Friday, January 23, 2009


I KNOW I'm gonna take some heat for this post - but I can handle it. Please read the whole thing before you flame me!

I can't speak for anyone BUT MYSELF, but weight loss surgery scares me. Most surgery scares me - and I've had two knee replacements and two C-sections in addition to various other less significant surgeries. When I hear of people considering weight loss surgery, I always wonder if they've considered all the alternatives.

Well, not to be judgmental, as that is not my goal, but I have to pass along several things I've learned from people who've had weight loss surgery. In every case where the person had surgery and kept the weight off, I was given a detailed story of how many lifestyle changes had been made in the period between the surgery and the present day. Dietary changes and exercise. Every time. In every case.

So, if you change your diet and your activity level, do you need the surgery to begin with? Some people do. People who weigh so much that they can't actually move enough to facilitate weight loss. People who have multiple medical problems that put them in eminent danger of death or disabling stroke. People who have had absolutely no success with dieting.

But, here's what I have heard and what I know. In every case where the person lost, say, 100 pounds in the year after weight loss surgery, there was a radical change of lifestyle that included exercise! Every time! No one can sustain a weight loss like that while eating chips in front of the television. Can't be done.

My question is, then, do you really need the surgery? If one dedicates a year to losing 100 pounds with radical changes in diet and activity level, is the surgery the cause of the weight loss?

Please don't flame me! I'm not saying that all weight loss surgery is unnecessary. I'm not saying that there is not an appropriate case for weight loss surgery. I just don't get that people don't 'get' that even after weight loss surgery, they'll have to move the body to sustain the weight loss.


I lost 65 pounds about 10 years ago without benefit of weight loss surgery. A relative of mine had weight loss surgery about the same time and regained all the weight. What was the difference between the two of us? Well, he was about 10 years younger than I and he did not increase his activity level after surgery. That's about it.

Of course, there is a huge emotional and psychological boost that the immediate loss of 20-30 pounds after surgery will give the person undergoing surgery. Losing that amount of weight without surgery is almost impossible. In fact, it is never healthy - with or without surgery. But, it is the logical result of the surgery. It's also the logical result of lifestyle changes - but it takes quite a bit longer and the psychological and emotional edge just doesn't come that quickly.

After enduring another weight loss surgery a couple years ago, my relative is now thin. Due to other health problems, he is not easily able to increase his activity level. He sustains his weight loss because he is no longer able to eat more than a few spoons of food at a time.

I have regained about 15 of those pounds I lost almost 10 years ago and have sustained that 50 pound weight loss for the past 6 years since my first knee replacement. During the months before and after that knee replacement, my activity level was not enough to keep that 15 pounds off and I don't do diets very well.

Now, I'm a steady weight with a steady activity level and a steady diet. Some days are better than others when it comes to the food intake and the activity level, but overall, it evens out and the weight stays off.

I'm not against weight loss surgery because I didn't need it. I just wish people would give the lifestyle changes a serious trial before having surgery. I wish the lifestyle changes would be taken as seriously before surgery as after surgery. Were that the case, many people would be spared the huge risks associated with weight loss surgery and attain the same results in about the same amount of time.

Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

1 comment:

Willa said...

I was really pleased to read this post. I think, here in America, we often choose the fast, "easy" way over the more difficult. Wait- don't flame me yet- While I haven't had gastric by-pass surgery, I have had other major absominal surgeries, and I know they aren't easy. When discussing weight loss, though, it does seem to be the path of least resistance. And yet, the reason so many people seem to have the surgery is so that they can lose weight without working at it. Their stomachs are smaller, so they eat less- no thought involved.
They can continue to eat the same junk they always ate. And I hate how widely the process is advertised on television.