Posts categorized "Psychological Issues" Feed

Photography Project Explores The Dark Side of Weight Loss - LOVE!

Yes, this!  Realistic!  


Julia Kozerski is a photographer who explores themes of beauty, body-image, and identity. As you can see in the image above, she makes photographs that are starkly beautiful and brutally honest; pictures that can make the viewer feel painfully uncomfortable. Here, a fleshy woman lies naked on a bed in a gray room, her gaze turned toward letters on the wall. It is daytime. She is alone. The sheets are rumpled. The word is "LOVE." The title of the work is "Hunger." And that is Julia Kozerski, in the photograph. She is her own subject.

In a project titled Half, Kozerski documents the results of dramatic weight loss. The photographs are stunning, in the true sense of the word: Causing or capable of causing emotional shock. We are flooded with media messages and images about losing weight: PSA campaigns, sneaker ads, reality shows, before and after commercials, in which celebs beam with joy in photos proving that they've slimmed down. They're often perfectly toned, in a bikini, grinning ear to ear.

NSFW Photo after the jump -  

Continue reading "Photography Project Explores The Dark Side of Weight Loss - LOVE!" »

Weight loss surgery triggered bipolar disorder?

You know if it's printed in the National Enquirer it has got to be true, but, what?!

THE Rev. JESSE JACKSON is devastated over the headline-making mystery illness that’s struck his son, U.S. Congressman Jesse Jr. – and The ENQUIRER has learned the shocking cause of the tragedy.

“At first we thought he was sim­ply exhausted,” said a source close to the family. “But after five weeks of extensive evaluation, doctors diagnosed Jesse Jr. with bipolar disorder.”

The serious mental condition is triggered by chemical imbalances in the brain, which propels sufferers from manic highs to depressive lows.

Some insiders point the finger of blame squarely at a gastric bypass operation the 47-year-old poli­tician underwent in 2004 because it can restrict the intake of nutrients.

“It is very possible that severe weight loss from gastric bypass can cause a loss of nutrients that can trigger or exacerbate depression, bipolar disorders or schizophrenia,” explained Los Ange­les-based weight-loss specialist Dr. Carson Liu.

Another online source cited that Mr. Jackson, Jr. had a duodenal switch, not a gastric bypass. 

“These usually occur in people in their 30s and 40s after bypass surgery. We often refer patients to psychiatrists for lith­ium to help stabilize their moods. I know of one man who had such severe depression after surgery he committed suicide.”

The Illinois congressman, a married fa­ther of two, took a sudden medical leave of absence from Congress on June 10 and fell out of sight, triggering speculation about his condition.

“It’s very painful for his mother Jackie and father Jesse,” said the close source. “This is going to take a long time.”

And his dad recently showed the heartache he’s feeling. With tears in his eyes, the veteran civil rights leader told a reporter: “Please, just pray for him.”

Say, WHAT?!  I am not disagreeing (even with the Enquirer) because I am a person who developed neurological disorders after undergoing roux en y gastric bypass and losing weight, these issues that have "disabled" me, likely permanently.  However.


But I want to know more, Dr. Carson Liu.   It's often true that those who have weight loss surgery have a co-morbid psychological issue to begin with, it's part of the reason many of us GET MORBIDLY OBESE to begin with, right?  


Article - Have Surgery, Lose Weight, and Start Drinking

No, really?  When will you start listening and not just suggesting it's .... someone else's problem? Put down the glass for a minute and read.

Continue reading "Article - Have Surgery, Lose Weight, and Start Drinking" »

Intervention - Terry - Gastric Bypass - And a realization...

I fell asleep last night before catching all of last night's episode of Intervention, however, I saw about three minutes in the middle and said: "This woman is a WLS'er."

I have a sixth sense about other post ops.  It's bizarre.

I did not know, in fact, until I just got a Google Alert for this episode in my email from Google due to the words "gastric bypass."

I am telling you alcoholism post WLS is RAMPANT.  And, hidden.

You can have as many chicken - egg conversations about it -

  • What Caused "Us" To Gain Weight?
  • Is It The Same Problem That Causes Us To Drink - Drug - Party - Etc. LATER?  
  • Often, yes.  Directly related.
  • It's not always about liking food too much.

