Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Losing weight the right way......

For those who are regular readers of this blog, you have probably noticed a downward trend in my satisfaction with having had WLS. I guess the fact that I have had some really bad problems with the malabsorption properties of the RNY. Not to mention that I may be facing a new surgery because of an ulceration or fistula or combination of both. I don't know the full spectrum of it, I'm still undergoing tests. Won't know the full extent until the endoscopy is done. Just waiting on insurance approval first---ugh!!!

Anyway, one good thing that has come out me having had WLS, is I finally know how and what to eat to lose and maintain my weight. I researched the net and read a vast number of studies, books, etc dealing with nutritional science. Here's a formula that I have been using. Maybe you can put it to use yourself.

There are loads of ways to lose weight out there and they all work at first. Then you stall out. The reason for the stall can vary. Many times your body has just reached a set point and has to play catch up. On the typical low-fat lower calorie WLS followers adhere to, your body just rebels. You aren't supplying it with the nutrition you need so it hangs on to every morsel you put in your mouth.

Another problem with the way of eating of most WLSers, is there is too much protein consumed. Excess protein consumption without the proper fat intake is not healthy for you. It leads to Rabbit Starvation Syndrome.

I thought I would share some of the things I have found to be helpful in losing weight the right way. Many factors come into play here. There is no one size fits all formula. It has to individualized for that person. Your height, weight, age, activity level are just the basic factors. I'll use myself as an example.

You start off with your BMR (basal metabolic rate), the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day. Then you factor in the daily caloric needs based on your activity level.

A way of calculating a safe minimum calorie-intake level is by reference to your body weight or current body weight. Reducing calories by 15-25% below your daily calorie maintenance needs is a useful start. You may increase this depending on your weight loss goals. As a guide to minimum calorie intake, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 calories per day for men. Even these calorie levels are quite low. Cutting calories by more than 50% below your daily caloric needs is considered starvation mode.

Now that we know how many calories we need to have each day. We then determine how to break those down into fat, protein, and carbohydrates. For these examples I'll use the carb levels I was on at both times. You can always adjust your carb level up to what is doable for you. I believe in lower carb intake to keep down insulin levels.

Next is the protein requirements. If you are just starting on a low carb eating plan, your protein needs for the first few weeks will be greater than after that time frame. Once we know all the above data, we can then figure out just how much fat we should be taking in.

At time of my WLS----43 years old, 5'2", very sedentary, 375lbs, female


Daily Caloric Needs--2851

Calories Needed to lose weight--2423cals/day to 2138cals/day
2851x15%=428, 2851-428=2423;
2851x25%=713, 2851-713=2138

Carbs--20gms/day, 80cals/day

Protein--for beginner-224gms/day, 896cals/day;
old timer-165gms/day, 660cals/day
224x4=896; 165x4=660

Fat--for beginner-161gms/day to 129gms/day;
old-timer-187gms/day to 155gms/day
80+896=976, 2423-976=1447, 1447/9=161,
2138-976=1162, 1162/9=129
80+660=740, 2423-740=1683, 1683/9=187,
2138-740=1398, 1398/9=155

So when I first had my WLS, I should have been taking in oodles of calories instead of the 1000-1200 I started off at. At that low level, I was in starvation mode. Plus the recommendations of 70gms of protein by my surgeons office was WAYYYY off. At the weight I was at, I should have been taking in over 200gms/day. I'm glad I upped my calories after the first 6months. Maybe that's why I lost so well.

Now let's look at me now, 47 years old, 5'2", moderately active(gotta be truthful here), 155lbs, female


Daily Caloric Needs--2170

Calories Needed to lose weight--1844cals/day to 1627cals/day
2170x15%=326, 2170-326=1844;
2170x25%=543, 2170-543=1627

Carbs--40gms/day, 160cals/day

Protein--for beginner-126gms/day, 504cals/day;
old timer-66gms/day, 264cals/day
126x4=504; 66x4=264

Fat--for beginner-131gms/day to 107gms/day;
old-timer-158gms/day to 134gms/day
160+504=664, 1844-664=1180, 1180/9=131,
1627-664=963, 963/9=107
160+264=424, 1844-424=1420, 1420/9=158,
1627-424=1203, 1203/9=134

I'm maintaining right now on 1800-2000 cals/day---so that is about right.

