100 lb. Club - weight loss surgery failures.

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06-21-2005, 12:11 PM
There is a guy at work that has come in to teach a class for us. He used to work where I do. He had WLS and is now gaining all his weight back. I feel so bad and just want to talk to him but I don't know him that well and things like that would probably not come accross to well anyway. I just can't help thinking how bad he must feel about himself. I know I felt bad enough after gaining my weight back. I can't imagine how you must feel if you had surgery thinking this would end all your troubles and then find out you can gain it all back.

I guess I'm just here talking about it because it's on my mind so much. We all share the same thoughts about weightloss and the fear of gaining it back. So I know how he is feeling and I just hurt for him. I wish I had a pill for everyone to take so they could be done with this problem but as we all know it's just a lot of hard work.

Well enough rambling. Not even sure why I posted this. Like I said I just can't help thinking about it.

06-21-2005, 12:39 PM
He has to feel like he's drowning. Bless his heart!!! I have thought about the surgery, but am too afraid of exactly that....gaining it back. My feelings of failure would be too much to bear. I know it's not a 'guy' thing, but what about a card? That would let him know you are thinking about him without him having the pressure to respond if he feels he can't at this time.

06-21-2005, 01:03 PM
It is disheartening to see that. I wonder if he didn't get the support he needed afterward or felt like he could handle it on his own. You might post something over on the WLS threads and see what they say.

It breaks my heart to see a couple of my coworkers not even attempting to eat healthier/exercise while it gets harder and harder for them to walk 20 steps to the bathroom.

06-21-2005, 01:47 PM
What a heartbreaker! *sighs* WLS is NOT the cure-all some people seem to think it is. If you do not change your habits, the weight can begin to creep back on. The human body is amazingly adaptive to the things we do to it.

One of the strong reaons I started eating healthier a couple years ago, and really working out, was my cousin who had WLS. She and I were the fat girls in the family. She stopped by to see me when she came through the area, and she looked and felt wonderful after her surgery. She'd lost 110 pounds in a year.

It was a tempting thought. And I looked into it fairly seriously. Not enough to talk to a doctor about it, but talked with some of my friends who have done it, and did a lot of research online. My conclusion was that it's not for me. It's too drastic, and too restrictive a lifestyle to adjust to. And if I work hard, I should be able to lose the weight. Maybe not 110 pounds in a year. But one pound a week will bring that off in two years. And I'll be making better choices and learning better habits as I do.

I don't know what, if anything, you can do for your co-worker. He's gotta be beating himself up each time he steps on the scale. I know I do when I'm gaining. But if you have a chance to talk to him, casually, about health issues in general, maybe he'll get a feeling he can talk to you about "The Weight Thing" if he needs to.

06-21-2005, 06:17 PM
Howie, you're a great friend to even have those thoughts, and I think a card is a good idea. Even if it's just to say if you want to talk I'm here.

I seriously considered approaching my doctor about the surgery, but then I really thought about it, and realised it was my brain that needed the surgery, not my body, so that's what I have been working on. Until this year I thought losing weight was about what you eat, but it isn't, it's about how you think.

I have a loooooooonnnnnnggggg way to go, but I feel now that I can do this, and really, it's only because of you guys. Before I joined this group, I thought I was alone, that I was such a loser for allowing myself to get so fat. It was only when I started posting here that I realised positive thinking was the only way to go, and only when I started accepting myself the way I am, can I start to change.

Your all so important to me. :)

06-21-2005, 06:27 PM
Maybe not 110 pounds in a year. But one pound a week will bring that off in two years. And I'll be making better choices and learning better habits as I do.

I love that thought!!! :D
I don't know why that never occured to me.
110 pounds or more seems insurmountable but looking at it one pound a week makes it possible and achievable -- Synger, thanks for the perspective.