Mr. MM looked at me and said, "You know, I'm lucky that isn't me."

And he's right.  If he did not EAT - even now at eight years post op food is his drug - he'd drink.  It's in him to be addicted to something.  Anything.

And that is a VERY FRIGHTENING REALIZATION that is VERY REAL.   This stuff often isn't realized until YEARS post op.  It's true -- he had no idea why he ate too much.  We're only just scratching the surface now -- in 2012.  


TV Replay -

A&E saved one of the most heartbreaking stories yet for the season finale of "Intervention" (Mon, 10 p.m. ET on A&E). Terry's descent into alcoholism was easy to understand as her story unfolded. She was pressured to be beautiful by her mother. She even went into modeling, but gave it up after her mother and the agency suggested diet pills.

So Terry turned to food, gaining a tremendous amount of weight, before gastric bypass surgery and ultimately alcoholism took over. Even during the taping of this show, her mother said, "I think appearances do make the person." She also refused to believe her daughter about an earlier molestation from a family friend.

So starting from a young age, Terry felt like she was never quite good enough for her mother. In a society that puts an undue burden on women in regards to appearance and beauty, Terry's burden was even heavier because it was her mother telling her she wasn't good enough the way she is. By the end of the episode, though, her mother had apologized and Terry had found sobriety, so there may yet be a happy ending to her story.

From the archives - Hoarding, Hoarders and Inside-Outness

HoardersImage via Wikipedia

I watch Hoarders.  

Continue reading "From the archives - Hoarding, Hoarders and Inside-Outness" »

Drama Llama - How To Be Drama Free?!

Did you ever notice a pattern is the drama surrounding you at WORK -- at HOME -- or even ONLINE?  *shameful look*  Um, yes. /shameful look  

Did you ever notice it might have something to do with... you?  It often does.  So?  What to do about it?

How to be DRAMA FREE!  Start with yourself.  
via -

(Gulp.  This hurts.)

Blame Game

It’s easy to blame drama on others.  After all, you’re the good guy in these dynamics; why don’t they get it?  

One of the most difficult challenges for aspiring leaders is to “own their stuff”—to acknowledge that they are equally responsible for creating any situation where drama exists.

Four Energy-draining Personalities

Most drama is caused by four primary energy-draining personalities that sabotage workplace collaboration and synergy:

  • Complainer -- The Complainer is the one who is never at fault – not enough time, resources or support. 
  • Controller -- The Controller has to be in charge – perhaps micromanaging, sometimes being the bully. 
  • Cynic -- The Cynic must be right; often pointing out how others’ ideas will never work and making fun of the person who brought it up.
  • Caretaker -- The Caretaker wants to be liked so much that they say yes to everything, which becomes a problem when they bite off more than they can chew and they miss deadlines.

(Which one are YOU?  I am a mix of all of them, but mainly Cynical -- I pick everything apart.  Mr.  MM is a Controller/Complainer.  Unfortunately.  This is a fail on my part -- I'm working on it. -MM)

 How do I help others change? But, we have found that before you can guide others, you have to take inventory of your interaction strengths and the ways you sabotage relationships. The strength inventory is usually easy. It’s fun to appreciate your talent and amazing ability to do what you do. The sabotage inventory is more difficult. It requires the vulnerability and courage to seek others’ candid observations and advice about your behavior.

Watch Yourself

Taking my own advice, I asked myself what my part was in creating the drama. I wondered which Drama personalities I was using that were sabotaging us. I noticed how I had fallen into Complainer. I didn’t have enough time to do everything he asked and his requests were too hard. I realized that I would have micromanaged someone acting the way I was. Then I saw my Cynic. The enthusiasm I had at the beginning of the project had become critical… I saw everything wrong with what we were doing, but didn’t offer any suggestions to change. Once I saw myself in these drama roles, I could shift into taking responsibility – renegotiating our deadlines and making suggestions for how we could change the writing to be better.

By identifying and correcting the four drama roles (Complainer, Controller, Cynic, Caretaker), you are well on your way to eliminating drama. If you want even more clarity, invite your work colleagues, family members, and friends to give you timely, direct feedback.

