The online mess for Kramer began recently with outraged commenters on Amazon, where pre-orders have not propelled Maggie anywhere near the top of the rankings. There is now a "savemaggie" hashtag on Twitter, a "Say No to Maggie Goes on a Diet" Facebook page, calls for a boycott and demands that Amazon and Barnes & Noble pull the book.
Kramer will not disclose how many orders he has for Maggie, which will not be in circulation until October. While most of the attention has been negative, he said, there are supporters, like this one who responded to a book basher on Twitter: "She's 14, not 6. Are you seriously suggesting that, with the obesity problem in this country, that a book teaching children to exercise and eat right, is somehow IMMORAL? I bet your fat."
Kramer, who went on "Good Morning America" and CNN to defend the book, already has regrets, although using the word "diet" is not one of them. Diet, he said, is not a dirty word as many of his angry critics have declared. Even for a book clearly most appropriate for little kids? He insists he didn't have 4-year-olds in mind, thinking more along the lines of 8 and up.
"The main message was that Maggie went on a diet predominantly because she loves sports and wanted to be able to run faster, bend more easily and be better able to play sports more effectively," Kramer told The Associated Press by phone from Maui, where he lives with his wife and soccer-loving, 16-year-old son.
Kramer, who struggled with obesity as a child and a young adult and still works to keep the pounds off, wishes Maggie's fantasy self in the mirror had not been quite so thin on the book's cover. He also wishes her transformation through weight loss had not been quite so much: 51 pounds in a little more than eight months.
"Now that I see the controversy I would say that I would have had her lose about 30 pounds and still have a little way to go," said Kramer, who is neither a physician nor a nutrition expert.
He said he is just a guy who wants to inspire overweight kids to be healthy.
"I regret that people associated the word 'diet' as me trying to push dieting on 4-year-olds and 6-year-olds. I'm not," Kramer said. "To me, diet means a change of habits, eating nutritiously, losing unhealthy weight."
Leslie Sanders, medical director of the Eating Disorder Program at Goryeb Children's Center in Summit, New Jersey, thinks Kramer's references to dieting in a rhyming picture book featuring a teen girl are unfortunate. The same goes for the notion that a child's key to success, beauty and popularity is being thin.
"There's a mismatch here," Sanders said. "You've got a rhyming book you're reading to a 4-year-old or a 6-year-old about a teenager focused on weight and eating. Why should young children be thinking about weight? There's no reason to have literature about dieting for young children at all."
In addition, most little kids don't sit down as Maggie the teen does once her "diet" begins and whip up their own oatmeal with yogurt and fruit, or prepare their own turkey sandwich with mustard and lettuce, followed by a dinner of vegetables "with various proteins," as the book describes.
You know who makes those choices for little kids? Their parents, Sanders said. The ones that do not appear in the book about Maggie the red pigtailed teen. In fact, there are no adults in the book at all.
That disturbs Arden Greenspan-Goldberg, a New York City psychotherapist who specializes in eating disorders and has a 22-year-old daughter.
"As women and mothers, we have our work cut out for us," she said. "We hope that when our girls look in the mirror, they like what they see."
Contrary to the online flash mob, Maggie does stand up to her tormenters in her own sad, quiet way.
"Most of the times Maggie did not wish to respond or counterattack," Kramer writes. "On rare occasions Maggie got so mad she could not hold back. She said, 'Is your life so boring that you have nothing else better to do? How would you like it and how would you feel if everyone picked on you? So
lose your stinger and make like a bee and buzz on through.'"
Once Maggie drops the weight, she not only gains gal pals but enjoys the attention of, urg, guys, another little something that young girls do not really need to think about.
She also gets higher grades and is invited to her first sleepover, bringing along deodorant spray so she doesn't have to worry about leaving a smell when she uses the bathroom.
Meanwhile, back on the soccer field, the teen encounters a pudgy, smaller girl as she practices and offers some tips. "She reminded Maggie of how Maggie was before she lost the weight," Kramer writes.
The book concludes, as Maggie collects a soccer trophy: "It is sad that people are judged mainly because of how they look. A pretty cover does not necessarily guarantee a good book."
I don't have an iPad, Kindle or Nook: BUT I NOW HAVE ACCESS TO A LIBRARY. Old school, I am. (I was also very late in getting a mobile phone and the internet -- you wouldn't expect that from a blogger but it's the truth.)
I took the little ones to the public library last week. I quickly realized it was difficult to keep a certain small person from READING OUT LOUD IN AN INSIDE VOICEbecause she didn't really know about libraries and being quiet in them. I haven't been inside a library -- since -- moving to this town. Before that, we could walk to the library in our previous town, but I didn't do it often with babies to you know, get MYSELF a book to read. She will learn, since her big sister was all in her face,
"You do KNOW this is a place where you HAVE TO be quiet?"
