Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All about me....

It's been awhile since i gave an update on what's been going on with me. Still dealing with the fibromyalgia pain, as well as osteoarthritis. Some days I feel a 100 years old. I had a lump removed from my breast---it was benign thank goodness. Saw my hematologist this past month---good news on that front---my iron levels are finally up as well as my blood counts. I go back to see her in November.

My weight has finally leveled off at 175. The eating disorder part of my brain is playing havoc with me right now. I have to make myself continue with my shakes and eating. I don't own a scale so I can't obsess about the numbers. I just need to remind myself my health is more important than being thin. As my docs say---they would rather see me fat and healthy than thin and dying. Having dealt for over 30 years with an ED makes it difficult to stay on track. I'm hiding in super big clothes once again. I am working on this with my therapist. I don't think I will ever be in "recovery". It will always be a day to day thing for me.

I'm seeing a dentist and am in the process of having all my crumbling teeth removed. Only seven more to go and I'll be a toothless old hag. The dentist wants me to "heal" for 6 months before being fitted for dentures. Fun right. It makes eating a real challenge. Luckily I am well prepared with some great recipes for things to eat that don't require alot of chewing. Last thing I need is to have something "get stuck" in my pouch from not chewing enough.

I see my PCP on Thursday for my full scale lab work. I'll be able to see if things look better. Keep your finger crossed. I haven't broken any bones recently so that's a good thing. My doc is monitoring the osteoporosis. He is convinced I'll be needing hip replacement and knee replacement in the not too distant future. I'll just worry about that when the time comes. Right now I'm okay.

My Bipolar Disorder is doing much better since my pdoc put me on Risperdal injections. This way I don't have to worry about the malabsorption of my meds. The real test will be this fall. Fall is always a difficult time for me. I end up slipping into a deep depression. Hopefully this year will not be as bad. I've already pulled out my light box, plus I take mega doses of Vitamin D now. Only time will tell.

Well that's about it.

So how are y'all doing????

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weighing in on the Alabama Obesity Debate

Here is a headline from Alabama in mid-July:

Alabama Obesity Ranking (WBHM - NPR News and Classical Music)

Montgomery -- Alabama has once again been ranked as one of the most obese states in the country. The latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Mississippi was the most obese state, with 32 percent of adults having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Alabama followed closely in the number two spot with 30.3 percent of adults being obese.
It was in all the local papers and local news shows too.

Then we have the latest:

Alabama workers to pay for extra pounds - Diet and nutrition-

"MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama, pushed to second in national obesity rankings by deep-fried Southern favorites, is cracking down on state workers who are too fat.

The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit — or they’ll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free."
Suspiciously I have seen this all over the net but nothing has been reported on it on the local level.

I live in Alabama---big surprise :)

Granted it's a itty bitty college town smack dab in the middle of the state. Yet we do get Birmingham's TV, radio and newspapers.

This latest makes as much sense as that absurd law in Mississippi did earlier this year. I could go on and on how idiotic this whole thing is. But others, who are much better writers have done it for me. Check these posts out then contact the Alabama State Employee's Insurance Board and let them know how you feel.

Alabama | Big Fat Blog

Two Things « Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose

Junkfood Science: Taking a step back and thinking about the real story

Junkfood Science: Update: More than a little plan — the trial balloon is off and flying

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The other side of the story......

Junkfood Science has a couple of great posts about the 60 Minutes WLS episode.

Junkfood Science: The other side of the story — Part One

Junkfood Science: The other side of the story — Part Two

As usual, Sandy does an outstanding job at sorting through the fluff and showing the hard scientific facts.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WLS on 60 Minutes

The Bypass Effect On Diabetes, Cancer, Surgery Can Send Diabetes Into Remission, And May Reduce Risk Of Certain Cancers - CBS News


And here all this time I thought 60 Minutes was a news program.

This crap is nothing but a friggin' infomercial.....

And don't even get me started about the WLS cheerleaders throughout the comments section. Many of them I know. Let them walk a few days in my shoes and see how gung ho they are about WLS then.

I'm too angry now to post what I really think. But rest assured it's coming. Just let me leave you with this thought.

Altering a healthy human body to cure some perceived affliction is nothing new.

It wasn't that long ago they thought a lobotomy would "cure" mental illness.

Friday, April 18, 2008

So much to do so little time

I have found many things I would like to blog about. But time is not a luxury right now. I'll just give you some really great links.

Junkfood Science: News updates: Decisions guided by fears, misinformation and insecurities

An investigative report for the Courier-Mail learned of a doctor who has performed more than a dozen bariatric surgeries on underage teens in the past year. Most disturbing, he is prepared to operate on children as young as ten years of age.

on counselling and mental health services « Fat Lot Of Good

I had to say how disturbing it was to read the experiences readers at The F-Word have had with counsellors/ therapists/psychiatrists and mental health services in general. While I was not at all surprised by their accounts, I was still distressed on their behalf. Mental health service provision (or lack thereof) is an issue I know from both sides of the fence. I am a qualified social worker and counsellor, and I am currently doing post-grad study in counselling. I also have chronic depression and an anxiety disorder that raises its head every so often. And no, my depression has nothing to do with my weight. I suffered from depression when I was slim, when I was slightly overweight and when I was a lot over weight. My weight has been irrelevant to my experience of depression. I have been on medication practically non-stop since I was 21. I am not ashamed to admit that. There are people that will say I shouldn’t be a social worker or a counsellor because of my own depression. I say “bollocks”. My experience with depression and anxiety has given me a great deal of insight as well as bucket loads of empathy for others in similar circumstances and also for anyone who has to deal with mental health services in any way, shape or form.

melting mama: Gulp.

A friend of mine, another roux en y'er, just got back from her testing for her hypoglycemia issues, and it's confirmed: She's got nesidioblastosis, and she's scheduled for a partial pancreactomy next week.

That's a partial explanation for babies that are BORN with this disorder - it's not something that adults generally ever have - unless they were born with it. It's a genetic disorder, except in the cases of the adults that are popping up that happened to have roux-en-y gastric bypass, because this unique metabolism situation triggers hyperinsulinism in some of us.

