Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can o' worms, anyone?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I'm beginning to wish I had never posted about my WLS experience this last time. I've been following what everyone has been saying on the blogs that are covering it, and it's just blowing my mind that the experiences Heidi and I are having/have had with this are causing so much trouble and in-fighting and all-around bad feelings in FA (probably not all of it, but the part of it that I read and go to when I need inspiration or encouragement, anyway).
All I really wanted to say was that I want to belong to fat acceptance, in spite of the mistakes I've made with diets and WLS, because I want to say I contributed to the movement that pushed doctors to look beyond the fat for the causes of fat people's problems. That pushed society to see all people as worthwhile and treat them with respect and dignity. That was finally able to get the facts out that diets don't work now, haven't worked in the past, and will never work for permanent weight loss and do more damage than good, and had them actually believed. That got the word out that mutilating a perfectly good digestive system is not a cure-all for any/every ailment a fat person has, that it can kill you, will not guarantee permanent weight loss, and will give you tons of complications in the years afterward, and had it actually believed.
Every one of us is a unique individual, with unique experiences. What may work for one of us, may not work for another. What is health for one person may not be health for another. I was told by an anonymous poster on this blog that I should reconsider my definition of healthy since I can't walk a block without being in severe pain. Do mobility issues preclude health? I don't think so, but this poster does, and all the poster could offer was diet, exercise, and physical therapy. *head desk*
I wasn't saying that FA has to affirm Heidi's decision (or my past decision, or anyone else's) to have WLS. I don't think anyone is saying that. FA can be against WLS/WLD, and should be, it's dangerous, doesn't work, and can kill. But until we can get doctors to treat a fat person the same way they would treat a thinner person, and quit shoving WLS/WLD down our throats as the only option one has (or they refuse to treat until weight is lost), what are we to do? If a doctor refuses to look for underlying causes until you lose weight, and your quality of life is severely curtailed, and getting more and more painful, just what in the hell is that person supposed to do? Is a person in that situation supposed to give up and accept that they will have no quality of life, and things are just going to get worse and worse until they die? FFS, I sure as hell hope not. Not many of us can afford to keep shopping for doctors until we find one that is willing to look beyond TEH FAT. Insurance limits you to certain doctors in certain areas, and chances of finding a fat-friendly doctor within those limits are slim and none, and for a lot of us, slim just left town.


  1. God, you are eloquent!

    I've beent rying to think of words for exactly what you expressed for the past 2-3 days.

    I don't expect you or Heidi or anyone else to live a horrible quality of life in the name of fat acceptance. Not everybody is cut out to be Ghandi.

    And until there are other options, how else are you supposed to deal with it?

    I guess I'm just saying, I love you and your writing, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on your blog in the future!

  2. I so totally agree with you. Both your post and Heidi's have left me incredibly moved. I just keep thinking of Heidi not being able to carry out the most basic personal hygience functions after using the bathroom and I cannot begin to think how that must feel for her, to have to have someone else wipe her butt. What else is she meant to do in her situation? I wish there was another option for her. I really do. But I can see why she chose the route she has. I think the FAM is like any other "community", not as much of a community as we might like to think it is (or want it to be).

  3. Mariellen, I'm sorry that you feel you shouldn't have posted your story. I think for the vast majority of us out there, reading your story AS WELL AS Heidi's, was a learning experience. I know it was for me, and from reading the responses on SP, I know I'm not the only one.

    Even people who are staunchly opposed to weight loss have learned something from what you and Heidi have shared with us - and if people are LEARNING, how can that be a bad thing?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that almost anything can garner controversy. But you shouldn't feel bad that your particular story brought out the worst in some people. Some people just can't hide how horrible they really are.

  4. Charli - it took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to say and how to say it, and reading all the brou-ha-ha on other blogs clarified it for me. All the uproar over those two posts amazes me, and in some ways, saddens me. Name-calling and fighting never solves anything.
    fat gal - I think the FAM is a community, but in some cases, it's really more like a family. You don't really get to say who belongs, you don't always agree with what everyone says or thinks, but if it's not totally dysfunctional, you all pull together when one of you is attacked, and even when you don't like or support WHAT some members do, you still support the PERSON. At least, I'd like to think that's the way it works. It's not perfect, but neither are people, so we struggle and work and hope to hell we can make a difference.