06-21-2005, 06:59 PM
Howie - you are such a kind person to be thinking that way about this guy. Why don't you just say a few, sensitively phrased, words to him? You never know, he might really value some support.......At least, then you will know you reached out a hand and tried to help.....even if he's not able to take that hand right now, he will know that there is someone around to help when he needs it....

06-21-2005, 10:24 PM
Ugh, that seriously breaks my heart.. I'm with you Howie, I wish there was a "miracle" pill that you could take to lose all this weight. And you're such a soft-hearted man for even thinking of him... Maybe you should try talking to him? Just offer your support.. .I'm sure he knows that you're working hard to lose weight too, maybe you could be a great support system for each other?

06-21-2005, 10:46 PM
Well enough rambling. Not even sure why I posted this. Like I said I just can't help thinking about it.....

maybe it's because, as this old french expression says "Tu as le coeur la bonne place"......Translation: "You have the heart at the right place"

06-23-2005, 01:42 AM
I still have not decided wether to say anything or not. Everyone at work is talking about him and they are even watching what he eats. Someone gave me a report when I got to work today about how much he had gained and what he was eating. I'm thinking you have no idea what he is going through or what I go through not to eat. It's hard and people who have never been this heavy have no idea what it's like to have a food addiction. It just sucks.

06-23-2005, 03:54 AM
Oh, that "let herself go" one really gets to me, too. I'd not thought about that in a while. I know a guy who is afraid the woman he marries will some day "let herself go" and "balloon". Crazy-making conversation there! Choice words!

Howie, maybe just something as simple as "hey, let's go to lunch". You know it's going to come up, for he'll probably bring it up himself if it's just the two of you.

06-23-2005, 04:17 AM
I can just imagine how that poor guy feels. Don't think either that he doesn't know that everyone is watching what he is eating. He knows and I'm sure that just makes him feel worse. I understand wanting to talk to him and offer some support and encouragement but how to start that conversation? I'm thinking a card or an e-mail would be a good start or the other suggestion of going out to lunch. I'll bet all of us have that fear of losing the weight and then gaining it back. It's gotta be even worse having the surgery because here you've put your life at risk having surgery and the associated pain with surgery and now it was all for nothing. Just goes to show that sadly there are no instant cures for obesity.

06-23-2005, 10:26 AM
I guess it makes me mad too because I'm getting more and more comments about larger people at work now that I'm not so large anymore. I also know these same people were making these same comments about me when I was heavier. I'm sure some may still be. I'm still the same person the comments still apply to me in my mind even if I'm not that heavy guy anymore.

06-23-2005, 10:36 AM
Howie ~ you are so kind to have concern for that fellow at work. I sure hope there is some way that you could talk to him or something. Kimberly is fortunate to have such an understanding person in her life. (Wish you could give my husband some lessons.)

I wish I could print this and have my husband read it. He has heard of the weight loss surgery, but I don't think he knows much about it, and kind of just thinks that it would fix everything and that would be the end of it. He has kind of suggested that that is the route I should go, and acts kind of disgusted with me that I don't agree with him. My weight has been an issue between us since the begining of our relationship. At the start of it, I was only a little overweight (only maybe 20 pounds instead of 90). My weight has just kept creeping up over the years ~ my dr once said that I "medicate" myself with food ~ yes, that is me ~ eating when I am stressed or depressed . Anyway, my DH thinks I should do the WLS. From what I understand, you have to learn a whole new way of eating and change your ways, or you will end up in the fix of Howie's coworker. That is the part I don't think my husband understands. To me, if I have to learn a new way to eat and change my ways, that is the same thing I need to do to lose the weight without the surgery. So, I am not wanting to do the surgery, scared of the risks and all.

The things Pookie was telling about how she has to fight for every pound she has lost after her surgery instead of the wieght "falling off" like it does for some people was kind of a learning thing for me. I guess I don't know as much as I should about the surgery, because I thought the weight came off easy, and didn't realize that for some people it is such a struggle to lose it after the surgery.

