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Monday, April 26, 2010

Debt linked to Obesity

This is a very interesting article about the two and a possible connection between them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Week Back to Work Went Well

So my first week back at work went well. I am on a four day a week contract going to a five day a week contract in June. So today was my Friday. I got everything I wanted done this week and I even had some time to read for the last hour of the day. As a professor I am expected to keep up with the literature in my field so this is a good thing. Plus I love to read.

Tomorrow, I'll be working on some book reviews, going to a meeting to sign up for a 401 K and planning the garden we are putting in on Sunday. My first garden of my adult life!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Third Day at Work Better than the Second

I was so tired last night I went to bed earlier then a middle schooler. Today I felt better and tonight I'm not nearly as tired. I'm still going to be early so I can stay rested.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fatigued at the end of the day

I'm going to have to recoup this weekend as going back to work is definatley tiring. I'll be in bed early tonight for sure. There is a lot to plan for, food,water,breaks, making sure I'm not pushing myself too hard etc. I'm pratically asleep right now!

Monday, April 19, 2010

First Day Back at Work After Surgery/Wellness Compact.

Today was my first day at work, six weeks after my surgery. It went well and I was impressed by my level of energy. Of course all the compliments from colleagues didn't hurt! I noticed my energy dip as I needed more food which wasn't as easy to do while I was on leave and not constantly moving around.

I created a wellness compact for myself detailing all the ways I will work to maintain my goals and wellness. I'll let you know how I do. If you want to see it, let me know and I'll send it to you.

Be Well!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Financial and Physical Wellness

Last week on America's Biggest Loser Susie Orman met with the cast and discussed the relationship between money management, self esteem and weight. I follow a great blog called The Simple Dollar. It has great financial advice. Today I found out about a great online site called Smarty that helps people save money. Here is the link. Check it out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Free Trainer is Awesome

So, about a year ago I thought I'd check out a personal trainer even though I couldn't afford one, at least monetarily. I totally needed the help. I met Scott Bevins who inspired by my story took me on for FREE. Can you believe that. I told him my story of struggle with weight, self-esteem etc. If you go to my Facebook Page and look under Andrea's Journey you can see and hear us working out. In these videos I am 30lbs heavier then I am now.

Well we met for the first time since my conversion from lap band to RNY today and outlined my new program. It consists of an hour of exercise a day, cardio to burn fat and weight lifting three times a week.

Feels great to be back in the workout saddle again. I have been walking every day since surgery starting with a mile, 40 laps around the nurses station the day after surgery. I'm up to four miles a day now!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Halfway to my Weight Loss Goal!

My journey to wls started four years ago when I started investing the lap band. I thought I was emotionally ready to change my relationship with food but wasn't as ready as I thought. That combined with letting my first surgeon talk me into the lap band when what I really needed was the rny I had the lap band on July 2, 2007.

That led to three years of what I describe as a living hell for me, but a necessary one for me to go through to get to where I am now. I realize the lap band is the right tool for some but it wasn't for me. We all have to make our own decisions about what surgery is best for us.

Today, I reached the halfway point in my weight loss from my highest weight ever to my first goal of 150 lbs. I'm not sure if I will go lower we'll see. It feels DAMN good to be half way there after over two decades of struggle and one failed wls surgery attempt. It all has been a good learning experience.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Post Gastric ByPass Poop Incident

Who knew the most popular thing I've written would be a post about, well, uhmm, poop after gastric by pass. I posted this on obesity help and it got over 200 views and 40 replies from people saying they were laughing so hard they were crying etc. Enjoy!


Okay, so you know as we move through the diets ahh, we can get a little constipated at times. So, this morning, I thought I was giving birth when I attempted to go. The dang thing was so hard it wouldn't flush after three attempts.

I got a plunger, the accordion type and used it. All seemed well....that is the key statement. I thought well I have to wash this thing off now. So I turned the water on scalding hot in the tub to rinse it and then clean and sanitize the tub.

To my shock and horror that damn plunger actually sucked up that turd which was the biggest I ever took in my dropped out of the plunger into the tub! Well, I let out a primordial howl and my husband comes crashing into the bathroom thinking I am dying. I'm mortified and don't want him to see "it.". All the while, I am thinking, "How the hell am I going to get that back into the toilet." Clearly, not having children I was grossed out by this. So I run into the kitchen to get paper towels. The dang thing stuck to the towels and I had a hard time getting it off the towels.

By now, I am laughing so hard I can barley see. It took my husband until tonight to really see the humor in it. I knew I had to share this with my lightweight friends.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Energy is through the roof!