Big Girl in a Big City: Romantic songs notwithstanding.....:

Where I am at right now is in the crosshairs of the bullseye. Underneath all the bravada of my words (Gym, Church, NO FRIGGEN CHEESE) is my desire to uncover, identify and release the behaviors that keep me in a state of 'I'm not good enough' or 'I'm not worth it'. So here is a pattern. I start. It's perfect. Life gets in the way, I get tired, I don't want to. I do it anyways, then life really gets in the way. I don't, but go back, and maybe even lie about it. (Yes, those stairs are a workout, yes, swimming for 15 mins is a workout). Mainly lying to myself. Then I stop, but just for a rest, just for a day. Then life again (always ever encroaching on my fun) barges in and brings responsibilities with it. Son of a biscuit. So I go TOO BUSY< TOO BUSY and sit on the couch for a couple hours. Sleep more. Eat more. Stop being present to what I am eating. And it's now two days later, and I am tired and scared of the gym again.

Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death

Jonathan Coloff, a graduate student in Assistant Professor Jeffrey Rathmell's laboratory in the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, has found that the tumor cells use glucose sugar as a way to avoid programmed cell death. They make use of a protein called Akt, which promotes glucose metabolism, which in turn regulates a family of proteins critical for cell survival, the researchers shared during an April 15 presentation at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego.


* Be sure you are stocked up on Sanity Watchers Points before reading this post - you have been warned*

I start to wonder what hope there is of educating the average person about Fat Acceptance when this sort of crap is shouted out from the rafters by those in authority and those holding positions of power.

421 pounds: Cheryl Harvey's story

Video of the journey of Cheryl Harvey after having WLS.

Going once… going twice… survey reminder »

The feedback to my survey for bloggers who write about eating disorders has been fantastic. I’ve had about 270 people take the survey, although not all completed it. The survey is rather long - 40 questions - but very few of the questions are fill in the blank so I think you can complete it within 15 minutes or so. If you start it, please, please finish it! I can’t include uncompleted surveys!
EULAR evidence-based recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome « Living with Fibromyalgia

The EULAR guidelines for the management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Fibro), which were e-published last July, have now been published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The full article can be seen here, but the evidence-based recommendations are summarised into 9 simple points:

Attenuated adrenergic responses to exercise in women with fibromyalgia « Living with Fibromyalgia:

An article was published in the April edition of the European Journal of Pain discusing a controlled study that looked that the adrenergic responses to exercise in women with fibromyalgia syndrome (Fibro).

The researchers from the Department of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders at the National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway said in the article that “altered responses from the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, sympathetic nervous system and muscular system have been suggested as being of importance” in the pathogenesis of widespread pain and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Education Issues: Action Alerts and Updates:

April 15, 2008--On March 24, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) published new proposed regulations enforcing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which governs disclosures from students’ records by educational institutions. (Federal Register, March 24, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 57 (15574 - 15602; 34 CFR Part 99).

The proposed rules address the disclosure of information to parents and others and set a new standard for DOE’s review of disclosures. The proposed rules also address other matters, including requirements in the U.S. Patriot Act and the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act and two U.S. Supreme Court decisions (Owasso Independent School Dist. No. I-011 v. Falvo, and Gonzaga University v. Doe).

That should be plenty to look into for the weekend.

There will be a pop quiz on Monday........just kidding. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Anatomical Gift--Donating a Body to Science

I can just hear the majority of y'all out there going EWWWW!!!!

If you feel that way based on your particular spiritual beliefs, then don't bother reading further. I respect your beliefs. Just wish more respected mine. That's another post for another day.

I am an Anatomical Donor.

I'm sure many of you out there are organ donors. Here again you may not be, based on your spiritual beliefs. Yet I'm sure that still leaves plenty who are organ donors. I whole hearted believe in being an organ donor. You "Give the Gift of Life" to someone else on your demise. I simply chose to donate my whole body for research purposes instead of the individual organs.

What led me to this decision??

Way back when I was in nursing school. We did several lab classes working with cadavers. There's just so much you can get from book learning. To really grasp the makeup of a human body, it is crucial you see the real thing.

We had a fairly decent sized class but there was a grand total of 3 cadavers to be shared by the entire class. It was very difficult to get all the work done by such a large class with only 3 cadavers at our disposal. After listening to many of us bitch and moan about it, the instructor finally shared with us why.

It seems the general public react the way many of you did when you read the title of this post. Very few people donate their whole body anymore. So many research facilities end up sharing cadavers.

Alabama has one of the nations top rated research universities right in Birmingham , University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) and it's medical center. I contacted them and they put me in touch with the proper department. After filling out the required paperwork, presto, I was an Anatomical Donor. After UAB is through with the body it will be passed along to other smaller hospitals. Once they have garnered as much use out of it as possible, the body will be cremated and the ashes given to my son. I carry a donor card in my purse right along with all my IDs. Just had to make sure all my family members were aware of my decision.

There are a number of online anatomical donation sites. There are 2 I would recommend from checking out their websites.

LifeLegacy Foundation


I feel like with my medical history of WLS and Bipolar Disorder, my body would be a fantastic research resource. Check out the sites and hopefully you will want to help by being an Anatomical Donor too.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where do I go from here???

For years after my WLS I actively participated in the online support forums. They were my home away from, so to speak. These past months many changes have occurred in my life that have me wondering exactly where do I go from here. I no longer feel a connection with the WLS community as a whole. Some believe it is only because of the problems that I have been having lately that have colored my thinking.

That really is just a small part of it. The biggest part is the WLS community itself. They offered me support for a very long time. Yet looking back, I wonder if the support they give hurts more than it helps. Having suffered from an eating disorder for over 30 years, I see all the classic signs of disordered eating going on on the forums. As melting mama is so apt to say, gastric bypass is very much like a surgery-induced state of anorexia.

I'm not the only one feeling like this. A few others have removed their rose colored WLS glasses too. Here are just a couple of examples:

Rearranged: fitting in

"Then I look at the weight loss surgery community. I have so many mixed emotions on that one. Especially in regards to the online WLS community. They offered me much support for a long time- but the rational side of me looking back knows that much of that also fed my eating disorder in a very large way. It was a great big community of who can lose the most, the fastest. Who eats the least? Who gets in the most protein, and the fewest carbs? Who can bake the most beautiful sugar free desert? Don't ever drink diet soda again. Eat in a caloric range that any medical professional will tell you fits into the category of starvation.

For months and months, I ate my meals on a saucer. My body was literally in starvation mode. As Beth has said, gastric bypass is very much like a surgery-induced state of anorexia. Those first several months you can't eat a large ammount of calories, you just can't. You do have to eat a large ammount of protein, and you do have to watch your intake of sugar, fat, and carbs or you can get quite physically ill. I get this, I know this, I lived it. But for how long? My EDI team keeps insisting that now that I am 16+ months post-surgery, that I can, should, and have to get to a state of more 'normalized' eating."

