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Topic 3 - Would You Rather?

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Old 06-21-2007, 02:56 AM   #31
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Re: what's the difference between us and the people who answered that study:

Again, I'm taking a wild guess, but is it possible that strong mental perceptions are a key in all that? I mean, we're here now discussing this book, but we are part of a support community that helps a lot, lots of people here are maintainers so they ALREADY KNOW it is possible, and the others aren't at goal weight, but they were still confident enough to read the book, knowing the conclusions it entails and the studies contained in it. I would say we are people who don't get easily discouraged (or not anymore), and who are convinced/know that even when fighting bad genetics, it doesn't have to end with our losing the battle forever.

To quote a part from the linked article, too: "And, he added, unlike the blind or the deaf, fat people are told that they could be thin If they really wanted to. "It's kind of a double punishment," Dr. Brownell said."
But... isn't the truth that it is, well, sort of true--in that we DO have the ability to start working on our lifestyles, just walking more, that kind of things? (People on medication that made them gain weight are probably a whole other matter, though.) It hurts to say it, but in most cases, indeed, a blind person will remain blind, but the overweight one at least has the CHOICE to try and do something about it. Maybe it'll fail, maybe in the end s/he'll succeed. That's the important part for me--the ability to DO something, even if it's doomed to fail, vs. the helplessness of being disabled for life and knowing nothing will ever help.

(By the way, Clvquilts, thanks for adding your opinion. It is interesting to see the point of view of a person who has a disability. I've been thinking about this discussion on an off yersterday evening, and somehow I can't prevent myself from feeling at unease about the opinion that a disability can't be worse than obesity, because to me, it really is.)

Of course, if we take the hypothesis that the obesity would be for good, that again puts things back into another persepctive. Although I'd still choose obesity vs. blindness!

But, again, I'm a helplessly positive and optimistic person (in spite of my spells of bad mood and ranting just to let the stress out), and I've always refused to envision life in terms of "doomed to failure", "can't do anything about it", "that's my fate" and the likes. So maybe I am just too optimistic regarding that?

(I've liked the retort at the end of the quoted article, by the way. "You could just use some manners". We do not HAVE to let ourselves become victims. Even if the whole world is against us. No kidding, hey, WE are the survivors! )
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:57 AM   #32
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I woke up to a thought --

The study participants, we've found out, are all morbidly obese people who chose weight loss surgery, presumably because they were unable to lose weight through conventional diet and exercise. So, perhaps to them, becoming obese again would be a kind of death sentence because they're convinced that they do not have to tools and skills to lose weight on their own.

In contrast, most if not all of us who have posted in this thread are losing or have lost weight through diet and exercise, so we all know it works and how to work it. If any of us woke up and found ourselves morbidly obese, we sure wouldn't be happy about it -- but we'd know exactly what to do to fix it.

I was morbidly obese (my BMI was 44) and lost it all, so I'd go right back into full diet mode and do it again. It would suck, but I have no doubt that I could lose the weight once again. So I would definitely choose obesity over a permanent disability that would not be so easy to fix.

Do you think that surgery versus non-surgery explains the difference we're seeing between our responses and the study's?
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:12 AM   #33
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Do you think that surgery versus non-surgery explains the difference we're seeing between our responses and the study's?

Yes, sort of. I think that the perception of obesity as a disease may evoke the notion that it is best treated medically or surgically. Since we are in a treatment programme that is working ...
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:19 AM   #34
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Meg -- You said it very well! That is certainly a possibility. I like Kery's point too.

Who these participants are is such an important issue. We can speculate until the cows come home about why the results turned out that way (and personally, I find that to be FUN!), but we can't know the degree to which the results would generalize to other groups unless that research gets done!

And the cool part, is that this is exactly how science progresses. People read a study and have exactly the same questions we do -- and then they go on and replicate (repeat) the study, except this time they use, for instance, the same group from the original study and then add OTHER groups, to see what differences emerge -- and also to see if those original results emerge a second time.

Can you all tell I get really excited about this stuff??!!
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:01 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
My wake up call was when I reached that no mans land between misses and plus sizes-- I was never actually big enough to shop at LB or Avenue.

So my experience of fat is really not much like that of someone who was both big enough and desperate enough to need WLS. That's a huge difference.
Maria, I am just like you. What's up with that no mans land anyway? I was never able to find clothes big enough in "regular" sizes and the plus-sizes were always cut awkwardly and huge on me.

