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  • Rev. Brandon Rich

Telling my story

I was chatting with someone at an event recently who had heard about all of my weight loss. He came up to me and said, “So, you had surgery.” Of course, he meant weight loss surgery, gastric bypass, etc. This is a man who has struggled with weight issues himself for some time, and it was a great opportunity for me to share with him that I did not in fact have any weight loss surgery, that I did this the hard way. I lost 130 pounds last year with two basic foundational words: calorie deficit. I told him that for a solid year, I created a daily calorie deficit. I burned more calories than I consumed every single day for a solid year. I explained to him that it was a very simple formula of consuming fewer calories through eating and drinking and burning more calories through daily walking of laps.

Americans tend to go for the quick fix, the easy fix. For many people, gastric bypass surgery is that fix, though there is nothing easy about it. I’ve had two people in my life, a friend and a relative both who opted for the bypass surgery option. That options will create weight loss, but it has a high price both in dollars and side effects. I’ve seen up close and personal what it’s like for the people who go for the gastric bypass option. I’ve seen the drastic changes that happened to their physical health and all of the permanent changes to their lifestyle, plus the long-term effects on their health, beyond just being thinner. Anyone out there considering the bypass option should really take a long hard look at that, and talk to people who have lived through it for years. You should have very frank conversations with a personal physician and a gastric bypass surgeon. It simply wasn’t for me. I was able to craft a plan which I was able to execute successfully to lose my weight without surgery. Now, eight months later, I have been able to maintain that weight loss. Make no mistake. Losing over 100 pounds is extremely difficult. Maintaining that type of weight loss for the long term is also difficult. My natural approach to weight loss has created so many benefits for me and almost 0 negative side effects. The folks who opt for the surgical option will benefit from their weight loss, but they will also have to contend with some pretty serious side effects that will never go away. We recently celebrated Easter, and I was able to enjoy every bite of food prepared by my sister. I was able to enjoy the cocktails prepared by my brother-in-law. The next day I was able to enjoy lunch with my other sister and my niece at one of my favorite restaurants. Even while maintaining this 130-pound weight loss, I still live life. I still participate in celebratory events and celebratory meals. When I know that I have a celebratory meal coming up, I plan for it. I allow for it. I will fast a day before or a day after a big celebratory meal. I will walk some extra laps before and after a big meal. Since I did not have surgery, I don’t have to deal with some of the very difficult long-lasting, permanent side effects. If I want to have a nice celebratory meal, beverage, cocktail I can do that. Some people who have the most drastic forms of gastric bypass surgery simply cannot ever do that sort of thing ever again unless they have a reversal surgery, or suffer the ill effects of a large meal.

Do you have a significant amount of weight that you need to lose like I did? Would you like to be able to lose that weight without having to go through the very drastic and dangerous step of surgery and all of the permanent side effects? If you are willing to commit yourself to a strict plan of calorie control, moderate exercise (for me it was walking) and some well-chosen dietary supplements, you can do it!

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