Pants Pooping, Stomach Pumping, and Other Alleged Health Practices

WTFIf your internet has been down for a couple of days you may not have heard Al Roker’s Dateline interview confession that, following his stomach amputation, “I’m walking to the press room … I gotta pass a little gas here. I’m walking by myself. Who’s gonna know? Only a little something extra came out…I pooped my pants. Not horribly, but enough that I knew.”

Jezebel ran an article about it that includes the substantial list of possible complications – many of which make fecal incontinence sound like walk in the park.  The article also discusses that Roker’s decision to have his stomach amputated came after his father’s dying wish was that he become thin. And his wife, who started dating him when he was fat, told Dateline “I just wanted to feel more attracted to him.”

Al Roker is the boss of his underpants. If he describes it as “not horrible” he’s the best witness to his experience.  He’s allowed to not divorce someone whose marriage vows are “for better or for worse but not for fat,” and he can choose to amputate any of his organs for any reason he wants as far as I’m concerned.

I think the problem is with a world where a father’s dying wish is that his son change his body size, and a wife feels comfortable telling Dateline that her fat bigotry gets in the way of being attracted to her husband – and she feels that’s his problem to fix.  It is this kind of world that makes someone think – hey, let’s just amputate fat people’s stomachs, or where people say let’s sell a diet pill that requires those who take it to carry around extra pants,  and it is that kind of world where [Trigger warning: eating disorder talk] having fat people pump the contents of their stomachs into a bucket is a fabulous idea. Oh yes, a company has filed an application to sell an at home stomach pump (It’s not yet FDA approved thank all the gods.)  Emptying the contents of your stomach after every meal sounds more like an old and dangerous eating disorder than a fun and exciting new health practice.

This is more of the ridiculous notion we’ve talked about before where someone tries to convince us that things considered unhealthy and dangerous in thin people are somehow medically advisable and healthy for fat people.  To be clear, bulimia, like all eating disorders, is complicated and multidimensional and far more than just a behavior.  What I’m saying is that if I overhear someone saying “empty the contents of the stomach after every meal” at the doctor’s office, I hope to hell it’s a patient asking for help, not a doctor giving a “treatment” protocol.

When will it end?  What bridge will be a bridge too far?  If it’s not at-home stomach pumping and out-patient stomach amputations then what the hell is it?  When will the medical profession follow the evidence and tell people that, if health is important to them, there are no guarantees, but simple healthy habits are a much better predictor of health than body size?  I suspect it will happen when doctors can’t get twenty grand to redesign someone’s digestive system in a way that causes them to poop their pants at the White House, or causes them to die.

There are options – we can focus on our actual health. we can practice Health at Every Size. We can say no to stomach pumping, stomach amputations, diet pills with warnings about wearing dark pants and all the rest of this mess.

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Published in: on January 9, 2013 at 11:53 am  Comments (58)  

58 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think it’s perfectly fine that his wife was not attracted to him fat becasue attraction is a personal thing. I don’t necessarily think the lack of attraction is fat bigotry.

    For example: My mom thinks Viggo Mortensen is the hottest thing on two legs and, while I objectively agree that he can be attractive, I find him too… pointy and angular. I don’t think I have a bias against pointy, angular Norwegians the man just doesn’t do it for me.

    So I don’t see the fact that Mrs Roker was not attracted to the fat Al as a problem. The same way I don’t see someone not being physically attracted to the fat me as a problem. It is what it is.

    What IS a problem is that she MARRIED a man that she wasn’t that into and, no doubt, encouraged his decision to amputate his stomach so that SHE would feel more comfortable with HER decision. What IS a problem is that Al Roker apparently felt that he had to settle for a relationship with someone who made it clear that his weight was an issue and having to beg for sex (and probably being made to feel like shit for asking).

