Mean Girls and Weight Loss Surgery

This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. I’ve noticed a trend in the post weight loss surgery world, one that kind of bothers me. I’ve noticed a lot of us (and I’ve been guilty of it myself so I’m not pointing fingers at anybody) turn into ‘mean girls’ after surgery.

An example. Someone posts a picture comparing a curvy girl (usually the lovely Marilyn Monroe) to someone who might be considered by most standards too thin. The comments on the thin girl are cutting. Some examples: That’s so gross! That’s unattractive! She looks sooooo unhealthy! That’s disgusting.

Those same comments posted on a photo of an obese woman would have us all frothing at the mouth, getting out the torches and pitchforks, and all out lynching the people making such insensitive comments. Why do we find it acceptable in the first case but not in the second? Is there really a difference between saying the obese woman looks disgusting or saying the thin woman looks disgusting?

In my mind? No, there’s not much difference. I’m no size advocate but, personal preferences aside, I don’t think either is acceptable. I wonder if some of us just forget how hurtful and hateful those kinds of comments really are.

What do all of you think? I really want to hear opinions.

A quote by Werner Erhard on being Okay

If you could really accept that you weren’t ok, you could stop proving you were ok. If you could stop proving that you were ok you could get that it was ok not to be ok. If you could get that it was ok not to be ok you could get that you were ok the way you are. You’re ok, get it?

Werner Erhard

I don’t know but I think this is the best thing I’ve heard all day and something I (along with a few others) really needed to hear today.

Hunger

One of the great side-effects of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is my lack of hunger. One of the things the VSG does is significantly reduces the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Some people never lose their hunger. Some people lose it for awhile and it comes back after six months or so. I can say for myself, at nearly 10 months out I rarely experience physical hunger.

It is difficult to describe the difference between my hunger pre-surgery and the hunger I experience now. Pre-surgery, my hunger was a desperate, almost panicky feeling. Even worse, I felt it all the time. I was never ‘not hungry’. I could eat to the point of being stuffed, physically uncomfortable even, and less than an hour later I’d feel as if I was starving again. Since my surgery, I have not felt that way, not even once. When I do get hungry, I can ignore it for a bit. Prior to surgery it was a constant roar in the back of my mind. After surgery, it is a meow and a quiet one at that.

When I see someone who had a VSG panicking because they are feeling hungry again, I don’t really know what to say to them. Hunger is normal, naturally thin people get hungry too. What is not normal is the way hunger affected us before surgery. It can also be difficult to determine if what you are feeling truly is hunger. Is it head hunger? Is it stomach acid? Stomach acid can mimic the symptoms of hunger to the point the two can become very confused.

More

Who Benefits Most From Weight-Loss TV Shows? | XFINITY TV News

Who Benefits Most From Weight-Loss TV Shows? | XFINITY TV News.

This is a really interesting article on the current trend of weight loss shows. Who does it benefit? Is it really making a difference in America?

I am one of those who doesn’t particularly find shows like the Biggest Loser inspiring. I’m sorry but anybody can lose weight when they are taken to a ranch and pretty much pushed day in and day out to lose weight. I also tend to agree with a quote in the article by a bariatric surgeon.

“Obesity is an epidemic and these shows are trivializing it,” he says, noting that the diet and exercise plans are often extreme and unsustainable. Still, Khalili says his patients can take some eating and exercise tips from these popular programs.

The new extreme makeover show seems a little different. The people featured on the show don’t go to camp and they go through the weight loss while living at home and facing the things day in and day out that got them fat. I haven’t watched it yet, but I might.

Where have I gone?

Some of you may be wondering where I’ve been.  Some of you may not give a damn. If you fall into the latter category, you aren’t reading this anyway.

I deactivated my Obesity Help account. It just wasn’t doing me any good anymore. The forums were filled with overwhelming negativity more often than not and God forbid you post something that isn’t in 100% agreement or praising the forum ‘darlings’ (and no, I’m not going to point fingers and name names. If what I’ve said here offends or upsets you, my apologies but don’t assume I’m talking about you.) Most of the crap I could ignore but, as my block list grew and grew, I realized just how much all of it was affecting me.