Quick Drama Reducing Tips

Here is a quick way to start looking at how these drama roles show up for you.  Ask friends and coworkers (or others!):

  • Where do you see me complaining? Not taking responsibility for my situation?
  • Where do you see me controlling? Taking over and micromanaging?
  • Where do you see be being cynical? Discounting others or being sarcastic?
  • Where do you seem me care-taking? Rescuing others instead of letting them do things on their own?

Okay.  Maybe it will take some time.  Don't attack me with all of them at once.  LOL.

via -

Need reminders?  I do.

Here's a nifty list from Drama-Stoppers - LIVING DRAMA FREE

  • 1) Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • 2) Keep what’s most important, MOST important... good relationships with family and friends matter MORE than material things.
  • 3) Be CAREFUL what you say. Cussing and foul language is mean and nasty.  (I uh...well.)
  • 4) No matter how old you are, listen and obey your mom and dad. Show them the RESPECT they deserve.  (Fine.  *pout*)
  • 5) Don’t fight/bully people. Violence is NEVER the answer.
  • 6) Stay TRUE. Be a person who keeps your word. Don’t cheat on the people you’ve made a COMMITMENT to.
  • 7) Stealing isn’t cool. If it doesn’t BELONG to you, don’t take it. If it doesn't BELONG to you and you find it, turn it in.
  • 8) Lying and gossiping will get you NOWHERE. Be CAREFUL what you say...
  • 9) Don’t be a HATER. Be HAPPY with what YOU have.
  • 10) Get enough rest so that your tiredness doesn’t EFFECT your mood and judgment.


Tis The Season To Transfer Your Addiction - WLS and Alcoholism

*Reposting from 2010*

A few month gastric bypass post op writes --

"Can I have a glass or two of wine?  I used to have a few glasses when I had a drink, would it be okay to just have one, or two now?"


Continue reading "Tis The Season To Transfer Your Addiction - WLS and Alcoholism " »

Are you still beating yourself up? Self-Compassion...

Screen Shot 2011-11-29 at 7.24.19 AMThanksgiving was nearly a week ago, and I'd bet that some of you are still concerned with your behavior on THAT DAY. 

"I can't believe I..."

Stop. it.

Are you holding grudges against yourself?  Are you hating on your own choices on that day --- and the days following?  How do you manage a full "holiday season" of temptations?

What about learning be be a little kinder to yourself -- do you think that would help? 

(MM is NODDING YES, BECAUSE, YES!  Because... yes.)  And, in our weight loss surgery community, THERE IS A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT OF SELF-LOATHING in regards to choices one makes.

I am bad in a whole lot of people's eyes in our community, for a variety of reasons and also because:  I have a logo that contains THE INSINUATION OF A CUPCAKE, y'all.  Food is not bad.  People are not bad.  It's all choices and how you handle situations.  /end rant

Take this quiz from Jean Fain, that I found on HuffPo this morning:

The Self-Compassionate Eating Quiz

This quiz measures your current state of self-compassion by helping you assess your mental, emotional, and physical reaction to diet, weight, and body image. When you can find a quiet moment away from distractions, take a pen or pencil and sit down to reflect on how compassionate you are toward yourself.

Check eight statements that come closest to reflecting your general experience. That is, they should reflect how you most often feel in the situation described.

