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Now ye're talking - to someone who's had weightloss surgery

13

Comments

  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    big syke wrote: »
    May I ask why it was covered by your health insurance?

    Was it to do with BMI?

    Yes, the criteria at the time were
    • BMI >40 or
    • BMI >35 with a medical condition (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)

    This was several years ago so it may have changed since.

    Ultimately it is one of the best investments a health system can make as the cost of someone being obese is huge in the long term and the cost of the surgery is peanuts in comparison.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    shesty wrote: »
    Hijacking a bit here too, but as a parent I find some of this extremely interesting. I fully believe that our parent's generational attitude of "you must clear your plate" has fed into some of this - as you say AMA you felt like it was almost a "sin" not to clear the plate. I absolutely refuse to insist this of my own children, I want them to realise when they are full, and that is the point they should stop eating at, and that it is ok to leave some food there.


    There is huge psychology behind eating and weight loss, having struggled with it myself a lot over the years, I have learned this. I know somebody locally who had the same surgery as you OP, and the result is amazing. I think it is quite a brave thing to do in a way.

    Thanks shesty and it's good to hear you are passing on good habits. Not only did we all religiously believe in clearing the plate but the portions were often totally weird. A child would have a similar big plate of food to an adult who was doing physical work all day. I think we are much better now but it's hard to shake off old habits and ideas.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    I'd like to jump in on this to, apologies shesty, obesity is deeply psychologically based, I fear not enough is being done to address this aspect of the disorder, and we default towards the more physical aspect in regards treatment. I have major issues with well known weight loss programs such weight watchers etc, even though I appreciate and acknowledge they do help many, but don't go far enough in their treatment, particularly psychologically, which in fact may cause some to engage in other maladaptive coping strategies post weight loss, such as other addictive behaviours, what are your thoughts, and well done on your weight loss achievements?

    Thanks wanderer78, you are right, it has to be addressed in multiple ways. There is no point having surgery if you have underlying psychological needs that have not been considered. Education is important for parents and children, but also for healthcare staff as we are not all experts by any means and sometimes we unwittingly give poor information. Advertising is important too as that affects our choices. Employers could do better also, providing lunch and snack options that encourage moderation and good nutrition.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    how is the IT crisis directly affecting your job? its a bloody nightmare, and disturbing at the same time

    It's off topic but it has been very difficult. I'm really impressed and thankful for how calm and understanding patients have been - when you are unwell the last thing you need is uncertainty and delays. Healthcare staff have been so good, everyone is working extra hard, coming in off leave to help, and being so polite and collegial in the process. I am old enough to have worked in a purely paper-based system so I am reliving my younger days, except we now have mobile phones at least.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,904 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    Thanks wanderer78, you are right, it has to be addressed in multiple ways. There is no point having surgery if you have underlying psychological needs that have not been considered. Education is important for parents and children, but also for healthcare staff as we are not all experts by any means and sometimes we unwittingly give poor information. Advertising is important too as that affects our choices. Employers could do better also, providing lunch and snack options that encourage moderation and good nutrition.

    ...ive always loved Chomsky's take on advertisement, 'its claims to inform us so we can make rational choices, but it in fact does the opposite, i.e. 'it misinforms us, and we make irrational choices from this misinformation'. thank you, and best of luck


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  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭ Segotias


    Bili wrote: »
    During the calorie-restricted diet to shrink your liver did you ever think that you could continue to lose weight yourself and not going through with the operation?

    (I ask as I'm a nurse with a BMI of 40+ but too ashamed to go for bariatric surgery because with all my knowledge I feel that I should be able to get control of my eating myself.)

    Also, did you have any hair loss or thinning at any stage?

    Just on the hair loss thing, I did lose a lot of hair apparently it's the initial shock of oestrogen drop from the fat drop. It did grow back though


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭ Goose81


    Hello, yes that is an important part of the pre-op assessment. You have to show that you have tried diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and that they have failed. You also see a psychologist or psychiatrist who goes through any other issues which may affect your weight.

