Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crutches, and the Easy Way Out

Melissa had struggled with her weight all her life. At 340 pounds, she had tried every diet you can think of. She'd lost and gained, lost and gained, as many of us have done, but year after year she found herself a it heavier instead of a bit lighter from all her efforts. Finally, she decided to have gastric bypass surgery. She was desperate to get control of her weight and her eating. She wanted to be around to live a long healthy life for her little daughter. And nine months later, she'd dropped 120 pounds and was well on her way to her goal.

At the workplace, coworkers gathered in the break room to discuss Melissa's rapid loss. "Isn't it wonderful for her?" said one. "I have no respect for her," said another. "She took the easy way out."

Why is it that people seem to judge those who choose weight loss surgery as somehow weaker or "less than" those who lose weight by diet and exercise? Really, why is it in any way a *negative* thing when a person takes control of their life through surgery? Is it because it seems like a drastic way to lose weight? Is it jealousy? Is it because people *really* think it is easy?

It is not easy. I have never had weight loss surgery, but I can tell you from talking to those who have that it is not some magic pill that instantly slims you. There are risks. There is fear. There is work. People who choose this path are generally very well aware that they could die from complications; that there will be pain and recovery and their bodies will never be the same. They know they will be unable to eat 'normally' anymore or enjoy the things they always have. They will have to exercise. They make their choice, generally speaking, because they truly feel it is the only way they are going to be able to get the weight off. Why can't that be respected?

Similarly, I occasionally get a little flack because I've been on Medifast for the last couple of months to facilitate my weight loss, which had stalled for a year and a half despite my best efforts. "It's just a crutch," they say. A crutch. I've said the same about some diet aids in the past. You are 'using' some artificial means to reduce your weight and that is a bad thing. But is it? Is it bad to use *anything* to lose weight, as long as it is not harmful to your body or mind?

Weight Watchers is a generally accepted and praised 'diet plan' that many people dole out their hard earned money for week after week. They count their points and buy their special ice cream bars and the pounds come off. But isn't Weight Watchers just a crutch? How about calorie counting? Isn't using some online program to count your calories just a crutch? Are Lean Cuisines a crutch? After all, you're not making home cooked meals. In fact, in my opinion, ANY plan or tool you utilize to help you reach your goals IS A CRUTCH.

A crutch is, by definition, a support. It's "a device used for assistance or support," or "something that sustains or supports." Somehow, using a crutch in weight loss has gotten a negative connotation... like it's somehow more noble and beneficial to lose weight with no outside help whatsoever. But that's not true. Just as it is helpful for someone with a broken ankle to use a crutch to get around while their bones heal, it is also helpful for people with broken appetite controls or lifestyles to have tools to use as they try to strengthen themselves and heal. You wouldn't think of ripping a crutch away from a person with a broken leg and telling them to "do it on their own." You don't assume they are going to become dependant on their crutch and use it to get around forever. And those of us who use dietary tools (Medifast, Weight Watchers, special food lists, etc) are using them as a support to reach a goal. That's not a bad thing, anymore than real crutches are bad. I know some folks do use WW for the rest of their lives, because they feel they need it. And I respect that decision. But many of us use various tools and crutches as we hobble down the scale, working hard to reach our goals. Eventually, I think, we heal. We learn. We grow and switch to some other kind of support... maybe from friends or family or message boards, maybe from our god, or maybe from within.

As for the "easy way out" theory, it's faulty from the start. Imagine waking up to your house being on fire. You feel your bedroom door and it is hot. You can hear the flames crackling on the other side. You race to the other side of the room, open the sliding glass door, and bolt outside. Once you get around to the front of your home, the neighbor sneers at you. "You took the easy way out!"