Hot Fat 4 Sale: WLS vs. ED, Round One. Ding Ding!

"I don't really feel like a part of the WLS community anymore, mostly because WLS (for me) ended up being just another symptom of a nearly lifelong eating disorder.

I think I was brainwashed (and willingly so) by desperation, the WLS community, surgeon, etc. into accepting a nutritional rationale for my weird eating behaviors created by the 'onset' of a pouch. The WLS rules, both spoken and unspoken, are insidious in that we accept them as truth. Because we want to believe that it's all about the weight. Along the way, we forgot it was about the 'I' in each of us."
I see so many of my fellow WLSers caught up in the in the idea you have to be thin to be healthy. That is not the case. Look at many of those long term post ops with serious complications. All because they fell for the pressure to conform to societies ideals. There is the use of extreme scare tactics about the risk of obesity that make people choose WLS. Here again things are grossly over-stated.

There is also the serious lack of information in the WLS community of the many, many complications associated with the surgery. You can do everything right post op and still end up with multiple health problems. Most WLSers will tell you they had the surgery to improve their health. The long term consequences of this decision show that health actually becomes worse after surgery, NOT better. Read these stories of several WLSers.

Weight Loss Surgery experience - in their own words

Here is a list of complications reported by WLSers from OSSG-gone_wrong .

These complications can happen to people without WLS but these have been confirmed by the patients doctors as related to WLS. Dehydration, Chronic Vomiting and Nausea, Stroke, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Kidney stones, Kidney Failure, Liver Failure, Anemia, Deficiencies (B-12,potassium, iron, B-1, B-6, etc.), Malabsorbtion of supplements(calcium, minerals, nutrients from food), Blurred Vision, Muscle and Bone Pain, Loss of Teeth, Bleeding Gums, Rotting Teeth Due to Vomiting Requiring Root Canals, Hypoglycemia, Headaches, Blackouts/Seizures, Lactose Intolerant, Injury to Spleen during surgery, Coma, Paralysis/Blindness after coma, Osteoporosis, Burst Pouch, Lupus, Auto-Immune Disease, Looped Intestines, Ruptured Esophagus from vomiting, Misfired Staper during surgery, Ulcers, Pneumonia/Lung Problems, Arthritis, Weakness and Fatigue from Malnutrition, Overall Pain, Metabolic Bone Disease, Food Blocking Stoma Causing Severe Pain, Stoma Needing Stretched Repeatedly, Neuropathy, Beri Beri, Put on Feeding Tubes/PICC Lines, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Fistulas, Atrophy of Muscles, Hair Loss, Hernias, Blood Clots, Leaks, Peritonitis, Heart Burn/Gerd/Acid Reflux, Bowel Obstructions, Gallstones and Gallbladder Removal, Severe Depression, Anxiety, Loss of Memory, Poor Concentration, Irregular Blood Pressure, Diarrhea, Constipation, Opening Of Outer Incision-Needing Packing Until Healed From The Inside Out, Insomnia/Sleep Disorders, Unforced Anorexia and Bulemia, Gas, Silent Stroke, Vertigo, Malnutrition which is the cause of many of the above problems, Many End Up Becoming Invalids, and then there is Death. This list continues to grow. These complications can happen right after surgery, days, weeks, months, many years, and even when taking all the required supplements. Besides physical complications there is financial hardship and families who are devastated.

So where do I go from here....I learn to live with the complications. I become very proactive in my own care to insure I am in optimal health. I do tons of Internet research. I caution people to learn the whole story on WLS. But most of all....I accept myself for who I am.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lap-Band Not as Safe as People Think

More and more people are opting for the lapband procedure for WLS. Most believe it will eliminate the nutritional complications associated with the malabsorption procedures like RNY. They are also under the mistaken assumption that there are fewer complications with this procedure.

Junkfood Science shows us the dark side of this popular procedure.

Junkfood Science: They didn’t want the surgery, but believed it was their only chance to live

It is widely perceived, and widely marketed, that lap bands are completely safe, reversible and result in few complications. The reality, which sadly most patients like this young mother only come to realize after their surgeries, is that the complications far exceed what most people believe. Even the clinical trials for FDA approval of the band, conducted under ideal situations, encountered high rates of complications. In just the first 3 years post-op, Lap Band reported 89% had one or more adverse events, ranging from mild, moderate, to severe. The most common were:

· vomiting (experienced by over half)

· gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation)

· band slippage/pouch dilatation and stoma obstruction (stomach-band outlet blockage)

· esophageal dilatation or dysmotility (the long-term effects of dysfunctioning esophagus are currently unknown)

· constipation, diarrhea

· dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

As Lap Band reported, in their study, 25% of the patients had their bands removed during their 3-year follow-up, most after adverse events. Another one in ten needed a second surgery to fix a problem.

Not all it's cracked up to be is it....but this just a sampling of the info in this post...head over there and check out the might just think twice about undergoing this procedure at all.

While you are there, read over more of the posts concerning WLS. It tells you the things the bariatric centers and the WLS support forums don't.

Monday, February 25, 2008

WLS and Kids

Even before all the difficulties I have been experiencing as of late, I have always disagreed with the idea of kids having WLS. I have even gone back to some of my earlier posts on the support forums to make sure my own words didn't come back to haunt me. Even when I was a staunch supporter of WLS, I was looking at the possible long term effects it may have if used on kids.

I stumbled on a blog the other day that really went into detail about this issue, She Dances On The Sand. In preparation for doing the posts she asked for comments from the readers.

She Dances On The Sand: THIS IS IMPORTANT!

There are very, very few, if any, situations where a child needs to undergo bariatric surgery to save his or her life--where it is such an emergency that they cannot wait until they are old enough to make a proper decision and give informed consent.

Is there anyone out there who cares about this issue? Or am I lone voice on this matter? I want comments, lots and lots of them, telling me how you feel about this!

Although most of the people I know in the WLS community are against this surgery for kids, I was astounded at how these many posters felt. It was a real awakening for me. Here are just a few of the comments, be sure and head over to the post for the rest:

Kristin said...

I think that performing such surgeries on children is horrifying, particularly as it is mostly for cosmetic reasons. It reinforces the idea to children that their worth is dictated by their physical attractiveness. Moreover, it prohibits them from ever having a normal relationship with food and eating.

Andee said...