Most WLSers I know are still trying to maintain a lower caloric intake. That is the reason all diets fail, even WLS. The tendency to drop calories is how we have been taught to lose pounds. Some even believe the lower the better. You just have to come to grips with how the human body really works. If calories are dropped too far below your BMR, the body will begin to feed off of itself. It will use your muscle as food---and the heart is a muscle too.

Then you set yourself up for overeating and binging. Plus your metabolism slows to a crawl. Simply because you are not giving the body what it needs. So make yourself a lab rat. Try it for awhile. Just a word of warning though, if your carbs get too high, >60gms/day. You will not lose as well this way. Carb intakes of that amount will cause an insulin response. For most, that will cause you to be hungry more often or cause a stall. Optimum weight loss should happen with higher fat, lower carb. Also, you may not lose right away if you have been following a lower calorie diet. Your metabolism is slower. It will take time to heal and begin working properly again. Resistance training will help with that. It builds muscle thus increasing metabolism.

But that is what I have been able to implement in my life. Maybe you can do it in yours or not. The choice is yours.

If you try this let me know if you have any results. You will need to recalculate your needs as you lose weight, about every 25lbs or so.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Does WLS Cause an Eating Disorder? Part 3

Well the answer to the question is in who you ask. The argument can be made that those having WLS already have an Eating Disorder or they would not have become obese in the first place. Then there is the whole other argument that people get so caught up in the WLS itself they develop an Eating Disorder.

I witness on the WLS sites I visit extreme disordered thinking when it comes to food and weight loss in general. The obsession with the scale, the obsession with exercise(exercise is Not good for weight loss), the emotional eating, the feelings of self doubt, failure. Way too much emphasis is placed on weight and not on health.

Most will say they had WLS to become healthier. Yet if you read their writings, the number on the scale is their main focus. I know mine was. I thought life would be so much better once I was thin. What a joke. That was just the disorder thinking going on.

Eating Disorders have nothing to do with food or weight. All forms of Eating Disorders are emotionally based and the behaviors are only a symptom to emotional and stress related problems. Disordered eating is an attempt to control, hide, stuff, avoid and forget emotional pain, stress and/or self-hate.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you a perfectionist, a person who always wants to be in control, an overachiever and/or do you think no matter what you do it is never enough?
  2. Do you find that you seek or desire acceptance and/or approval from people, and/or that you have a hard time saying "no"?
  3. Do you find that you are always questioning your own judgments and/or actions, and/or do you scrutinize yourself over small faults?
  4. Do you think you are not good enough, stupid and/or worthless or that people are always judging you in a negative way?
  5. Within your family and/or circle of friends are you considered "the strong one" who everyone will come to with problems, and/or you never seem to talk much about your own?
  6. Do you find yourself often comparing your appearance and weight to others, strangers and/or models and actors, and wishing to be as "nice looking" or as "thin" as they are?
  7. Do you feel as though you have a "conscience" or "voice" that tells you negative things about yourself, convinces you that you do not deserve to eat and/or to be happy, or that tells you that you are or deserve to be fat and ugly?
  8. Do you weigh yourself often and does the number on the scale dictate your mood and/or self-worth for the day; and/or do you find you are continuously trying to get that number lower?
  9. Are you constantly "on a diet", and/or counting calories and fat grams; and/or do you feel like you've tried every "fad diet" or "lose weight quick" scheme?
  10. Are you secretive about your eating practices, do you think they are abnormal, and/or would you avoid recommending your methods to a family member or friend?
  11. Do you spend a lot of time obsessively cooking for others or reading recipes, and/or studying the nutritional information on food (calories, fat grams, etc.)?
  12. Do you set weight-goals for yourself only to find when you reach it that you want to lose more?
  13. Are you temperature sensitive (always feel cold or hot), and/or do you get tingling in you extremities (hands and feet)?
  14. Are you unrealistically tired relative to the amount of energy expended (ex. do you feel winded or dizzy after climbing a flight of stairs), and/or do you find yourself often fatigued?

If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, you most likely suffer from eating disordered thinking. You can see the full questionnaire here.

So bottom line, does WLS cause an Eating Disorder? In my honest opinion, the Eating Disorder was there way before WLS. WLS only reinforces the behaviors and adds a few new ones to boot, like the obsession with the scale.

Support along your weight loss journey is crucial. But make sure it is the right kind of support. Not something that is gonna increase your disordered thinking.