___ 1. When I eat something "bad," like a donut, I can't stop thinking about how I've blown it.
___ 2. After an indulgent weekend, I trust myself to rein in my eating.
___ 3. I often feel alone with my eating issues, but I know I'm not.
___ 4. When I eat junk food, I try not to beat myself up too much.
___ 5. I may feel uncomfortable if I'm bloated or a few pounds heavier, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying social activities.
___ 6. I might never love my body, but I know I'd like it better 10 pounds lighter.
___ 7. No one struggles with eating like I do.
___ 8. I don't trust myself to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full, but I'd like to learn.
___ 9. I can get down on myself when I'm bloated or a few pounds heavier, but I'll still go out in baggy clothes.
___ 10. Paying attention to my hunger makes me want to eat, so I try to ignore it.
___ 11. I'm always interested in what my body has to say about hunger and fullness.
___ 12. If I lose one to two pounds per week, I'll never reach my goal weight.
___ 13. I'd like to jumpstart my weight loss with a crash diet and then eat healthfully.
___ 14. I didn't stick to my eating plan the whole weekend; all my weight-loss efforts are for nothing.
___ 15. When I eat something less than healthful, I try to savor it all the same.
___ 16. I really indulged myself over the weekend; I'm afraid to step on the scale.
___ 17. When I feel bloated or especially fat, I won't leave the house.
___ 18. After overeating, I feel like punishing myself, but I know restricting and purging only make me feel worse.
___ 19. Overeating is a signal to care for myself more, not less.
___ 20. After I overeat, self-punishment (restricting food intake and/or purging, vomiting, or over-exercising) is the only thing that makes me feel better.
___ 21. My weight takes care of itself when I feed myself delicious, nutritious food.
___ 22. When I'm overweight, I feel gross; I hate my body.
___ 23. Everybody overeats and feels stuffed on occasion.
___ 24. I love and respect my body.

Scoring Sheet

Give yourself 1 point per statement for checking any of the following:
1, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 20, 22.
Subtotal: _______

Give yourself 2 points per statement for checking any of the following:
3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16, 18.
Subtotal: _______

Give yourself 3 points per statement for checking any of the following:
2, 5, 11, 15, 19, 21, 23, 24.
Subtotal: _______

Total Score: _____ Date: _____ / _____ / _____

Your Score and What to Make Of It

When it comes to self-compassion, 0-8 means you're sorely lacking, and you seriously need to go easier on yourself; 9-16, you've got some, but you could use some more; 17-24, you've got way more than the average American dieter, so you're in good shape. However, you can never have too much self-compassion.

Even if you're already pretty kind to yourself, know that even a slight increase in self-compassion can brighten your worldview, give you more emotional balance, help you get a handle on your eating and facilitate sustainable weight loss. (That is, if you are trying to lose weight.)


Did you have WLS to LOOK AMAZING?

Reposting an old post...

To stand still on the summit of perfection is difficult, and in the natural course of things, what cannot go forward - slips back.   Gaius V. Paterculus

Continue reading "Did you have WLS to LOOK AMAZING?" »

How To Avoid or Eat The Food Pushers Today!

Sparkpeople put out a list -- "11 Nice Ways to Say 'No' to Food Pushers" -- some of These People which you may be sitting with Right Now, eh?

"Oh, honey, please have just a bite."

How do you TELL GRANDMA NO?"

I'll add a few choice statements, please tell me some of the winners you've heard in the comments:  

  • "Honey, just try this, I made it FOR YOU!" 
  • "But -- It's sugar free!" 
  • "Didn't you love this before your surgery?"
  • "I thought you loved me. Just try it."  (Feel free to slap this one.)
  • "But, it's only a little sugar."
  • "A drink won't hurt you."
  • "Just two bites?"
  • "COME ON."
  • "You just have to have to have some of this..."
  • "I thought you said you could eat this?"
  • "You need the calories."
  • etc, etc... and these from Sparkpeople

The Push: "It's my specialty, you have to try it!"

Your Response: "I will in a bit!"

Why It Works: Stalling is a great tactic with food pushers. Odds are the offender won't follow you around making sure you actually try the dish. If they catch up with you by the end of the party to ask what you thought, tell them that it slipped your mind but you'll be sure to try it next time.

The Push: "This [insert name of high-calorie dish] is my favorite. You'll love it!"

Your Response: "I had some already—so delicious!"

Why It Works: A white lie in this situation isn't going to hurt anybody. You'll get out of eating food you don't want or need, and the food pusher will have gotten a compliment on what probably is a delicious dish.

The Push: "It's just once a year!"

Your Response: "But I'll probably live to celebrate more holidays if I stick with my diet plan!"

Why It Works: People can sometimes see healthy eating as vain—a means to the end result of losing weight and looking better. It's harder for a food pusher to argue with you if you bring attention to the fact that you eat right and exercise for better health and a longer life. Looking good just happens to be a side effect!

The Push: "Looks like someone is obsessed with dieting…"

Your Response: "I wouldn't say obsessed, but I am conscious of what I eat."

