Do whatever you want in your life!
It is not unusual to see a foaming frenzy over something said about bariatric surgery in a Tweet, Facebook post, magazine or TV soundbite. With all due respect, bariatric folks can be a touchy group who get a tiny bit worked up and defensive about their surgery. Have you ever been in the middle of relating a grand story to a friend about ‘WHAT SO AND SO SAID ABOUT YOU’ when you suddenly stopped mid sentence and realized how silly it all sounded? That is how I felt the last couple of weeks reading the comments relating to what Dr. Huizenga of The Biggest Loser said about bariatric surgery. I wanted to scream ‘SO WHAT?’ Seriously, did anyone think this reality guy would endorse bariatric surgery?
It’s a cliche but I think the way to create positive change in how bariatric surgery is perceived is to be a Good Representation of what this surgery does for people. Be a bariatric ambassador. Eat food that’s good for you, don’t wash down Subway sandwiches with Coke, take in enough protein so your hair grows back, jump rope and take vitamins so you don’t create your own deficiencies. BE the person that embodies the good in bariatric surgery that you want others to see. Stop worrying about what people say about your personal medical choices or about you in general and DO WHATEVER YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE. Be kind, be confident, be fabulous, ROCK that Little Black Dress and be proud of who you are right now, not who you may be when you’ve lost another fifty pounds. Offer no apologies for who you are. Life. Is. Very. Short. Do not forget that.
Is it the Magazine that hurts us?
Every year folks get up in arms about the Annual Weight Loss Issue of People Magazine. When this ‘special issue’ is no longer a top seller because weight loss surgery is such a positive compliment to diet and exercise, the editors will find another topic for drama.
The cover of this issue touts the catchphrase ‘No Surgery and No Gimmicks’, but they are just words unless we give them power by owning them. Take a deep breath and LET IT GO. Props to those on the cover as it IS harder to lose 100 pounds without surgery, or without gimmicks (think cabbage soup or horse urine). I’ve done it fifty ways and and by far bariatric surgery has been the easiest. Wait, this is the same ole ‘You took the Easy Way Out’ argument. Instead of feeling ‘less than’ for having weight loss surgery give yourself a pat on the back for being brave and coming as far as you have. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE!
Who’s the Biggest Loser!
I am more affected by the uproar over what ‘The Biggest Loser’ doctor said or petitions to take down a ‘Save the Whales’ billboard or an attempt to ban People magazine into changing their tact than the target that’s been deemed offensive. I think these public outcries prompt people to be even more cruel in their comments about ‘fat people’. People write horrible things online, but those who would make fun of another person’s size were not raised well and they don’t matter! This includes editors and marketers. Stop acknowledging or owning what any of these people have to say. It is exhausting to give so much power to such negative thoughts. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE!
Stop Looking at Me!
I was embarrassed that I was morbidly obese but did not let it stop me as the alternative was to go sit in a corner somewhere. I weighed well over 200 pounds for most of my adult years because of choices I made. Maybe it’s a mindset possible when you are older and wiser, but I own it. I know why I was obese; I created the perfect storm of food versus medical circumstance, but that doesn’t mean I want to participate in elevating the cause of Fat Equality. Sorry but I don’t want to publicly defend Obesity armed with the argument, ‘It’s a Disease!’ and I don’t believe you can force anyone to view ‘obese people’ differently.
We all know someone who has gained back every single pound of a 50 pound weight loss with or without surgery. People will continue to think what they believe is true about obesity, weight loss and weight loss surgery until they have a different personal experience. As long as there are 300 pound people in the checkout with Hot Pockets, Little Debbie and Dr. Pepper, people will continue to think we made our own bed. So forget what people think and DO WHATEVER YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE! Be a good person. Be awesome at your job. Take a walk and smile at people. Adopt a shelter cat.
What’s wrong with Diet & Exercise?
The PEOPLE Weight Loss Issue and The Biggest Loser give hope to millions that they can lose weight with diet and exercise. Not everyone can have bariatric surgery, not everyone wants it, not everyone needs it. Many, if not most of the people featured in People and The Biggest Loser do ‘gain the weight back’, but have you taken a good look around the weight loss surgery community? We have gained it back too! People with two surgeries have gained the weight back! Plus you CAN lose half your body weight with diet & exercise, no surgery and no gimmicks.
Surgical weight loss is not automatic or permanent especially once you are out there a few years. It is supposed to be complimented by diet and exercise but the problem is that for most it stands alone. We are the people on the cover of PEOPLE or standing up there on The Biggest Loser, even with surgery. Do whatever you want in your life. Make peace with who you are.
Don’t Believe Everything you Think
DO WHATEVER YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE! What you weigh has nothing to do with who you are. Smile when you feel like smiling, laugh because something is funny and dance because you are at a party and it’s fun, not ‘because no one is watching’. EVERYONE is watching! You’re at a party and you are supposed to jump up and dance when Billy Jean starts playing. That’s what parties are all about. Once you begin to believe the good about yourself, the words flying around you won’t matter. I know it sounds too simple, but the way to be happy is to love yourself regardless of who you are and where you stand even if you are looking to change.