How Far Are You Willing to Go?

I believe that healthy eating and exercise will take you as far as you want to go when it comes to losing weight

Not everyone feels the same way that I do. That’s OK…the world doesn’t need to see things my way, and I’m certainly not infallible when it comes to opinions. But it bothers me when people are willing to avoid giving healthy diet and exercise a chance and jump straight into something as drastic as gastric bypass surgery as their first option to lose weight.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree that there comes a time when gastric bypass becomes appropriate…for the last option, not the first. But some people are willing to go to great lengths to lose weight.

They’re even willing to risk permanent nerve damage in order to take the gastric bypass option for weight loss.

Apparently getting the bypass done can cause nerve damage, not from the surgery itself but FROM DEFICIENCIES OF NUTRIENTS. And these aren’t just some minor inconveniences either, boys and girls.

Some patients hallucinate and LOSE THE ABILITY TO WALK. They develop trouble with falling, trouble with their gait, become severely spastic, or need to use wheelchairs. It messes with their spinal cords.

And you can begin to experience these problems YEARS after the surgery.

Listen, if you think that a gastric bypass may be appropriate for you, by all means talk to your doctor about it. It’s a serious decision that’s best made by you and your medical professional together.

But…if you haven’t tried a sensible eating plan and some mild exercise, PLEASE consider trying this first. A lot of people…myself included…will tell you that they were able to dramatically change their life for the better by staring out with as little as 5 or 10 minutes of walking a day.

If you’re willing to do damn near anything to lose weight, at least try something that won’t damage your spinal cord.


12 Responses to “How Far Are You Willing to Go?”

  1. Rick Says:

    I haven’t seen the statistics, but I would have to believe that women make up the vast majority of bypass surgeries. Reason? Men just lose more weight and much more quickly than women. The few women that I know who have undergone surgery have had marvelous success with it. However, those women were overweight for years and years, and ended up not being able to lose any weight on standard weight loss plans. That’s gotta be discouraging. But like you said…it’s a last choice, not a first.

  2. girlsdropbombs Says:

    I know one person who has had the bariatric bypass, and she had great results. But I’ve been watching big medicine on TLC and I’m astonished at the number of YOUNG people who are being given the surgery. I just don’t understand why the 17 year old who went for it wasn’t given new eating habits, shown how to live healthy or something. INstead they cut her stomach out. I’ll leave the knife behind and go straight for the heavy iron and treadmill, thank you!

  3. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hello, GDB — you’re astonished by the same thing that I am; the number of people who will get cut before they ever try diet and exercise. And when the surgery is over, they still don’t know how to eat or exercise.

    RICK — I don’t know what the statistics show, but I have to agree that it appears to be easier for men to lose weight that women. I read somewhere that this is because womens bodies fight harder to hold on to the fat to protect the reproductive organs. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it certainly makes sense.

    Thanks to both for coming by.



  4. Chicken Girl Says:

    How common is it for surgeons to do WLS without requiring the patient try diet and exercise first? I was under the impression that generally, one of the requirements to get WLS is to have been on an unsuccessful diet program for a year.

  5. Chicken Girl Says:

    Me again. I was thinking about it… if there really are doctors performing WLS without even discussing healthy eating habits, why aren’t they getting sued for malpractice and losing their licenses left and right? Because WLS isn’t just some magical cure that automatically makes you drop your weight and live happily ever after — they reduce the patient’s stomach to about 3oz. WLS patients absolutely have to eat healthy because if they don’t choose their 3oz very carefully, they are in very real danger of becoming malnourished. So if healthy eating isn’t even an option to begin with for these people, they’ll just take the knife plskthx… what exactly do they think is going to happen post-surgery? They’re in for a pretty nasty surprise if they think they can get surgery to avoid having to change their eating habits at all.

    This is why I’m having a hard time believing that this scenario actually happens with any frequency.

  6. loseweightwithme Says:

    Chicken Girl —

    “Bariatric Surgery Statistics

    According to current statistical surveys, United States obesity rates continue to maintain very high levels, with 11-15 million Americans estimated to be morbidly obese. According to a March report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity may become the leading cause of mortality in the United States by 2005, with a death toll of 500,000 per year. As a result, statistics on bariatric weight reduction operations like gastric banding, gastric bypass and variants of these stomach surgeries show that demand for weight loss surgery is soaring. In 2002, the number of bariatric procedures jumped 40%, to 80,000. In 2003 statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that the number of surgeries exceeded 120,000 in 2003.

