Five half-marathons, four 5k races, three sprint triathlons, two 10k races, and one full marathon. All in one year, and all in memory of someone who never knew she was strong.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

But I Digress...

Alisa at posted a note I wrote to her yesterday. This led a lot of people to visit my blog, which I really appreciate, especially now that I am on my game and actually blogging instead of slacking, busy getting married, or worrying about what people think of me if I don't lose 10 pounds a week.  What she doesn't know is that she beat me to it.  I wanted to repost what she wrote about weightloss surgery first, but apparently people who blog in the tumblr world are way more technically inclined that people at Blogger (also, from what I've seen, it seems that there is some sort of silent war between bloggers and tumblrs. Can someone explain that to me?  I am kinda behind the times I guess.  Is tumblr better? Am I breaking the rules by reading Eff This Diet and Ben Does Life and others?) Anyway, this is what she originally posted:

Anonymous asked: Have you ever thought about getting weight loss surgery?
Tricky, tricky question anon. I didn’t quite know how to answer this without offending a few of my followers who I know have had the procedure done, so I’ve been holding on to this message for awhile. But this is my blog, and this is something that I am pretty passionate about, so here’s the truth.

The short answer: it’s definitely not for me. In my opinion, getting weight loss surgery does nothing more than physically change your body. It doesn’t help you realize what foods are healthy and which aren’t. It doesn’t help you realize how much and what types of exercise you should be getting. And it sure as hell doesn’t give you the tools to live a healthy lifestyle.

My mom had a gastric bypass several years ago and I’ve been observing her behavior ever since. I love her to death, but her ideas about healthy living are warped sometimes. Getting the procedure done didn’t help her one bit on the mental aspect of weight loss. In all honesty, that has more to do with your success than the physical part of it. She still eats Taco Bell, Starbucks, cookies, cakes, chips, etc. on any given day, but thinks it’s okay because it’s within her daily means. Even when your stomach is stapled and you can only eat small portions of things like this, it doesn’t equate to healthy living. She’s gained a lot of her weight back because she still hasn’t learned these essential tools that a lot of us have picked up through pure grunt work and experience.

A lot of people (including my doctor) have said “wow, almost 400 pounds, have you considered surgery?” It’s been pushed on me several times, and yet I’ve always known that surgery isn’t for me. Why? Simply because I know that I need to learn how to live a healthy life on my own terms. And yes, sometimes that means through trial and error. I don’t believe a quick-fix surgery can do that for me. I am going to defy the doctors and everyone else who’s pushed surgery on me; I am going to lose 210 pounds the healthy way using only hard work and determination. It’ll take time, but I will get there.

Alisa has lost over 75 pounds, and I am so inspired by her.  I am also really moved by her simple, honest answer.  I have warred with people regarding my staunch dislike of gastric bypass or lapband surgery. How it isn't regulated well. How it is often prescibed for the wrong people for the wrong reasons. How it is advertised like it is a chemical peel instead of an invasive operation with a low long-term success rate and dangerous side effects.  I'll admit, I am pretty hardnosed about it.  I have spent three years studying the stories, both successful and disastrous; it has almost been therapy for me. There are both kinds of stories out there, and as inspired as we all are by the successes, I think so many people would be shocked to see some of the long-term side effects, the most common of which is gaining it all back (umm, doesn't that defeat the purpose?)  And *stomping my feet* I'm still pissed that my mom never knew the risks. She was smart, she was a nurse, and she was under the impression it was basically no-fail!!

Ok, ok. I won't get on my soapbox.  What I will do is thank Alisa for being brave and logical and for knowing, and saying, that it takes time. I think that one of the reasons we all fail at this so many times before it sticks is the time thing.  It won't happen overnight or in a month, but it will happen.  And guess what the bonus is?  When it happens slowly over time, your skin won't hang off in giant, loose flaps.  I am learning those same things and trying to win those little struggles everyday and those big stuggles every year, and it is hard. I guess things in life are supposed to be difficult so we know their value and know to hang on as hard as we can. Either way, thank you, Alisa, for sharing your journey.  You are so strong.



  1. Great post and great ideas from both of you! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Carla! Thanks so much for this post...

    And this "silent war" is complete crap! Tumblrs & bloggers can unite, we're all working towards the same goal of better health.

    I'll try to enable Disqus soon so you can actually reply to my posts. :)

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