Life is a lot different for Bettiejo Elmore after bariatric surgery weight loss on TLC "My 600-lb Life." But unfortunately some things haven't changed and that includes fat-shaming. The once 700-lb woman continues lose weight and shares advice to those trying to lose. But after announcing plans to take her anti-obesity message on the road, some Facebook users fat-shamed Bettiejo and accused her of exploiting her story. They claimed gastric bypass surgery disqualified her from giving diet tips. This issue begs the question of what constitutes real weight loss.

Bettiejo Elmore's weight loss doesn't count?

There is a weird myth circulating that folks who undergo bariatric surgery haven't really lost weight. The misnomer is that gastric bypass is some kind of plastic surgery, like a tummy tuck, that cuts the fat away. It really just seals off part of the stomach to help prevent overeating. But that's not even the biggest problem. In reality, anything that subtracts weight is weight loss. Even anorexia or another eating disorder cause weight loss, whether healthy or not.

Bettiejo Elmore's slimdown is no less real because it was helped by "My 600-lb Life."

Gastric sleeve doesn't assure weight loss

Not only is bariatric surgery not plastic surgery, it's really not even weight loss surgery. "My 600-lb Life" has featured many folks who've failed to shed pounds after their procedure. Sean Milliken, James K and Steven Assanti didn't lose much. And why was that? They failed to do what Bettiejo Elmore advises and follow the diet that reality television show Dr. Now gives them. Unlike the success stories, they failed to cooperate.

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What do gastric bypass patients know about weight loss?

The other myth is that just because Bettiejo Elmore had gastric bypass surgery, she knows nothing about diet and exercise. Actually, she and all morbidly obese folk are professionals on obesity. They know more about it than doctors. The people of "My 600-lb Life" live with the repercussions every day. They are plagued with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart trouble, cholesterol and liver problems and more. Having had 80-percent of their stomachs removed, they be mindful of all food choices.

Value of TLC anti-obesity success stories

What can "My 600-lb Life" folks who are still morbidly obese but working their program teach about diet? They can help people avoid dangerous eating habits. They can guide in successful methods of weight maintenance and share what works for them. Arguably, their advice is more valuable than a nutritionist or dietitian. So Bettiejo Elmore started a GoFundMe to offset costs for teaching.

At least a fundraiser is optional. She could and perhaps should charge for her advice as any professional charges for assistance in her area of expertise.

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