  5. nukkingphutz - thanks, I just hate to see so much strife and dissension and people deciding they are through with FA. I didn't see Heidi's post as an attack on FA or that she was asking for our approval. I saw it as someone backed into a corner asking for our understanding and compassion. And a lot of us gave her that, even though we don't agree with WLS/WLD (separating supporting the CHOICE from supporting the PERSON). My post is the other side of the coin. I arrived at the no WLS/WLD by experience, and am against it for the reasons I stated. But even so, people are mad, they are fighting, and some (at least 2 that I know of) are done with FA (or so they say, who knows what they're doing elsewhere).
    I guess this has taught us all a few things, and learning is a good thing, it's one of the reasons I read and research so much. For me, knowledge truly is power. The more I know, the better-informed I am, and then I can take better care of myself and the ones I care about.

  6. its obvious to sane people that weight loss is necessary for some people. i can't believe these morons who tell people they shouldn't lose weight when they need to. they want to make people suffer and thats awful. weight loss is right for some people and fat acceptance needs to provide those people with the support they need to become healthy.

  7. Mariellen, I'm really sorry you had to become the lightning rod du jour, but I do think it's important to discuss these issues -- which are eternally contentious, though I am eternally baffled as to why that is -- within the movement.

    Once again, thank you so much for that post.

  8. Mariellen, it seems you and Heidi are just becoming the poster children for a division that has been a long time in the making. Please don't feel personally responsible for the in-fighting you currently see - people are highjacking your personal story to illustrate a preconceived agenda, whichever side of WLS it may fall on. And I do think putting a human face and real story to the issue has caused some people to reexamine what they believe.

    The fact is, you can be so firmly opposed to WLS, but if faced with the same situation as you or Heidi, I don't think you can honestly say you would make a different choice.

    For me, the very essence of FA is that it embraces one's bodily autonomy and respects the health decisions one makes or chooses not to make. Anything less and we risk becoming like the anti-obesity establishment, who want to regulate our bodies.

  9. i can't believe these morons who tell people they shouldn't lose weight when they need to. they want to make people suffer and thats awful.

    Emily, I think you're very wrong there. No one wants to see people suffer in bodies that place limitations on them. But even if one "needs" to lose weight, there is still no proven, safe method for doing so in the long-term. That's a huge part of what Mariellen is talking about here.

    I would love to see her become stronger and more mobile -- and if that involved weight loss, of course I wouldn't have a problem with it. The problem is, as her experience with WLS and dieting has shown, there is no known way to get weight off her (or anyone else) and keep it off. So she has to attack the problem from a different angle. And infuriatingly, doctors don't want to help her do that.

    As I've said about a billion times in the last few days, the reasons why any given person wants to lose weight are irrelevant. The problem is that dieting and WLS do not provide long-term solutions and often cause more harm than good. If weight loss would help Mariellen feel better, I would LOVE to see her lose weight -- but we don't know how to make fat people thin.

    So we really need to quit thinking in terms of "X person NEEDS to lose weight," because it's like saying "X paralyzed person NEEDS to walk." Yes, walking would likely improve the life of a paralyzed person -- but if we don't know how to make it happen, we can't predicate their health care on that wish for them.

  10. when you tell people they must remain fat when they are in pain, you're telling them to suffer and thats cruel. rachel's right that we need to promote body autonomy so that people who want to lose weight can have the support they need to achieve their goals. we can't ignore the health problems fat people suffer from. WLS is the right choice for some. Dieting is the right choice for others. If some people are okay being obese, then thats a right choice, too. thats what fat acceptance is about. how can anyone read heidi's story and not see that this is the right thing. that wls is giving her hope of living a happy life. no one should be telling her to die in a broken body. i just cant believe those people.

  11. God, I hope you don't regret sharing your side of things. All you ever hear is the benefits of WLS... and so rarely what many individuals are actually suffering....or the fact that more than half of those who undergo the surgury gain back the weight.

    I've really been enjoying your blog. I think you hold an equal voice in Fat Acceptance. Don't hold yourself responsible for the strife the blogosphere is going through - it's always been there... it just comes out when we bring the topic to the forefront.

  12. when you tell people they must remain fat when they are in pain, you're telling them to suffer and thats cruel.