    I spent about 20 years trying to control my weight with varying success. I mistakenly thought that it was about willpower and self-discipline and that if I was putting on weight it was my own fault. When I met the obesity consultants and dietitians they explained that willpower can help you lose a couple of kilos but that for obese people it is a physical disease that requires treatment. Like asthma or arthritis. It took me a long time to accept what they were saying - I was in denial and I thought I knew better than the experts!

    I realised that I had never in my life really understood what it meant to feel satisfied after a meal unless I was uncomfortably full. That was a revelation to me. The consultants explained that obesity affects the brain's appetite control centres and so even if I tried my hardest my brain would always override my desire to diet and make food irresistible. I am simplifying it a bit here but that is the general gist.

    I am ashamed to say that I bought into the idea that if people were fat they were to blame and that they (and I) were just too lazy. Having this operation and losing weight has made me realise I needed to change my attitude to overweight people and be kinder.

    Genuine question, is that not just a cop-out though, that implies the law of thermodynamics is incorrect.

    A calorie is a unit of energy, if you consume fewer calories than your body needs to function you will lose weight no matter what.

    I accept people can have thyroid issues etc. but that would account for a very small portion of people that are obese/overweight I would imagine.

    Its also down to food choices, you said you are never full and another posted said it as well. Its possible to make a salad with chicken that is under 600 calories and would weigh over 2 lbs, it would be so much food you literally would physically not be able to finish it. I think a lot of it is lazy food choices tbh


  • Site Banned Posts: 3 judgejudyrocks


    Hello

    I've been overweight all my life - can't recall a time when I wasn't.

    I had gastric band surgery in 2005 when 35 and it failed miserably - I'm told 8-10% of band recipients never lose weight with it and to be honest I've had 16 years of not being able to eat a meal, sadly the only things that don't cause nausea and vomiting is junk. I paid privately for this - 7,000 sterling back then.

    Thank you for doing this - I have been recommended for gastric bypass surgery and I am meeting my surgeon next month. Ny BMI I think is around the 53 mark.

    Can I ask a few things ?

    I'm happy to go without alcohol for the six months after surgery but is that it forever ? Would a couple of beers every now and then be possible ? Keeping an eye on the calories of course.

    Are there any really "scary" side effects ? I'm on a pre-surgery diet that is meant to replicate the post-surgery needs (its pretty much liquid - SlimFast shakes, soup and the odd Rich Tea biscuit for a bit of fibre). It is so hard to follow so I know that although I have lost some weight it is not sustainable at all. So I'm not scared of a restrictive diet - but I wonder about getting enough nutrients from a small amount of food.

    Can I ask how much you lost each month ? What's a good amount ? I don't want to be disappointed with what I lose only to find it's perfectly normal!!

    Finally, skin removal may be a ways down the road but my surgery is being done through VHI, I wonder do you know if skin surgery would be too ?

    Thank you for talking about this - sadly most people I know have the attitude that I got myself into this and should get myself out but it's not that simple.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭ air


    Goose81 wrote: »
    Genuine question, is that not just a cop-out though, that implies the law of thermodynamics is incorrect.

    I don't think anyone disputes that overweight people will lose weight if they restrict intake long term.
    The issue seems to be how realistic this is to achieve.

    For very many people it appears that long term obesity brings about such physical and mental changes that their continuing obesity becomes primarily driven by a physical food addiction, not very different to physical addiction to alcohol or other drugs.

    The difference is that you can't give up food cold turkey long term for obvious reasons, which makes relapse into destructive eating habits all the more likely.

    With regard to the "clear your plate" advice, it was sound at a time when food was scarce, many children were effectively malnourished and sugar intake was probably 5% of what it is today.
    It's unfortunate that it's no longer valid but it was for all time up until 30-40 years ago perhaps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,802 ✭✭✭ SimonTemplar


    I can see how it might sound like that out of context but this was a patient I knew very well and she said it in a gentle manner. The doctor-patient relationship is two-way and it was the moment I realised that my own appearance was affecting how well I could connect with patients and gain their confidence.

