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Weight Loss Surgery Comments Cause Commotion

Categories: Fuming Foodie
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In response to all the WLS advocates (except for those who threatened my well-being):

I was on the BariatricTV radio show on Blog Talk Radio Monday night as an invited guest to discuss my last Fuming Foodie column airing my views on weight loss surgery. We were able to have an honest, open, and mature discussion in which I, Rob Portinga, Diva Taunia, Michael, Toni Towe, and Lynnda Shepard, shared our views and nobody was killed.

After the show, we came to the conclusion that we can agree to disagree.

They made several points and I made several points, and we had a conversation that reminds me of why I love this country. People should be able to share their opinions without fear. I have been threatened with physical harm several times because of my beliefs, my orientation, my work, and my ethnicity, and believe me it is not something I enjoy.

That being said, I still stand by my opinion (death threats be damned). WLS is something that people resort to when they cannot lose weight and keep it off on their own, because they lack the will and determination to do so. And because of that, it is a catalyst and short cut to a healthier lifestyle.

As Portinga admits in his latest post-radio show post, "Yes, I have my days where I wonder if I had just tried harder, couldn't I have lost the weight without having had my gastric-bypass? Granted, it wouldn't have been as rapid, but c'mon? I eat so much better now than I used to...I get a lot more exercise. Is it wrong to still wonder if I couldn't have done this without surgery?"

Yes, it can be done without surgery. Surgery is a way to lose the weight faster, and yes, easier, than through traditional diet and exercise.

There are those who get the surgery as a quick fix and some whose only concern is to look thin. There are people in their twenties and thirties getting the surgery without having made a real, significant attempt to lose and keep off their excess weight.

Shepard said last night, "Does weight loss surgery make it easier to stick to that diet? Yes, it does."

I agree, but I don't agree with that short cut if you have the ability to lose the weight on your own - -and you do. It's just that easy and that difficult at the same time.

I believe that if you cannot control yourself, having the surgery is a cheat to being healthy. It's not fair in the game of life.

I know I'm not going to change their minds, and I am not going get angry when someone disagrees with me. And that is exactly what the five, sane, rational human beings on the show did last night.

I understand they were upset. My post was blunt. It hurt their feelings, but when it came down to it, once we were all together, they treated me with respect and listened to what I had to say -- and even agreed with me on some points. And I did the same.

If everyone had the same consideration for those whose ideas and beliefs conflicted with theirs, I'm sure that pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers would be making a lot less money.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Evelyn Beatrice Hall (The Friends of Voltaire)

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54 comments
Lapband
Lapband

Weight loss surgery is an advanced surgical method designed exclusively for the morbidly obese persons to lose their weight effectively and tone their body well and in perfect shape. 

Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery is an advanced surgical method designed exclusively for the morbidly obese persons to lose their weight effectively and tone their body well ands in perfect shape.

bariatric surgery
bariatric surgery

Weight loss surgeries are good for loosing your weight and it has several health benefits. But there are other natural way available for loosing your weight. If you do not want to try any other thing for weight loss than weight loss surgeries perfect for you.

Deb Ford
Deb Ford

So, according to your logic, because I was not able to lose weight without surgical intervention, (I am cheating and that's "not fair in the game of life") I should be subjected to an early death.  Why do you care how I've chosen to deal with my health issues?  Does my gastric bypass infringe on your life?  No.  Does your spewing hatred towards me and every other weight loss surgery patient make your life better?  I hope so, because at least there's some reason for your vitriol.

Wadebentley
Wadebentley

People are missing the main point . The author is a heroin user who has lost her ability to reason. It does no good to try and teach her about wls because she does not have the required amount of working brain cells to understand. I feel for because she caused her mental disability herself. In the words of Ron White, you can't fix stupid.

Dwb123

Boni Dean
Boni Dean

That being said, I still stand by my opinion (death threats be damned). WLS is something that people resort to when they cannot lose weight and keep it off on their own, because they lack the will and determination to do so. And because of that, it is a catalyst and short cut to a healthier lifestyle.<------- Wow you only lose weight so much and then the rest is up to you... for me my choice to have it was because i had two herniated disks and couldnt exercise to take the weight off i was on a 1500 calorie diet day and was still putting on  10 pounds a month because my back wouldnt allow me to  get my heart rate up there too burn fat! sorry i still dont agree with you  saying its the easy way out it only takes you so  far and if you dont learn how to manage your weight or learn how to eat you will put the weight back on again!!! it is only a tool! to help  get you there!!! so now instead of being bed bound when my back goes out i can now at least get up and live sort of a normal life for myself and my son! When you are going to die or lose your mobility i say yes have the surgery but if you can get up and move do it that way because  having the surgery  is not an easy way out... you have to deal with what got you to your  hightest weight you need counseling, nutrition and Dietitian courses and basically learning how to redo things! espcially  your head problems and addictions if not you will be back to square one!! so fast.... so i still dont see how WLS is taking the easy road...  i just cant wrap my head around your comments... without thinking how the hell did i end up taking the easy way out when this is the hardest thing i have ever done in  my whole entire life!!.. BONI Dean AKA Atomickitten613.....

angie497
angie497

I have to wonder - would you have ever given even a passing thought to writing an article claiming that an anorexic should just quit being such a drama queen, man up and eat a cheeseburger? Or say that it's easy to beat bulemia, just quit sticking your fingers down your throat for crying out loud?

