1 year, 2 months, 12 days

That long ago, on March 8th, 2008, I lost a friend. He died from complications about a month after gastric bypass surgery. 

I bring this up because Fat Head has a post today about weight loss surgeries. He posted a month ago about the topic too. But it struck me this time because I just saw a show on TLC, Half Ton Mom, that followed the story of a 29-yr old woman who had a gastric bypass and died a month later of a cardiac episode after losing about 60 lbs (not positive on that number).

Harris was the name of friend. We’d lost touch for several years and then reconnected the summer of 2007. During our reconnection he mentioned he was seeing a doctor about getting a gastric bypass surgery done. He had to get his weight lower before the surgery though so he was eating protein and vegetables and he dropped about 25 lbs in 2 weeks.

I feel funny about elective surgery, especially when parts are being removed and rerouted, so I tried to talk him out of it, but I could rarely talk Harris out of anything once he’d made up his mind. He’d struggled with his weight for most of his life and was tired of the fight. He had the surgery in late January or early February of 2008. Even though he was dropping weight on the diet, even though that was working for him.

How much do I wish Harris’ surgeon had said “let’s wait, give the diet some more time.” And how often do people not even get diet counseling before their surgeries. It’s wrong, irresponsible, bordering on unethical and malpractice. 

In the case of the woman on the TLC show, she weighed over 900 lbs and typically would not have been able to get the surgery. Except a surgeon thought she needed it and agreed to do it. There was no weight loss requirement or diet counseling (at least from what they showed in the special).

The procedure that Harris had done, he’d said there was something different about it, that the surgeon used a different procedure to complete the bypass. Did the surgeon’s desire to experiment with the procedure cloud his judgement and endanger Harris?

It makes me SO ANGRY that conventional wisdom clings to the low-fat, high-carb dieting. Piles of evidence are stacking up against this way of eating but the so-called experts turn a blind eye and refuse to acknowledge it. In the meantime, the obese population labors under the experts assertions, trying to do what’s “right” but not seeing results.

What’s worse, the experts don’t believe the people following the low-fat, high-carb diet are being honest about what they’re putting in their mouths or how much they’re exercising when progress stalls. The diet COULDN’T be failing so it MUST be the dieter. They’re lazy and gluttonous anyway and will probably fail but maybe if we add some behavior modification training to their regimen they’ll get their act together. FINALLY! <grumble, grumble> stupid fatties <grumble, grumble>.

And when the “experts” throw up their hands in ignorant exasperation, surgeons are there to offer an alternative. I can’t blame people for wanting surgery, especially when they meet attitudes that declare “you’re lying!” So I blame the industry that keeps us fatties chasing the carrot. 

And I’m so thankful for the nay-sayers that stand up and say the conventional wisdom is wrong. Thank you Dr. Eades, Gary Taubes, Tom Naughton, Mark Sisson, Nora Gedgaudas and everyone else who stands behind good science and real food.


One response to “1 year, 2 months, 12 days

  • tolduso

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. My sister-n-law has had the lap band surgery, which she had to explain to me what it was..and that it “moved or dislodged” on her and she had to go in for an adjustment, which required another surgical procedure!

    I don’t know, that just really worried me. First, it’s not suppposed to be there. Second, it can move? If that’s the case, boy, I consider her lucky that some other vital organs and nerves weren’t damaged in the process.

    Anyway, I’ve always been 10lbs+ overweight in high school, and then I really focused and lost weight when I was 25, getting down to a size 5, which didn’t last. I had an unhealthy partner, who criticized me and told me I was fat and had me working out twice a day and I lived off Top Ramon.

    Fortunately, I left that relationship. I couldn’t work out for the longest time or diet. Then, I got in a healthy relationship, and was happy, but the lbs started slowly adding here and there.

    By my first pregnancy, I was about 15 overweight to start and then I added another 5 post delivery. After the 2nd pregnancy I added another 15. I did diets here and there, that I couldn’t stick with the program. The weight would slowly return.

    I can now stand to lose about 25-30lbs. It’s not huge, but I’m borderline “obese” by the chart.

    I think I’ve found a program that works for me and maybe you might want to check it out or your friends. I’m not being unhealthy, but I am lowering my calorie intake with some soy based protein products and the assistance of a Health Coach.

    This program is not set up to have you on the “supplement meals” forever. Once I meet my goal weight, the coach will help me start swapping out the supplement meals with regular grocery items…teaching me how to keep the weight off with wise decisions.

    Sorry this is so long, but to end…My first week, I lost 5.5lbs, and I’m in my 2nd week now, down 7.2 lbs and Monday is weigh in, so I might hit 10lbs in 2 weeks! I feel fab! I even went to the gym 2 days in a row!

    I’m blogging about it and posting pictures and measurements. There are so many success stories of people losing and KEEPING it off!

    If you’re interested in checking my blogs out, http://www.tolduso.wordpress.com

    (subject/scroll to follow my weight loss)

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