The $13.91 I pay each week for my Weight Watchers (WW) membership seems cheap by comparison to what some Canadians are putting themselves through:
Obese Canadians are heading to the U.S. for weight reduction surgery, frustrated with having to wait as long as six years for the procedure in Canada.
Desperate men and women from across the country seek gastric-bypass surgery to deliver them from a life of ridicule and ill health, brought on by a variety of reasons like genetic pre-disposition, hormonal problems and overeating.
Windsorite Irena Pellegrini, now 302 pounds, is having surgery in Detroit in September, with OHIP footing the $26,000 US bill.
Susan Green is also hoping to have surgery in the U.S. The Windsor teacher, at 300 pounds, has battled a weight problem since her teens.
“The wait here is excruciatingly long and I just want to be healthy, not suffering sore knees and back, and not being tired all the time,” said Green. “If I can’t get it paid for, my health will continue to deteriorate.” — The Windsor Star
Genetic pre-disposition? Don’t make me laugh. Aside from the odd (and very annoying) bean pole, the rule of thumb is that if you regularly make bad food choices, and in quantity, you will wind up with your own area code. 99% of the human race shares that pre-disposition, but not all of them are land whales.
So stop with the goddamn whining already.
This is stupid. All these people need to do is get their flabby asses over to Weight Watchers and learn some new habits. I’ve done this and the results have been astounding (more on that in a post next week).
There’s no need for radical surgery that scars you for life and artificially limits your appetite. There’s no need to limit your appetite if you learn to make healthy food choices (I’m eating like a horse and dropping weight every week).
There’s also no need for our strained provincial health care systems to cough out $26,000 USD ($34,400 CDN) for what is mostly unnecessary surgery. It would be a lot cheaper if we bought people Weight Watchers memberships instead. $34,400 buys 47 years worth of WW meetings at regular prices. Most people should be able to drop all of their excess weight within two years and move on to the free lifetime membership available to those who stay within a few pounds of their target weight (approx $1446 in WW fees, before any discounts).
Even if these people go through with the surgery it won’t change the fact that they’re weak-willed individuals who make unhealthy dietary choices and will continue to do so post surgery. They may live on a third of the diet of McDonalds and Tim Hortons that they did before, but that doesn’t mean they should expect to live that much longer.
Unless a person has a valid medical condition like a thyroid disorder that causes weight gain on a minimal diet, there is simply no excuse for going in for this kind of surgery. And the doctors who perform these operations on people who don’t need them should be ashamed of themselves.
There is no healthy quick fix for losing weight, so forget the fad diets and irresponsible surgery that can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain and other serious complications. A healthy diet, portion control, and regular exercise are the things that will help you live a fit lifestyle. And it IS a lifestyle — don’t kid yourself that you’re “going on a diet.” This is a decision that you not only have to make for life, but so that you can start enjoying your life.