Why It Works: Words like "food snob" or "obsessed" are pretty harsh when they're thrown around by food pushers. But don't let passive-aggressive comments like this bring you down—or make you veer away from your good eating intentions. Acknowledging your willpower and healthy food choices might influence others to be more conscious of what they eat. Sometimes you just have to combat food pushers with a little straightforward kindness.

The Push: "If you don't try my dish, I'm just going to have to force you to eat it!"

Your Response: "Sorry, but I don't like (or can't eat) [insert ingredient here]."

Why It Works: It's hard to argue with someone's personal food preferences. If someone doesn't like an ingredient whether its sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butter, odds are that he or she hasn't liked it for a very long time. If you'd like to get creative with this one, go into detail about how you got sick on the ingredient as a kid or how your mom says you always threw it across the room as a baby. Who can argue with that?

The Push: "You need some meat on your bones."

Your Response: "Trust me, I'm in no danger of wasting away!"

Why It Works: This food push is definitely on the passive-aggressive side. Using humor to fight back will defuse any tension while making it clear where you stand. 

The Push: "One bite isn't going to kill you."

Your Response: "I know, but once you pop you can't stop! And I'm sure it's so delicious I wouldn't be able to stop!"

Why It Works: This is another situation where humor will serve to distract the food pusher from his or her mission. It's a way to say "thanks, but no thanks" while making it clear that you're not interested in overindulging.

The Push: "But it's your favorite!"

Your Response: "I think I've overdosed on it; I just can't eat it anymore!"

Why It Works: If you have a favorite holiday dish that everyone knows you love, it can be especially tough to escape this push. If a loved one made the dish specifically for you, the guilt can be enough to push you over the edge. But people understand that food preferences change, and most have been in that situation of enjoying a dish so much that they can't touch it for awhile.

The Push: [Someone puts an extra helping on your plate without you asking.]

Your Response: Push it around with your fork like you did as a kid to make it look like you tried it.

Why It Works: While putting food on someone else's plate can be viewed as passive-aggressive, it was probably done with love. (Let's hope!) Making it look like you ate a bite or two can be an easy way out of the situation, but you can also just leave it alone and claim that you've already had your fill. (After all, you didn't add that extra helping!)

The Push: "Have another drink!"

Your Response: "I have to drive."

Why It Works: No one will argue with the fact that you want to drive home sober. If they do, you should have no qualms walking away from the conversation, period. If they offer a place for you to stay, you can always get out of the situation by blaming an early morning commitment or the fact that you need to get home to let the dog out. Kids will also get you out of everything.

The Push: "We have so many leftovers. Take some!"

Your Response: "That's OK! Just think, you'll have your meals for tomorrow taken care of."

Why It Works: Not every party guest wants to deal with the hassle of taking food with them, and this makes it clear that you'd rather the food stay. If the host is insistent, you can feign worry that they'll go bad in the car because you're not going straight home, or it'll go bad in your fridge because you've already been given so many leftovers at other parties recently. Or be polite and take them. You'll have more control of your food intake away from the party anyway. So whether you don't eat the leftovers at all or whether you split a piece of pie with your spouse, you're in control in this situation.
It's YOUR body.  You don't HAVE TO do anything you don't want to.  If the situation becomes overwhelming, remove yourself.  -MM

From the DUH Files: Study -Gastric bypass weight-loss surgery increases risk of alcoholism


Click to enlarge - from Recovery Roadmap


Post weight loss surgery, many people are fighting with already addictive behaviors.  Be. careful.

LA Times

Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss doubles the risk of developing alcoholism compared with Lap-Band surgery, Swedish researchers reported Monday. Researchers already knew that bypass surgery allows the body to absorb alcohol quicker, but the new findings, reported at the Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Chicago, are the first to suggest an increased risk of problems associated with the effect.

Dr. Magdalena Plecka Ostlund of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and her colleagues examined medical records for 12,277 patients who underwent bariatric surgery in Sweden between 1980 and 2006. The patients had a mean age of just under 40 and three-quarters of them were female. The team compared them with 122,770 carefully matched healthy controls in the general population. Prior to their surgery, the obese patients were significantly more likely than those in the general population to be treated for psychosis, depression, attempted suicide and alcoholism. After the surgery, the risks of the various disorders remained higher than normal, with the exception of psychosis, Ostlund said.

