Article regarding mental and physical aspects of losing weight

I just ran across an article written by Jen Larson who lost 180 pounds via weight loss surgery.  I am linking to this well-written and totally spot-on story because it is a reminder from yet another maintainer that losing weight isn’t the cure-all, fix-all solution that many people believe it is.   

I remain firm and steadfast about my opinion on this topic as well:  Lose the weight to be healthier.  Lose it to feel better.  Lose it to enrich your life, but don’t lose it hoping it will fix everything that’s wrong in your life.  Love yourself whatever size you are on your road to healthiness.  You’ll enter maintenance a much happier person. 

Here is Jen’s article, which I highly recommend reading, and if you do I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic.  What Losing 180 Pounds Really Does to Your Body – and Your Mind

Have a great day, everyone!

~Ellen

10 thoughts on “Article regarding mental and physical aspects of losing weight

  1. Vickie

    It makes me REALLY SAD weight loss surgery does not require extensive therapy (before, during and after). Most all of us who lose weight the “regular way” need therapy. If you look around more and more of got it, are still getting it, attest to how important it is for successful maintenance. Surgery people equally so. And one thing that is rarely discussed is people who are getting back the thin they once had, require different inner work than people who have always been obese. They are transitioning into a body they have never had. Both require huge inner work. But it is different work.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Yes, that was my thought as well. It absolutely should be a requirement, and anyone who has gone though it could attest to that fact. All very good points, Vickie. Thank you for commenting on this.

      Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      This is precisely why your sister group of maintainers is SO important, Cammy. You all will do great things to help educate about this little discussed topic. I’m very grateful for that :)

      Reply
  2. Mary

    This is wonderful, thank you for sharing. I’ve learned so much about weight loss on this journey so far, about calories in and calories out and running and biking and so much more. But the most important lesson I’ve learned, I think, is that the weight isn’t entirely the cause of my issues. More often than not, it’s been a symptom. Take care of those, and the weight took care of itself.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Thank you too, Mary. Your blog is one of the driving forces behind this much needed education. I connect with everything you’re saying here.

      Reply
  3. Norma

    My thoughts are that any surgeon or insurance company who would approve a patient for WLS without extensive prior psychological evals and counseling is unethical and setting the patient up for failure. In my anecdotal experience: My best friend since age 7, who was obese literally since birth, had RnY gastric bypass in 2008 after six months of talk therapy and an order to lose 50 lbs on her own pre-surgery. She follows her EXTREMELY strict diet to the letter, and has lost and kept off 180 pounds…going from somewhere close to 375 to 335 at surgery and maintaining at 155(she’s 5’8″) ever since. Conversely, I work with a woman who had gastric bypass two years ago (her anniversary just passed) and did not have any pre-op therapy. She lost 120 pounds, going from 280 to 160 (she’s about 5’1″)…and she eats fast food or pizza for lunch every day (I’ve worked there for three months and her lunch is either Wendy’s, McD, or half a pizza that she shares with another woman) and she keeps a stash of Butterfingers at the service desk. She also goes out drinking with some other co-workers several nights a week. She told me on her surgery anniversary that she was “about 180 now,” but that she doesn’t really weigh herself very often and she thinks she was “emaciated” at her low of 160. She has also had that reaction they call “dumping” (food backing up in the esophagus, I think it is) TWICE at work, just in the time that I’ve known her, because of overeating or eating a food that her “new” digestive system can’t handle.

    I linked to the same article in my post today, my friend; with the caption that weight loss, maintenance, and fitness happen in the BRAIN.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Norma, thank you so much for sharing this story. How incredibly sad for this woman you work with. So often society blames the individual for not being diligent or having enough willpower, thus regaining the weight; but how do you expect someone to succeed when you do not give them the tools (education) to do so? There definitely needs to be a change in this system.

      Reply
  4. LISA PRICE

    Thank you for posting this I can so totally relate. I had gastric bypass 3 years ago and have kept it at bay with no counciling not that I dont need it…. I have/had plenty of family motivate me with their “you wont keep it off” comments. along with running and watching my calories in vs. out.

    I cannot stand to see people sit and judge what a post surgery patient is eating. I had gastric bypass and it freakingsucks how it makes you feel like everyones your own personal food police. fyi dumping is not reflux that you described thats just eating too much.

    they do make you do a psyciatric “testing” and meeting but hell it obvious which answers you should choose if you want surgery to be approved. Its a joke and theres no doubt it needs to be changed but surgeons want cash and obese people think skinnys all that matters so I doubt itll change.

    just like running weight loss is a mind thing more than an actual” just stop eating so” much thing.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Lisa, as someone who’s had this surgery I greatly appreciate your input on the subject. I think a lot of people who’s lost weight – regardless of how – has those moments of feeling like they are being judged. I have had my share of that myself. I commend you for being able to keep to a maintenance level, though it pains me to know that your support system isn’t what it should be – that makes it doubly hard, I think. You’re obviously a very determined person and I wish you nothing but the best. ((hugs))

      Reply

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