As a man who used to weigh 420 pounds I am uniquely qualified to talk about the controversial weight loss surgery AspireAssist.

Critics have blasted the procedure as “mechanized bulimia” because the patient literally pumps food out of their stomach about 30 minutes after eating it. Unlike other weight loss surgeries, there are no restrictions on the type of food a person can eat. So, although a person is digesting 30 percent fewer calories there seems to be little incentive to change their eating habits.

The single biggest reason I have been able to maintain my 265 pound weight loss is my strict diet. I have cut all fast food and high calorie garbage from diet. There are no cheat days… ever.

My problem was a horrible food addiction. I was spending upwards of $10,000 a year at Taco Bell before a woman who worked there fat shamed me. Before then I would lose sleep and go into violent rages if I didn’t get my daily fix. While dieting there were countless nights I would put my fist through a wall because the cravings were so strong. I was locked in an internal struggle between my addiction and getting clean. Until I had gastric bypass surgery it was a battle I always lost.

That surgery enabled me to kick the habit for good because there is a three to six month window following the procedure where the body cannot physically handle the food. If eaten, the body will purge itself and that is a half hour to an hour of pure hell.

The AspireAssist weight loss surgery does not afford patients that same benefit (although I use that term loosely). It is also reversible with a short 10 minute procedure.

During clinical trials many patients naturally progressed to eating a healthier diet, according to the CEO of the company that developed the now FDA approved procedure. Those food journals were self-reported.