Anyway, my husband has blinders on when it comes to this weight thing which is so aggravating for me, and I think in part is why the road to my goal has been so hard. He just does not understand, and any attempt I try to explain things to him does not help, he sees it as another excuse and we just end up more frustrated with each other.

He was always the thin one who could eat anything and never gain. Then a few years back, it caught up with him and he put on about 50 pounds. He struggled to lose and found the battle hard. I felt bad for him, but at the same time felt that maybe he finally understood what it was like to try to lose weight. At his yearly dr's visit, the dr put him on a 1000 calorie diet and told him to walk every day. In a matter of months, he got the weight off and has kept it off for a few years now. Now we are back to frustration. He kind of acts all pompous ~ like he has all the answers to this weight loss thing. He says that I could lose my weight too if I did exactly as he did. (Another frustration in all this is that when he lost the weight ~ I cooked the food, figured all the calories and measured if for him ~ he did none of that work ~ just ate what I fixed him ~ I was glad to help him, but he didn't do part of the work. Also now, he has figured out how much to eat and maintain with out having to exercise at all ~ he hates exercise.)

He is a smart man, but he does not seem to be able understand at all. He is a guy and I am not, and the weight comes off different I think for guys sometimes. And that he is a completely different person than I am ~ like my using food to cope with my problems ~ and there just seems to be no reasoning any of this with him. HE JUST DOES NOT UNDERSTAND, and seems to not WANT to.

I am sorry to have gone on so long ~ reading this thread just brought thoughts to mind, and I needed to "talk" to someone, and kind of felt like probably someone here would understand. If you made it through this post, thank you for listening.

06-23-2005, 10:51 AM
I'm sorry you don't have a husband who understands your problems. Maybe you should print this out for him. Women do lose different and what worked for him may or may not work for you. I know it would not work as quick for sure. People who don't have that conection or addiction to food don't understand. Does he have some other addictive habbit that you could liken it to. Smoking, Drinking, even Porn for some guys. Maybe then you could get it through his head the struggles you deal with.

I don't know what else to say except that we are all here to support you.

06-23-2005, 12:12 PM
Gayle, you really are doing a wonderful job with your weight loss. Honestly you probably aren't a candidate for WLS. The procedure is very dangerious and there's a certain % of body fat you have to be before they will consider doing it.
I'm also sorry that your husband doesn't seem to understand these things. I live with a wonderful man and sometimes I want to strangle him because he just doesn't understand. Part of the problem is that he also loses weight without trying and thinks that I can as well.
Just hang in there, you are getting healthier, getting thinner and if you keep at it, you'll reach your goals. You have tons of support here and you're own cheering section.
:cheer: :cheer:

06-23-2005, 04:29 PM
Everyone at work is talking about him and they are even watching what he eats.

This really struck home when I read it, because I know how hard it is NOT to do sometimes. I know I'm guilty of it, especially when I'm focusing so much on what I eat. I went to the cafeteria the other day, behind a man who probably weighed 100 pounds more than me, and walked with a cane. He looked like every step hurt. I was behind him in the cafeteria line, and I couldn't help but note what he chose.

Fried chicken, fried fish, baked fish: He got two small pieces of fried chicken, I chose one fillet of baked fish

sweet potatoes, potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese: he got potato salad, cole slaw and mac and cheese. I chose the sweet potatoes

Turnip greens, green beans, carrots, cabbage: He got green beans. I got green beans and carrots

I felt bad. Not because I was thinking "He made bad choices" but rather "He could have made easy, better ones." I KNOW how it feels to want to taste all that fattening food, all in the same meal. And when I'm jonesing for potato salad, that's what I'll choose. But I just can't choose a whole scoop each of potato salad AND mac and cheese AND cole slaw... that's just too much fat and calories for one lunch. Our cafeteria has that stuff all the time. Sometimes I choose half a scoop of mac and cheese, or a bit of cole slaw. And that satisfies my cravings, and my hunger pangs, without over-stuffing myself. It's not like today will be the only day I can ever have potato salad, or mac and cheese (two of my comfort foods, by the way). But sometimes my mind says "Oh, I MUST have that! It smells/looks SO good. I must have it, and I must have it ALL!". That's the "internal tape" that I am trying to learn to recognize and counter.