I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV or the Internet. Take my words for what they are worth, my words. Do your own research. Be your own advocate in everything you do. Do not blindly follow others advice(that includes so-called experts), learn for yourself.

When it boils down to it---your opinion is really the only one that should matter to you.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Does WLS Cause an Eating Disorder? Part 2

Next we look at the difference in being on a diet and having an eating disorder.

The most common element surrounding ALL Eating Disorders is the inherent presence of a low self esteem.

Having an Eating Disorder is much more than just being on a diet. An Eating Disorder is an illness that permeates all aspects of each sufferer's life, is caused by a variety of emotional factors and influences, and has profound effects on the people suffering and their loved ones.

Dieting is about losing a little bit of weight in a healthy way.

Eating Disorders are about trying to make your whole life better through food and eating (or lack of).

Dieting is about doing something healthy for yourself.

Eating Disorders are about seeking approval and acceptance from everyone through negative attention.

Dieting is about losing a bit of weight and doing it healthfully.

Eating Disorders are about how life won't be good until a bit (or a lot) of weight is lost, and there's no concern for what kind of damage you do to yourself to get there.

Dieting is about losing some weight in a healthy way so how you feel on the outside will match how good you already feel on the inside.

Eating Disorders are about being convinced that your whole self-esteem is hinged on what you weigh and how you look.

Dieting is about attempting to control your weight a bit better.

Eating Disorders are about attempting to control your life and emotions through food/lack of food -- and are a huge neon sign saying "look how out of control I really feel"

Dieting is about losing some weight.

Eating Disorders are about everything going on in life -- stress, coping, pain, anger, acceptance, validation, confusion, fear -- cleverly (or not so cleverly) hidden behind phrases like "I'm just on a diet".

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Good Argument For Dietary Fat

Ok all my fat phobic friends out there. That includes all my WLS buddies too. Here's another good argument to add some fat in your diet.

So put down that low fat salad dressing. Go for the full fat kind. Add some REAL butter to those roasted veggies. It's the only way to make sure you get all your nutrients absorbed.

That goes double, triple even, for my WLS buddies. We have enough trouble with malabsorption to risk not getting all we can.

One more bit of advice about all of this -- if you're thinking that you should start eating your salads with full fat salad dressing because of this new research, be sure to double-check the kind of fat that is in your salad dressing. Most of the cheaper salad dressings are made with soybean oil.

It's best to make your own.

Here's a good ranch dressing recipe. Just remember commercial mayo is also loaded with soybean oil. Make your own. There's a good recipe for mayo on this post about coconut oil uses.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 drops Tabasco
1/8 teaspoon granular Splenda
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon chives
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

Mix all of the ingredients and chill well before serving.

Does WLS Cause an Eating Disorder? Part 1

First we need to look at what causes eating disorders.

While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are most often about much more than food.

Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors. Scientists and researchers are still learning about the underlying causes of these emotionally and physically damaging conditions. We do know, however, about some of the general issues that can contribute to the development of eating disorders.

People with eating disorders often use food and the control of food in an attempt to compensate for feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem over-whelming. For some, dieting, binging, and purging may begin as a way to cope with painful emotions and to feel in control of one’s life, but ultimately, these behaviors will damage a person’s physical and emotional health, self-esteem, and sense of competence and control.

Psychological Factors that can Contribute to Eating Disorders:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life
  • Depression, anxiety, anger, or loneliness

Interpersonal Factors that Can Contribute to Eating Disorders:

  • Troubled family and personal relationships
  • Difficulty expressing emotions and feelings
  • History of being teased or ridiculed based on size or weight
  • History of physical or sexual abuse

Social Factors that Can Contribute to Eating Disorders:

  • Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness” and place value on obtaining the “perfect body”
  • Narrow definitions of beauty that include only women and men of specific body weights and shapes
  • Cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths

Other Factors that can Contribute to Eating Disorders:

  • Scientists are still researching possible biochemical or biological causes of eating disorders. In some individuals with eating disorders, certain chemicals in the brain that control hunger, appetite, and digestion have been found to be imbalanced. The exact meaning and implications of these imbalances remains under investigation.
  • Eating disorders often run in families. Current research is indicates that there are significant genetic contributions to eating disorders.

Eating disorders are complex conditions that can arise from a variety of potential causes. Once started, however, they can create a self-perpetuating cycle of physical and emotional destruction.
All eating disorders require professional help.

