I’m sure the fact that I blog about weight loss surgery (wls) matters, angers people. In fact I know that it does, because I’ve gotten quite a bit of vitriol for still remaining online and on social media, in the weight loss surgery community. Both with people who do it anonymously and those who’ve attached their identity with their hate.
I’m kind of proof positive, that someone can have not necessarily an optimistic view point, as it applies to my own gastric bypass complications but NOT subject that on everyone on the weight loss surgery community. Most of my weight loss surgery peers, especially if they get me, even if they DO NOT, find I’m supportive of their their weight loss journies. Whether they elected to have bariatric surgery or not. Whether they had ideal or catastrophic circumstances, afterwards.
I probably was the most anti-wls peep on the planet, 3 months before my gastric bypass reversal that occurred in 9/2010. And for about 3 months afterwards. Then I realized a couple of things, that still stay relevant to this day, especially given the fact I support people’s choice to have a surgical weight loss intervention to lose weight, in addition to supporting people’s right in what I do with Size Acceptance/Fat Acceptance (where this will have relevance as it applies to the weight loss community whether or not people have a surgical intervention, will make more sense,as I go along, in blog, if people don’t already understand this about me, to begin with, as people think it’s a conflict of interest and it really isn’t. For multiple reasons) which means I support people’s right not to have to lose weight and not get judged. For ANY reason. Just like I also abhor thin shaming. Also for ANY reason.
The people I tend to anger in the weight loss surgery community, number for many reasons. For some, they are upset I talk about weight loss surgery matters, because apparently I didn’t have an optimal outcome. I came out of my gastric bypass, with my life. And barely with that. I had an epic regain PRIOR to my reversal. My gastric bypass reversal is confusing to many, because I was on the heavier side, even though I had lost quite a bit of regain, by the time I was reversed. But my reversal was NEVER about being non compliant or my weight, which I was not the most non compliant bariatric surgical peep and had nothing to do with my weight, thin or fat. It had everything to do with that I acutely was going to die from multiple gi bleeds, multiple times (this is before my lil hands ever got a hold of an NSAIDS which I sparingly took at this time) in 2010, to secondary reasons of my inability to absorb essential nutrients and vitamins for many years, it progressively getting worse, as I further got post op. And the secondary complications that are caused by severe long term nutritional deficiencies by someone who’s actually taking their vitamins.
Here’s what I learned during the 6 months I was VERY anti-wls. I NEVER successfully talked anyone out of having weight loss surgery. Like EVER. That what I say about weight loss surgery will vary on who’s asking and WHY they are asking. And where they are asking it. If someone is primarily in the weight loss surgery community, but hasn’t had surgery yet, I’ll tell them both the positive and the risks of ANY bariatric surgery. And if I don’t know best about a surgery, I’ll refer them to my fellow wls peers who believe in saying both the positives and potential negatives about any wls.
I however will talk primarily, about the risks, primarily, if someone is in the Size Acceptance/Fat Acceptance community. Not saying all SA/FA members are anti wls or anti weight loss. Most of them, ARE however, anti weight loss. Usually for ANY reason (which is understandable, to a certain extent, given how much weight loss is shoved down people’s throats). I figure by nature, if someone is in the SA/FA community, or of having a lot of their social support coming from anti-wls peeps, they aren’t looking in the first place to be talked IN to having weight loss surgery. They are looking to be talked OUT of weight loss surgery and probably are NOT ideal candidates for weight loss surgery. And the few who’ve had weight loss surgery, even after talking with me, ended up regretting it. That’s why I operate the way that I do, about this.
There’s many reasons and the reason why it needs to be said on a weight loss surgery specific blog, of why Size Acceptance and Fat Acceptance should matter more to my wls peers even though I understand why they fear it, is because even if I could keep my answers that’s strictly relevant to the wls or weight loss community, it fails everyone. But so this doesn’t end up being a 10k word blog, that’s exactly what I’ll do.
