« October 2010 | Main | December 2010 »

November 2010 posts

MGM Resorts Employees can get WLS


MGM Resort employees can get weight loss surgery coverage if they choose the companies' new health insurance program PPO.

Wikipedia -

"A preferred provider organization is a subscription based medical care arrangement. A membership allows a substantial discount below their regularly charged rates from the designated professionals partnered with the organization. Preferred provider organizations themselves earn money by charging an access fee to the insurance company for the use of their network (unlike the usual insurance with premiums and corresponding payments paid either in full or partially by the insurance provider to the medical doctor). They negotiate with providers to set fee schedules, and handle disputes between insurers and providers. PPOs can also contract with one another to strengthen their position in certain geographic areas without forming new relationships directly with providers. This will be mutually beneficial in theory, as the insurer will be billed at a reduced rate when its insureds utilize the services of the "preferred" provider and the provider will see an increase in its business as almost all and or insureds in the organization will use only providers who are members."

LV Business Press -

MGM Resorts International employees covered by the company's preferred provider organization health insurance plan are now covered for medical and surgical weight-loss treatments through the Gastric Band Institute of Las Vegas. 


The institute offers bariatric surgeries like the gastric sleeve, gastric band and gastric bypass, along with nutrition classes and counseling, that will be partially or fully covered by MGM Resorts' PPO plan. The institute has similar partnerships with other companies.

"The employers and different insurance companies have seen the benefit of weight loss both from a financial standpoint and a productivity standpoint," said Dr. Jim Atkinson, the institute's owner. "Studies have shown that people with obesity tend to miss more work days than healthy individuals."

It might be difficult to maintain weight loss in the land of the never-ending employee-reduced priced buffet.  I'm just saying.

HOT BUTTON - What Would You Do?

Two things here: This reminds me of the FOOD POLICE.  And, NO. KEEP YOUR MOUTH OUT OF MY BASKET.

We get enough guilt, degradation and food issues on our own.

KEEP YOUR FEELINGS TO YOURSELF, unless you ARE my RD, NUT or MD, KTHANXBAI!  Of which, I have none.  So, don't EVEN go there.  Don't mention my shopping cart, unless you are planning to purchase my groceries.

But, that said, admittedly, I shop "well" partially because I have to, and I know how to, and I have years of self-learning in such things, and partially because I am ENTIRELY aware that I am judged.  Me?  Yes.  Even if I have the urge to toss the two packs of Peppermint Oreos with the red dye #3432435r32 in my cart, I don't (usually, I fail though) because I Know Of What You Think.  No, this does not stop me from hurling two pounds of bacon or four pounds of various cheeses in there, but, it does stop the JUNK.

But, you're a normal size?  Yes.  I weigh 165 lbs, but my children are all overweight.  So, regardless of the fact that my cart today was filled with $300.00 of chicken, turkey, veggies, beans, rice, whole grains and zero calorie drinks?  I get The Look.  I have always gotten the look, and when you are the morbidly obese parent -- forget about it -- it's awful.  You can FEEL THE BURN of the eyes!

It doesn't matter what I am buying, I am judged.  Do. not. go. there.

Genuine or NOT? Can you spot the FAKE PEOPLE?


I have an unfortunate skill, and I call it unfortunate because insofar it has only served to cause me to not like people.  <fake smile>  So sorry! <inflection of voice> 

I would never claim to have the knowledge or skill sets that others have (Hi, I am still an at-home mom of four!) but, this, this I can do.  (Along with the crazy close estimation of grocery prices. PRICE! IS! RIGHT!

I can tell when you are full of shit.  Something so simple as a smile can give it away.




I'm geniune when I'm squinty, toothy and especially if that vein pops in my forehead.

This is me, FULL OF SHIT, fake. But, I am not good at fake, so that's as far as it gets, before it turns into...the grin.

This is not the same as the "grin," which involves a lot more dimple and happy.  The shit eating grin is my current Facebook Avatar.  That's not fake.  This, is fake.

A test -

  • You got 18 out of 20 correct
  • Look at the labels below each image to see which smiles are genuine and which are fake.




Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don't always know what others are really feeling.

