Why we are a “community”

We hear it all the time.  “The Weight Loss Surgery Community…..”. What does that mean exactly? The obvious answer is that we have all had weight loss surgery. The obvious answer is that we are all peers. But the less obvious answer is that we all come together, knowing it or not, friends, foes or strangers… and we look for people like us, we look for support, knowledge, professional opinions, ideas. This community is not one based on age or race or social class. It is not based on region or surgeon, surgery type, or pre or post op. It doesn’t matter if you have lost 400lbs (and FWIW this weekend I met a woman who lost 390 lbs!!!) or if you have regained 500lbs. We are here, taking part, talking about surgery, sharing OUR stories, trying to HELP ease the way for others.

Right now, the United States is sitting back and watching a political race take place. People are passionate about their political parties. People are passionate about their visions of what the USA should be, could be, is supposed to be, was supposed to be, may never be, blah blah blah. But when you break it down… and you strip out all of the talk, all of the campaigns, all of the people surrounding the visionaries… if you were to simply ask each candidate “Is your aim to harm America?” the simple, easy and obvious answer is NO! Of course not. Regardless of how they plan to do it, both parties intend to serve us. Really.

And so, I have to tell you that our WLS community has many faces, many different surgical options, many different surgeons, nutritionists, and opinions on how to be successful. We are ALL here, sharing what we know…. to be helpful.  We want to share our knowledge, our stories, ourselves, because we are people who care. And be it friend, foe or stranger, we are all working together to help better the information that is shared.

Events, such as the Obesity Help event in Atlanta this weekend drove that home for me. I spoke to so many amazing people. I listened to so many inspirational messages. I took notes, I took heart, and I know that no matter what drives each of us to be there…. or here…. or on facebook, twitter, OH message boards, support groups, Walks From Obesity, etc… the intent, the vision, and the hope is to ease the way for those who are new to the race, to encourage those who are feeling defeated, to praise those who have rocked their surgery and changed their lives.

Holding Hands

There will always be differing opinions, groups of friends, new people, old people,  & notorious people with in any community and especially at any event held for the community.  All of above are there, to be supportive and supported. If you have questions, don’t be shy, ask. We are all here because we want to be. We are strong, we have changed our lives. We have not taken an easy way out of anything, and we have the numbers behind us to prove that we can do it, we are not alone, we will always have support, and inspiration is just a glance away.

 

2 Comments

  1. Mel
    Oct 7, 2012

    Yes. Well said. Community and support. it can be in the for of large message boards or 2 or 3 close friends (my preferred choice). it’s important.

    Sadly I think some people lost sight of this. It’s not about community or support but about but about that individual.
    they are harmful, not helpful.

  2. Dagny
    Dec 8, 2012

    It should be seen as a community because it’s time to recognize that the needs of the “lifelong” obese are unique. For those of us who deal with a higher weight for all or most of our lives and reach a serious level of obesity, the usual “eat less and move more” is like an insult. Most conventional weight loss approaches are useless to us; that’s why we need surgery.

    We also MUST begin to reject the paradigm that says if you’re very overweight, you must be all screwed up! We fight very tough adversaries—our own bodies and minds that want us to be naturally larger people. We can relate to each other and need to connect!

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