The fat/fitness/food shaming has no business in wls support. IMNSHO. It’s one thing if a certain weight loss surgery post op, is asked for advice, while some peers may be blunt, it’s not with the intention to shame, that’s just their communication style. It’s another when people shame and scare people about regain issues. Or judge people who’ve had regain or never got to goal.
I can’t stand when this is done. Especially IN the weight loss surgery community. People sometimes have extenuating circumstances of regain or never getting to goal. Or they lost a significant amount of weight, but they started at such a higher weight, that while they were able to lose a significant amount of weight, they aren’t thin. Or they can’t become thin because of circumstances, another has NO idea of what someone is up against. Such as medical health issues, mental health issues (i.e. certain psych meds, and I’ll be writing another blog specific to that, soon) or other health issues, that people out of ignorance or ego, choose not to understand.
Some people WILL be successful in their weight loss endeavors, even if they don’t follow the normal rules of weight loss. Whether they are bariatric surgical peeps or not. Some people whether they want to lose weight or not, have barriers from them being ever to have a prayer of getting to their goals.
Don’t EVER judge something you can’t understand. For one, this happens all the time, especially by weight loss surgery peers to another weight loss surgery peer. You wouldn’t believe how ridiculous, as well as MEAN, some newbie post ops are to another post op. Truthfully, as kind and empathetic as I try to be to most people. I truthfully laugh at newbie post ops (and in my case, being over 13 years post gastric bypass) a newbie to me is any wls peep under 6 years post op of just how egocentric and all knowing they can come off. In the wls community it’s anyone usually under 3 years.
I’m not sorry for saying that NO ONE is ever an expert on someone else’s life journey. Weight related or not. AND we know how crappy we get treated by non wls peeps for having wls. For those who treat another person crappy when struggling especially if they are are only a few years post op, look absolutely ridiculous. To both non wls people AND wls grads who find their self righteousness both kind of frightening and entertaining (not talking in absolutes, you can’t, that’s one of the points of this blog). For most of us who do try to help others with wls matters, in a positive manner, also know, and this only comes with time, that even the most positive wls journies, people have their struggles and it’s cyclical. Same in my case where it’s been mostly negative, but I can find some positive things about my wls experiences.
I WILL defend though, for people to talk about whatever they want, however they want to, in their own social media spaces. I’m talking more about those who are mean spirited, if not vile, in what should be other wls peers’s safe spaces on social media.
There’s a reason most people, even in my case, where I was reversed at almost 9 years post op, even if I WASN’T reversed, that grads continue to disappear from the wls communities, online. Most of the time it because of complications and/or regain, which a lot of people are so harshly judged by other wls peers, people end up with a lack of support. And people find me for that reason. And that’s one of many reasons why I live such an open and public life. For multiple reasons, this being though, at the top of the list, as it applies to the wls community.
What’s more repugnant to me, is those who shame others to promote a bariatric based business. Whether it’s a bariatric blog, product or service. ESPECIALLY by those who’ve had regain and maybe lost it or they never had regain issues but they lack empathy and they are further out. They should know better but they don’t. They feed on drama and hating on others.
There is NO need for anyone to be that way in the wls community, even though a few people will find those sort of people, inspiring. They really aren’t. Usually they are the type that they never help people, unless they are getting paid for it or unless they are getting a lot of attention.
The people I choose to support in the weight loss surgery community are people who are honest about their weight loss surgery and choose to support their other peers, positively. It doesn’t mean they sugarcoat things. They just concentrate on positive support that helps, even if they are blunt about it. They talk and act of what has worked for them, they don’t have to point fingers at others who are struggling. They may have bariatric based businesses but they also pay it forward, somehow, for free.
I posted a picture in a few of the Facebook wls communities, a couple of weeks ago… What I was told both in groups and privately is very telling. While I said in another blog that I technically wouldn’t post another “before and after picture”. I did so privately. And what I was told was both amazing and also frightening. Depending on the source.