    • The main difference I see between attraction to fat people and attraction to Viggo Mortensen (or any other celebrity for that matter) is that there is a socially-conditioned component to attraction. Western society says that people like Viggo are attractive and that it’s okay to be attracted to them, but on the other hand it says that fat people aren’t attractive and it’s not okay to be attracted to them. So while I do agree that attraction is in many ways a personal thing and that no matter what society does or says some people just won’t be attracted to certain other people, I don’t think it’s ONLY a matter of personal preferences because in many ways those preferences are shaped by society.

      • I agree.

      • Shaped by society or not, if you’re not attracted to someone you’re not attracted. There is absolutely ZERO shame in that and I don’t think anyone should be called to task for their personal preference – no matter what the source.

        And calling “social construct” is also a cop out. Because while it might be harder for people with unconventional looks, it is not impossible. Society says it’s “not ok” be attracted to all sorts of people, yet those people find love.

        So I will maintain, yet again, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone not being attracted to a fat person, just as there’s nothing wrong with someone not being attracted to a little person, or to an amputee, or to anyone else who doesn’t do it for them. Because it’s really no different than not being attracted to pointy, Norwegians, or any other physical attribute.

        The problem lies in:
        a) Insisting that the person you’re not attracted to change to meet YOUR* preferences; or
        b) Implying that there is somehow something wrong with THEM when it’s YOUR* preference that’s an issue.

        *”Your” as in the universal You.

        • Maybe she really was attracted to him but embarrassed to be so, and she just wanted to “fix” him to eliminate her own shame in being attracted to a lazy, stupid, etc. person whom nobody is supposed to love.

        • I never said people weren’t allowed to have their own preferences. However, I don’t believe that “social construct” is a cop-out in any way and I DO believe it is a problem that society has a standard of what is and isn’t attractive and that that standard pretty clearly does influence peoples’ preferences. Yes, people are allowed to not be attracted to anyone, but let’s not pretend that those attractions (or lack of them) are happening in a vacuum, because they aren’t.

        • There’s a difference between being “take[n] to task” and being asked to examine your preferences a little closer… especially when your “personal” preferences align closely to the societal standard for beauty and attractiveness.

          Is it just a coincidence that the majority of women on GW’s “Sexiest Women of 2012″ are
          a) white
          b) on the lower end (as compared to the national average) of weight in comparison to height ?

          The same two bullet points could also be applied for both men and women on People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” title and Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive”.

          I really think you’re getting your hackles raised for no reason. Nobody is saying someone has to be attracted to someone they aren’t attracted to… that’s not the problem. The problem, however, arises when someone asserts that THEIR standard of physical attractiveness is THE standard for physical attractiveness and fails to realize that prevalent beauty standards are as T outlines nicely, “happening in a vacuum”.

          • Oops that should be not “happening in a vacuum”

            • As I see it, the fat bigotry here is that the wife’s lack of attraction is being blamed on her husband’s body, instead of just being treated as a subjective thing that no one is responsible for dealing with except her.
              Also, if you’re not attracted to fat people, why marry one? Was he fat when they got married?

      • There’s a cultural component, but there are natural factors too. I’m not going to force people to justify or try to “overcome” their lack of sexual attraction to someone. Sexual attraction isn’t associated with how you feel about the group of people themselves. This is proven by every situation in history where people have actually been prejudiced against a group, but still been attracted to members of it. That shouldn’t happen, or not nearly so often, if attraction is all or even mostly determined by cultural conditioning.

    • The point here, I think, is that she KNEW he was fat when it all started. It wasn’t like they dated a while and one morning he just woke up fat. I think it’s grossly unfair of her to have asked him to change who he was to fit her standard of beauty. I just wonder what would have happened if he’d said no. To me, if the words are “I love you, but…,” then it’s not really love. If someone’s not right for you as is, then they’re not right for you, period.

      • Well said, Helena! What kind of person would encourage the person they love to go through drastic (and dangerous) measures to change themselves for some arbitrary idea of what is acceptable? She doesn’t really love him. If you have to tack on that “but” then it just isn’t love.

      • Then yep: if you’re not attracted to fat people, don’t marry one. How entitled is it to marry someone knowing they don’t fit your personal criteria, and expecting them to change?