I'm hoping not. Most intelligent people realize that anorexia and bulemia are eating disorders that have little to do with food itself; the food is being used as a way to deal with a psychological and/or emotional issue. Those emotional issues can be compounded by the physical damage that's done. In extreme cases, drastic intervention can become necessary to keep an anorexic/bulemic alive long enough to even begin to solve the emotional issues, and those issues never go away completely. Neither do the physical effects, even if they eventually reach & maintain a healthy weight.

So why is it so hard to understand that when you're dealing with morbid and super-morbid obesity, you're also dealing with an eating disorder? People that have managed to gain an extra 100, 200, 300+ pounds aren't just people with a big appetite. They're self-medicating with food. Do they need to deal with their emotional issues? Of course they do. Weight loss surgery doesn't change that. It doesn't change the need to learn healthy eating habits or to exercise. 

Someone that's super-morbidly obese may be diabetic, suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, increased risk of stroke. Their joints are deteriorating at an alarming rate because of the stress from the weight. They may have open sores because their skin literally splits from the pressure of the fluid in the cells. The longer they carry that extra weight, the more damage is done, and much of that damage is irreversible. Just like an anorexic, they need drastic intervention.

It's sad that even after everything you've been told, you insist on repeating, "There are people who lose weight and keep it off without surgery or medication. And if they can do it so can others." Yes, those people exist. They're in the minority, but they exist. But the fact that those people exist doesn't mean that you should essentially publicly abuse people that realize they are NOT in that minority. 

Sandi
Sandi

I undeniably agree with your right to your own opinion. However, it would be very interesting to all on both sides of this discussion for you to share iwth us whether or not you have been fighting obesity since you were a toddler. For those of us who tried over and over again to fight the battle and who would succeed incrementally for short periods of time and then net out at a higher weight than before, the hopeless battle suddenly had hope. The physical hunger we could not control (when we could perhaps gain some control of our "emotional" hunger) was suddenly a non-issue after surgery. After fighting for 51 years, at 55 years old I was able to learn how to eat to live instead of living to eat. And the war is certainly not over yet. I have to work at this every day, only now I am able to win far more often than I lose. I am so grateful to those who have helped me reclaim my life.

Marie Hughes
Marie Hughes

Some links for people who are interested in educating themselves about obesity and weight loss surgery.

How brain works against losing weight:http://asbp.org/siterun_data/n...

Ghrelin:http://www.cbsnews.com/stories...http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/...

Genetic links to obesity:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05...http://www.medicalnewstoday.co...

Virus linked to obesity:http://www.blackplanet.com/new...

Bacteria linked to obesity:http://dsc.discovery.com/news/...

Going on a diet can make you fat/ why dieting is not a cure for obesity:http://www.drsharma.ca/obesity...http://www.drsharma.ca/obesity...

health and size are not always related:Size acceptance and intuitive eating improve healt...[J Am Diet Assoc. 2005] - PubMed Resulthttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18...http://www.usatoday.com/news/h...http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH...

WLS requires discipline (in other words we're not just lazy buggers looking for a quick fix):http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09...

Danielle
Danielle

lly I am one of the people in there "twenties and thirties getting the surgery without having made a real, significant attempt to lose and keep off their excess weight." who admittedly had surgery because  I wanted to look better. (less face it I didnt really have many other obesity related comorbidity's to encourage me) I invite you to watch my video blog over on Bariatric TV, where I did respond to your article, as well as where I allow members in the community see what my life is like living post-opp. Although I know I will never change you opinion, nor do I care to, I hope that I can show you what the WLS lifestyle is really like. 

Candi SweetEnough
Candi SweetEnough

I was listening to the show, and I applaud the fact that you decided to be on the show.  I know that it had to be very uncomfortable, but in the end it did benefit everyone.  One point that I wanted to make.  You talked about the fact that losing weight is a cure for diabetes (or at least a way to put it into remission).  This is true.  But, there also have been studies done that have proven that having RNY can cause a change that has proven to be extraordinary!  By re-routing the intestines, and bypassing the first section of intestines, it is actually making the diabetes go away!  They have tested on diabetic rats.  When they performed this procedure, it went away, and when they changed it back, it came right back!  At this time, they are doing testing in other countries to see if it is possible to perform this on diabetic patients of normal weights, and see if it still causes this change.  I come from a very long line of diabetics.  My Grandmother, who was never obese, passed away at the age of 60 from complications due to diabetes.  I don't want to follow in her footsteps.  Would you not agree that if these studies prove to be true, then maybe there is more to these surgeries then you might have believed?

VirginEars
VirginEars

This "writer" reminds me of an attention whore sometime last year who got a whole lot of publicity about a blog she wrote for Marie-Claire about the show Mike and Molly.  Don't think you're going to make it on CNN there hunny, nice try though.

Bariatriccommuntiy
Bariatriccommuntiy

I will have to say I personally feel that I took at the time the "easy way out" cause I had struggled for so long to get the weight off and couldn't and I wanted it off and fast. But I wish I tried a little bit harder on my end, because I have had so many complications from this surgery which has been very hard on me. Heck, it might be Karma coming back at me..I can't say how the experience has been for everyone else, so all I can do is speak for me. We will all have different views but we should be able to say it and be mature enough how we respond to one another. Berrigirlwww.bariatriccommunity.com

trudylam
trudylam

Making a statement that all people can lose weight if they just tried harder is like saying that all black people are criminals.  You don't have to generalize an entire group of people under your own ridiculous misconceptions. Besides, why is it any of your business how anyone else does something???  Do you care what gay people do in their bedrooms or is it just the fat community you are after?  You stance makes no sense and I hope you are enjoying the brief attention you are getting from spewing your poisonous word darts at people who would probably have been very kind to you.

