Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Little Rant about Gastric Bypass

Well, it's been since September 2012 that I have posted anything.  I'm going to use my blog as a platform to vent a bit about an article that I recently read. 

Starting out a new year, almost everyone is into resolutions for health and fitness. The fact is that seventy-five percent keep resolutions for about a week.  That figure drops to about 71 percent after two weeks, and after a month only about one-third are still maintaining the promises to make positive lifestyle changes.  By the summer, fewer than half can even remember their resolutions, let alone keep them.

For most things in life, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be successful at accomplishing a goal.  Whether it is a career, ministering, acting, losing weight, exercising...all take a lot of planning, organizing, discipline and constant goal setting.  Most things in life that are worthwhile are worth working toward.  So why is it that the one most important thing that we have to take care of gets neglected the most?  Why do we fuel our bodies with mediocre, or worse, food and let them sit idle and collect life-threatening diseases?  We are our own worst enemy, and want an easy fix.  Well, I'm sorry, there is no easy fix.  However, there is a lot of help out there for people to lose weight, gain more energy, become younger and enjoy life longer.  But in my opinion, Gastric Bypass is NOT the answer.

I just recently read an article in our local newspaper about a 54 year old woman who had Gastric Bypass surgery.  One of the main headline's says "Local woman's journey to health provides pointers."  As I read the article, I kept waiting to hear how HARD the journey had been.  How sickly this person was for months and how much of a struggle it was.  Not once was that mentioned.  I happen to know that she was very sick for months!

The people that I personally  know who have had this surgery have had to lose 40-50 lbs before even getting the surgery.  Once having it, they cannot eat hardly anything, and I mean less than what a bird would eat.  Each one has been in and out of the hospital near death throughout the first year.  One person that I know died from the surgery!  For the rest of your life you are going to have to eat a certain way and exercise or the weight will not stay off.  So not only do you still have to change your lifestyle, but you have the added bonus of being horribly sick and risking death on top of it.

Does this sound like an easy journey?  I ponder this question because so many people think that eating healthy and exercising is hard.  Well, I would say it is a lot easier than what you go through with the surgery.  We always have things in life that we don't want to do, but we do them because we HAVE to.  i.e. cleaning the bathrooms, going to work, shoveling snow, raking grass, doing chores...why not treat the best thing you have like you want to keep it? 

I have a friend who has lost over 100lbs this last year WITHOUT surgery.  There were no pills, shots or drastic diets.  This is someone who has a thyroid problem (used to be an excuse), high blood pressure and other health issues.  Her doctor, many times, tried talking her into the gastric bypass surgery, but thankfully, she didn't do it.  One day she just decided that she would start eating healthier.  Not diet. Not try to lose weight (because she had tried everything), but just eat healthier.  Guess what?  The weight started coming off.  She then became more aware of what she was eating, and added exercise.  She did this for her, and the results started to spread into other areas of her life.  You see, when you take care of yourself it becomes easier to take care of others and other things in your life.  She is now way down on her thyroid and blood pressure medicine.  One of the surprising results she has gotten is how many people have asked her what pills she was taking or wouldn't believe that she didn't have some sort of surgery! 

Has it gotten that bad, that people think if you are morbidly obese you cannot lose weight and be healthy without surgery?!

Here's the thing that I don't get, when people choose bypass they have to lose so much weight before even proceeding with the surgery.  If you are losing 40-50 lbs already, why not keep going?  You are losing the weight without the bypass...something you thought that you couldn't do in the first place.

Another thing that bothers me is why are so many doctors recommending the surgery?  There are a couple of things that I thought might be the case.  My first thought was money, but I still believe most doctors are in their profession to help people not just make a buck.  Therefore, my next thought was that they have probably told their patients over and over that they needed to lose weight and exercise. Maybe they've said it so many times that they are worn out.  The morbidly obese will only have a short time to live so doing the surgery may force them into a healthier lifestyle and give them some more years to live.  The Doc may be at a desperation point to save a life.

Here are a few guidelines to follow this year on a healthy journey without surgery:
1.  Start small
2.  Change behaviors one at a time.
3.  Talk about it.
4.  Don't beat yourself up.
5.  Ask for support.

In closing, I would just like to say that for 2013 don't make a resolution.  Make a lifestyle change so that you can enjoy every aspect of your life.  May you be full of energy, happy and around for a long time!

Thanks for letting me vent:)

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