Posts Tagged ‘Weight-loss Surgery’

The Third to Last Post: On Plastic Surgery

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on September 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

As regular readers may note, I am cleaning up loose ends before I move on.  For example, I finally posted the Rules of Engagement page I had drafted sometime Aprilish when we’d had a visit from a concerned but kind self-promoter (some might say “concern troll”) who thought I was presenting an unnecessarily dark (I would say realistic) impression of weight-loss maintenance.  The Rules page is no longer applicable, of course, but to people who come visiting when the blog is closed down and who happen upon the post that inspired it, it will make sense.

I had also meant, shortly after I opened the blog, to say a word or two about plastic surgery.  In my initial post on The Unfairness of Weight-Loss Maintenance, I mentioned the issue of loose skin. 

“Unfairness 7.  You hide a secret under your clothes: your body may be deformed.  Friends say you look great, but naked in front of the mirror you find your pendulous parts and saggy skin discouraging.  Some maintainers may need counseling; others undergo expensive plastic surgery.”

Well, I was one who went for plastic surgery.  I think it is important to talk about this issue openly.  So often it is reduced to a mere vanity concern, and it is not. 

For some people, I imagine radical weight loss presents a pleasing image, if not nude, then in clothing.  For many of us, however, if our skin is not elastic any more, losing radical weight results in a mirror image that we don’t recognize.  It doesn’t even look like a human as we have come to understand it.  The loose folds may conceal the parts that make us sexually capable and deform those parts that we heretofore thought defined us as sexually appealing. 

Many naturally trim people regard fat people as asexual or unappealing regardless, and Madison Avenue does much to perpetuate this notion.  Sadly, many fat people buy into the myth as well.  That, however, was not my experience with my own fat body.  On the way up, weightwise, I became accustomed to my ever increasing curves, lumps and bumps over the years it took to acquire them.  I was joyful, sexual and fully human and, to my thinking, a Boticelli babe.  On the way down it was very different.  Within a period of months, I became a conglomeration of saggy parts.  I didn’t adapt well to this change.  For example, during intimate times with my husband, instead of being present in the moment and contemplating how to please him, I became self-conscious.  I positioned myself so he wouldn’t grab handfuls of flesh. 

In my more mundane moments, as well, my body would remind me of its new predicament.  As I ran or did other aerobic exercise, the loose parts would bounce about distractingly.  Sometimes they would grow itchy from this bouncing, or hurt.  It made me angry and sad.

I decided, because I could, to get plastic surgery.  I won’t go into the details of the process.  Actually, No Celery has produced a nice accounting of a tummy tuck, if you want that.  What I would like to do however, is issue a cautionary note, both to people who are considering plastic surgery after radical weight loss and people who are in a position to support them … or not. Read the rest of this entry »


Let Us Name the Enemy

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on June 3, 2011 at 6:32 am

In the forums over at Big Fat Blog, there’s a discussion going on about the 15 South Florida OB/Gyns (out of 105 that the Sun Sentinel surveyed) who limit their practices to women who weigh less than 200 pounds (and additional practices that set other, slightly higher weight limits, 250 lbs., e.g.). 

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff has also blogged on this news,  which is proving itself worthy enough for west-coast coverage

The offending doctors claim they’re discriminating because their equipment or exam tables are inadequate and that fat patients are at higher risk for complications and should go to specialists. 

Many of the voices chiming in, both at Dr. Freedhoff’s site and BFB are jumping on the blame-the-lawyers bandwagon.  In other words, the enemy is our litigious society.  Doctors are afraid of lawsuits.  This makes me uncomfortable.  We common citizens should think HARD before throwing away our legal protections.  Conflict alert:  I am married to a lawyer.  I’m also the daughter of a lawyer, and the sister of a lawyer, and sister-in-law of a lawyer.  My family is lousy with lawyers. Though I am not one myself, I am fond of lawyers.  Even if I wasn’t, however, I think this blame-the-lawyers thing wouldn’t pass the smell test.

For one thing, the assault on “frivolous lawsuits”  strikes me as overblown, exaggerated and wrong-headed as the “war on obesity.”   The Duke Law Review has the best summary I could find of the “frivolous lawsuit” scare, and it makes a measured argument for how exaggerated it is.  Brief summary:  Those cases that are, indeed, frivolous are rare but over-reported in the news media, simply because they are more interesting than the millions of run-of-the-mill claims that get settled every day.  Moreover, often these cases are oversimplified in the mainstream media (imagine that!) and outright misrepresented by insurance spokespeople and the like who benefit by portraying them as “frivolous,” when a closer examination of the facts would reveal otherwise. 

Frivolous claims are not some great industry for legit or competent attorneys, because judges already have the power to throw out “frivolous” cases and even issue $anction$ against the attorneys who file them.  Some pro-business legislators have suggested that attorney’s “game the system” by filing frivolous cases on the notion that corporations will “settle” in order to avoid going to court.  That’s ridiculous and backwards.  Corporations keep their attorneys on retainer, so it’s no additional cost to them to go to court.  More often, corporations (including insurance companies) routinely deny claims, even when legit, because they know how difficult and expensive the claim will be for a lone citizen.  A claimant has a hard enough time securing an attorney for a good but marginal case; finding an attorney stupid enough to take a “frivolous” case and risk a judge’s $anction is enormously difficult.  Finally, if a claim does make it to a jury and receive what sounds like an extreme or “frivolous” judgment, often an appeals judge later lowers the award, but this fact never becomes part of the story that creates a particular case’s urban legend. Read the rest of this entry »