Twenty years ago I was morbidly obese. I was so fat that even the largest beach towels we could buy wouldn’t wrap around me after I had a shower and I had to buy the largest mens size flannel shirts that I could find (I think they were a XXXL from memory…) to be able to do them up around me (my wardrobe at the time consisted of over sized t-shirts, leggings or trackies and flannel shirts). I weighed over 115 kilos (that’s over 250 pounds for those of you who don’t do metric) and I was extremely unhealthy. In fact I seriously felt that I was dying (I was also a heavy smoker at the time). I knew that if I didn’t make some drastic changes I would be lucky to see another ten years and I felt like I was almost at the point of no return – that if I didn’t change something to improve my health, soon it would be too late.
So I know what it’s like to be really overweight and so lacking in fitness or energy of any kind that it just feels too hard to even contemplate all that’s required to the lose weight – it can feel totally overwhelming and impossible. I can also understand the appeal of Lap Band Surgery to those who are morbidly obese – the marketing makes it look like an easier option.
The problem is that no surgery is ever the easier option.
Lap Band Surgery is increadibly dangerous and fraught with potential danger including serious complications and even the risk of death. This article on the dangers of Lap Band Surgery explains exactly what the surgery entails and provides interesting statistics on both the success rates plus the high rates of complications and death. These include:
- The fact that 40% of patients experienced serious complications following surgery
- Plus 22% of patients had minor complications
- 60% of those patients needed further surgery to correct problems
- Four patients died due to Lap Band Surgery between 2009 and 2011
It seems that patients generally believe (and are lead to believe by the marketing hype because there is a LOT of money being made from this procedure – it’s big business) that they don’t need to change their lifestyle to lose weight after their surgery – this is simply not true.
So if the changes have to be made anyway, doesn’t seem like total madness to go through with the pain and the very real risks that come with the surgery?
For those who are morbidly obese, all that is required for them to start losing are small changes. If you’ve been doing no exercise, then even a small amount of regular exercise is going to begin to make a difference.
In my case I quit smoking and started exercising and over 4 years I lost over 45 kilos. I did what I could to start with and built on that as I was able to. I also gradually improved my diet and over the years I’ve actually removed almost all processed foods from my diet.
I know that my commitment to my health rather than my focus on my weight is what has kept off most of that weight for all these years and even though I still struggle with 10 to 15 kilos that by body seems to like to hang on to, I’ve managed to keep off at least 30 kilos for the past 20 years. I’ve now realised that that in itself is something unusual. Most people will gain back what they lost and more within 2 to 5 years of losing, so I’ve done something right even if I haven’t quite got it perfect – yet….
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