Although fake smiles often look very similar to genuine smiles, they are actually slightly different, because they are brought about by different muscles, which are controlled by different parts of the brain.

Fake smiles can be performed at will, because the brain signals that create them come from the conscious part of the brain and prompt the zygomaticus major muscles in the cheeks to contract. These are the muscles that pull the corners of the mouth outwards.

Genuine smiles, on the other hand, are generated by the unconscious brain, so are automatic. When people feel pleasure, signals pass through the part of the brain that processes emotion. As well as making the mouth muscles move, the muscles that raise the cheeks – the orbicularis oculi and the pars orbitalis – also contract, making the eyes crease up, and the eyebrows dip slightly.

Lines around the eyes do sometimes appear in intense fake smiles, and the cheeks may bunch up, making it look as if the eyes are contracting and the smile is genuine. But there are a few key signs that distinguish these smiles from real ones. For example, when a smile is genuine, the eye cover fold - the fleshy part of the eye between the eyebrow and the eyelid - moves downwards and the end of the eyebrows dip slightly.

Scientists distinguish between genuine and fake smiles by using a coding system called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), which was devised by Professor Paul Ekman of the University of California and Dr Wallace V. Friesen of the University of Kentucky."

I see a couple of you back there in the anti-social club nodding your heads.  I have an inkling that I have a few friends who are plagued with the natural anti-bullshit meter installed in their heads.  Interestingly, the ones I got wrong, were the middle aged white men who most resembled my spouse.  (I know his fake face, as his genuine smile is one thousand times larger, brighter and less-likely to appear.)

This, will make you feel, better?  I suppose it's why some of us weren't popular in high school or simply couldn't be bothered.  :x

Scientific American Mind -

Spotting a Fake Smile
"Social psychologist Michael Bernstein and his colleagues at Miami University found that people who felt rejected were better at discriminating between fake and real smiles. Researchers believe that a true grin indicates real emotions, such as cooperation, because some of the muscles we use—the ones around the eyes—are not under our conscious control.

Our ancestors needed to be accepted in a group to survive, Bernstein says, so an outsider would not want to waste energy by acting on a fake reaction—or to miss a real opportunity to be included."

That's okay with me.  I'll miss out on opportunities if they aren't genuine, which means, I MISS OUT ON A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES.  I am not looking for popularity. 

You know, what I can't tell? 

I can't tell if these websites are for REAL.  A website that boasts a plan that will TEACH YOU HOW TO BE FAKE!?  For real?  Or, not?  (It's real, the shopping cart works. O-O)

  • how to alter the backbone of your personality, which governs how you think and behave, to automatically act in a socially superior manner
  • how to use manipulative psychology to alter the thinking of other people and make them like, respect and admire you
  • how to use simple behavioral alterations that will automatically make people interested in you
  • how to prevent damaging behavior like “self talk” which inhibits socially productive responses leaving you behind
  • how to psychologically train your mind so you naturally become an extrovert
  • how to evoke positive responses from people, no matter what you’re saying to them
  • how to remove feelings of doubt, fear and uncertainty in social situations
  • how to find and forge friendships with the most important, relevant people in society
  • how to detach yourself from caring about the opinions of specific individual people and focus on gaining the admiration of the greater majority
  • how to use people to your advantage, as opposed to having them use you
  • how to get inside people’s heads and make them think you’re being honest with them, whether you are or not
  • how to become popular and successful just like me and reap all that society and life has to offer

Want a copy?

Obesity Help Houston Conference BTV VIDEO! SQUEE! (Or, This is where Mama went last week, Tristan!)

My children don't get it.  They are confused by this, still.

BTV went to Houston, too!  I am so happy when they join OH events, because cameras do things to people.  They make them either RUN AWAY or Very Curious.  I enjoy watching the myriad of reactions.  "Do. not. film. me." to "OMG, GET ME ON CAMERA AND ALL OF MY FABULOUSITY, how IS my hair?" 

I want to throw up when I see the camera, personally, so I take photos of the photographers and videographers.  I think I have video PTSD.  That's all I'mma say about THAT.

I'm weird.

SHANA - I SEE YOU!  And, I see me taking a photo of my t-shirt.  Nice.  :X

PS. GO LIPO way to rep the NE! Woot! LOL.