Really, it is ridiculous. Even IF it were true that gastric bypass or Medifast or some other diet plan was "the easy way out", since when do we try to search out the HARDEST way to do things?? Isn't it kind of stupid to stop and think when you're doing a project, "Hmmm, how can I make this harder for myself?" Do you really think it is braver and nobler to open a hot door and race through flames and smoke to get out the front door, so you can declare, "I took the HARD way out!"? Whether you're in a corn maze or trying to navigate through weight loss, it can actually be a GOOD THING to try to find a reasonable way to make it less difficult for yourself. And if surgery or WW or Medifast makes it easier for you to reach your goals, that's a good thing.

None of these methods is *really* an easy way out... not even gastric bypass. Any weight loss takes work. Yes, some tools do make it easier in some ways: surgery may make portion control easier (with some painful physical side effects if one does not follow the guidelines); Lean Cuisines make it easier to have a quick low calorie dinner on the table after work. But that does not negate the effort it takes to really lose weight and change your ways for life. I may have prepackaged meals five times a day, but I still have to choose to eat them. I still have to bypass my favorite foods on a daily basis and fight the impulses to eat off plan. I still have to shop for family groceries and be strong enough to bypass the chips and ice cream. I still have to concoct and prepare a healthy dinner for myself and my family. I make the decision to drink lots of water many times a day, to not salt my food, to not eat if it is not time to eat. I still go to parties and restaurants and make the decisions not to indulge in off plan foods. And I get on that bike or go walking or pick up the weights every day to improve my health. It's definitely not easy. But it is worth it.

Whatever path we choose, let's be respectful of the decisions others make. If someone takes a different path than you do, that's ok. Maybe *YOU* don't think their way is ideal, but you are not the one living it. Believe that weight loss is never *easy*, but if it leads them to success and a healthier life, cheer them on. In the end, we'll all have to figure out how to maintain our weight loss with a new lifestyle, and regardless of how we get there it is going to take sustained effort and dedication to stay there.


Deniz said...

Well said. This is so right, Lyn.

No way to lose weight and become a healthier, happier person is easy and whatever works for 'the individual' is the right way - for them!

It doesn't matter if it doesn't seem right to someone else - we are all unique individuals and that is a wonderful thing.

All power to EVERYONE who is doing what it takes to chenge their lives for the better - 'crutch' or no.

Alexandra said...

FANTASTIC post, Lyn!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this post. You have a wonderful way of prose. I especially thought the "fire" example really hit home. When do we try to find a harder way to do things? As long as people are trying to get healthy, in whatever way they can, kudos. Thanks for always making me think.

Chantele said...

This is such a great post!

And so true! I know a person who chose gastric bypass and it's definitely not the easy way to go. I'd rather count calories for two years than go through all of that.

Sarah said...

This post really made me think. Thanks. Will have to chew on it for awhile.

Wishful Shrinking said...

Wonderful post! I see all the options as tools. Tools are only as good as you use them. I have had Weightloss surgery RNY. I had no idea what being a normal sized person was like prior to surgery. It was not the final destination in my weightloss journey but with out it I do not believe I would have ever found the answers to my weightloss issues.

Stephanie said...

Like the other commentors, I found this post thought provoking. I am not an advocate for unnecessary surgery, and I do think gastric bypass is dangerous and often doesn't address underlying problems of hormone imbalance, organ dysfunction, problematic relationship to food, etc.
Given that, what you are speaking about is releasing a judgmental attitude. Right on. I think it's all about where you're coming from. You can disagree with someone's choice out of concern and empathy, or you can disagree from an "I know better" stance. Thank you for helping to draw that distinction.

Happy Fun Pants said...

Huh. Although I never really thought that Medifast or Weight Loss Surgery were "easy" ways out, this has definitely given me something to think about.

I'm starting to come to the same realization too though - that my way, even if it's different than others, is still a fine way to do it. It FEELS right to me - and I feel good honoring myself and my body. Just because there aren't a lot of others who are doing this, doesn't mean that it's wrong.

I like it when you get fiesty, btw. :)

Ice Queen said...


Leslie said...