Here’s the picture….
(very left pic taken 9/2001, 3 months before rny gastric bypass on 12/2001, pic 2nd to the left, July of 2005. While I kept off my weight for 6 years, the last 3 1/2 years being the thinnest and fittest I’ve ever been. Pic 2nd to the right, pic taken 10/2009, after almost 2 years on the psychotropic cocktail from HELL, pic on the very right taken 3/2015. I’m a size 14/16 on average. Sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. Hence the comment above, “inbetweenie” )
Here’s some of the positive comments I got….
“Wow you look GREAT, Lisa”
” Look great, hope you had fun”
“Look great, hope you are feeling better, cute outfit”….
Here’s some of the baffling, stupid and mean comments that I got on pic from fellow wls peeps ….
“Well you’re not technically an “inbetweenie”. Because that would require you keeping at least 1/2 your excess weight off or being 1/2 your size”
“WOW!!! You bounce a lot, weight wise!!!!”
“WOW!!! That shirt has to be plus sized or you still have to. As you’re HUGE” (and the person who said this was an insensitive idiot, ok, that I digress. But I kid you NOT, they were STUPID enough to say that, as I mentioned I stretched the xl shirt out, when buying it before I lost a lot of my regain, in early 2010)
Seriously though. WTF??? All the comments that were negative, well were negative. Some people do find me scary or my circumstances that I get. Getting technical of why they find me scary,isn’t necessary. I’m not looking to be an inspiration for weight loss. I am however looking to be considered at least a little inspirational for someone who had major life changes that were nothing less than HORRIBLE and who had to start all over again, from having nothing to trying to make the best out of what life has thrown me. And for those who get that about me, great.
The point I’m trying to get across is that what you will need in support will vary, as far as a weight loss endeavor. I do personally think that if one is a source or needs a source that shames in any way, you may have a weight loss/ wls success as far as measurable weight loss, however you’ll be miserable or one will make OTHERS miserable, by being negative, to others, about it. Also realize that people have the right to own their own weight loss experiences. If someone had a great outcome for example from weight loss surgery, they have a right to be happy and share that happiness with others who are like minded. At the same time, if someone had a crappy experience after weight loss surgery, they have a right to share that, too.
I try to have empathy or apathy for almost everyone. As it’s unrealistic that we’ll in ANY online community, will get along. But I’m pretty vocal against the haters and shamers. And while people will be sometimes vicious in their criticism in me, it won’t break me. If I could physically and mentally survive what I’ve had to, those who only get attention by shaming and hating on me, usually do so, also to others, don’t have a prayer of saying anything that will change how I live my life. I will though say something though, in defense for those who they actually do HARM, to, as not everyone has a voice.
Hopefully this helps those who need it, if they are struggling with any weight loss surgery issue of how to find the best support for them. Feel free to either ask for my opinions on the best weight loss surgery peeps to follow or if you need support of some kind due to complications and/or regain. You can either post questions (as I try to keep my blog a safe place for those who are struggling with almost anything but at the same time, I’m wls positive as far as those who had optimal outcomes) or you can find me privately.
Hopefully this starts a dialogue within the weight loss/weight loss surgery community. I am not against posting comments that are different to what I believe, as long as they are shared respectfully.
Just remember your weight loss or your weight loss surgery “journies” are UNIQUELY your own. No one has the right to judge or put parameters on what’s considered a success or a failure. My own opinion is that no one is ever a failure for trying. But I also have to say, for some, you have to respect that any weight loss endeavor is NOT going to positively mentally or physically impact their lives. Just the opposite. That’s why I do the kind of activism I do. Because I think any body bullying and those who body bully, SUCK.
Note: To my haters. It would be self destructive to keep writing wls blogs if people didn’t read em. And not a constructive use of all the time, some of you viciously point out, that I have. So keep that in mind before you send me ANY hate, privately or on social media. OK???