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23 February 2003 @ 11:45 am
This post is actually serious (and I'm not using the cut tag, either)  
It's been a while since I had a good rant on the whole being fat/weight loss thing, and some of you may think I'm going to be awfully hypocritical, since I am trying to lose weight right now. But I think this is very different, because what I am doing is ultimately eating less and exercising more, but here is what I won't ever do.

Despite having a number of doctors over the years suggest I do it.

Despite my father being thrilled with the idea because I am, of course, an embarassment to him.

Despite my own health and mobility issues, because let me tell you, there were some dark, dark days when I very nearly said to hell with it, so what if I die a horrible, painful death, at least there'll be that much less of me to cremate when it happens.

No matter how bad it gets - and I'd like to think I've already reached that bottom and am climbing back out - I am not going to have weight loss surgery.

This article (and thanks to yohannon for the link) is one of the best I've read in years on the subject. It actually tells the truth of what can happen, because believe me, they DON'T tell you the truth when you go to get evaluated for this surgery. Oh sure, they'll tell you that your body is going to change drastically; that you won't be able to eat a lot of foods; that you will have "dumping syndrome" and a whole manner of other consequences. But what they don't tell you is that you could DIE.

This just makes me so angry.

These are the last few lines of that article:
He believes the number of fatalities caused by these operations is higher than most people realize: "Nobody knows how many people have died from this. Nobody wants to."

You know why nobody wants to? Because it's better to be dead than fat. THAT is how most of the world sees it.

Sometimes I really wonder how I've managed to make it to this age at all, with that attitude in the world. But it was a combination of the fact that I was lucky enough to find the size acceptance movement and also the fact that I'm a determined bitch and I will be DAMNED if I'm going to let myself be defeated by the fucked-up attitudes of society at large, let alone the attitudes of people on a more personal level.

The only reason I'm trying to lose weight is because of my health. I'm beautiful, and if you can't see that, it's your loss. But the majority of people are only concerned with what they look like when they do these things, and it's just maddening.

I'm far too old and cynical to think that I can do anything to change society. But if one person reads this and it makes them think twice, or 10 times, before having weight loss surgery, then I can say that I did at least one good thing with my life.
I feel: enragedenraged
That's what she said.: -.-altricial on February 23rd, 2003 10:24 am (UTC)
Does the article say anything about liposuction? I skimmed it because I cannot get my eyes to uncross >.
Vicki: Dariahermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 10:28 am (UTC)
No. Liposuction is a completely different procedure, although it can kill you, too. I recall one case of someone who died because they tried to take too much fat off. Exercise is a lot better than cosmetic surgery.
That's what she said.altricial on February 23rd, 2003 10:31 am (UTC)
*resents movement*
cygnusfap on February 23rd, 2003 10:50 am (UTC)
Oh...I always thought liposuction *was* weight loss surgery. What's the difference between them?
Vicki: Dariahermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 11:38 am (UTC)
Liposuction is a procedure to remove fat from targeted areas of the body. They slice open the skin and suck out the layers of fat with a vacuum. For example, getting rid of love handles or a bit of fat on the buttocks. It's not meant as a weight loss tool, but rather is supposed to be a last resort after exercising the areas in question hasn't worked. It's not used on anyone who is considered fat, really.

Weight loss surgery (WLS), are a number of different procedures where they open up your abdomen and do one or more of the following: cut the stomach and close it back up, leaving a pouch the size of a walnut; put a band of plastic around the stomach so that limited amounts of food can get in; they remove part of the upper or lower intestines. It results in the person being able to eat very little, usually less than 1000 calories a day in the beginning. They lose weight very quickly, and although they can eventually eat a bit more, they can never eat a lot. The problems that can happen are just... too many to list, really. Obviously, they tend to have a lot of gastrointestinal problems, everything from becoming lactose intolerant to not being able to absorb vitamins and minerals to problems eliminating waste. I've known a number of people who have died from these procedures.
The Mad Baker What Bakes at Midnightcuppatea on February 23rd, 2003 10:07 pm (UTC)
Saw liposuction being done as part of a breast reduction surgery once. It was seriously scary stuff. If you don't want the graphic details, don't read this -- they used sound waves to liquefy the fat under the skin before sucking it out, and there was nothing gentle or clean about the way they were jabbing the liquefying suction thing around down there.

