Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cut out the gut

I know that I've talked a lot about surgery in my posts, but as Americans we want results fast and when we don't get them we just stop. Using weight loss surgeries tends to be a default plan mmore and more all the time. Technology has us spoiled. We are so use to getting what we want when we want it so fast that my generation has a tendency to just not want to work hard for anything. If we weren't given good genes we just say eff it. That is why surgery seems to be more and more appealing all the time. I speak from personal experinece when I say that surgery (not that I've had cosmetic or weight loss surgery of any kind. I am strictly speaking about general surgery) is absolutely no fun and not something that should be considered lightly at all.

The reason I bring up surgery again is because I see it in articles all the time. Just today there was an article in the Suntimes talking about it. I will copy bits and pieces of it so that you can read personal stories about it from different people. I think that it is something that should be researched and deeply thought out before making that kind of a decision. I also think that it should be a last resort after you have dedicated yourself to changing up your eating habits and good old exercise. So without further ado this is what the article had to say. You can make up your own mind about it.

Dr. Jeffrey Rosen: Surgery a tool, not a cure

"In some ways, Dr. Jeffrey Rosen sees the weight struggles of pop singer Carnie Wilson as a prime example of how tough such battles can be. In 1999, with her small frame carrying 300 pounds, Wilson was in the news for having gastric bypass surgery. While she got down to 150 pounds, she has gained a good portion of weight back, and her weight woes remained in the tabloids. Late last year, she was fired as a spokesperson for a diet plan after she didn’t stay on it and didn’t lose weight."

"As Rosen sees it, any successful fight to control weight means lifestyle changes. And a measure such as gastric bypass surgery is 'a tool to help improve someone’s health, not a cure,' he said." Rosen is the lead surgeon at LifeWeigh Bariatrics and LifeWeigh Health & Fitness, which has offices in Downers Grove and Merrillville, Ind. He’s been performing weight-loss surgeries for more than 12 years. While there are risks with any surgeries, Rosen said, statistics show that weight-loss procedures are as safe as gall bladder surgeries."

"Wilson helped draw attention to and popularize the gastric bypass procedure; and from 2000 to 2003, Rosen said, his office was quite busy. Insurance companies became more restrictive in allowing claims in 2003, Rosen said, and there was a significant drop in business. However, in the last three years, many companies have eased restraints for obtaining weight-loss surgery and related treatments, which Rosen said can run from $10,000 to $50,000. Rosen said insurance firms are realizing that allowing such procedures can have a return on investment in just two years, the savings coming from reduced medical bills related to health issues of being overweight."

"What Rosen’s office stresses is a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss that includes working with registered dietitians and setting up an exercise plan along with doctor visits. In fact, LifeWeigh works with people who seek to lose weight without surgery, too."

Becky Firszt: A teacher learns a new lifestyle

"Lifelong Elgin resident Becky Firszt, 33, has been married for eight years and is the mother of two young children, Emma, 7, and Drew, 4. It’s because of her family that Firszt, a fourth-grade teacher in Elgin School District U46, decided to have gastric bypass surgery."

'“I decided I wanted to be involved with my kids, and I couldn’t keep up with them,” Firszt said. “I was unhappy, and I was always tired.”'

"Her feelings were tied to her weight and the ensuing health issues brought on by it."

“I have always been thick, but when I was a kid, I was involved in cheerleading, basketball and marching band in high school, which helped to keep my weight down,” she said. “I really struggled with losing weight after I had my kids. I could not drop any weight, and I kept packing on the pounds.”

"At 5 feet 5 inches tall, Firszt reached 300 pounds. She says she “finally decided to go ahead with the process after I came to find out I had Type 2 diabetes. I was so disappointed with myself being 32 and having this disease. How could I have done this to myself?”

"In August, Firszt had gastric bypass surgery and has lost 75 pounds thus far.
“Insurance insurance did pay for 90 percent, but I had to jump through a lot of hoops,” she said. Getting used to the diet was the biggest challenge, Firszt said. “The eating process after surgery was hard,” she said. “The surgeon puts you on a slow, progressive six-week diet. Each few weeks, you slowly add more food to your diet. The first few weeks were hard. I was so sick of eating pudding and Jell-0. But now I can almost eat anything (in small portions), and I am happy.”

"She also has been walking to get fit and soon will be adding some weight training to her exercise routine. Since surgery, she said she now has the diabetes under control. “This process has shown me how much I missed and to seize every moment of the day. Carpe diem!” she said."

There are several more personal stories in the article and I suggest you read them. It is a good article and important to hear what others have gone through. I hope that if you are considering this as an option at all you talk to people and research hard. I have lots to do so I'll let you go for now. TTFN...Ta-Ta-For-Now :)

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