Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Things People Will Do

About a year ago I ran into an old friend at Target. She wasn't the world's best friend, that is for sure. Every woman I know has had one of these friends in their life - A great friend when they don't have a certain someone special in their life, a horrible friend when they do.

She was also a bit overweight. We were about the same size back then-past the whole chubby point but not quite on our way to using one of those motorized carts at Walmart. When the weight started to melt off me our friendship melted right along with it.

Half Italian and Half Mexican she had really good genetics going on in the face department. Beautiful skin tone with incredible cheek bones and green eyes, she had the face of a model. Her body didn't match, and she did everything to try and rectify that.

Everything except exercise and eat healthy, which is what I did. She tried every pill, diet, lose weight fast scam. It would work for awhile, but most humans cannot live like that.

I was really shocked when I ran into her. She was thin. Like Olsen twin thin. Her hair was thin, and she just looked sickly. The words "You look great!" came out of my mouth even though I was secretly scared that she was sick or had cancer. Her wonderful complexion was pale and her skin sagged on her face like she was in her late 40's.

"Thanks!" was all she offered. I figured if she was sick she just didn't feel like talking about it. We shared the awkward conversation that people have who were once friends but grew apart years and years before, and that was it.

My SIL has kept in contact with her over the years, and I told her I saw her. "She's really thin, isn't she?" my SIL asked. "Yes, yes she is," I said.

"You know she had Gastric Bypass, right?" my SIL asked.

Gastric bypass surgery? I thought you had to be over 100 pounds to even be approved for that. I thought there was a long screening process, and knowing her, she would never make it that long.

So the SIL goes into the story. She went to Mexico to get it. She even walked into the operating room and got on the operating table herself. How desperate do you have to be to do something like this?

I guess she tried gaining weight so that she would qualify here in the US. She had to lose like 80 pounds, and needed to get to a 100. Her doctor told her to just gain the weight. What the hell is that, FFS?

Then she found out that she had to do all these psychological tests before her insurance would approve her. This was no good. Her Mom had "connections" in Mexico and knew a really good doctor.

Her Mom is a post all in itself, as she did not like having a fat daughter at all.

So she went and got it done in substandard conditions in Mexico. By some miracle she made it through and didn't have to many complications.

She lost the weight rapidly along with her hair and her looks. I'm not kidding when I say it aged her at least 10 to 15 years.

Fast forward to a week ago. There she was, standing in line at the same Target.

Except that she was bigger. Not bigger in relation to how skinny she was before, but bigger in relation to how big she was before.

She had Gastric Bypass Surgery and 2 years later was bigger then before she had it.

We had our awkward old friends conversation. I was just in shock. Along with what probably most people think, I thought you had that, you can't really eat a lot anymore, and you are just skinny forever.

*Buzz* Wrong Answer.

I guess you can eventually stretch your stomach back out and gain the weight back.

So these are people that risk their lives, re-route their innards, and suffer all this pain inevitably still have to eat right and exercise. They lose their hair from vitamin deficiencies and have sagging skin.

I don't get it....I can see someone that is in danger and needs to lose weight rapidly to live. But someone that just wants to be thin?

Someone looking for the next magical pill, diet, solution?

That easy, quick fix? Easy and quick are not two words to describe this.

It is sad really. As a former overweight person I can understand to some degree, but as someone who just buckled down and did the work necessary to achieve it I can't imagine risking my own life for a more pleasing appearance.

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