I used to wonder if I'd ever consider it (being oppressed by Society at Large's general intolerance of any female who is bigger than Twiggy), but after seeing that surgery, I couldn't fathom doing it for any reason ever. Surgery is not something to mess around with. Do what works for you, remember that you're worthwhile no matter what "Society" values at the moment, and best of luck with whatever you choose to do!
Vicki: Dariahermorrine on February 24th, 2003 08:38 pm (UTC)
*waves to new person* I so agree. I saw one of those liposuctions on some true medical program and was just ill about it. I think I'd much rather keep my fat on the inside of my skin, where it belongs. *shudders*
The Mad Baker What Bakes at Midnightcuppatea on February 25th, 2003 08:08 pm (UTC)
*waves back* Hope you don't mind random newbie here -- found your journal through that great '80s quiz. :D

I think anyone who sees a liposuction and has it anyway either has a much higher squick tolerance than me, or has body dysmorphic disorder. :P
Vickihermorrine on February 25th, 2003 09:50 pm (UTC)
Not at all - how else do you make new friends, but randomly, really? :)

I think a lot more people have body dysmorphic disorder than might be readily apparent. -.-
Alex: Handcuffstitanic_days on February 23rd, 2003 10:51 am (UTC)
The whole concept of that kind of surgery just makes my stomach turn. I can see no reason why anybody would elect to go through with it - but then I'm not in any position (mentally or physically) even remotely close to ever have to make that decision. Surely something like that carbohydrate dumping diet John tried has to make so much more sense in the long run.

Tremendous admiration for you whatever happens. You should know that anyway.
Vicki: Dariahermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 11:39 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks. I'm doing what John's doing now - so far, so good.
Alextitanic_days on February 23rd, 2003 04:01 pm (UTC)
A bunch of people were talking about it on this show I watched the other week - the only down side (or possibly up side depending on how much you like pasta) is that you can't go much longer than two weeks without severely damaging yourself.

Anyhow, the results were quite startling.
Vickihermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 05:34 pm (UTC)
I think 2 weeks might be awfully conservative, as I've been doing it longer than that and I've just had all my medical tests done and I'm fine. But yes, you can't do it for the rest of your life, and you're not meant to. The plan is to gradually add the carbs back but still have them lower than the average person's diet. So, we'll see what happens.
Yohannon: Journal Goddessyohannon on February 23rd, 2003 11:45 am (UTC)
Thanks hon. You just made my morning. Month, even... and that's saying a lot, seeing I just turned forty this fine February.

** hugs **

Vickihermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 11:48 am (UTC)
*hugs* I sincerely doubt this beat your birthday party, considering even the little bit I've seen about it. ;)
dinahrae on February 23rd, 2003 12:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for writing this. I have said it often, and the bad thing is that I'm beginning to think that I have no right for being angry at people. People who've harrassed me for years, people who think they can say nasty things to me when I walk past them on the street just because I am fat. I'm making myself small and think that they have every right to say these things.

But they have not and seeing others being angry about it and getting out a good rant reminds me that I am allowed to be angry at them and that I shouldn't let those people influence my life as much as they do (including my father)

Vicki: can't fight the R/Hhermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 02:02 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I understand completely, and I hope it helped a little.
Gregpetulans on February 23rd, 2003 12:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, God. Well, whether someone would rather have surgery, try non-surgical methods of weight loss or simply leave things as they stand is really a personal decision. However, I would say that unless the situation has serious medical ramifications if nothing is done about it, I would think that I’d personally rather live with the weight than not live without it!

