January 28, 2019

Vanessa Feltz – The psychological struggles of weight loss surgery

Vanessa Feltz has been very open about her psychological struggles with weight, stating that when she was “fat” she felt her happiest.  She only lost weight when experiencing personal stresses so when she was thin she was her most unhappiest. In my experience, this is a common theme for people who comfort eat or use food as a form of control when other aspects of their lives are perceptibly “out of control”.

Weight loss is intrinsically linked to our individual psychology, emotions and experiences.  Sadly for many it is not just a question of eating less and exercising more – like Vanessa Feltz, it is tackling the reason why we eat - or don’t eat.

The decision to undergo weight loss surgery

In 2004, Vanessa Feltz took part in the celebrity TV series Fit Club. She put herself through a gruelling regime of exercise and a weekly ritual of standing on the scales to emerge over two stone lighter. The problem of course here was that her relationship with food was still not being addressed. She freely admitted that she would feel so happy with herself for losing weight that she would celebrate with treating herself to… a piece of cake.  This boomerang behaviour continued with her losing and gaining weight before eventually having a gastric band fitted in 2010. Vanessa admits she took the decision to undergo gastric band surgery having exhausted all other options, as she was worried her weight would result in her suffering a premature death or being diagnosed with diabetes, arthritis or heart disease. She was keen to safeguard her health to ensure she was around for her young daughters.

Like many people, the decision whether or not to undergo surgery was a tricky one. There is a common perception that “fat” people should simply diet and exercise and not take “the easy way out”. Again though, like many people, this was simply not enough to lose the weight long term.

Vanessa Feltz is open about the fact she felt ashamed and embarrassed about resorting to surgery - however she needed some extra help to encourage her weight loss.

Make sure to come back tomorrow for the next in our series, where we look at the story of Diego Maradona's battle with weight loss.

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