Last year, more than 140,000 morbidly obese people turned to bariatric surgery to help lose weight and improve their health. But what is it like for a formerly obese person to navigate life in a new, thinner body?
The Early Show correspondent Melinda Murphy spoke to two women profiled in New York magazine with surprising stories to tell.
At 43, Gloria Cahill weighed 275 pounds. Daily life had become difficult, so in August of 2002, Cahill underwent gastric bypass surgery. Eventually, she lost 140 pounds.
"It's not the end of the problem," Cahill says, "It's the beginning of the solution."
Though her physical recovery was tough, she says the "invisible complications" were even tougher.
She explains, "The invisible complications really came down to dealing with the fact that people treat me very differently as a thin woman. I get a lot of compliments that I don't know what to do with."
Because all her life, Cahill endured nasty remarks about her weight, the memories still sting.
She says, "You know, they say inside every fat person there's a thin person waiting to get out. Well, inside this thin person, there's a fat person who remembers. Excuse me."
With tears in her eyes, she says it is still painful.
It hurts, she says, when people come up to her and say she is a completely new person.
"What makes that complicated is that when they say it, they're saying it from a very heartfelt place," she says, "But to say that I'm a different person discounts who I've been for 46 years. Fat or thin, I'm the same woman."
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