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Good Parenting: Exhibit 1 (overheard at work today)
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I saw a link to this article from a post on Facebook and after reading it I felt compelled to respond. I acknowledge the fact that WLS is not for everyone and that there are certainly risks involved that must be considered before undergoing such a life changing procedure. I commend the author for having a healthy self-image and achieving both health and happiness in her own body. But unfortunately this will have to be where our paths diverge. I cannot speak for anyone but myself when I say that WLS changed my life. Two and a half years ago I was over 325 lbs. and although I did not suffer any diagnosed comorbidities I felt that the lifestyle I was living was not conducive to healthy living. I was not happy with my life or appearance and I did not feel like I had the energy or drive to do what I wanted to do. I didn’t feel like I was less of a person because I was overweight or that I deserved any less opportunities than someone who was thinner but I did feel like I was missing something. After trying multiple weight loss products (Weight Watchers, Adkins, Slim Fast, 1800 Cal. ADA Diet etc.) I did not achieve any long-term, sustainable weight loss. After having lost many members of my family due to the complications of chronic obesity and metabolic syndrome and I decided that I did not want that to happen to me. After a lot of consideration and research I decided to pursue WLS as my next option. Keep in mind that I am a registered nurse and I am well aware of the risks and benefits of such a major surgery along with the potential for complications and the lifestyle changes it would require. I decided for myself that how I saw my life without the surgery had potentially a much worse outcome then if I underwent the surgery. I sought out the services of a respected bariatric surgery program and began the rigorous process of screening which included an extensive medical workup, a psychiatric evaluation and then monthly sessions with both a dietitian and a therapist. I had my surgery about two years ago now and I have lost over 160 lbs. and I feel great. I have the energy and drive to maintain my health and happiness that I never had before. Has it been without its challenges? No of course there has been many challenges but I personally believe it is worth it for me. Whenever someone asks me about WLS and if I recommend it to others I tell them that it was hard work and that it isn’t for everyone. But if someone is having medical complications from being overweight or are feeling that they want to change the way they live because their weight is somehow negatively affecting their life in major aspects, then they should consider it as an option. WLS is not a magic cure, it is simply a tool which can be used properly or it can be abused. I am a strong believer that with any weight loss method you need to have long-term behavioral modification, mental health counseling and strong follow-up medically if you are to be successful. So while I wish the author a long, happy and healthy life and encourage her to continue to promote positive self image at any size. I would respectfully ask that she not pass judgment on those who have decided to pursue WLS as an option and offer her support and acceptance (not approval or agreement) of someone has made that decision. — FB

Please do not mistake sensitivity for weakness.
~Anaïs Nin, from In Favor of the Sensitive Man (via thefightandfate)
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