If you’re extremely overweight, it seems like no matter what you do you will have mean and ignorant people making unkind judgements about you. Some people think it’s okay to point, stare, and even snap pictures with phones of overweight people.
If that’s not bad enough, the same overweight person can lose weight and be accused of cheating. Cheating? Are you kidding me? Losing weight after having had weight loss surgery isn’t cheating. Is surgery to remove a malignant tumor cheating? Should the patient shrink the tumor by eating healthy and getting more exercise?
Big folks can’t win. Losing weight isn’t good enough to make them socially acceptable to the fatty-haters. Fatty-haters judge them unfavorably for how they lose weight. There is apparently a good and honorable way to lose weight – the old fashioned way through diet and exercise – and there is the cheat way – bariatric surgery.
Since when is surgery cheating? It involves anesthesia, a big incision, messing with internal organs, and dangerous complications during and after surgery.
After surgery there’s the healing process and typically it’s not without unpleasant side effects. It’s important to note that the patient still has to commit to monitoring food and increasing physical activity to successfully continue losing weight. Without taking action the weight lost from surgery is regained.
There are different procedures that bariatric surgeons perform to help patients lose weight. Some are less invasive. Some remove and rearrange your entire digestive system. None are cheating.
Don’t confuse bariatric surgery with cosmetic surgery. There is no comparison. Cosmetic surgery is elective surgery. Bariatric surgery is medically necessary to treat obesity. This blog isn’t to describe the types of weight loss surgery. It’s not my intention to influence anybody to have or not to have surgery.
I write it in hopes that it will change the perception some people have about the people who undergo weight loss surgery.
- They aren’t cheaters.
- They aren’t weak and/or lazy.
- They will work as hard as the people who diet and exercise to maintain the loss.
- They need support, not stupid comments and self-appointed diet police
Often after surgery patients don’t know where to go to get support they need with behavior modification. Clinics provide ongoing support through personal consultations and group support meetings. It’s highly recommended that patients participate in any and all programs their physicians offer. Some patients’ relationship with their bariatric physician ends with release from the hospital. That’s a mistake.
The challenges bariatric patients face are many ranging from establishing new eating and exercising habits to dealing with ignorant attitudes about weight loss surgery. A good support group is essential. They’re not all good; some are bad. If you don’t click with a group keep searching until you find the right one for you.
Online support groups are convenient but social sites may be troubled with trolls. Online bullying is a very real problem and overweight people, and those who have had weight loss surgery seem to be a favorite target.
If you are a bariatric patient or considering bariatric surgery, I wish you a lifetime of healthy, happy weight management free from ignorant fools who think weight loss surgery is cheating.