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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm not easy!

I just want to set the record straight with a formal proclamation from Judiland.

Weight Loss any shape or not....I repeat....IS NOT....taking the easy way out.

But, what if it is?
And, what if it's the only way out?

Who are *they* to judge?
And, for the record....who are *they*?

Just in case there's any papparazzi or tabloid writers or headline writers or TV promo writers reading my blog, I order you (YES, I ORDER YOU) to stop making it seem as if weight loss surgery somehow lessens someone.

And, to all of you celebrities (because I am sure there are so many of you who read my blog!) out there who poo-poo weight loss surgery as being for those folks who just can't handle diets---I've got one thing to say to you.....don't knock it until you try it.
Oh, and one more thing I need to say to you poo-pooing celebrities---maybe you should try it.

Furthermore, I'm giving an official warning to anyone...ANYONE AT ALL...who touts the notion that weight loss surgery patients are somehow lesser than the folks who lost their weight through non-surgical methods--you better look out!
I'm coming for you and I'm bringing my friends.

So, what has me so riled up on this topic this morning?

These four little words.....SHE DID IT HERSELF.
Followed up by these three words.....WITHOUT WEIGHTLOSS SURGERY.

Honestly, friends, I have just about had-it-up-to-here with this mentality.

I have this darling blog reader (and she knows who she is) who is trying so hard to find a way to get a Lap band. I will call her Daisy. She is 26 years old, has been told by friends, family and medical professionals that she has to lose a lot of weight! She knows she has lots of weight to lose. She's known it forever. It is the one thing in her life that makes her very sad.
Unfortunately, Daisy doesn't have the insurance to pay for it and she has lots of school loans to pay back.
She just got her second Masters Degree in Physics last Sunday.
She already has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelors Degree in Physics. All of them from top tier schools.
This girl has brains.
Daisy emails me every week or so to update me on things.
Since I happen to be an expert on both the technical and science job market (oh yeah) and the plight of people with weight issues (more oh yeah), we always have lots to talk about.
So, we talk.
Daisy is delightful and witty and bright and so very sweet.
But right now, I feel like shaking her silly.
And, she knows it.

On with my story....

I'm sure you will remember the blog post I did about the young girl who was prom gown shopping with her mother.
Many of you commented on my blog about it and I got many, many emails about it too.
It certainly stirred up a lot of emotion....
One of those emails was from Daisy.
When I read her email, I wasn't sure if I wanted to grab a tissue or a machete.
But, since I don't have a machete...

Daisy told me I could share a portion of what she said in her email.
So, I'm cutting and pasting her exact words here....
In both high school and college,I never went to a prom, I never went to a dance, I never went to a party, I never had a date and I never had a job! School and learning were always my #1 priority. BECAUSE IT WAS EASIER THAN FACING ALL OF THOSE OTHER THINGS! I always took the easy way out!!!!!! Now I'm looking for an easy way out of my obesity! Why can't I be like all of those people who do it themselves? Did you see the story on Oprah on the girl who lost over 200 pounds? She did it herself without weight loss surgery. Why can't I???? I have 2 Masters Degrees now and I am thinking I should just take the easy way out and go to get my Doctorate! It would save me from the humility of going on job interviews.

Go ahead....I'll wait for you to read it again.
Let it soak in.

Is your blood boiling yet?

Since when is a PhD the easy way out?
Is it the same easy way out as weight loss surgery?

I have so much to say to Daisy that I'm tongue tied.
So, I'm going to take the easy way out and ask you what you have to say to Daisy.....

Editted to add:
Hold up here! This post has been up for just a few hours and my email is overflowing!
To clarify....I am NOT angry at all with Daisy! No. No. No. I am angry with the fact that weight loss surgery is touted (in some arenas) as the easy way out! And, further, I become frustrated that it actually makes individuals (like Daisy) feel badly about themselves because they can't do it on their own (as if having surgery puts it in the hands of someone else! ha!). Plus, I truly believe Daisy needs to know that the things she is doing in her life are things to be proud of instead of things to make excuses for!! It's all hard work and she's successfully doing it!!! Oh, and there's a lot of other things I'm thinking too but that's for another day....
But, nope I'm not angry with Daisy at all!!!


Sparkler said...

