An open letter to Judith Beck :( #wls #CBT @beckdietsolution

16 Apr

Some of you may have seen this Huffington blog post from Judith Beck to Carnie Wilson about her repeat gastric band surgery.

I am really bummed out by this, as I have been a huge huge supporter of Beck Diet Solution and my copy of  the book is always close by and very dogeared. I have even paid for a coaching session with beck institute, and seen great value.

But, this open letter is  just….wow.

In the theory of CBT, how would you have Carnie reframe her reaction to this column?  Ouch. This would be enough to make me pissed off, defiant and trigger all my bad habits.  I don’t get the logic about this at all, unless it was just to sell books, in which case, not only am I disappointed, I think that it probably backfired.  The response by the weight loss surgery community has been swift.  The problem is, Dr. Beck, your work IS the foundation of what we all need to do to change the mental part of our struggle with food.  Your work is so good, and now this post totally drags you down and will make people question your credibility.

I’m not saying that most of your points aren’t correct–of course they are.  I think a large majority of people who have WLS have food issues; I certainly do.  And our surgeons encourage us to work the psychological part of this program — its a requirement to even get the surgery.  Its how, ultimately, I found your book, upon recommendation.

What I am now left feeling like, is that the person who’s work has inspired me the most, may think that those of us who have weight loss surgery are copping out.  Maybe its only those of us who have had it twice? But now I would have to suspect that any WLS is seen as a copout.  Its just not true — the medical statistics speak to the fact that the likelihood of morbidly obese people being able to lose the weight and keep it off is less than 5%–and its not just the mental aspect.  There are mechanisms in our bodies that are simply “broke” when we are that overweight.  Our bodies physically and mentally fight against us to lose weight the “right” way.

I am not saying that I don’t question Carnie’s choices too….but the reality is, I get it.  I get her, I get the struggle.  I don’t like her trying to use it to make a career comeback.  I do think it takes a lot of courage to admit you’ve failed and have to try again.  I don’t understand how any doctor could suggest that getting a lap band again would be a good choice for her.  It didn’t work the first time, and definitely is not the surgery with the best track record out of the 4 primary WLS types.  But I do think a revision is appropriate, just not to repeat the band.  So why choose it again?  Why not pick a more permanent WLS?  Why take the way that didn’t work last time?  I don’t get that.  I’m not trying to dis the band, but the statistics seem to support a lower level of success with band than other procedures.

Anyway, so Dr. Beck, while I guess, as Carnie is a public figure and has made her weight loss issues public, its fair to talk about it, but wouldn’t a call or direct private reach out with an offer to share your considerable knowledge and approach have been more humane?  Imagine the long term payoff if your method could have been the reason carnie really kept it off this time? Now THAT would sell books.

Because I already know that the approach is best, I won’t be abandoning the principles of CBT for sustained weight loss but I am sad that this appears to be a judgement against weight loss surgery and I am sad that the WLS community will probably not dive into this important book because of this issue.

In one of the primary aspects of the beck diet solution, you’re supposed to give yourself credit for the good choices. Let’s find something to give Carnie Wilson credit for….

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3 Responses to “An open letter to Judith Beck :( #wls #CBT @beckdietsolution”

  1. Andrea April 16, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Love this post! I feel the same as you!

  2. Tracy aka Tiny Tank April 16, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    I’m off to read the article. But am sure yours is much more uplifting and true. I agree we can’t kick someone’s choices for trying to change. Perhaps Dr Beck could have invited Carnie to leverage her teachings. That would have been way more effective and supportive.

  3. iamsucceeding2 April 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Well said!

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