The possibility of Lindsey having her innards surgically rearranged to induce weight loss has been a topic of contention between us lately. First Lindsey wrote a post about why she is considering weight loss surgery and how strange it is that only her thin friends support it. Emily then wrote a post about why she is not in favor of WLS. Enjoy and let us know what you think...
Point: By Lindsey
I found something out recently about the people in my life--->only my thin friends and relatives are supportive about the possibility of me having weight loss surgery. To be perfectly blunt I really don't care what anybodies opinion on the matter really is because whether or not I decide to have any form of surgery is such a personal decision that ultimately it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. But what I do find interesting are the reactions I have gotten when I broach the topic. They range from the extremes of "I'll stop being your friend" to "That sounds like it could be amazing for you and I'll support anything you decide to do". And for the most part the reactions fall in line with how large the person I am taking to is.
You might think that the more overweight the person is, the more supportive they would be, but the opposite is true. My chubby, fat, obese friends have mostly expressed shock, scorn, and disappointment that I would ever consider "the easy way out". While my thin friends all think it would change my life for the better.
Why is that? It could be jealousy about the possibility of me losing weight while they remain the same. It could be fear that I would somehow change my personality, and consequently our relationship dynamic. It could be that they think I am judging their size because I am choosing to alter mine. Maybe my thin friends couldn't imagine life as a fat person and to them a surgery where there is a 1/200 chance of death seems like a reasonable alternative to being fat.
Emily, the surprise optimist, has threatened to cancel our friendship (editors note from Emily, this is a lie) if I get this surgery because she doesn't think that I have done everything in power to lose weight the natural way. She thinks the reason we are fat is because we have deep seated psychological issues which we should deal with with a shrink, Overeaters Anonymous, and a nutritionist before I even consider surgery. Do I eat too much because my daddy yelled at me? Because Melissa and Stacy were mean to be in 3rd grade? Because I secretly don't think I'm worthy of happiness? Because I'm scared to find out what else is wrong with me under the layers of fat? Maybe so. Personally I think everyone I know should be in a therapists office twice a week, me included, but I am sick of waiting for the "Aha!" moment where the light goes off and I can trace my food issues to a particular moment in September 1986 and from then on I make that ever illusive lifestyle change and suddenly drop 150 lbs. The thing is that Emily and I have been having the "why not just do it" talk for the last 10 years. And yet we never seem to do it. At least not permanently. I am ready to take a radical step for change. I want some results before any more of my 20's fly by be. Emily is still waiting for something, convinced that one day she will figure her shit out. I support her decision entirely, and I don't think she is crazy or wrong. The question is why is she threatening to cut me out of her life if I take a different path?
I think it is because fat people are beaten over the head with the fact that being fat is a character flaw, a sign of weakness, and so to have surgery and lose the weight that way is giving up and admitting that you can't control your own body without outside help, and thus having lost the weight you cannot proclaim to the world that you have honesty conquered your flaw, but instead you gave up and had a surgeon do it for you.
Think what you want, I think that's bullshit. Most people will lose weight with a restrictive diet and exercise. I am no different. I have dieted and exercised away 100 lbs on a few separate occasions. I know I can do it. I also know that I will gain it back. Does that say that I have no will power and am a weak person? Most people would say it does, but I refuse to see fatness as a character flaw because I am a good person, and hell, Hitler was a health nut. But I do need some extra help attaining and maintaining a BMI that this society puts so much emphasis on. And I am not considering surgery simply to look good at the beach, I am considering it because I feel like shit at the weight I am and I don't want to lose the weight only to regain it again.
What I think surgery offers is a fail safe, an internal check and balance system which guarantees that I can't eat too much of the wrong food which in turn will motivate me to exercise. Because I don't think surgery is the easy way out. I think for me it's like a step in AA where I admit that I have a problem, and that I need more than a little bit of help. I am not a naive or stupid person. I don't think that by having surgery all my issues with food or weight will be resolved. I actually think the opposite, that with the surgery my issues with food and weight will come to the surface, forcing me to deal with them or regain the weight. But I would rather me dealing with those issues as a size 12 than at a size 22. Once you've had the surgery you still need to keep a strict diet and exercise. If having a four hour surgery where my internal organs are rearranged is the easy way out, then I say bring it on...
Semi Counter Point: By Emily
Weight Loss Surgery doesn't bother me. I'm not against it, nor would I ever rule it out for myself. But, in this age of microwaves and Internet access, I think people rush into things without exhausting their other options, looking for what works at the speed of light. People have lost all patience. And to me, weight loss is nothing but two things: an understanding and patience.
Results don't happen over night. We need to deal with this fact. Instead, we choose to ignore it and repeat nasty cycles. And then we get frustrated and then we turn to weight loss surgery.
This is the way I see it: Weight loss surgery and dieting are the same thing, that's a given. A restriction of caloric intake and a proper exercise plan will result in weight loss. It's just the way things are. When one chooses to have weight loss surgery, it's easier for them to restrict their diet because they can only take in so much food. It's recommended that they exercise and not surprisingly, the combination of the two cause a person to lose weight. Same happens for old fashioned dieting. Neither is easy. Weight loss surgery isn't an easy way out. Does it make it easier? Yes. Easy way out? No.
This is the thing that always gets me though, the psychology part of it. I feel that no one brings up that fat people all have a common thread...the addiction aspect of food. No one ever seems to bring up the fact that more than not, the reason we're like this is because we have an unhealthy relationship with food. We have an addiction and before we decide to lose this weight and change our lives, we need to understand the root of this evil.
I know that if I had WLS tomorrow I would, at first, have a rapid weight loss. I would feel that I was in a groove and I might, for a while, take better care of myself. I would exercise a bit. I would choose healthier foods and then my weight would level off and I would start my normal diet routine...I would stop trying so hard. And the weight would creep back on and I would return to old habits of not eating at the proper times of day, letting myself get way too hungry, starving myself to only binge later. And I would do this because I skipped Step 1 and moved right onto Step 2.
I also know that if I started a strict diet tomorrow I would, for a couple of months. have a healthy, steady weight loss. I would exercise and eat balanced, well proportioned meals. And then the weight loss would start to level off and I would get frustrated and I would start to revert back to my old habits.
So, what has to happen first? I need to understand my issues with food. I need to understand what triggers me to eat the way I do when I'm not doing so hot. I need to recover from my addiction. Horse in front of the cart people.