Information provided by National Eating Disorders Association.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr

Eating Disorders On The Rise

It's not only just the young girls who deal with eating disorders. ABC News is doing an ongoing series of reports showing that eating disorders are on the rise in adults. Here are the stories.

ABC News: Anorexia -- Not Just a Teenage Battle
ABC News: Doctors Treating Older Anorexics
ABC News: For Men, Twin Sister Ups Anorexia Risk
ABC News: Adult Anorexia on the Rise
ABC News: Anorexia Also Strikes Middle-Aged Women
ABC News: Resources to Help with Eating Disorders

With ABC covering the Kimkins Story, I want to point out that many Kimkins Survivors report eating disordered thinking. The Kimkins debate shows woman of all ages dealing with an eating disorders after following that diet. In Heidi's own words, she admits to having an eating disorder herself. The affiliate marketing is driving more people to the Kimkins.com site.

It is important to remember that there is not one single simple thing that causes a person to develop an Eating Disorder. It usually lies in some combination of the social, environment, and biological attributes, and/or the family dysfunction of each individual.

I have suffered with an eating disorder for 30+ years. I have observed the majority of my fellow WLSers exhibiting eating disordered behaviors too. I plan on doing a more in depth post about that later on.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kimkins on Good Morning America





ABC News will be airing the expose of the Kimkins Scam on Good Morning America.

Stay tuned for further details.


Kimkins has always been a disaster waiting to happen. Being aired once again on national TV, hopefully media coverage hurt Kimkins sales. The low fat, low calorie way of eating is just dangerous. We have to stop Kimkins now. Internet diet fraud is the single most reported scam to the FTC for 2007.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is Kimkins

A WLS friend of mine left a comment wanting to know what is Kimkins. It is a very long story with alot of drama. I've done several posts on the Kimkins Controversy in the past. But decided to move it to it's own blog, Kimkins Scam.

I first encountered Kimkins and it's founder Heidi Diaz AKA Kimmer, in the low carb community. The diet was all the rage for awhile. The claims of an outstanding loss of nearly 200 lbs in just 7 months by Heidi, were the selling points. Plus the added pitch that it was better than gastric bypass surgery. Then there was this awesome pic of a lovely woman in a red dress. Which Heidi claimed as her after picture.

Many people questioned the validity of the after pics as well as the very low calorie diet being pushed. Those on the site who questioned were immediately sent to "Banned Camp"without a refund. PI surveillance was done. With the true after pics of Heidi Diaz being plastered throughout the web.

The self proclaimed "Diet Guru" was actually a morbidly obese woman, sitting at home on her computer, preying on people desperate to lose weight. Not only was her success story fake, but the majority of her posted Kimkins success stories were also.

The killing part for me was the fact that she also has been reported to have had WLS several years ago. Then there is the fact that through her questionable viral marketing techniques she was even getting kids as young as 14 on her site. The problem with the diet itself is the way it is written is less than 800 cals/day. But fitday records and members on accounts show they were consuming 500 cals/day and some much less. If you hit a stall you were accused of "cheating" or not being strong enough to stick with it.

This kind of thinking encourages self-loathing and leads to an eating disorder. Many former members of Kimkins have reported serious health problems. The majority of them have also complained of the fear of food. Which is an eating disorder in itself.

You have those who feel they are grown men and women who should have researched the diet before joining the site. As the saying goes, buyer beware.

It just upsets me to see people who are desperate to lose weight fall for a scam like this. I just do my part in getting the word out. It has been on several TV stations already , with more in the works. There is also a Class Action Lawsuit on file too.

So that is a very brief summary of what is Kimkins.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Harmed by Kimkins? Share your Story on National TV

Have you experienced medical problems due to Kimkins?

Do you have any medically documented health issues related to the
Kimkins Diet?

Do you have some free time this weekend for an exciting opportunity to appear from the comfort of your home, on national television, in a prime time spotlight?

If you have suffered any of the following doctor verified medical conditions:

• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Muscle fatigue or weakness
• Heartbeat palpitations
• Moderate to severe hair loss
• Bone and joint pain
• Mental changes - irritability, forgetfulness, confusion
• Bowel complications/symptoms of laxative abuse

as a result of your experience with the Kimkins Diet, and would like this exciting opportunity to share your experiences with the public, please contact KimkinsonABC@gmail.com within the next 48 hours.

No travel will be required, an ABC crew will come to you to discuss your experience.

