Weight Loss Surgery - What is the best way to support a friend who is going to have wls?

06-08-2005, 07:52 AM
Hi, I have a question regarding weight loss surgery. A very good friend of mine is currently in the stage of wls where you are supposed to lose 10% of your body weight before you are scheduled.
I am trying to be a good friend & be supportive, etc, but it is hard. Before you jump down my throat, let me finish :^: I have very good reasons for thinking that she isn't ready for the surgery. Issue 1 is that she thinks that the surgery will solve her "fat girl " issues, like not being confortable in your own skin, not being able to find a relationship that is fulfilling, & a load of other problems. I have told her that these are problems that she will have at 350 lbs or 150, but she's not buying it. Isuue 2 is that in general she isnt a very healthy eater, & tends to binge on the things that are off limits post surgery, such as alchohol, sugar, & fats.
Part of me is hoping that she never loses the 10% & that hopefully they will refuse to schedule her. I am just so very worried that for her this option is entirely too dangerous, & I am terrified that something bad will happen.
Does anyone have any insight on how I can be supportive of her through her journey & find peace with the decision that she has made?

06-08-2005, 10:34 AM
NW: you are probably the best kind of friend a person can have at a time like this!!! and obviously, she's not about to listen to you. we've all known people who aren't ready for the surgery, and who have it and are right back to their old ways within WEEKS of getting out of the hospital [like the man who announced at support group - 8 weeks out of surgery - that he'd eaten a whole dunkin donut and was going to do it again!!!! DUH!!!!!]

so my biggest [and fastest suggestion, since i have to go into a meeting in a couple o minutes], is to help her do her research. send her here! but i promise you, not a single one of us here will reinforce that idea that you suddenly find love and all your fears melt away with your fat [what a lovely fantasy!!!!!]

gotta scoot.... more later, i hope

06-13-2005, 10:29 AM
A lot of friendships have desolved over wls. Some people lose what they have in common after wls too (you know the "fat friend" thing). As long as shes aware of the pros and cons of wls, I would support her. It's her body, her decision. Pray for the best. I'm not totaly for wls, I thought about it and I just think it's not right for me. Now in a couple of years and I have been trying really trying and nothing happens, then and only then will I try wls. Your friend is going to have "fat girl" issuses for the rest of her life, and if she continue to binge she just going stay fat even after the wls.
But it's her lesson, your job (if she is a really good friend) is to just truly support her.

06-14-2005, 04:49 AM
Thanks so very much both of you for the input. I just feel like such a low-life & back stabber being supportive to her face & in my mind I'm secretly hoping that she doesnt get a chance to go through with it because I know that she would feel like yet another option has let her down. I guess as a friend I should just be there for her, & TRY to be positive, but this is a hard road.

06-15-2005, 11:36 AM
Here's the thing about WLS. EVERYTHING gets thrown in your face after you lose the weight. SO. You are either forced to deal with your issues, or you go back to your old life. Chances are better than good that if your friend DOES get approved for surgery,she'll chose some other addiction. You mentioned that she binges on alcohol. MANY, MANY, MANY WLSers turn to alcohol after surgery because physically they can not use their drug of choice (food) to numb themselves.
You are being a good friend in supporting her and loving her no matter what. She'll need that sort of unconditional love if she does get approved.
WLS IS a quick fix. For the weight. Not for anything else. In the end, it's all hard work.
You might send her here... although this board is a bit slow. Other boards have MANY posts from post ops out 2 or more years and see what they are struggling with. Everything from vitamin and iron issues to alcholol and divorce.
NOW.. having said ALL of that... I want to make sure you understand that I have NEVER ONCE REGRETTED HAVING MY SURGERY. EVER. I embrace ALL of it. I am THRILLED to have lost 145 lbs and had reconstructive PS. I am even thrilled to be doing WW at 3 years out to get that last 20 lbs off ( now 14) to reach my goal. I have learned more about food, dieting, lifestyle, myself, and my issues in the last 3 years than I ever did in counseling or therapy or anything that came before. Because I have been WILLING to go through it, not around it.
Not tooting my own horn ( too much anyway... ) but this has changed my very LIFE in SO many ways. NOT just in how I look or how my health is.
WOW... I sure as heck talk a lot don't I?? Lots of coffee this morning.
Thems my 2 cents anyway... any questions... you are welcome to email me. I'm this user name at yahoo.
All the best to you and your friend!

06-15-2005, 05:28 PM
Laurie - we're glad to have you and hope you stick around. really. we seem to get a lot of new folks, and they outnumber to farther out postops so that the 'older ones' seem to feel lost.

this is a community for everyone who's had any form of WLS. no matter how 'old' or 'new' they are.

and i edited your post because it's against forum rules to direct people from this message board to another one.

