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Robin Quivers

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Exploring Solutions for Obesity

Posted: 11/03/10 04:35 PM ET

A friend recently visited the show and announced that after years of struggling with her weight she's decided to have bariatric surgery. It made me sad. I've experienced the same ups and downs, but I always believed there was a natural answer for me. It took a while to find that answer, but I did, and I've been all the happier for it. My solution came with no anesthesia, no surgery, no hospital stay, no recovery period and no side effects.

When my friend made her announcement it was with the resignation that she had failed and she was now delivering herself into the hands of others to do what she has found impossible to do. She had declared herself out of control and helpless, surrendering to the doctors as her higher power.

I believe what my friend is experiencing is an addiction to food. But instead of treating obesity like an addiction to food, doctors often treat it like a disease. Surgery cuts out or renders useless a part of the stomach, making it impossible to eat large quantities of food, at least for a time. This it is essentially an imposed fast or, more accurately, imposed starvation. Patients may leave the hospital no more prepared to take in quality nutrition, which is what is absolutely necessary when you eat so little. If the patient was already malnourished before surgery, that condition may persist after surgery. The patient may experience great difficulty consuming heaps of sugar and salt-laden goodies, so if addiction was indeed the reason for the person's obesity, this may lead them to experience withdrawal-like symptoms.

What health practitioners and others in the field of weight loss all too often fail to address is the patient's relationship with food. Unlike drugs and alcohol, food is a necessity, and abstaining forever is not an option. Abstaining for a period of time through voluntary juice fasting is possible and has health benefits as well, though you should consult your physician before beginning.

Clearly, I don't recommend that this be done without supervision. Supervised fasting can be a great way to provide the education necessary to make fasting work. Removed from food, the patient gets to take a long hard look at their relationship with food. Their body also gets a rest from digestion, probably for the first time in a lifetime. The body has a chance to reset itself and the patient gets the benefit of both losing weight and experiencing what their body feels like with proper nutrition. With your physician's help, fasting may be continued in intervals until the healthy weight is reached.

Surgery is always available, so it's not as if you can't have it done if you find that other options don't work for you. I just wonder why invasive procedures are often the first thing doctors offer to people who are struggling with weight issues.

 

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