PPSS.  And, we is!

Picture 17

Celebrate Bariatric Vitamins Multi-Complete Forest Berry

Currently chewing - will return with my review:

Multi-Complete (Forest Berry) - 30 Day

View Supplement Facts

Unlike our other multivitamins for Sleeve Gastrectomy or Gastric Bypass patients, our Multi-Complete contains all of the vitamins and minerals that are in our original multivitamin formula PLUS 36 mg of iron daily. We developed this product with gastric sleeve patients in mind because they usually have slightly lower calcium intake requirements than gastric bypass patients.
This product is also completely appropriate for those gastric bypass patients looking to avoid taking a separate iron supplement.
It is important to keep in mind that this product may NOT be taken at the same time as calcium to prevent absorption interference. 

When it comes to chewable multivitamins, there are two important things to consider, formulation and taste.  No other bariatric multivitamin can compete with us on either.  Developed specifically for surgical weight loss patients, Celebrate Bariatric Multivitamin provides the most thorough blend of vitamins and minerals available in a great tasting chewable.  Our integrated formula provides maximum bioavailability as we have carefully selected each vitamin and mineral level and form to enhance interaction and absorption.  Key things to look for in our multivitamin:

    * Taste - When you have to take a product every day, it needs to be something that you like. Our Forest Berry flavor chewable is unbeatable with a smooth texture (no grit) and great taste, it will be easy to maintain your compliance.
   * Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)  - With nearly 6,000% of the RDI of vitamin B-12, Celebrate Bariatric Multivitamin contains the highest level of B-12 available in a bariatric multivitamin. Studies have shown that at these levels, 95% of patients will NOT need additional sublingual B-12.

   * B-Complex - In addition to vitamin B-12, the other b-complex vitamins are critical for your health following surgery. Certain B vitamins such as vitamin B1 (thiamin) are critical immediately following surgery and our multivitamin contains the most appropriate levels of each vitamin, in the proper form for bariatric surgery patients.  

   * Vitamin A - By blending pre-formed (retinyl palmitate) and beta-carotene to make up our vitamin A, we are providing the safest and most effective approach available for this key vitamin.  This blend allows your body to regulate its intake of vitamin A, absorbing only what it needs to function properly.
   *Magnesium - This critical mineral is most effective in the citrate form.  Celebrate contains the highest percentage of magnesium citrate of any bariatric supplement.
   * Chelated minerals - Chelation simply means,  "attaching to".  By chelating our mineral forms to amino acid, we have increased the likelihood that these minerals will be absorbed in a reduced acidic environment.  

    *Water Miscible ADEK - We utilize dry, water miscible forms of vitamins A, D, E, and K to further enhance absorption.
Screen shot 2010-11-11 at 2.51.36 PM

Here goes!  Be back later...

In which I ramble about 300 addicts in a room, social anxiety and such.

<Warning, unintelligible ramble, as I was skirting what I WANTED to say.>

I am again reminded that I am not normal, and I am a very square peg that is never going to fit in a round hole in this community.  When I find myself questioning if I should or shouldn't post something, say something, ask something or act a certain way, I hate it. 

I would rather just be.

This past weekend at the event, I met wonderful people, some of which I'd never known before.  It's funny how you can connect with certain people and understand them immediately.  This is something amazing and unique to the WLS community. 

Unlike simply meeting a peer, meeting a weight loss surgery post op is like meeting a part of yourself.  "GASP!  You mean, I'm like one of THEM?"  Yes, yes you are.  Unless of course, you've had your brain surgically enhanced along with your stomach and breasts.  You can connect with damn near everyone in some way.  I know I can, even if I can't relate to them in any other capacity but the mere fact that we are both freaks of nature now.

We have things is common, and we can find communication in those avenues.


We are a big group of addicts.   "Hello, My Name Is Beth, And I Have And English Muffin Problem."

(If you don't agree that food addiction caused your obesity, that's fine too.  I am aware of physical conditions that cause weight gain.) 

A couple hundred addicts in one space, sharing one space.  It always makes for interesting social interactions, situations, conversations, ideas and sometimes the greatest ideas are sparked when we are all smooshed together.