    Statistics on Weight Loss Surgery

    * In the United States, 20,000 weight-loss operations were performed in 1995
    * In 2003, 103,000 were performed
    * In 2004, 144,00 are predicted to be performed
    * The number of gastric bypass surgeries climbed more than 600% from 1993 to 2003.
    * The average bariatric surgery patient is a woman in her late 30s who weighs approximately 300 pounds.
    * The average cost of the surgery is $30,000”

    Yes, they’re in danger of being malnourished. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they eat right. I know 3 people who have had the surgery that eat shit.

    And if you really wonder about doctors doing the surgery, look at the alst bullet point above.

    I love that you aren’t afraid to express your opinions, Chicken Girl! 🙂


  7. Jason Says:

    Well, gastric bypass is no game. I’m 4 years post up (maintaining 248lb weight loss) and I must exercise very hard, watch what I eat and take my vitamins. The people in the Reuters story, as it said, were clearly not taking vitamin supplements as they (should) have been instructed to do. My surgeon stressed from day one that I’d need to take supplements FOREVER.

  8. Chicken Girl Says:

    But, even though some WLS patients still do eat crap, any doctor who would cut out someone’s stomach without stressing the dietary concerns before, after, during, over, under, between, and on top of the surgery is clearly a very, very, very bad, irresponsible doctor. Shouldn’t there be consequences? I mean, hasn’t anybody sued over this yet? (“Doc didn’t tell me I was supposed to eat rabbit food instead of quarter pounders with cheese!”) Or do they just do so many surgeries at $30K a pop that malpractice suits are irrelevant? (Wouldn’t they still lose their license at some point, though?)

    Do you have any statistics specifically about whether/how many WLS surgeons emphasize/require a diet and exercise program?

  9. Lady Rose Says:

    I almost had the surgery done — but my insurance wouldn’t pay for it in my state and the thought of having to make several trips out of state plus have the surgery I just couldn’t do it. And I’m sorta glad I didn’t – I’ve lost 81 so far, and have 70ish more to lose. Sure I sometimes wish I could do it without starving (the surgery would have eliminated the hunger) – but I’m glad I didn’t take the risks.

    There are always risks, and I agree the surgery should be a LAST resort. I know folks who have been successful and others who have not. It’s not a magic cure. If the issues that caused weight gain in the first place are NOT changed – the weight will come back (the stomach just restretches). Let’s face it – no matter how much intervention from a doctor or counselor if the person is still putting junk in their body before and after the surgery – there will be problems.

    I think all the the facilities that offer the bypass surgery require at least a minimum amount of counseling and follow up — but the amount, time length and quality are going to be vasting different.

    One woman I know personally had the surgery done, and a few years later was hospitalized for over a year. It was devasting for her and her family. So complications and health issues are REAL.

    As far as suing Chicken Girl – A doctor can’t hold a gun to someone’s head and make them eat right even after the surgery. And I’m sure there are forms people sign that document that they were told how to eat and drink (they have to watch the size of their vitamins pills and drink small amounts a LOT all day) – so if they are suffering because they eat junk – they can’t blame the doctor. For any medical procedure I’ve ever had I’ve signed the forms that I read and UNDERSTOOD what to do when I went home, so if I don’t follow what was on the paper – it’s not the doctor’s fault.

    Lady Rose

  10. Kery Says:

    Yes, our ability to gain weight more easily than men (and to retain it more easily as well) is linked to reproduction, if I remember well what I had read about that. Both for the organs themselves and in the case of a pregnancy, so that the woman is assured to have enough resources to feed the fetus for 9 months, and this even if eating times are being rough during that period.

  11. loseweightwithme Says:

    JASON — I’m impressed with your results! thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

    CHICKEN GIRL — Lady Rose said it better than could have.

    LADY ROSE — Well said.

    Thanks, guys, for getting involved in the discussion.


  12. loseweightwithme Says:

    JASON — Congrats on your 4 years of success! And thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    CHICKEN GIRL — lady Rose said it better than I could have! 🙂

    LADY ROSE — Well said…you’re always so insightful and write so well!

    Thanks, guys, for getting involved in the discussion.


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