30 by 30: Why I Refuse To Get Weight Loss Surgery In Mexico

weight loss surgery

Thanksgiving was the first time I my mom’s cousin after she got weight loss surgery in Mexico. When I commented on how thin she was, she transformed into a bad infomercial: “You can be thin too! Just take $5,000 to Mexico. They’ll cut your stomach in half and you’ll be good to go.” Yup–it’s just that easy. A quick flight below the border, an illegal surgery and my nonexistent life savings to be supermodel thin… If only.

To understand my own struggle with weight (more about that here), it’s important to know that both of my parents’ extended families either have the slowest metabolisms ever, or an extreme aversion to any green foods (or possibly both). Every last relative of mine has been obese at some point in their lives. While some of them have dealt with it through exercise and healthy eating, some have turned to more extreme methods. Most recently, my aunt had lap band surgery, and then of course, there’s my mom’s cousin (the one who had her stomach cut off in Mexico).

Her sales pitches lasted all weekend, and while I mostly rolled my eyes, I have to admit I was slightly jealous of her quick fix. Here I was, counting calories and eating salads while she ate milkshakes for dinner. I woke up to run on the treadmill before breakfast, while she peacefully slept in. UNFAIR. (I got the same feeling when I read about a new training program at Equinox Gym-where I belong­-that  costs $25,000. Appropriate responses include: Shock, outrage. But for a hot second, I thought: “If only I had 25k, life would be so much easier.”)

But much as I love to watch Access Hollywood and stew over stories about celebrities who outsource their weight loss to home chefs and personal trainers, the thing is: I love my life.

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    • AD

      You can be skinny but be fat on the inside and unhealthy just as you can be a little chubby but be metabolically healthy. You are doing yourself a favor by sticking to whole foods, lowering sugar intake, and exercising. This is for LASTING HEALTH! Not just to be thin! Keeping fit and healthy is lifestyle, so if you do achieve your goal weight, you can’t go back to your old ways or you will regain the weight. You have to change your habits, your life, your schedule. That is the only way. A quick fix surgery will not yield lasting results if the person does not make serious dietary and lifestyle changes. Real, lasting weight loss happens slowly. Keep eating whole foods, keep dessert to once a week, keep exercising, and you will be a healthier person for it. Make them habits and you will change your body (inside and out) forever. If you get bored with exercising check out this new gym opening in NYC, Lithe Method. I go to it in Philly and it changed my life. Good luck and keep up the good work!

    • Samantha_Escobar

      Congratulations on having a great week and a great mindset, too. That photo from Hawaii looks fantastic!

    • sandyfeets

      You really need to educate yourself more about weight loss surgery in Mexico before you make blind statements. First, they don’t “cut your stomach in half”, nor is the surgery “illegal” and lastly, you don’t “drink milkshakes for months.” Having had said surgery here in the United States, my stomach is still there, not cut, but rather stapled, my surgery was quite legal and performed by two board certified surgeons that were educated in universities in the United States. Lastly, I didn’t drink milkshakes for months, perhaps two weeks total and then I was back to eating regular healthy foods, in much smaller portions. I too sweat it out at a gym, walk miles in sneakers on my neighborhood streets and feel better after a good spin on a bike. Either way you look at it, losing weight is hard work. Living healthier is hard work, maintaining the weight loss is hard work. The end result is the same: Healthier, happy people.

      • AMW

        Amen!

    • Missy

      She is a poor example of weight loss surgery patient. 2 Questions:
      1) Do you really think she’ll maintain the weight loss if she’s drinking milkshakes? Umm no so don’t be jealous of the weight loss, she’ll have that weight back on in no time.
      2) Do you know any body that had success after weight loss surgery? It takes a lot of effort and hard work. This isn’t a quick fix as you state frequently in this post.

    • AMW

      Thinking that weight loss surgery is, easy is ludicrous! When has major life-changing surgery ever been easy? It’s ignorant and small minded to write about something without educating one’s self. Do you think your cousin enjoyed missing out on Thanksgiving dinner because she had to drink a “milkshake” instead? And those “milkshakes” you speak of, are NOTHING like what you get a fast food joint. They can be good but they are not at all the same thing. They are power packed with protein which is expensive and if you don’t get a good one, downright chalky and gag-worthy.

      Not going to Mexico for weight loss surgery is totally your choice but who are you to judge those who have made that choice? I think it’s great you have found a route that works for you and makes you feel good even if it’s not the route I took. Who do you think you are to judge your cousin, or anyone else in her shoes? Maybe there is more to the story and you just shortened it for literary purposes but how you have expressed it here makes you sound judgmental and close-minded which anyone who’s been heavy should really know how unproductive and hurtful that can be.

      Just some food for thought…