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May 2013 posts

No pills to take?

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Win An All-Expenses Paid Trip To #YWM2013 - JOIN US!

From the OAC -
YOU ARE INVITED to join us for the 2nd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention, taking place this year in Phoenix, AZ, August 15 – 18 at the beautiful Arizona Grand Resort & Spa!

“Rise to the Challenge” with the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) in Phoenix, where you can learn from the country’s leading experts and arm yourself with the knowledge to better manage your weight and your health!

The Your Weight Matters National Convention is the largest National meeting dedicated to providing evidence-based strategies for individuals impacted by excess weight and obesity, proudly brought to you OAC. As a National non-profit organization, the OAC is dedicated to helping the millions of Americans impacted by excess weight and obesity through education, advocacy and support.

The OAC’s National Convention is a 3-day educational event designed to bring together all individuals who struggle or are concerned with weight-related issues. The entire weekend is dedicated to presenting a comprehensive agenda, comprised of diverse topics that are designed to help any individual who has ever had a concern about their weight. We bring-in the country’s leading experts on weight and health and give you the RIGHT tools to be successful in your lifelong journey with weight.

Would you join us?   Please do.  

The OAC invites you to “Rise to the Challenge” and have the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to the 2013 Convention in Phoenix.

Caesar demands - asks...

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  • If you refer 10 or more registrants to the 2013 Your Weight Matters National Convention, you will be entered-in to a Grand Prize drawing for an all-expenses paid trip to the Convention! The individual whose name is drawn will receive airfare, three-nights hotel stay and a Full Event Registration. Participants must recruit a minimum of 10 registrants to be eligible to enter the raffle for the Grand Prize.  

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  • All individuals who refer at least one registrant will be entered-in to a Runner-up drawing for a complimentary Full Convention Registration and a free OAC Membership (or renewal). You will receive one entry into the Runner-up drawing for each registrant who indicates that you referred them to Convention.  
  • GET ENTERED!  GET THERE.  We want to see you!  

(If you have not watched this - DO - embed the words inside your brain - that little dance - can you?  Would you?)

Have you already registered for #YWM2013?  (GO YOU!)  

  • If you HAVE?  
  • Please please please shoot the OAC a quick email to convention@obesityaction.org and provide the name of the individual that recruited you to attend.  Because, they get a shot at winning the trip - and that's super-helpful.  The more the better.  
  • Spread the love.  And see you at #YWM2013!  

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  • Related articles

For Many, Affordable Care Act Won't Cover Bariatric Surgery

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For Many, Affordable Care Act Won't Cover Bariatric Surgery - via NPR

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Mr. MM newly post op


JACKSON, Miss. — Uninsured Americans who are hoping the new health insurance law will give them access to weight loss treatments are likely to be disappointed.

That's especially the case in the Deep South, where obesity rates are among the highest in the nation, and states will not require health plans sold on the new online insurance marketplaces to cover medical weight loss treatments like prescription drugs and bariatric surgery.

Dr. Erin Cummins directs the bariatric surgery department at Central Mississippi Medical Center in the state capital of Jackson. She grew up in the Delta, her husband is a cotton farmer, and although she's petite and fit, she understands well enough how Mississippians end up on her operating table.

"You have to realize in the South, everything revolves around food. Reunions, funerals, parties — everything revolves around food," Cummins says.

That long-standing food culture, as well as other factors like inactivity and poverty, have saddled Mississippi with the highest obesity rate in the nation.

Credit: Produced by Dave Anderson/Oxford American; Narrated by Debbie Elliott/NPR

Roughly 1 in 3 adult Americans is now obese. And ground zero for the nation's obesity battle is Mississippi — where 7 of 10 adults in the state are either overweight or obese. The problem is most pronounced in Holmes County — the poorest and heaviest in the state.

Doctors here are no longer surprised to see 20-somethings with diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, heart disease and severe joint pain. And the prevalence of severe and super-obesity is growing rapidly. For those patients, bariatric surgery is considered the most effective treatment to induce significant weight loss.

Cummins describes the procedure: "We're restricting the stomach size to where a patient isn't going to eat as much. Then we reroute the intestines a little bit and realign it to delay digestion, so to speak, to bypass it. So everything a patient eats in a gastric bypass is not going to be absorbed."