    Thanks for replying. For some reason, I thought it was a more snarky comment by a rude patient in the same way people can be rude to retail staff. I've had a few rude customers comment on my appearance during my time in retail so I was thinking about that. Thanks for providing more context.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭ Goose81


    air wrote: »
    I don't think anyone disputes that overweight people will lose weight if they restrict intake long term.
    The issue seems to be how realistic this is to achieve.

    For very many people it appears that long term obesity brings about such physical and mental changes that their continuing obesity becomes primarily driven by a physical food addiction, not very different to physical addiction to alcohol or other drugs.

    The difference is that you can't give up food cold turkey long term for obvious reasons, which makes relapse into destructive eating habits all the more likely.

    With regard to the "clear your plate" advice, it was sound at a time when food was scarce, many children were effectively malnourished and sugar intake was probably 5% of what it is today.
    It's unfortunate that it's no longer valid but it was for all time up until 30-40 years ago perhaps.

    Agree with what you are saying but then does there need to be a new terminology.

    Maybe as obese is a person who through lack of excercise, will power and a poor diet has made themselves obese.

    And then another band who are referred to as food addicts, who show the same symptoms and causes but are literally addicted to eating?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,086 ✭✭✭ volchitsa


    Goose81 wrote: »
    Agree with what you are saying but then does there need to be a new terminology.

    Maybe as obese is a person who through lack of excercise, will power and a poor diet has made themselves obese.

    And then another band who are referred to as food addicts, who show the same symptoms and causes but are literally addicted to eating?

    Ah. Good fat people that we want to help, and then bad fat people that we can shame?

    We had that for years with pregnancy and abortion, let's try not to do it with obesity. It's pointless and counter productive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭ air


    Goose81 wrote: »
    Agree with what you are saying but then does there need to be a new terminology.

    Maybe as obese is a person who through lack of exercise, will power and a poor diet has made themselves obese.

    And then another band who are referred to as food addicts, who show the same symptoms and causes but are literally addicted to eating?

    I think the point you're missing is that these are the same people.

    How someone got obese doesn't change the fact that most stay that way because their body and brain suffer permanent damage as a result of being obese long term.

    Food addiction is one of many issues that this damage can cause and is a major barrier to returning to (and maintaining) a normal weight.

    I think a key take away from this is that it would be wise to encourage those who are just somewhat overweight or perhaps approaching obesity to reverse that while it's still achievable without serious medical intervention.


  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ noplacehere


    How long did it take?

    From when you asked the for the referral to first appointment?

    From first appointment to actual surgery?

    How was the follow up afterwards? Do you get enough guidance? Do you still touch base?


  • Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,411 ✭✭✭✭✭ Boards.ie: Niamh
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    Goose81, volchitsa and air can we get back to asking questions of the AMA guest. If you want to have a general discussion about obesity, there are other forums for that. Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,086 ✭✭✭ volchitsa


    Okay sorry about that, Niamh, I got distracted.


    OP: Maybe this is too “technical” a question, but why did you choose the type of surgery (gastrectomy) you finally went for? Why did you eliminate the bypass version?

    I presume it was your decision but it is also about what the surgeon advises and maybe what s/he is used to doing?

    Or does it depend more on your own personal factors and if so which ones? (If that’s not too invasive a question)


  • Registered Users Posts: 906 ✭✭✭ big syke


    Yes, the criteria at the time were
    • BMI >40 or
    • BMI >35 with a medical condition (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)

    This was several years ago so it may have changed since.

    Ultimately it is one of the best investments a health system can make as the cost of someone being obese is huge in the long term and the cost of the surgery is peanuts in comparison.

    Thanks!!

    I hear the docs can try talk you out of the surgery, make people out to be liars (in so far as having tried to lose weight) and that you need to really convince these places of your need for surgery.

    Was this your experience? Did you have to convince the doctors to accept you?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,032 ✭✭✭ manonboard


    Just wanted to thank you OP for sharing all this information. I'm now recovering 4 months from a 36 year eating disorder. It's going great with new treatment after i met a fantastic specialist in my needs. I was super skinny so hearing about it from the other end of the weight spectrum, is fascinating to hear how absolutely similar it is. Thank you for the great education.

