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January 2011 posts

I'm in LOVE with...


If I could just upload this image into my temporal lobes, and reload it, and replay it, every time I get a email, Facebook poke or message that makes me want to rip a baby kitten's head off? 

It might work for me.   Perhaps that is a dramatic image. 

I love baby kittens, like I love Elmo and Sesame Street.  I sort of hate big kittens. 

They sometimes pee in your laundry when its waiting to be washed because you've been to the hospital and haven't caught up with it yet.  Sometimes they pee and pee and pee on your child's mattress and ruin it so she's been on the floor since Christmas, but that's just you know, sometimes.

New Dietary Guidelines from the USDA

USDA Media Advisory banner

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2011 - US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will announce the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on Monday, January 31, 2011. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans Policy Document is the federal government's evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. The Policy Document assists policy makers, nutrition professionals, food assistance program administrators, food industry, scientists and academics, and the nutrition-focused media with a consistent, science-based foundation for their nutrition efforts. 




MM off Morphine, you may regret this.

I'm alright.  I transferred to the bariatric hospital and after a night of a roommate's hurltastic adventures -- I made it.

Short story, short?  I may or may not need further looksies into the gut.  But, for now, I am fine.  The bariatric surgeon who saw me was entirely snarky, and more to follow.  But, I wanted to let you know. 

I Will Survive.

MM on Morphine.

Morphine does not do a MM good.  Just saying.  It hits, I get nauseous.

Three weeks of broken guts culminating in a "wee-woo" last night.

I am transferring to my bariatric hospital for more in-depth care, because it's not happening at my local hospital.  Fear not!  I am okay, there's no dramatic story here, I'm just OVER feeling sick and I must find the cause of my stuck, stucked and ouch.

I will blog more in detail, because you know I already have stories, but I just got access to a computer and my phone, and I am getting very pissy at almost 24 hours and NO CAFFEINE.  I might cut a bitch.

While I am "on vacation," please click on the OAC post below this one and join.   I have to win.  2011 blows for me so far.  (More to come.)

OAC Walk From Obesity!

2010 Walk from Obesity Wrap Up

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) would like to thank you all for your participation and support in making the 2010 Walk from Obesity a success! This year, there were more than 60 Walks held throughout the U.S.

Here are the Top Fundraiser Walks of 2010:

  • San Antonio, TX                                                                                                             
  • Lafayette, LA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Houston, TX
  • Greater CT
  • Bellevue, WA
  • Mobile, AL
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Lowell, MA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Chicago, IL
  • Pawtucket, RI



Bob Teperow, from the Lowell Walk, and I got like, a little less than he did. GO US! 

Next year it's on!

Want to support the OAC now?

OAC Membership Drive

Emotional Eating Help—How NOT to Eat Your Feelings: Identify the Cause

How did you know I was headed to the stack of Rice Cakes?  Stress - me?  Never.  No.  Not at all.  My stress right now, is that I have a list of things I would love to write about that I feel like duct-taping my fingers together so that I won't. 

I don't want to have the blog-rrhea as much as readers like to read it.   There are several pressing issues regarding Life In General that I could simply blather on about, but I won't.  And there are several topics in this community that I plan to attack, but...GIVE ME DONUT.  ;)


The following is an article from WLS Lifestyles by Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, is a Psychologist, ICF Certified Life Coach, emotional eating expert, and the founder of www.TooMuchOnHerPlate.com,

Emotional Eating Help—How NOT to Eat Your Feelings: Identify the Cause

If you are an emotional eater, you are not alone. Emotional eating is one of the major causes of overeating for women and one of the biggest reasons for weight regain. If you are seeking to avoid emotional eating, you’ve probably already figured out that willpower alone isn’t enough. To effectively stop overeating, it’s important to have a plan for what to do instead of eating or turning to food.

The first step you can take to prevent emotional eating is ditch self blame and guilt and start addressing your eating with compassion and respect. Even though you are using food in a way that you don’t want to, you are eating the way that you do for a reason.

Understanding the root cause of your overeating or emotional eating is the first step towards taking effective control. Getting to the root cause of your emotional eating is also critical if you want to make changes or create weight loss that lasts. If you don’t address the reasons or the motivations for eating, any weight loss technique you use will be like applying a bandage without treating the injury. If you don’t address what drives your hunger and your urges, they are almost guaranteed to come back.

Before you can effectively decide what to do instead of eating, you need to understand why you are eating in the first place. What triggers your cravings, your emotional eating episodes, your binges, or the times when you feel out of control with food?