I totally agree with you, Lyn. But frankly, the bottom line is who has the right to judge another person? We all do it, at least internally, but when you get right down to it, an individual's choices are between the individual and whatever guiding force/s by which they abide, be it religious, spiritual, or trusting one's gut.

There may be people who decide on surgery with the motive of it being the fastest or easiest way to achieve their goals, but again - that is their business. I'm of a mind that if I can't offer support and kindness to someone, it's best for me to say nothing. To anyone. I can think whatever I want, but the gossipy judgement usually is motivated by a need to elevate oneself at the expense of another. I know because I've done it and I try not to anymore.

Amy said...

EXCELLENT post!! you brought so many things to mind.. like my aging mother, who could be SOOO much more mobile if she would agree to use the prescribed walker..but no, it makes her look weak.. when in fact, it's there to HELP her be more independent, stronger.

and the commercial where 2 women are shopping, one uses her points credit card that gives her 2% on purchases.. the one friend scoffs "so yah, whaddya get for that purchase, $2.00?" and she replies with a smile.. "yah! what did YOU get?"

crutches or mobility aids are there to HELP us when used as they were intended.

To Melissa I would say.. Congratulations for doing it! I will support you in whatever way I can to keep it off. You did it! You should be very proud.

Terri said...

I've heard the phrase--"The best diet it the one you can stick with."
I also have a sister who had gastric bypass 10 years ago, and she has kept the weight off and it totally changed her life for the better. It's not an easy road to take, but it was good for her. Judgement against others is not our job. Everyone needs to do whats best for themselves!

Eva Burns said...

I have to say that this post spoke to me today. I have been struggling with letting people know that I have been on the Medifast program. I am on day 11 and have lost 9.5 pounds, but I have felt almost guilty for doing it. You convinced me that I should not feel guilty. Anyone who says this is the
easy" way, needs to try it for a week! Thanks for the inspiration today! I needed it today! :)

411 Gurl said...

Lyn, I'm glad you're not letting the naysayers sabatoge your efforts. You are doing fabulous and you have learned so much about yourself just in these few weeks. I especially like it when you're feisty!

Pubsgal said...

This is a fantastic post, Lyn! Excellent points to things I've heard said about people's choices in losing weight.

Regarding weight loss surgery, it may be faster than other methods, but it certainly isn't the "easy way." One of my sisters-in-law, who is a lot like me in many ways, had the surgery. It was incredibly difficult and life-altering. I, too, felt jealous, before I understood it better. And once I did understand it, I felt fearful: "Is *that* what it takes for people like us to get rid of the excess weight and keep it off?" I recall thinking to myself. "Then forget it! I'd rather be morbidly obese!" (Luckily, I eventually found my own path, with its own crutches, and I'm hobbling along it in way better health and in good company. :-)

Blubeari said...

Honestly I think it is just the general disdain that people in the world have for people who struggle with weight (although they would never say it that way). It is a travesty, and all it does is further demoralize every person out there who has difficultly for one reason or another with weight.

Melissa said...

i COMPLETELY agree with you. Thanks for a great post!

Laryssa said...

Well said. Perfectly written!

Lori said...

Thanks for the comments. I have actually been hard on myself for using a 'crutch' and trying to force myself do go it alone. Thanks for releasing me from that misplaced guilt!

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Well said, Lyn!

I would never think of gastric bypass as the easy way out... having major surgery - not easy. Having your stomaach permanently reduced to a tiny size when you can only eat a few tablespoons of food at a time? Not easy.

However, when you are morbidly obese and seem to have run out of options, it sometimes come down to the surgery or die of an obesity-related disease...I know which one I'd choose...

I remember when you were thinking about Medifast..you were stuck and need a jump-start to get the scale moving again. Nothing wrong with that. And look where it's taken you!

The only expert on you is YOU...This jump-start has done such tremendous things for the emotional part in your struggle with your weight.

If you have your life back, you must be doing something "right"!

The only person who knows what is right for you is YOU.