There are problems, lots of problems.  You can't have hundreds of people who are in the midst of a huge life change without it.  It's like, puberty on speed.  No, really.

And, "puberty" can make people quite Special.  It is tumultous enough to just lose the weight, but add in any other changes, hoo-boy. 

Tantrums, door-slamming, yelling at your mom!  GAWD, the drama is really too much.  Oh, yeah, I am still discussing WLS'ers.  Sometimes you just want to SLAP THE TEENAGER right off their faces.  But, that is sort of frowned upon.  So, a big "GET OVER YOURSELF" should suffice, but it can't.  WLS'ers need more.

I would have to say the biggest addiction in a big group of WLS patients is usually?  Food.  Still.  It does not go away, it morphs into some kind of obsession.   Into a how much, when, where, how, why, should I, can I, I'm not going to, I can't, I won't....obsessive game.   Some of us have it at a low level, and just don't care enough to bother, and some are highly particular about every morsel.

Other issues, caffeine.  What?  What? Where?  Yes.  Absolutely is.  Why?  Why do you ask?  The coffee pots were on empty half of the day, plus the Starbucks cups.  But, of course nobody drinks coffee. <wink>

Alcohol.  Sho nuff.  This is only painfully obvious I suppose, if you know someone longer than a weekend.   But, yeah. 

Other Assorted Mood Altering Chemicals, etc.  Yes. 

But I guess what I am rambling to SAY is, that in our little microcosm of WLS people in one space, it can be simply overwhelming, even to one of us.

Many people hold up really, really well, and are able to share that feeling with others.   They can pay back their own successes by helping others.

These people are awesome. 

Those who can simply stop, drop, and talk with YOU about YOU, and not bring themselves into it and pull out their 100 weight loss photographs to show you how great they are, and not you. 

These are genuine people, who want to be your friend, or at least try. 

When you find someone like this, keep them.  Tie them up.

There are countless members of the community with severe emotional distress and social anxiety, in addition to the addiction issues. I haven't even touched on things like regain, surgical failure, or other things that might make someone perceive that they aren't good enough.

This pushes many of "us," to the corners of a conference room, holding up a wall, or worse, to hide in our hotel room because we are too scared to take part in an event for  "us." 

This makes me sad, because you would think that one would feel most at peace in a room full of peers, right?  I don't think that's the case. 

I think too many of us worry what others will think about us, think about what we wear, say, do, feel, eat, and act.  I had friends nudge me, "You know someone is going to watch what we put on our plates."  And, it's true.  And, it's wrong. 

We spend so much time worrying, it really stinks that you can't relax for a moment and be YOU in a "room full of peers" you know?

I'm not a witch, I'm you.  What's more scary, is that you are ME.   And you know, if you were me, I'd try not to hold up the wall and come talk to you.  We are all the same. 


Full for 18 hours?

Imagine using a weight loss product that swells in your stomach and disintegrates in your lower bowel... to keep you from overeating.  It's on the way.  I can see the search queries now:   "Can I use ______ if I've had weight loss surgery?"  This isn't like the "FullBar" product line, which is food product that can make you feel full, this is a gel taken in a pill. 

Picture 11
Click here to see how it works.

Continue reading "Full for 18 hours?" »

Houston Texas Obesity Help Event Post 1

I am SO going to have to redo this slideshow as I see all the TAGS on FACEBOOK!  

I say it every time I go to an event - I need more time to see the area we are IN.  I saw too little of Texas. I saw the hotel's immediate surrounding area and it's luxurious-ness and $11,000 couches, and also where they must film COPS. 

I landed Thursday after a too turbulent plane ride and a very poor Super Shuttle experience, BUT I MADE IT!  You know it's been rough when others are talking about it all the way to the baggage claim.  Twitch.

I quickly found me a Rachel.  Rachel had gastric sleeve surgery not long ago, and has been struggling, so to GET to Texas was a big deal.  I know she doesn't think so, but it was.  Rachel is pretty amazing.

