OK, so this has been coming for a long time. Ever since I made the decision to have the lapband about 18 months ago I have had an overwhelmingly positive response to those who I have told (which isn't many), but with the good, comes the bad. Most lapbanders have had to put up with some negativity and I am no different. A lot of the time I hear negative (and uninformed) comments about weight loss surgery it is not even directly to me, it is just general conversation from family, friends or colleagues who don't know I have had surgery or discussion on other blogs/forums.
The most common response to weight loss surgery is that it is the easy way out. I say if it is the easy way out, who cares, why do you want to do it the hard way? There is validation is choosing the harder path in some situations in life, but when you have lost and gained the same weight for your whole life, for me it was time to accept some help. It's like not taking medication when you are sick because you prefer to suffer and possibly never get better. That is OK with me for someone to make this choice, it's your decision and weight loss surgery certainly isn't for everyone. I just don't judge anyone else's choices for how they decide to deal with their own body.
I have two friends who had the surgery over 10 years ago and at the time I personally didn't feel like having a lapband was the right choice for me. I was happy for them that it worked and that they were happy, but I wasn't in the right place to make the decision. I felt like I still needed to try and lose weight on my own and I did try for the next 10 years, every single day, and I gained 30 kilos. In the end I made the right decision for me at the right time.
The other misconception is that it even is 'easy'. Let me tell you, I have lost weight both with and without the lapband and this is not the easy option. Every step of the way has been extremely difficult, from making the decision, telling friends and family, the pre-surgery appointments, the pre-op diet, the actual surgery, the post-op diet and then post-op appointments and fills. You have to deal with extreme hunger, emotional issues, hair loss, constipation, exhaustion and weakness, port pain, food getting stuck in the band, not being able to eat certain foods ever again and just general confusion on what the hell you are doing.
The main thing that people don't understand is that the success of the band is entirely up to the individual and it is just a tool and doesn't guarantee weight loss. I still have to choose to go to the gym 4 times a week for between and 1-2 hours each visit. I still have to choose to eat healthy foods. I still have to choose not to snack between meals. I still have to choose not to overeat. I wish the lapband was a magical solution, but it isn't.
Every person that has a lapband has a different experience, you just have to read the blogs and forums to see that. For me, this is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is worth it because I honestly believe it will help me lose weight and get healthy for the first time in my life and I wouldn't change a thing.