Brandy said...

Very well put!

jordan said...

This is a great post. I LOVE the fire example! (Kind of hilarious to imagine neighbors sneering at someone who just escaped a fire too....maybe they started it? hahaha :))

I do, however, believe some people who choose gastric bypass DO view it as the easy option. For example, my boyfriend's neighbor actually GAINED weight ON PURPOSE so that she would be eligible for the surgery... If that doesn't seem fishy, I don't know what does.

Anonymous said...

Love your fire escape analogy.

When WW worked for me, I was convinced counting points was THE ANSWER.

When OA worked for me, I was sure I had found the SPIRITUAL solution.

When intuitive eating (with the help of counseling) worked for me, I thought I had discovered the secret.

When online calorie tracking worked...

You get the picture.

Eventually all the above became ineffective. I had to find my own way, and I had to be willing to adapt my approaches.

Truth is: there is very little solid research and understanding about the core physiological roots of obesity and how those roots may differ from person to person or over the course of a lifetime. Or why some people get fat so much easier than others.

We are all trying to find what works best for our own individual bodies.

Great discussion & post!

spunkysuzi said...

I don't think any of us are in this world to judge other people!! Whether it's weight loss surgery, medifast or any other plan. You have to do what works best for you.

Teale said...

Man, you just don't ever run out of insightful entries, do you?? :) Great points made, and got me to thinking about things! I love your dissection of what a crutch is, people always use it in such a negative connotation, but it isn't! Good post!

ohiofarmgirl said...

You look wonderful...and it sounds like you feel great too! Keep going, the best is yet to come...I know you can....and you are so right...none of it is easy. Just as we all learn differently then different weight loss approaches work for different people too.
Who cares what they say...look at you now!!!!! Blessings, Dianntha

Rebekah said...

Great Post Lyn! I don't thin anyone ever seeks the "hard way out", its such a double edged sword. Being obese/overweight is viewed so negatively in society, people feel they can judge you and say oh this person is "fat" there for they must be XYZ(insert mean, stupid, non associated with weight terms here)
Then they can turn around and say, You are on a DIET program? And they are disgusted with that. Or its the wrong program, or its hurting your body, or they dont like it etc.

I would never wish anyone to suffer, but i really don't think people who have never struggled with their weight in an emotional way can understand how powerful the statement is. If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigs, etc You can just quit.
If you are a food addict, have emotional issues that drove you to eat etc you still have to eat.

Anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking (successful or not) can tell you just how hard that is. Now imagine telling them, you have to smoke 3 times a day. Its ridiculous.

No one is better than ANYONE else. When it comes down to it- we are all human. Yes we all have different strengths and weaknesses but really, no one is better than others. I wish people could judge less and love more.

Great post Lyn.

Georgia said...

Very well written Lyn! Love the fire example! I’m going to have to use that (slightly reworked) next time I explain the crazy hormones I deal with and which hinder my weight loss! :-)

We all need to do what works for us as an individual, and I take the stance of cheerleader no matter what choice people make—because ultimately it is THEIR choice and who am I to pass judgment.

I’ve known people who have had surgery, been on a plan (like medifast or the others out there), even a few who only exercised and watched what they ate. Their choices and what worked for them--I cheer them on!

I’m still finding what works for me. With the autoimmune stuff it makes it hard. But it also makes me appreciate every other person out there who has found what works for them, gotten on their road to health and made a difference in their lives by doing it!

In the end, when you see the results for yourself, should you even give a darn what people say?

MB said...

Excellent post. WLS, WW, Medifast or anything else is not the easy way, it is just one way.

A few friends of mine have had WLS, suffered through recovery, threw up a lot, adjusted their eating and lost lots of weight rapidly only to regain most of it because they never learned how to eat right and exercise. Now they are trying to lose it all again, signing up for WW or the gym.

I believe if you need a crutch you should use it for as long as it takes to get where you want to be.

Fat Grump said...