Common triggers for emotional eating:

  • Stress and anxiety or worry
  • Boredom
  • Frustration, anger, or feelings of helplessness
  • Loneliness or disappointment
  • Confusion
  • Overload or feeling overwhelmed

To zone in on your emotional eating triggers (both the feelings and the situations), here are some questions that you can ask yourself. These questions are effective to ask either before or after an overeating episode happens:

  • What do you know about why you overate? Too often we get stuck by focusing on what we don’t know. 8 What were you feeling and what was happening before the eating happened or the craving started?
  • What was different about this time period and yesterday (or a time when you didn’t feel tempted by food or by cravings)? In other words, what do you know about why this happened when it did and not two hours earlier or four hours later?

Don’t worry if the answers don’t flow right away. Getting into the habit of asking these questions will train you to start looking for the answers.

Identifying the feelings and situations that trigger emotional eating allows you to start addressing these areas directly and will help you start to take control of emotional overeating.

Are you a smart, busy woman struggling with stress, overeating, or overload? Claim your free audio set: ”5 Simple Steps to Move Beyond Overwhelm With Food and Life” at www.TooMuchOnHerPlate.com

Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC

Lowered Expectations - Are you being UNREALISTIC?

Picture 41
When you were preparing for your weight loss surgery procedure, did your surgeon or pre-op staff counsel you on the realistic weight loss that you might ACTUALLY ATTAIN with your procedure? 

I remember, vaguely, a statistic being tossed out, and that that I would reach 176 lbs. 

That would be MY goal.  Sorry, that's where you land.

I immediately went home and said, "NO WAY.  I WILL REACH 130!  I will have 100% excess weight LOST!"  I probably went to Obesity Help.com and added a line to my signature, "Goal - 130, or 100% Excess Weight Lost For-ever!"  (I am sure I did.) 

We see how well that's "working for me," for examples, see:  the blog (in it's various forms) for the last seven years.  Thank you.  OH!  Get this!  Where did I land?  Yeah.  I'm 164 lbs. today.  Still holding here, and this is pretty much average.  So.  Doc was very close.

I never reached my personal elusive goal.  Then again, I never really tried that HARD.  I don't know if I care to bother, to be perfectly honest.  Right now, it's not high on the list of Life's Big Priorities.  It never shows up when I think about "What I Need To Do." 

I don't think -- "Lose Weight."  It's a non-issue.   It may be because I'm living sort of moment to moment.  Right now, I think, "Avoid chopping off fingers while making dinner, due to a seizure."  And, big worries are:  How am I going to pay the electric bill?  Not, "how does my ass look?"  Now, if I weren't dealing with this ridiculous seizure disorder -- I suppose I might feel a LITTLE differently.  I openly admit that with a little freedom to drive, and GO TO WORK?  I might have a gym membership ... or ... other activities, but, still.  I never beat myself up before my brain gave out either.

I squirm when I see how hard other people work to maintain 10 pounds less than I am, and I have a snack.  "Just another hour on my machine!  Then I can have a protein shake."  They kill themselves over getting to THAT PLACE.  They name their stomachs and their exercise equipment, and they fail over and over and come back crying about it.  Susan Powter said it best, "STOP THE INSANITY."

That said, someday soon I may feel compelled (Hello, Disclaimer!) to bust my ass for more shape, or to drop ten pounds for that eventual plastic surgery down in Mexico, but... for now, I'm good.

But it wasn't always this way.  I swore UP AND DOWN that I would be the 100% compliant, successful and stick-thin.  I thought this way, for at LEAST, a year.   Then I realized it's not that easy.  It doesn't just happen after a certain point, and we are all sort of left, dangling, and dieting.

It appears that some patients (including me circa 2003) aren't aware of what is normal for a bariatric surgery, and expect more than 100% weight loss!

100% is NOT NORMAL, nor is it required to be considered a SUCCESS?  Wait, what?  Sure, it's lovely, but it's pretty results-not-typical!

I can't do the math,  320 to 165 = ____ %.   I beat the 50%, but I am not a 100% loss.  But, I am a success.  Before WLS, did I think 165 lbs was a successful weight?  HELL NO.  But now? 

It's just fine. It's MORE THAN FINE.  It's fucking perfect. 

You don't NEED to be perfect.

In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.
Anthony J. D'Angelo

Read this:

WLS Help -
In a study conducted at the University of Florida, researchers asked bariatric surgery patients about their expectations and perceived notions about weight loss. The study participants were asked to categorize their weight loss expectations as “dream,” “happy,” “acceptable,” and “disappointed.” (PMID: 18201668)

The patients answered in the following manner:

  • the “dream” weight would be 89% +/- 8% excess body weight loss
  • the “happy” weight would be 77% +/- 9% excess body weight loss
  • the “acceptable” weight would be 67% +/- 10% excess body weight loss
  • the “disappointed” weight would be 49% +/- 14% excess body weight loss

So how do medical professionals define success with weight loss surgery?

