I’m no cheat, but I may be an X Factor Winner!

“Dawn French has lost loads of weight but she didn’t have surgery”

“Ruth Jones looks stunning after shedding weight the old fashioned way”

People see surgery as a way  of admonishing yourself from responsibility - nothing could be further from the truthThe implication being that to lose weight through weight loss surgery (WLS) is somehow wrong, or a way of cheating. That unless you lose weight the conventional way you are somehow ‘less’ of a person, excuse the pun! This is of course ridiculous and yet I do understand why people think this way, as I was guilty of it too until I learned to understand the complexity of obesity. The media have a tendency to glorify convention and vilify those who choose alternative routes to achieve the same result.

I can liken WLS to the X Factor; some people embrace the format as a way to showcase talent that might otherwise be undiscovered, while others see it as a shortcut to fame without all the hard graft to get there. People like to see someone work to overcome their struggle, it gives us hope and encouragement. Unfortunately this works the other way round too and we like to see people continue to struggle with their difficulties because it can help us feel better about our own. In the end of course, those who have real talent and appeal make it and those who don’t, don’t, even if they end up winning a competition like the X Factor! It is also true to say that however they get there, hard graft is always involved.

WLS will work for those people who are determined to change their lifestyles and overcome their eating issues, it is an alternative way of achieving the desired result but it comes with it’s own challenges and is not an easy option and is by no means cheating.

There is nothing easy about putting yourself through major surgery, having your insides rearranged with the knowledge that you will never be able to use food in the same way again. People take painkillers to relieve themselves from pain. Why is weight loss surgery any different? It is a medical intervention to address a problem that I for one wasn’t able to cure on my own. I needed help, no matter how hard I tried, and I did try hard I really did, nothing was successful. I would lose weight but never enough and I would always put it back on again. I was trapped inside myself and in a vicious cycle that was slowly killing me. I owe my life to this weight loss tool.

I admire people who are comfortable with their size whatever that may be. I admire people who have been able to lose significant amounts of weight through calorie counting and exercise. I also admire people who have been able to say how unhappy their weight makes them and seek help to change this – be it through hypnosis, personal training, a specialised diet, weight loss surgery or any other means; whatever works for you. No option is an easy option and is certainly not a way of ‘cheating’; losing weight is a difficult accomplishment no matter how it is achieved. I may not be much of an X Factor fan but I do feel like a winner!


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