I completely agree with all you've written Lyn. I suspect that most overweight people struggle to some degree to get back down to a healthy weight again. I also imagine that many big people have tried all sorts of diets and plans time and time again to help them lose weight. I don't know many people who have decided to change their lives and 'just do it' without doing some research first, or using some form of tried and trusted plan.

I know in the past I have tried diets and slimming clubs. They didn't work for me, but they worked like a charm for others. I am trying to go it alone - not for any virtuous reasons, but mainly because I have tried other ways and they haven't worked...only because I am who I am. We have to find a way that suits us, suits our lifestyle and suits our temperament. I can't count calories. I'd pull my hair out if I had to do that, yet other people find it works really well for them. Likewise, I can't weigh food - I can but I choose not to, because I KNOW that if eating became too labour-intensive or involved lots of preparation, thought and planning I'd blow it. Others, more methodical people find complete accuracy really helpful.

We do what suits us, because we know it's a way forward for us. Blogging and being accountable for my days is the crutch for me. I'd also bet that ALL of us have learned so much from being online and telling others about our days as we lose the weight, or face obstacles. Isn't being aware that others out there face similar problems or successes a comfort? What's blog-reading, if not another tool in our weight-loss armoury?

Claire said...

I completely agree. Fantastic post (do you have any other kind?). :)

My "crutch" is food. It's what I turn to for comfort and to take away the pain. Anyone who has been overweight can attest to the fact that it's so easy to gain, and so hard to lose. So, if you choose gastric by-pass, I cannot blame you; not one bit. Surgery is hard; the resulting life changes are hard. Anyone who says otherwise is full of crap.

I worked in a law firm doing medical malpractice law, and saw cases of women who died after gastric by-pass surgery. I could never do it myself, but I sure understand the desperation that leads to that choice.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

I’m another Medifaster. Someone actually thinks this plan is easy?! REALLY?! SERIOUSLY?! Clearly they haven’t tried it. It is incredible dedication and hard work.

Knowing that eating my 5 pre-packaged foods everyday gives me all the protein, nutrition and calories I need is a wonderful tool! It’s just what I needed to finally have success on this quest for a healthier, fitter life.

Anyone making progress on their journey to a healthier life – Kudos to you! No matter what your chosen tool is. Go with what works for you. Live and let live.

I love, love, love watching your progress to a healthier you. I wish you could feel all the “Go Lynn’s!” coming your way everyday from the people who rarely comment. You are an inspiration Girl. Many hugs coming your way.

In Honor of Me! said...

Thank you for saying what I have been thinking!

I "used" to be one of those people who believed in doing it the right (hard) way. Well...here I am many years later, still weighing over 200 pounds.

I am ready to use any crutch I need to heal my broken eating habits. You go girl!!!

Dinah Soar said...

Others are entitled to their opinion and if they disagree with us/me, it isn't necessarily disrespectful...it's their opinion. But for what it's worth I agree with you. You are not taking the easy way out using Medifast. I'd say sticking with Medifast is darn hard. Denying yourself the food you'd love to eat is hard, period. Those who are desperate enough to take the dangerous risk of gastric bypass sure don't need our criticism. They are desperate to lose weight and are doing what they feel they must to succeed.

You deserve a lot of credit for sticking with it, for working hard to lose weight and not quitting when you weren't making any progress.

You can be proud of yourself.

beerab said...

The people who say that are just jealous. There is no way on earth GBP is easy! My friend's mother died from it after a couple years- it's NOT easy at all!

Medifast, south beach, atkins, calorie counting, and so on, everyone does different diets/plans/surgeries that work for them. If losing weight were easy no one would be overweight.

For someone to say they lost "respect" for someone who had WLS than they are just a bitter person with a life full of negativity. I mean really? Respect? That doesn't even make SENSE! People's ignorance just really angers me.

Melissa said...

Amen Lyn! This is perfectly presented and validates everything I've been trying to tell many people in my life.