    No, it's just acknowledging the sad reality that we don't know how to make fat people -- even very fat people who might benefit from weight loss -- less fat.

  13. I'm really glad you did share your story. I think it's important for people to see some of the potential consequences of WLS, and realise it really isn't a cure all. And to make people realise that doctors just aren't willing to help fat people.

    For the record, I don't think it was really your post causing the controversy. It was people using your post to continue fighting the WLS or no battle caused by some people's support of Heidi's decision to have WLS>

  14. wls isn't for everyone, but if a person wants to try to make a better life for themselves, who are we to disagree? its insane to think wls is wrong for everyone. i feel sad for anyone who won't support it for people who need this. to be so focused on keeping others in pain is no way to live.

  15. For goodness sake, Emily. Being against WLS isn't about being focused on keeping people in pain. It's about not wanting people to go through what Mariellen did in her story and end up in even more pain, and it's about not wanting people to end up as one of the 7% of people who are dead within 5 years of having the surgery. That's what it's about. Of course we don't want people to live in pain, but we want doctors to find a better way of reducing their pain than amputating their stomach.

  16. Emily - while weight loss might seem necessary, it isn't. Finding the REASON a person got so far above her set-point weight IS, and weight loss isn't going to do that. If the doctors would have looked at Heidi and not seen the fat, but been willing to look beyond that and look for the REAL cause of her problems and work on those BEFORE she got to 530 lbs (because that didn't happen overnight, believe me), she wouldn't have been backed into the corner of HAVING to have WLS. If my nurse practitioner had been willing to help me come up with ways to exercise that didn't cause me severe pain (which I've been able to research and find on my own, thanks to FA) 10 years ago, I would never have had the WLS and would be in much better shape than I am now. Would I have been thinner than the 350 I weighed then? I don't know, and I don't care, as long as I could have been mobile and pain-free, which is the goal I'm working on now at 390.
    Weight loss is never the answer because it isn't a permanent answer. That doesn't mean people aren't free to choose it, it just means I'm not going to tell them I think they're doing the right thing because I don't. I will support them in other ways, but I will not support the DECISION to lose weight.

  17. Kate - thanks for the support, I didn't take personally anything that was said. I know it's not me some are railing against, it's really the whole system that devalues people solely because of their size they're railing against. And maybe this has put a personal face on this controversy, and has made people think "What if that were me, what would I do?" If it has done that, and opened some eyes, it was very much worth it.

  18. Mariellen, I think it's really critical that you keep sharing your story. Really and truly. WLS has been so thoroughly whitewashed as some kind of "miracle cure" for fat, and as you vividly demonstrate, it's anything but that. Please don't stop speaking up.

    And I will be anti-WLS until the day I die. Not because I'm jealous that someone who has it gets to be thin and I don't. Not because I "begrudge" them the "opportunity" to lose weight. It's because of the insanely high rate of complications and yes, death. A much, much, much higher death rate than for simply being "obese," even "extremely obese." And the fact that for all of that, for all the pain and suffering, most people gain the weight back.

    Heidi's case was truly one-of-a-kind, in that she was in hideous constant pain, could barely move and was and likely on her way to dying anyway, and nobody could come up with any practical solutions for her that she hadn't already tried. Almost no one knows what it's like to suffer to the degree she has. Almost no fat people, contrary to the hype, are in a situation that dire or ever will be.

    For all that, I can't say I'm not holding my breath in fear because she had the operation. It's a huge risk. HUGE. I do hope she beats the odds, though, because she's wonderful and I'd hate for the world to lose her.

    Kate is right, though -- it would be one thing if there were a proven, safe, effective weight loss method out there, if you could just "flip a switch" as my doctor once said. Then it would be just another "lifestyle choice" like plastic surgery or hair dye or a tattoo. But you know something, if all of us were REQUIRED to have a certain (expensive) tattoo in order to be able to get a job, rent an apartment, be admitted to college, etc., etc., that would kinda squick me out too. However, that's a separate issue.

    Andee (Meowser)

  19. Thanks andee, I always like reading what you have to say. You have made matters clearer for me on a number of occasions.
    And I'm not going to stop blogging, I'm too stubborn for that, as I think I mentioned on my blog before.
    I'm hoping everything goes well for Heidi and she doesn't have any complications and this works for her, but my optimism on that just isn't very high after what I've seen just for me and a couple of friends.

