The Growing Concerns I Have When It Comes To Bariatric Surgery…

I’ve known of a number of people over the years who’ve had bariatric surgery to help combat their growing obesity issues. While I’m definitely all in support of anyone looking to reduce their weight to help make them a healthier person, I’ve had growing concerns around the fact that bariatric surgery is fast becoming THE “go-to thing” to make that happen as quick as possible.

My biggest and immediate concern comes from the several I’ve known to have died from complications from this surgery over the years. Recently, I thought a close friend of mine was going to be another one to add to that list, as the day after his procedure was over, his sutures opened up within him, causing body fluids to leak into his system, which led to almost catastrophic failure of his entire being. It’s scary things like this that make me wonder if people seeking this surgery realize just how serious and invasive of a surgery it really is. I often think people aren’t worrying about it as much anymore because it’s being done so frequently these days.

Just as much of a concern of mine beyond the surgical complications of the procedure itself, is the change of life that I’ve learned comes immediately after the procedure is complete. With the stomach having been shrunk to an infinitesimally small size compared to what it was before, eating habits have to change dramatically right away. But, for most of the people I’ve known who’ve gone through this procedure, eating habits up until just before their surgery remained out of control on most days. The hope for them was that the surgery would correct this. But, if there’s one thing I’ve absolutely learned when it comes to this surgery, it’s that it doesn’t correct that desire to overeat whatsoever. The desire is still there after the surgery is over, yet the body can’t eat like it did before because there isn’t much of a stomach left to put in all in. Honestly, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard from those who knew this post-surgery, but still overate anyway and found themselves sick and throwing up more than once.

Sadly, bariatric surgery isn’t necessarily a permanent solution either, because one can gain any of their drastic weight loss back over time given the remaining stomach has the ability to enormously expand all over again. Case in point, I had one friend who dropped from over 400 pounds to under 200 after his bariatric surgery, only to several years later be back close to his original weight.

With all this in mind, I’m actually thankful my partner Chris never had this surgery done. When I met him, he was around 360 pounds and had been considering doing it. I wasn’t in support of it one bit and honestly, I stand by that still to this day because the path Chris took after I expressed my concerns surrounding it was a far healthier one in my humble opinion. It was one that involved counseling to get to the root of why he was constantly overeating, one that involved 12 Step recovery and Weight Watchers to keep him accountable with others struggling with the same issue, one that involved making much healthier eating choices on a daily basis, and one that involved going to the gym two to three times a week as well. The result? Over the course of the past five years, Chris has lost around 100 pounds!

Nevertheless, if I were to make any type of judgment as to why so many people are pursuing bariatric surgery nowadays, regardless of knowing about the potential complications that can arise from it, it’s most likely because a path like the one Chris took to lose weight isn’t a quick and easy one. Rather, it’s a much longer one that dealt with facing himself and going within, making sacrifices, and pushing himself to move beyond various sedentary areas of living.

Don’t get me wrong, for someone who might be morbidly obese, doing bariatric surgery may indeed be necessarily right away. But, unfortunately, I’m seeing many who aren’t morbidly obese and are just overweight, going under the knife, hoping to become more fit without having to do any of the difficult spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical work that can be done to lose weight naturally and in a much more natural process.

So, in light of all this, this is why I remain concerned for all those who might be considering, seeking, or placing reliance on a surgery they hope is going make their life totally better and totally healthier. Because, in all reality, it may indeed make their life far worse and far sicker or quite possibly change nothing at all, other than temporarily removing their ability to eat to excess…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” (Jerry West)

Quote #2

“Working hard overcomes a lot of other obstacles. You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities that fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true enduring characteristic of successful people.” (Marsha Evans)

Quote #3

“You have to have that fire. You have to have that passion inside. You have to believe that you can do it. Or you won’t and you’ll be stuck doing things that you don’t want to do and it sucks to do things you don’t want to do for the rest of your life.” (Shay Carl Butler)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday entry, where gratitude is the only focus of the day, which for today is for Jackson Starr, a friend of mine I hired to redo the very outdated and worn-down bathroom in my partner and I’s home.

For five years now, I’ve lived in a home where the only bathroom I could use was a 5×5 one with pink flowered wallpaper, a pink walk-in shower, a pink pedestal sink, a pink toilet, and a pink-medicine chest. While I’m sure this was most definitely quite beautiful and in fashion back in 1993 when it was last redone to this design, it most certainly doesn’t feel so anymore today and in all honestly, I’m not that much of a fan of the color pink either! In light of that, one day recently when the growing amount of wallpaper peeling away from the wall and the chips of drywall and plaster coming off of it, as well as the fixtures looking so darn rusted and old, I finally decided I had enough of it. That’s when I decided to ask a friend of mine, Jackson, who’s normal day-to-day job is doing construction work in buildings and houses, if he would take on a side job to redo our bathroom as soon as possible. Thankfully he agreed.

While the job is being split up into two different projects, so far, his work has been second to none. Jackson definitely pays attention to the details and is quite good at making sure everything gets lines up and perfectly centered. He’s also got a good eye for aesthetics, as part of the direction I was going in would have made the bathroom look incredibly overcrowded. But thanks to him, I found an alternative that worked much better.

Jackson also has a great work ethic. Frankly, having seen many contractors over the years who spent a lot of time goofing off and causing a project to become unnecessarily delayed, I was pleasantly surprised how far that has been from Jackson’s work mentality. As he’s one of those who grinds in hour after hour after hour, totally engaged in the job, sometimes even well beyond the point where he probably should have taken a much-needed break! And with Jackson charging an hourly rate that was most certainly far more affordable than if I had hired a professional company to do the work, I’ve experienced plenty of gratitude all around.

Now that phase one of this bathroom project is complete, I can say this much of Jackson as well. He absolutely knows what he’s doing when it comes to working with tools and home improvement projects, much more so than anything I know I’ve ever attempted. Heck, I struggle to even assemble a simple tiny bathroom cabinet!

Nevertheless, one last thing I should mention as well is how clean Jackson leaves his jobsite each night. I’ve hired some people in the past who’ve done work for me, only to see them leave my house in a mess until the job was entirely done. Not so with Jackson, as he leaves things in a very functional working order, which is a big plus for that OCD side of mine!!!

So, yes, I have much to be grateful for when it comes to Jackson Starr, a friend and simple construction guy who’s been well worth the cost of his help!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson