I've been in a magazine (... or two) and I was actually quite thankful that they LEFT my parts as-is because I am who I am.
February 2014 posts
I realize this is a very small sample study, but I can't say I don't disagree with most of it after living this WLS-life for ten years and observing hundreds of people in it.
All women had undergone gastric bypass surgery - one of the most common bariatric surgery procedures. It involves rerouting a part of the small intestine past the stomach in order to reduce food intake, promote satiety and suppress hunger.
The majority of the women were interviewed twice. The first time was 1 year after surgery, while the second interview took place 2.5-4 years following surgery.
Groven says although most previous research suggests that weight loss surgery leads to an increase in quality of life for the majority of patients, her findings suggest that not everyone lives happily ever after following bariatric procedures.
Positive outcomes after surgery 'can feel like grief'
There is no doubt that weight loss surgery puts the body through a series of radical changes.
Groven says that although the procedure leads to a slimmer body - which others perceive as a "sign of success" - the surgery can cause many smaller problems that other people are unable to see.
"Becoming slimmer and lighter is mostly perceived of as positive. At the same time it is ambivalent, since people start to behave differently towards the women after they've had surgery.
People are friendlier than before, and this may feel extremely provoking. And people often ask very invasive questions concerning the woman's radical weight loss."
The interviews revealed that some of the women experienced a boost in self-esteem after surgery, were more outspoken, and found other people were more likely to listen to what they were saying - particularly in the workplace.
Groven notes that although these factors are clearly positive outcomes, this could also be seen as a "grief" because the women realize they had to undergo weight loss surgery before seeing these outcomes.
Many of the women also felt embarrassment after the surgery, particularly when it came to speaking about their weight loss. Some women told others they had been on a diet to lose the weight because they were ashamed to say they had undergone bariatric surgery.
Excess skin promotes a negative self-image
Groven found that many of the women had mixed feelings about their naked body after surgery, and many of these feelings come from the occurrence of loose skin - a common consequence of rapid weight loss.
"It is given little focus before the operation. Patients are often told that this is something that can be fixed afterwards. But it is not so easily fixed, and the women are not prepared for the challenge of having to live with the loose skin," explains Groven.
Although women can undergo surgery to remove excess skin, Groven notes that many women are not prepared to take the risks associated with this procedure, which include hematoma or seroma formation, infection and risks associated with future pregnancies.
Groven found that some of the women interviewed even spoke about their excess skin in third person, which she believes is a way of distancing themselves from it.
Health problems and bad food relationships after weight loss surgery
According to Groven, five of the women interviewed reported a lower quality of life after they underwent weight loss surgery, compared with their quality of life before.
She notes that this was down to the development of chronic stomach and intestine problems, and one woman became so ill that she had to endure another operation because of problems with her scar tissue after the gastric bypass procedure.
The five women also said they felt as if they had complete lack of energy following weight loss surgery.
Furthermore, Groven found that many of the women reported having a negative relationship with food after the procedure.
Some women were worried about eating too much or too little, or eating the wrong food at the wrong time. Because of these concerns, some women experienced tiredness, nausea, dizziness and even intense shaking.
Some of the women who had problems with overeating before weight loss surgery continued to overeat after surgery, even though this made them ill. Groven says some women commented that "the eating disorder is not gone."
Groven says that while previous research suggests that patients can avoid testing their eating limits after surgery by following dietary advice, the reality is much more complicated.
"It is reasonable to ask, I think, whether the eating disorders that some of the women develop after surgery are diseases, or if they may be understood as normal changes as a result of the operation."
Although many women reported negative thoughts and health issues after weight loss surgery, none of them said they regret undergoing the procedure.
"They say they would have done the same today and that they had no choice considering their life before surgery. Some said that the pains were a small price to pay," says Groven.
She adds that this suggests women are influenced by society's perception of the ideal female body, and that being obese is not within this scope.
"They are living with a body which is not accepted by society, and they are constantly judged from their size," she says.
"The message from the media and medical science is that they are likely to get cancer or diabetes unless they lose weight and the surrounding world regards their obesity as self-inflicted. Some have children and are afraid to die and leave them alone."
Groven concludes that although it is true that obesity can lead to health complications, such as diabetes and heart attack, little is known about the long-term effects of weight loss surgery and what complications may arise from this procedure.
With this in mind, Groven plans to conduct further research that will look at the effects of bariatric surgery 3-10 years after patients have undergone the procedure.