After surgery, many of the complications of obesity, like sleep apnea and high blood pressure, are reversed. Multiple studies have found that about 80 percent of diabetics can stop medication in the first year.

Medicare and about two-thirds of large employers cover bariatric surgery in the U.S. But the procedure is pricey — an average of $42,000 — and many small employers, including those in Mississippi, don't cover it.

When the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, one goal was to erase those sorts of regional variations in access.

"Our hope was that there would be a single benefit for the entire country, and as part of that benefit there would be coverage for obesity treatment," says Dr. John Morton. He is director of bariatric surgery at Stanford University Morton, and has led national and state lobbying efforts to get insurance coverage for teh surgery.

But amid worries that a uniform set of benefits would be too expensive in some states, and sensitive to the optics of the federal government laying down one rule for all states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services changed course. It decided instead to match benefits to the most popular small group plan sold in each state, in essence reflecting local competitive forces.

That's led to an odd twist: In more than two dozen states, obesity treatments – including intensive weight loss counseling, drugs and surgery – won't be covered in plans sold on the exchanges.

Bariatric surgery won't be covered on the exchanges in Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi. That's where, according to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity rates are among the highest.

Morton applauds the growing awareness around obesity prevention in the U.S., but, he says, some 15 million Americans who are already severely obese still need medical treatment.

"If they don't have insurance, they're not going to get the therapy," Morton says. "We see cancer therapy covered routinely. We see heart disease covered routinely. Why is it that we don't see obesity coverage routinely?"

Therese Hanna, Executive Director of the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, isn't surprised that obesity treatments are excluded on the insurance exchange in her state. She says it all has to do with keeping cost down for many people who will be buying insurance for the first time.

"With the discussions around what should be covered under the exchange within the state, a lot of it had to do with balancing cost versus the coverage," says Hanna.

Hannah says Mississippians who buy insurance on the exchange will likely be the cashiers, cooks, cleaners and construction workers that make up much of the state's uninsured. And even though many of them will qualify for federal subsidies, the price of monthly premiums must be kept low.

"If you try to include everything, the cost would be so high that people wouldn't be able to afford the coverage, so you defeat the purpose," Hanna says. The discussion in Mississippi, she says has focused on providing care for things like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. "So we have a lot of needs to be covered other than obesity itself."


Wada Test for Brain Surgery - Whooooooooa Dude - Fun with my brains!

I don't know if I already shared THIS video, because I have watched it a few times, but I am having this test done next week June 6th with pre op on June 5th.  This guy totally 'splains things in a understandable way.  Snort.

Whoa.

Whoa
So there's this.

 


Carnie Wilson Speaks At WLSFA 2013 Las Vegas Luncheon

Carnie Wilson Speaks At WLSFA 2013 Las Vegas Luncheon


Null and Void. #WLSFA2013 Post #1 Good Tried To Do Good

PHILANTHROPY is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

BBGC Donates to the WLSFA
Donating $1000 to the WLSFA


  1. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

I'm going to add one more:

Don't do this to your donors - particularly when they're YOUR PEOPLE.

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That is a scanned image of the check I donated to the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America or WLSFA organization.  

I was not home twenty-four hours before I received a letter from the CEO of the foundation and this image with the letters V O I D enscribed across it.  I have not slept much yet - so - forgive my even sharing this with you -

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I especially like how I wronged the sponsors.  Because many of them are also mine.  (*See sidebar.  I love my sponsors.  Click their links.  Buy stuff.)

That feels really good, Antonia.  That makes my heart swell with pride and stuff.

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It's a day later and I've received no response as to what I did, aside from hand the WLSFA $1000 in a non-confrontational manner.   I actually had to beg them to take it - we were skipped over in the first round of donation announcements - they took it publicly and gave it back like this.  

The event itself?  Was a non-issue.  I only have two or three issues that I'd concern myself with -- and they wouldn't involve this check.  At all.  One issue was big enough for me to want to blog - but - I've refrained so far.

My bariatric support group's fundraising is obviously not wanted in this exclusionary non-profit.  I do not know if it's legal to shun a cash donation from legal fundraising.  Lawyers?