People have a horrible tendency to impose their own ideas of how the world and other people should be upon everyone they meet. Subconsciously (or otherwise) feeling that risking death is preferable to being overweight is a pretty good example of that, not to mention yet another blow to any hopes I might hold that we live in, if not an enlightened society, then at least one for which there is still hope.

Personally, I couldn’t give a monkeys what the scales read when someone gets on them – it’s hardly all that important is it?

That being said, I hope that the carbohydrate-dumping diet (damnit, I know that I heard the name for this one a few weeks ago… something beginning with ‘a’) goes well, but only because you want it to.

If I’ve fluffed up this post and said something ridiculous, please blame it on my insomnia!
Teesside Snog Monster: t00bjiggery_pokery on February 23rd, 2003 01:51 pm (UTC)
Atkins Diet. I think John mentioned it at MacT00bage.

I fear that most of the goodies we made at MacT00bage were resolutely not carbohydrate-free. We shall work something out for next month. :-)
Vicki: Happy Happy!hermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 02:01 pm (UTC)
It's not totally necessary. I intend to stay close to it while I'm there, but I also want to eat proper British food, and a couple of days of eating things I wouldn't normally won't matter. I've already requested to have tea, which I think is mostly carbs. *laughs* But I appreciate the thought.
Vicki: OH Yeahhermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 02:06 pm (UTC)
*hugs* You didn't fluff it at all. It's good to know that the people I know aren't judging me on that, and understand. It's amazing how important what the scale reads is to most people.

And it's the Atkins diet, it's low to almost no-carbs. www.atkinscenter.com if you're interested, and no I can't be arsed to HTML that. lol
Zorac: black untiezorac on February 23rd, 2003 02:16 pm (UTC)
I have to admit to disliking 'Society At Large' - it's a frequently unpleasant and intolerant beast, looking down on anyone who differs from what it considers the norm. It's bad enough when this is pressurising people to become something they're not, but when it's making people want to have life-threatening surgery for cosmetic gain... words fail me.

Just as bad is the doctors downplaying the possible side-effects of such surgery - particularly if death is a not insignificant possibility. And the suggestion from that article of a doctor encouraging a patient to have such a procedure on cosmetic grounds - surely that's a gross breach of medical ethics?

As for me, I only have the much lesser stigma of being a geek - but I'm sure that 'Society At Large' would still like me to change, become less geeky. Maybe I am doing just that - not because it's what they want, but because I decided that I might be happier socialising a bit more instead of spending every weekend moping around the flat with a computer, a DVD or a book.

if one person reads this and it makes them think twice ... then I can say that I did at least one good thing with my life

I'm sure you've done plenty of good things with your life - for starters, you've mad me a darn sight happier these last two weeks than I've been in a long time.


Vicki: can't fight the R/Hhermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 02:31 pm (UTC)
And the suggestion from that article of a doctor encouraging a patient to have such a procedure on cosmetic grounds - surely that's a gross breach of medical ethics?

That isn't the reason the doctors give - that's the reason many people choose to do it. I don't know if you read the article, but one of the examples given was a woman who gained 30 pounds so she'd be heavy enough to qualify for the surgery, which she then had - so that she could wear a smaller-sized wedding dress. To me, that is the epitome of fucked up. Doctors will tell you all about the health risks of being fat - but I'd argue that you might be thinner after this procedure, but your health would NOT be better.

I decided that I might be happier socialising a bit more instead of spending every weekend moping around the flat with a computer, a DVD or a book.

I would happily mope with you. Which I imagine negates the whole moping thing, anyway.

I'm sure you've done plenty of good things with your life - for starters, you've made me a darn sight happier these last two weeks than I've been in a long time.

You've just made me cry, t00b. Because.

*flings her arms around your neck and kisses you repeatedly*

Zoraczorac on February 23rd, 2003 02:44 pm (UTC)
This was indeed the bit I was trying to allude to:

Her doctor told her she was 25 to 30 pounds under the guidelines for the operation. "I can't tell you to gain weight ...," the doctor said, leaving her to interpret the rest.

