Topic: RE: I don't like being around "those people" [the rant of all rants]
I've been meaning to say something about this for a while, but I've been so afraid to do so. It's one of those things that I'm not sure I know how to say correctly, and I don't want to be offensive or judgemental... but it's just been on my mind so much that I have to get it out. Sorry in advance if this ruffles any feathers, and sorry that it's so rediculously long.
Note: When I say "you", I'm just saying that as a general term for a random person, not anyone on the board.
I know a lot of aggressive, snobby "WLS Pushers". That sounds so horrible, but it's true. I don't fault ANYONE for being happy/proud of their weight loss, whether it's 10 lbs or 500 lbs. Congratulations on your improved health. I'm super glad you're excited. I'm a proponent of WLS. Heck, I had it and I'm glad I did! But I think some people just take it WAAAAAAY too far.
What do I mean by that?
I mean, stopping a random heavyset person, pulling out your "before" picture and talking to them about the miracle of WLS for 45 minutes. Just being around that sort of behavior makes me uncomfortable. I don't think there's anything wrong with dialouging about WLS, especially if you're in an appropriate place (like group meetings for WLS patients or the WLS doctors office), but even then I think people should choose their words carefully. Knowing how sensitive some people-of-size can be about their weight, I'm astonished at the lack of tact some ex-heavy people can have.
I don't like it when people who've had the surgery try to press other heavy people to do the same. Again, I don't think it's wrong to broach the subject with people you know, or even a stranger if you're in the right setting, but there's a way to do everything. I've had a friend outright tell me that if I didn't have this surgery I was going to die. Of course at 460 lbs I knew my life was in danger, that's not the issue. I had a doctor tell me my weight was killing me, and that was hard enough to hear... but hearing it from a friend (a friend who'd known what it was like to be heavy) who only said it to be mean and cruel was heart breaking.
I think if you manage to tactfully bring up the subject, but the person doesn't like the idea of WLS, we should respect that. Don't tell people they'll never lose it all by just dieting and excercising. Don't quote statistics (cause I know we HATE it when people come to US and tell us that 90% of WLS patients shrivel up and die because they had the surgery). Don't beat them over the head. Don't roll your eyes and just assume they're going to balloon and die because they don't want the surgery.
I know people who have approached heavyset strangers at buffets and talked to them about WLS while they were eating.
NO!! NO NO NO!!
I just think that's horrible.
I think we should remember that:
a) Some people are offended by the notion that they need surgery to lose weight. Don't be offended by that and preach the WLS gospel as told by St. You.
b) Not every obese person on the planet needs WLS to permanantly lose weight. There are people out there who can lose 200 lbs and keep it off forever.
c) Not all heavy people are at their heaviest. Sure they might be 280 lbs, but they could have been 550. Don't assume.
d) Just because you lost 400 lbs, you don't know everything.
e) I think if some lives in the USA and they're 70+ lbs over weight, they've at least heard of some sort of WLS, and people shouldn't automatically assume the role of "educator" and corner heavy people on the street.
f) If you've lost weight and are working to keep it off, remeber how it felt to be heavy and have people comment on your weight (especially if they did it in a public place). Maybe it didn't make you feel bad, but not everyone has thick skin.
When I was 19, I was working out at a gym and some woman took it upon herself to "train" me and talk to me about dieting, food, and all that good stuff. I was so out done that I never went to that gym again. I realize she was excited, but that sort of sudden attention about my weight made me so uncomfortable, and at the time I still didn't know how to confront people about that, especially when they weren't being mean or spiteful. (Even though that was only 6 years ago, I've LONG since gotten over my meekness when it comes to my weight.)
Then there are "weight loss snobs"; people who just live in their own world of weight loss and think everyone should join them on their planet. People who can turn ANY conversation down a road that leads to themselves and their miraculous transformation. And by any conversation, I mean absolutley ANY and EVERY SINGLE conversation. The world didn't stop revolving around the sun and start spinning around you when you lost a significant amount of weight. People who roll their eyes at someone else who had WLS and had an ice-cream cone or scoff at people who don't excersice 9 days a week.
Maybe by voicing my distain for judgemental people, I'm being judgemental. If I am, I appologize. I had a random run in on another forum where someone asked "how to WLS people manage to gain weight after surgery". I answered, and was called judgemental. (In essense I said, if someone had WLS and they keep eating burgers at Wendy's, their weight loss won't be as dramatic as someone who eats lean meats and lots of veggies. Tough? Yes. Judgemental? I don't know...)
I don't know how to bring this post to anything resembling a point. I think I just want to say that success shouldn't turn anyone into a colossal, all knowing d_ck. Be encouraging or shut the hell up and let that person keep on living and bettering their lives.
This junk has just been on my mind and I needed to vent. If you made it to the end of this post, thanks for sticking with me and reading my rant.