  2. This is beyond grotesque. I bet these same people think Chinese foot binding is uncivilised.

  3. This just makes my heart hurt.

  4. This is so so sad! I’ve lived for years with bulimia and it’s the most disgusting thing ever.

    Not to mention that it’s incredibly DANGEROUS for your body to do so. What the hell is wrong with these people? Stomach pumps? Really?

    And after you’re done doing permanent damage to your stomach, throat and etc., think about the mental issues. You will never be able to eat half an apple without feeling the need to get it out and will feel really, really guilty for eating anything years after that.

    And for what? For their approval? No thank you very much, I’d rather have clean underwear, eat like the human being I am that needs nourishment to function and enjoy being around people (yes, including a boyfriend) that accept me for who I am. Shame on that company for even trying to do such a thing. I’m so scared for what new, ‘brilliant’ ideas they’ll come up with next.

    • I’ve had numerous friends suffer through bulimia, and I cannot see how the “stomach pump” is anything other than a bulimia machine. Can we write to the FDA about this or something?

      • I honestly doubt they’d approve something like that but it shows just how far some companies are willing to go. The alarming thing is that harmful procedures are still very much legal (see pills)

  5. I’ve always been amazed that people have suggested to me over the years to have gastric bypass. It’s bandied about as a casual thing, Except when I researched it, the stories I read from actual people who had the surgery, were horrifying and anything by casual. And I didn’t even know I would poop my pants if I had it!

    Poor Al Roker…if my spouse told Dateline that he married me fat but he wanted me thin to be more attracted, he’d be kicked to the curb. Luckily, I had nothing like money and fame (which I am assuming Mr. Roker has) to offer in exchange for putting up with my fat.

    Who will stop the madness?!

    • Susie, my own mom wanted me to think about bypass surgery many years ago because we were both caught on the ZOMGDEATHFATZ panic. Then she read newspaper articles about the side effects, and I received the best letter she ever sent me because she said that she had changed her mind and hoped I would not consider it. I’m thanking her in my heart today.

      • It’s a scary scary surgery! A local hospital has a bariatric center and many of the patients blogged about their experiences. Almost all of them had horrific complications and multiple surgeries following the original bypass! Completely nuts!

        I had a dear friend who had the surgery and completely changed her appearance. I say “had” because we’ve drifted apart since then. I hope her inner life changed with her outer life and that she’s happy with her choice.

        • It just doesn’t usually happen that way. Changing the outside does not change the inside. If it did, then weight loss surgery would cure eating disorders.

  6. When will it be enough? When somebody famous dies from that kind of surgery.

    There are signs all over the place here in Augusta showing a person from the stomach down in a pair of “fat” pants holding out the waist, and the advert reads, “Changing lives one surgery at a time”. There are tons of places here you can have stomach stapling, gastric bypass, or whatever the kids are calling it now. It makes me want to throw a rock at the billboards whenever I pass them on I-20.

    What I wish they would show are people recovering from that surgery and how awful it is. Somehow there is the idea that you will wake up from the surgery magically thin and start going about your fabulous new life. It just isn’t the truth. Read what it’s like to recover from that surgery (some have it easier than others, natch), but it’s MAJOR surgery, and recovery is painful, worrisome, barfy, usually involves an infection of some sort, and LOOOONG. And some never recover. But hey…they’re thin!!

    If Al Roker is okay with the fact that he beshat himself like a toddler, more power to him. Doesn’t mean I have to sit next to him on the bus and congratulate his Thin Success. And his wife is someone I will never meet or associate with, so I don’t really care what she finds attractive and what she doesn’t. Right now, my concerns are my family and my friends and what I can do to make the love we share strong and positive.

    • “When will it be enough? When somebody famous dies from that kind of surgery.”

      I kind of disagree with that. Plenty of celebrities have died from anorexia/ bulimia. And while those are mental diseases and not surgeries it’s done nothing to curb the parade of underweight images idealized and praised, held up as something we all most strive to be. As a matter of fact, it’s become worse.