Diva Taunia
Diva Taunia

Sigh.  Ily, I still think you need some work in the language and communication department. While I agreed to disagree, your points are getting very lost in the method of delivery.  I also want to echo Rob's sentiment:  my feelings are not hurt.  I find your point of view (in some cases) offensive to my community as a whole, and I therefore feel the need to defend out choices as a community. Case in point:

"WLS is something that people resort to when they cannot lose weight and keep it off on their own, because they lack the will and determination to do so. "

This is stereotyping and simplifying a very complex disease.  Additionally, it is condemning and entire group of people and placing judgement, blame, and in short stating your own subjective opinions as fact.  I don't doubt that your own personal experiences have influenced your thought process here, but I personally feel that statements like these are disrespectful and irresponsible at best, and discrimination at worst.  

"Surgery is a way to lose the weight faster, and yes,easier, than through traditional diet and exercise."

Untrue.  Faster? Yes.  Easier?  No.  I think if you have not *personally* experienced weight loss surgery, you are not in a positive to decide if the process is easier or not.  This would be the equivalent of me saying,  "well, she went to rehab and kicked heroin, but I've seen it all before.  Almost everyone relapses."  Not a very accurate statement, despite my experiences with this.

"If everyone had the same consideration for those whose ideas and beliefs conflicted with theirs, I'm sure that pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers would be making a lot less money."

You want to take a position as if this is a political conspiracy and that somehow makes your opinions more valid or applaudable, yet you provide absolutely no facts or statistics to back up these statements.  I'd be curious to know if (since Monday night's program) you have visited the Obesity Action Coalition website to research weight bias, treatment options, and statistics?  

While your theory about consideration for ideas and beliefs  is a pretty one, it completely conflicts with the approach you've taken in this response. Additionally, I'm curious:  of all the overweight people that you know and that struggle with obesity and/or weight management -how many of them (including yourself) have successfully managed to take the weight off, keep it off, and change their overall health for the long-haul?  My question to you is this:  how many days, weeks, months, years should people keep pushing along and struggling "the hard way?"  How long of a struggle makes it worth the years of living miserably?    How many people TRULY do you know that have successfully accomplished this long-term?

Obesity is an epidemic.  It results in approximately 400,00 deaths a year (source: http://www.obesityinamerica.or....  While weight loss surgery is not the right option for everyone, it is a statistically proven successful treatment for obesity.  

To publicly condemn this treatment option - with an opinion completely void of factual information - is incredibly short-sighted, ill-informed, and quite frankly, insulting. My hope is that through continued conversations like these, we can change public perception that it's all just a matter of "being lazy and having no will power,"  and realize in this day and age we ALL know someone struggling with obesity that we love and care about.  

As a published author, your words have consequences and impact and I personally feel that although we sometimes "write in the moment," words have the power to impact every day lives.  It's your choice whether or not you want that impact to be discriminatory or not.

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

To many of you posting (I am not posting individual replies because many of you are saying the same thing):

I understand what you are saying. I understand how you feel. I understand that in your hearts and minds you do not agree with me. However, I do not agree with you. And just as I can respect that you do not feel the way I do, I would appreciate it if you could respect that my opinion differs from yours. I am not trying to be sarcastic or snarky. My column today is 100 percent sincere. I just have a different viewpoint than you do. And if everyone keeps calling me ignorant and stupid and wrong just because I don't succumb to the idea that WLS is great and magnificent and the last chance at a healthy life, I am going to start thinking that some of you have formed a fascist cult and I should fear for my life.

I have done research. I know several people on a personal level who have had WLS. I spoke to several sane, intelligent, and rational people the other night who have all had WLS. BUT I STILL HAVE MY OPINION AND I AM ENTITLED TO IT. Why is it so hard for you to accept someone whose beliefs are different from yours? 

Toni
Toni

All I can do is repeat.

You kicking your bad habit cold turkey, with out any tools, is the exception to the rule.

 But for the vast majority of people, kicking what haunts us like drug addiction, anorexia, and yes, overheating, takes help.. Whether it's therapy, addtional drugs, and yes, surgery, People shouldn't be called lazy because they sought something to help them.

Lazy and Easy is doing nothing at all.

Lisa Kasen
Lisa Kasen

You are still making judgements, it's gone beyond sharing a difference of opinions. I am a post wls patient, who is not a fan of any of the weight loss surgeries, however I will defend just anyone's right to do do their research and decide what's best for them. And support them if they choose to have weight loss surgery. I also support my social network media network contacts who are fat activists, which isn't a promotion of obesity, as a lifestyle, its eradicating the judgements made towards people of weight that everyone is a ticking time bomb or all that people who are fat do is eat twinkies all day and sit on their ass.People need to stop making fat a moral issue. And those who choose to have weight loss surgery shouldn't be demonized, neither should people who choose NOT to have weight loss surgery. I am supportive of both, its not being a hypocrite in my case. I have seen people who's lives were saved by weight loss surgery, I have also seen people be extremely harmed by it. I just don't think anyone should be judged for it, especially as harsh as you are. You have absolutely no right to do to hat.         The little credit I gave you for going on the show, has now kind of evaporated. Your tone in this blog is still condscending, but you really can't educate anyone who's bigotry runs as rampant as yours seems to. While I give you credit for kicking some of your own demons, the weight loss regimen you professed in your original blog is not healthy either and no doctor would advocate anyone eating 500 calories and working out 2 hours a day. I am just curious, you mentioned you lost 70 lbs by doing that, you haven't commented on whether or not you've kept it off.It wouldn't matter except you keep on this tangent that people who have weight loss surgery aren't worthy of respect. I kind of look at it if you body snark, you put out yourself, your methods up for scrutiny and where you are health wise and weight wise.....      I happen to have wls for the wrong reasons. I didn't have any health problems as a result of my weight, I was just sick and tired of being teased, bullied and prejudiced upon for being fat my whole life. That doesn't fall into cosmetic reasons though. You haven't walked in my shoes, and you've had quite a lot of trouble walking in your own. I wouldn't bother taking the time to do this, if I was you keep writing blogs that are not just offensive to people who elect to have weight loss surgery, and to those who you think are lazy sloths who are fat in the first place who need will power to do something about their weight. Maybe stick to subjects as recipes or food reviews,K?..............    

