No, no one has actually said to me that I’ve taken the easy way out, but I hear it in reference to weight loss surgery (WLS) a lot.

So… I’m just going to start by copying what someone else said on the board I frequent for my WLS support:

What’s the “easy way” to lose weight and get healthy? Well, since many of our co-workers, friends or families are such experts, I thought I’d do a bit (a very little bit) of research on-line to see if WLS really is the “easy way”. Quotes 1 through 6 are copied word for word from popular websites. Only the fonts have been altered.

Go down this list and see if you can figure out which way to lose weight is NOT the easiest!

1) “Since we first introduced The Negative Calorie Diet™ back in 1997, literally hundreds of thousands of satisfied weight loss customers continue to lose millions of unwanted pounds every day simply by following the program…”

2) “”The New Cabbage Soup Diet” (St. Martin’s Paperback, 1997) claims to “help change your life forever,” by showing you how to rapidly lose weight, while keeping you full and satisfied. It promises a weight loss of up to ten pounds or more if you follow the seven-day diet plan.”

3) “The Cave Man Diet – suggests eating more unprocessed foods, increase protein, reduce bad fats, increase good fats and take supplements to compensate for the depleted soils our food is grown in.”

4) “G.I. Diet:, At last a diet that is a practical, simple, healthy, long-term approach to dieting and weight management.”

5) “Lose up to 10 pounds in 48 hours! Success is only 48 hours away. Lose weight naturally, while you detox, cleanse and rejuvenate your body. An ideal jumpstart to any diet.”

6) “Welcome To Hollywood Diet
Lose Weight! Cleanse! Detoxify! Rejuvenate!
The 1st and Original 24 & 48 Hour Hollywood Miracle Diet
Lose up to 10 pounds in 2 days or up to 5 pounds in 1 day
(Results May Vary).”

OR …

7) Pay someone tens of thousands of dollars to reach inside you, cut your stomach off, cut your bowels off, then re-attach everything in a way that nature never intended. Spend months learning how to eat again. Spend the rest of your life eating abnormally small amounts of different foods than your co-workers, friends and families eat. Smile politely and put up with remarks such as “You need to put some of that weight back on”, “You’re cheating doing it that way”, “You’ll never be able to eat ‘real’ food again” and “When can you start eating normally again?”

Anybody choose #7 as the easiest? I didn’t either. I chose #7 for myself and my wife because it works!!

I know what most people are thinking when they think that WLS is the easy way out. They think that it MUST be the easy way since I’m forced to eat less. And, in that respect only, they’re right. But there’s SO much more that goes with it.

I haven’t talked a lot about the negative things that have happened, so, I think now is the time.

‘Dumping Syndrome’ and vomiting:
On other ‘diets’, if you eat that cheeseburger, or piece of cake, the worst that will happen is that you may not lose as much weight that week. The worst that will happen with me? Lots and lots of being sick and shaky and tired. Ever had *WAY* too much sugar? Imagine having that happen with just the sugar in a normal cup of yogurt that isn’t a low-sugar one. Ever eaten just ‘a little too much’ of your favourite meal? What happens? You may not lose as much weight that week, and you’ll be a little uncomfortable. For me, as little as one small bite too much (like, maybe half a spoonful) can make me sick. No one likes throwing up, and with WLS, it’s a constant roll of the dice. One day I may tolerate something just fine, the next – toilet ville. I have to check labels on *EVERYTHING*. You’d be shocked what they toss sugar into these days. I’m not talking about lactose or fructose which are generally okay, I’m talking about pure 100% sugar in places it has no business being like Cream of Chicken Soup, and that will make me sick. You know that salad you think I should eat and that is advertised as the best choice at a restaurant for someone trying to lose weight? Too bad it has fat and sugar in the dressing and virtually no protein. The fat and sugar (yes, even that small amount) has the potential to make me sick, and even better, in a public place! But, I’m taking the easy way out.

Protein is incredibly important to us as living beings made of flesh. Someone with a ‘normal’ size stomach can get in their protein needs while also having room for the vegetables for vitamins and minerals, and the starches they love. I don’t have that luxury. Every thing I eat needs to have protein so I can get in what I need. And those veggies? Not as much room for them, so I have to take a multivitamin, calcium citrate, and B12 for the rest of my life. Skipping isn’t just a not-so-good idea, it can actually be life threatening. Because, not only can I not eat enough to get those vitamins and minerals from food but, because of the surgery, what I DO eat, isn’t absorbed as well. Simple fact. But I’m taking the easy way out.

Yep. I said it. That’s what happens when your diet consists mostly of protein. No fiber (or very little) to help moving things along. But it’s the easy way out.

Eating Out:
I touched on this above, but it’s a very very different world. Again, on other diets, you can cheat and probably be okay. I cheat, I throw up. I get something that shouldn’t have a lot of fat or sugar but for some unfathomable reason, it does, I throw up. I order something I’ve had a dozen times with no issues, but for some reason my stomach pouch doesn’t want it, I throw up. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had actually much less issues than some, but it’s always there. We went out a few weeks ago and I opted for some pot roast and some carrots. It should have been fine, but for some reason it just didn’t settle right. And while everyone else is enjoying that chips and salsa basket or their desert, I’m siting there. When you only eat a tiny bit of the portion brought to you, the servers continually ask if it’s okay until you have to explain that it’s fine, you just cannot physically eat it all. They look at you weird when you tell them you don’t need anything to drink since you can’t drink with meals, you eventually give up and order water, then stare at it. But I’m taking the easy way out.

“Why can’t you just NOT eat those things that make you fat?”, “Why can’t you just eat less without the surgery?”
I’m going to quote the same person as above. I’ve always thought this, but I’m just going to use his wording:

Drinkers and smokers addictions are different from ours in that it is possible for them to completely give up their substances and never touch them again. “Cold turkey” is a very poor alternative for a food addiction!! Every day we have to ingest some of the substance we have trouble with. Smokers and drinkers cannot make progress that way – we have no choice!!

On the other hand, it takes them weeks or months to kick their habits, and even then they might relapse. If we go more than a few weeks without food, our addiction is permanently cured!!

But I’m taking the Easy Way Out…