The girls got signed up for library cards -- and picked out books -- each checked out two. While my four year old was not really interested in a book, since was more interested in the toys.
"Why do they have toys here? I thought we were 'posed to be quiet?"
My soon to be fourth-grader just was thrilled to find a tasseled book-mark.
It's the little things that motivate us: like the walk to the library for the promise of a new book, or is it? After convincing the lady at the check out desk that I Really Did Live In Town, I checked out this book:
Book Description -
"Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money--the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink in Drive. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction--at work, at school, and at home--is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation--autonomy, mastery, and purpose--and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live."
I'm just into the first chapter -- and it makes a lot of sense to me.
The higher the reward, the lower the performance. People need to be DRIVEN to TRY.
There needs to be an internal motivation to try -- for various things -- but especially jobs -- beyond income.
The best use of money as a money as a motivator is to MAKE people not WORRY ABOUT MONEY. If you people enough that they aren't concerned about their basic needs, you take the issue off the table. They no longer have that worry, fear and anxiety constantly stalking them. (Although, I wonder how much of THAT motivates any number of us. Mama's gotta pay the electric bill, you know -- you do what you have to.)
According to Pink, paying someone over and beyond their needs does not increase performance for tasks! Being overpaid doesn't make a person ANY BETTER at their job, or motivated to DO any better.
But, does being underpaid (waves to half of the country...) create a situation where you are constantly stressed PERSONALLY about your situation and does effect your performance AND potentially effect your income? I think so.
Does this make sense to you? *goes to read more...*
For decades we’ve been told that stress can kill you, that happy people live longer and that hours in the gym will keep you healthy. Now researchers have turned this kind of long-cherished conventional wisdom on its head. The new mantra: Stress can be goodfor you. Serious people may live longer than those with sunny dispositions. The treadmill may not hold the key to longevity.
These conclusions come from a unique study, which followed 1,500 Californians across eight decades. The study is described in a new book, “The Longevity Project.” Study co-author Leslie Martin says that some of the new results surprised both her and her co-author, Howard Friedman.
Not all stress is the same. If you hate your job, ditch it before the stress kills you. But, if you love your job, don’t sweat the stress.
Reach out and touch someone — on a regular basis. People who connect with friends and family tend to live longer.
Don’t make your dog your best friend. Pets are all well and good, but they are no substitute for human contact.
Be careful about who you choose to marry. A good marriage may lead to longevity, but a bad marriage – and divorce – can shave years off your life.
If you’re an exceedingly sunny person, tone it down a bit. “People tend to think of cheerfulness as good, but we found exactly the opposite,” Martin says. “Cheerful kids lived shorter lives. That was a big shocker.”
Overly optimistic people tend not to be as careful as those who have a more serious take on life. “If you’re one of those people who expects things will always turn out great, you may benefit from listening to the perspectives of others,” Martin says. “Awareness is a key component. And being a little more prepared and a little more risk-averse.”
If you hate the gym, don’t go. While it’s good to be fit, you’ll never stick with an exercise regimen that you hate or that bores you.
Don’t retire early. A lot of people think that early retirement will help them live longer, but the study shows that the opposite might be true.
I never heard of this author, nor had she been a presence on the message forum this post was placed on before. These type of posts usually disappear before forum members actually see them, because, well they are spam. "Hi, buy my book!" But this time, it's different. The product is perfectly targeted for our community, a book written by a post gastric bypass patient about her experiences.
How long does it take to publish a book? The author had surgery in 2008, and the book was released in 2010.
Wait, what? How? That's just... amazing! If this is true, where is the miracle cure that most of the WLS community is missing out on? And, if she's got the answer inside this book? RUN! DO NOT WALK!
Personally, years to realize that I even had an issue WITH food, I laughed at my pre-operative psych testing and nutritional counseling. "Is this really necessary?" When I shared the truth of some of my husband's pre-operative eating habits, it was looked upon with shock, not acceptance. One doesn't get to 370 pounds on vegetables. (And, seven years later, he still doesn't.)
Stomach surgery is not going to change what is inherently wrong in your head.
The author states that she's had a gastric bypass in 2008, and that she's cured from food addiction, in two weeks, apparently... as that Salon article was published in October 2010:
"I do make the claim that gastric cured my food addiction...and that's because I am no longer physically able to abuse food. My experience with gastric has made it so I get violently ill if I attempt to overeat. Is that everyone's experience? No, but it is mine, and that is the story I am sharing. I also had terrible complications from gastric, but I know that's not evereyone's experience either. This is just my story. I've often said food addicts are at a real disadvantage because unlike say an alcoholic or drug abuser, a food addict has to continue consuming the substance they abuse...there's no getting away from it. But one of the advanatages some food addicts has is that with a tool like gastric bypass, they are able to treat their addiction in a way not afforded to other substance abusers. Does that mean all of my problems went away? Certainly not, because as anyone with an addiction will tell you, once you stop abusing the substance, you're left with trying to find out why you're inclined to hurt yourself in the first place. And that is the really hard problem to work on, one that I am sure I will be saddled with for the rest of my life."
