We’ve all seen the articles, the news stories “She lost over xxx-lbs! No surgery! No gimmicks!”
Well, fuck you.
Weight Loss Surgery is not a gimmick, it is not the “easy way” out, it isn’t “cheating.” By the way, if it was a “magic fix” then post-op regain would never happen! I am sick and tired of the stigma that people like me (who had any kind of WLS) have to go through all the time.
I have heard all of the following statements at one time or another since having surgery:
“Have you seen The Biggest Loser? Those people lose hundreds of pounds the ‘old fashioned’ way.” (Yeah, the old fashioned way where you are stuck at a ranch and workout 8 hours a day and are barely allowed to eat or drink water before getting on a scale, ok.)
“I think you could have done it by yourself if you just exercised and ate right.” (Oh, my God! Exercise and Eating Right? Why didn’t you SAY SO? If I would have known it was so easy I would have TRIED THAT before REMOVING PART OF MY SMALL INTESTINE! You have blown my mind!)
“But people who get that surgery have to be like, really super duper fat right? You must have been really, really fat.” (Yeah. Thanks?)
“My cousin had a neighbor who had his stomach stapled and a staple came off and he died.” (OK???)
“You don’t look like you had surgery. Aren’t you supposed to get like, skinny?”(No shit. Someone said to me to my face. At my old job.)
“Well, you must be happy that you could eat anything and just turn skinny.” (LOL. See above.)
“Can you even eat?? I heard you can’t eat. OMG, what do you eat??” (Food.)
“You know that people can gain all their weight back and more? Like that singer lady?” (Sigh. Yes, Mom. I am aware of Carnie Wilson.)
“Yeah but I rather lose weight on my own, you know? Like, work for it instead of just cheating.” (Yep. To my face.)
So, let me just say again, for the record: THIS SHIT IS NOT EASY!
My weightloss or my story isn’t any LESS than yours because I had surgery. I still wake up six times a day and work my ASS off to keep losing weight. I fight cravings. I struggle to make the right food choices. I log my calories. I work just as hard as anyone to get in shape and I think some WLS patients work even harder because they feel people constantly looking at them and judging them. I feel it all the time. At family functions, at my old job after surgery: people watch you like a hawk. They watch what you eat, when you eat it, how much you’re eating and they feel free to make comments. Why? Because somehow they think that because you had WLS your body is something they can freely talk about. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with when we were fat (Basically the same things, think about it. Everyone is a doctor when talking to a fat person.) now we have to deal with more shit after we decided to do something about it.
Weight Loss Surgery isn’t a magic potion that will make you skinny and happy. It is a life-changing decision that is never come to lightly. And my weightloss matters as much as Whoever, who lost it the “old fashioned” way. Where is my story on ABC? My People Magazine cover? Did you know that 95% of people who diet and lose a significant amount of weight fail? Sorry I took three years to decide to increase my 5% chance of success. That doesn’t make me less than you, it just makes what I did different than what people usually do.
I think more WLS patients need to get their positive stories out there and fight this ridiculous bias against us. We are constantly bombarded with all these stories about how people lost weight “all natural, “without gimmicks” and it’s almost like they want us to feel shame.
Well, fuck that, I’m done feeling like a failure.
Having Gastric Bypass Surgery changed AND saved my life; I’d do it all over again.
I’m proud of my weightloss and you’ll never take that from me.