      And honestly, when people die from gastric bypass surgery most people view it as the patient’s fault for being fat enough to need the surgery in the first place, not the surgery itself.

      The diet/ weight loss industry is too powerful. They will not be affected by death. The only thing that can stop them is pulling funding, which will be very hard to do.

      • Great point I had not thought of in paragraph 3. Truly, I would never have thought the death of a fat person from WLS could possibly be their fault!

    • Well of course they only show the person from the waist down. That’s the only part that’s important! Don’t you know that’s how we read the measure of a person?? I mean, if they’re fat, they’re clearly worthless, so let’s focus on their TRUE worth – their PANT SIZE.

      *facepalm*

      • I commented on a headless fatty picture in a simplistic article on yahoo! and was called out by someone who said it was appropriate because if the article was about cars there would be pictures of cars. I pointed out that the cars would never be pictured with a bumper lopped off. And, of course, I got a reply agreeing that the article was “simplistic” but that didn’t matter because it was accurate. It was far from accurate.

  7. Oh dear lord….just..ugh…there are no words…
    I don’t want to be in ANY situation for ANY reason where a possible side effect is me crapping my pants..EVER!
    I can not emphasis that enough. And “mechanized throwing up” which is just prettying up what this supposed “stomach pump would do” no thank you.
    I don’t even like throwing up when I am sick! I have friends who have bulimia, and they have a VERY hard time! Heart issues, problems with organs trying to shut down, as well as the more widely knows tooth decay, damage to the esophagus, not to mention the mental and emotional part.
    I am one of my friend’s sounding board who has Bulimia, when she is wanting to purge she comes to me to talk about it to get her FEELINGS out without the physical to go with it of actually purging. And to think that I am going to be watching an infomercial in the future about a way to do this “the safe and healthy way” I think I would be writing some VERY nasty letters if that god forsaken thing every got funded and released, cause we ALL know the FDA doesn’t HAVE to approve a product for it to be sold (aka most diet pills and such you see on TV has that lovely little fine print at the bottom and that’s what it says)

    For Mr.Roker’s wife…well that is just a shame for her. Or rather for him.
    I will say this and it is something I don’t talk about much because it is in the past, but here is the thing, and maybe I HAVE mentioned it on here before when it is relevant.
    When I first started dating my now fiance and soon to be husband. He was concerned about my weight. He still thought I was beautiful, and GREATLY enjoyed the benefits of being will a full figured woman, but he was one of the many in the world who cannot see the bridge to a fit fatty. He didn’t understand the type of dance I did or how difficult it was, or that when I danced I am strong and beautiful as well as graceful.
    He and I talked and he said “I care about you a lot, and I am worried about your health, I mean are you healthy? I don’t know, ” SO he wasn’t trying to boss around me or my underpants he was actually asking.
    I assured him I AM healthy, and he was still just worried. Never pushed me to diet or anything like that, because he knew I had(have) an eating disorder myself where I basically hardly eat anything. So he couldn’t even understand why I am heavy to begin with because he saw how much I ate in a day and it didn’t add up for him. Cause well if you don;t eat a lot your a thin right? (yes we know that is wrong but I digress)
    Once he saw me dance, and perform in particular he never questioned it again. He understood that I am the boss of my own underpants, and now he picks out cute sexy BIG underpants for me :)
    He was NOT trying to shame me, or anything like that. He honestly didn’t know, and UGH I wish there were more people in the world like him. To say “Hey this is something I don;t understand, society and the media is telling me one thing, but with my eyes and my brain I am seeing another, explain this to me and show me the truth.Ah ok I see now that you are a strong beautiful woman who has a body all her own, who struggles with food from past trauma, and is very physically active and strong as well as graceful in her chosen craft/athleticism. I learned something today and I will never forget it”
    And he never has. He Signs the same petitions that I do from here, and HAES. He signed the HAES petition as well as the one to keep kids off the biggest Loser. We tested his BMI so he could see how flawed it was “he is of Norwegian decent, and he just has REALLY dense bones, like he sinks in water, so while he has a swimmers build, he actually weighs quite a bit and he is on the shorter side for a guy, so his BMI puts him in the obese category, which is just ridiculous because well, ugh I need a pic of him)
    Anyway, that’s my 2c on this.
    I WOULD like to say I have recently had a friend who lost a lot of weight on her own choice, no diet pills or anything, just eating a more balanced diet, or whatever she did, and she is still full figured, and she has seen both sides, being a belly dancer fat, and being a belly dancer thin and how many people hit on her and such now that would NEVER have before. And it sparked her to sign the HAES pledge. She had someone recently tell her how un-sexy he thought she was, and she told him who the boss of her underpants was and that there were going to be about 50 belly dancers there to kick his ass in about 3 seconds.
    But that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her and she signed the pledge. Hearing me talk about it and encouraging her to at least read it, Being my troupe mate and dancing with me, and such, it inspired her to remember to love herself as she is. And we have another dancer who upon finding out about HAES is interested in learning more and signing it herself. She is also getting ready to ditch the stomach mesh she wears over her middle while she dances and let her natural beautiful belly show :)