It is amazing how much energy I have five weeks post op from my RNY. I'm down 25lbs and I can see a total difference. Total recovery time to full energy back is 8 weeks. So, my co-workers will have to strap themselves in when I go back to work. I understand now why some weight loss patients run marathons after losing lots of weight. All that energy has to go somewhere. I plan to use mine continuing to exercise, and writing my book.


Friday, April 9, 2010

This is a very insightful article about the reality of what is an acceptable prejudice in our culture.


Stephen Ritz, PhD, a clinical psychologist practicing in Decatur, Georgia feels privileged to have worked with WLS patients for nearly twelve years now. Dr. Ritz may be reached at 770-270-5488 or

The U.S. population is now at least two thirds overweight, with those designated as obese by BMI and other measures being the fastest growing group within this category. It has been predicted that nearly one in two children will be overweight by the end of this year. Obese children are the targets of ridicule, bullying, social exclusion and the like. They are victimized by their peers, teachers, and other adults; even by members of their own family. They are more negatively stigmatized as a group than kids with any other characteristic for which they might be targeted, be it race, ethnicity or some other defining characteristic. The weight bias suffered by children is staggering, tragic and entirely avoidable.

Unfortunately, the prejudice-if not abuse-suffered by overweight children is not limited to them exclusively. Many who are obese, whether overweight as children or not, often wrestle with body hatred, embarrassment–if not humiliation and shame, self-loathing and self-contempt, depression, damaged self-esteem and a range of missed or lost opportunities. They suffer job discrimination, denial of job advancement opportunities and relationship frustration. They are excluded from a host of social and economic opportunities simply because of their weight, size and appearance, regardless their intellect or substance, character or charm. Most, if not all, of this prejudice and the obvious accompanying painful emotional fallout would never be an issue in a more sensitive, caring, understanding and embracing society. Sadly, we have light years to go in accomplishing this in the one that we call home to Americans of all shapes, colors and ethnic origin.

Just listen to Linda who recently responded to an OH request for examples of weight discrimination that they suffered. Linda blogged in frustration, “I had been debating on surgery for a few years. In September 2009, I went to Tokyo, Japan. Because I am a large person, I got dirty looks from people on the airplane, comments were made on the subway and I was generally ignored if I had a question or wanted to buy something. I felt invisible. At 300 pounds, it was humiliating. The day after I landed in the US, I called and scheduled my seminar and had RNY December 15th. I plan to go back to Japan in May. I don’t think I’ll get ignored or receive the scathing looks I did in September.” How ironic that the larger one’s size, the more invisible the obese individual so frequently becomes to others. How sad to think that Linda must rush to a physician to alter her body in order to feel accepted by others, whether in this society or abroad.

How about thisbe777 who reflected about being denied a job opportunity despite her obvious qualifications? She commented, “Back around 1981 I was in the process of moving to another state and with the help of a friend who lived there, lined up a job in a lounge as a bartender/cocktail waitress. I had been to bartender’s school, had experience doing both jobs, and was pretty darn good at it from what I’d been told. The manager told me over the phone that they had a job available and really needed someone who could wait tables and work the bar.

When I arrived, I went down to meet her and to get things started. When I got there I noticed that all the employees wore tight, low cut little striped shirts and white jeans. The manager looked at me (I was about a size 18), then tersely informed me that they had no job openings. I guess she didn’t think I’d look too great in their little outfits. All I could say was that it was her loss, because I could have worked circles around anyone else there.”
There is plenty of data now available clearly showing that those with weight difficulties are often discriminated against in a host of settings. We know that this kind of bias can significantly harm the physical and psychological well being of individuals while decreasing their willingness to get help and stick to whatever aids and loss/maintenance strategies are available.

Another unnamed OH respondent painfully captured this with their comments. “I was fired from a job. My boss’s boss made him fire me. When I asked my boss (and mentor) why his boss seemed to hate me his reply was ‘Well some people relate fat to lazy’ was chilling....and while at the time a crushing blow that made me hit rock bottom, now I see it as a pivotal turning point and I’m so much better off not working there.”

