Thursday, April 22, 2010


Why am I doing this? Mostly because I'm 35, married, with two little girls. I'm morbidly obese and hypertensive. What got this started? Two things. I recently had a cyst removed from my head (another story for another day, but I've got great pictures) and the surgeon who removed it is also a bariatric surgeon. He took one look at me and told his medical assistant to run a BMI calculation on me. I'm 6'2", 302 lbs. so the BMI came back as "GRAVY", err....38.8. Morbidly Obese. The guy was very nice, very professional and a bit pushy as to my need for bariatric surgery. You see, he cures diabetes. He cures hypertension. You can't do it without him. The statistic he quoted was that, long term, only 5% are successful at weigh loss w/o surgery. Secondly, I stumbled upon Marc Ambinder's piece on The Moral Urgency of Obesity and his follow-up on 10 Ways to Solve the Problem of Obesity. I also found out that Mr. Ambinder himself had bariatric surgery. I don't remember how I found the first article. Twitter, probably. Regardless, I disagree with what he writes and have now set about proving him wrong. There's only one way to solve obesity. Fewer calories must be consumed than are used. It's a pretty simple equation. Ambinder discounts self-will. I do not.

I got to thinking about how I've ever really achieved things in life. I've needed three things: motivation, support, and a nemesis. Motivation: that's pretty easy. My family. Support: Also pretty easy. Also my family, but I'm hoping to add to this support with (hopefully) readers and commenters here. Lastly a nemesis. Nemesis, thy name is Ambinder. I’ve never met the man, and until recently had never read his work. I only recognized the name through my reading of others. I’m sure he’s a pleasant fellow. Just wrong.

What are my goals? The above surgeon suggested 220 lbs. as a goal which would still put me at a BMI in the "overweight" category. But I also haven’t seen 220 lbs. since I was a sophomore in high school and 4” shorter than I am currently. In getting there I hope to normalize my BP and take some of the stress off of my arthritis riddled knees. I also hope to prove that “fat” is a choice. And today I’m choosing to no longer be that guy.


  1. I tried to get bariatric surgery but it is not covered by my insurance plan. I turn 59 next week and am 6'2" and weigh 380 lbs. I used to run 30-40 miles a week years ago and my weight was a rather svelte (for me) 205 lbs. Now I have diabetes and an artificial knee so heavy exercise concerns me. I cannot afford the $20,000 for the surgery. I have lost approx. 45 pounds to get down to 380 but am stuck here. Oh well. My doctors want me to get the surgery to correct my Type 2 Diabetes.

  2. All of us who struggle with weight might want to consider changing to a low-carb diet instead of the surgery. If you have people supporting you (read: reminding you to step away from the bread, pasta, sugar and taters) it's probably going to do you more good than having your stomach stapled.

  3. Wombat - I'm not even talking about doing a fad diet (which is what Atkins, South Beach, etc. are). I'm simply taking the step of eating normal, human sized portions.

  4. Best wishes! Never had the same challenge, but I've had many a mental argument with myself about what I was going to eat that day or whether I was going to go for a walk/work out. The argument that always wins for me: I can procrastinate about a lot of things that accumulate with no penalty (laundry, letter writing, homework), but you can't get caught up on exercise or less eating "tomorrow".