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Does the world seem like a strange and alien place now? If so, tell me about it!

Scott MacPherson

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Back on April 30th I had the gastric bypass. Since then i have lost 106 pounds and a whole list of health issues. But i have gained an insight into a world that i have lived in my whole life, yet was never really part, the "The World of the Un-Fat". As I have lost my weight over the last nine months I have become increasingly aware of how i am preceived ny strangers in everyday situations. I got used to not being recognized, in fact i actually enjoyed it; but the way people looked at me longer than before sort of unnerved me at first. When i first experienced this I thought i had something on my face or shirt. As it turned out they were just looking at me like they would anyone else, it's just that when your fat, they look at you a lot faster, just enough to determine if they know you or not and move on. As time went on i paid more and more attention to this, and the more i noticed it the more i felt like i was wearing a "thin suit". Very strange indeed.As a result, i decided to make this the subject of my masters thesis. I'm graduate student of anthropology and the subject of weight loss surgury and the social and cultural effects on those who have the surgery has not be studied much to any degree. The brochures they give at the doctors office about the surgery are empty of any real information about what we are about to go through and most of us are left with more questions than answers. The fact that this site is the source for many of us that need to know what its "really" like after surgery, and also a place for those that are waiting or considering to have it go for answers as well. The reseach that is out there is mainly concerned with women and their experiences after the weight loss, im looking to study the male experience besides my own. That is not to say that i'm not interested in the female experience, its just that there is very little data regarding men.I need to conduct interviews with men and women about your experiences being heavy and the processes you went through that motivated to decide on surgery. I want to hear about the challenges after the procedure in regard to eating/dumping syndrome etc. The issues im most interested though are the ones like i experienced and mentioned breifly above. I plan to create a Facebook page for those interested in talking about it. It will be a closed forum to allow for discussion and interviews. If this sounds like something you might want to help me with, please let me know. Thank you



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Oddly enough, the world felt alien and strange to me while I was fat.  I was only heavy for the last 16-17 years or so.  I was thin before and I'm thin again after.  Being heavy is a travesty in our culture.  I experienced the invisibility while heavy and my invisibility cloak has now dissipated  again.  I much prefer visibility.  It was disheartening and depressing not to be seen, or if seen, not to be taken seriously.  It made me feel like I wasn't a part of society.  I told my husband over and over that I didn't feel like I "belonged" on this planet.  It was just awful.  I can't imagine growing up like that.  If being overweight is so frowned upon and discriminated against, why does our culture continue to nurture becoming fat so much?  Why the super sizes and heaping plates at restaurants? Why the focus on carbs and fats all the time?  Rhetorical questions...  I just don't get it.

 

Good luck with your thesis.  Fun times!  Should be an interesting study.

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If you'd like input from someone in Australia on the Gold Coast where everyone seems to look at fat people very different, as though you shouldn't enjoy that 30 cent ice cream from McDonald with your grandchildren, feel free to contact me. I've just (28 Jan 14) so yesterday for me, had my gastric band out after 5 years in preparation for my sleeve in 3 to 4 months. My band had no success with very little loss after it was emptied in 2012 after a car accident resulting in a broken back and neck. From a woman's point of view there is so much stigma with WLS, for men it seems to be tolerated more. I'm an ex RN with a Bachelors in Human Science, I think your thesis topic will be very interesting!

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Heck yeah, it doesnt matter where you're from to me or the project. In fact it could be a plus for the cultural reasons you mentioned. Thanks

 

 

 

p.s ...if anyone wants to be included in a this project goto facebook and look up the page "Weightloss Surgery Research Project"

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