  20. The thing that I keep hearing a lot in this discusion is ableism. There is this expectation that there SHOULD be some way to fix these problems, that life is unbearable with them. The fact is, there are hundreds of thousands of disabled people who live every day with the difficulties that particularly Heidi, but also you, Mariellen, complain of. It doesn't make the problems desirable, but what if the reality is that there IS no fix? BECAUSE we believe that, for example, in Heidi's case, the problems are caused by fat, and because we think fat is changeable, we fall into that mindset of "there should be some way to make this better." And what many disabled people learn, over time, is that often, there just isn't. They just have to learn to deal with incontinence, pain, lack of energy, having to be pushed/carried everywhere, having other people perform intimate personal hygiene tasks for them, etc. etc. Speaking as someone who lived for seven years with a disabled woman whom I loved dearly, and who was most of the time the most fun-loving, cheerful, upbeat, can-do, positive person I have ever known, I will say that these problems DO NOT make life not worth living. A beautiful, happy, loving life can be led despite physical limitations and difficulties. We don't have to be endlessly focused on how horrible everything is and what we can do to fix it. But because of society's focus on FIXING everything and making us unwilling to accept ANY imperfection or difficulty, we get so focused on WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS that we forget that there are lots of people living every day with these problems, and their lives are meaningful and enjoyable to them and the disability struggles are just one part of their existence in the world. I would just like for that to be acknowledged.

  21. okay, i think we're into semantics now. i know some people don't want to get wls and thats your choice and i support your choice. but we all know that there are times when wls is the only choice and we need to protect and support people who choose to make a better life for them. we cannot scold people for wanting a better life.

    total opposition to weight loss makes no sense. some people just don't have another choice and they need our encouragement as they take the steps necessary to reclaim their lives. wls isn't about being pretty or sexy. its about holding onto life when its slipping away.

    its risky, but obviously there will be sad cases when the risk is worth it and we should celebrate the people who take the empowering step, not attack them like the no-wls militia want to do.

  22. I think you were absolutely right to post your experience, just as Heidi was to post hers. Thank you for sharing it.

    Um, I guess that's all I have to say.


  23. It's certainly not semantics. You believe that dieting and WLS work, and the people arguing with you do not. If WLS *worked* and was safe and actually improved people's health, I'm sure nobody would have a problem with it.

    The problem is, it does not work, and neither does dieting; people almost always fail to lose or gain the weight back, and while they are doing this whatever is really wrong with them has time to go untreated or get worse. So the people you describe who are in pain and immobilized can try these options if they want, but they are likely to either not lose a lot of weight, not feel much better if they do, gain the weight back, or suffer complications later on.

    These people should have a better option than something that is likely to either not work or make matters worse. Nobody is discouraging WLS because they don't want people to feel better and be healthy. They are discouraging WLS because they feel it is dangerous and bad for the people who get it.

    If I had a terrible headache on a deserted island with no aspirin around, the "only option" might be to cut my head off. After suffering the headache for days you could hardly blame me for rigging up a guillotine. But the fact that it is the only option would not make it any more likely to work, and the outcome would be worse for me than the headache. This is a flippant and extreme example, but you can see where I'm coming from here.

  24. I don't think people wanting to be as healthy as they can be as individuals IS ableism though. Because I want people of all ability levels to receive the best care possible with the most options for their situation no matter what their ability levels. I think this argument applies to more than a WLS specific situation - it can be applied to anyone who has ever undergone a seriously risky procedure that has a small margin of "success" and a large margin of "fuck you up more."

    People who don't want to live with pain aren't ableist - they're human. I can't say how I'd respond were I in that situation, because I'm not, but I'd like to think I'd maintain a positive outlook and a love of life no matter what. Still, I can't expect that from everyone because people have different reactions to the same situation. What is bearable for one person is not for another.

    Vesta44, I am so glad you posted about your experience. I agree - I think this debate has been in the works for a long time now and having it start to air out is a good and healthy thing.

    (This is The Rotund, by the way - I am logged into my personal account and don't have a blogger account for the Rotund!)

  25. Okay, imagine this scenario:

    You find a time machine and are able to travel back in time to see your 25-year-old self.