Lynnda Savoy Shepherd
Lynnda Savoy Shepherd

There will always be people with different viewpoints from ourselves. 

There are tons of people out there who say that a marriage is only between a man and a woman.. or that 'gay' is something that can be unlearned..  or that their god is better than your god... or that more taxes are good or not good.. 

Their opinions/viewpoints might not match my own but that doesn't mean that they are wrong because I am right :-)

If someone is doing research into WLS and happens to land on Ily's blog and decides right then and there that the opinion of someone who has not had the surgery is the defining factor for them - then shame of them for NOT doing their due diligence.

I have no problem with Ily believing that WLS is a cheat in the game of life..  I don't agree with her at all..  but that is beside the point. 

The problem I had in all of it was the name calling and character assassination of a group of people she had never met.  As we discussed on the show - she was writing in the heat of the moment and didn't stop to think how it might affect some of her audience. 

Marie Ford Cicogni
Marie Ford Cicogni

There will always be those who can afford to "cheat" (buy themselves a surgery) and those who do this for cosmetic reasons (just to be thin) - but the truth is that the vast and overwhelming majority of the million who have had WLS procedures have struggled with lifelong battles with obesity and truly feel it is the life-saving last resort option available to them.  I tried for 25 years to loose and keep weight off ... my genetics worked against me. My resulting trashed self-esteem and shame worked against me. Verbally abusive and sabotaging husbands worked against me. Employers who denied me otherwise earned promotions due to my obesity worked agianst me. I was giving my mother 5 insulin shots a day when she died ..... I did not want to go down that path. 

I decided on surgery, not for quick fixes or cosmetic reasons, but for lifesaving reasons .... and so that I live to enjoy my children and grandchildren .... Never a day has passed in 6 years, 2 months that I have ever regretted taking this step.  My health insurance supported and encouraged me .... they certainly didn't make money off of granting me this life-saving procedure.

And one of the most amazing upsides of the weight loss surgery community is the inclusiveness, support, love encouragement and education we all offer each other. We all, in many ways, share the same story ....

Please do not stereotype weight loss surgery post ops as you insist on doing any more than you appreciate being stereotyped by all the demeaning, degrading comments people throw at those with weight issues who are trying their damnedest to lose weight on their own ... or those who do not agree with your "beliefs, orientation, work, and ethnicity" .... it's all the same.

Michelle Vicari
Michelle Vicari

There is no finish-line in the war versus obesity... that means every day healthy food choices, daily exercise, working on the head (the why's of why I got fat) and yep a helping hand from weight loss surgery are my weapons. It's not easy. It's a lifelong battle. I'm not a cheater in the game of life... I am playing to win! www.theworldaccordingtoeggface...

Antonia
Antonia

"It's not fair in the game of life"  Who ever said life was fair?This view of your is would be laughable if it were not so damaging.For readers who are researching if weight Loss Surgery is the tool they need, please consider this.  Obesity is defined as a disease by the National Institution of Health and other medical bodies. Every 48 seconds a person dies in the United States from obesity related issues. Weight Loss Surgery is not cosmetic, it is a medical treatment for a disease.  The writer of this article is ill informed, under educated on the topic and leading you down a path that is dangerous. The writer is brainwashed from years of miss information, stigma and bias and they have not done their home work.  The write uses the word cheat. That says it all.  People like myself who battled morbid obesity for 40 years are not cheating by accepting medical help for a condition we could not control on our own.  Please seek medical help if you need it. There are over one million weight loss surgery patients who are out in the world who can attest to the FACT that WLS gives you an 85% chance of staying at a healthy weight for the rest of your life. To the Writer, we will never agree but you must consider the lives we will loose because the reader felt shamed out of having medical treatment. That blood is on your hands.

Rob Portinga
Rob Portinga

Ily, thanks again for joining us in our conversation the other night. As your editor pointed out, this was the true beginning of an open conversation he said was lacking.

As for the quote of mine, I would add this sentence from the following paragraph is equally, if not more important to bear in mind "And while I am sure I will continue to have occasional doubts for a long time to come… I also know I made the best decision for me at the time."

Also, please, don't anyone mistake my frustration for hurt feelings... my frustration over dealing with not just the stigma of the obese being "lazy" and such, but also the stigma further heaped on by my choice to use surgery to help not be obese.

And I would also like to publicly add something I mentioned on the radio portion the other night... people who leave the scathing comments you mentioned, those that choose to call names, throw out insults, etc, do none of us any favors.