YES, YES, YES. I completely agree with you. This is a barbaric thing to do to a kid. Even if s/he wants the surgery. Maybe especially if s/he wants the surgery.

*I* probably would have wanted the surgery from the time I was 12 or 13 or 14 -- it will get me to stop eating so much! I'll be skinny! I'll be pretty! I'll have a boyfriend! A BOYFRIEND WHO LOVES ME!!! Where do I sign up? And I wasn't even "obese" then, just chubbier than what was considered "pretty," and I wanted "love" SO BAD, and I was utterly convinced that it was my fat ass standing in the way (noooo, it had nothing to do with the fact that no boy I had ever met then was capable of loving me the way I dreamed of, fat or thin).

It's likely that my parents would have said no, though -- not because they were so fat-accepting but because they would have been squicked by the nutritional-deficiency thing. Which is why ALL parents should say no to this for their kids. Some things just ain't worth it, even if it will get your kid invited to prom.

Andee (Meowser)

Rebecca said...

You're not alone. The idea of depriving CHILDREN of the calories and nutrients they need to GROW and DEVELOP... it's beyond horrifying. My dad wouldn't even let us diet until we were adults, because having our bodies and brains develop healthily and properly was more important than conforming to the societal ideal. I wish more parents thought that way.

Although, I don't think you can blame the parents in all cases. I've read about parents who were told by their doctors: "Your child will not live to see their 18th birthday unless they lose weight". If you're told that as a parent, and nothing else you've done to get them to lose weight has worked... well. That's why it's so important to get the message out there that fat does not equal death.

I bolded that last sentence on purpose to make the point. Obese does not equal unhealthy any more than thin equals healthy. Here are a couple posts that will enlighten you on that aspect.

Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy? « Shapely Prose
Big Fat Facts: The Truth About Fat, Obesity, Gastric Bypass, and Weight Loss

Getting back to the whole issue of this post, Kids having WLS. I could go on and on about this. But these posts do it for me. Read and learn.

She Dances On The Sand: Kids and WLS, Part One: Introduction, and Physical health concerns

She Dances On The Sand: Kids & WLS, Part Two: Psychological considerations

She Dances On The Sand: Kids & WLS, Part Three: Informed Consent

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Response to Anonymous

I moderate the comments on this blog to keep out spam. I'm not here to censor others comments. I recently had a comment that honestly I did not want to publish. It pissed me off and made me sad all at the same time. I've been trying to figure out how to respond. Here is the comment. My responses in red.

Why have your posts become so negative about WLS?

I will be the first to admit my present circumstances have been clouding some of my most recent posts. But if you have been a reader of my blog for very long, you will see I have always tried to post the negatives also. I am a firm believer that to be able to make an INFORMED decision about something you must have ALL the facts. WLS is a life changing surgery in many aspects. Before deciding to go that route, you MUST know what all it will entail. I have never professed to be a rah, rah , cheerleader for WLS. It has always been a matter of personal choice to me.

WLS saved my life and you have stated in earlier posts it saved yours too.

Yes, I do believe that at the time WLS was the only route for me. Given the knowledge I have now, would I do it again. In my analytical mind, that is a resounding HELL NO. In the mind of that insecure little fat girl who thinks life would be a bed of roses only if she was thin---yeah I probably would.

Is it what you are going through right now?

As I stated earlier, yes that probably colors my objectivity at this time. But only to a point.

You may be having some minor setbacks, but the over all picture is you have lost over 200 pounds. That is worth it in the long run. You no longer have a host of serious problems associated with morbid obesity. You should be thankful for that. Not trying hard to spread gloom and doom about obesity surgery.

Yes, I have lost over 200 pounds. How does that make everything I am facing and will face in the future worth it. You call them "minor setbacks". Others call them "side effects". I call them complications. These complications have seriously altered my life. Yes I no longer have diabetes or hypertension. But in having WLS I have just exchanged one set of medical complications for another. So no I am no thankful for that. The long term consequences associated with WLS are not clearly found anywhere. Who knows have bad my health will have suffer in 5, 10, 15 years down the road.

I do not feel like I'm spreading gloom and doom either. I am presenting facts as I know them so others may make their own decisions.

There are thousands of very satisfied people who have had WLS. Just look at the support forums on the web. Sure there are some things you just have to deal with, like taking your supplements and exercising. Following the rules. It is so worth the small sacrifices though.

Yes, you do find many people who feel WLS has drastically changed their lives. The support forums are full of them as you pointed out. But how many of them speak of things I deem complications on a regular basis. The threads are full of people who are speaking of ulcers, severe dumping, poor lab values, constant diarrhea, hair loss, etc. But they just chalk it up to what they have to live with after surgery. Excuse me if I don't think having to go several times a year for IV iron as being okay. I don't think having spend mega bucks each month on supplements just because my body won't absorb stuff anymore as a minor setback. Nor is having bones breaking at the drop of a hat and barely crawling out of the bed in the morning because of the osteoarthritis worth it all. All in the name for being thin. It boils down bottom line to everyone as basing their entire self-worth by the number on a scale. the would rather live through these complications than to go back to being fat.

I am 3 years post op and have had no complications whatsoever. I'm looking forward to a long and happy life. A whole lot longer than it would have been had I stayed obese.

I'm happy that you are not having any complications so far. I sincerely hope you never do. As for living longer after WLS than if you had stayed obese, don't think so. You won't, that has already been well established. WLS does not increase your life span. It actually shortens it.

I think some may have a few complications. But there are alot more of us who are doing just fine.

Here again, most of the "normal"things that people experience after WLS are really complications from the surgery. The hair loss, dumping, etc. so yes there are a ton more who are experiencing complications, but like you they don't view them that way.

Even if this research is true, I would rather die younger as a thin person, than live longer being fat.

Now this just makes me sad.....

I wonder how your family would feel if they knew this. I think they would rather have you here and fat. You are willing to give your life just to conform to societies ideal of what beauty is....sad....and wrong.

I had some more responses left---

Rachel said...

Even if this research is true, I would rather die younger as a thin person, than live longer being fat.

Hey anonymous: Given the long-term "success" rates around WLS, you just may very well get your wish.