    I would like to ask please. How did you feel or how did you balance your feelings about the comments people made after your surgery/recovery? were they welcomed? (the positive ones). Did you find that you came across perceptions of your own that turned out to be valid or invalid once you started to lose alot of weight?
    eg: Did the social value you placed on weight/size, turn out to be accurate or inaccurate for pre/post weight loss?


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 25,849 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Doctor DooM


    OP, this has been a very interesting thread for me.

    I would have been in a very similar boat to you. I had a similar BMI of around 40.

    I began exercising around the beginning of the pandemic and without too many changes to my diet (which I think I'd kind of addressed somewhat anyway) I'm now floating around 28. That translates as around 6 stone or thereabouts.

    Still, a lot of what you said rings very true for me, and I'm finding it tough to move beyond this.

    This thread scares me somewhat as now I'm a little worried this isn't a permanent change, that I'm trying to willpower myself out of a hole you can't. But I feel like this is a permanent change for me. I'm here 16 months now. Perhaps I've reached a new plateau my body is happy at.

    But I feel I have more work to do, I'm still overweight. I'm curious how to research further. You said above you were talking to your GP about it and it sent you down the right path with a psychologist etc. I think that might be a healthy option for me too. But anyway, related question!

    In the past I've gone researching on the internet about weight loss. I don't like following non scientific advice for this kind of stuff, but I've found my brain does like to look for an easy way out for weight loss when I do that. Did you end up looking down any rabbit holes that you shouldn't despite being a Doctor? Any false starts?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 funky sausage


    hi,

    oh my god how do you start this conversation with your GP??

    I lost six stone on a strictly paleo diet with thirty minutes boxing and skipping every day. I was 41.

    Now 50 i have put 8 stone back on, I hate my self, I can't do any exercise without falling to pieces. I don't eat with my family as I'm embarrassed. Can't go for walks around the village as I'm too self conscious. Avoiding work as I can't get suitable clothes to fit.

    So, living on cereal, drinking to excess once the wife and kids are in bed, to feel anything pleasant, and then binge eating whatever is in the house, hiding the packets, replacing them the day after.

    I've done everything, ww, paleo, keto, sw, omad, the bloody drinks, thermoburners…

    I'm not lazy, ran a few 5k's a while ago, was meeting 10,000 steps, but I'm so stuck in this.

    How did you broach this with your gp, I see you've already answered this before but I'm asking again so I can pick up the phone and repeat.

    Thanks in advance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,058 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    hi,

    oh my god how do you start this conversation with your GP??

    I lost six stone on a strictly paleo diet with thirty minutes boxing and skipping every day. I was 41.

    Now 50 i have put 8 stone back on, I hate my self, I can't do any exercise without falling to pieces. I don't eat with my family as I'm embarrassed. Can't go for walks around the village as I'm too self conscious. Avoiding work as I can't get suitable clothes to fit.

    So, living on cereal, drinking to excess once the wife and kids are in bed, to feel anything pleasant, and then binge eating whatever is in the house, hiding the packets, replacing them the day after.

    I've done everything, ww, paleo, keto, sw, omad, the bloody drinks, thermoburners…

    I'm not lazy, ran a few 5k's a while ago, was meeting 10,000 steps, but I'm so stuck in this.

    How did you broach this with your gp, I see you've already answered this before but I'm asking again so I can pick up the phone and repeat.

    Thanks in advance.

    Would you beat yourself if your body's system for regulating iron levels, LDL or whatever was broken? At the weights you are talking about and your diet history your system for regulating bodyfat is set at a high point.

    It's a system regulated by a host of hormones and the hypothalamus.

    For someone like me, 46 and lean it has always worked. It is effortless to remain lean and without purposely adding lots and lots of junk food to diet it would be difficult for me to gain a lot of weight. If I stopped the junk it would fall of and I'd return to my set weight.

    My body defends that fat level in the same way your body defends yours. Your "fat level" is just set higher.

