As a 7-year post-op roux-en-y (gastric bypass) individual, I talk to pre-ops and post-ops all the time. I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with pre-ops. I talk about the lifetime committment to taking care of ourselves with the post-ops as well as the ongoing, never-ending head battles that got us obese in the first place.
I have the privilege of being involved with the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America – a 1500+ strong (and growing daily) on-line organization that is made up primarily of WLS post-ops and some pre-ops, looking for 1) peer support and 2) some way to give back to our unique community. This is why I love the Weight loss Surgery Foundation of America! We just spent 3 days in Las Vegas – 500 of us … and had a blast. Our COMBINED total weight loss was almost 37,000 pounds!
Would you like to see the joy of before and after photos? Here is a sampling of our Beautiful WLS Peeps celebrating and sharing their success, health, happiness and new lives! This alone speaks to the fact that WLS WORKS!
Weight loss surgery is NOT for everyone, nor the easy way out, nor a cop-out to will-power – to be successful, it takes a lifetime committment to taking care of our bodies – from working through often serious psychological issues, serious and debilitating health issues, destroyed self esteem – to paying daily attention to meeting our altered nutritional needs, exercise (yes, exercise), dealing with the same lifelong “head battles” we have always had and avoiding cross-addiction issues.
The reward? Minimizing or eliminating the serious health issues, renewed confidence, healthier lifestyles, longer life, fully enjoying our families (or having families in some cases) and our daily existence.
As a foundation, we have over the last year and a half, raised funds to provide grants for:
- Three (3) weight loss surgery procedures (thanks in part to the generous donation of the procedures by surgeons involved with bariatric Centers of Excellence) for individuals who did not have health insurance or whos health insurance would not cover WLS
- One (1) full body lift for a post-op who had lost in the neighborhood of 200 pounds (again thanks in part to the generous donation of the procedure by one of our participating plastic surgeons). Most health insurance companies will not cover these procedures as they are considered “cosmetic”.
- One (1) co-payment to enable another member to have surgery. She was otherwise unable to afford the co-pay and would not have been able to have the surgery.
- One (1) grant to cover laboratory tests that the pre-op could not otherwise afford
And we convinced one medical supply company to continue to provide one super-morbidly pre-op with an in-home hospital bed while he is losing enough weight to safely have gastric bypass surgery.
We are in the process of forming face-to-face chapters around the country. If you know of anyone who has had a weight loss surgery procedure or is in the pre-op or investigative stage, please let them know about this incredible organization.
The disease of obesity continues to grow in this country – and the fight to end it, one pound at a time, will always be the mission and goal of the WLSFA.
Ok – I’m off my soapbox now!
And, of course, Namaste! I honor you!