I used to think the same way, too. Of course in my case, I didn't have WLS, I had anorexia. Yes, that is truly how fucked up your "logic" is.

vesta44 said...

anonymous #2 - not everyone is doing well post-WLS. I had a friend who died from it 10 years ago. She should never have been allowed to do it, she was a multiple personality and had more issues than I can list. She started regaining weight after her first VBG (she had gone from 400 lbs to 160 and had gone up to 175), so they went in and redid it (she had also had a massive ventral hernia repaired before her 1st VBG). When they did the 2nd VBG, they didn't remove the mesh that had repaired her hernia and her intestines got tangled in it and started to die. She had to go back in and have almost half of them removed. She ended up with short gut syndrome (you eat and you immediately shit it out), malnutrition, and myocarditis (which is what ultimately killed her). How she passed the psych test is beyond me, but maybe it was because she had been a nurse and had been dealing with the mental health system for so many years that she knew how to manipulate her answers to give them the results that would let her have the surgery.
I suffered from depression (I was on Prozac at the time) and they still let me have a VBG. Mine didn't work. I don't know if the staples came undone or my pouch stretched, but I lost weight for a while, then I started regaining. I'm currently 27 lbs heavier than I was when I had the VBG 10 years ago, and the mobility issues I had before the surgery are a lot worse now than they were then (and the 70 lbs I lost didn't improve those issues at all). I followed all the rules, did what I was told, and it still failed.
I've been fat all my life, just less fat at times than I am now (personally, I don't think 175 lbs at 5' 9" is fat, but that's what the BMI would have said back in 1975). And for me, I'll take being fat and happy and healthy (and I am healthy, other than arthritis and fibromyalgia, which aren't caused by being fat) over being thin and possibly plagued with more problems than I now have. I don't think I'm shortening my life any by staying fat since all of my grandparents were fat and lived into their late 80's/early 90's. My parents are fat and they're both still alive and kicking at 73 and 74. So being fat isn't an automatic death sentence, what the killer is is all the stress fat people have to deal with on a daily basis. Stress from being told our fat is going to kill us, from not being able to find decent, trendy clothes that fit properly, from being discriminated against in jobs/housing/schooling/etc/etc. Stress from being told we're worthless/ugly/stupid/smelly/gluttons just because we don't meet some asshat's idea of thin beauty.
If you'd rather be thin and die young than be fat and live a long life, that's your choice, no one is saying you can't do that. But WLS is not always a solution for the problems fat people face, and saying it is does a disservice to fat people who are pushed into this without being given all the information they need to make a decision on whether to have this surgery or not (I sure as hell wasn't told everything I needed to know 11 years ago, and I didn't have the internet back then to do any research, I had to rely on what the doctors told me).
WLS is not a magic bullet that will make you thin and cure all your ills, but that's how it's being marketed. It's a personal decision that each individual has to make, but I think it's important for those of us who have bad experiences with it to get the word out that things can go wrong, horribly wrong, and have for some people.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

OOPSIE Onion Tarts

I gave up bread eons ago. Tried there for awhile to make do with lettuce wraps or low carb tortillas when I got a hankering for a sandwich. They were never quite the same so just gave it up completely.That is until I discovered the fab-tab-bu-lous Oopsie Rolls.

Check out that link to see how great they are. While you are there, look into some of the other recipes to be found utilizing the Oopsie Rolls. Like today's recipe for H2O Goddess' Pizza.

For the Super Bowl party my family had. I made Rachel Ray's French Onion Tartlets. I used the Oopsie Roll for the crust instead of the bread. It turned out perfect.

OOPSIE Onion Tarts

Olive oil cooking spray
6 Oopsie Rolls, cut in half
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 teaspoons ground thyme or poultry seasoning
Salt and black pepper
1 pound Swiss cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray both sides of Oopsie Roll and press into small 12 cup muffin tin, cut side up. If you do not own a muffin tin, disposable tins are available on the baking aisle of market. Place in oven and toast until golden, 7 or 8 minutes. Remove and reserve.

In a skillet, melt butter into oil. Add onions and bay leaf, season with thyme, salt and pepper. Cook onions until caramel colored, 15 to 18 minutes.

Turn broiler on.

Place spoonfuls of cooked onions in toasted bread cups. Discard bay leaf. Cover onions with cheese and set tarts under hot broiler to bubble and brown cheese. Serve hot.

I ended up making a double batch of these for the party and they were a big hit.

Try out all the recipes Cleo is finding for the Oopsie Rolls.

A Quickie Mish Mash Post

Just a quickie post here. some reading for you and a couple of interesting tidbits I've found on the web.

NASA - Total Lunar Eclipse: February 20, 2008

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the night of Wednesday, February 20/21, 2008. The entire event is visible from South America and most of North America (on Feb. 20) as well as Western Europe, Africa, and western Asia (on Feb. 21).

Gadgets: Talking Floor Helps Your Diet, Calls You Lazy Fatso

Diet Floor is a "smart" talking ceramic floor that will talk to you whenever you spend too much time on top of it at the wrong times. In other words: you go to the kitchen in between meals, stop in front of the the refrigerator to see what you can nib on and it will shout something like "Watch out for those extra pounds!" or "Beware of the cold pizza monster!" or something like that. And it gets even better when you install them in an office environment.

Then, the tile will turn from diet helper to employee abuser: if you spend too much time in front of the water cooler or the coffee machine, it will say phrases like "You should be working now," at which time you would probably grab a stapler and start hitting it.

Junkfood Science: I think, therefore I am: Part One

The wheels of change turn slowly. It would take more than three decades from when the health dangers of fat stigma and prejudices and their internalization were first recognized, for them to be addressed again by researchers. A study by researchers at Columbia University in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Public Health examines negative body image and concerns about weight and their effects on physiological and psychological health. Feeling fat and unhealthy is far worse for our health than actually being fat, their research suggests.
Junkfood Science: I think, therefore I am: Part Two

Despite the popular assumption that body fat itself causes higher rates of hypertension, high cholesterol and the metabolic syndrome, “there is little evidence that this assumption is correct,” wrote Dr. Muennig and colleagues. This dearth of evidence is leading some scientists to challenge the adiposity (body fat) hypothesis. Instead of body weight, they said, “there is evidence that the BMI–health association is culturally produced.”

The very conditions associated with overweight and obesity, they said, are those also associated with the stress response: hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. One reasoned explanation, they said, is that the stigma — fat prejudices — faced daily by fat people produces the stresses that risk their physical health. The heaviest people are most victimized.

Fat vs. fiction | Redeye | Home

They've been bullied, discriminated against and insulted. Fat people say they want that degrading behavior to stop, the emotional scars to heal and the self-loathing to end.

"There's no good reason to hate yourself or feel ashamed of yourself because you're fat," said Kate Harding, 33, who lives in Rogers Park. That's the message Harding, who has struggled with her body image, has written on her Shapely Prose blog ( since April, when she began solely focusing her posts on fat acceptance.

