Advice on helping a friend
on 4/7/20 5:13 pm
Hello, I have a friend who I think would benefit greatly from at least a consultation about bariatric surgery options. She's only 39 and is approx 400 lbs. She has tried everything, but she alway****s a wall and reverts back to overeating. We've tried "interventions," helping her meal prep, etc. She's on blood pressure and cholesterol medication, and she is pre-diabetic. We always try to be supportive and encouraging, but we also know that because we can't relate to her struggle with obesity, we can only do so much. We've asked her about the surgery, and she says she's worried about the extra skin and all of the dietary restrictions. We know she's scared, but we feel like if she doesn't do something soon, she's not going to be with us much longer.
As her friends, how do we help? Are there any local bariatric support groups or outpatient facilities. She is on Staten Island. Thank you for any advice you can give.
Weight loss surgery is something that helps a person who is highly motivated to help themselves. She is not so much worried about extra skin as she is worried about not being about to eat the food that she wants.
A person who weighs 400 pounds is taking in 4000 calories a day. That is pretty easy to do, especially if you eat fast food and sweets.
To lose weight that person would have to go to about 1200 calories a day and that means cutting out at least 3/4 of what she eats now. Many people can't do that and fail at the surgery. It is sad.
There is nothing that you can do for her except show her love and understanding. Food addiction is as real as drug or alcohol addiction and harder to live with. A person can live without drugs or alcohol but must eat food everyday to survive.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
the others are right, even with weight loss surgery, losing the weight takes a lot of work and motivation. If she's not mentally there yet, she's not going to have much success. Yes - I would agree with you that this is by far the best option for her, but she needs to be in the right frame of mind to do it.
lots of pre-ops (and new post-ops) obsess about the loose skin. I've been working with pre-op groups for the last three years, and I get questions about that from every single group (that, and hair loss). Admittedly, I used to obsess about it, too. But I can tell you that the majority of us, once we're out a ways and down many pounds, wonder why we wasted one brain cell worrying about this. Loose skin vs. weighing 400 lbs? It's a no brainer. Most of us would take the loose skin ANY DAY over being super morbidly obese again. ANY DAY!
Does she have family who will take care of her when her health deteriorates and she is no longer able to care for herself or will she end up in a nursing home? Odds are her health will get worse if she does not do something. If she does not have a plan for long-term care, you might tell her to look into it.
My kids are what keeps me motivated. I am doing everything in my power to take care of my health so that they do not have to take care of me. And I definitely would not want to end up in a nursing home especially if it is one medicaid is paying for. From what I hear, they are not the best.
I have an obese friend I bring up surgery to every once in a while (usually after she tells me about her health getting worse). I give her my surgeon's info and tell her to call, but she is not ready yet. I back off until the next health crisis and hope she decides to do something before it is too late. That is all I can do.
Laura in Texas
53 years old; 5'7" tall; HW: 339 (BMI=53); GW: 140 CW: 170 (BMI=27)
RNY: 09-17-08 Dr. Garth Davis
brachioplasty: 12-18-09 Dr. Wainwright; lbl/bl: 06-28-11 Dr. LoMonaco
"May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears."
While you may have the best of intentions, the decision needs to be hers. Talk to her about it to see how she feels about it. You don't want to push her because like a lot of us when others comment about our weight, they are worried, etc, we tend (or, at least I did) to shut down. Ask her if she has considered WLS, and see if she asks you to help her gathering information. take baby steps but do not push too hard if this is YOUR decision