As we approach 25,000 total visits to Misdirected (we will hit that number later today), it occurs to me that we have built an entire community around the experience of bariatric surgery. A small community, to be sure, but a loyal and interested one. So, as the primary "voice" within this community, I would like to take a minute to ask everyone to do something in the name of bariatric surgery patients across the country and around the world.
Talk to somebody about it. It is as simple as that. You, gentle readers, know more about this process than 99% of the population. The world is still filled with people who do not understand obesity, who think that being overweight is purely a form of laziness, who refer to bariatric surgery as "the easy way out." And all of you, thanks to the time you have spent here, know the truth.
I am not asking you to tackle every overweight person you see and make them beg for mercy until they agree to come visit us here at Misdirected. Surgery is most certainly not the answer for everyone. But, is there an obese person in your life who is struggling with self-esteem issues? Talk to them. Tell them you appreciate and support them, and understand that what they are going through is happening to them, and is not necessarily self-inflicted. Do you know that one person who loves to make fun of "fatties"? Talk to them. Inform them they are making fun of people with a disease, not individuals who have somehow earned scorn and disapproval. Do you spend time with a person who is speculating about weight loss or weight loss surgery? Talk to them. You know more than the average person on the street about the reality of the process, just from spending time with us here.
Again, this is not a call for more subscribers or visitors, though that would certainly not be unwelcome. Mainly, I want the word to get out there to those who are obese - they are not alone. Almost half of the United States struggles with obesity, yet our media continues to popularize the notion that health and self-respect are only one fad diet or light beer away. Overweight people are still mocked, looked down upon, and regularly discriminated against. You, from visiting us here, know the truth: it is not a matter of "putting down the cupcake." Obesity springs not only from excessive eating, but also from genetics, emotional issues, hormonal balance problems, and the low physical activity forced on us by the chaos of our daily lives. It is not a simple problem with a simple solution, despite what the pundits would have us believe.
But you, just from reading these posts, already knew that. Do us all a favor, and go communicate your knowledge to someone else. All your knowledge is not a tool until you put it into use. Express your concern, show your empathy, correct misconceptions. And, if the conversation happens to direct someone here for more information, so be it. I am never afraid to answer questions of any kind.
Thanks to everyone for being a part of the Misdirected community. We are now 8 months into our "journey", with the rest of our lives to go. We are glad to have you along for the ride.
Looking Ahead To 50,000,