Weight Loss Surgery: A Family Affair

The easy thing to do would be to blame the state of waste size on genetics.  It’s is true that 4 out of 5 of my maternal grandmother’s daughters battled obesity the majority of their lives.  4 out of 5 of my grandmother’s daughters spent the majority of their adult lives shopping the sale racks of specialty plus size shops and avoiding horizontal stripes and the color white.  By the way, I don’t believe that the color white makes you bigger.  I love wearing white.

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4 out of 5 of grandma’s daughters “gave up”.  They convinced themselves that it would be impossible to get to a healthy weight without drastic intervention and underwent bariatric surgery.  My eldest aunt underwent more than one bariatric surgery in her life time.

One aunt was so determined that bariatric surgery was her only hope to become a healthy weight that she consciously decided to gain 30 pounds in order to be considered by her insurance carrier heavy enough for a bariatric procedure.  She ate a big bag of Ruffles every single day and would stuff her face with pizza and french fries.  I witnessed these purposeful binges when she was visiting to attend my graduation party.  Today she looks like a completely different person and is likely a size 10, but ruffles and french fries remain staples in her diet.

Another aunt gained the majority of her weight back a decade after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.  She prides herself on completing almost 5 miles worth of walking a day and winning the daily fitbit challenges.  However, her diet consists of late night In-N-Out several times a week and desert pastries for breakfast.  Her large pantry has been the host of every snack item Costco has to offer.

My mother was only 10 pounds heavier than I am now when she got the gastric sleeve procedure.  She can fit into my old size 8 jeans and wears a lot of my old chic tunics tops that have been made so stylish by the likes of Tory Burch and Michael Kors.  Don’t get me wrong though, I do not envy my mother.  One bite more than what her restrictive digestive system can handle and she’s doubled over with fatigue.   Her first year after surgery involved lots of nausea and spitting up the way a baby does. Eating certain foods, such as white rice and shrimp, will her require her to lie down afterwards no matter how small the quantity was.  Who would want to live like that?

According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, over 200,000 people underwent weight loss surgery in 2016 alone.  About 3/4 of these female and the majority of these people have 3-4 other diseases associated with being obese such as hypertension and diabetes.  The most common procedure that is performed is the gastric sleeve, the same one my mother had.

However, I don’t think it would be completely fair to blame my current status mostly on genetics.  Continued in the next post

2 thoughts on “Weight Loss Surgery: A Family Affair

  1. I know it’s easy to want to blame yourself. But the fact is that it is mostly genetics that determines what you can or cannot get away with. Plenty of people eat like you did at Disney, but many of them will not suffer the consequences that you did.

    Liked by 1 person

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