It's like Howie said. I'm still thinking about the guy in the cafeteria. It made an impression on me. And it made me wonder how often someone looks at what I've chosen to eat when I eat out and thinks "well, no WONDER she's so fat!". Self-consciousness is not always a good thing.

06-23-2005, 05:00 PM
Gayle, your husband needs a wake up call if he thinks WLS is the holy grail of weight loss. It is just as dangerous as any other sugery requiring general anathesia. People die while having WLS. In my mind it is a last ditch life saving operation and not to be undertaken lightly. I suppose in recent years it has become a fashionable way to lose weight now that there are so many celebrities that are doing it. I am much more looking at Kirstie Alley doing the Jenny Craig and losing weight than I would look at Rosanne Barr as a role model. You might want to remind your husband that you did all the work that led to his weight loss and he sure isn't helping you lose weight but talking to you like this.

06-23-2005, 05:27 PM
Sad thing is, we know - what - three people who have gained back their weight after WLS. And one of the employees at the coffee shop we go to told me the other night that he'd had WLS. He was only 300 pounds and had it. He said he can eat anything without ill effects and really has to work at it to keep from gaining back his weight. He sounds like he regrets having gone through it now that he sees it wasn't an instant fix and he has to watch what he eats anyway.

On the subject of watching what people eat, I often feel like people look at me when I'm eating anything and think I shouldn't be. It's just crazy-talk in the head, though...I mean you do have to eat, and much of what I feel is a holdover from years of being gluttonous in public while knowing I was being scrutinized...But feeling powerless to do anything about it.

The emotional baggage of obesity is harder to shed than the pounds sometimes.

06-24-2005, 12:01 AM
"The emotional baggage of obesity is harder to shed than the pounds sometimes".
Well said Kimberly. Those are the words I have been searching for and unable to find. Thank you for writing it so eloquently. Simple but so true.

The only comment I have on WLS is that it is not a quick fix and it is not without dire consequences. People who have the surgery are struggling to save their lives. God bless and help them in their challenges. I just keep thinking about this 32 year old woman who I knew who had the surgery. There are not many performed in my area of the country and the surgeons performing them are not proficient at it because they don't have a lot of experience. At any rate, this young lady was a single Mom to a four year old. She decided that she wanted to be thin and healthy for her child and herself. Despite many attempts at weight loss, Angela felt she couldn't lose weight through diet and exercise. She had the surgery. She's dead. She is buried three graves over from my Dad. She experienced liver failure. So, fat and healthy and alive or wishing to be thin and dead? I don't have the answer but I am terribly sad about what happened to this family as a result of wanting to be "thin".

06-24-2005, 12:34 AM
Oh, how sad. :( My friend Ruth's daughter had WLS in December and due to complications was in the hospital until late this spring. The daughter of another friend on the same website had WLS earlier this week, but is having major complications. It just scares the bejeebers out of me; the folks who have been helped by it are many, and it's exciting seeing many of their lives transformed, but I just know of too many people who either had medical complications or have regained the weight. It scares me, and breaks my heart when I see it because I know how terrible a struggle the baggage part is regardless of our bodies' physical ability to consume too much food.

06-27-2005, 01:39 PM
I so understand what you are talking about. Some people DO have faster metabolisms, some slower. Even within the family, some people who eat more than I do just assume I'm eating in secret or I couldn't have gained this much (despite the fact that I've been fat virtually all my life). I am now managing to get rid of some of it, but it takes sooo much more effort than it does for many others. Yes, the calorie deficits do work, but for some of us, those deficits have to be mighty big to make a small difference. The one family member who was most unkind about weight finally had it fall on his head when he turned 30. Compassion can be a hard lesson to learn.