    You introduce yourself to your former self, and your former self starts freaking out. She is crying and horrified at what she will become.

    Current-times you try to calm her down and say:

    "Don't be sad! I follow the creed of 'Health at Every Size'! See?"

    And then you limp along following her, and seven minutes later, when you can't stand anymore, you slowly sit down, start stretching some band thing, and then get sweaty after two minutes of that.

    Your former self continues to cry.

    You say, "Hey, when you're older, you become a FAT ACTIVIST! It turns out that fat doesn't cause any of your health problems! And diets don't work! It's true!"

    The former you is still horrified and runs away, vowing never to become that wretched beast. Current you tries to follow her, but has to sit down after walking a couple minutes.


  26. bfdisgusting - that wouldn't happen, and you know why? Because up until a couple of months ago, I had no idea what HAES was, so I hadn't been practicing it. What got me to this point is all the diets I went on that don't work, have never worked, and will never work to keep the lost weight off permanently, and the WLS I had that doesn't work either.
    And for your information, I was 325 lbs at 25 years old, so I don't think I would have run screaming from a 390 lb me (and I had fat friends as well as thin ones back then, so fat has never disgusted me as it seems to disgust you).
    So, since you know nothing about me, and have proved that with your little fairy tale, your point is not valid, and never will be valid.

  27. First off Marieellen I'd like to thank you for sharing your story, and you have absolutely nothing to reproach yourself for.
    I think the ableist thing is the assumption that having you butt wiped because you can't is the epitome of human degradation when it is in truth the vanity of those that don't know that many people actually live that way their whole lives with full human dignity intact. To characterize WLS as working or not working is to give quack butchery a credence it doesn't deserve. Feel free to explain the principle behind using a surgeon's skill to willfully damage a healthy organ, increasing health in any other context. Body autonomy, is incompatible with this kind of vandalism, you do not cure by going to war with your biology(dieting) not attacking and mutilating it (WLS). A successful surgery, makes you a virtual anorexic, I know that is everyone's ultimate goal for all of us, but it is imposed on us, not our own. When we decide in our favour we will have greater autonomy.

  28. Oh disgusting, what a brilliant conceit! If I was talking to myself at 25, I'd say, remember when you were 13 and you stop that day and said, 'things don't seem to be going to plan this doesn't seem to be working'(dieting) well, you were right. I know you've thought this again and again and then thought 'doctors would not steer me wrong, so I must be wrong' but honey you're right! You don't have to do this anymore. Look at me, am I thin? No, so stop now and deprogramme all the hate and sense of inadequacy and shame and sense of being an abject failure. Cancel them completely, they are wrong! Live in your body now, love your body now as it is. Ignore the all the hating without fear or favour.

  29. TR, thanks, I read your blog a lot, and you've had a great deal to do with educating me about FA. You, Kate, Meowser, Sweetmachine, Fillyjonk, and all the others who write, post, and discuss rule, as far as I am concerned.
    This is one area where I think discussion is a good thing, and for all the newbies out there (of which I am one), reading this will hopefully clarify thoughts and feelings for them and give them the courage to join the discourse.

  30. Emily said:

    rachel's right that we need to promote body autonomy so that people who want to lose weight can have the support they need to achieve their goals.

    Actually, I think you've distorted what I really mean. We do need to promote bodily autonomy, especially to people who've been force fed the tired rhetoric that fat is unhealthy. But supporting one's decision to make decisions about their bodies is NOT the equivalent of supporting the choices they make in order to do so.

    I'll frame this in an abortion context. As a Buddhist, I am personally very much against abortion, yet I support and vote pro-choice. Why? Because while I don't agree with the principle, I recognize that it is not my right to dictate medical decisions to others.

    I recognize you have a right to pursue weight loss, whether by dieting or WLS. Your body, your decision. But I am not obliged to support you in what I view to be a futile, risky and downright deadly decision.

  31. well, jennifer, i mean its semantics the way some people want to phrase their support for wls a little differently for political reasons or whatever. the bottom line is we can all agree that wls is offering people like heidi hope and that its wrong to disturb that hope by talking about how wrong it is.

    not wanting wls for yourself should be a private decision. being public about just discourages people who want to make a better life for themselves and i'm glad fat acceptance is finally getting that or at least getting rid of the people who don't. the choices of dieters can't be under this constant attack.

    like if you're pro-choice but personally against abortion. you keep your reasons for not liking abortion private because you don't want to influence someone making their own private choice. thats how fat acceptance should treat dieting. if its going to be a safe choice for people, we can't try to manipulate them or they are just going to feel bad when they want to get healthy and thats not fair to them.