After the surgery, however, the risk of developing alcoholism among the patients who underwent Roux-en-Y surgery, commonly known as gastric bypass, was 2.3 times higher than in the group who underwent Lap-Band surgery. The Roux-en-Y procedure creates a smaller stomach pouch and bypasses part of the intestines. The Lap-Band procedure, in contrast, involves placing an inflatable silicon band around the stomach to restrict food intake, but food continues to pass through the entire stomach.

Dr. John Morton, a bariatric surgeon at the Stanford School of Medicine, noted that alcohol is normally at least partially metabolized in the stomach by enzymes there. When a patient has a gastric bypass, this digestion does not occur and the alcohol reaches the intestines largely intact. The finger-like structures called villi on the interior surface of the intestines absorb alcohol extremely well, so that the drug reaches high concentrations in the blood more quickly. "A single glass of red wine can make a bypass patient legally intoxicated regardless of weight loss," Morton said.

Researchers are not sure, however, how that increased absorption may increase the risk of alcoholism. Nonetheless, patients undergoing the surgery should be counseled to limit their consumption of alcohol. "They shouldn't drink as much and they shouldn't drink and drive afterwards," Morton said.

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" »

Tips to Eating Thanksgiving Dinner, Not Your Feelings

The tips below are written for "normals" but work just as well for us WLS'ers as many of us deal with the same eating issues.
Give them some thought.

  • Depending on what time turkey dinner is served, eat a light breakfast - enough that you will be hungry for dinner but not too hungry.  Keep in mind that if you are hungry for dinner, it will taste better.  If, however, you are too hungry when you eat, you will tend to overeat and eat too fast to enjoy the food. 
  • If your family is like many, there will be lots of food lying around before dinner starts.  Do not snack on these before dinner; again, you want to feel hungry (at about a 3 on a 10 point scale) before dinner.  However, if it looks good to you, consider saving some to eat during dinner.  Wrap it up in a napkin, if you want.  Often times, just knowing you can have the treat later, will diminish the need for it NOW. 
  • Only put on your plate the foods you love.  Challenge yourself to pass up the salad that your Aunt Suzy made just because you don't want her to feel bad.  This scenario is often an underlying issue for compulsive eaters and will only hurt you in the end. 
  • Eat your favorite foods first, when they will taste the best. As your stomach begins to fill up, foods will not taste as good. Enjoying all the good stuff first may support you in stopping before your stuffed.
  • Half way through your meal, stop eating and check in with your body.  Notice where you are on the hunger scale (see my article "Put Your Hunger on the Scale" on my website). When you start to feel full, slow down or stop eating.  Make sure you can take home leftovers.  For example, ask your host for leftovers - "Mom, this turkey and gravy is DELICIOUS! I really want to eat more now but I am too full. Would you mind if I take some home to enjoy tomorrow?"  Again, making this happen and reminding yourself of it can help ease your desire to continue eating the yummy food.
  • If you begin to feel overwhelmed with family, consider taking a walk, talking to someone you like, or even hiding out in the bathroom for a bit.  It's often hard to let yourself feel the pain or sadness of a difficult interaction with family members.  However if you do nothing but just be aware of your feelings, you'll ultimately feel better than if you lose control and have to cope with the added physical discomfort and emotional guilt of eating to cope with those family feelings.
  • Save room for pie!  If your family is like mine, pie seems to come way too soon after dinner.  Remember that you can always say, "I'm not hungry yet, I'll wait to eat my slice later" and be sure your favorite is saved for you.  Trust me, you will enjoy your pie more if you are hungry when you eat it.
  • Spend some time giving thanks and appreciation to yourself, your growth, people in your life, pets that you love.  Create a new family ritual or just do this yourself or with friends.

MM is reading.

I picked up a few books a few weeks ago at Borders, this is one of them:

I'm only fifteen pages in this morning, and on page 15 I read this:

"Someone once came to a workshop after she had lost seventy-five pounds on a diet.  She stood up in front of 150 people and, with her voice shaking said, "I feel like I 've been robbed.  My best dream has been taken away. I really thought that losing weight was going to change my life.  But it only changed the outside of me.  the inside is still the same.  My mother is still dead and my father still beat me when I was growing up.  I'm still angry and lonely and now I dont' have gettting thin to look forward to (Roth)."

