Seven years ago, Carnie Wilson made the decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery and allow her procedure to be shown online. Millions of people watched her surgery live on the Internet. Carnie joins Dr. Robin to talk about the path that led her to the surgery, her battle with drugs and alcohol and about recovering from past emotional scars.
Carnie says her relationship with food began at a very early age. The daughter of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Carnie says she didn't have a typical childhood and that she constantly sought attention from him as a child. "I didn't have a relationship with him growing up and I believe that is a big part of the holes that I have felt in my life," she says. His battling alcohol, drugs and mental illness made her childhood even more difficult, Carnie says, and she turned to food for comfort. "I used food as a coping mechanism for many, many years, and it was my best friend for a long time."
As an adult, Carnie says that despite her success with the singing group Wilson Phillips and a stint hosting her own talk show, her battle with weight and addiction took over. "I was proud, I was grateful, I was a leader, I reached people, I just felt very lucky to have done it all," she said. "But inside, I was becoming more unhealthy, and then physically, that's how it manifested.
"I got to such horrible rock bottom place in my life," she says. "I was in so much physical pain the only solution that was left for me was to have a gastric bypass surgery." Carnie says she chose to have the surgery live online because she wanted to reach out to people. "I knew that by doing that I was going to help people, and now, knowing what an epidemic obesity is—thank God that I did it."
Carnie cautions, however, that gastric bypass surgery doesn't "fix" obesity. "How successful are those people going to be if they don't do the work?" she asks. In her own life, Carnie says she constantly works on her emotional and physical health in order to stay on track.