BTW, you might be amused at this aggregate site that seems to have grabbed your article here and run it through a very bad set of translators, possibly in order to try and pass it off on their site as original material... http://weightpro.info/?p=2836

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

Wow. When I first read your comment, my immediate thought was, "you are exactly what is wrong with this country." Then I saw your video. To think that of all the older and more experienced people who have posted comments on here or who I have spoken with, you came the closest to changing my opinion. 

Lisa Kasen
Lisa Kasen

You did a great job, on your video. I wish you continued good health on your journey. You possessed wisdom, I dont mean to be condescending, that amazed me given your age. You really spoke intelligently and eloquently. I have a lot of trouble writing because of the health issues I have. I admire you, and other people's ability to articulate so beautifully and concisely. I am not discounting, what I am saying on this matter, I just wish I had the ability to do it as well as you guys... Great Job, Danielle... :)

Lisa Kasen
Lisa Kasen

Berri, You didn't deserve your complications, just like I didn't deserve mine. They happen in the community. Sometimes its a matter of bad luck, bad choices on the part of the patient, combination there of, or a bad surgeon. I've seen people who though who were non compliant not have any issues, and I have seen people who have had the best medical care be compliant every possible way be sick from day one. I've seen people have incredible success and be in better health with the surgery, that's why I defend people's right to have it. I also have seen people harmed by it, so I caution people, but I don't judge them for having the surgery or not having the surgery. Where I disagree with peers who are wls advocates, is the fact that I don't believe it's the best choice for everyone, I just don't think blogs like hers are helpful at all. She isn't concerned about potential complications, she is just closed minded in the fact that some people do exhaust every possibly resource to lose weight, and electing to have wls was the best choice for them. I have made the same analogy privately about abortion, which I am pro-choice but wouldn't personally if I had an abortion had a problem become anti-abortion and start blowing up abortion clinics. I don't think because I had major problems.     I just think this was a blog to create unnecessary drama but it's at the expense potentially of people's health. That's why I am not going to idly let someone make ignorant bigoted blanket statements like Ily  has and not say anything. I am supportive of the resources and my wls peeps who are wls positive. I am a bariatric tv fan, and I admire Toni, Lynnda, Taunia and Rob, as well as Beth who I think is amazing.I also saw Danielle's video on BTV and she did an amazing job, and showed maturity beyond her years of what she had to say about this. I put up with a lot of flack being a fat acceptance activist who is supportive of the wls community because I feel its the right thing to do from both sides, it takes brave peeps to be associated with me, as I am not well loved, needless to say in either community, lol. I hate the infighting that happens in the weight loss community whether its in the wls community or its people dissing people's methods to lose weight. I also though hate the prejudice against people of weight, and the misconceptions about those who choose not to diet but approach life with Health at Every Size(tm) approach, which a lot of people of size elect to do.         I don't want to infringe on you, feel free if you like to contact me, my name on here is my name on Facebook. Best of luck to you, I saw your website, I couldn't tell though at this point where you are as far as feeling good is concerned.. Hugs, Lisa :)

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

I'm sorry, Taunia, but I really can't say this any other way. No matter how difficult it is for most people, the truth is that people can and do lose and maintain weight without surgery. That is a fact. And as long as that continues to be a fact, my opinion will remain unchanged. 

And yes, the same way that I know people who have gotten WLS, I also know people who have battled with and won their battles with weight on their own. My mother-in-law lost 70 pounds through diet and exercise and has kept it off seven years and counting. And a good friend lost 85 pounds and has kept it off for six years so far. They are my inspiration and motivation, because no matter that they struggled, yo-yoed, and went through countless diets, they tried, and tried, and tried, until they had the fortitude to stick with it until they were successful. And yes, I think that is better than doing it an easier or faster way. You say it is faster, but not easier. If it wasn't easier for you to lose weight with the surgery, then why did you put yourself through it? Didn't the surgery make it easier for you  to lose the weight than if you had simply stuck to diet and exercise? Didn't the surgery make it easier for you to control your portion size?

My opinion is not completely void of factual information -- there are tons of people who lose and maintain weight loss without surgery. That is a fact. And that one fact refutes any other statistic, percentage, or "fact," that you want to throw at me. People do it all the time -- it can be done. There is no counter argument to that. 

With all due respect,

Ily

Macmadame
Macmadame

Of course you are entitled to your opinion. But that doesn't make a reasonable one that is well-though out and logical. It's also not backed up by the weight of scientific evidence or supported by the many medical organizations that classify obesity as a disease (and not a moral failing).

As long you put out ignorance and misinformation, I'm going to counter it. I realize you are going to dig in your heals and insist that you are right and I am wrong (while offering no actual counter-arguments to mine) but hopefully there are people out there who are actually open to being educated about the causes of obesity who will read what I wrote and start to understand that society has brainwashed us into framing obesity as a moral issue when it's actually a disease.

It's only when we look at a problem through the eyes of data and science and not emotion that we can truly tackle it. Screaming about willpower and laziness just clouds the issue.

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

It can still be done. And if a large group of people can do it, it is possible. I never said it was easy. And as I said on BariatricTV -- I don't have a problem with people receiving help -- in fact I advocate therapy, group counseling, Overeaters Anonymous, and so on --because I believe that obesity is a psychological disease more than anything else. I just don't advocate a surgical procedure to resolve something that can be resolved naturally and/or with therapy. 

You're entitled to your opinion, Toni and I am entitled to mine. 

