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I was having a conversation with a coaching client yesterday about other people’s reactions to us having surgery. There are many people see weight loss surgery as the easy way, and think that we should continue to try doing it the ‘traditional’ way with diet and exercise. This means that many of us feel the need to keep it from others as we feel that we will be judged in some way for having the surgery.

It really makes me angry when people take this attitude. If someone cares about another human being, surely the most important thing to them should be the health and happiness of the other person. If the surgery means that they get to a healthy BMI, why should it matter how the person got there if they are going to be healthier, happier and live longer?

Do these same people want to give up their dishwashers, washing machines, electric irons and even their cars? These devices enable them to do many things more easily than they previously could do with out them. Nobody judges them, in fact if a neighbor saw us using a mangle in the garden instead of our washing machine the likelihood they would feel either very sorry for us or think we were completely mad!

Obesity is now classed as a disease, just like cancer or coronary heart disease. Would they stop their loved ones from having the very best treatment available to put these diseases in remission: of course not?

If a loved one had bacterial meningitis, would they refuse antibiotics to treat this infection? There is a chance that the infection would clear up if left alone or other herbal treatments were applied. However, there is also a very high chance of it getting worse and the person even dying from this infection.

It is exactly the same with obesity. The patient may have a chance of beating it with diet and exercise alone, but the statistics are very poor. Only 5% of people that lose weight by diet and exercise alone have, get to a healthy BMI and manage to stay there for a period of two years afterwards and many of these people would not have been obese in the first instance but would just need to lose a few pounds. Why would you not want a loved one to take the best and most effective treatment available for their problem, which is currently weight loss surgery. The chances of a person getting to a healthy BMI and staying there for 2 years afterwards are increased from 5% to over 50% with weight loss surgery, what an amazing increase!

Would you make someone feel bad for taking a dose of penicillin, of course not. So why make someone feel bad or guilty about having weight loss surgery, it is currently the very best treatment available to help these people regain a happy, healthy and longer life. Why would anyone want to deny a loved one that?

Next time anyone tries to make you feel bad about your surgery, maybe you may want to use this article as a basis for your defense. Of course, it is easier (not easy, but easier) because it is working for us, whereas other things didn’t in the past. However, that is the point: it is working for us!! Applaud our bravery for taking control in the very best way we can and help us celebrate a long, happy, healthy future!

Amanda Duggan, Bariatric Weight Loss Coach, New Leaf Weight Loss Solutions
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