I’ve been fuming a bit for the last week, ever since reading an article by the ‘Fuming Foodie’ detailing her thoughts on weight loss surgery (WLS). According to her, people who have surgery are lazy and taking the easy way out. They’re self-indulgent, overweight, spineless jellyfish who don’t deserve to be skinny. I bet I’ve read her article a dozen times or more now, trying to decide exactly how to feel about that.
Decision made: I want to bitch-slap her into next week.
I’d say she’s ignorant, but that’s not exactly correct. Ignorant implies that it’s simply a lack of knowledge. She certainly lacks knowledge, but it’s a willful ignorance. She states that people that believe some people are so obese that they don’t have a choice are ‘the type of person who enables drug addicts and criminals.’ She knows this because she watches shows on TLC.
I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to bitch-slap her into next week. I want to bitch-slap her into next month.
Because in the week since the first post, she went on a BariatricTV radio show. In her follow-up post, she refers to their ‘honest, open, and mature discussion.’ And then states ‘ WLS is something that people resort to when they cannot lose weight and keep it off on their own, because they lack the will and determination to do so. And because of that, it is a catalyst and short cut to a healthier lifestyle.’
Oh, and another favorite: ” I believe that if you cannot control yourself, having the surgery is a cheat to being healthy. It’s not fair in the game of life.”
Facts be damned, apparently. And I’ve changed my mind again. I want to bitch-slap her into next year.
Instead, I posted a response:
I have to wonder – would you have ever given even a passing thought to writing an article claiming that an anorexic should just quit being such a drama queen, man up and eat a cheeseburger? Or say that it’s easy to beat bulemia, just quit sticking your fingers down your throat for crying out loud?
I’m hoping not. Most intelligent people realize that anorexia and bulemia are eating disorders that have little to do with food itself; the food is being used as a way to deal with a psychological and/or emotional issue. Those emotional issues can be compounded by the physical damage that’s done. In extreme cases, drastic intervention can become necessary to keep an anorexic/bulemic alive long enough to even begin to solve the emotional issues, and those issues never go away completely. Neither do the physical effects, even if they eventually reach & maintain a healthy weight.
So why is it so hard to understand that when you’re dealing with morbid and super-morbid obesity, you’re also dealing with an eating disorder? People that have managed to gain an extra 100, 200, 300+ pounds aren’t just people with a big appetite. They’re self-medicating with food. Do they need to deal with their emotional issues? Of course they do. Weight loss surgery doesn’t change that. It doesn’t change the need to learn healthy eating habits or to exercise.
Someone that’s super-morbidly obese may be diabetic, suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, increased risk of stroke. Their joints are deteriorating at an alarming rate because of the stress from the weight. They may have open sores because their skin literally splits from the pressure of the fluid in the cells. The longer they carry that extra weight, the more damage is done, and much of that damage is irreversible. Just like an anorexic, they need drastic intervention.
It’s sad that even after everything you’ve been told, you insist on repeating, “There are people who lose weight and keep it off without surgery or medication. And if they can do it so can others.” Yes, those people exist. They’re in the minority, but they exist. But the fact that those people exist doesn’t mean that you should essentially publicly abuse people that realize they are NOT in that minority.