If you know of anyone who fits the above-mentioned medical criteria, please share this contact information with them for this important opportunity.

Monday, January 14, 2008

UPDATE: Learn About The Candidates Views on Mental Health

In one of my recent Mental Health posts, I told you how NAMI sent out a questionnaire to all the presidential candidates. This is how it stand so far:


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York
Questionnaire response

John Edwards, former Senator from North Carolina
Questionnaire response

Mike Gravel, former Senator from Alaska
Response pending

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio
Response pending

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois
Questionnaire response


John Cox of Illinois
Response pending

Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City
Response pending

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas
Response pending

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California
Response pending

Alan Keyes of Maryland
Response pending

Sen. John McCain of Arizona
Senator McCain has provided NAMI with this Mental Health Statement in lieu of a response to our questionnaire. The Campaign has informed us that it is Senator McCain’s policy not to respond to questionnaires.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas
Response pending

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts
The Campaign has informed us that it is Governor Romney’s policy not to respond to questionnaires. As with all candidates, we have asked whether they have information that they would like to submit on their mental healthcare/healthcare positions and the response is pending.

Fred Thompson, former Senator from Tennessee
Response pending

To view the statements or responses of candidates who have withdrawn from the presidential campaign, click here.

hopefully more will respond before the primaries are held here in my state. so I can make an informed decision before voting.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Whole Foods

I believe in following an eating plan made of "whole foods". Just what are whole foods?

Whole foods are those that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. They typically do not contain added sugar, salt, fat, or chemicals.

Often confused with "organic food" (i.e., organically-grown food), whole foods are not necessarily organic, nor are organic foods necessarily whole, although they do share a number of traits, such as an avoidance of chemically-assisted agricultural techniques. Because of the lack of basic processing, many whole foods have a very short shelf life and are not easily sold outside of farmers' markets.

Nothing processed, so put down that Fiber One. It ain't good for you. Throw away that whole wheat bread. Give up those specialty low carb products. The human body is not meant to consume that garbage.

Animal products are 'whole foods,' too
Dana Carpender

The nutritional buzz phrase is 'whole foods.' This is encouraging. I've been watching the nutrition scene long enough to remember when people who insisted that whole-grain bread was more nutritious than enriched bread were scorned as 'food faddists.'

But the admonitions to eat whole foods seem to apply only to grains, fruits and vegetables. Officialdom still recommends discarding large fractions of animal foods. Yet few see these fractionated animal foods as the refined, depleted foods they are.

Take dairy. Virtually all recommendations for dairy products include the qualifiers 'low-fat' or 'fat-free.' But that's not the way it comes out of the cow. Yes, whole milk has more calories than skim. It also has far more vitamin A, because it's carried in the butterfat. (Some skim milk is fortified with vitamin A —- the equivalent of adding a few vitamins back to nutritionally depleted white flour.) Because fat aids in calcium absorption, you'll get more calcium from whole milk. Whole milk from grass-fed cows supplies CLA, a fat that increases fat-burning and reduces heart disease and cancer risk, and omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, and heart disease and cancer risk. It is worth paying premium prices for such milk.

And eggs. Oh, poor eggs. There they are, just about the most perfect food in the world, and what do people do? They throw away the yolks. The part with almost all the vitamins, including A, E, K and the hard-to-come-by D, not to mention brain-enhancing choline and DHA. Eggs from pastured chickens also have yolks rich in omega-3. Better to throw away the whites, not that I'd recommend that, either. Just eat whole eggs, will you?

Then there's chicken. When did 'chicken' become synonymous with 'boneless, skinless chicken breast?' (hello my WLS pals) Chicken breast is a good food, but the whole chicken is better. Dark and white meats both have nutritional strengths. They are not identical in vitamin and mineral content. Chicken skin is a good source of vitamin A, again because it's fatty. I wrote recently about liver's nutritional bonanza, and hearts are nutrient-rich as well, making giblet gravy a great idea. Simmering the leftover chicken bones yields flavorsome broth rich in highly absorbable calcium and joint-building gelatin. (I save my steak bones, too, for beef broth.)

