Iris Zani, Amici Obesi Onlus Association President, and Cristina Rastelli, cooperator at the same organization, tell us about their path as ex obese patients and how, without support, this disease can bring to exclusion and loneliness.
Amici Obesi Onlus was born in 2005, when a group of patients noticed a lack of information about obesity disease, and decided to fill the gap. At first they set up a forum, for a real time exchange of information, then in September of the same year the Association was established.
Thanks to the planning of conferences and meetings, but also the professionals who made themselves available to provide information on the topic, the support provided was, especially at the beginning, mainly psychologic.
The aim of the Association is to provide support and suggest the proper course of treatment suited for the pathology. By doing this, Amici Obesi Onlus provides support both online and in presence, through groups of mutual help.
Obese patients need help, because they tend to build up truth- covered lies which push them to delay their treatments paths that should be taken as soon as possible. Obese people are often judged as people without willpower and who don’t want to commit. But this is untrue, because behind this pathology there are different aspects that aren’t strictly connected to food.
Becoming aware about having a problem with their body is the trigger to begin a path. Everyone should find their suited course, whether it’s pharmacological or surgical, but without awareness, one is led by this pathology to think that help isn’t needed, and often begins unsuccessful diets without professional support.
These failures physically and morally break down obese patients, and recurrence are proof that obesity isn’t a vice but a disease. They must never give up.
The bariatric surgery post-op is complicated too, because it isn’t a simple choice to take, that requires many further sacrifices. Patients who experience a recurrence are often those who have broken away from focused groups: but when they retrace their steps are always welcomed without prejudice, because there is no shame in the group.