Linda Eaves
Linda Eaves

"....stop making fat a moral issue."Well said. So many absolutes & generalizations they make me dizzy. What you do with your obesity, your body is ultimately, your business. http://lindaeaves.com

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

Lisa, it is still as of today a free country and as an American citizen I am still protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In other words, I will not be censored. I have just as much right to my beliefs as you do to yours.

Marie Ford Cicogni
Marie Ford Cicogni

I kinda see WLS as a way of cheating death rather than cheating in the game of life ... 35% of deaths in America are currently obesity-related ... I guess it's not ok to cheat death either ...

Rob Portinga
Rob Portinga

I agree Lynnda... though I've heard it more along the lines of "you are entitled to your opinion, but you're still wrong." ;>

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

Thanks, McNee (if I may call you McNee?)!

I appreciate your candor and you don't have to apologize to anyone for having the occasional doubts or for having your surgery. As you stated, "I also know I made the best decision for me at the time." I respect your decision; it is your body and your life. 

To give a quick example, this is something I thought of after the show: I do not believe in abortion, but I support people having the choice to have one. I have friends who have had abortions and I do not judge them or treat them poorly. If they ask me or it comes up in conversation (both of which have happened), I tell them the truth, that I believe it is wrong but I support their freedom to choose. We're all entitled to our opinions - and as Lynnda states in a comment further down on this thread, "Their opinions/viewpoints might not match my own but that doesn't mean that they are wrong because I am right." :)

I really enjoyed being on the show Monday night. Facing a firing squad always gets the adrenaline pumping!

Danielle
Danielle

Thank you lisa, and no worries I didn't think you were being condescending at all, I've been told many times I'm very mature for my age. I take what you said as a compliment. 

Antonia
Antonia

2% of People with 100 pounds or more to lose can keep it off for two years.After two more years those 2% who had kept it off do not exist. Please research a topic if you want to throw grenades into a community of people effected by the topic you know NOTHING about. People who deal with morbid obesity are used to being abused. Congratulations you just proved your self average. 

meltingmama
meltingmama

"Research has shown 95% of those who lose weight eventually gain it back within three years. Beyond 3 years that failure rate is even worse. In reality, almost no one loses significant weight and keeps it off. The FDA has declared that not one single company in the entire weight loss industry can show a record of long-term success."It's huge money.  

Marie Hughes
Marie Hughes

"If it wasn't easier for you to lose weight with the surgery, then why did you put yourself through it?"

I had weight loss surgery to KEEP MY WEIGHT OFF. I have proved (over and over) that I have the willpower and discipline to lose weight. I even have the willpower and discipline to keep it off for more than 5 years as once it took me 8 years to gain it all back. But gain it back I did. I gained it back because I'm not crazy and I couldn't stand being ravenously hungry for most of my waking hours for years and years. I am crazy (and stubborn) enough to put up with being ravenously hungry every day for years but at some point sanity would prevail and I would eat.Maybe I could have just kept trying and *maybe* one of these times I wouldn't have gained it back. But more likely, I'd run out of time and be dead. I finally realized that losing weight and gaining it back (and more) over and over again hoping that eventually this time would be different is not something to be admired. It's DUMB. It's really hard on your body and it just makes you fatter and fatter. Eventually you will die an early death due to yo-yo dieting and being obese. (In some cases, it's actually better NOT to lose weight from a health perspective than to keep losing it and gaining it back.)

I chose health and to stop the crazy cycle of dieting and gaining it back that was killing me. I argue against the "I know someone who was finally successful so no one should chose surgery" type of arguments so that other people can stop the insanity sooner rather than later before they damage their bodies so badly that even losing weight isn't enough to restore them to full health.

What you don't seem to get is that losing weight without surgery is not morally superior to losing it with surgery. It's particularly not morally superior when you lose weight in an unhealthy way. The most important thing is not to be thin, but to be healthy. Eating 500 calories a day and exercising 2 hours a day is not healthy and should never be pushed as the "better" way to lose weight.

Diva Taunia
Diva Taunia

"With all due respect"   -  I think that's the part of my point you're missing.

"I'm sorry, Taunia, but I really can't say this any other way. No matter how difficult it is for most people, the truth is that people can and do lose and maintain weight without surgery."

Well, it looks like you just DID say it in another way.  One that was far less inflammatory than this:

"WLS is something that people resort to when they cannot lose weight and keep it off on their own, because they lack the will and determination to do so."

and

"You're the type of person who enables drug addicts and criminals." and  "...self-indulgent, overweight, spineless jellyfish who take the easy way out."

I'm not disputing the fact that people CAN and DO lose weight through diet and exercise.  No one is disputing that fact. I'm not quite sure why you keep insisting that your stance of  diet and excercise vs.  weight loss surgery are mutually exclusive?   Both are statistically and medically proven treatments for obesity. Both could potentially be considerations for people who struggle with morbid obesity.

What I take issue is the language of your delivery.  I have no issues with you personally not considering weight loss surgery as an option for yourself (or perhaps a close loved one, etc).  What I take exception with is your condemnation of an entire community of people whose lives have been dramatically improved by this surgery.

"My opinion is not completely void of factual information..."  

Your opinion may not be, but your writing is.

If you so fervently believe in the benefits a healthy diet and exercise, I applaud that (and completely agree with you as a foundation for nutritional benefit).  I wholeheartedly support you in your mission to educate people about positive healthy non-invasive eating and diet options.  However, as I've mentioned before, your message of that information will likely continue to be lost in the delivery through your words.   People are angry and nasty because of these throw-away blanket statements that while may drive sensationlism traffic to your website, are incredibly hateful in tone.

