Posts Tagged ‘gastric bypass’
Are you on the “Band” Wagon?
By now, you’ve likely heard that New Jersey governor Chris Christie underwent secret gastric band surgery in February of this year and has shown some “success” in dropping the pounds since then.
Although Christie claims “This is an intensely personal issue,” political pundits note that candidates often try to lose weight as they prepare for major political campaigns. The Washington Post reminds us that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee lost more than 100-pounds before running for president and then even went onto pen a book about healthy living.
WebMD reports that gastric banding surgery is the second most common weight loss surgery (after gastric bypass). WebMD details that gastric banding is considered the least invasive weight loss surgery. It is also the safest according to WebMD. They go onto report that the procedure can be reversed if necessary, and in time, the stomach generally returns to its normal size.
No matter what Christie’s true intents are (whether health or politically oriented), I wish him luck with his endeavors to attain better health. Although personally, I question the legitimacy of any kind of surgery to help with weight loss. I have several friends who have undergone these procedures and disagree with me. And I know that many readers of this blog would disagree with me as well.
But at the end of the day, the key to weight loss is eating less and exercising more. And anyone can achieve this without invasive — and potentially dangerous — surgery. Yes, it takes a lot of will power to achieve this. But why not work to tap into that before taking such extreme measures? Not only do people who undergo these surgeries often throwup a great deal right after having the surgery (due to initially still overeating), but they often gain the weight back. We’ve seen examples of this in Carnie Wilson and others.
If you’re considering surgery to achieve weight loss, I urge you to consider the pros and cons. Click here for more information.
People often look depressed when I tell them that keeping off the 250+ pounds that I lost over a decade ago still requires work today. Everyone wants the simple solution and/or to know that after the weight loss they won’t have to think about dieting anymore. But as people who are or who have been extremely overweight, this is something we can never stop thinking about — otherwise the weight will creep back on (no matter how the weight loss was achieved in the first place).
What do you think of Chris Christie undergoing weight loss surgery? And do you think people (all potential voters) will be impressed if he loses all of his excess weight even though it’s through surgery? And are you for the surgery or against it? Are you a surgery success story? No matter where you weigh in on this debate, I’d love to hear from you.
Photo Source: Zap2it.com
Don’t be a pill
Photo Source: wsbradio.com
Big news in the world of dieting… The U. S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new prescription diet pill named Qsymia. Note that I refer to this as “Big news,” as opposed to “Good news.” And this is because, personally, I don’t think anything out of a jar or bottle (whether prescription strength or over-the-counter) can ultimately provide what we really need to take off the excess weight.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the desire for a “Cure all” that’s as easy to incorporate into our lives as taking a pill or waving a magic wand. When people find out I used to tip the scales at over 450 pounds, they excitedly ask me how I lost the excess weight. When I tell them I did it by eating less and working out more, people often register dissapointment — as if I’ve given them unsettling news that they would have rather not heard. These same folks usually never stick around long enough to hear that by using common sense I not only took off all that excess weight (over 250 pounds!) within a year’s time period, but also have kept it off for over a decade.
Nope. People are too busy wondering about elective surgery (“I know! I’ll have a foreign object inserted into my body and wrapped around my stomach!”) or some kind of diet aid (“Guess I shouldn’t wear white underwear while taking Alli because of the anal leakage“). The list goes on. People want the “magic pill” — in its various incarnations (including surgery). And they’re willing to pay big bucks for it — not to mention potentially sacrifice their health as a result of ingesting it and/or undergoing it.
As for Qsymia, yes — patients did lose weight during clinical trials (going down from an average of 227 pounds to an average of 204 pounds) according to CNN. But some consumer advocates are worried because some patients involved in the clinical trial suffered from an increased heart rate as well as metabolic acidosis (a condition which can lead to hyperventilation, fatigue and anorexia). There are additional concerns about birth defects since one of Qsymia’s ingredients is topiramate (an anti-convulsant that has been linked to cleft lip and cleft palate in babies born to women who took topiramate for migraines and/or seizures). And who knows what other potential side effects might be found out as a result of taking a drug like Qsymia for a lengthy period of time? Anyone remember Fen-Phen and its harmful side effects?
While “curing” being overweight through anorexia (one of Qsymia’s potential side effects) might initially read as ironic, it’s a reminder that anything that can potentially harm our health deserves serious consideration. The whole point of losing weight and getting healthier is to avoid having to take pills for other ailments (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.). So why take an additional pill to help the other ailments we already take pills for?
Fact is, at the end of the day, it’s all about willpower. And this willpower can work in both directions. Just ask people who’ve undergone gastric bypass surgery who spend the first weeks after the procedure throwing up violently because they insist on eating the same amounts they did before the surgery, even though their stomach has been made smaller and can’t handle the same amount of food.
The good news is that willpower can also work for you, rather than against you. And this means you’re already armed with everything you need to conquer the battle of the bulge. No pills or magic wands necessary. Just start cutting back your portion sizes, choosing healthier foods (at least during some of your meals) and begin a simple exercise program like walking three to five days a week. Add drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep to the mix and you just might be surprised how quickly you’ll go from feeling ‘so fat’ to ‘all that’. We’re all supermodels after all. And the path to realizing that is simpler than anything you might find in a jar, bottle or on the shelf.
Remember in The Wizard of Oz, when Glinda the Good Witch told Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas?” Well, much like Glinda (sans the glitter), I’m here to tell you “You’ve always had the power to lose the excess weight.” It really can be as easy as ‘flipping the mental switch’ and deciding today’s the day you’re going to begin your journey to true and lasting health. No diet pill (new or otherwise) required.