  8. As a very fat person that has had their stomach amputated and apparently stretched the new one out quite a bit… I can assure you that even Gastric Bypass Surgery has a 3-5 year success rate. I did make the “fatal mistake” of having a child and that probably had some contribution to my weight gain, but it has made me wonder if maybe some people are just born to be fat. Luckily my surgery had very few negative consequences… no pooping my pants, but I just thought that Ragen should know that it fits in to her success rate information. Sadly, I sometimes think I would do it again in hot minute.

    • Kerry, keep reading here. You’re among friends. I think I can safely say that almost everyone here *does* believe that some people are born to be fat, and that there’s growing evidence to support this. Keep coming back here. Take the hope that we all offer, and run with it. You are worth so much more than a number on a scale. *hugs*

  9. I have not ever taken Alli, in part because of the pooping your pants issue. I can recall one time when I was in the grocery store, doing my shopping, and my stomach was feeling a bit off but I didn’t think much of it. Then, suddenly, I thought a lot of it and realized I needed to get to the bathroom–fast. Sadly, the bathroom was on the other side of the store, and the impending shart would not be denied.
    Luckily it was late at night, and since I had a full cart, I went through the U-Scan, my butt clenched like a vise to prevent the stains from spreading from my underwear to my trousers. I walked like a penguin with a corn cob up its rear out of the store to the car and hurried home to change.
    Why the hell would I want to take something that made incidents like that one commonplace?
    The horrible thing is, I am bulimic. It’s been more or less under control for the past 15 years, mostly more. But when I read the thing about the in-home stomach pump, my first thought was not “hell no.” It was “Maybe I can at last be pretty.”

    • Oh, Cie. Your last comment just ripped my heart right in half for you. You are so amazing, and you are so strong and courageous. I hope that acknowledging that thought will help you confront it when it pops up again. I will be here to support you in every way. *hugs, hugs, hugs*

      • Thank you. :-)

    • Cie – I hear you. I am a food addict and when I read that, it scared the crap out of me. I had a vision of myself repeatedly stuffing myself and using this contraption to sick it up. Whatever small bit of control I think I have would completely be lost. It would be a nightmare for me.
      I cannot believe any sane healthcare provider would recommend this.

      • I don’t think any sane health care provider would. Sadly, there are plenty of insane ones.

    • You are not alone!

      -warning! triggering bulimia talk-

      I used to think that ‘Oh well, at least I’ll be skinny and pretty in my coffin’. I’m so sorry you have been ill for 15 years! The thing is, it kind of never goes away, that’s why eating disorders should be prevented at all costs! And I’m glad you haven’t used Alli! You should be proud of yourself for every little accomplishment (the Alli one is a BIG accomplishment though).