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

I agree 100% well said.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break, some people are criticizing you for using Medifast? I totally agree with you, whatever gets the weight off in a healthy way. You look great in your pix by the way.


Salted with Shadows said...

As a post-op gastric bypass person, I really appreciated this post, Lyn. I tried EVERYTHING, from the healthy doctor-supervised diet and exercise program to having a full-blown eating disorder. I have been successful with my gastric bypass at 9 months out, but the true test will be when I am two years out, five years out, etc.

I used to be TOTALLY anti-bariatric surgery. I researched it and struggled with the decision to have it for ten years. It was not something I undertook lightly.

My bloodwork and vitamins still have to be monitored often, I still have to exercise, and I basically have to eat 1500 calories a day for the rest of my life--and that's 1500 calories of the food my body can digest now, which leaves out anything breaded, most meat, anything fried, the majority of dairy, etc. etc. etc. Most of my food intake is protein shakes and South Beach protein bars. For the rest of my life. And you know what? I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

It's definitely to each his/her own, but in summary from me: easy way out? My big dimpled booty! ;)

Keep fighting the good fight, and congratulations on all your hard-earned successes. Your blog ROCKS.

Kristi-Bisti said...

I made the "drastic" choice to have weight loss surgery 6 months ago. I have lost 110lbs so far with about 70 more to go. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I didn't try every kind of diet around, but why do I need to? I had tried a few and would succeed for a while only to gain all the lost pounds and more. The internal battles over points, and calories and carbs drove me nuts! (or should I say, drove me TO nuts!) This is the first time I can remember having peace about my food life. No more fighting back and forth.

WLS is definitely not the easy way out, but what it does give me is a fighting chance. It gives me a way to use the information I have learned over the decades of battling my obesity to enter my future with hope. Hope does not disappoint.

Thanks for your blog. I really enjoy reading it.


Jules Big Girl Bombshell said...

Great Post...My opinion is if it is just "viewed" by others as just losing weight..I guess they would think it was an easy way out...But those of us that have struggled with weight issues and learning to live a healthier lifestyle no that it is just as much, if not more, the thoughts and behaviors NOT just the food.
Surgery, medifast, Weight Watchers, any of them that can aid us AS we learn to deal with the other elements is NOT an easy way, its just a helpful tool ...
You are doing AWESOME and your writing is great.

Tammy said...

I've got a different view on this. I considered surgery, consulted a lot of friends for their opinions, talked to 7 people I knew of that had the surgery themselves, confided in my roommate and also in my boyfriend...and finally decided to talk to my Dad before making my decision...because I knew he would never steer me wrong and he would tell me exactly what he thought. He told me not to do it. He told me he didn't want me to have ANY surgery that wasn't directly related to saving my life in a life and death situation. He simply told me he believed that I could do it myself. And he believed that one day I finally WOULD do it myself. He never called it "the easy way out"...he just said it was something I could do on my own w/o subjecting myself to a dangerous surgery. So I chose to do it on my own. I haven't fully succeeded yet, as you know, but I'm on my way. Once I made that decision I knew that I was going to be extremely proud of myself for putting in all the hard work and dedication once I reach my goal. With that said, I was in a clothing store a couple of weeks ago looking for a little white summer sweater to cover my arms when wearing tank tops. I used to weigh 340 lbs, so I'm guessing the manager that was working in the store and helping me look for sweaters was every bit of 375 lbs if not more. I pulled up my sleeve and let my big droopy underarm fall out, showing her why I needed the sweater. She nearly gasped, saying "OH! Oh..ok..um...well...let's see here....well you must have lost a lot of weight!!!!" I replied yes, I had...over 100 lbs. so far. Her eyes grew wide, then got a "knowing" look in them and she said, "Oh ok, you had gastric bypass". I simply said no. She said, "Lapband?" with a puzzled look. I said no...I lost it the old-fashioned way...counting calories and exercise. She looked disgusted almost. Shocked me to no end, and actually pissed me off a little. Like doing it the old-fashioned way was less cool or hip or something. I put a lot of friggin' work to do it this way, w/o the help or tool of surgery, and she simply dismissed me. She didn't even want to help me find a friggin' sweater after that, lol. Unbelievable. It was an interesting side of the fence to be on to say the least. :)

Theresa said...

thumbs up!

