Archive for October 30, 2010

On Viewing Life in Technicolor: You learn something every day, it is said. Sometimes it’s a bit of trivia; sometimes it’s a philosophy-altering revelation.

When Dan and Jodi Kuball walk down the street these days, acquaintances pass right by without a nod.  Nobody is snubbing them, it’s just hard to recognize the pair following a weight loss of 148 pounds for Dan and 105 for Jodi.  The transformation is a source of amazement for friends and neighbors, and for loved ones, a cause for celebration.  

I am a friend and a neighbor.  I am also a constructor of pedestals, and this bright, accomplished, conscientious, kind, family-oriented couple had earned one of my loftier perches.  So when I approached them about writing an inspirational piece on the secrets of their weight loss success, I was sucker punched speechless by Jodi’s announcement that she and Dan had both undergone gastric bypass surgery – a method that scared me silly. 

My fear and distrust was based not only on the horror stories the press likes to spotlight but also on a documentary I once saw featuring a twenty-nine year old bypass patient who now ate only a half a jelly on white bread sandwich, and half a snack-size bag of Cheetos, and a half a Hostess Twinkie for her lunch.  For me, her example condemned the procedure as a forced weight-loss involving no substantial change in health habits and no sense of personal responsibility. 

Then there was the member of my church family who recently lost a sister to complications from bypass surgery, and whose R.N. friend had responded to that news by  saying, “Oh, I wish she had asked me about it first.  We’re killing people with this method.”  Pretty dramatic arguments against what seemed like a physically traumatic resolution to a behavioral problem. 

“What do I do now?” I thought when I realized my moral dilemma.  “Just follow through with the interview and keep an open mind,” I heard myself answer. 

Some things are black and white.  The bible is one example; this, believers know.  From that foundation there arises a long list of things that are concretely good or bad; evil or benevolent; right or wrong; God-pleasing or capable of breaking God’s heart. 

But in living our lives in a God-pleasing way, some decisions aren’t as clear-cut as they first seem.  Dan and Jodi’s experience raises the question, is gastric bypass for weight loss a social issue with a static negative or positive value, or is it one of many possible solutions to a multifaceted problem?  Tracing the path to their decision should help answer that question. (more…)

October 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm 1 comment

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