Today in Post-Rachelism: Weight-Loss Surgery a Touchy Topic


No wonder people who’ve had gastric bypass are loathe to tell others about it: Soon as they do, judgment awaits.

My “Fed Up” series of posts about my friend Rachel included an intro, two-part Q&A, one-week follow-up and yesterday, a 19-day progress report. My goodness, what a response. In addition to comments on the blog, there were hundreds of Tweets. I checked some of the Tweets – and by the way, I’ll officially  be on (expletive deleted) Twitter soon; let me first deal with the (expletive deleted) Facebook fan page – and clearly, folks have a lot of different opinions when it comes to the proper way to lose weight.


That’s the problem, of course. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss.

Many of you think there is, and it’s called “diet and exercise.” Even though I’ve tried and failed at more diets than I can honestly recall, I’m in the camp that believes anyone can lose weight by modifying their eating and moving more.

Here’s the other side of the coin: Unless you have your head together, that weight loss may turn into an even bigger weight gain.

You will recall Rachel saying that when she was 11, her slim mother said Rachel looked “like a linebacker.” It’s just another example of how those closest to us can do the most damage. Rachel said her mother didn’t say anything else about her weight. She didn’t need to.

Although I envy Rachel’s 25-pound weight loss in just two weeks, I remain against weight-loss surgery of any kind. I strongly believe a healthy eating plan combined with regular exercise is the best way to go if and only if psychotherapy is a significant part of the equation.

What you just read was my opinion. By definition, something I believe and feel confident about saying, but there’s no definitive proof I’m right. So does this mean I think Rachel was wrong to choose surgery? Absolutely not. She did what was right for her.


But oh, the criticism. The comments. Sure, some were positive, but here’s a sampling of some of the adjectives used to describe Rachel’s choice: lazy, selfish, vain, self-centered, greedy. (I don’t get that last one, either.)

What that is, is judgment. By definition, a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion.


Folks, none of us is an authority on Rachel’s life. None of us is an authority on anyone’s life, save our own.


I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.  ~  George Bush


Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.