In any case, I do think that the result of the study probably had a lot to do with the people involved having had WLS. WLS is a very serious and risky medical procedure and I think you probably have to be in a pretty bad place with your weight in order to consider it, much less undergo it. I know 3FC has some people who have had WLS, maybe if any are reading this they could put in their two cents?
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #36
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I think that the perception of obesity as a disease may evoke the notion that it is best treated medically or surgically. Since we are in a treatment programme that is working ...
This is really interesting. I posted back on one of the other threads about obesity as a "disease." But OTOH I can think of several diseases for which non-medical treatments are an option (usually for milder cases). For example, depression may be treated with psychotherapy instead of anti-depressants. ADD may be treated with very strictly controlled schedules or I even saw on TV someone who had a lot of success with her ADD child by sending him to martial arts classes. So maybe it is the case that for people for whom the "non-medical" treatments don't work, surgery is the only option left? Kind of like how I have tendinitis in my wrists. I tried ice, compression, rest, elevation, massage. None worked. I tried medication and it didn't work. I tried injections and they didn't work. Finally I had surgery. (That didn't work either but that's not my point! )
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:34 AM   #37
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I feel like the odd man out, but I'd take the disability.

Maybe it's how I read the question - I read it to mean that I would be obese permanently or have a permanent disability.

My top weight was 340, if my choice is to 340 for the rest of my life or to be deaf for the rest of my life, I'll take deafness. Diabetes, well, they didn't say uncontrolled diabetes, I'm assuming I can still live a full life with my insulin shots, so I'll take diabetes. Heart disease? I'll take it and get lots of exercise & watch my cholesterol. An amputated leg? Protheses are great these days, I can still do my 5 & 10k races with a prosthetic leg. Bad acne? Please, I'll wear more makeup. Blindness is a little tougher, I might have to take my former weight over blindness, the lack of independence from being blind, just not being able to drive where I want to go, might be enough for me to prefer weighing 340 lbs everyday.

If the question wasn't permanent obesity, just a question of waking up tomorrow at 340lbs (which I could try to re-lose) or one of the disabilities, my answers might change, but frankly, I don't think that's how the question was intended. I think it was intended as a permanent obesity vs a permanent disability. And since the question was asked of people large enough to need gastric bypass surgery, I think that presupposes obesity of at least 100 lbs over your current or planned maintenance weight, as that's the approximate minimum of obesity needed before surgery is considered.

I'd be curious if anyone here would change their answer if the question was re-worded to be a permanent obesity of 100 lbs overweight versus those disabilities.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:38 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValerieL View Post
I'd be curious if anyone here would change their answer if the question was re-worded to be a permanent obesity of 100 lbs overweight versus those disabilities.
I already deal with other disabilities, but my answer would be that I would choose to be 100 pounds "overweight" and live a healthy, active life, eating well and being as healthy as possible rather than missing a limb or being blind or deaf.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:24 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValerieL View Post

I'd be curious if anyone here would change their answer if the question was re-worded to be a permanent obesity of 100 lbs overweight versus those disabilities.
That being the case, and other then being blind - I think I WOULD change my answer. Just the thought of me being permanently 287 lbs again, is enough to almost give me a panic attack right now. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't live that way ever again knowing that there was ZERO chance of me ever changing it. No thank you.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:26 PM   #40
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That being the case, and other then being blind - I think I WOULD change my answer. Just the thought of me being permanently 287 lbs again, is enough to almost give me a panic attack right now. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't live that way ever again knowing that there was ZERO chance of me ever changing it. No thank you.
Well, in this hypothetical case, you would be 235 if 135 is your ideal
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:44 PM   #41
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The 100 lbs was more of a minimum not a specific. I meant it as a yardstick for those on the thread that have never experienced obesity in that degree. I think for those of us who have been 100 or more plus pounds, we would naturally be considering the question from the viewpoint of permanently weighing the most that we ever weighed. As, I assume, I know we don't know for sure, the gastric bypass patients in the original study probably did.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:35 PM   #42
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Valerie -- I'm hoping we'll have the answer to how the question was worded when we get our hot little hands on the actual article... we shall have to see... because, yes, there certainly COULD be a huge difference in people's responses!
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:59 PM   #43
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Wyll, I don't see a fake smile there at all - quite the opposite. So yes, you must learn to like pictures of yourself!

Valerie, is that avatar from you on tv or something? I'm sorry I don't know your whole story, but I found it quite realistic that you might have been featured for your wl story.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:14 AM   #44
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Good catch on the avatar, I didn't realize it looked that TV-ish, though. I was on a small segment of a Canadian talk show in May on weight loss, morbid obesity and regaining weight. They did my makeup for me and I looked way better than I usually think I do! I grabbed a screen shot to make it my avatar, I liked it so much.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:16 AM   #45
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Oooo what show? Details? Do you think I could catch a rerun?
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