Weight Loss Surgery Isn’t the Easy Way Out

Today Daniel shared this video with me of a popular gaming Youtuber, Boogie2988, who just announced he is finally going to undergo weight loss surgery. It’s beautifully honest and sincere, and watching it, I couldn’t help but feel such love and kinship for this man. He also does a really good job of explaining his reasons why surgery is the right choice for him.

After being a part of the weight loss and healthy living community over the years, I’ve observed what I think is an unfair bias against bariatric surgery. People can view those who decide to get surgery as lazy or reckless. People who have lost weight without surgery often like to let you know they did it “the hard way.” But I don’t think surgery should be viewed as the easy way out.

All of us who are or have been significantly overweight got that way because we have serious problems. Many of the problems are psychological, some are physical, but you don’t get to be 100+ pounds overweight just because you like chocolate a little too much. For people like us, In order to lose and maintain weight loss, you need to work through many, many issues. I was able to work through enough of my psychological problems with food to get to a place where I could physically lose and maintain a significant weight loss without bariatric surgery. Not everyone is able to do that. It isn’t because they don’t try hard enough, because they’re looking for a shortcut, or because they’re intrinsically weaker, they just have a problem that might require a different solution. Weight loss surgery allows them to address the physical nature of their addiction in the hope they will be able to correct the emotional side of it in time.

Surgery isn’t some magical cure where a wizard waves his wand over your body and your stomach shrinks and your mind is healed. Surgery simply physically forces someone into eating less for a period of time. It gives people an opportunity to lose an often large amount of weight, while they work on their relationship with food. People who get surgery need to eat a very restrictive diet and are often required to also address mental health issues. From the people who’ve undergone surgery that I’ve talked with and from the stories I’ve heard, I think it’s more than fair to say it’s still very hard work. But it gives people a chance to succeed when they have failed with more traditional methods. And in general, surgery can be successful in helping people lose at least a moderate amount of weight and cure comorbidities associated with obesity like diabetes and sleep apnea.

Surgery isn’t the first choice for anyone. The operating room is often at the end of a very long road. Many people who find success with surgery were lifelong dieters—people who have tried every diet imaginable but for whatever reason just couldn’t make it work. We live in an amazing time for medical technology and it would be foolish for people not to avail themselves of every option available to improve their health, or in many cases, save their life.

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9 thoughts on “Weight Loss Surgery Isn’t the Easy Way Out

  1. Carly

    This is so true! I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in January of this year after 20 years of yo yo dieting, and incremental weight increases over time. I have successfully lost 60 pounds so far, but it has not been easy. It is at times very uncomfortable, if not downright painful, to eat, so it really affects your relationship with food and pleasure in eating. Not for everyone!

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  2. Elena

    I had lapband surgery in 2009, needed a port replacement surgery a few year ago and just had my complete band removed 3 weeks ago. I had gained all my weight back (plus some during my pregnancy in 2014/2015) and the port area was painful.
    I joined weight watchers (yet again) on December 24th and have lost 23lbs since then. I feel much better about the journey this time around and I am very determined to be a healthier me!

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  3. Anne Maxwell

    Thank you so much for posting this! After a lifelong struggle with weight, my endocrinologist and I decided that gastric bypass was th best solution to assist me with the myriad of medical conditions I was fighting. It has never been an easy journey but one filled with support, love and emotional counseling. I fight it every day and am proud to say that 5 years later I am 140 pounds lighter and healthier thanks to this decision. The fight is far from over. When you commit, you must commit to fight it for a lifetime because truly, nothing comes easy. Andi, I loved your book and enjoy all of your support to us!

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  4. Anne

    It is my understanding after these surgeries , your food intake is very restrictive! For gastric by-pass, it is forever…that’s a lllooonnnggg time! Great article Andi! af

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  5. Amanda Rizzuto

    I cannot express how awesome this post is! Having had lapband surgery back in 2014, I was told that I took the easy way out by a plethora of people. Being 330 pounds at 21 years old was not exactly how I wanted to live my life. I had been on every diet you can think of from the time I was 10 years old. I finally had enough. I tried one more time to lose weight the natural way and could not get past the 30 pound mark. I’ve worked extremely hard and half lost almost 1/2 of my original body weight. I’m toned and see things in my body I would have never dreamed of. I work out 6 days a week and have never felt better. Thank you Andi for putting this post out there!

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  6. Judy Caywood

    I had lap band surgery. I lost 60 lbs and then all weight loss stopped. That has been 8 years ago. I’m still so thankful to have lost that 60 lbs.

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  7. Sherrie L. Scharbrough

    Hi I just want to say I had my RNY (gastric Bypass) on July 2, 2013. I was on insulin and pills for my Diabetes. I took 100units of Levermire plus 500mg of Metformin. I took 12 different medications. I have Fibromylgia, Arthritis, high blood pressure plus I am on Thyroid meds. Since my RNY I am off all diabetic medication. I take 4 different meds now. I still take 3 different meds for my blood pressure. I just can’t let the stress go. If you figure it out let me know. I am able to exercise and I walk 3 to 4 miles 3 to 4 days a week. Something that I couldn’t do because of the pain from everything. I feel like this decison rates up there with two very precious things in my life. Those being my marriage to my bes freind for almost 44years now and the birth of my 2 grown children and of course now my grandchildren. Anyone that says this is the easy way out just ask me. I had problems with Strictures ( like scar tissue) that would heal to much and close off my stoma (opening of my pouch) I had 5 endoscopes with 4 dialations before I finally healed enough. This started right after my surgery and continued until 2015. Now I will share my STATS: HIGHEST WEIGHT 249#’s (this time I was at 285 managed to lose some before my WLS) SURGERY WEIGHT 232 LOWEST WEIGHT 117#’s I did gain 8#’s when I was able to eat decent food. CURRENT WEIGHT 125#’s. I got to my lowest weight in 6 months. Had the 8# gain but I have maintained my weight at 125#’s for over 3 and 1/2 years now!! Man O mighty what a ride this has been. Again talk to a weight loss person and ask them if it is the easy way out. In order to be fair just walk in our shoes and see for yourself. KEEP ON KEEPING ON!!!

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  8. Sherry

    I am 63 years old and I weigh 286. I have considered weight loss surgery many times over the last few years. I am very afraid of any surgery because I have had 6 surgeries for health issues and did not do well with anestesia. I have tried most of the diets you could name , sometimes more than once and always gained my weight back, plus. I still want to lose at least most of my weight. I feel very disheartened now about it. I am loving myself gently through this journey because no one is perfect and life is too short to treat yourself badly. It wouldnt fix anything to beat myself up anyway. Food has been made by me to be a comfort and a loving loyal friend that does not let me down. Of course that is psychological and not based on reality. Food is not the problem it is just the substance. I am a wonderful cook and baker and show my love through preparing meals for my family and myself. It is hard to give up the one thing you do very well. I currently still don’t know the answer for me , but I try to move as much as I can each day and get in fruits and veggies as well as my delicious baked goods. I drink a lot of water and take my supplements. I also get plenty of sleep. I just don’t lose weight from my efforts. I don’t know what else to do.

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