This is that moment where I put my tail between my legs and come to you and say it -- because this is what I Need To See - Proof That A Thing Works?
I have a very literal type brain. (More on that later this year. I promise you. My next appointment is Valentine's Day.)
I must have proof of a thing in order to believe it. I do not blindly follow anything without seeing results, documents, charts that show me "IF YOU DO X, Y will be yours." This is why I am a hard "sell" and you rarely see reviews here anymore. (More on that, coming, too.)
In 2012 I was in a regain pattern and found myself hitting a high weight that I could not imagine after RNY.
I refused to allow it although I know realistically it is possible. I've been there before. And knowing that I need to eat food -- I realised I needed to do something different because obviously eating as much food as I want/need to and not moving my ass was no longer working.
I added a little bit of exercise -- and I saw a little bit of endurance increase. And I struggled to keep going, and keep at it and now I finally see body results.
The scale is in solid maintenance mode. I see range of up 5 lbs down 5 lbs up 5 lbs down lbs every single month. But I guarantee my muscle mass is increasing. I will get a new assessment done at some point to ensure this -- and see because I am interested in knowing the percentage of change.
This is where those people who used to scream at me to MOVE MY ASS get to say, "WE TOLD YOU SO." I did not listen. I was (...somewhat, but not really) lazy. I thought I could get away with just "eating okay" and being relatively active.
Nope. I am proof it (...sitting on your ass) doesn't work.
As a disclaimer, I have always watched The Biggest Loser casually as someone might watch The Super Bowl for the commercials. I enjoy making digs at the product placement, the commercials, etc. This pleases me #broughttoyoubyziploc #subway #extragum #whomever
This year, however I was taken in a little more, sucked in, even after saying things like: "I'd never watch that crap," and "How dare they publicize weight loss competitions!" I am sure I have said MANY choice things over the years about this (...and other shows) as an online weight-loss blogger, even as product pitches aligned with this show were tossed my way. I still watch for the product placements. I also watch for the exercise -- WHAT?!
This year, I started a (...word warning) "journey" nine years after I started my massive weight loss path.
I began exercising in earnest. I dropped some lbs and gained muscle. I have endurance!
I found that The Biggest Loser gave me some "Actual Motivation" if only for ideas of What To Do To Move My Butt. It's the reason I tried the "Jacob's Ladder," guys.
Or, even just for a frame of reference in body-size for someone like me: a former morbidly obese individual whom had been 320 lbs now 144-150 lbs and maintaining my bodyweight while learning to create health, and gain muscle and make exercise a habit. If you have not been living in a 200, 300, 400 lb body - you must know - the body dysmorphia that comes along with the change from your super-morbid or morbidly obese self to your "normal" self can last for years. It may not be until you see another person whom is "wearing" your "body" size when you realize what you look like, and only sort of.
That said -- The Biggest Loser's winner, Rachel. And please remember that I can only relate to what I know to be true, and to what I see in relation to the hundreds of women (... and some men) I read about daily in my weight loss groups for bariatric surgery.
I hope that it was simply because she was pushed to far for the "trigger" of money -- and will find balance in health.
It happens in our bariatric-post operative patients all the time, and the thing is: bariatric patients don't have the temptation of a quarter million dollars hanging over their head like a dangling carrot as thin-spiration. It takes a lot less sometimes for a person to be triggered to lose too far. Some women (...and men) are pushed by a bad photo, cruel word, or emotional disturbances.
In the weight loss surgery world, we have a hard time with talking about weight. We don't like to talk about "how much weight is too much to lose." We don't like to discuss "too far," and we say things like "well, you called her fat, now she's too thin and you hate her for it."
No. It's not that. You/we really have to stop thinking that way. It is just the same as having bariatric surgery WAS for YOU. It was supposed to be about your health and saving your life. There is not a stitch of hate in the words. It is out of concern for the person, and the people watching: like our daughters and sons.
Going on The Biggest Loser was about stopping this person's journey through morbid obesity and saving her life, and getting healthy again. However, dropping to an underweight body-weight and publicizing this for all of us on TV and creating this huge social media #thinspo out of it -- is WRONG.
Where were the trainers, Biggest Loser Team, producers, etc. when she hit the red flags? Where was the psych team? Where is her help? Is this really just about prize money and not health?
I think that says it all.
You failed, @thebiggestloser