What I can't figure out is if you just don't realize that these statements are hateful/hurtful - OR - if you know and just continue to write in that style to drive traffic.   Either way, I don't think you're doing yourself a service.  Once all the comments stop and the traffic dies down, you're left only with this article that received more attention and negative response than all your other posts combined.   

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

I have given countless counter arguments. So, I don't know if you're not reading my column or you didn't tune in to the show on BariatricTV. This is my basic argument: There are people who lose weight and keep it off without weight loss surgery through will and determination by STICKING to a healthy lifestyle, proving that it CAN be done naturally and without surgery or medication. 

Lisa Kasen
Lisa Kasen

Ily, Just like you are protected against the first amendment, so am I , and so are others who do not like what you have to say and how you have to say it. Unfortunately your opinions can have serious phyiscal consequences on other people health. If you would have just left an opinion that people shouldn't have weight loss surgery, that I could let it ride, except its something someone should decide for themselves. It wasn't the right decision for me, that doesn't mean it isn't the right decision for others. For you to call people spineless jelly fish, and mock people who either elect to surgically assist them in their fight against obesity, or for others who choose not to have wls, as them either taking the easy way out, or being lazy slobs because they are fat, is bigoted and dangerous. I have friends who are morbidly obese who have no complications due to their weight that doesn't mean they don't lead a healthly lifestyle. You can't tell by looking at someone based upon their size alone what their health is or what they have done to be healthy or unhealthy.       You still, I noticed never answered the question, about weight as it applies ot you. And I have learned because I am a fat acceptance advocate who is supportive of the wls community to pick and choose my battles carefully. I am never going to win a battle with someone who is full of prejudice, misconception and or hate. So I am not going to feed into this thread any longer other then to say instead of worrying about others health problems and the manner they go about to correct them, you should concentrate on your own issues. Some people will die if they do not have surgery, some people will become disabled like I did, but I still allow with acceptance and support for people to choose what they feel is in their own best health. Even if that means they choose to have any of the weight loss surgeries. I know hundreds of people personally and I have researched thousands of stories, its not like you,where you know just a few people who've had wls.              And also, because you went on public record about kicking an addiction cold turkery. Just like eating 500 calories a day and exercising 2 hours is VERY unhealthy, someone who has a serious drug problem, should get appropriate professional treatment. Quitting drugs abuptly without medical supervision has killed people.So while you are free to blog, it's your constituitional right, its mine and other people's right not to like what you say . I hope your editor gives some great thought on while it is a free country, you are a really a dangerous person spewing the crap you do and your thoughts being put into words like they have been can have serious repercussions for someone who would actually take you seriously as far as advice is concerned.I am no raging success with anything, I hope when I share certain things, its from a standpoint of learn from my mistakes. Instead of worrying about what others do or don't do regarding their health and judging them, you might want to work a little harder on your own....  

Lynnda Savoy Shepherd
Lynnda Savoy Shepherd

Okay for who?  I think its just fine to 'cheat' in the game of life and to 'cheat' death if it makes our lives better..  If that makes me a "cheater" then giddyup!  I'll own it.  :-)

Lynnda Savoy Shepherd
Lynnda Savoy Shepherd

I don't think that she is wrong, though.. Her opinion is right for her.  I disagree with it - for me..  She feels that my opinion of WLS being another tool in the arsenal of fighting obesity - is wrong - for her.  (and yes.. I know you were being snarky ) :-)

We won't agree.. that's okay..  as long as we treat each other with respect and don't resort to name calling.

I once thought WLS was a cheat as well.. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when.. I don't anymore.  Could be we will be hearing from Ily again several years from now with a change of heart.. maybe not..  does it really matter?

You made your decision.. I made mine.. she makes hers..  It is what it is..

Marie Hughes
Marie Hughes

I can't reply directly to Ily for some reason... Ily, your comments to Beth reveal your complete and utter ignorance on the subject of weight loss and weight loss surgery.

You seemed obsessed with your idea that we have surgery to avoid the hard work of losing weight. You seem to have completely bought into the idea that being obese is a moral failing and that the only solutions that are morally acceptable are ones that involve suffering. I think that's ridiculous, quite frankly. 

Even if I had surgery to avoid the hard work of keeping weight off, who cares? Why does "hard" have to be "morally superior"? But, as others have said, surgery IS hard in its own ways. Also, I didn't really care if it was hard or easy. I only wanted it to work. WLS does work most of the time. Diet & exercise without surgery doesn't work most of the time. You do the math.For what other disease would people insist that you take the hard, difficult path that probably wouldn't work over a (potentially) easier way that almost always works? If a doctor routinely recommended the less effective path over a much more effective path when it came to cancer or heart disease -- no matter how easy or hard each path was -- he'd be sued for medical malpractice and rightly so.You keep bringing up addiction (even though most obese people are not addicted to food) so what about smoking? Would you berate a smoker for quitting smoking using an aide like Chantix or the Patch and not doing it the "hard" way of going cold turkey or would you congratulate them for getting the smoking monkey off their back and improving their health? I would hope you would congratulate them and not think they were somehow lessor because they used a tool that has been shown to be more effective.

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

It is huge money; I agree with you completely. If you don't mind my asking, where did you get that statistic (95%) from? 

