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.