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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Update: Kelly McCamey
"One Last Try" Before WLS

Remember our brave reader Kelly McCamey? She decided to give conventional dieting one last try before using weight loss surgery as her final hope. Bravely she is sharing her story with LivingAfterWLS. Recently she emailed me her progress and I'm happy to report she is doing fabulous! You will notice she is incorporating many behaviors in her life that we must practice after WLS: She is exercising almost daily, she is not eating fast food, she is taking measurements and marking her progress, and she has surrounded herself with a strong support network. These are all keys to successful weight loss and weight maintenance - with or without WLS.

by Kelly McCamey
"I am doing wonderful. I have reached a 3 month mile marker - 25 pounds and now 13 1/2 inches instead of 9. I put "walk away the pounds" in my Jenny Craig program. Probably the best thing I have done as well. I do this 4x a week, regardless of my schedule, it gets done. I put my personal issues aside and told myself, GO GO GO - everyone at work was checking me out as my body has really changed within the last month. My own mother started crying because she could not believe how my body has transformed.

Kaye, it's not easy, and your writer below is right, I believe that a small percentage will be successful. The reason that I am a success story is because I have control over my MIND. My mind is what put me over the edge. I had it fooled, and I listened to it. Not anymore. I tell my MIND how I feel and look. As the end result, I beat the forces my mind has over food. Oh yes, I do die for that occasional "double cheese burger' with LARGE fries, but eventually I get over it. I have not eaten fast food now for over 3 months. It makes a big difference in my life. If I do go out to eat the only thing I have is a side salad.

I still think about the surgery, and tell myself, "Kelly, it could be all over if you get the surgery" but then again I still say, "You can also fight this and win, do it on your own".

My boss came to me today and said that she has the utmost respect for my determination and dedication that I have. She is proud that I did not have the surgery and proud that I have modified my eating habits. I fight the urge everyday, but I also have learned that I don't have to eat all the time to be happy, all I have to do is be active.

With the inches sliding off, it motivates me more than you know. I have never seen myself so into a program, and my Jenny Craig representative, Sophia gives me all the support I need. I would like to become a counselor for Jenny Craig once I reach my goals. My first goal is to have 45-50 pounds off by Thanksgiving. I am pushing for this and pushing my body the same. I will definitely keep you posted along the way."

Thanks for sharing, Kelly. We wish you the best as you take yourself to a healthier life!


Unknown said...

WTG!!! you are remarkable. Keep us posted on your successful journey.

Kim S. said...

Hats off to you and your commitment to becoming healthy! Which ever route you decide on, gaining your health is the ultimate goal. You wrote, "My boss came to me today and said that she has the utmost respect for my determination and dedication that I have. She is proud that I did not have the surgery and proud that I have modified my eating habits." Keep it somewhere in your mind that your boss will be proud of you, even if you decide to have the surgery. The ultimate success is getting to that healthy weight! My entire office staff of 80 is extremely proud of me and my efforts. They have seen that I have worked harder than ever to get to this weight over the past two years. They have also come to realize that this was NOT the easy way out!
We will all cheer you on with whichever road you decide to travel! Cheers to you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Kelly, a 25# weight loss is a great accomplishment. You worked hard and you are seeing the results. However, as someone who is in the “pre-approval stage” of WLS, I was somewhat disturbed by some of your comments.

You said that “The reason that I am a success story is because I have control over my MIND.” I understand what you are saying, but this statement just reinforces the stereotype that people considering WLS are just “weak minded” and can’t control their appetites. I think it is much more complicated than that.

Your comments about “doing it on your own” and “all over if you get surgery” and your statement about how your boss is “proud that I did not have the surgery and proud that I have modified my eating habits” implies that surgery is the easy way out. From what I’ve read about WLS, this is hardly the case. Surgery is a last resort for most people.

I’ve tried many diets and have been successful, losing as much as 85#. However, now I find myself fatter than ever. I don’t think my body will allow me the luxury of losing 2 pounds a week any more. Using conventional methods, it will probably take me several years to lose the weight I need to lose. WLS is a tool that will allow me to control my eating habits and lose the weight quickly enough so that I don’t lose motivation.

That is just some of my reasons for considering surgery. Everyone has their own personal reason for choosing to have WLS, and most have investigated the surgery for a long time before they actually decide to go ahead with it. I personally have spent the last two years agonizing over the decision to have WLS. After talking to my family doctor, going through a psychological evaluation, talking to a nutritionist, and corresponding with WLS support groups, I have to say I am definitely convinced that this is the right decision for me.

It’s funny, though, now my biggest fear is not about having the surgery. It’s the fact that if I tell anyone about my surgery, they will think that somehow I “cheated the system” and “took the easy way out” because I did not lose the weight by conventional methods. Considering how difficult WLS is, this seems so hurtful.

Kelly, I know you are proud of yourself for losing the weight, and I was pleased to read about your success. I appreciated your viewpoint, and please don’t take my comments as criticism of your accomplishments. However, it really upsets me to think that after I have WLS, I’m probably going to have to defend my decision for the rest of my life.

Kaye Bailey said...

Thank you all for great comments! I’d like to chime-in with a couple of points:

First, many patients who have WLS soon live to regret it and engage in self-questioning as they wonder, like Kelly, "Did I really do all I could before having WLS?" I elected to present Kelly's story as an example: It is perfectly fine to give conventional dieting one last try. WLS is an extremely serious solution - the best solution medical science has for the morbidly obese - and an extremely permanent solution.

Another point - losing weight is never easy. NEVER. Not with Jenny Craig. Not with Weight Watchers or Low-Carb or Diet-du-juor. Losing weigh is not easy even with WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY. What is easy is being fat, staying fat and getting fatter. Losing weight is never easy. If it were easy would 60% of the population be batting obesity?

Kelly's boss commended her effort to lose weight conventionally. And while I may take exception to her boss’s slightly misguided comment about WLS, I have to say I'm a bit envious of Kelly's relationship with her boss who is supportive and encouraging. Isn't that something we all could use in our work environments?

Kelly is going to do just fine, and so are the rest of us. I truly appreciate the dialog here and invite others to join the conversation. There is nothing about obesity, dieting or WLS that's easy - but when we face it together our chances for success increase significantly.

Best Wishes,