Thursday, December 07, 2006

Does Anyone Else Think This is NUTS??

Or am I the only one? Surely by now you have seen the commercials for the Lap-Band. Right? Well, the very first time I saw one - I thought I was watching one of those fake Saturday Night Live commercials. Honestly. But these people are serious.

We all have heard of gastric bypass surgery - but here is a new less invasive procedure. They cut you open, put in this constrictive device, and then it can be controlled through a port to either narrow the opening to the stomach or enlarge it. Believe it or not, the system can be adjusted to accomodate a growing fetus. Which leads me to believe that doctors would have no problem implanting this in a pregnant woman.

I am NOT insensitive to those who are overweight. I have had struggles with my weight since I can remember. Eating just one high-calorie meal can add five pounds to my frame instantly. However, I have to wonder about these procedures that actually reduce the size of the stomach in order to prevent a person from eating too much. When you reach the point where you can no longer control your eating habits, isn't that more of a psychological problem than a physical one? Surgery is incredibly dangerous - and the effects are long-lasting. Is it really possible that some people have incredibly large stomachs, and that there is no other way for them to control their hunger? I'm not a physician or a psychoanalyst, but something about our society's acceptance of these types of procedures frightens me. I am concerned that people who undergo these operations will suffer long-term side effects.

We've all heard the drill: diet and exercise are the only way. And these are LIFESTYLE CHANGES, not short-term solutions. I would love to hear from any of you as to how and why you feel these procedures are the only way for some people to enjoy normal lives. I freely admit a measure of ignorance regarding this topic.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this one. As much as I have struggled to control my weight, manage my lifestyle, etc., I have NEVER considered going the invasive procedure route. I suppose some people believe there is no other alternative, but as you said, there are still psychological issues at work here. I've heard interviews with celebs and other "regular" folks who have said that just getting the gastric bypass or this lap-band doesn't solve the PROBLEM of obesity; obesity is a symptom of some other underlying problem.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you and desert songbird too. 100%

I'm overweight right now and when I lose the weight it will be because I exercised more, ate less and more healthily. that's how I've done it before and while it takes a long time and is hard, it's more long lasting and much less dangerous.

Willowtree said...

Make that three. I agree with everyone so far and I'm a person who has not only struggled with their weight since childhood, but am presently overweight.
I am however addressing the problem.

It's controversial to say morbidly obese people are lazy, I don't mean they just sit around, I mean they seem de-motivated. It is a mental health issue, but it's also an issue endemic in most First World countries, that is, either blame someone else for you problems, or if that fails, get someone else to fix them.

It may be an old saying, but the best exercise it to place both hands palm down on the dinner table and push.

Karmyn R said...

Having a weight problem myself, I always wish there was an easy fix, but there isn't -

I believe it requires a lifestyle change - however, for someone who is morbidly obese (like 200+lbs overweight, this device may actually be a life saver).

For anyone else who is just fat- (like me) - it has got to be a mind and behavioral change. No more cookies, no more sweets, running, jogging, move those feet!

Anonymous said...

Awwww, Karmyrr's so cute.

btw, I love how fattie mcfattersons always cite glandular problems. I am a very fit person who can run eight miles and bench more than his weight but I've been letting myself go for the past month or so....

You just convinced me to drive--not walk--to my nearest McDonald's. A couple of burgers'd be great right now..... After I finish my tallboy.

marnie said...

I used to be a chronic over-eater.. and nothing could change it until I wanted to change. I never once thought about having surgery to correct something I knew was psychological. I do think that it has probably prevented some deaths due to obesity.

I'd never do it. Ever. I've lost 25 lbs through hard work and commitment.

Anonymous said...

I know that my extra's are my lack of will. But, I would never be skinny even if I tried.

I've watched people I know -- one skinny as a like a horse.
I've watched another, eat carefully, and still fight the bulge.

there are some things we can't help.

Having said that, I admit that many people just need that closure on their mouth and not in their stomach.

