Patients → Personal Stories and Testimonials

Seth Margolies

My September Article

Originally I was going to write a cute little piece this month telling you my top magic moments for the year. But I don’t feel cute. Much has happened and I thought I would share some of the good and the bad with you this month. In a few days Ed, my pouch turns one. In a years time or almost I have taken off a hundred and ninety pounds and have gone from a 58 waist to a 32 waist. I have ridden 80 miles and I am running up to 13 miles. I am training for a marathon and a century ride. Not bad for a guy about to enter his fifth decade.

As I lost the weight I also lost part of me. Let me explain. For the past fifteen years, the years I was super- obese, I played a role not only on Television but I became the characters I played on TV. I downplayed my education and became a working class character. I was often loud and obnoxious, not unlike some of the characters I played on Television and often over compensated with people by always trying to be “on” and funny. I remember having a conversation with my buddy Mike McShane, a gifted actor and fellow gastric by-passer about losing the ability to be funny as we took off the pounds. We were literally both afraid of that. Thankfully we collectively have taken off 330 lbs and are both still funny.

Seth and his idol and friend Mike McShane ( yes he was in Office Space)

As the weight came off I found myself moving more and more away from the “fat Seth” character and allowed the true me to emerge. I found that I was a much more confident, secure and quiet person. My interests and focus changed. I was very aware of dress and image even with work out clothes. I started to more and more embrace my intellect and education and sought out different types of people than the ones I had been associating with previously. I also started hanging out with more athletic people and would plan my social activities around an athletic event like a 50 mile bike ride. Naturally this alarmed people around me. Many were tolerant, some confused. Some of my friends felt like they did not know me anymore and in a way they didn’t. They were use to the other guy who sees more lovable and accommodating but they never saw the pain that was in that man and the unhappiness. I was always there for them and now they could not even reach me on a cell phone because I was biking up a mountain somewhere For the most part my friends came around and were just happy for me. Our relationships shifted a bit but I feel grew stronger. I have also made some new friends but time will be the test of whether or not they are true and lasting

Presently I am feeling a shift in my relationship with my wife and best friend. She married the other guy, a 300 hundred pound man. There was no threat from the outside because people really did not think of me as a sexual-being. I truly believe that obese people are thought of as nonsexual beings. Now she hears comments from her workmates about how cute and good looking I am and that must be flattering and scary at the same time. Deb has made comments to me about how I would not pick her as a mate now that I have changed. A hypothesis I found when she said it and find preposterous. I did then and do now find my wife very attractive. The change I am sure is hard on her and at times I have been so narcissistic admiring the weight-loss and the development of muscles that maybe I did not see some warning signs. My body became like a new playground and so I would spend hours playing with it. Maybe that does not sound right. Seeing bones I never knew existed. It was all new and exciting but I was definitely in my old world. I was not paying that much attention to Deb and maybe I should have. My bad as the kids say now. I think in a way she feels threatened by my new self -image. You see I changed the game. She is the same beautiful loving woman I married but I have changed somewhat. I act differently and do different things. I know it is just a period of adjustment. Deb and I have been through so much and love each other so deeply that we will work through whatever muckiness this surgery has brought about and come through I am sure a stronger more loving more understanding couple. But like anything else associated with this surgery it takes work and commitment. I keep saying it and will over and over again. Nothing about this surgery is free. You must work and commit. That means with friends and partners, food choices and exercise.

In a way I went through mourning for the loss of “fat Seth” Although I did not always like him or how he acted there was a definite comfort zone there. I knew how people would act towards me and I could react accordingly. With the “new Seth” I am not sure how people act. You see for so long I have been treated as a super-obese person a kind of freak in our society, that I had a trouble with normalcy. It was all scary and unknown. But like anything else you just dive into head first as I say. I would put myself in as many different situations with as many strangers as possible. I would engage in conversations on the street, in restaurants, and in stores, particularly Nordstrom. OK I admit I am a Nordstrom’s fanatic. I love the place but only during the annual sales. Here’s a secret that only a Nordstrom’s fanatic would know. I am sharing it with you at the risk of being banned from the store forever. They will match competitor’s prices. The same great service, minus the cost (woo hoo).

I am finding that many of my fellow support group members are having trouble with the normalcy factor. As fat people we are not treated normally. Then as we lose rate at an accelerated rate because of the surgery we are not treated normally. People are in awe of the rapid loss and change and so we become little celebrities in our own little worlds. And then it stops. The attention, which was not normal, stops and we are left in a normal world without any real training how to react. And so many try to perpetuate the weight-loss conversations and display their success. After a while people grow tired and weary of that, and I say just get on with the business of living. Concentrate on the family and career. Don’t lose sight of the important things. Andy Warhol said it correctly when he talked about the fifteen minutes of fame. Many of us in regard to weight-loss had ours. Now its time to move forward and begin our new lives as normal functioning people in society who have the potential and ability to do whatever they want. And so as I write to you now at nearly forty I am starting over as an actor. Pretty much from scratch. My agent really did not know what to do with thin Seth and so she let me go. Its okay. I want someone who wants this guy not “fat Seth”. The guy I am now is going to be much more successful than the other guy was. And so as I leave you I am going to go about starting a new career by sending out 100 pictures of me to new agents.

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