Weight Loss Methods
Letters: Many fight obesity without surgery
The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, May 26, 2006
Section: News Page: A13
Page Name: Letters
Re: Fight obesity through surgery, experts say, May 22.
Only extreme cases of obesity should have to turn to the surgery that Dr. Arya Sharma, co-chair of the Health Technology Utilization Guidelines Committee panel, was talking about.
His comment that it's "complete nonsense" to say that people who are obese can control that weight by diet and exercise alone is wrong. There are many of us using diet and exercise to do something about modifying our lifestyles. Some of us have done it for years and years, some are just starting.
In August of 2004, I weighed more than 300 pounds. I was a Type II Diabetic and had high blood pressure and other health problems.
I was so ill at one point that the family doctor would have put me in hospital if there had been a bed available. However, I found my way to the Bariatric Medical Clinic run by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. After an initial examination, and at lot of skepticism on my part (I'd been down that road before), I decided to try the following approach.
For six months I did my exercises in a chair at the clinic (walking even half a block was painful). I started swimming again and by August 2005 I was walking a couple of blocks; by Christmas five to six kilometres. In the meantime, I was following a diet formulated by the clinic, restricting me to 1,300 calories a day.
Through diet and exercise alone, assisted by plenty of encouragement, I now weigh 218 pounds. I am still "dieting," though I don't call it that. I still eat my favourite foods, but less of them and I keep a "bible" of everything that goes into my mouth, just to keep me honest. I still do regulated exercises once a week at the clinic, but I also find ways to walk every day.
I'm no longer even a borderline diabetic and my blood pressure is around 118 over 55. And I'm not young or even middle aged. I'm over 70 and just celebrated my 50th wedding anniversary. I have no quarrel with those who need the surgery, I just want to note that many can cope without it.