Welcome to the so-called fat-osphere, a growing online niche where bloggers and others tired of counting calories share stories and try to become comfortable in their own skin, instead of obsessing about their weight.

Note to Elle magazine: Anorexia is not “hot” »

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard anxious, insecure women say, “I wish I could catch a little anorexia!” as if the most fatal of all psychiatric diseases is something you can casually and socially contract, like the common cold, and just as easily recover from.

There is nothing admirable in abusing your body in order to fit into a smaller size. There is nothing pretty in starving oneself to death. There is nothing picturesque in thrusting your face in a toilet, sticking your fingers down your throat and ripping a hole in your esophagus. There is nothing delicate about watching your hair fall out in clumps, nothing dainty in the fine white fuzz of lanugo spotting your body. There is nothing enviable about calling Poison Control because the ipecac hasn’t come back up. There is nothing laudable about shriveled ovaries and an enlarged heart. There is nothing attractive about pushing your body to the point of death, nothing commendable about a vastly abbreviated lifespan. There is nothing serene about a disease that is actively and willfully trying to kill you.
Study finds those eating low-fat diets with high insulin levels are most prone to weight gain | Dr Briffa's Blog

In individuals eating a lower fat diet, higher levels of insulin were associated with an increased risk of weight gain and increase in waist circumference.

This association was not evident in individuals eating a higher-fat diet.

Overall, in the low-fat eating group, individuals with the highest insulin levels gained 4.5 kg (9.9 pounds) more than those with low insulin levels.

Low-Fat Diet Recommended By Federal Government May Have Unintended Consequences

It is common knowledge that obesity levels in America have been recorded at record levels, almost reaching the point of an epidemic. However, in the wake of numerous federal guidelines that promote a low fat diet, one must beg the question -- is it possible that the government direction of dietary guidelines has somehow caused these unintended consequences, or is it just a coincidence?

In the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, published by Elsevier, authors Paul R Marantz, MD, MPH, Elizabeth Bird, AB, and Michael H Alderman, MD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine explore just this question. In it, they suggest that the recommendations made by the government were based on limited scientific data and the implied assumption that it could do no harm. However, as evidence now may suggest otherwise, they warn that these guidelines may actually be harmful pending further study.
Well, not so quick after all........

Monday, February 18, 2008

Suicide, Eating Disorders and WLS

I have been following the news of the death of Polly Williams. Polly was one of the four women featured in Lauren Greenfield’s Emmy-nominated documentary Thin. The film documents the experiences of young women at the Renfrew Center, a residential facility for the treatment of eating disorders.

Here's an update on Polly's death:

There has been much speculation on how Polly died, with many people naturally attributing it as the result of her eating disorder. Now her family has spoken out in a news brief reprinted in the Indy Star.

Williams died from an overdose of sleeping pills, a suicide that was “a direct result of her internal battle with the eating disorder,” said her sister, Bebe W. Reed. “She said she could not fight the fight any longer.”

Doing just a quick search of the internet, shows there is a correlation between ED and suicide. Granted it is kind of a case of the chicken or the egg, but it is still linked:

A study reported in the Journal of Eating Disorders in March 2004 indicates that women with eating disorders (like anorexia, bulimia, or overeating) who attempted suicide usually were suffering from depression before the onset of their eating disorder.

67% of the patients with an eating disorder and a history of suicide attempts suffered from depression before the onset of the eating disorder, and only 3% of the patients with an eating disorder and no history of suicide attempts suffered from depression before the onset of the eating disorder.

The study thus indicates that the eating disorder may be secondary to depressive illness for those who have been or are suicidal.

Some past research, which did not include suicidal individuals, has indicated the opposite -- depression occurred as a consequence of the eating order. And this still is probably the case for non-suicidal patients.

Additionally, women in the suicidal group had a higher rate of anxiety disorders.

Women with eating disorders and a history of depression are at a high risk for suicide and need to be closely monitored.

You are probably asking yourself what that has to do with WLS.

One, I already believe strongly that most WLSers have a history of ED. Whether it is pre or post op is anyones guess.

Two, in an earlier post on mental health and WLS, I reported that mental illness is present in many of those seeking WLS:
Overall, 66.3% of subjects had a lifetime history of at least one axis I disorder and 37.8% were currently diagnosed with such a disorder. The most common lifetime axis I disorder was major depressive disorder, seen in 42% of subjects. Binge eating disorder was the most common current disorder and had a prevalence of 16.0%.

A lifetime history of an axis II disorder was noted in 28.5% of subjects, the most common being avoidant personality disorder, which was seen in 17.0%.
In a second post on mental health and WLS, I reported that a recent study shows 1 in 5 potential surgery candidates fail to meet psych eval pre-op guidelines:

The most common reasons people were not allowed to go through with the procedure included overeating to cope with stress or emotional distress, having an eating disorder, and uncontrolled mental problems, such as depression.

Most patients who were deferred from bariatric surgery after their initial psychological evaluation were referred for psychiatric treatment. The researchers write that they will conduct a future study to look at how many of these patients accepted psychiatric referral and went on to have the surgery.

"The goal of the psychiatric evaluation is not to keep patients from having the surgery. Rather, the goal is to determine if there are any problems that might interfere with the success of surgery, and have the patient get treatment for these problems," says researcher Mark Zimmerman, MD, of Rhode Island Hospital, in a news release. "In so doing, the patient is more likely to have a positive outcome from surgery that is delayed to allow time to address the problems."

The final reason I feel this is all related has to do with the latest research on actual deaths seen after WLS. Sandy Szwarc, BSN, RN, CCP gave a took an in depth look at the findings.

There was an especially disturbing and unexpected finding in this study. Dr. Kuller and associates found that among the bariatric surgical patients there had been “45 deaths from traumatic causes including 16 deaths (4%) due to suicide and 14 due to drug overdoses (3%) that were not classified as suicide.” To help readers realize how extraordinarily high these suicide death rates were, the authors wrote that according to the U.S. Vital Statistics, there are approximately 7 suicides for white women and 25 for men for every 100,000 people in the population of the same age as these bariatric surgical patients. Translating these figures, the researchers had anticipated an estimated two suicide deaths would have occurred among the women and one suicide among the men during this study.