    Rationally you know how to lose weight the problem is the decisions to eat are almost entirely driven by the subconscious mind; a mind which never shuts the fcuk up. When you lose say 10kg, that subconscious mind prompted by lower leptin levels, higher ghrelin levels etc will do everything it can to make you less energetic, colder (conserve energy out) and drive behaviors which make you likely to increase energy in (thought of chips, ice cream etc etc) and they will taste better as food reward circuitry is ramped also.

    Don't beat yourself over something you have very little control over. Its obviously way harder for you as extra weight is so visible while my dysfunctions are completely hidden and people don't know, won't judge me or make comments about them.

    You probably have two choices
    *do what OP did
    *lose a little weight; no more than 10% of current mass and try and stay there and learn to be happy in your own skin.

    This subject is something that has interested me since I was a child. I grew up in a house with a mother never happy with her weight (always dieting, working and walking) and a father who never gave his weight or diet a thought, had an enormous appetite and was effortlessly lean.

    If you listen to Dr Donal O'Shea he says as much in relation to most his morbidly obese patients.

    Best of luck

    P.S sorry for going off topic


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    Goose81 wrote: »
    Genuine question, is that not just a cop-out though, that implies the law of thermodynamics is incorrect.

    A calorie is a unit of energy, if you consume fewer calories than your body needs to function you will lose weight no matter what.

    I accept people can have thyroid issues etc. but that would account for a very small portion of people that are obese/overweight I would imagine.

    Its also down to food choices, you said you are never full and another posted said it as well. Its possible to make a salad with chicken that is under 600 calories and would weigh over 2 lbs, it would be so much food you literally would physically not be able to finish it. I think a lot of it is lazy food choices tbh

    The problem is that as we lose weight our bodies see that as a bad thing and respond by trying to get us to eat more. So our metabolism can decrease and it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. This happens even for people who are not obese - losing the first couple of kilos is fine but then you hit a plateau.

    Yes, in theory we can all fill our plates with low calorie food but we are not robots and it requires a huge amount of will power to maintain a diet like that. It is a very poor use of mental energy to fight our appetites 24/7. I am delighted that I can enjoy life again, eat a healthy amount of any food I want, and be satisfied. If people think it's lazy I don't give a hoot, this works for me and I'm happier than ever.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    Hello

    I've been overweight all my life - can't recall a time when I wasn't.

    I had gastric band surgery in 2005 when 35 and it failed miserably - I'm told 8-10% of band recipients never lose weight with it and to be honest I've had 16 years of not being able to eat a meal, sadly the only things that don't cause nausea and vomiting is junk. I paid privately for this - 7,000 sterling back then.

    Thank you for doing this - I have been recommended for gastric bypass surgery and I am meeting my surgeon next month. Ny BMI I think is around the 53 mark.

    Can I ask a few things ?

    I'm happy to go without alcohol for the six months after surgery but is that it forever ? Would a couple of beers every now and then be possible ? Keeping an eye on the calories of course.

    Are there any really "scary" side effects ? I'm on a pre-surgery diet that is meant to replicate the post-surgery needs (its pretty much liquid - SlimFast shakes, soup and the odd Rich Tea biscuit for a bit of fibre). It is so hard to follow so I know that although I have lost some weight it is not sustainable at all. So I'm not scared of a restrictive diet - but I wonder about getting enough nutrients from a small amount of food.

    Can I ask how much you lost each month ? What's a good amount ? I don't want to be disappointed with what I lose only to find it's perfectly normal!!

    Finally, skin removal may be a ways down the road but my surgery is being done through VHI, I wonder do you know if skin surgery would be too ?

    Thank you for talking about this - sadly most people I know have the attitude that I got myself into this and should get myself out but it's not that simple.

    Fair play to you for considering this even though you had a bad experience with banding. I had read about the high complications from gastric bands and that actually was something that put me off bariatric surgery at the beginning until I learned about the other options.

    It is certainly possible to have alcohol again. The surgery makes it difficult to drink large volumes of anything but that just means I sip instead of guzzle. I never ever feel like I am missing out.

    I didn't have any scary side effects. I did vomit once at the very beginning when I had some bread a bit too soon. I also had dumping syndrome 3 times when I drank some very sugary drinks - I got the shakes for a few minutes and had diarrhoea. But that's it in all of these years.