Our ancestors, ever mindful of where their next meal was coming from, relished every edible part of every animal they killed. Indeed, paleoanthropologists assert that hunter-gatherers ate the rich, fatty organ meats first, preferring them to muscle meats, and smashed bones to eat the marrow. As recently as a century ago, marrow was such a popular food that special spoons were made for scooping it out of bones. I love the stuff. I've been sucking the marrow out of lamb-chop bones since I was a tyke. A 1997 article in the journal Nature asserts that human brain capacity decreased at the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago, very likely because of a reduction in animal-fat consumption. Whole animal foods are part of our nutritional heritage.

My low-carbohydrate eating habits are often referred to as a 'fad.' Whatever. If it was good enough for my hunter-gatherer ancestors, it's good enough for me. Do you want to know what's really a fad? Removing the fat from milk and the yolks from eggs, and discarding three- quarters of the chicken, all organ meats and most bones. There's not a culture in the world where our narrow, refined, low-fat, flavorless versions of animal foods are part of the traditional diet.

I just love Dana. She has some really good cookbooks available too. Check then out.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Cause of Mine

For those who are regular readers of this blog. Thanks you for taking the time to share my thoughts. Also you know I'm a strong advocate for many causes. all of them have touched my life somehow. This cause is no different.

I don't speak much about my history of being a victim of domestic violence. It is not something I care to put in this blog. Yet it has shaped the course of my life in so many ways. I won't go into it. Just know that I actively help those who have been in the same situation. Mainly I visit forums and websites devoted to raising the awareness of domestic violence. Plus I volunteer in a local safe house.

I recently found a website. Thanks to a very good friend of mine. someone who was also a victim and shares my passion for getting active in the community. This site is devoted to recycling old cell phones for a good cause.

The Wireless Foundation Call To Protect FAQ'S:

How do I get a tax receipt for donating my phone?
The Wireless Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, so your phone and associated shipping expenses are typically tax-deductible. A printable tax receipt is available for your phone donation. The Foundation makes no determination of the value of your gift, and you should consult your tax advisor regarding the tax effects of your gift.

What is the goal of the CALL TO PROTECT® program?
The goal of the CALL TO PROTECT program is to enable people to retire their wireless phones in a manner that will help the environment and provide phones, with matching airtime, to domestic violence agencies. In addition, the funds generated through CALL TO PROTECT collections and other wireless industry programs have provided grants totaling over $10,000,000 to national organizations leading the campaign to end domestic violence.

What is the CALL TO PROTECT Program?
The CALL TO PROTECT initiative is committed to helping charities campaigning against domestic violence. More than 37,000 phones, with matching airtime, have been deployed to domestic violence agencies to expand prevention programs and implement national awareness campaigns.

Where do I donate my wireless phone?
After you deactivate your wireless service, place the phone, battery and charger (if available) in the mail to:

2555 Bishop Circle West
Dexter, MI 48130-1563

A printable tax receipt is available for your phone donation. You may also donate phones at a local collection center. If you would like to start a local collection, click here.

The Wireless Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, so your phone and associated shipping expenses are tax deductible.

Is there a drop-off point in my community?
We are establishing partnerships with hundreds of local businesses across the country to provide drop-off points for donated CALL TO PROTECT phones. Click here to find a local drop-off site in your area.

Can I designate that my phone will come back to my community?
The large volume of phones we are receiving on a daily basis makes it impossible to return a specific refurbished phone to the community where it was donated. However, through our ShelterHelp program citizens may encourage a domestic violence shelter in their area to sign up for ShelterHelp online, and then send in used wireless phones under their shelter's account number. By sending in phone collections under a shelter's ShelterHelp account number, this guarantees that the funds generated through the collection will be credited to the shelter's online account.

Do you take any wireless phone?
Yes, please send us any hand-carried wireless phone you no longer need. After deactivating your phone's service, please include the phone's battery and charger. We accept all wireless phones, batteries, chargers, pagers, blackberries, PDA's, regardless of age, working condition or whether or not the phone has its charger and/or battery.

How does someone in need get a CALL TO PROTECT Phone?
CALL TO PROTECT phones are distributed to potential survivors by participating local domestic violence organizations and police departments. To determine if there is a participating organization in your community, please contact a local shelter or police agency directly.

For general information about getting help for a survivor of domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

How do the phones work?
Donated phones are refurbished and sold to raise funds to purchase wireless phones and airtime. The phones are capable of dialing 911 and non-emergency numbers, such as domestic violence shelters. In addition, proceeds from the sale of donated phones are used to make cash grants to national domestic violence organizations. To date, The Wireless Foundation has made cash grants totaling over $3 million to national domestic violence organizations.