Instead they saw more than five times the expected numbers of suicides, not even counting the drug overdoses. “There is a substantial excess of suicide deaths, even excluding those listed only as drug overdose,” they wrote. “The large number of deaths due to suicide and drug overdose, in excess of what we expected, is also a cause for concern. Most of them occurred at least one year after surgery.”

Dr Livingston’s review also noted that the frequency of suicide and drug overdoses “was unexpected.” The higher suicide rates were especially significant among those 25 to 34 years of age, with death rates of 13.8 and 5.0 per 1000 persons per year for men and women, respectively, nearly ten times the rates of 1.3 and 0.6 per 1000 persons per year in the general population.

How does it all go together? I really don't know. But it is something to think about.

If you find yourself feeling suicidal or are concerned for a friend, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

Call 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433
Call 1-800-273-TALK / 1-800-273-8255

  • Call to speak with someone who cares
  • Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
  • Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area
  • Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you're concerned about

If you feel you may have an eating disorder, seek help in some of these places.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Big Fat Lies---Gary Taubes

It is long but it is so worth watching.

Gary Taubes
Stevens Institute of Technology; February 6, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Malnutrition After WLS

I've done several posts in the past about the need for many supplements after WLS. In each one I have stated multiple times you need to be proactive in your own health care. Do not take it when the doctor tells you your "labs" are fine. Know what it is they are checking and the values. Ask for copies.

The OSSG Gone Wrong Yahoo Group I have recently joined has a complete list of ALL lab work that needs to be done on a routine basis. They have graciously allowed me to share this list with y'all.

My new PCP is pretty up to date on care of WLSers, but he didn't do half this lab work at my last visit, the one where he said I was severely malnourished. So I called the office and am going to have the remainder drawn first thing in the morning.

-This list includes labs suggested regularly for gastric bypass patients-

Regularly (every 3-6 months depending on your previous results).Keep track of any levels that are declining from one set of tests to the next, even if not yet in the low range. Make any corrections necessary in your diet and vitamin regimen before the levels get too low.

80053(10231) - COMPREHENSIVE METABOLIC PANEL (sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, BUN, creatinine, calcium, total protein, albumin, total bilirubin,alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase)

(482) - GGT

84134(4847) - PRE-ALBUMIN

80061(7600) - LIPID PROFILE (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, chol/HDL ratio)
((Fasting specimen), Tchol,Trig,HDL,Calc,LDL)


(593) – LD (Serum)

84100(718) - PHOSPHORUS - Phosphate

84550(905) - URIC ACID

85025(6399) - CBC W/ DIFF & PLT

(7065) - B-12 & FOLATE

(7573)- IRON,TIBC,

84466(891) – TRANSFERRIN (% SAT)

82728(457) – FERRITIN


84425(922) - VITAMIN B-1 (Thiamin)

84207(926) - VITAMIN B-6 (Pyradoxine)

(921) – VITAMIN A (Retinol)

(311) - CAROTENE

82306(17306) - VITAMIN D,25 HYDROXY, LC, MS, MS

(931) – Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

83735(622) - MAGNESIUM

(5507) - SELENIUM

(945) - ZINC

7444(7444) - THYROID PANEL (T3U, T4, FTI, TSH)

84481(34429) – Free T3

84597(36585) – Vitamin K1

83970(8837) - SERUM INTACT PTH - Parathyroid

82533(367) – CORTISOL, (Serum)

83921(34879)- MMA METHYLMELONIC ACID, (Serum)

83036(496) - HEMOGLOBIN A1C

82525(363) – COPPER, (Serum)

- DEXA SCAN suggested yearly for bone density -

How many of y'all out there get these labs done every 3 months....not me. I've been having them done yearly. Well not anymore. Time to take the bull by the horns. Since I have to deal with this surgery for the rest of my life, I intend to do all I can to make sure my health is the best it can be.

Some of my previous posts on supplements:

Vitamins, Medications, and Malabsorption After WLS
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin A and WLS
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part I
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part II
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part III
Fat Soluble Vitamins---Vitamin D---Part IV
Calcium Needs After WLS
Vitamin B---B1---Thiamine

Friday, February 8, 2008

Follow-Up WLS Life Sucks

First let me thank my online friends for their support and concern. I appreciate all of your support and encouragement.

With all this junk going on with me, I did what I normally do....research.

Do you know how really difficult it is to find long term research on WLS? It doesn't exist. Most I could find was for 5 years tops.

Surgery for Weight Loss: Comparison of Risk and Benefit- Ernsberger

Well, the gold standard in medicine is the controlled clinical trial. We don’t go subjecting 100,000 people to a surgical procedure without doing a controlled clinical trial or dozens of clinical trials, and then looking at the results. Do you know how many clinical trials have been published on weight-loss surgery or gastric bypass? Zero. None of them have compared it to clinical conservative treatment and found it to be superior for life expectancy or for anything else other than, you know, risk factors. A number of trials have been started, and the final results have never been reported. We have to ask, you know, why haven’t we seen the final results? I think it’s because it’s bad news. (Paul Ernsberger on Donahue, 2002)

Surgery for Obesity

Edward Mason (MD, PhD - inventor of the gastric bypass) wrote this in an article in 1999:

Bariatric surgery still does not have sufficient data from enough patients with any procedure to say which operation is best. I am concerned about the goals of surgeons and patients and their level of interest in what really goes on inside the body after alterations of the anatomy. I am concerned about the focus on the superficial and results from the first year with a lack of concern about how life will be affected when patients are 10 and 20 years older.

For the vast majority of patients today, there is no operation that will control weight to a "normal" level without introducing risks and side effects that over a lifetime may raise questions about its use for surgical treatment of obesity.

There is plenty out there to read now, but it is pages back when you start doing research on WLS. People don't want to know the bad stuff. Besides bariatric surgery is big business now.

Here's some things you to read through before contemplating WLS.

As for me and my problems, the most recent thing going on is I have a fistula and a 4cm ulceration in my pouch. Yipee, huh....

The treatment right now is a lovely med called Zegerid. Not covered by my insurance and costs over $300. Lucky for me the insurance company appears to be understanding about the complications following WLS and after the GI doc puts in the paperwork they will approve it. The GI doc gave me plenty of samples. This same lovely GI doc did everything but outright call me a liar when he handed me my discharge papers. They detailed a soft diet(useless because it was super high carb) and a medication list of NO NO's---NSAIDS. When I told him I had never taken any type of NSAID since my surgery, he politely said well you just may not know what all that entails....blah, blah, blah....In other words he didn't believe me.

