Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gastric Bypass Temptation

For the past seven years or so, I've volunteered for a local organization that helps seniors. Back in the earlier days of my volunteer work, there was a woman who worked there who topped over 400 pounds. She was a nice gal, but pretty scary to look at because she was nearly as wide as she was tall. She worked in a low-paying, entry-level job.

After a while, she ended up leaving to take a better job somewhere else, and I ran into her at a local grocery store. Funny, despite the fact that she was so large, she had to remind me who she was. I figured I would have remembered her, if for nothing else but her size, but I didn't. We exchanged pleasantries, and didn't see each other for a few years.

A couple of years ago, I was working my volunteer job, and this same woman re-introduced herself. She'd had gastric bypass surgery, lost an incredible amount of weight, and I didn't recognize her. She had been hired back in a managerial position, and was a different woman. She was vivacious, pretty, sexy, even. It was an unbelievable transformation.

I haven't seen her in at least six months because I had to suspend my volunteer work for a while. Yesterday, I went back. She was still thin, and after the work was done, I sat and talked with her about her surgery. She told me that she's lost an amazing 250 lbs, and she's kept it off. She says she's doing great, feels great and has an incredible amount of energy. She still wants to lose another 30 pounds, but her doctor is completely satisfied with where she is, and says she doesn't have to lose any more weight unless she wants it.


So I asked her the rather pointed question about sagging skin. She said she doesn't have much because she's exercised consistently. She's proud of her body, and doesn't see the need to have any corrective surgery.

Double Wow.

She said that the surgery was worth it, even though she had to have the bypass done twice because the first time she suffered complications and nearly died.

After seeing how much weight she's lost, it sure makes me wonder if having the surgery would be worth it. I don't like the idea of permanently altering my body, but when I see stories of people who have lost such huge amounts of weight with surgery, I sometimes feel tempted.

When I see stories of people who lose 70, 80 or even 100 pounds in 4-6 months, I feel just a little jealous. I know that I don't have the willpower to starve myself to the point of generating that kind of weight loss so quickly on my own.

It's scary. It's tempting.


Lady T said...

it is tempting....but scary. i've seen the shows on the discovery channels and as dramatic as the results are....the pain, suffering and all that stuff scares me....scares me enough to believe i can do it another'll take longer (a lot longer)...but i believe i can do it........but for those who have struggled sooo hard and still can't seem to get it off, i think its phenominal.....

i'm a punk, so "diet" and excercise will have to do it for its cheaper, lol.

BeccaGirl said...

I have known 2 close friends (among others) who have had this surgery. Yes, they lost lots of weight quickly. My one close friend just had it done like a month and a half ago. Most people who have it done, go through alot of emotional issues. Most people gain back like 25% or more of their lost weight. You go from being an unhealthy over eater, to an unhealthy under eater. You will spend the rest of your life struggling to keep your hair and stay nourished. The surgery basically causes your body to become permanently malnourished. If your goal is rapid weightloss with unknown health risks, then it might be a good consideration. Don't get me wrong, in some cases, it is the best choice! I am not saying that at all. I think today it is getting so popular that people rush into it without thinking. For the women I know who have kids who have had the surgery (or just didn't care to) and didn't have the time or desire to 'work out', they are very flabby and yes, require sometimes multiple surgeries to fix that. Scar city. Not to mention the costs that insurance companies DO NOT cover. Acutally, all that aside, for the few people I know who have had it, they become very preoccupied by it. What they can eat, what they can't eat, how often, how much, counting caleries, counting protien, counting inches, pounds and sizes. It all becomes their entire life, and for someone who does not have the desire for surgery, it does quickly become boring. EVERY conversation is talking about some aspect of it. Even now, with some other people I know, that's all they talk about like 4 and 5 years down the road. It's their entire life. My friend told me, "I don't get to eat much, so when I do, I want it to be good." So her entire life is more surrounded by 'dieting' now more than ever.
Something to consider.
It's not only about the weight loss. Losing weight the healthy way, slow, with good diet and healthy excercise is hard. But it's much more gratifying than spending the rest of your life trying to convice everyone around you it was for the best. Also, it does bother me when they talk about how many pounds they've lost, because I don't feel like they 'earned' the reward of bragging. They simply survived being malnourished. Not to mention, the surgery takes 5 years off your life expectancy, do to the perpetual state of malnourishment. Get all the facts before deciding.
I don't mean to preach, but it seems like I've typed an aweful lot here! LOL