Those deemed obese by a variety of conventional standards are routinely insulted and ridiculed both subtly and in more obvious and blatantly disrespectful and damaging ways. They are often identified as “lazy, stupid, incompetent, and unqualified” and given many other hurtful and inaccurate labels. In fact, consider for a moment the highly popular and successful network television show The Biggest Loser. This prime time program does a terrific job of pulling at our heartstrings while championing the successful and often dramatic non surgical weight loss of the contestants. Yet, some have rightfully criticized it for promoting “unhealthy, unrealistic and unaffordable weight loss regimes.” Furthermore, it “reinforced that being obese is an individual’s fault and that individuals should take personal responsibility for weight loss.” The show was chastised in that it “promoted a simplistic notion that obesity is caused by binge eating and a lack of exercise”. Finally, The Biggest Loser “perpetuated damaging, negative social stereotypes of people living with obesity.”

Consider for a moment the title of this show. An interesting double entendre, don’t you think? What associations do you typically conjure in your head when you think of a person as being a “loser”? Nothing flattering I would venture. The show’s title communicates a message, whether intended or not, that influences our perceptions and attitudes about those struggling with obesity. It risks fostering a mindset that furthers our negative associations with this population of folks that is accounting for a larger percentage of the U.S. population as we enter this new decade.

As recently as this morning, I was driving to the office listening to the radio, channel surfing for a brief moment when I happened upon a nationally syndicated radio host hawking the merits of a well known weight loss system. The host suggested, and not too subtly mind you, something to the effect that if one wanted that next promotion, shedding about twenty to thirty pounds with the help of this weight loss program would certainly grease the job advancement wheels. And therein lies the rub, a massive and corrosive societal problem that harms countless obese individuals. We as a culture have learned to all too frequently value style over substance, outward appearance over competence, and the shapely over the supposed unsightly. We brand those overweight with discriminatory labels that do nothing to promote wellness, only shame and wasted talent. So many of us are guilty of sleepwalking our way through life; mindlessly loyal to the toxic assumptions that drive how we interact with our fellow man and woman. There really are no phrases that aptly characterize the cruelty and wounding that the obese individual suffers at the hands of others. Even the descriptor “obese” itself, has negative connotations. All one has to do is reread the blogs of those brave folks referenced earlier to realize just how malignant a process obesity discrimination can be.

So how should obesity discrimination be addressed? The answer on an individual basis may lie within the comments of those who were quoted above. Those who are comfortable within their skin, regardless their size or appearance are more likely to value themselves with immunity from the hurtful prejudice of others. Tackling this issue on a societal level is of a magnitude and challenge that space here does not permit. There is no doubt that so many of you who have read this article may have an opinion one way or another; something that might foster another article at a later date, a forum to include your ideas and suggestions. What do you think?

Stephen Ritz, PhD, a clinical psychologist practicing in Decatur, Georgia feels privileged to have worked with WLS patients for nearly twelve years now. Dr. Ritz may be reached at 770-270-5488 or

Thursday, April 8, 2010

First Day on Full Foods Went Well

Yesterday was my first day on full foods since RNY. Actually, I had to do a two week liquid diet before surgery. So, that is two months of mostly liquids and two weeks of soft foods.

I'm very pleased I met all my protein, fat, carbs, hydration and vitamin requirements.

Feels great!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Appointment was Great!

My doctor walked in said "I don't even recognize you" and shook my hand. I'm cleared of all restrictions and will start with my trainer soon. I'll keep folks updated on that too. Blood pressure was perfect. Weight loss was just as expected. All my levels of nutrition were great too. I'm right on target in every way and very pleased.

First Post Op Appointment Today!

I'm looking forward to seeing my surgeon and bariatric team today a little more then one month post op. I am sure they will be pleased with my progress and healing so far.

Questions I have today:

1.) Are all weight lifting restrictions lifted?
2.) Can I start working out with a personal trainer. I have a great trainer who took me on for free and I intend to use that service fully.
3.)Will I have my blood levels tested today?
4.) What to expect for progress over the next two months before my second appointment
5.) See if my surgeon wants to be facebook friends.

I'll let ou know what happens.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Waiting for Onederland to Start Living

So it's been a few weeks and I realized something important. Without knowing it I was waiting in a way to get under 200 lbs which happened on April Fools day for the first time in over two decades. I love that. There is certanley some irony to it. In the WLS world Onderland is when you get into a weight that is under 200 lbs.

Afterwards it was like I breathed out a sigh of relief and said, "Okay, I'm going to make it this time. I am doing all the right things. I am following my program and its rules. My RNY is working and I am healing well.

It is sad in a way I felt like I had to get in the 100's before I really believed I'm successful at getting healthy and fit. I'm here to stay now that is for sure. I've lost 28lbs and three clothing sizes since my surgery date on March 3rd.

I'm reading some books about blogging so I can get better at it.

Best Wishes to all and thanks for the continued support!