    You do have to take daily multivitamins for life but I have a very varied diet now anyway, eat salads and fruit as well as protein, so it's no issue.

    Everyone loses weight at a different rate as it depends on your age, muscle mass, starting weight, etc. In general I lost 2-4kg per month, more in the summer as I was more active.

    I was told that private health insurance will pay for some skin removal but there are some specific rules that you would have to check with your own company. I think they will do 1 or 2 areas but not everything.

    The very best of luck with your surgery!


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    Thanks for replying. For some reason, I thought it was a more snarky comment by a rude patient in the same way people can be rude to retail staff. I've had a few rude customers comment on my appearance during my time in retail so I was thinking about that. Thanks for providing more context.

    It's amazing that people feel it's ok to comment on appearance. I have definitely noticed how much better I am treated now. I remember a lot of times when people I barely knew would give me "advice" or blatant insults as if that would do anything except make me feel worse and probably have a biscuit to cheer myself up! One thing I have started doing recently is that if someone says I look so much better now I thank them but also reply that I think I have always looked great - being fat didn't stop me being attractive and we need to counter that idea.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    How long did it take?

    From when you asked the for the referral to first appointment?

    From first appointment to actual surgery?

    How was the follow up afterwards? Do you get enough guidance? Do you still touch base?

    I don't remember exactly but I think from my first GP visit to day of surgery was about a year. I had half a dozen or so appointments and assessments in between and then I had to arrange a date that I could take off work.

    The follow up was fairly straight forward, I think about a month afterwards, then 6 months, then a year. Annual check ups long term. Plenty of guidance and I can contact any of the team any time. There are also group sessions available but I haven't tried that.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    volchitsa wrote: »
    Okay sorry about that, Niamh, I got distracted.


    OP: Maybe this is too “technical” a question, but why did you choose the type of surgery (gastrectomy) you finally went for? Why did you eliminate the bypass version?

    I presume it was your decision but it is also about what the surgeon advises and maybe what s/he is used to doing?

    Or does it depend more on your own personal factors and if so which ones? (If that’s not too invasive a question)

    I chose the sleeve gastrectomy as it had the right balance of effectiveness and risk for me. I liked that it is a less complex procedure than the bypass with a quicker healing time.

    My surgeon gave me the option of both and went through all of the pros and cons in detail, including expected weight loss, risks of complications, etc.

    The differences were minimal but the surgeon had done a lot of sleeves and I was inclined to go with the surgery they were most experienced in doing. They tend to do bypass for people who have a history of heartburn but that wasn't an issue for me.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    big syke wrote: »
    Thanks!!

    I hear the docs can try talk you out of the surgery, make people out to be liars (in so far as having tried to lose weight) and that you need to really convince these places of your need for surgery.

    Was this your experience? Did you have to convince the doctors to accept you?

    No, I had no issues like that. My GP knew my weight history and the obesity team were very supportive and understanding. They went through all the options: diet, exercise, psychological treatment, medication, surgery. The final choice was mine and there was no judgement or pressure.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    manonboard wrote: »
    Just wanted to thank you OP for sharing all this information. I'm now recovering 4 months from a 36 year eating disorder. It's going great with new treatment after i met a fantastic specialist in my needs. I was super skinny so hearing about it from the other end of the weight spectrum, is fascinating to hear how absolutely similar it is. Thank you for the great education.

    I would like to ask please. How did you feel or how did you balance your feelings about the comments people made after your surgery/recovery? were they welcomed? (the positive ones). Did you find that you came across perceptions of your own that turned out to be valid or invalid once you started to lose alot of weight?
    eg: Did the social value you placed on weight/size, turn out to be accurate or inaccurate for pre/post weight loss?

    Thank you and it's fantastic that you are doing well. We are so focused on weight and appearance when good mental and physical health should be our goals.

    Before I had the surgery I was looking forward to some compliments - we all have egos I suppose! Strangely in the end I didn't really care. Most people were fairly subtle, some did ask me directly why and how I was losing weight, and a couple of people asked me if I was sick. I would say 95% of comments were complimentary and well intentioned. The other 5% were mainly people telling me I was too skinny but I just shrugged that off.

