I don’t judge you for choosing not to have weight loss surgery

One of my the things I am really trying to achieve with my blog is to get a real, experiential record of what it’s like to live with a gastric bypass out there in the world. I struggled to find information like this when I was in the lead up to my surgery and it’s something I think I really would have found useful and enjoyed. For me, having my gastric bypass was the best gift I’ve ever given myself and honestly I can’t imagine where I would be at in life now had I decided not to do it.

I will talk about bariatric surgery to basically anybody. I really want to help change public perception that it’s an easy way out and that it’s a magic bullet way to deal with morbid obesity. I am very positive about it because it has been such a great thing for me but, of course, I also acknowledge that it does come with risks and that’s something each individual has to weigh up for themselves.

I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon when I’m talking about my surgery to other people who could be in the vicinity of BMI to qualify for the surgery. They tend to be very quick to tell me why they wouldn’t have surgery or throw out reasoning for things they couldn’t accept about the post-op lifestyle. I really just want to let everyone know that I don’t judge anyone for deciding that bariatric surgery is not for them.

What has spurred this on was me listening to a podcast by Suger+Ink where they, as a couple of plus size bloggers, were discussing their opinion on weight loss surgery. They were in agreement that while they had thought about it and even seriously considered it it turned out not to be the right thing for them. It really made me consider things from another point of view and while certain things they said irritated me it was good for me to gain this perspective.

I think as humans we tend to look for and surround ourselves with people and viewpoints that confirm our own because it’s more comfortable to be with people who confirm and back up your view on life. I think though, for me as a blogger especially, I need to make the effort every now and then to step outside my world and look at things from another point of view.

I don’t want to make assumptions about where this need people have to explain to me why they wouldn’t have bariatric surgery themselves is coming from but I’m going to. I would hate to think that someone who is overweight and has struggled with their weight and body image for a long time, as I have, would think that I would think less of them or think that I’m better than them because I’ve managed to get myself to a healthy weight. Life is about so much more and you know what? I could not care less what anyone else weighs.

I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I was morbidly obese for a substantial period of time and I know how hard that struggle is. I will never forget how that felt and how it chipped away at my sense of determination and perception of my own willpower. I know now through, after reading research, that my biology was working against me and while there’s always room for healthier choices the simple logic of energy in, energy out is bullshit and is not so simple for someone who is morbidly obese.

I appreciate the majority of the self love and body positivity work that seems to have become the domain of many plus size bloggers. While I see the value in them using that message to change attitudes of society towards fat bodies (and I think this is something that needs to happen) I do think though that self love and body positivity is something that we can all benefit from because no matter our size or shape it’s something that many of us struggle with. There were things I had to accept about my body when it was fat and now that it’s smaller there are other things I need to accept and have, on the most part, made peace with saggy skin and boobs anyone!

My decision to have weight loss surgery and lose my excess weight does not increase my value as a person or my own sense of importance. I don’t look down on anyone because of their physical features, especially someone who is struggling with their weight. I’ve been there, I know all too well how that feels and I am very well aware of the fact that weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone. The struggle is real and even with bariatric surgery it’s not over for me. This is literally the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make in relation to my body and it wasn’t made lightly and I would never make the assumption that it’s the right choice for someone else.

Let’s all be friends, have intelligent debate and try and work towards changing public perceptions about the things that irritate us without assuming automatic judgement from other groups who have gone about life in a different way. I’m living my life authentically and I’m excited to see you live yours that way too. If you have any comment, thoughts or anything you want to say after reading that comment below, let’s thrash this out together!

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There are 10 comments for this article
  1. Lena at 8:40 am

    Loved reading this Melissa. I think I’ve probably made some of those comments, because I am so impressed with how well you’ve done over these years, and meanwhile I just keep gaining more and more weight each year. I keep reading about surgeries but I know in my heart I don’t have my head in the right place and I would not be successful because I just don’t have self control over my eating. Not really sure what point I’m trying to get at here.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 8:46 am

      Thank you for reading Lena and I think with your response it shows me you got out of it what I was hoping to get across. I have a different set of mental struggles in relation to my weight and maintaining it now, these things never go away, but I still can identify so strongly with what it’s like to feel like that and it’s not easy.

  2. Samantha - PlanetBakeLife at 9:06 am

    It’s so important that people acknowledge and understand that not everyone is suited for one path. There are lots of options and lots of different ways of losing weight that are non-surgical and then there are lots of different options when it comes to surgery itself. And surgery isn’t the holy grail for all. I’m sure I’ve seen you discuss somewhere that sometimes surgery isn’t the best option for someone in particular and that it’s a very personal decision to make.
    It makes me angry that people look at WLS with a tinted view or tar everyone with the same brush. I think it’s such a personal journey and decision that really people should be super careful with the way they dismiss it in public.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 9:58 am

      While I’m positive about it and talk a lot about how my bypass helped me, you’re right, I think I needed to make the point very clearly that it’s not the best option for everyone. I’m advocating for it because I think it’s a very viable option and I disagree with the general dim view a lot of the general public have about weight loss surgery. It doesn’t work for everyone and yes it’s a very personal decision. I’m glad you’ve picked up some of what I’ve said less directly before. Thank you for reading and commenting Samantha!

  3. Blonde Ink at 5:49 pm

    Great article and such a wonderful reminder of how we all perceive things differently.

    Also thank you for listening to the podcast and your great email, it certainly helped us understand the other side of weight loss surgery.

    X

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 5:54 pm

      Thank you lovely! I really like what you and Suger are doing with your podcast, your work is so valuable to so many people and I’m sure it helps more than you know. I wish it was around when I was more within your target audience you ladies have some great discussions! Thanks for reading my post I’m glad we managed to get each other thinking from a different perspective. xx

  4. wimwam at 10:39 pm

    I fought very hard to not have surgery it was something I really did not want, the thought terrifies me still to this day, I exercised so hard, at 150kilos I went to boot camp three times a week and I worked my ass off, 18 months and 40 kilos later I was freakin amazing, and I will be honest, I thought weight loss surgery was the easy way. Then my knee went, it changed my entire life, that 40 kilos that took that long to take off, well within 6 months 30 of it was back on, I was so gutted that I allowed this to happen again, but now with a buggered knee, joint pain etc from exercising at such a heavy weight, surgery suddenly became an option, and I still hate that it is an option but I no longer see it as the easy way, I see it as the only way, lets face it if there was an easier way I would take it in a heartbeat!! So I was one of those people you refer to and in fact probably still am but I understand why now, I understand why it is an option, it is a last chance for most of us, and I dread the after and the hard work it will take to maintain, but I look forward to a new life

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 9:18 am

      It’s often a big change that suddenly makes you realise it’s the only option left for you. I’m sorry to hear after all that hard work your knee gave out on you, that’s so not fair. Good luck in your journey, it’s not easy but it’s so worth it.

  5. Mrsgraveyboat at 7:02 pm

    I am now using the title of this when I get any negative feedback about having surgery (not that it’s anybody else’s business). I don’t judge you for choosing not to have it, don’t judge me for choosing to have it. I was always against this option, not in a judgey way, just it’s not what I want to do. But yep, it really became my only option as clearly I needed the tool to keep me going. I can easily drop 30kg but keeping it going has never happened. Best thing I ever did.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 9:11 pm

      I’m glad you have found a way to use it well! As things change for us all over time our views on things change and sometimes what we didn’t seem as an option before becomes the best option. I’m glad to hear it was the best thing you ever did.

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