Saturday, February 16, 2013

Is there a cure for obesity?

In a recent article, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff writes "There is no cure for obesity". The article makes many great points. My favorite is when he says:
Your best weight is whatever weight you reach, when you're living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.
I first read about this concept in Self Magazine. They call it your Happy Weight. I see too many folks being themselves up because they either can't get to or can't remain at some theoretical "ideal" weight. I say you have to accept what you are willing to do to keep your weight under control and just let go of the rest.

He also says in that article:
If you're on a diet that leaves you regularly hungry or having cravings, you're going to quit. If you're exercising beyond the point of liking it, with the hours or the effort a source of dread, you're going to quit.
Our shared affliction, the human condition, simply isn't good at letting us live lives of unnecessary, perpetual suffering. So even if you do manage to lose boatloads of weight through misery, since suffering through under-eating and over-exercising is wholly unnecessary, the suffering, and the losses, won't last.
Again, I can't argue with this. It's something I often tell people on weight loss sites when they ask for weight loss "tips and tricks." This is my life, I tell them. There are no tricks.

Dr. Yoni then says:
And for obesity, there is no cure, only ongoing treatment.
This is where we part ways. The thing is, Dr. Yoni is a bariatric doctor who doesn't do bariatric surgery. He's speciality is non-surgical methods of weight management. So, basically, the stuff that doesn't work. (Which must be frustrating for him.)

But surgery does "cure" obesity in the sense that it changes our body's set point and changes our hormones that control appetite and satiety. It really does repair our bodies.

I have seen this in my own life. Before I had surgery, my body fought me hard to stay over 200 pounds. When I started tracking my food and drinking more water and taking walks at work and eating more protein, I did lose weight. But what I could have stood long term would have only put me about 20-30 pounds under where I was.

After surgery, my body is very comfortable at a normal BMI. Even with this stupid post-concusions syndrome and not being able to workout, I only went up about 8-10 pounds at my highest. I think I might have ended up around 135-140 if I hadn't started on the Topamax, but I don't see how I could have gotten any higher because my hunger wasn't having me eat 2000-2500 calories a day, which is what it would have taken to get back up to the weight I was pre-op.

I wonder if I'll have the nerve to bring this up when I meet Dr. Freedhoff in May? (He's going to speak at this year's WLSFA Meet and Greet. I'm very excited to meet him.)

I do have to say that I may disagree on this one aspect of the article, but the rest of it is spot on.

I also really love that there are doctors in Canada who specializing in figuring out what actually works and doesn't work when it comes to dieting. Dr. Yoni is one and another blogger I admire, Dr. Arya Sharma (who also says there is no cure for obesity) is another. There don't seem to be their equivalent in the US and I think that's our loss.
Post a Comment