Thursday, August 05, 2010

Let's Do It The 'Easy' Way

Recently, my weight has been on my mind--a lot.  I am very near my highest-ever weight and I need to do something about dropping some poundage very, very soon.  So, within the next few weeks, I will probably be doing some sort of 'diet' or 'eating program.'  yippee.  If only there was an easier way...

A few years ago, our local hospital got a resident gastric bypass specialty physician.  And the number of people who went through this surgery just skyrocketed.  Personally, I now know of (at least) four people who have had this surgery.  And, unless it was medically necessary, I don't  know if I would have this done.  Frankly, I haven't seen much in the way of great results.

Two or three years ago, our next door neighbor began to look like 'death warmed over.'  Frankly, I was very concerned because I thought he was battling cancer--and losing the fight.  I came to find out that he was losing weight because of gastric bypass surgery.  Several months later, he had more surgery to remove the excess skin from his body.  Finally, he leveled out and began to look much better.  Today, he has gained back 1/4th to 1/2 of all the weight he had lost.

A year or so ago, I commented to The Youngest that our neighbor across the street was losing weight.  I said that he must be making his move to try for another elected office and then forgot about it all.  He never got to a point where I even dreamed he had surgery, but I was informed yesterday that he DID have it.  Since noticing his weight loss, he too, has gained back up to 1/2 of the weight he lost.

The Oldest knows an acquaintance of mine who had this same surgery.  After losing over half his body weight, he now has gained back MORE than what he lost.

Our niece-in-law also had surgery.  She lost quite a bit of weight, but never got that terrible look that so many get.  At least, not that I know of--we don't see her or her husband that often.  I'm not sure whether she has kept her weight off, but she seemed to have leveled off before losing everything she needed to.  I do remember her telling me that she was not able to eat sugar or fatty foods without getting VERY physically sick every time.  She had to watch what she ate very carefully.

From everything I have read or been told, after having gastric bypass surgery, you have to be very careful about what and how much you eat.  You have to exercise and change your eating habits from what they had been.  You have to completely change the way you think about food and how you approach eating.  You have to change your mindset.  So, where does this differ from going on a 'diet' and exercise program?  Other than the rate of weight loss, I see no difference.  And, then you have the possible side-effects from the surgery, so why go through with it?  I will never say never--we don't know what direction any of our lives will take--but I don't think I would willingly go through with this myself.  It is a bit of a scary thought.


Janet said...

A couple of years ago, I lost nearly 30 lbs. on a low-carb diet, but I missed things like bread and pasta, so I fell off the wagon, and gained back all I'd lost plus more. A friend told me that's common when you've been on a low/no carb diet. If I were going to try it again, I'd go with South Beach since it allows more carbs than Atkins.

I really think that the key is to exercise more, since I never had a problem with my weight until I started spending most of my time on my butt at the computer. I hate exercise for exercise's sake, I prefer to do things like walk, clean, etc. rather than pedaling my stationary bike. This hot weather isn't helping, either since I don't want to do anything.

I've seen enough TLC and Discovery Channel shows to know that if you have a gastric bypass, it's very important to follow the instructions, and if you're just looking for a quick fix and aren't determined to change your eating habits, it can backfire. I'm surprised you personally know so many people who've had the bypass. I don't know a single person who had one!

cmk said...

I, too, suffer from the 'gained back all plus more' diet merry-go-round. I try not to use this as an excuse, but part of my weight problems--other than genetics--DO have legitimate reasons: early menopause, thyroid problems, quit smoking, psoriasis, etc. (They have now found out that the majority of people with psoriasis also have weight issues--they don't know why.) I do know that my body only seems to respond to low-carb diets these days. I found this out the last time I was on Weight Watchers: I actually gained a couple of pounds after a few weeks of losing! My body just needs much, much less carbs than I'm willing to admit.

I don't know why the gastric bypass hasn't worked for the people I know. I'm just assuming that they fall back to old habits and never recover.

I do believe the reason why so many people here have had the surgery is because the hospital pushed it so much when they brought in the specialist. I'm sure they put out a whole lot of money to renovate parts of the hospital to accommodate him and all, so they have to make the money back. My next door neighbor said that the first appointment she had after the specialist came to town, her dr suggested the possibility of having the surgery. (She is shorter than I am and weighs more--I'm sure she is a legitimate candidate.) He said, with the new guy in town, they are offering it as an option for people. (She declined.) So, I guess it is kind of being pushed.

Ranger Tom said...

Every summer I put on the pounds because I'm a lot more sedentary than in the winter while I'm at work... I know I should get more active, but every year I just sit around reading books...

I've put on about 20 pounds this summer, but I know as soon as I get back to work in about a month I'll lose every ounce I gained over the summer...

I've known a few people who've had the surgery, and like you've said, they're all putting back on the weight they've lost.

It's a waste of money and I think it's dangerous.

cmk said...

"I've known a few people who've had the surgery, and like you've said, they're all putting back on the weight they've lost.

It's a waste of money and I think it's dangerous."

The Daughters and I have talked a lot about this--mainly because of all of the people we know who have done it--and while I will NEVER say never, there would have to be a very compelling reason for me to do it. (And I know it would be very easy to get a doctor to do the surgery on me--they are pushing it like crazy.) I still think the 'cons' are way too much compared to the 'pros.' Right now, I'm just waiting for the body to tell me 'it's time,' and then I will start getting down to the business of losing weight.