Saturday, September 12, 2015

on my own, but not all on my own

Apparently I'm not losing weight "on my own." According to the receptionist at my dentist's office, anyway.

We were chatting about weight loss and she commented that her son just lost 100 pounds, and "he did it all on his own!"  (That means "the old fashioned way."  Translation:  diet and exercise, no pills, surgery, or gimmicks.)  I told her "that's great."  Then I thought about what she said and felt a bit offended by her comment.  Not one person has ever said anything negative to me about my weight loss surgery, at least not to my face (I know for a fact a few people have commented that I "took the easy way out."), until then.  But I know it wasn't intentional. I don't think she even realized what she said was offensive to someone who's had weight loss surgery; most people wouldn't.

So, why is commenting that someone else lost weight "on their own" offensive to me?  Because it implies that I had no part in my success at all.  That I just laid down on an operating table for a couple hours and then shed 100 pounds in six months with no effort.  Yes, I had a surgery that helped me shed 140 pounds overall, and the six months afterwards the weight just melted off, but there was six months of pre-op preparation.  And then months of post-op appointments, learning what I can and can't eat (I can eat pretty much anything now), measuring food and reading nutrition labels, conquering the urge to overeat, being very careful to chew my food well so as not to get it stuck in my stomach, taking my vitamins and calcium, drinking water until I want to puke, exercising (yes, we do have to exercise at some point), and dealing with all the extra skin leftover. Maybe I didn't do it completely, 100% on my own, but I definitely had a role in my success.

Next time you encounter someone who has had weight loss surgery, don't tell them about someone you know who lost 100 pounds "all on their own," or that the person "took the easy way out."  Though you might not mean anything by it, or you THINK you don't mean anything by it, it's insulting to us.  And while we're at it, don't go on about the six different people you know who were "very sick," "gained all the weight back," "had surgical complications," "can't digest food," etc.  You feel you're being realistic, but really you're just being negative and probably hoping to change that person's mind.  Or maybe you're even a bit jealous and don't want that person to have success.  

End rant....


  1. I've seen enough episodes of My 600 Pound Life to know, this surgery is by no means the "easy" way out. It is a pretty big deal to have this surgery, it is a massive commitment to make, and even then there are people who have it and fall back into all their old habits because they have not got to the right place in their thinking yet.

    Anyone who says that kind of thing is ignorant and not educated on the facts. :)

    1. I watch My 600 Pound Life also. I like the show, but what I don't like is that they make it seem like you can just decide to have the surgery and two weeks later you've had it. It doesn't work that way. There's lots of testing, counseling, etc, that has to be done first. I wish they would show that aspect of it. As well as the struggle with getting insurance to cover it. Even when it's "medically necessary," there are still hoops to jump through with the health insurance.