    It was really, really weird to go from being the fattest person in the room to being one of the slimmest. I can't really explain how strange an experience it is. People just treat you so differently. At first I thought it was my imagination but several friends and colleagues have said it to me also, that people treat me and talk about me much more positively now. It is nice to benefit from that but it is ridiculous how much a person's weight affects our view of them.


  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    OP, this has been a very interesting thread for me.

    I would have been in a very similar boat to you. I had a similar BMI of around 40.

    I began exercising around the beginning of the pandemic and without too many changes to my diet (which I think I'd kind of addressed somewhat anyway) I'm now floating around 28. That translates as around 6 stone or thereabouts.

    Still, a lot of what you said rings very true for me, and I'm finding it tough to move beyond this.

    This thread scares me somewhat as now I'm a little worried this isn't a permanent change, that I'm trying to willpower myself out of a hole you can't. But I feel like this is a permanent change for me. I'm here 16 months now. Perhaps I've reached a new plateau my body is happy at.

    But I feel I have more work to do, I'm still overweight. I'm curious how to research further. You said above you were talking to your GP about it and it sent you down the right path with a psychologist etc. I think that might be a healthy option for me too. But anyway, related question!

    In the past I've gone researching on the internet about weight loss. I don't like following non scientific advice for this kind of stuff, but I've found my brain does like to look for an easy way out for weight loss when I do that. Did you end up looking down any rabbit holes that you shouldn't despite being a Doctor? Any false starts?

    That is amazing work! I was never able to lose so much but you have obviously got a great system in place.

    Seeing the psychologist was really helpful as it helped me think about how I set myself up for success before I ever take a bite. Also recognising the importance of getting family/friends on board to support me was huge so they are not constantly offering me treats.

    I didn't go down any unusual weight loss paths. I tried Atkins a couple of times but I ended up putting on weight. I also tried a medication for weight loss which gave me awful bowel upset, so that was short lived. Ultimately I realised none of the quick fixes or weird diets were sustainable for me.

    Well done on your success!


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  • Company Representative Posts: 47 Verified rep I've had weightloss surgery, AMA


    hi,

    oh my god how do you start this conversation with your GP??

    I lost six stone on a strictly paleo diet with thirty minutes boxing and skipping every day. I was 41.

    Now 50 i have put 8 stone back on, I hate my self, I can't do any exercise without falling to pieces. I don't eat with my family as I'm embarrassed. Can't go for walks around the village as I'm too self conscious. Avoiding work as I can't get suitable clothes to fit.

    So, living on cereal, drinking to excess once the wife and kids are in bed, to feel anything pleasant, and then binge eating whatever is in the house, hiding the packets, replacing them the day after.

    I've done everything, ww, paleo, keto, sw, omad, the bloody drinks, thermoburners…

    I'm not lazy, ran a few 5k's a while ago, was meeting 10,000 steps, but I'm so stuck in this.

    How did you broach this with your gp, I see you've already answered this before but I'm asking again so I can pick up the phone and repeat.

    Thanks in advance.

    The yo-yo of weight loss followed by big weight gain upset me so much and I had similar feelings of guilt and embarrassment. I really hated having to shop for clothes based on the sizes available, particularly back in the days before online shopping where sizes were fairly limited. It was soul crushing and I actually don't know how I did it for so long.

    I have a good relationship with my GP so I was comfortable talking to him about it. I told him that I had been trying for over 20 years to lose weight and the number had only ever gone up and that I was feeling defeated. He said if I was curious about surgery he would give me a letter for a surgeon that would go through the options with me.

    He handed me the referral letter and I sat on it for a couple of months then I just said flip it, I am not getting any younger or healthier so what's the harm in chatting to them about it? I was very nervous meeting the obesity team but they were brilliant and explained it all so well.

    I think most GPs would be glad to help people get more info. The surgery is not for everyone but the only way to know if it's for you is to discuss it and get the details. It's your body and you only have one life, so don't feel bad about wanting to explore all the options.


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