Hi Judy,

I don't feel angry at all...I think to Daisy, these things are all easier than facing up the issues in her life...and I suspect the weight is another thing she's hiding behind along with the studying! It's frustrating when you see a lovely, intelligent young woman hiding away from life and not enjoying it to the full. She obviously has so much to be proud of and confident about despite her weight problems. It's a shame we can never seem to see it ourselves and let our weight define us and define our value to others (me included here).

I'm sure Daisy has no intention of devaluing what any of us has achieved through our hard work and WLS, but her lack of self esteem is trying to find another way of castigating herself.

Daisy would probably benefit from some counselling to find out what is at the route of her low self esteem and probably had a lot to do with her eating issues.

She does need to take a good hard look at herself and her achievements to date and start valuing them and herself, just as she is! Love to you both xx

Dinnerland said...

How infuriating!!! I totally agree that weight loss surgery isn't the easy way out. It is just a 'way out.'
One of the blogs is called "Two sticks or a lighter"-- perfect analogy.
Except with me, I'd have never gotten the fire started without my WLS.

The Universe said...

To empower another, is to empower yourself.

To celebrate another, is to celebrate yourself.

And to free another, Judi, is to free yourself.

I say empower, celebrate, and free them all,
The Universe

Amy said...

I admit, I bought into the "WLS is the easy way out" mentality pre-band. Or maybe it wasn't that I really bought into it so much as I wanted to make it 'lesser' so I could have an excuse for NOT HAVING TO LOSE THE WEIGHT. There. I said it. And it's true.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. We human beings are an odd bunch. We are constantly creating and inventing to make life easier, not necessarily easy though. Yet then we don't want to use it.

Cars are easier than bikes. Email is easier than hand-written letters. Telephones are easier than telegraphs. Airplanes are easier to travel 2500 miles in than cars. Electricity is easier than candles. Calculators are easier than abacusses (or whatever the plural is).

The thing is, all of these modern conveniences also come with price tags, but the price is worth the ease. Do we walk around saying, "Eh, you are less than me, because I read by candle light last night while you, ha, you read by electricity. YOU took the *easy* way out." No, we don't. Because that is ridiculous.

Do we point fingers at people who treat medical conditions with modern medical technology? No. So until we accept that obesity is a MEDICAL CONDITION, which it is, it will continue to be a source of debate.

To Daisy, I used to be you. I don't have the second masters, but I have the bachelors, I have the masters, I would have stayed in school forever if someone would have let me. I scoffed at the idea of WLS as my weight SKYROCKETED. Every weight loss attempt left me fatter than before. I didn't get wise until 34. You have years on me. Think about where you want to be when you are 34. Chances are, if your life path is at all similar to mine and you don't accept that WLS is NOT the easy way out but simply *a* way out, at 34, you'll be another 100 lbs heavier and finally accepting that life is too short to care if WLS is the easy way out or not. You'll just be tired of being fat and watching life pass you by. I wish you the best.

Jenny said...

Having been through the surgery I know its not the easy way out, now pre-band I would have thought differntly. Thats why I tried so many diets. As people you have to do whats best for you. WLS isn't for everyone but I'm so grateful that I was able to do it. Its sad that we let our weight effect everything, but its a fact. We can all relate to how Daisy is feeling. I hope that Daisy can find a way to have the surgery, maybe since she can't do it now she is trying to rationalize it in her head by saying that she can do it on her own. I hope she finds a happy medium and doesn't let her weight dictate her life.

Tina said...

As Daisy is a girl of science she should go look at the scientific data on weight loss. The girl who lost 200 pounds on her own is what we scientists call an anomaly. Has she not seen all of those ads with the tiny letters underneath that say 'results not typical' There is a reason for this. The science is with us and not with 'on our own'. If you had cancer would you fix it on your own? Obesity is a physical condition whereby much of the reasons we overeat are the result of the physical. I look at the need for my band as a physical intervention to fix a physical condition. I do happen to have a friend who did lose it 'on her own'. She fights everyday against the demons and physical conditions that got her fat in the first place (compulsion for food volume, hunger, fatigue). I am happy that she managed to do it and I am proud of her but I worry about her ability to fight the physical mechanisms that scream at her to regain. I am sure that the science backs my choice up and I will keep my weight off. My friend has no such data on her side.

I really think the problem at the root of this is that we fail to recognize the physical mechanisms that made us overweight. Obesity may have components of the emotional but it is mostly physical. Our eating-meters are off and the band helped me get mine back to a reasonable place.

