Weight Loss Surgery Comments Cause Commotion

In response to all the WLS advocates (except for those who threatened my well-being):

I was on the BariatricTV radio show on Blog Talk Radio Monday night as an invited guest to discuss my last Fuming Foodie column airing my views on weight loss surgery. We were able to have an honest, open, and mature discussion in which I, Rob Portinga, Diva Taunia, Michael, Toni Towe, and Lynnda Shepard, shared our views and nobody was killed.

After the show, we came to the conclusion that we can agree to disagree.

They made several points and I made several points, and we had a conversation that reminds me of why I love this country. People should be able to share their opinions without fear. I have been threatened with physical harm several times because of my beliefs, my orientation, my work, and my ethnicity, and believe me it is not something I enjoy.

That being said, I still stand by my opinion (death threats be damned). WLS is something that people resort to when they cannot lose weight and keep it off on their own, because they lack the will and determination to do so. And because of that, it is a catalyst and short cut to a healthier lifestyle.

As Portinga admits in his latest post-radio show post, "Yes, I have my days where I wonder if I had just tried harder, couldn't I have lost the weight without having had my gastric-bypass? Granted, it wouldn't have been as rapid, but c'mon? I eat so much better now than I used to...I get a lot more exercise. Is it wrong to still wonder if I couldn't have done this without surgery?"

Yes, it can be done without surgery. Surgery is a way to lose the weight faster, and yes, easier, than through traditional diet and exercise.

There are those who get the surgery as a quick fix and some whose only concern is to look thin. There are people in their twenties and thirties getting the surgery without having made a real, significant attempt to lose and keep off their excess weight.

Shepard said last night, "Does weight loss surgery make it easier to stick to that diet? Yes, it does."

I agree, but I don't agree with that short cut if you have the ability to lose the weight on your own - -and you do. It's just that easy and that difficult at the same time.

I believe that if you cannot control yourself, having the surgery is a cheat to being healthy. It's not fair in the game of life.

I know I'm not going to change their minds, and I am not going get angry when someone disagrees with me. And that is exactly what the five, sane, rational human beings on the show did last night.

I understand they were upset. My post was blunt. It hurt their feelings, but when it came down to it, once we were all together, they treated me with respect and listened to what I had to say -- and even agreed with me on some points. And I did the same.

If everyone had the same consideration for those whose ideas and beliefs conflicted with theirs, I'm sure that pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers would be making a lot less money.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Evelyn Beatrice Hall (The Friends of Voltaire)

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