  32. bigfatdisgusting - Wow, you really contributed to the comments here, didn't you? There was an intelligent discussion going on here, and you had to ruin it with your nonsense. What exactly did you hope to accomplish here?

    By the way, I'm 25 and fat. Very happy about it too. I can stand, sit, and walk! But don't let that screw up your little fantasy about unhappy and ugly fat people.

    But maybe if I went back 25 years, I could see my mom struggling from an eating disorder. Instead of food, she consisted on a diet of alcohol and cigarettes to stay thin. She went to aerobics every single day.

    25 years later, she's a normal weight. She eats like a normal person. And she couldn't be happier. You know, except all the extreme aerobics destroyed her legs. But anyway...

  33. By the way Vesta, I should warn you that opening up your comments is only going to bring the quality of them down. You are going to be a high target because you are not ashamed of yourself, like a "good fattie" should be. But if you like to argue with trolls who don't know what they are talking about, have fun!

  34. Emily, losing weight is not automatically going to make a person healthy. It's not reasonable for sane people to stand by while others abuse their bodies and let them be cut open for terrible reasons. It takes balls to stand against such things. I know we live in an age where being judgmental is politically incorrect, but I'm pretty much sick of that.

  35. sarah, sane people would understand that someone trying to improve their life and health should be supported. attacking weight loss is judgmental and mean spirited and people get that.

    you can choose to be happy about being obese and you have my full support. unless you are one of the anti-choice brigade, that should be a private decision.

    the lunatic fringe like that are no different from bfdisgusting. they attack people instead of offering solutions. wls offers a solution and i don't see how anyone can think that's bad. maybe not right for them, but some people need help to be healthy and this can do that. disgusting is just like kell and her cabal of sadists. the lot of them just want to be mean to fat people to suit their personal fantasies and satisfy their anger.

    we need compassion, not anger. support, not judgment.

  36. sane people would understand that someone trying to improve their life and health should be supported. attacking weight loss is judgmental and mean spirited and people get that.

    Someone who takes steps to improve their life and health should be supported, but diet and WLS isn't a panacea for a better, healthier life - AS MARIELLEN'S OWN STORY SHOWS.

    That's why you see what you call the "anti-choice brigade" opposing diet and WLS - because diet has been proven to be ineffective and actually more detrimental to your health than fat, and WLS, if it doesn't kill you, can leave you with more medical problems than obesity itself.

    wls offers a solution and i don't see how anyone can think that's bad.

    When WLS is presented as the ONLY solution, that's bad. Especially when it's presented as a solution to a problem that may or may not exist. People without any adverse medical problems at all are getting the procedure simply because they're fat. And being fat does NOT mean one is unhealthy.

    Emily - I would suggest you read up on the movement known as Health at Every Size. It's a health-centered approach, not a weight-loss approach, that is focused on improving one's health and quality of life.

  37. Sarah, thanks for your comments, I agree with you. As far as the trolls go, they don't much bother me. As I told one the other day, I don't know it, it doesn't mean shit to me, so its words can't hurt me. When I get tired of laughing at them, I'll delete them so no one else has to deal with them either.

  38. Emily, the point is that WLS DOES NOT APPEAR TO WORK AND IS DANGEROUS. You can disagree with that point but it is not a choice between losing weight and being happy, vs. staying fat and being miserable. It is a choice between staying fat and being miserable, vs. trying to lose weight and likely ending up fatter, more miserable, and sicker than before. Yes, that sucks, but no matter how bad you want WLS to work and help folks alleviate their pain and immobility, the evidence is NOT encouraging on that point.

    I don't understand why you can't see this. It is not about discouraging people from "improving" their lives. It is about telling them that the means they have selected to try to "improve" their lives is probably not going to work and may make things worse. This doesn't prevent them from still taking a shot at it if they so choose. I'm sure that if getting thin were possible, safe, and healthy and would actually alleviate people's health problems, the FA community would be encouraging it in droves. But nobody has found a way to accomplish that yet, much less prove that it really would improve anyone's health.

