Tomorrow, my mother's husband, M. is having lap band surgery. I've known about it since June, but I was not sure whether he was 100% positive. It turns out he is, because he thinks this is the only way he can lose the weight.
The story of M. is not much different from others who have tried to lose weight. M. has been on several diets. The last one was Atkins a number of years ago. Though he did lose a substantial amount of weight, he was unable to sustain its difficult regimen and deprivation. Like most dieters, when he went off Atkins, his weight returned. That was the last major diet that I can remember him trying. Since then, he hasn't been on any diet to my knowledge. His doctors and family are now concerned since he has developed diabetes, has high blood pressure, and has had a mini stroke.
I tend to sit on the fence with this. Part of me knows from literature research how there is a lack of pre-screen mental evaluation, especially among those with gastric bypass surgery. It's also been suggested how crucial follow-up care is (and not enough get) I also know of several people who have had this same procedure done. They have rapidly lost the weight but eventually regained it later in life.
I know M. is well aware of the side effects, how his eating habits will change, etc., but as my mom says, "he is ready for this." I know his decision is already made, but I can at least voice my concerns here. I worry about whether it will really change his mindset/lifestyle or whether it is only a temporary solution to the problem. I fear this will only cause an elimination of foods rather than learning to take a moderated approach. Like many people, he's always looked at his failures as a lack of willpower, thus, feeling like if he just wasn't tempted, it would all be better. Therefore, if you take away the ability to eat, he will be thin, happy, and all will be well.
I also fear how this will affect my mother and her eating habits. My mother is not a cook, and I can seriously imagine her just eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner or just sleeping through dinner (she is the type who could fall asleep right after work).
The other fear I have was from a poster I read on a board discussing whether the side effects were worth it. The poster said, "I can't eat and enjoy foods like I did preband. That is the only side effect I have . Since that was the whole point of having surgery, I can't complain about it, even though a pain free hamburger sounds good every now and then."
M. has always been a person who has seriously enjoyed food. In all honesty, that's always been one thing I admired about him--that he could enjoy food with all its taste and scrumptiousness. Just like as in anorexia and starvation, I worry that that will be gone for the sake of becoming thin.
At this point, I know I don't have much say, but can only hope for the best. I hope he receives adequate follow-up care and can join a support group. In some ways, I'm not sure M. knows what he is in store for despite saying he does. I hope this won't be about restriction but instead incorporating a more healthy lifestyle, e.g. adding in some moderate exercise. Though I sit on the fence with this approach, I hope it works for him, especially from a medical standpoint. Because in reality, I can only imagine what he might feel for himself if it doesn't. A FAIL. And that just continues the cycle all over.
Note--*I hope I do not offend anyone reading this post who may have had lap band or gastric bypass surgery. I know everyone must make their own decision which they feel is best for themselves. I also realize that my perception may be clouded by years of eating disorder abuse. I'm also hoping that I do not come off as judgmental, because I'm truly not trying to be.