This sounds like countless weight loss surgery post ops. 

"After waiting all our lives for tenderness and beauty to arrive in the form of being thing or being in love, it can be devastating to discover that neither one can be found in either one (Roth)".

"What's Eating You?" premieres tonight

"What's Eating You?" premieres tonight. Are you offended? Scared? Can you identify?

I will watch because I want to understand more about eating disorders, because I can identify with a small portion of behaviors, and because this documentary also includes a gastric band patient. I want to hear her story most of all, because I read emails from my peers all the time, but it's not often that I can "SEE" what's really happening out there.  

Described as a new six-part series about compulsive eating disorders, "What's Eating You," which premieres Oct. 13th at 10PM, features real-life people whose lives are threatened by harmful and extreme eating habits and the doctors, nutritionists and therapists who try to help them with their deadly addiction.

The documentary style series follows a number of addicts, such as, a woman who compulsively eats chalk, another who eats garbage and various other extreme eating behaviors that put their lives in jeopardy.


If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, you are not alone. There is plenty of help available, starting with the following organizations:

Read more:


Sexual Abuse and Obesity


From the current issue of "Your Weight Matters" form the Obesity Action Coalition -

Sexual Abuse and Obesity - What's the link?
by JoAnn Stevelos, MS, MPH, and Candace White, MEd., MS
To view a PDF version of this article, click here.

The CDC reports that approximately one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. In 2005, the US Department of Health and Human Services reported that 83,600 children were sexually abused. Sadly, extremely obese children, who have histories of sexual abuse, may be more common than we think.

What’s the link? Part I
A simple understanding of childhood obesity would be this: It’s a biological response to overeating and lack of physical activity. However, it is becoming more widely accepted that the childhood obesity epidemic cannot just be thought of in terms of individual choices. We are learning that childhood obesity, which effects one in three children in the U.S., is a complex disease brought on by a multitude of societal problems.

On the front line of this epidemic are clinicians charged with screening, preventing and treating children affected by obesity. To help the growing number of children affected by obesity and their families, clinicians are using tools and recommendations provided by major organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These tools focus on screening children, especially those over the 95th percentile, for behaviors such as overeating, lack of physical activity and too much screen time.

However, while the AAP recognizes that “interactions between genetic, biological, psychological, sociocultural and environmental factors clearly are evident in childhood obesity,” there has been little attention given to the link between childhood obesity and sexual abuse.

Childhood Obesity and Sexual Abuse
The association between childhood obesity and sexual abuse is strongest in extremely obese children and adults. It is generally thought that extreme obesity is rare; however, it affects nine million adults and two million children in the U.S. The statistics for child sexual abuse are just as alarming.

The CDC reports that approximately one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 83,600 children were sexually abused. Sadly, extremely obese children, who have histories of sexual abuse, may be more common than we think.

The Link between Child Sexual Abuse and Obesity 
One explanation for weight gain in those with a history of child sexual abuse is binge eating disorder (BED). BED is at least six times more common in obese people and three to four times more common in obese people who report a history of childhood sexual abuse. The effects of child sexual abuse (poor self esteem, poor body image, impulsive behavior and drug abuse) are common predictors of the binge eating and obesity. That is, compulsive eating may be one way to manage the depression related to child sexual abuse.

Findings also suggest that clinicians should consider the influences that variation in race and ethnicity might have on the relationship between child sexual abuse and obesity. For example, one study found that black women often experience difficulty asking for emotional support. This combined with a trauma history, emotional withdrawal and eating for psychological reasons, is highly associated with binge eating.

Other factors in the connection between child sexual abuse and obesity, along with eating disorders, might include a desire to “de-sexualize” to protect against further abuse, as well as a range of psychiatric conditions (depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, physical complaints, phobic reactions, low self esteem, suicidal feelings and substance abuse).

Child Sexual Abuse and its Effects on Obesity Treatments
Given the number of links between child sexual abuse and obesity, a thorough psychological assessment is necessary, including questions that assess for eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse and a history of childhood abuse. Once an assessment is complete, an appropriate treatment plan is determined.

