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I need to lose 100+ lbs., and I don't want to take years, or fail at it. Which is the better surgery?

Comments (1)
answered 11:40 AM EST, Sat February 25, 2012
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Right now I weigh 360 pounds after losing about 40 pounds in the last year. I am happy with the 40 pound loss but I am still far from my goal of a healthy weight. I have a family history of obesity and heart disease at a young age and even though I am only 32 I am worried that if I don’t lose weight now I am going to die very young. I have been obese for my whole life. My dad died from a heart attack at 44 and he wasn’t nearly as big as I am now.

Obviously at 360 I am still morbidly obese and at the rate I am losing weight I will remain morbidly obese for another 5 years or so before I get to my target weight of about 180 (this is accounting for some slowdowns as I have less weight to lose near the end). While I know that weight loss is supposed to be a slow and steady thing I am just worried that I don’t have enough time to lose that weight and that I could be dead by the time my diet and exercise program gets the results I need.

I am thinking about asking about bypass or lap band surgery. Is one better than the other? My doctor says that I should not take the risks of surgery if I am having success with my weight loss program but I am not sure I can wait so long. I am also just so tired of looking disgusting and feeling so tired all the time.

I understand that you cannot give me specific advice since I am not a patient of yours, but in general would you say that my logic is sound? For someone with a risk of early heart attack do the immediate weight loss gains of bariatric surgery outweigh the risks and is this a better option than the slow ‘natural’ course of weight loss I am currently following?

William Anderson Says...

Your logic is OK, but a lot of your facts and info are wrong.

First, to succeed, you'll need to learn to eat real food, enjoyably, like a person who maintains 180 pounds. You'll need to do this regardless of how you drop the excess weight. This is very different than you have been doing. You need to get to the point where this becomes your new normal. You might be able to accomplish this in a very short period of time, a matter of weeks and months, not years. If you do this right, you will feel like you have won the battle in a very short time, and you'll watch the excess weight start to melt off as a result. If you focus on the behavior rather than the body, you'll be on the right track. Read my book to find out what to do. I guarantee that you do not yet know what that is. 

Secondly, if you do this right, it won't take you five years to lose the excess weight. When I got it right, I lost 140 pounds in 18 months, and I've maintained my ideal body weight, within 10 pounds or so, for over 25 years. I've had clients who have had the surgery, and no one has done better than me. If you do what I did, there is no advantage to surgery, and many risks and problems.

It is a mistake to do something unnatural to lose weight, whether it is a kookie weight loss diet you could never live with, an exercise scheme you'd never live with, or surgery. People who do that to lose weight usually gain the weight back, even the ones that have the surgery. They go back to the old normal, never having established a new normal.

In order to keep from gaining weight once you've lost it, you'll need to develop the habits of eating good food that will keep you at 180. Why not do that now, be done with it in short order, and watch your weight go down pretty quickly?  

Your doctor is right with the advice he gave you, more than he probably knows. From what you have revealed in your letter, the surgery would be a mistake for you, perhaps a terrible mistake. It will not produce any faster weight loss than you can produce with the right behavioral approach, would be very risky and potentially harmful. It  will not help you to make the behavioral changes you'll need to make anyway. Surgery could perhaps make it more difficult.

You have done a great job and your thinking sounds like the thinking that can make you a great success in healthy permanent weight loss. You need more and better information. Keep working and write again if I can help.

 

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