Good Monday morning! I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. I spent a fair portion of my weekend fighting a cold (I think I'm over the worst of it - Thank God) and sitting on the side of a soccer field. My oldest daughter (age 9) plays soccer. She is big for her age and is a great defensive player. Nothing and no one gets by her! I'm proud of how hard she works at it and it is cool to see her work as a part of a team.
But I digress because soccer is NOT why I am banging my head against a wall. My frustration stems from watching someone I know struggle with obesity. A woman I went to college with is quite obese, as is her fiance. I am facebook friends with both of them and the fiance is constantly posting about how fed up he is with being overweight. He has also posted that he weighs over 400 lbs. (181 kg.). They have two young children and he has been in and out of the hospital this year with various obesity-related issues. He has been unable to find a job and they are also struggling with poverty. I have never before said anything to either of them about WLS, but this weekend, for some reason, I posted. Here is the stream (I am posting in several colors to make it clear when the dialogue changes from person to person):
(Original status update) If you're overweight and want to fix that, what would help you the most? Support group? Partners? Excercise programs?
Peter : Support group.
Caelyn: getting off the computer, exercise, eatting healthy, sand quitting smoking
Amanda Wooldridge (ME!): I truly believe surgery is the only option for the severely obese. The vast majority of diets fail - somewhere in the neighborhood of 97% fail,, leaving only 3% who manage to lose weight and keep it off more than one year.
Anna: it did not take overnight to get ourselves obese. surgery is a tool. and you need to be mind set. do what works best for you. it will take time. small steps for best progress. im here if you need to talk i know how hard and frusterating it is.
Brandy: I have had several doctors tell me weight watchers is the very best thing and alli....so either of those. they are both spendy but worth it. I need to do something..... ugggggg and absolutely exercise.....that one is a must .
Anna: i was given a bunch of weight watcher stuff ie the point program. started today not hungry. want me copy it and send to you
Brandy: it really does work!! I tried it for a while but then got too busy to go to the meetings and stuff.
Dawn: just deciding to take one more step than I took the day before & portion control (why does food have to taste so good?).
Heather: NO on the surgery! A support group, exercise, lowering your calories. I am working with a client right now that is very heavy, and he has had no luck til now. We have lowered his calorie intake by 800 calories, he is doing 45 minutes of wal...king four times a week, and doing 30 minutes of weights twice a week. He has lost almost 30lbs. Now we are will lower the calories he eats another 200 for a total of 1000 calories less then he was eating. Surgery is not a permanent fix. You need to fix what is broken. You need to find out how come you have gotten to where you have, you need to work on that. Usually it is emotional and not an easy fix. Then you make the mental choice to change your eating habbits, how much you eat, what you eat, and make it a goal to get in exercise at least to start 30 minutes four to five days a week. Any kind of muscle building on top of that, pushups against the wall, lifting of gallons of water, whatever you have around the house. Then go from there.See More
Heather: If you need help Call me when you feel weak, want to give in, or need a push, I am here to help. (End of stream)
I'm just shaking my head here. I don't know how any responsible person could tell someone who is so significantly obese with numerous co-morbidities NOT to have WLS. This guy probably won't make it to 50. He has two kids under the age of 4 who will not have a father if he doesn't get a handle on this problem. There are several things that really strike me about this facebook conversation. One is that a few people suggest Weight Watchers, a program I have done numerous times (I'm actually a lifetime member). I think WW is a good program and it offers great tools for losing weight, but it isn't the answer for most people. Even the people who were recommending it in that facebook stream were saying they were too busy to do it or that they too were overweight and not doing anything about it. Another person was recommending Alli and saying their doctor recommended it, but I'm pretty sure that drug is on the way out (if it hasn't already been recalled) due to numerous problems.
UGH! I wish I hadn't said ANYTHING. Now I'm just pissed off! So here is what I posted in response to the last comments:
I have a lot of strong opinions on this subject as someone who used to be obese and no longer is. I've also done WW and many other diets over the years. I have come to realize that diets are a huge part of the problem. The real issue is that we are eating when we aren't hungry and we aren't stopping when we've had enough. Diets actually magnify this problem because they tell us what to eat and when to eat and when to stop eating, but they don't teach us to re-gain our innate sense of hunger and satiety. Every one of us is born knowing when we are hungry and when we are full, but those of us who are or have been obese lose this sense. We eat because we are stressed or tired or bored or angry or WHATEVER. We start eating and we don't stop when we are full.
Weight loss surgery is a tool, but it is also the ONLY tool that can offer a greater than 50% chance of beating obesity. Every diet can offer only a very slight chance of success. As I said previously 97% of diets fail and if you just read the responses to this status update, you can see several examples of this phenomenon. We assume diets fail because we are failures, but I challenge this assumption. I believe the real problem is as I stated previously.
If you have co morbidities and a BMI greater than 40, weight loss surgery is your best chance of conquering this problem. Statistically it is the ONLY valid option.
Okay, I'm going to put away my soap box now. Why, oh why, can't people just do what I say? Wouldn't life be so much better then?