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Star Jones Says Her Gastric-Bypass Surgery Was Not an "Easy Way Out"

Is Gastric-Bypass Surgery an "Easy Way Out"?

Star Jones Reynolds was an emotional eater. She said, "Whenever I felt lonely, a Double Whopper with cheese became my friend. If I felt sad, six strips of bacon made me feel better." She battled with her weight and in 2003 reached over 300 pounds. Her doctor said she'd die if she didn't make changes, so she felt gastric-bypass surgery was her only option.

After undergoing the surgery, she didn't expect to get so much public scrutiny. Even though she lost over 160 pounds in three years, she sidestepped reports that she had the surgery. Star didn't want to admit she had no self-control and needed help. She was worried about disappointing people, and ashamed she couldn't stick to a diet or exercise program. Then in 2007, she finally came forward and admitted to having the surgery. She said, "When you hear people say, 'Oh, you took the easy way out,' I would have longed for an easy way. It was not an easy way." To her, gastric-bypass surgery was "the hardest struggle of my whole entire life, and I still struggle."

So tell me . . .


Join The Conversation
JennyJK JennyJK 8 years
Eating is an addiction like anything else. Surgery isn't a solution, just an extreme aid in the process. I don't see how it could be deemed an easy way out. Would anyone view an alcoholic taking ant-abuse or a smoker user nicorette, person in a methodone clinc (etc etc) as taking the easy way out?
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
As someone who HAD Gastric Bypass Surgery (distal roux en y procedure) I say HELL NO! GBS is far from the easy way out, it's actually more difficult to deal with weight loss, life style changing, physiological changes and physical changes than just exercising and dieting - plus with GBS your have to exercise and diet to have the TOOL work for you and it's very hard to know that you will never be normal again. I probably know more gastric bypass patients than anyone on this entire site and NOT A SINGLE POST-OP GBSers WOULD SAY THAT SURGICAL ALTERING YOUR BODY FOREVER IS EASY, especially when you have to admit to family, friends, doctors and psychiatrists that you are incapable of controlling your own weight without outside intervention. The surgery has an enormous physical and psychological impact in your life - it's huge - it's emotionally draining and physically challenging. Even though I've had some minor bumps in the road in me 2 1/2 years post-op I would have the surgery again in fact I wish I had had it earlier because I would have broken free of the fat, dread and guilty long ago.
sheekaboo sheekaboo 8 years
it must be brutal to have your stomach reduced so drastically.
GwenCaprica GwenCaprica 8 years
Definitely NOT the easy way out. My dad had the surgery...and surgery never is an easy way out. it's risky, especially when your overweight. month after he still couldn't really eat, like we did. He still can't really eat everything (f.e. rice) and that is 5 years later. He lost 70 pounds, well theoretically he still should loose an other 20...but at least now he's not THAT overweight anymore. With him it's a bit weird, since he really ate healthy, the problem was, he ate TONS of healthy a whole bag of nuts, or a salad with avocados only for dinner...lots of wholewheat now at least it's less... with sports it's different, I mean I love doing sport...but I know there are people who just REALLY hate it, and you can't make them, when they feel bad. so I think this surgery was definitely the right decision for him, and no, definitely not the easy way out.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
sorry about the double post...weird.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
it's not the easy way out in the sense of recovery. but i think it's the easy way out when it comes to diet and exercise. with diet and exercise you have to be accountable to yourself, and have to WORK everyday to maintain yourself. it's like you were so opposed to working hard to keep your body in check before, why would you do any better just because you have surgery?
prrrtykittie prrrtykittie 8 years
Surgery is not easy! Anyone who's ever been operated on for anything will know that (and shame on you if you called it the easy way out). Those who undergo this surgery do have to change the way they eat forever and they have to exercise to reduce the amount of loose skin that comes from such rapid weight loss. The recovery period for this is intense, including a liquid diet for a substantial period. I think surgery is more of a way to begin a healthy life for those who have done a lot of damage to their bodies.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
its not an easy way out if its a surgery to save your life. those surgeries you pretty much have no choice but to cut down or you'll get sick. and not everyone can lose weight the same way someone else can. its unfair to think that its an easy way out when there are some people who grew up without knowing proper nutrition it can be very frusterating.
graylen graylen 8 years
I think people are unfairly doing blanket judgements. If we know anything about our bodies, we know that each of us work very differently. Just because your aunt lost 110 pounds doing walking, doesn't mean that Jane Doe down the street hasn't eaten right and power walked every day for 10 years with no results. It's a personal decision based on a doctor's approval. However, I do feel that there should be more required education/requirements/testing prior to surgery. Hospitals seem to vary widely and it's a big deal surgery to not have down-the-line strict policies on who's eligible.
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
It's extremely radical if you ask me.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Gastric-bypass isn't easy by any means. I haven't had it [but I'm seriously considering it, at least a LapBand], but I know people my age who have (in early 20s), and it is really difficult to even start losing weight when you can't eat practically anything that you're used to all of a sudden. You have to have comprehensive psychological and nutritional aid as well with the surgery for it to be successful, so it's not so much of a shock and you don't get discouraged or have unrealistic expectations about life afterward. And also, after you reach so many pounds, doing the "normal" thing of dieting and moderate exercise 3-5x a week can be very stressfull [in a BAD way!] for your body. You *have* to do those things to stay in shape, though, but at that weight it can be very hard to you get stuck in a Catch 22 - damned if you do start moving around and risk straining yourself and causing injury, damned if you don't start moving b/c you'll never lose the weight to be healthy enough to GET around. So doing gastric-bypass might help in that situation. As for Star Jones, she was a much nicer person when she was heavier. When she got thin, she got really catty and everything terrible. Every time I see her, I still see a fat girl in a thin girl's body b/c of how ugly she acts - it really shows what's inside.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Thank you poptart! I have a serious problem with food. And it's not something everyone can just put their foot down and change. Especially when I'm trying to put my focus elseware (school, for example). It takes every bit of my focus and determination to not mindlessly eat. I'm lucky that I still do active things like run and climb, because I shudder to think of the weight I'd be at right now.
