Weight Loss

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Weight Loss Surgery Is Better Than Yours

Ugh, I am just so tired of reading these things. It's everywhere in the online WLS community. We are all so excited to have had this surgery that changed our lives, and some of us have to become walking billboards trumpeting how AMAZING the surgery we had is, and You Should Have It Too!! There are statistics everywhere for each of the main surgeries, supporting each one. "The research proves that my WLS is better than yours!"

Please. They all succeed, they all fail. It's more dependent on how you use it, how much personal responsibility you take, and how closely you matched your own (honestly assessed) personal situation with what the surgery can do. Also there's a little bit of luck in there. People don't ask to become reactive hypoglycemics, or for their lap bands to slip while lifting heavy furniture. That stuff you can't really plan for or avoid.

The worst is on Obesity Help, or I suppose on any board that throws all the WLS players into the same playpen. It gets ugly. My god, does it get ugly. WTF is that about? My personal take is that each of the available procedures is right for someone, and none is right for everyone. They all have their own drawbacks, their own advantages, their own particular quirks and risks. None of them are really proven in the real long term--like 40 or 50 years--and this is generally considered okay, because the morbidly obese won't survive very long if they don't change anyway, right? (That's a trick question. There are lots of pretty healthy MO people out there, despite what the weight loss industry, including medical and surgical weight loss, would have you think. And there are a lot of people who were healthier BEFORE their WLS than after.)

So don't quote me anything about what "the research shows" because the jury is not back yet, and there are dozens of contradictory studies out there. And the research doesn't really matter if you don't do your own part with your own surgery. This has a chance of failing for everyone--because, well, this is life, and nothing is certain, or permanent. Especially not "permanent weight loss."

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