Friday, August 17, 2012

Ignorance is No Excuse

Okay. I'm on a tear. I admit it. Why I still watch Good Morning America, I don't know, because they have become so "pop/cute" versus "real news" and are determined to prove they're so "fabulous" that they have forced their anchors to do ridiculous things to prove their "fabulousness." (Recent staff additions are so overpoweringly aggressive that you don't know if you're watching an informative morning show or Smackdown.) So I've seen and heard some ridiculous and ignorant--if not PLAIN STUPID--things on GMA--especially in the last year or so.

Today they were promoting another People spread about people who have lost 100 lbs or more doing it the "hard way" versus "the easy way out." 

Regardless of the plethora of life-saving and life-changing stories of so many of us who NEEDED weight loss surgery, most in media still love to infer that weight loss surgery is a "trick" or an easy method to drop the pounds.

This is my response: 

"Dear GMA & Lara & Amy: 

Before you remain so woefully ignorant as to believe that weight loss surgery is "the easy way out," do yourself (and your viewers) a favor and become informed. 

Weight loss surgery is NOT easy and if you don't make every one of the fundamental changes as those who did not have weight loss surgery (diet, behavior modification, exercise, etc.), you will not lose as successfully--and certainly will not maintain that weight loss. 

Read my 3-part series on the subject by starting here."

Most of you know I've had weight loss surgery and have maintained  a 175 lb weight loss for nearly 8 years. Those in the weight loss surgery community know:

(a) We knew we were risking our lives by having WLS. Some of us die on the table or soon thereafter. I have SEVERAL friends who died as a result of surgery, if not on the table. For many people like me, having surgery is a last resort. Just this year I had a related complication from my weight loss surgery on 11/19/2004 that resulted in (another) life-threatening emergency surgery.

(b) They don't operate on our heads and for many, severe modifications in the way we think and react are as vital as how (much) we eat. In the WLS community, we simply say: "They didn't operate on our heads!"

(c) Everyone pretty much can lose weight on any diet. I'm living proof of it. It's all about the long-term and "maintenance." My weight loss history is highly documented. I gained and lost a half ton of weight before finally being able to keep it off with weight loss surgery.

(d) If you followed the way I eat everyday (drinking my low-carb protein shake and eating red grapefruit as I type this), you'd think I was still on a diet because for me, that's how important it is to maintain my weight loss and keep sane. Because the benefits of weight loss surgery (accelerated weight loss during the first year to 18 months, depending on the surgery) diminish with time. If you haven't figured out how to do the right thing in the meantime, it will be as if you never had surgery at all.

So please, please... Good Morning America, People Magazine, and ALL media: Either show the WHOLE STORY, be real journalists and inform yourself, or simply choose your words more carefully. Promoting the aspect of weight loss surgery as trickery or "easy" is complete and utter ignorance.