      My best wishes!

      • Thank you. :-)
        When I was younger, I would catch myself thinking that if I got cancer, at least I’d lose weight. How awful is that?

  10. It reminds me of the Hunger Games a little bit, where the rich people in the Capitol would be at a party gorging themselves on decadent food, then take a pill to go throw it up so they could eat more. The main character was incredulous about the waste (she came from a state where starvation was commonplace), but I don’t recall if she was disgusted at the health issues involved with it.

    • April, you know that’s based on history, right? The Romans had ‘vomitoriums’ where they would go to empty their stomachs so they could eat some more.

      • That’s actually a myth. Vomitoriums were just passages through which actors could leave amphitheatres. It comes from vomere: to spew forth.

        • Regardless of whether or not the name is related to the room, it’s still a practice that the ancient Romans and Greeks engaged in as part of a “fine dining” experience.

  11. ” We can say no to stomach pumping, stomach amputations, diet pills with warnings about wearing dark pants and all the rest of this mess.”

    Yes, we can say no to these things. But nobody has mentioned the father. How do you say no to a dying father’s wish? How does a teenage girl deal with a mother telling her she should be skinnier? Parents carry an awful lot of weight with their children. How far are children willing to go to feel accepted by their parents?

    • It can be very hard, but it can be done. I did it. My mother wanted my sister to be in control of what death benefits I would receive because my mother couldn’t see me as an adult (I was 38). At first I agreed, but after my mother was gone and I started thinking more clearly, I realized that this was my mother’s codependency and her systematic bailouts of my poor choices being foisted onto my sister’s shoulders. It would have promoted a spectacularly unhealthy relationship between us, so when everything showed up in my mail, I took a deep breath and told my sister that I wouldn’t be following my mother’s wishes. She was unable to speak to me without tears of anger for a very long time.

      In the end, I found my own person to help me manage the affairs in an appropriate manner and made a couple of large, healthy decisions based on his advice and my own goals. My sister was furious with me for months, if not a couple of years. We still can’t talk about it because she sees it as me defying my mom’s wishes, but I know and believe that from where my mother is now, she realizes what an unhealthy choice she was asking me to participate in. I know she would be proud of me for the choices I’ve made since. It took more guts than I thought I had to make that choice and stick with it, but I did it and I’ve never regretted it.

      Ironically, the very thing that my mom wanted was the one thing that would have doomed me to failure because it would have kept me dependent on someone besides myself and forced them to take responsibility for my life as if I were a child. There’s not much that’s unhealthier than that. When it comes to psychological game play, as WOPR once said, “The only winning move is not to play.” I wish I’d learned that years ago.

      The bottom line is that no one else knows what is best for us. Only we can know that and have the responsibility and power to act on it.

    • This is probably going to sound really callous, but hearing about things like this make me kind of grateful that my mother was non compos mentis a long time before she died. Because if she’d been in control of her faculties when she died, I’m pretty sure I would have been subjected to some kind of deathbed promise (related to my weight, appearance and everything else she was constantly pressuring me to change about myself, which was, well, everything). As it was, one relative pressured me into making sure I went to see her ‘one last time’ in a tone that suggested I might have ‘making up’ to do – which, since by that time she’d had a massive stroke and was in a coma she wasn’t going to recover from, would have been all on my side, and that wasn’t at all where the responsibility for our non-relationship lay. (I went to the hospital, but sitting in that room with her lying unconscious was one of the most uncomfortable and creepy experiences of my life.) Truth to tell, I’d had as little contact with her as I could get away with for decades, and would have broken contact entirely if it wasn’t for the rest of my family, who (it’s been increasingly clear since she’s no longer been around to manipulate or misinform them) are mostly basically decent people but who, I think, never quite understood how emotionally and verbally abusive she was, and how bad being around her was for my mental health.

