My Weightloss Progress in Numbers

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I am morbidly obese


My name is E, and I am morbidly obese.

I felt like I am at one of those meetings where everybody introduces themselves...

Anyhow, besides the fact that I am morbidly obese, I am almost 31 years old (in May), I am a professional translator, and I also have a boutique. Had I mentioned that I am morbidly obese? :)

I have started this blog with the intention of continuing it (fingers crossed) mostly for myself, and also because I couldn't really find any weight-loss blogs by muslim women. Why is this important?

Well, we too live in this society, in this world, and we too have the same problems, and I like to share. So, why not?! :)

I should also note that I am a candidate for the lapband surgery. I have been researching about the procedure for the past 4-5 years, and have reached the conclusion that I need to have the surgery done (discussed the matter with my GP of course!). I have attended a seminar held in Melbourne by the Centre for Bariatric Surgery. I have also arranged an appointment for a consultation with a doctor specilising in the area. My consultation is on 24 April, 2009. It could have been sooner, but my private health insurance will not kick in before December 2009 :( so yeah, it was convenient enough...

However, with a BMI of approximately 53, I would like to lose some weight before the surgery. So, I will use this blog to share my experiences and progress.

This must've been boring to read, but what's done is done, and it's just a one-time intro, so I guess you can endure. :)


P.S. I do not want to enter any stats just yet. I think I want to do that only after I have the surgery. I'm also not too sure how I would feel if someone I know reads my blog and comes up to me to say, "Wow, I never knew you weighed so much!" So yeah, for now I'll keep it to myself, but I will at least put photos up from time to time. :)

Cheating one's way to losing weight... You really think?

"For basketball players, desperation is the full-court shot at the buzzer. For accountants, desperation is 11:59 p.m. on April 15*. For parents of an antsy kindergartner, it's a malfunctioning Spongebob DVD. But for prople struggling with weight issues, desperation is the feeling that comes when you've morphed from being overweight to going overboard. But here's the difference between most desperate situations and this one: While basketball players rarely make full-length heaves and 1040s can't be completed in sixty seconds, people with extreme weight situations do have a little raft that can change desparation to salvation: weight-loss surgery.

Most people view weight-loss surgery the way they view steroids in sports - that it's cheating, it's unnatural, it's an unfair advantage, it's cutting corners. But there are plenty of people -way too many, in fact- who have coffin-enticing obesity in the form of a body mass index of 35 or higher, with consequences like diabetes and high blood pressure. And for this segment of the population, especially if they have repeatedly tried and failed at a diet and excercise regime, weight-loss surgery may be an effective solution.

Some people simply can't lose weight lik everyone else and often beat themselves up about being undisciplined or out of control. Many are very disciplined, successful, and in control in other aspects of their lives but are just wired differently in the weight department. Finally, there's a real alternative for people who are incapable of succeeding without help: weight-loss surgery.

In nearly every other medical situation in our lives we experience a symptom, we try to treat it ourselves, and then we seek professional help if we can't. We need to start thinking about obesity as if it's any other health problem that prompts you to see a doctor - be it a bullet wound, a lump in your breast, or cholesterol numbers that need commas.

The truth is that many people have tried every over-the-counter antiobesity option; they have a library of diet books, a garage full of exercise equipment, and neurons full of frustration. But no matter what they try to do to lose weight, they either can't take it off or can't keep it off. For these people, the answer isn't always the over-the-counter way, because a life of obesity requires more than a commitment to a three-day all-juice fast or some ab machine that claims to banish your belly using electrodes. Heavy-duty bodies require heavy-duty help.

And that's OK. If you -or someone you love- falls into this category, then you have a serious condition that should make you feel you'd do whatever you could to try to reverse it. Technically, it's defined as 100 pounds** above the ideal weight for men and 90 pounds*** above the ideal weight for women, or men with 48-inch waists or larger and women with 41-inch waists or larger.

Think for a second: If you had a prostate or breast cancer (which both have about the same risk of death per year for people over fifty as does a waist size of 38 for women and 45 for men with risks like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, and cholesterol problems), you'd take action. You'd talk to doctors, you'd schedule surgery to remove the tumor, and you'd make lifestyle changes that would help lower the chance that you'd ever contract the disease again. You wouldn't pop a cough drop, then throw up your hands in defeat if menthol weren't the magic tumor killer. You'd get a professional -even drastic- help. You would even let someone cut you open if the therapy was effective.

It's a mistake to think you're a weakling or a fool if you consider the operation option. Morbid obesity (morbid!) is as concrete a health problem as a sprained ankle, a heart problem, or cancer. In fact, at least 5 percent of morbidly obese people have a specific genetic problem that renders their brains unable to receive the leptin signals that they're full. So no matter what the cause of your weight problem, there's no shame in seeking one of the most effective cures for obesity that modern medicine has developed. Weight-loss surgery works. And it works more effectively -and faster- than any traditional dieting method for people with morbid obesity. Surgery can reduce your excess weight by half, whereas weight-loss drugs get you only 5 percent to 7 percent while you are on them, and lifestyle changes buy you on average another 7 percent total of weight if you're on your best behavior.

The success of weight-loss surgery is defined by the loss of excess weight - that is, not how much total weight you lose, but rather the difference between your current weight and your ideal weight.


Surgical options aren't for people who are just a little overweight. They're not for people worried about losing their runway-model job or their clothes not fitting. They're for people whose health is at extreme risk, who are four fries away from putting the grave-digger on speed-dial, because the effects of excess fat increase your risk of developing such day ruiners as coronary artery disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, infertility, chronic back pain, hernias, infections, gallstones, and depression."

-Michael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, MD, "The Insider's Guide to Easy and Permanent Weight Loss: You On A Diet", pp. 340-342, Harper Thorsons, 2006

* This is mid-year for Australia (Taxation)
** 45.45 kg
*** 40.91 kg