As a group we are more than disgusted.  I have spent hours promoting this event, and spent thousands of dollars, and frankly I sit here ashamed that I asked my peers to donate to the cause.  

Consider for a second how much I spent just for myself -

  • BBGC Donation - $1000
  • WLSFA Ticket - $150
  • Carnie Wilson Luncheon - $99
  • Flight - $600
  • Hotel - $100+ night
  • Travel (Shuttle, cabs, etc.)
  • Food
  • Discretionary stuff
  • Ticket for a friend 

I am more sickened that I suggested friends JOIN ME at the event -- and asked them to spend their hard-earned money on the event as well just to be shunned so specifically.  Friends brought husbands -- this isn't cheap.  

I am not a happy MM.  I apologize to YOU.  We learned a hard lesson here.

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We have have offers to take our GOOD elsewhere, of course.   I got offers of help in the middle of the night.  And we will, if you donated or made a purchase - your money is going to another reputable non-profit.  Thank you.  


Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal.

 

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I am there.  This is my lowest adult weight.  I was here once before at one-year post gastric bypass many years ago for a very short time, I think it lasted one day.  My BMI is 26.2 at this weight, and I am just a few pounds away from a "normal" BMI, which I have never seen.
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I'll take it, even if it takes fooooorrreeevveeerrrr to get each ounce off at this stage.

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Chris Christie Joins Team WLS - gets a band! (Got a band, months ago!)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has come to the dark side. 

He got banded.   Go him.   Good for him.

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New York Post -

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent lap-band stomach surgery to aggressively slim down for the sake of his wife and kids, he revealed to The Post last night.

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The Garden State governor agreed to the operation at the urging of family and friends after turning 50 last September. He told The Post he was thinking of his four kids and how it was time to start improving his health when he decided to have the procedure.

“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he said. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”

He also insisted that, contrary to what observers may say, the effort to slim down was not motivated by thoughts of a presidential bid.

“It’s so much more important than that,” he said.

Christie checked in to a surgery center on Feb. 16. A source said he registered under a false name.

The operation included placing a silicone tube around the top of his stomach, where it restricts the amount of food he can eat at one time and makes him feel fuller, faster.

“A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full,” he said of his newly tamed appetite. He declined to say how much he lost, but sources said he has already shed nearly 40 pounds.

Christie has struggled with his weight for decades. He sometimes jokes about it, while other times, it’s a sensitive topic. Insiders said it was the only thing keeping the straight-talking executive from higher office.

Despite Christie’s denials, political fund-raisers say that the surgery is a clear sign that he’s going to join the 2016 race — and will do whatever it takes to win.

“This means he’s running for president. He’s showing people he can get his weight in control. It was the one thing holding him back,” a top political donor told The Post.

Sources said Christie didn’t make the decision lightly — he even had private conversations about the operation with once-rotund Jet coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan lost about 100 pounds — down from a massive 350 — after he had the same procedure done in 2010.

Christie has never revealed his weight, but estimates have run from about 300 to 350 pounds.

He hired the same ace laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon as Ryan — Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

Read more:

New Jersey Gov. Christie has stomach surgery as part of weight-loss plan - NYPOST.com

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/chris_cuts_waist_oAUDrJ8Sm1fY6awWgFY6nN#ixzz2SbUfkYFX


Katie Jay Keynote Speaking at Southcoast Center for Weight Loss - Video

Katie Jay of www.nawls.com was the keynote speaker at an event at Southcoast Center for Weight Loss in Wareham, MA yesterday.

She is amazing.  

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Thank you, Katie.  

Here we are -

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150 patients returned to the Southcoast Center for Weight Loss Saturday for a reunion as the group marked its own milestone: 3,500 patients since Dr. Rayford Kruger launched the unit nine years ago.It is now the largest and busiest bariatric surgery program in New England, with three surgeons who perform about 650 procedures at Wareham's Tobey Hospital a year.

 


Apathy and failure

Recently when I saw a fresh weight loss and posted it, I was confronted with a commenter who asked me why I posted my body-weight.  It is a fair question and I do not challenge her asking it, because it's been asked of me many times when I have posted my actual weight-as-a-number.

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I will say that number-sharing is the norm (...or was?) in the weight loss surgery/bariatric community as a whole for as long as I have been a part of it -- and that is at least 10-12 years that I have actively read and participated in emails, groups and chats.  I posted the question as a poll this morning on Facebook as well.  Go answer!  Come back.

