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5 Common lies people tell themselves when considering weight loss surgery

5 Common lies people tell themselves when considering weight loss surgery

With New Year’s resolutions the name of the game at the moment, weight loss is most likely on the minds of many. In fact, a YouGov poll taken in December 2014 showed that weight loss was by far the most common resolution, at 35% of all respondents; 2015 was no different, with a Marist poll showing weight loss remaining on top.

One of the ways that people may consider losing weight is by undertaking surgery, but there are numerous risks involved. When dealing with something as complicated and sensitive as weight loss, sometimes people may feel like they have no hope other than surgery, even going so far as to convince themselves that it is the best option, even when it’s not. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common lies people tell themselves when moving towards a decision to have weight loss surgery to meet their goals.

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“I’ve tried everything”

Losing weight is not just a physical challenge, but a mental one as well; being in the wrong mindset and taking shortcuts will not help you in the long term. Remember that weight loss is not easy: it takes time, effort, and sometimes major lifestyle changes. Consider whether you have really put in the hard work before you move straight to weight-loss surgery.

“I have bad genes”

Recent research has shown that genetic predisposition to obesity does exist, but that exercise can nearly completely counteract any genetic effects. This means that even if you do have a genetic predisposition to obesity, with exercise and a healthy diet you should still be able to lose the weight. The study’s lead author noted that “we’re not complete slaves to our genetic makeup and really can make a big difference to our future health by changing our behaviour,” so don’t rely on your genes as an excuse.

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“It’s a low-risk surgery”

Even though studies have backed up the relative low risk nature of bariatric surgery, consider whether putting yourself at risk is the right thing to do in your circumstances. One factor to think about is that even though the surgery itself may be low risk, any time that you have surgery performed, you risk becoming a victim of medical negligence or accident. A firm of medical solicitors carried out research on more than 1000 negligence cases, which revealed that surgical negligence was the most common type of medical negligence they dealt with, at 30% of all cases.

The most common consequences of surgical negligence in a failed bariatric surgery were:

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“I fully understand the risks and did the research”

The main issue here is that most of the risks involved in weight loss surgery are unpredictable accidents – so no matter how much research you’ve done, you can still be vulnerable.

It’s also important to ensure that you’ve considered long-term risks, and numerous flow-on effects are still being found to affect patients even years after surgery. For example, a recent study from Taiwan found that bariatric surgery could cause nutrient loss from bones, and lead to an increased risk of bone fractures down the line. Another recent study found that weight-loss surgery could cause “stress and anxiety, and changes in hormones,” both of which led to an increased risk of self-harm for bariatric surgery patients. These types of risks are hard to predict and may not be listed as “risks” in many pamphlets or websites about the surgery.

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“I need it”

Most doctors recommend surgery only to patients who:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. This would be about 100 pounds overweight for men or 80 pounds for women;
  • Have a lower BMI (but are still obese) and have a serious health problem related to obesity, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, severe sleep apnea, or high cholesterol;
  • Have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight by other means; and
  • Fully understand the risks.

If you still want to move forward with the procedure, make sure you visit another doctor and look for a second opinion before and after the surgery.

Whatever you decide to do, ensure that you have all the information before you proceed, and consider whether you really have exhausted all of your other options. It can be too easy to view weight loss surgery as more minor than it truly is, especially with rates of bariatric surgery increasing rapidly. Just because it may look like “everyone else is doing it,” it doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

Featured photo credit: Daniel Oines via flickr.com

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considering weight loss surgery 5 Common lies people tell themselves when considering weight loss surgery

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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