06-15-2005, 09:30 PM
EEEEP. Sorry. Didn't know it was not okay to direct to other boards. Why is that?
I really like this board a lot. I have hung out over on the 100 lb club somewhat. I check this board quite a lot, nbut there is rarely anything new happening.
I love newbies btw!!
Thanks again for your kind welcome!

06-16-2005, 10:27 AM
not a big deal. as for the reason, it's not only about competition, but also about the fact that we often get hit with a lot of spam [as a forum] once people link from here to there.

as for the lack of activity - yes, it's an issue. in theory, i could post and post and post, but i don't want this forum to be all about ME. there are many other ways to handle life after WLS, and what works for me may not work for anyone else, but it's still the only way i know!

and we get a lot of people who hang out before surgery, and then disappear. there could be many many reasons for this, but bottom line, people just don't post. the LURK really well, though.

so we know that people are looking, but not contributing

we're VERY open to suggestions. and participation.

hope to see you around here more...

06-16-2005, 02:18 PM
Hey. I'm BACK!! I am on several lists and boards and I have sent some folks over this way. I'll try to send a few more. I like the format here and the people are very nice.
IKWYM about lurkers. Over on my "homeboard" we have thousands of posters, but probably close to as many lurkers!
So... have you scheduled your PS? You will be SOOOO happy when that panni is gone. Honestly. It's like looking at someone else for a long time. I am finally used to what I see in the mirror now. I LOVE IT!!!!!!

06-16-2005, 04:47 PM
I had surgery over 3 years ago and yes, it has been full of changes. Forced changes and chosen changes. Were my eating habits good before surgery? No. Which is why I chose to have surgery. It is a great tool to help you make the changes you've always wanted to change. And before I had surgery, I think my eating habits got even worse, because I was going through the "last meal syndrome".

I'd say try to be supportive to your friend because it seems to be something she wants/needs to do for herself. She is the one with all the power to make it work or not. And a lot of that comes later. She has a journey to go through, and she'll need all the supportive friends she can find. Not that you need to be 100% certain she is doing the right thing, just accept her for who she is and the road she has chosen. I mean, that is really all we can do for our friends anyway, right? We all choose different paths everyday.


06-16-2005, 04:50 PM
Oh, and I also wanted to say that after losing 130 pounds, I really DO feel more comfortable in my own skin. It really does make things easier. Are things easy now? No way. But they are easier. And now I'll have a lot longer to live to figure out the rest! :D

06-17-2005, 10:31 AM
Hi Pookie! Welcome back! Not sure where you've been as I haven't read that thread yet. Thanks for the warm welcome.
The weight came off very easily for me. I lost about 115 the first year, then about 25 the following year and another 5-10 with my PS. I never got to my personal goal of 175 though and I'm on Weight Watchers now to get there. The lowest I got was 180, then I started climbing. Worked my way back to 196 and that's when I hit WW. I was under the false impression that with the DS I could just keep eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and as much as I could shove in my face. NOT!
I am really loving WW as this is the first time ever in my life that I feel as though I can do it. I have a managable amount of weight to lose and I KNOW I can. So far I'm down 6.7 lbs ( and it's taken a month.. .none of this WLS rapid weight loss!!!) and I feel very much on my way.
So. There you go. Long answer to a simple question.
I have had some low iron, but nothing ot stress about I don't think, yet. And my PTH levels are very high ( extremely common in DSers) but my doc isn't worried about that. *I* am however. Bah.
Pardon me for not doing my research, but which surgery did you have? When? How has it been for you? You look fantastic in your avatar!
Julieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... talk to these nice people girl!

06-17-2005, 10:43 AM
laurie - lots of people end up back on WW, and they generally have wonderful results - like you're having. hey - 7 pounds a month is nothing to sneeze at , ya know! that's just under 2 pounds a week, the max recommended for 'normal' weight loss.

sounds to me like you're in great shape here.

i have to get working on the plastic surgery. my pannus weighs roughly 10 pounds, and that's not even counting the shar-pei legs and the bat wings!

06-17-2005, 11:17 AM
Hi Pookie,

I had open RNY 3 1/2 years ago. My ideal goal would have been to lose 150-160 pounds, but stopped at 130, then had a body lift w/ abdominoplasty and arm lift. That got me down another 10. In the two years since my plastic surgery, I'm slowly put back on about 20. I'm 5'10" and weigh about 200 right now. Blah. I will need to get onto some sort of program soon, I think.

Part of my problem lately, is that I allowed myself to become severely anemic. About a year ago I pretty much took my good health for granted and stopped taking my supplements. BAD IDEA. It took a while, but eventually it caught up to me. In the last 3 months, though, I've been working with a hematologist and my levels are almost back to normal. YEAH! So, it can be controlled with supplements.

Because I was so anemic, I was very tired and depressed, thus I stopped exercising. Another big reason for the recent gain. I'm getting back to the exercise now, too. I'm excited to get back down to about 180. I really liked that weight for my body.