixed up drink order at Starbucks that could put you in the hospital?

And those are minor complications.  We’re not even discussing the vitamin deficiencies that can take your life, the seizure disorders that have occurred in some, the severe hypoglycemia that has ruled some peoples’ lives, and more.

But none of it!  None of it is as difficult as dealing with the mental hell that is what we do to our own selves.

Kudos to the Today Show for putting the TRUTH out there, but in doing so, doing it in a completely positive way.  Not in a Rainbows and Sparkles Unicorn way (EVERYONE GET WLS!  IT’S THE BEST THING EVER!!!) but in the way that shows that each person has to make their own decision, and that it’s only a tool that helps, but the real work is the person that utilizes the tool given to them.

By the way, Al?  If you just HAPPEN to see this?  Hi.  and yes!  You can do a marathon.  I’m working on my running, too.  I think you can do it, and I’ll be cheering you on all the way from down here in NC.  Keep kicking ass.  I came back from a regain as well, so I know this is definitely a “means” rather than an “end.”  Way to go for being such an excellent advocate for us.

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4 Responses to “Not Easy.”

  1. I think that, without question, the people doing the criticizing and fear mongering about weight loss surgery are doing so because THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT. Ignorance abounds as usual. People should be smart enough to do their own research about it from REPUTABLE sites instead of believing every rumor they hear from similarly ignorant people. I loved Al’s interview. Good for him!

  2. I forgot to add, Andrea that I love your site and I’m sorry I’m just now getting around to officially “following” your blog.

  3. rny_alison says:

    Thank you for posting this. Al is leading a great example for our community and a total success at 8-yrs post-op. “One quarter pounder from falling off the wagon” is the absolute truth for me!

  4. Marilyn T says:

    I also loved the interview with Al and the real life example of what “successful WLS” means….a life of challenge, struggle, and WORK, but an improved life (for most) all the same.

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