Thursday, March 08, 2007

But I want to want those things!

The ideal outcome of a hypothetical weight reduction regimen would be this: I would still want and enjoy and eat all the same foods I do now, but I would be satisfied -- genuinely satisfied -- with smaller amounts, and those amounts would allow me to lose weight and end up healthier.

But what about something where the net result of the procedure was that I no longer even wanted or liked some things I now like?

Obviously, after the procedure I wouldn't miss those things, any more than right now I miss brussel sprouts or pickles. I would be perfectly content. And people who have had gastric bypass and found that formerly-loved foods are no longer desirable tend to insist that they're glad they did it; they have no regrets.

Yet the me now can't help rebel at the idea. I get so much pleasure from, say, a good New York bagel slathered with cream cheese. A surgery that made me like only a small portion of that, that'd be fine; I'd still have the same enjoyment followed by the same satisfaction. But a surgery that left me no longer desiring it in the first place... I can't help feel like I'd be losing something. The pleasure I get now from that bagel would be simply gone, with nothing to replace it.

Any argument that a post-op person gives to defuse this "concern" feels hollow: it has the ring of someone who has lost something and lost the ability to know he lost it. I don't mean to sound overdramatic, but it sounds like someone who's been brainwashed. One can't help imagining that if a later surgical development restored to them the ability to enjoy those dishes they've said goodbye to, they'd be the first to say "thank heavens, I had forgotten what I was missing!"

I can't help imagine someday a better version of the surgery coming along that is like what I originally described: you like the same things, just less of them. And those people who have already had today's surgeries will not be able to "upgrade" (and may be so "brainwashed" that they don't think they want to).

And yet, the people who've had the surgeries almost all agree that they don't regret giving up those things. And so too would I not regret them if I had the surgery. Is it foolish, petty, and self-defeating to be even concerned about it now?

1 comment:

The wife said...

Though, on the plus side... this particular procedure is completely reversable (reversible?).