As I sat down to write a bitchy response to a couple people (one of whom I honestly felt was attacking me for questioning the motivation behind a post bashing a certain blogger), I made myself stop. Why was I doing that? Seriously? I realized at that moment just how much the negativity had truly affected me. I was starting to be filled with negativity, too and it was really affecting the way I posted and the responses I made.

Most of you guys who know me know that’s not me. I’ve held virtual hands on that forum. I’ve wiped virtual tears. I’ve given virtual hugs. I’ve even received the same in return but, it all feels different now. I no longer saw the site as a place of encouragement and inspiration. It was dragging me down.

So I left. It was the easiest thing to do. I knew if I didn’t make a clean break, I’d keep going back and keep getting frustrated. Sometimes, you know, you just have to get a divorce.  In the meantime, I’ve been hanging out with the Bariatric Bad Girls (and guys) on Facebook. It’s an interesting group of folks. Lots of real talk that might be off putting to some but it’s certainly more in keeping with my own personality. I feel like I can be ME again. Something I haven’t felt like I could do on Obesity Help for many months.

Frustration

I’ve been playing with the same two pounds for at least a couple weeks. My weight goes down, then back up, then down, then back up again. I’m following my program, staying under or at my calorie guidelines, not eating a ton of carbs (which I don’t want anyway, unless I eat some and then I want ’em like mad), getting in protein and water. The one thing I could do more of is exercise.

I know stalls happen. I’ve posted tips for stalls in my newsletter and goodness knows I’ve been following my own advice (and the advice from others included in that little tidbit). I know everybody’s body is different. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but it’s difficult not to sometimes.  I know I even said I’m okay with being a slow loser as long as I’m losing but, sometimes, I’m not so okay with it. It’s hard to watch people who did not weigh more than me at the time of their surgeries having lost a lot more weight than I have, especially when they had their surgeries after me. It’s hard to see the people who had surgery around the same time as I did losing weight faster than I am. It’s frustrating to know you are doing everything right and STILL get stuck in a rut.

I know weight loss surgery isn’t magical fairy dust. It’s a tool and one that must be used properly. It takes work and dedication. At least nobody has told me I’ve taken the ‘easy way out’. If they did, I might be tempted to punch ’em in the nose. This is NOT easy though, I must admit, it’s a lot easier than doing this without weight loss surgery. It’s just frustrating. How in the world, when I’m getting less than 800 calories most days, am I not losing weight?

I’m sure some people will try to tell me my body has gone into starvation mode and is fighting to hold on to the weight so I don’t die or some such. Just google ‘starvation mode is a myth‘ to see why that just might not be so. One member from Obesity Help who had a sleeve gastrectomy (as I did) did some research on it (there are some excellent resources linked in that article). It is true that our metabolism slows down but, starvation? No, not really. Even the rate of slow down isn’t what people might expect.

Other than exercising more (next week starts the 100 push up challenge, maybe that will help), I’m at a loss as to what to do. Maybe I’ll give my nutritionist a call and see what she thinks.

Unrealistic Expectations

I sometimes wonder if we do not have unrealistic expectations following weight loss surgery. To be honest, I’m not certain exactly what I expected but I sometimes feel like I’m a slow loser. Then I feel kind of like an asshole when I say things like, “I’m two and a half months post surgery and I’ve only lost 30 pounds.” In what universe was I ever able to lose 30 pounds in just two and a half months?

I saw a post the other day that said (paraphrasing) “I lost 25 pounds in two weeks then nothing! I’m SO dissapointed.” I didn’t read the whole post (just the title) and decided to avoid it. I just wasn’t certain I could be constructive in my response and not hurt someone’s feelings. 25 pounds in two weeks? That’s effin’ amazing!

It really got me thinking though. How many of us go into WLS with unrealistic expectations? What do you guys think?

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