TammyO TammyO 8 years
Star does look horribly shriveled up now in the face.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Do I think it's the easy way out? Yes and no. It's not an easy decision to make, since having such major surgery totally changes the way you eat for at least a good year or so. I think a lot of people elect to have the surgery thinking it will be the solution that works for them and they discover that it is NOT easy and the weight doesn't just fall off after a certain time period. You can re-stretch the pouch and out-eat the surgery. My aunt's friend had the surgery done and got down to around 160ish pounds, but she's regained the weight back by cheating the surgery and eating high-fat foods very often. Now she's back up to almost her starting weight and wants to get the surgery revised. The thing is, it's stomach surgery, NOT brain have to figure out why you overeat and you have to address those issues before you decide to rearrange your insides forever. Plus, a lot of people don't realize that it is a SERIOUS operation. Incidentally, my husband's aunt passed away due to complications from GB surgery. She weighed close to 400 lbs and had very bad knees. She could barely walk and her doctor thought that if she had surgery, the lost weight would help her knees and help her be able to exercise. After the surgery, she didn't follow the doctor's orders to walk around after the operation and developed a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) and died. Bottom line, it basically FORCES you to start eating healthier and exercising, so it takes away your power of choice for a little while. But if you don't truly want to change your lifestyle, your pouch will stretch out, you'll start eating the crap you used to and probably regain the weight. I think the surgery should be reserved only for people that have so many other complications from their obesity that if they don't lose a lot of weight rapidly, they could suffer many problems due to their weight. The people that are only around 250-300 lbs, like Star, who only suffer from shortness of breath occasionally, could probably do it on their own if they chose to.
poptart-princess poptart-princess 8 years
i think it can depend on the person that chooses it. if you really have a problem with food, then it's a chance - though a very very risky one - at salvation from it, but someone that has money to throw around and just wants to eat less ( like when Lily Allen blogged that after she was called fat at the Brit Awards she considered gastric bypass as a solution even though she's not nowhere near obese, probably not even over weight) then it is. Star Jones had no need to feel ashamed!! as an individual who has suffered from binge eating disorder, i wish i could shrink my stomach or take a pill to make me always feel "full" but i am - fortunately- nowhere near size to have the procedure. but to be "addicted" to food is a real thing, and it is and can be as debilitating to an individual as a drug/alcohol problem not to mention more humiliating.
witchbaby witchbaby 8 years
I'm kinda split on this. While I do think it can be an easy way out I think that the old fashioned way is the best. My mum's friend had GB surgery she went from like i think a size 28 to a size 4. Now, 8 years later she is a size 14 and keeps going up and down with her weight not eating the way she is suppose to just as long as she doesn't wear a 16 she says she is fine. My aunt use to weigh over 350+ lbs. I saw her not to long ago and she lost a lot of weight. she now weighs 240 and did it just by taking walks every evening and changing her diet. she had been overweight since before I was born so that is over 20 years. She told me that she is going to get the lap band only because she wants to get off all her medications and hopefully no longer be diabetic anymore. I think it depends on the person.
mellie_608 mellie_608 8 years
My cousin had it and is doing quite well. They don't just do the surgery and that's it - your left to fend for yourself. She went through a lot of counseling beforehand and after wards to help her adjust to a new eating lifestyle. It's not an easy fix and it gave her the jump start to a better life after failing at other weight loss methods.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
I agree with everyone who said her face was prettier when she was heavier. Now it looks like skin melted over a skull. It's quite frightening.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
*still isn't DONE losing weight (not down)
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I'm going to say, yes I think its an "easy" way out. I'm not downplaying the seriousness of surgery itself, but more like the decision to make it. Look at Manuel Uribe, the man who used to be "world's heaviest man" in the book of records. Obviously he still isn't down losing weight, but he decline the option of the surgery because he wanted to do it himself (because he realized he got himself into that mess) and he worked hard to lose weight (eating carefully, and doing special exercises from his BED because he could get out of it, and still worked out as best as he could). This guy orginally tipped the scales at over 1,200 lbs and has been working hard to lose it (and still working hard). Thats why I think that surgery is an "easy" route. He weighs way more than most people who qualify and still wanted to do it himself.
sunshinepointe sunshinepointe 8 years
I have a friend who had GB and has gained all the weight back - during the initial phase of his surgery he was on such a strict diet he would have lost the weight anyway if he ate like that. It was almost too painful to watch. It's not the easy way out and its not a quick fix. It's actually borderline scary. I have to say though, Star Jones doesn't look NEARLY as pretty as she did when she was a bit heavier. Her face is rather scary now :\
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
I have lost over 120 lbs in the last 3 years with diet and exercise. It was a struggle but it is what worked for me. I think whatever a person needs to do to lose weight and get healthy is for the individual to decide. Some people cannot control their impulses and have spent years trying to lose weight and still can't. I think the surgery gives some the jump start of encouragement they need to make the change. I think rather than judging the decision we should applaud anyone who make the choice to change their lifestyle and better their health. Even with surgery if your eating and exercise habits do not change you will not lose or keep the weight off. We are judged for being fat, we are judged for how we got thin...when does it stop?
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