Monday, August 8, 2011

Doubting Thomas

Sometimes I think people want you to fail. This weekend we had relatives over and all they could talk about is how many people they know that have failed with the lap band. The story is always basically the same. Someone go the lap band and lost 50 pounds and then started eating bad food or overeating so they could stretch their stomachs. The lap band is a tool. It gives me a fighting chance at a normal life in which I can get a new liver and live forever.

It is no the lap band that has failed; rather, it was the lap band that was failed. Anyone can mess up a good thing and if someone gets the lap band and then overeats or becomes an alcoholic, then it's their fault. For every person that fails the lap band there are 20 that have succeeded. People just don't want to hear good news because it's not as fun. Maybe it's not the "fun" factor. I think it's probably that people need to talk poorly about other people in order to feel better about themselves.

Nonetheless, most statistics gauge the amount of weight lost by the various types of surgeries. In every case, without complications, people lose weight. How much and for how long is purely the responsibility of the patient and not the surgical procedure. The fact is that bariatric surgery is necessary in every super morbid obesity case I have ever heard of. In terms of success rates, the long term weight loss from bariatric surgery far exceeds any traditional diet or extreme weight loss like the television show "The Biggest Loser." I am more interested to see the tv show's long term success rate with people that lost weight on the show. I am sure it is dismal. Anyone can lose weight for 6 months, 9 months, maybe even a year, but morbidly obese will eventually gain the weight back. That is where the surgery is different. I guessing here because good data is hard to find, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that 95% of surgery patients lose significant weight and, of those, 80% keep the weight off for life. Those are stats that I can life with.

Where does the fat go?
Since my surgery I have lost an estimated fifteen pounds. On the doctor's scale on August 29th I weighed 413 with my clothes on (polo shirt shorts and tennis shoes). This morning, without clothes on, I scaled in at 393.6. If there is is a difference of five pounds between the two scales then I still lost fifteen pounds. On Friday I will go to the surgeons office and we can see what the difference really is.

My infection is gone and I am no longer constipated. I did a lot of walking this weekend and I think I'm ready for the gym without lifting weights. The most important thing is that I feel better already. My clothes are fitting better and I can get into and out of my low profile BMW easier.

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