Here, have another potato chip. ô¿ô

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above...the trick is to get up off your butt and careful what you eat etc. And Willow made a very valid point...people don't want to do the work themselves...they want to go to a dr and be "fixed."
hmmm...I think I might have to go for a walk...

Vicki said...

My friends Mom just last year had the gastric bypass thing done. Nobody knew at first, then she started loosing weight quickly and well you just figure it out. I spoke with her about this. She went to counseling before hand, read the books, listen to the tapes to prepare herself mentally for this procedure. She said, for herself, it was hard to walk, her knees were bad, her ankles hurt, and she was having chest pains. She had to loose the weight to be able to move. She had to move to loose weight. Anyway now she walks 3 miles a day sometimes twice a day. She feels good, she's loosing weight, her heart is healthier. She is on the road to recovery. For her this is what she needed to save her life.

That's her story. I choose to walk. I battle with weight, but I pray that battle is over soon. My mind is changing, slowing but it's changing. Thank goodness my body is following.

Vicki said...

by the way have you ever been to lawerish blog? She is adopting a baby soon. .. You might have insight. ??

Anonymous said...

It never made any sense to me all these stomach constricting devices that all wrap around the TOP of the stomach (bottom of the esophagus) rather than around the stomach itself. All that forces you to do is chew more so that the food is small enough to bypass the device. It doesn't shrink the stomach in any way so you can eat less. And since the stomach is where all the digesting takes place, any food too big to slip past the hoop ends up blocking the opening, either digesting in your throat where it can create serious problems, or blocking the stomach altogether so you starve.

Tiggerlane said...

Desert Songbird - Agreed! It just seems too terribly scary to me...

angelina - You're tight. It does suck. But it IS healthier. I think processed foods that we've come to know and love are also to blame.

WT - Seems like we DO blame others for our problems a lot. And I hate those commercials for Pepcid, etc...they don't encourage you to change your actual eating habits. You see the guy at the buffet drop his tongs as his body sends that "pain" message to STOP EATING CRAP. But it's ok - b/c now he can take a pill, have instant relief, and EAT MORE CRAP. Unreal.

karmyn r - Exactly what I wonder. I know that some people are morbidly obese, and NOT b/c of anything except poor genetics. I wish I understood more about it all - b/c I'm sure some of these procedures do save lives.

Matt - Tallboy?

Marnie - 25lbs is AWESOME! I'm jealous!

Pamela - I'm married to one of those skinny folks. And I bore another one as a child. They can consume 5 gallons of ice cream a day and not gain weight. They suck.

Claudia - Exactly. We have pills to fix everything. Even one if you want your period only 4 times a year. I just can't believe that man has figured out the science of the human body well enough to be messing with God's creation so freely, just for our convenience.

Vicki - Thanks for the perspective. The idea of not being able to move b/c of the weight would make exercise impossible. Excellent to know that there are people who really DO benefit from this. I just can't imagine it applying to the general public. I'll pop by lawyerish - and I WILL finish more of my "story" very soon!

Mugsy - Never thought of that! However, gastic bypass goes from esophagus directly to stomach...but all of it is scary.

swampwitch said...

What a scary thing to try. I agree with what many of the others up above this quote have said...less food, more exercise. Question: How did Pamela make that little face after, "have another potato chip?"

Kila said...

I know three people who have had it done.

For the woman, it was to save her health. Her whole life really. She was very overweight and not losing any. It turned her life around.

For a male friend of mine who had been overweight his entire life, even as a 5 yr old, it turned his life around also.

For the other man I know, it really didn't make any difference. He lost some weight, but he's now just as fat as he was before the surgery. Other things in his life have to change.

I just hope I don't end up down the same road. I was always a skinny person, but these last 4 years I just keep putting on weight and have no control over my eating. I'm never satisfied, always hungry. It's scary.

M J said...

Eh oh, oh eh!

Make that 27 lbs.