Whenever possible, all factors are treated simultaneously, but often the issues that are most debilitating to the individual must be addressed first, such as thoughts of suicide, substance abuse and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. After acute problems are addressed, child sexual abuse and related long-standing issues can be addressed.

The treatment of obesity remains difficult and the success of weight-loss programs is limited. Failure to recognize that obesity may be a coping strategy for those with child sexual abuse histories might explain the failure of the interventions. The AAP has guidelines to help clinicians identify children who are at risk or have a history of sexual abuse.

In many cases of suspected child sexual abuse, pediatricians do not feel prepared or experienced enough to assess the effects of and treat sexual abuse and will often refer children to other clinicians with expertise in treating sexually abused children. Just as pediatricians often shoulder the burden as first responders to the obesity epidemic, they must now, too, provide essential and timely guidance to patients they suspect are being sexually abused.

Furthermore, many pediatricians have reported inadequate training and lack of comprehensive tools to effectively care for children affected by obesity, and the reports are echoed regarding child sexual abuse. According to a 2005 AAP clinical report, “The Evaluation of Sexual Abuse in Children,” many pediatricians also feel there is “inadequate training in the recognition of red flags for sexual abuse and a lack of a consistent approach to evaluating suspected abuse.”

We must respond to this urgent call for resources of training and tools to help our most vulnerable children live safe and healthy lives. Moreover, clinical obesity interventions need to address the possible coexisting psychiatric problems that might require treatment before any attempts at weight-loss.

Clinicians treating children for obesity need to be aware of the link between obesity and child sexual abuse to respond and care most effectively for these children. Yes, a history of child sexual abuse further complicates the already complex issue of childhood obesity. However, it is important to remember that both are treatable under the care of informed and trained professionals.

Editor’s Note: 
Part II of “Sexual Abuse and Obesity – What’s the link?” will be published in the Winter issue of “Your Weight Matters Magazine.” The second part will focus on the treatment of sexually abused children affected by obesity.

About the Authors: 
JoAnn Stevelos, MS, MPH, is a public health professional and consultant. Ms. Stevelos is the former director of the New York State funded Center for Best Practices for the Prevention of Early Childhood Obesity. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Verdade Consulting Group Inc., a small firm specializing in medical research ethics, bioethics, public health and health law. Ms. Stevelos is a member of the OAC Advisory Board.



I refuse to SHUT UP.

"Please please please continue to research this and post on it... it is so important...I have not had my surgery yet but have battled weight problems my whole think being molested and raped between the ages of 4 to 16 have anything to do with that?? Think maybe my mother rejecting me, and making me feel like a failiure most of my life might have anything to do with that? Will loosing 200 pounds actually address those issues? Or is it just going to take away my method for coping for the last 49 years? Is it just going to strip away my safety blanket? Having tried and failed every diet out there and a few I made up myself, I knew going into this that I was going to have to address my issues and find out what I was "hiding" from, or I would just set myself up for failure again... and this one cost way to much money and time and effort, and I have had to fight way to hard just to get approval, but more I  actually quit smoking for this...I decided that I was not going to fail this time. So since I started this journey I have been seeing a great therapist who has really helped me to become aware of these issues and to start to address them.... I think therapy should be a requirement for bariatric surgery, but that is just my opinion.

By the way.. Thank you for all that you do...I am 11 days away from surgery and reading your blogs and your post on other sites helped me to make an informed decision. There is never anything called 'too much information" ... the issues start when someone has to little information. 

And if you can scare a newbie away by providing honest information, then they need to be scared away...they are just not ready...

Bariatric surgery is not something to go into lightly, and anyone considering it should gather as much information as they can from as many sources as they can before they make such an important decision.

My journey is not yours, I may or may not experience some of what you have, but if I do I am very glad that I am aware of what could happen and won't be blind sided in the future...

Thank you again"

Social Networking Influences Health Behaviors?

This is why we Facebook, Tweet and post on message boards about our medical issues!  It truly does help us along!  Very interesting stuff here:

Continue reading "Social Networking Influences Health Behaviors?" »