As a general guideline, weight loss surgery is considered successful when 50% of excess weight is lost and the weight loss is sustained up to five years. For example, if a patient is 100 pounds overweight they should lose at least 50 pounds; or, if a patient is 200 pounds overweight they should lose at least 100 pounds. Then, following the weight loss, the patient should keep off the lost amount of excess weight for at least five years.

The University of Florida study revealed that the “disappointed” weight of patients was the amount of excess body weight loss that bariatric surgery providers would consider a successful weight loss outcome following surgery.

Similar discrepancies were seen in a study conducted by Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in which researchers examined weight loss expectations in patients undergoing three different weight loss procedures (laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy). (PMID: 19789932)


Fckin' Perfect.

OMG. I'd not seen this.  *thud*  That is all.

You’re so mean
When you talk
About yourself
You are wrong
Change the voices
In your head
Make them like you
So complicated
Look how big you’ll make it
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game
It’s enough


HEAVY, First episode reaction. (Episode online, watch it now, I want your reaction.)

I stayed up last night to watch Heavy on A + E.  This is a big deal, I don't stay up for TV.  It was hard work.

My gut reaction on the first episode, "Sigh."  Icon_facepalm  <-- You watch it now, please.  I want your reaction.

What's "Heavy?"

A + E -

A&E’s docudrama Heavy follows twenty-two individuals facing extreme life-threatening health consequences as a result of their obesity. The one-hour series follows two participants per episode documenting their incredible transformations during a six month treatment program.

Unlike other weight loss series, “Heavy” is not a competition or stunt, but is rooted in the incredible real life day-to-day journeys of the participants during a lengthy treatment program. In order to most accurately document these multiple weight loss journeys over the course of six months and present them individually in one hour, A&E sought out two different production companies to undertake the lengthy and ambitious filming process. The result is a never-before-seen look at the unique struggles faced by dangerously obese individuals who must learn to live healthier lifestyles and understand the root of their food addictions. Through their day-to-day struggle and the voices of their loved ones, viewers will see first hand the pain and self-doubt associated with a debilitating weight problem.

I was not inspired or motivated, if that was the aim of this docu-drama.  I don't think it was, but, I see things differently, we know this.  

Likewise, I am not very motivated by The Biggest Loser.  I am a strange duck.  I see it as a very long commercial with fat people crying in between product placements.  I enjoy the product placements, because they are funny.  I do not enjoy the crying.

(Would you like to try some whole grain cereal?  I have it!)

But, I was moved enough to write about Heavy. 

Perhaps because it's made by the producers of Intervention, a little bit of REALITY finally hits with this show, and we may see more realistic results.   And, because of this, I bet you that PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS SHOW.  Why?  Because, we did not see any hard-bodies emerge.  But, that's reality.

I watch Intervention, and it's not "motivating" either, because I know the statistics of a person staying sober post "Joey has been sober since August 10, 2010" are very grim.   Sometimes they have a really wonderful long-term success story to update, but oftentimes, they are repeated relapses and failures, because that is what addiction DOES.  It makes for a lovely one hour documentary, but what of the subject at 1-5-10 years later?  Right.

The same of Heavy, these participants where chosen based on obesity triggered very much by what is likely involving a GREAT DEAL of food addiction.

While the science of food addiction is relatively new, it's there.  It exists, it's different from person to person.

Food Addiction and Obesity, PubMed -

"Obesity has become a major health problem and epidemic. However, much of the current debate has been fractious and etiologies of obesity have been attributed to eating behavior or fast food, personality issues, depression, addiction, or genetics. One of the interesting new hypotheses for epidemic obesity is food addiction, which is associated with both substance-related disorder and eating disorder.

Accumulating evidences have shown that there are many shared neural and hormonal pathways as well as distinct differences that may help researchers find why certain individuals overeat and become obese.

Functional neuroimaging studies have further revealed that good or great smelling, looking, tasting, and reinforcing food has characteristics similar to that of drugs of abuse.

Many of the brain changes reported for hedonic eating and obesity are also seen in various forms of addictions.

Most importantly, overeating and obesity may have an acquired drive like drug addiction with respect to motivation and incentive; craving, wanting, and liking occur after early and repeated exposures to stimuli. The acquired drive for great food and relative weakness of the satiety signal would cause an imbalance between the drive and hunger/reward centers in the brain and their regulation."