Rachel lost her roommate at some point, so I shoved her into my room and we spent the weekend sharing with Andrea (my usual roomie).  This worked well, and I would suggest to anyone if you're hestistant on going to an event due to cost, room with some friends whose personalities and quirks you can SLEEP WITH.  Just saying.  I can sleep with several women. ;)

While in Texas we saw the Space Center, and ate way too much TOFU.  It makes NO SENSE, but that's the way it worked out.  If your hotel has poor restaurant service, walk to local food.  It was a noodle house, and Starbucks.  Fine with me.  However I wanted MEAT slathered in BBQ, I saw NOT ONE meat joint while there.  I assumed Texas would have more, maybe not in that area.  DSC_4041

(Taking a photo of this photo is a Federal Crime.)

What I did see:  the INSANITY and ONSLAUGHT of hundreds of quick-serve junk restaurants.  No wonder Texas has an obesity problem, and WLS Centers in STRIP MALLS.  Just. No.  We did indulge.  WHATABURGER.  Andrea, not impressed.  Beth, happy with buttery Texas Toast on my pickley bread, but I threw away the meat.  :x 

We spent probably $75 on espresso at Starbucks though, in the biggest SB I HAVE EVER SEEN with the worst customer service at a Starbucks that I have ever experienced.  But, addiction is addiction.  GIVE IT TO ME.

Friday night after sitting in traffic to get back to the hotel -- we met up with everybody at the reception.  It's always awesome to see new friends that you know only from avatars and photos and postings online.  People never match your impressions of who they are online.  No, I am not telling.  But, mostly good. 


There were some very notable missing peeps.  Know you were missed.

I was met by two amazingly cute women:  Connie and Rosemarie from Youtube.  Rosemarie said to me, "Nobody knows who I am."  But, I did, that's cause she's ROSE-MARIE!  (You have to watch her videos.)  Connie, her sister, who's receiving the inaugural grant from the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America for her weight loss surgery, was just beaming.  They are too cute for words.  (And, no, a photo?  I don't have one.  Someone does.  I'll steal it.)

Afterwards, instead of going out to find a bull, the Bad Girls retreated and weren't so bad.  I felt that I was too old and tired to go out and find a bull and potentially have to walk back with my hurt foot.  (I have a photo of that!)  We went to my room and had an almost sleepover party.  :)  No FUN AT ALL.  (We were warned not to have any fun.)

Early Saturday, we were up and filling a vendor table with BBGC T-shirts and WLSVitagarten Lab Tracker books.  I guess that makes us vendors now.  Heh.  Someone did ask me what I was selling.  I was like, "Well, I don't.  I don't want to sell anything. I'm better at unselling."  She might have been perplexed but she bought a tee shirt.

We, and I mean myself, Andrea, Shana, Kailtin, Rachel and some assorted Bad Girls who really rock... came by and had a table.  An impromptu table, and it was kind of cool, you know?  We didn't mean to be there, and we were, and so there we were. 

At least one video of the vendor space was created with a running commentary of every single table and vendor, and we were purposely avoided while we watched the video being filmed. 

Oh hai!  We are here too?  Nope.  It might be interesting to see how that video appears when edited.  But, to be fair, I realize my photos show a very slanted look at an event, because I was in a certain area for much of the time, surrounded by certain people.  I do understand that. 

We met lots of lovely Texas peeps, and interestingly lots of people who traveled in for the event! 

The vendors, lets see if I can remember, forgive me in advance for those I am forgetting: 

  • Gotein
  • Bariatric Advantage
  • Building Blocks
  • Celebrate Vitamins
  • Dr. Alvarez (who also sponsored the PHOTOBOOTH, watch for THAT link soon.)
  • Bariatric Eating (Appears to be morphing into a new company hawking vitamins?)
  • Revival Soy
  • IDS
  • Arbonne
  • Connie Stapleton, PhD.
  • Flourish
  • MaryJo "The Hotness" Rapini (did you see her tights?!)
  • Chef Dave Fouts
  • Bariatric TV
  • Realize
  • The Davis Clinic
















You know I love vendors.  It makes me tingle with ANTICIPATION to find new products and services for the community.  This time I didn't come home with many goodies, I've tried everything already (note the vendor list) aside from the few that I'm sharing in future posts.

A super time was had. New friends were made.  "Old" friends were met.  We can't wait to do it again next year.  NEXT YEAR?!    More to come.  Lots.