      It’s difficult – because good parents have to socialize a kid to some extent, and good kids want to please their parents, but there’s a fine line between parents who only want their kids to have a ‘good life’ (and are brainwashed by their culture into thinking that must mean they need to be thin, cute, extrovert, super-brainy, add whatever applies in your milieu) and those who are really only concerned about how their kid makes them look to other people. Working on the culture in general to demolish those mythologies of how people ‘ought’ to be is about the best contribution I can think of.

    • For the longest time I tried to be good enough for my father, turns out someone who can’t love himself and acts like a child can’t love anyone else, it took me close to death to realize I am fine the way I am. I can tell you there is no love loss because I love myself and my mom accepts me for who I am.

    • Your question, “How far are children willing to go to feel accepted by their parents?” got my attention. I think that by “children” in this context you mean “offspring,” but language is powerful, and it’s important to remember that we’re talking about decisions made by adults. And as adults, we are responsible for protecting ourselves from manipulation and abuse by others.

      Imagine that someone told you that they want you to do something that’s harmful to your body (or spirit for that matter). If you’re a healthy, responsible adult, you will refuse to do any such thing, even if it means going against a parent’s dying wish.

      This is of course no easy feat for someone who was brought up in dysfunctional or abusive surroundings. However it is a critical component of overcoming the past and taking control of one’s own, uhm … underpants.

    • I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Do you know what my family’s primary concern is? It’s not my energy levels, my heart, or any of the symptoms that come from your body in slo-mo. What they want to know is when I’m going to get the weight off. I’m just happy I don’t need a nap after putting away the groceries. It’s hard not getting sucked into a weight loss obsession. Discovering HAES has shown me there’s an alternative to further screwing up my metabolism by weight cycling. Getting the message out is the best way to help others resist family pressure. Change the culture, change the world.

  12. I haven’t been able to “stomach” if you pardon the pun, much of the publicity regarding Al Roker’s new book.I haven’t even when I saw a headline saying he “pooped his pants at the White House”, really knew what he meant that he had fecal incontinence because of his gastric bypass.
    What I do know as someone who did have a gastric bypass and it had to be undone, that if fecal incontinence was the worst of my problems, and I had many, that while I wouldn’t have loved, almost dying from multiple gi bleeds, multiple times and the irreversible severe chronic pain, the malabsorbtion issues I still have of nutrients and meds which it makes impossible to control my severe chronic pain, well, if wearing smaller diapers works for Mr. Roker, so be it.
    Weight Loss Surgery unless people die from the complications is FOREVER. My being reversed 28 months ago only reduced the liklihood I’d die of gi bleeds and severe long term malabsorbtion issues with both nutrients and meds.
    I have stopped though trying to talk people out of their weight loss surgeries. I guess with the thousands of stories of now researched, people who are going to be seduced and they are greatly misguided, that they will be thin forever and it doesn’t matter what the cost is, so be it. Most if you don’t find it an oxymoron, reputable bariatric surgeons don’t make any guarantees. They are now honest at least about the potential complications and that it isn’t necessarily a life time fix to rid people of their adipose and that they may be trading in, if they had any, which I did not, one health problem for another.
    It’s not going to take a celebrity who had wls for it to be more regulated. It’s going to take insurance companies in the next couple of years seeing they are paying out more money in claims due to complications of wls, then they would IF a patient goes into wls that actually has diabetes, sleep apnea, high cholestrol and high bp. I had none of that.But they will eventually uber regulate it except under extreme situations as too many long term weight loss surgery patients are costing them more due to complications from their surgeries then what health conditions are being blamed on “Obesity” which I don’t and NO ONE should, consider being fat, a health issue in itself.
    I guess that’s why I find Ragen’s work so important. Had she been around 11 years ago, I would’ve never done this to myself.