Daisy needs to go get a good job with good insurance and go for it. Big tech firms cover it. The university I worked for covered it.

Oh and for the record-doing a Ph.D. is wicked hard but I know the physics department where I used to work is gagging for female Ph.D. students in Physics so if daisy wants to contact me I can give her the names of a few people to make contact with (female physicists) who would love to talk to her about it.


amandakiska said...

The best way to gain a bunch of weight and get fatter and fatter is to keep going on diets, losing some weight and then having the subsequent binge/re-gain. For me, the lap-band WLS has ended all that. I am so glad I decided to have this surgery and end that horrible cycle. It sounds like Daisy is really scared and definately hiding behind her fat in her comfort-zone of academia. I didn't have insurance to cover my surgery either, but I self-paid in Mexico for less than $6,000.00. There are options out there!

Nella said...

$20,000 dollars later, watching everything you eat, scared to eat certain foods. Panic whenever there is a feeling of something wrong = definitely not the easy way out!

Sam said...

It does sound bad and frustrating as hell.

But maybe Daisy thinks that since, at this time, she can't afford to get the banding done she needs to look at it as if it is the easy way out. Almost like she is trying to talk herself out of wanting the Lap Band.

Same as her thinking that going for her doctoriate is easier than finding a job. The doctoriate may seem easier than having to face an interview and face the possibility that she may not get the job she wants.

I know I have had a lot of self doubt over the years - still fighting it now, but I am working on it.

Sherry said...

You know what I think? I think Daisy is afraid of losing the weight. She has probably defined herself her entire life as the 'fat girl with brains'. What will she be without the fat? Just brains. And you know what, any stupid Lifetime After School Special will tell you that just having brains doesn't make for a happy person. You want more. Something. Even if that 'something' is 'something' you don't like. Like fat. I don't know. I feel for this Daisy girl. And I've stopped buying magazines that have "Lost it without surgery!" on the cover. That's my way of making a difference. With my checkbook.

Bonnie said...

I always go back to what my surgeon says. "Losing weight without the band is hard. Losing weight with the band is hard too, but it's a different kind of hard."

Band Groupie said...

Ahh Judi, I so get your reaction, because it was mine. I wise Bander friend and I recently had a long discussion about (and I've recently been writing about) how it's human nature to do the 'easy' thing...sometimes on the surface it seems like more work, but it's
actually the 'easier' thing for that out my emotions or just eat the entire pie? Hmmm. Stay in school where I know I can succeed or deal with other issues where I might not succeed? Hmmm.

Dear Daisy,
I've been successful in EVERY other aspect of my life...I've been a very successful business woman, I've got a great family, wonderful home, great life. I've even been a VERY successful dieter...lost thousands of pounds over and over again. Please learn from my 30+ years of fighting this losing battle...getting the LB is no different than amputee getting a prosthetic's a tool you can use to help you get where you want to be...does that mean it walks for you, heck no! It just levels the playing field and allows you to walk like everyone else.

Sorry, off my soapbox now...this just touched a nerve because I so wish I could go back and tell my (OK, bitch slap my), smart, stubborn, young self all this.

Be the smart young girl you are and get the tool you need to do the job right. Come see me if you need some support or just have questions...I'm all about paying this 'gift' forward. -BG

I'm here:

Calotren said...

This is an interesting post..Calotren is essentially a weight-loss supplement but if you can also look younger besides losing weight, then it is surely worth its weight in gold. You should however, have the patience of taking Calotren regularly for 90 days along with exercise and a balanced diet.

Ronke143 said...

To be honest, having weight loss surgery is kind of the 'easier way out' (not Easy, because I don't think there is an easy way out of obesity) or probably more accurate, 'the only way out'.

The way I look at it, we live in a modern world where ,any things exist for the purpose of making our lives easier! We have running water in our homes, we have cell phones and lap tops to make staying connected so much EASIER, we have cars to make personal transportation EASIER, we have grocery stores to make feeding our families EASIER.

The thing that does make me mad is when people say "the easy way out" as if it's some kind of insult. If you are able to lose weight, and sustain that weight loss without the help of a tool, good for you. If you need help to make losing possible, easier or sustainable, then more power to you! I have absolutely no doubt in my mind, that the lap-band procedure is a difficult one, but it allows you to achieve what we are not able to achieve on our own, and sustain it.

Is that easier? Or is that just logical...?