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Back in the hey-day of message boards we would add a line of text to our signatures (..siggies!) to signify our -

  • HW (Highest Weight)
  • SW (Start Weight or Surgery Weight)
  • CW (Current Weight)
  • GW (Goal Weight)

They would look alot like this!

Beth 

HW - 320  SW - 298  CW - 151 - GW - 150

Don't judge the comic-sans.  

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I would go back to *my old posts circa 2003/2004 and show you, except I was banned from my message board back then, and my posts via BethLButterfly disappeared.  She posted in Comic Sans at times. Her demise is why MM exists.

Number or weight sharing is.  Was.  Always will be?  I would say that in general -- most individuals that have bariatric surgery are often proud of every single pound lost, and want to wear their "pounds lost" as a badge of honor.  Some post ops are extraordinarily proud and not only wear the pounds lost, current weight, but will add things like "LBS GONE FOREVER!"  

Losing weight is no easy feat, and after bariatric surgery -- it feels like victory. Why wouldn't someone want to own it -- even just for a while?  I suppose when you've been 500, 400, 300, 250 lbs -- wearing a newly slimmed down self is quite a change and being able to put that number out there to the universe -- even just for a while is worth it.

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Now, for me.  This commenter wondered if my posting about my actual number was an obsession - let me clear it up here.  No.  I've always weighed myself.  

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Bariatric surgery and the life afterwards is ALL ABOUT NUMBERS.  Losing pounds, inches, and sometimes counting calories, measuring food, and exercise.  If you're a pre-op that doesn't want to 'hear that' - I am sorry - but it really, truly, is.

I absolutely understand that some people take these numbers to an extreme - and extremes are unhealthy at any level -- and that is how we get into situations like: needing bariatric surgery.  Extreme caloric intake is unhealthy, an extreme sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy.  We require balance.  

It takes a very long time for some people to learn this:  example ---->  ME.

While I have always "weighed-in,"  I am also The Queen Of Avoidance, and as soon as I see the scale move up - I remove the scale.  (That's magic, if I can't see my regain, no one else can.  That is, until I SEE THE PHOTO EVIDENCE MYSELF AND SCREAM.  *See below.)  

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So what has changed?  I removed myself from the effects of negative influences -- changed my views on some things and ... GASP ...

I added ACCOUNTABILITY to my daily life.  I now weigh myself near-daily, or at LEAST weekly.  I check-in my food nearly every single day on a journal.  

Is that obsessive?  No.  Why?  Because before -- not paying attention led to weight regain.  Surrounding myself by people with negative and apathetic views on life - brought me down.

Apathy causes failure.  

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Yes, I am fully aware I am a Bariatric Bad Girl - but maybe now you understand - BAD DOES NOT EQUATE "BAD," or breaking rules, or doing things WRONG.  

It's BAD-ASS.  (Help us help, BTW.)

*June 2012 - April 2013

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But, recently I started paying attention - and seeing results:

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My brain likes to see results, black and white, literal, on paper, in lines, to show me that if I DO X - Y WILL HAPPEN.

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Because it works.  (Shut up Weight Watchers.)  And my little brain likes proof.   

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If I can see tangible results I will keep going - I will keep doing a thing if I can see a result.  I do not like to work for "free - " you see.  Does that make sense?  Here's an example, a very simple one.  I started going to the gym and doing basic exercise (...long walks on the treadmill and seated elliptical) about a month ago (...I'll check back in my Facebook check ins) and I noticed a tangible result the night before last.  My leg muscles are coming back.  This is enough to create a positive reaction to keep me motivated.  

It's not about obsessing about a number.  I don't have a goal.  


Do you obsess about your BODY or APPEARANCE? Your brain might be different.

Brain_wired

It's not uncommon for those of us who have lost massive amounts of weight with bariatric surgery to have major issues with body dysmorphic disorder or problems seeing ourselves the way we really look.

Some post weight loss patients suffer terrible with body dysmorphia -- some to a much lesser degree.
But, could brains actually be different in those who have BDD?

Continue reading "Do you obsess about your BODY or APPEARANCE? Your brain might be different." »