Being who I am.... and the Versed probably had something to do with it too....I let him know in no uncertain terms that I know what the hell an NSAID is and have never used them. I've resigned myself to live in constant pain because I don't want to be dependent on narcotics and the Tylenol doesn't help, rather than take NSAIDS.

This is only the most recent of things wrong with me all because of having WLS. All the others, I have just looked over because they are deemed "normal" after WLS. I've since come to realize that ill health is not normal whatever the cause.

  • Severe anemia---requiring IV iron
  • Severe malnutrition---requiring multiple doses of mega supplements
  • Osteoporosis---really no acceptable treatment, the meds for this can not be taken
  • Multiple fractures in my spine---2 broken ribs---several broken toes
  • Severe tooth loss---I'll soon have all my teeth gone and be wearing dentures
  • Gall Bladder removed
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Reactive hypoglycemia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Dry Skin
  • Hair loss--still going on despite supplements
  • Chronic pain

These are just the things off the top of my head. I still don't know what route I am going to go right now. I'm looking at all my options.

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Would I go through surgery again knowing what I know now? Who knows, the nearly 400 lb me probably would. The sick and tired 155lb me doesn't know.

I have joined a yahoo support group. I'm learning alot from others who are going through the same things I am. Tons of great info there from those who have been there done that.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

WLS Life Sucks

I'm in a pretty bad place mind wise about living this life after WLS.

By the bariatric surgeon's standards, I am a huge success. I lost over 200 pounds and have been able to maintain that weight loss. Is that number on the scale all there is to judge your success?

I eat on average 2000 cals a day. Take multiple supplements each and everyday like clockwork. Yet my most recent lab work has me classified as suffering from extreme malnutrition. My body is living off itself, instead of the food I am eating.

Can you imagine what my fellow WLSers who are living on LESS calories are doing to themselves???

Hey you!! Still anemic after months of different regimens?? Hello!!!!! Ya think you might just be starving yourself on that 900-1100 calories you are eating each day??? Afraid to raise your calories because you might gain a few pounds?? OK, well just starve to death then....

Let me repeat this for all my WLS friends......
If you are taking in less than 50% of your daily caloric needs----you are living off of your own body.

I just don't get it any more.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blog Posts Round Up

It's Monday morning and I really don't have time for an in depth post. Just wanted to share some interesting blog posts from around the web.

Weight of the Evidence: Bill Introduced to Mandate Restaurants Deny the Obese Service

An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health; to direct the department to prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese and to provide those materials to the food establishments; to direct the department to monitor the food establishments for compliance with the provisions of this act; and for related purposes.

Junkfood Science: Brain food for kids: Having enough to eat

Efforts to address childhood obesity by lowering fat and calories in school lunch programs are having unintended consequences. A nutrition audit of school children in Florida found that growing youngsters were being underfed and short on vital calories. Some officials whose lunch programs have been flagged for underfeeding children have suggested that since there are still fat children, they must be eating too much and the nutritional guidelines should instead be changed to even greater reductions in fat and calories.

Feeling fat may be worse for you than actually being fat | Dr Briffa's Blog

One factor that may be driving the somewhat distorted messages about obesity and the ‘need’ to lose weight is commercial in nature: pharmaceutical companies, food companies selling foodstuffs with a weight loss angle, and the fitness industry, for instance, will all do a bit better out of having individuals they have an exaggerated sense of what they might lose by not losing weight. However, if the results of a new study are to be believed, there is some suspicion that just feeling like there’s weight to be lost might be contributing to the our physical and mental disease burden.

MH The Fitness Insider

Think of it this way: As your proportion of home-cooked meals increases, your number of fast-food visits decreases. And USDA scientists found that men eat 500 calories more on days they consume fast foods compared with days they don’t. What’s more, University of Minnesota researchers determined that consuming more prepared meals (i.e. takeout/curbside service and stuff out of a box) and more meals away from home may have a negative impact on overall health.

Female Fitness and Nutrition Scientist: Protein enhances weight loss

This week, Australian researchers published a long-term weight loss study in healthy adult (49 + or - 9 years) overweight women (BMI initially ~32).

In this study, they followed 79 women for more than a year (64 weeks) to see how protein influences weight loss and compliance to a dietary program.

The Heart Scan Blog: Triglyceride traps

Triglycerides are a potent trigger for coronary plaque growth.

Triglycerides in and of themselves probably do not cause plaque growth. Instead, triglycerides contribute to the formation of abnormal lipoproteins in the blood that, in turn, trigger coronary plaque, like VLDL, intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), and small LDL. Excess triglycerides also modify HDL structure and cause you to lose HDL in the urine.

About Calories | HoldTheToast Press

But here's why I posed the question in the first place: We've all been told and told and told that fat has more calories than anything else, right? And that's why we were supposed to eat a low fat diet to lose weight -- because by cutting out the fat we'd automatically reduce calories, tra-la. (For the moment let's ignore the fact that when Americans cut cut their fat intake their calorie intake increased.)

So here's the $60,000 question: If calories are fuel, or energy, and fat has more fuel -- more energy -- than anything else, why aren't obese people the most energetic people in the world?

MH The Fitness Insider

If you look at most weight-loss diets it's very difficult to simultaneously lose significant amounts of body fat and gain lean body mass at the same time. Why? Because you're breaking down one tissue and building another. That's a rather difficult physiological effect to achieve.

So, we thought, the way to prevent that is to combine low carb with weight training. To prove this, we performed a study combining a low-carbohydrate diet with weight training. The hypothesis was that restricting carbohydrates in combination with resistance training would promote the greatest fat loss while actually building muscle tissue. And that's exactly what we found. In fact, the results exceeded my expectations. We had multiple subjects lose 15-20 pounds of fat while gaining 5-10 pounds of lean body mass.

How the media disses low-carb diets I | Health & Nutrition by Michael R. Eades, M.D.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the media in general dislike low-carb diets. They use a number of tricks to denigrate carbohydrate-restricted diets at every opportunity. I’m going to start a series of posts showing the different methods used by our friends in the press to downplay the efficacy of the diets that millions of people have found so effective.

Is the Tide Turning on Low Carb? « Low Carb Confidential

Am I delusional to say that it seems that the tide is turning on low carb, and that more and more, mainstream science and the media are beginning to embrace some of the notions that labeled Atkins a dangerous quack only a few years ago?

In psychology there is something known as a ‘confirmation bias’ - the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. See Wikipedia for a list of cognitive biases and check out which ones you see yourself in - enlightening.

Happy reading!!!!

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.