That's the bit I interpreted as a doctor encouraging a patient towards surgery on non-medical grounds. Fucked up indeed. *despairs*

You've just made me cry, t00b. Because.

I'm just telling it like it is.

Vickihermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'm just telling it like it is.

It wasn't bad crying. You can make me cry like that anytime you want.
Teesside Snog Monster: pandajiggery_pokery on February 23rd, 2003 02:50 pm (UTC)

*big happy grin*
Vicki: CLex Morrihermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 02:54 pm (UTC)
Allright - what're you grinning about??
Teesside Snog Monster: southparkjiggery_pokery on February 23rd, 2003 02:56 pm (UTC)
You two! I am pleased for you!

*still grinning*
Vicki: Happy Happy!hermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 03:02 pm (UTC)

Oh. *blushes and smiles* That's really incredibly sweet of you. *hugs* You are such a cool friend, and I'm really glad I'm getting to know you.
Eldrid: violinlokechild on February 23rd, 2003 05:42 pm (UTC)

*huggles* Morri, love. I don't try to pretend to know just exactly what larger people go through. Nobody really can. I hate to see others being teased or abused just becuase of their weight size. But, on the other hand, is it really that necessary to go to risky lengths to confirm to what todays society deams 'worthy'. Fuck them, I say. If other people would rather see someone dead than fat.... well, I really don't want to be around them. If that person THINKS they'd be better off dead... I really don't want to be around them, either.
I'm not trying to sound harsh, but I've always thought that personality was much more important than skin beauty.
I think that your a very gorgeous person. Drop dead, beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, astounding, cream-in-your-pants woman. *huggles* I know we're just starting to get to know each other, and I love our conversations. I just want to let you know, I'm here for you. And, I'm positively glowing with pride that you say 'fuck them'. Becuase that 'treatment' that you described... it's horrible. I'm grateful you actually have that smart pretty little head stuck on your squared off shoulders. Don't budge, love.
Don't ever ever budge.
Loff you, Morri.
Vickihermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 05:57 pm (UTC)
*huggles* What you've said means a lot.

I agree that personality is the most important thing, but I also understand that physical stuff also matters. I wish that personality and who the person actually is mattered more than the physical to most people.

Loff you right back.
(Deleted comment)
Vickihermorrine on February 23rd, 2003 07:55 pm (UTC)
It is indeed very dangerous. I know two people fairly well who have had it done and are happy with it, but they didn't have it done all that long ago.

Believe me when I tell you that this confidence is hard-won, and I've got the battle scars to prove it. There are still days when I think I'm hideous, but they're a lot fewer and further between than when I was younger.

*blushes* I would love to be able to return the compliment, but as I still don't know which one is you in that pic, I can't can I? :P
(Deleted comment)
Vicki: MWAHhermorrine on February 24th, 2003 09:57 am (UTC)

I won't disagree with that at all, but I'd still like to know which one is you, ya tease.
(Deleted comment)
lorelore on February 23rd, 2003 10:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I'm with you, having decided it's not the way to go. All WLS is, in my opinion, is surgical willpower. It's sad that society has driven people to seek surgery, where there is ALWAYS a risk of complications and death, rather than helping people learn to accept themselves and be happy the way they are. Yeah, I'm throwing in liposuction and boob jobs along with WLS, although the complications with WLS are higher.

love, lore
Vickihermorrine on February 24th, 2003 10:05 am (UTC)
It's sad that society has driven people to seek surgery, where there is ALWAYS a risk of complications and death, rather than helping people learn to accept themselves and be happy the way they are.

That is so so true. I don't talk about it much anymore, but I was the president of a size acceptance organization in California for a few years. In the variety of things I did, I often found the greatest resistance from other fat people. For a time it puzzled me, but then I realized that the hatred of fat people is so ingrained that we do it to ourselves, even when faced with evidence to the contrary. I can't tell you how long it took me to accept that others find me attractive (and some people could recently point out that I still have a bit of a problem with that *blushes*). It's just so damned hard to fight that programming and accept yourself - but if you can, the rewards are so great.