And as I have already repeated countless times, no one said keeping it off is easy. Lots of people don't. But they don't because they let their food addictions control them instead of the other way around.

I wonder if you would make the same argument for drug addicts, who also have a high recidivism rate? Is it okay to do drugs because it is so hard to quit them permanently? Or would you expect a drug addict to make his/her choices one day at a time? Because that option is available to overweight people too. They can fight their food addictions one day at a time for the rest of their lives. 

You know what I find really sad? That a lot of the people posting comments state these statistics reflecting the difficulty (and implied impossibility) of losing and keeping weight off on their own, as if WLS is the only option. You are making it seem as if WLS is the only way to keep weight off permanently, making people out there less apt to try and stick to a healthy lifestyle on their own and just give up and get WLS. I shudder for future generations. 

Assuming your statistic is right, how about those five percent that do lose and keep the weight off? Are they privy to some secret that none of us are privy to? Do they have some kind of magical, mystical power? No. They do not. They decided that enough was enough and permanently changed their lives without the aid of medication or surgical intervention. 

If you had to get surgery to control your eating because you couldn't do it on your own, where is the harm in admitting that? I don't understand why many of you just can't admit that it was too hard for you to permanently change your lifestyle and that is why you ultimately chose to have surgery. 

Lynnda Savoy Shepherd
Lynnda Savoy Shepherd

I agree.. there are plenty of people who lose weight and keep it off without surgery.. I know folks like this.. but for others it is not simply psychological.. Ghrelin is a documented hunger hormone that runs 'amok' in people who are morbidly obese.   I know that I was never full..  I had counseling.. I had psychotherapy.. there was no psychological reason for me to still be fat.. but I was..  And that is where the medical diagnosis came in. 

Once I actually had the surgery - even when I was still 250lbs.. the ghrelin in my body was at normal levels for the first time that I could remember.  I got full.  I wasn't hungry all the time.  It worked for me. 

Surgery may not be the answer for everyone..  but it the only answer for many of us. 

That's all I was trying to say.  

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

Many people who are overweight are overweight because they overeat -- meaning they are not eating only when they are hungry, but they are eating even when their bodies are not asking them for food. Others are overweight because they eat when they are hungry, but they eat extremely high calorie foods. 

People eat too much because they are "psychologically hungry." If they were to get psychological treatment for that or try to resolve it on their own by using CBT or other methods, they can lose weight and reset their bodies' metabolism. It is this "emotional hunger" that prevents people from keeping the weight off permanently. By fighting the urge of emotional eating, they can keep the weight off. The same way that a drug addict self-medicates by using drugs, overweight people self-medicate with food. 

Again, you can provide me with all the "information" that is provided to you by people who benefit financially from WLS, or those who are just misguided and have succumbed to the "by any means necessary" philosophy. There is one simple fact that cannot be refuted. There are people who lose weight and keep it off without surgery or medication. And if they can do it so can others. It is not impossible, even though some people would like us to believe that it is.

Lynnda Savoy Shepherd
Lynnda Savoy Shepherd

That is where gherlin comes into play, Ily.. it is broken in the morbidly obese.. it is produced in way bigger quantities than for someone who has never been obese.  In a person who has no weight issues - the ghrelin hormone will shut off once the person has eaten a normal amount of food.  In a MO person - the hormone doesn't shut off.  It drives a person to keep eating past the point a normal person would be satiated.  WLS fixes this problem and allows the 'hunger hormone" to chill which, in turn, allows us to stop overeating and keep our weight off.

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

If you were down to your target weight and eating the proper amount of calories for your height/weight/frame, you wouldn't have been "ravenously hungry." If you were, then maybe you had a medical issue that was overlooked by the doctors who approved your WLS.

Marie Hughes
Marie Hughes

No, you haven't given countless arguments. You've given one argument... I did it!

Except... if you want to get technical about it, you haven't actually done it. You are in the middle of *maybe* doing it. But you haven't lost 100% of your excess weight and kept off at least 50% of it for 5 years. (The current definition of success in the scientific community.) And, even if you do eventually do that, you will still be one of an incredibly small minority of people who are capable of doing that with diet & exercise alone.

Yet, you keep insisting that "it can be done!" and when challenged on it, your response is "I'm entitled to my opinion!" and "It's a free country" and "I have a First Amendment right to my opinion!' Which are all just meaningless sound-bites and not useful counter-arguments.

We know that obese people do not feel a sense of satiety after eating that is as strong as the non-obese. We know that obese people have more ghrelin and less leptin than the non-obese. We know that someone who use to be 200 pounds and is now 130 pounds only burns as many calories a day as someone who is 120 pounds and has never dieted.

We have known since as early as WWII that our bodies have a set point, a weight they think is the right weight for us and we can only vary from that setpoint by about 30 pounds and/or 10% of body weight before the body starts to fight back and bring it back to the weight it thinks we should be.

Weight loss surgery reduces ghrelin, increase leptin and can improve metabolism. After weight loss surgery, our brains respond to food more like someone who never had a weight problems. It resets our setpoint so that our bodies fight to be a much lower weight than they fought to be before WLS.

These are all reasons why WLS is a viable treatment for the disease of obesity and why diet & exercise alone rarely works in the long run.

Yes, you are entitled to your opinion that obesity is largely psychological. But it is not an opinion that is scientifically sound. There is nothing psychological about ghrlein and leptin and the satiety centers of our brain. Obesity is a disease state according to many medical organizations including the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

The behavioral model of obesity is flawed and has not been helpful in treating this disease.

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