  13. Gaaaah…My ex-husband met me when I was a UK size 14. Just before the wedding, not deliberately but thanks to an inhuman amount of stress (one aspect of which was that his mother, quite literally, wanted me either dead or sectioned – long story), I went down to a size 8. For his own inane reasons, like maybe he thought I could carry on surviving on black coffee and the occasional nibble of a Danish, ex-douche expected me to stay a size 8, and obviously felt short-changed when I inevitably bounced back up to a 16. He showed it mostly by the odd snide comment, coupled with surreptitiously leaving porn mags open around the place. Some time after I left him (not just for that, but again, long story), I met up with him to discuss financial matters, and he said that if he dated again, he’d a) not bother with getting married, just ‘meet girls for dinner and sex at the weekends’, and b) stick to women who were slim, blonde and ‘not a witch’ (I was Wiccan but not out then – yet another long story) – because that’s the kind of woman he’d originally wanted. He’d ‘settled’ for me because it looked like I was the only person around who’d have him.

    This is the kind of charmer who marries you fat and then expects you to get thin for him. Fancy subjecting yourself to dangerous surgery and unexpected presidential sharts for someone like this? Naah, didn’t think so.

  14. There are two things that really baffle me about this contraption…

    (1) That is looks strikingly similar to the machine used to force feed anorexic/bulimic patients.

    and

    (2) That a lot of the general public responses that I’ve seen to the news of this machine is something to the effect of, “OMG Can you believe how horrible and gluttonous fat people are?? They want to have their cake and eat it too– and then pump it out of their stomach!” As though this OBVIOUSLY wasn’t a device invented by someone who realizes there’s a ton of money to be made if you can just convince fatties that being fat is such a horrible thing, even having this machine installed into your stomach is a better alternative.

    • I’m going to memorize the second part of your answer to post when I see those comments.

  15. Very intense discussion here… thanks everyone! I wanted to share that sometimes other meds can have the same ‘loose bowels’ issue. When I was first identified as diabetic, they put me on metformin. I had instant lower GI trouble. Instead of finding a different med, they backed off the dosage and kept me on a 1/4 of the usual dose. It did bring down my blood sugar levels. It also gave me the trots from 3 a.m. to noon every day. I had to take imodium to go to work and wear liners. It took me a year to get up the gumption to tell my dr. NO MORE.. turned out (as time often will tell) the reaction I was having was actually due to that med in combination with my body dealing with a wheat intolerance. Now that I am off wheat, my lymphatic system is healing and I can tolerate a med that really does help manage the blood sugar levels so I can be more of a participant in a healthy lifestyle.

    I agree wtih most of you here… it is not a desired effect to have anal leakage or full blown control loss.

    • Personally, I have experienced similar issues when I had my gall bladder removed. It has a similar effect because of the fact that the bile used to break down fats is no longer in a concentrated format without the gall bladder, meaning it’s oilier and … well, I can’t figure out to say it without being graphic … slipperier.

      • Ahh yes. The horrors of “I no longer have a gallbladder” attacks. Right there with you, sister. Bleh.

  16. I read the article on Jezebel and was getting quite annoyed by all the responses. I wonder why people think that mutilating otherwise healthy organs (WLS) makes one “healthy”. It is so frustrating to read comment after comment of people saying “Good for him cause he wanted to be healthy, and now he is!” Yes, shitting your self is the epitome of good health. If you’re not shitting your pants, I don’t believe you are in healthy. WTF…

  17. What the what? I stupidly looked up the pump, thinking it would be some sort of through-the-nose deal. Boy was I wrong. And the commentary was even worse. For people too lazy to be properly bulimic… lazy fatties need to ELMM… anyone can do it. I think I’ll go for blissful ignorance of whatever the next “innovation” is. I’m so glad I have a doctor who practices HAES and wouldn’t think of subjecting me to those devices.

  18. I think dying wishes, sometimes, are purely emotional blackmail and should be seen as such. How shameful to think that someone’s father, with little time left, could only think to tell his son how he disapproved of him instead of how much he loved him. How much better would it be if our dying wish was that our loved ones be happy with themselves, with the world as it will be without us, instead of laying on some guilt and shame with our parting breaths.

    If you can’t tell, I have dealt with this sort of thing in my own life, and my mother (still living) has done it to me for all of my child and adult years.


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