Could I be charged for any airtime when the phones are refurbished?
No. We do recommend that you deactivate the service on the phone you are donating, and erase personal data prior to sending it in. Once your phone reaches our processing facility in Dexter, MI, the phone's memory is completely erased.

How can I start collecting phones in my community?
You can start collecting phones in your community by spreading the message to your friends and neighbors. Go to local businesses and ask them to support CALL TO PROTECT by putting up a phone collection box in their office or store. Contact your local newspaper, radio or TV station and ask them to publicize the mailing address and spread the word about how no longer used wireless phones can help fight domestic violence.

The site even offers a free printable shipping label.

The Wireless Foundation is so much more than just the Call To Protect campaign. Check out these other great causes they are involved in:

Wireless AMBER Alerts ™ System -
Participating Carriers

The Wireless AMBER Alerts initiative is a free public service that allows wireless subscribers to opt in to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts as text messages on their cell phones by visiting the above link.

Participating Carriers

The national Text 2HELP Initiative is a partnership between The Wireless Foundation and the American Red Cross that allows customers of participating wireless carriers to send a text message to the American Red Cross and make a donation for relief efforts during a major natural disaster.

In the event of a major disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross will collaborate with The Wireless Foundation to activate the Text 2HELP initiative. At that time, subscribers of participating wireless carriers can send a text message to "2HELP" (24357) containing the word "GIVE." A $5 tax-deductible donation will be made to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts. Donations will appear on customers' monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

What's a gal to do?

I was over a Junkfood Science the other day, catching up on some of my blog reading. Sandy had few posts that I had missed earlier.

The first two ask the question, Do Diets Work? The answer is a resounding NO. The third goes into detail about how Americans as a whole are actually more active now than in the past.

In reading these and going back to read my own post about the failure of exercise to help you lose weight. I wonder what people are suppose to do to actually lose weight and keep it off.

I'm the queen of diets, have been on everything under the sun. I dieted myself right up to nearly 400 pounds. I have always been an active person, even lugging around those nearly 400 pounds.

So why couldn't I lose weight? Why did it take me having WLS to finally be able to shed those pounds? We all know regain is possible even after WLS.

Shedding the weight is easy. There are any number of weight loss products and diets to help with that. Even that stupid vLCD developed by Heidi Diaz, known as the Kimkins Diet, works to help you lose weight. Eating less food than a person in a concentration camp kinda has that effect on you. But you'll regain and more along with it. In one of Sandy's posts above she talks of a follow-up done on a vLCD. Of all the people in the study, only 25 actually stuck with it. Then all of those had regained their weight within two years.

Diets don't work. Exercise doesn't work. Even bariatric surgery doesn't work. Then you have that whole "obesity paradox" thing going on. You can read about that here:

Now what?? Just what IS a gal to do?

How about, first, just accepting who you are. Then for your health's sake, change the way you eat. Give up all that processed food. The less steps a food has to go through before it reaches your table the better. As for veggies, buy local first and foremost. Also, when it comes to veggies, if you can't eat it raw, don't eat it cooked. Just a hint--potatoes are poisonous if eaten raw. The old saying about shopping on the outer aisles of the stores doesn't quite ring true anymore. Most stores now have their bakery and deli on the outer edges. Yet the veggies, meat and dairy are there also.

As for exercise, do it for the feel good hormones. And no, you don't have to run out and buy an expensive gym membership or even a slew of exercise videos or exercise equipment. How about just cranking up the music and dancing with your kids. Get outside and run with your favorite furbaby. Don't get caught up in all the diet hype. Nothing can make miracles happen.

Will I be successful at my weight loss this go round? Who knows? All I know is I eat differently now than ever before. Plus I don't even think about it. It just is.

I'm not on a diet. I'm LIVING.

Friday, January 4, 2008

This is getting ridiculous......

Just found this on the Junkfood Science blog.....

Bringing in the new year, Radio Iowa reported from a bariatric surgeon at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha. Increasing numbers of teens are coming in wanting bariatric surgeries, according to Dr. Ranjan Sudan, and “some doctors are looking at performing weight loss surgeries [sic] on children as young as five.”


I'm all for adults having WLS. Hey they are adults. they can research all the life altering changes that accompany the surgery. But I draw the line at children.

Have we as a nation become so bogged down in our fat-phobia thinking that we would consider giving WLS to a five year old. Sheesh.........