People with food addiction, they/we/you/us (depends on how you see it) have to EAT THEIR "DRUGS," EVERY SINGLE DAY, to survive. 

There is no true rehab, beyond drastically altering your life. (Hi, there weight loss surgery.  This is where Beth is very pro-weight loss surgery.  WLS makes a very. good. intervention.)

"Heavy" provides the participant with one month of live-in intensive immersion "therapy." 

They are given personal training one-on-one and obviously dietary assistance, but we did not see any of the food preparation or nutritional alterations.   On further review, it appears that this may be because all of the meals are made by the resort that the participants stay in, and are quite the gourmet experience compared to their "pre-Heavy" lifestyles.  Much of it may not be realistic to recreate at HOME.  See here for an example(I'll kill for that kind of foodie treatment.  But, I'll settle, another cottage cheese, plz.)

Picture 22

What we do see, is one obvious product placement for "Dannon Light + Fit Yogurt." 

Please, a 370 pound woman is not making a life-change based on a single six ounce product plug.

I learned from "The Biggest Loser," that chewing gum would make me thin, so I was waiting for more useless tips after that little yogurt on the couch moment on "Heavy."

"Heavy" did escort the two participants to the grocery store -- but -- we do not see what choices they really make or what they really learn to cope in a real world food setting.  It is learned that the male participant, Tom, doesn't buy food, doesn't grocery shop.  How is this person to cope AT ALL beyond the structured walls of a $10K per month lush program?  He's to go home to Texas -- to his "dealers" -- right back to what he left!  

"Hi, regain."  Which he did, the first trip home. 

If food is an addiction, and we are to treat it as one, I suppose the treatment should be even more drastic.  Diets fail, they failed most of us reading this post, right?  Long-term weight loss maintenance is based upon changing what is broken, and keeping it fixed, at least as best as you can.

Picture 37
One of the personal trainers described it as, "giving them a tool belt," and sending the participants home with the tools they need to succeed, and it was up to them to use their tools. (What does that sound like, eh?)

Picture 25
If your TOOL BELT is the Hilton Head Health Resort -- at $10K a month?  It might last... a while, or at least while you're there.  I mean, they put you in LUXURY.  Who wouldn't at least try to make the best of this?

Picture 23
But, then, you're home.  You're no longer segregated from family and friends, and you have to get back to real life and the Dollar Menu at Wendy's. 

Where is that tool belt?

They were given five months of free private training, and this gave both Tom + Jodi a continued success at home.  But, again, what then?  This is why most typical dieters quit.  Lack of funds, lack of motivation, boredom, and the cycle begins.  I'll have a cheeseburger.  See?

I hope these stories continue to show a glimmer of hope, but... man... they need to arm those "tool belts" with grenades.




Dissolution of Common Psychiatric Medications after RNY - Translated

I asked Kaitlin from The Bypassed Life to translate and write on a study regarding psychiatric medications and gastric bypass, because it's been posted about and clearly misunderstood.  I was confused.  (That doesn't take much, as I've mentioned, I am currently taking three neurological medications and can't think in a straight line.) 


Here is her post in full, from The Bypassed Life.

Continue reading "Dissolution of Common Psychiatric Medications after RNY - Translated" »

From the Obesity Help Newsletter - My Bariatric Re-Vision by BBGC Member Rach!

This was just featured in the Obesity Help Newsletter -

My Bariatric Re-Vision
by Rachel Lebowitz, LMSW 

I hate the number 350! I have looked at that same number on the scale day in and day out. Some days it would try to disguise itself by replacing the zero with a five or a seven or a three. Some days it would add a little dot with an extra number at the end, but for over a year there never was a difference in the first two digits. I was two years post Lap-Band surgery when I finally decided enough was enough. I had tried all the tips and tricks to break a "stall" from more water, to more protein, more... Read More at OH.


From The Bypassed Life: What’s the Fuss about Flintstones?

From The Bypassed Life -- which you must put on your reader now -- because she's writing up a storm lately -- A post about Flintstones.

This is timely for me -- as I was at a WLS get together yesterday -- at which most of the attendees were on a regimen of?  You guessed it:  Flintstones Vitamins.  I am amazed that in 2011 -- surgeons are STILL recommending BABY VITAMINS FOR OBESE WOMEN.  I asked one of the girls what they were taking, "Oh, Flintstones, that's what the hospital told us to take, and I'm fine."  *sigh*

Continue reading "From The Bypassed Life: What’s the Fuss about Flintstones?" »