JoAnne said...

Insightful as usual. Well done.

tabby said...

I wanted WLS. But I cannot due to problems with my heart. But it is certainly not the easy way, or lazy way out.

Kaveman said...

You couldn't have said it better. I am taking phenedrine, and have lost close to 20 lbs on it. My wife has brought up - "why don't you just eat less and exercise?" This from the woman who weighs 100 lbs and eats McDonalds and chocolate all day. People who aren't fat don't understand that eating less and exercise isn't always the silver bullet. There are so many distractions, so many opportunities to fail.
Gastric Bypass is not easy. I have had friends do it. It's a scary surgery, and a long, uncomfortable process. So I say people who choose to do this are brave and are truly concerned about their long term health.

Mishe@EatingJourney said...

love this. it's so true.

Salted with Shadows said...

I have nothing but respect for people like you, Lyn, and like some of your other commenters on this post that have done it the old-fashioned way, with diet and exercise. It is HARD and I wish it had worked for me! I give attaboys and attagirls to everyone I meet who can lose weight and live healthier, no matter what method they used to get there, because I know it's a lifelong struggle that never truly ends. I also echo what a couple of others have said here in regard to my choice to have surgery--that it is only a tool that gave me a fighting chance. It's up to me now not to screw it up!

And as someone else said, please never stop blogging! You are my favorite as well :)

Knitty said...

I wonder why it is that we put extra value on doing things the hard way. While reading your post I was thinking about a roommate who insisted floors weren't "really clean" unless you did them on your hands and knees. And all the mothers I know who chose Attachment Parenting "because it's difficult" as if difficulty alone makes a better or more virtuous choice. I think it goes back to our Puritan founders -- even hundreds of years later, those attitudes are still a strong part of our social fabric.

I also agree with the previous poster who thinks this is just part of the general disdain normal-weight naturally-thin people have towards those of us who struggle with our weight. It seems that a lot of them want to see us punished for the sin of "over-eating".

Siobhan said...

I would never consider gastric by-pass as an easy way out, but even if it was, as you say, you need to do what you need to do. What works for me may not work for anybody else, but so what.

Katy said...

I was thinking of doing a post about this topic too... do you mind if I link to your blog?

Susan said...

Well said, I was nodding my head in agreement all the way through. My method of choice, my "crutch" is considered by many to be extreme,and I had those thoughts of "I'm taking the easy way out" when I made the decision to do it, but it's working for me, and as you said, there is nothing easy about it. I wish I'd read this post months ago. You're an inspiration!

screwdestiny said...

I see nothing wrong with Medifast, Weight Watchers, etc. They're just types of diets. You have to have will power and whatnot to follow them the way you would have to follow a diet of home cooked meals. It doesn't seem much different to me.

But your burning house comparison is completely different than getting gastric bypass surgery. Of course someone's going to look for an easy way out of a burning house. They most likely did not do anything specifically to set their house on fire, so it's not their fault. When people become overweight, they generally did it to themselves. They chose to eat too much and exercise too little, and now they're in a bad situation. A much better comparison would have been a person filing for bankruptcy. But then, that decision's not generally respected either. It's because when someone knows they're doing something to get themselves into a bad situation, people expect that person to have to work to get themselves out of it. It builds character. When people never have to do things the hard way, they generally end up spoiled and unaware of how life really is. That's why people don't respect it.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Lyn!

Deb said...

Brilliant, just brilliant. Thanks for this post.

Lyn said...

You're welcome to link to my blog anytime, for non-commercial purposes :)