    I could give you a brochure saying that cutting off part of your lungs would help you quit smoking and make you healthier. Even if I made it sound super-plausible it still wouldn't be true. And it doesn't get any truer even if it's the only option you have. You can go ahead and do it but it's probably not going to work.

  39. i'm taken aback by how much some people seem to want to sound like kell and her hate brigade. if you choose not to have wls and stay obese, that's fine. its your choice to do that to your body and i support that. i don't know why its so hard to support someone for wanting to make their own choice for their own body.

    its great if you don't think wls will work for you, but other people need the space to come to their own decision. screaming at them that's it wrong isn't fair to all choices. we need to be hands off and not promote our private agendas when people need to make such a difficult decision.

    i'm saddened to think what a woman going through what heidi is going through would think seeing how this is playing out. it was disgusting that kell and her cronies would insult her so cruelly, but to have people pile on with their taunting about the failures of wls, that must be so heart-breaking. whats done is done and its time to support wls as the right personal choice. that means laying off the anti-wls speech so we don't discourage or turn away people struggling to feel better.

    i know that extremists in fa insist that we attack wls and wls patients, but i'm really pleased with how many people now know that compassion and understanding are important and are offering their support and encouragement as people pursue their personal weight loss goals.

    fat acceptance isn't about telling people to suffer. if it represents fat people, it needs to represent all fat people. not the nut jobs who want to impose their will on all fat people. people like kell are dangerous and we can't let them keep attacking us and keeping us from deciding whats right for our own bodies. this is true fat acceptance and it really is something i'll support no matter who tells me i don't belong in the movement.

  40. Wow, are you ever weird and obtuse.


  41. Therefore, most reasonable people are willing to support an individual who chooses WLS because they know that WLS is that individual's only option. But that does not make WLS any more likely to work for that individual. Therefore WLS cannot be the RIGHT choice except in the sense that it is the ONLY choice.

    I certainly hope it works out for Heidi, though, and brings her all of the health and mobility she is hoping for.

  42. you admit that for some people, wls is their only option to lose weight. so what good does it do to constantly yell about how awful and horrible it is? its going to make people feel like thats not a choice they are allowed to make

    when we all admit that its really their only choice, whats that pressure going to achieve? at the least its going to make people feel shunned and at worst it may prevent them for making the choice right for them.

    like rachel said, you can be pro-choice without being personally in favor of abortions. you can do this by putting your focus on protecting choice rather than screaming about your own private decision on the issue. attacking wls is like attacking abortions when you are pro-choice. its a mixed message. private opposition needs to stay private or people will feel shut out just for wanting a better life for themselves.

  43. emily - the thing is, while WLS may be their only option for losing weight, it's not a good option. How long do you think any pill would last as a treatment (for anything) if it had a failure rate of 40%, it killed 7% of the people who took it, and it helped people only temporarily, no matter how long they took it? Those are the statistics for WLS, and yet doctors are pushing it as a solution to people who don't even medically qualify as obese, they're at the high end of overweight. And they aren't doing it because they know weight loss will make people healthier, it's been proved that that just isn't so (in fact, it's been shown that people would have been better off if they had never dieted in the first place, and I am proof of that).
    And like I've said before, and will say again, and will keep saying, if anyone wants to have WLS, I will not tell them they can't have it. It's their body and their decision. I will NOT support that decision, simply because it's not a good solution for what ails fat people.
    A good solution for the fat people who have mobility issues/pain issues, etc is for doctors to quit looking at fat as the cause of every problem there is. It's for doctors to start looking at fat people as just that: PEOPLE! It's for doctors to look for the REAL cause of a problem and not automatically blame it on ZOMG!! TEH FATZ!!! and refuse to look further.
    But people have been brainwashed into thinking thin is healthy and fat is unhealthy, and until this is changed, doctors will continue to ignore the real causes of illness/disease for the imagined cause of TEH FATZ. And fat people will continue to die from this shit. AND THAT FUCKING PISSES ME OFF!!! Doctors think it's perfectly acceptable to kill 7% of the people who have WLS, because after all, their fat was killing them anyway. FUCK THAT SHIT!!! I will find my own answers if I can't get a doctor to help me.


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