And... she's currently struggling to EAT 1000 calories a day, right now.
"I'll say this one last thing and then I'm done trying to make my point: I had my surgery two and a half years ago and I struggle to fit in 1,000 calories a day. At my worst, I was eating in excess of 10,000 calories a day. I no longer abuse food. It's just a fact. My surgeon says gastric affects people in different ways (hence all the complications I had)...and one of the effects, for me, is that I can't abuse food. And once I learned I couldn't, I slowly, over time, lost the need or want to do so."
A cure indicates that quite possibly, the problem (food addiction in this case) is gone forever.
This might indicate that the source of the issue has been altered somehow.
We are quite aware that the source of overeating and inappropriate eating behaviors is not located in the digestive tract, it's in our brains. And, so far as I know, the only brain surgery for weight loss is in the trial phases.
The author mentions several instances where she ate until she made herself violently ill, at a very early stage post operatively. "4-5 times" of entire bags of potato chips. Is the cure that vomiting and dumping makes her feel so horrid that she no longer has the urge to binge?
The author stated that she struggles currently, to get in 1000 calories. And, that possibly this results from her complications.
She explained that her weight loss came easily due to malnutrition. She had a very rough time.
I suppose I could find it very easy to say that I had cured my food addiction if I couldn't EAT either!
As gastric bypass patient who gets dumping syndrome and reactive hypoglycemia nearly daily on random food choices, I understand that you might do ANYTHING TO AVOID GETTING SICK.
"My experience with gastric has made it so I get violently ill if I attempt to overeat."
But, avoiding the normal side effects of a gastric bypass is not "curing food addiction," is it? Like the author, I cannot overeat because I will get ill. But, that isn't because I am cured. That's because I prefer not being ill.
Nor is overeating to the point of esophagus stuffing and subsequent nausea is not a cure. It's a WARNING. This is a sensation only weight loss surgery patients KNOW. Fun stuff right there.
Many of us chose the bypass because of the nasty effects of dumping, and it's slap-your-wrist function. "Don't eat that ice cream, you will get sick!" Because, it works. It's a nasty little reminder.
It's not a cure for food addiction. I GUARANTEE YOU THAT 100%. Perhaps gastric bypass triggers a bit of remission, "a relatively prolonged lessening or disappearance of the symptoms of a disease."
I have countless bypasser friends and acquaintances (raise your hands, or not) whom...
fail to get in necessary calories or macro-nutrients
have had complications that cause lack of intake
eat sugar to fall asleep
plan to eat crap at certain times
eat inappropriate foods "on purpose"
eat just enough not to get sick
chew and spit
lick salty snacks
drink liquid calories
So on, so forth, and don't even get started on the transfer of these habits to OTHER issues.
Many will find any way around the bypass, and any way around the "sick." For those fortunate/not fortunate enough to dump, they have a hard time not avoiding excess junk, as it's just so easy to eat.
Certainly there are other reasons as to why people become morbidly obese to begin with, not simply food addiction or other emotional causes. Such as medications, illness, and genetics, however:
"Despite obesity having strong genetic determinants, the genetic composition of the population does not change rapidly. Therefore, the large increase in . . . [obesity] must reflect major changes in non-genetic factors."
Hill, James O., and Trowbridge, Frederick L. Childhood obesity: future directions and research priorities. Pediatrics. 1998; Supplement: 571.
Admittedly, there are some of us who feel somewhat apathetic about food after weight loss surgery. I don't really care about the food in the way that I did pre-operatively. But, I would never say that I am cured, because the beast of addiction resurfaces in any way it CAN, even if it doesn't come out a food addiction. Because of this I must remain cognizant that YES I AM LIKELY TO PICK UP A HABIT. I am aware that my past as a morbidly obese person stems from over eating. I am aware that I have family history of obesity AND addiction.
If I don't fulfill the addiction to FOOD, I will fulfill it SOME OTHER WAY. Always. Even with harmless <coffee> habits. Think about it for a moment. Since you had weight loss surgery, if food is no longer your OBSESSION? What IS IT? I guarantee you replaced it. (Put down that crochet needle, I see you. LOL.)
The degree to which learning and memory sustain the addictive process is only now being appreciated. Each time a neurotransmitter like dopamine floods a synapse, scientists believe, circuits that trigger thoughts and motivate actions are etched onto the brain. Indeed, the neurochemistry supporting addiction is so powerful that the people, objects and places associated with drug taking are also imprinted on the brain. Stimulated by food, sex or the smell of tobacco, former smokers can no more control the urge to light up than Pavlov's dogs could stop their urge to salivate.
I am afraid that some of us don't know this going in to our weight loss surgery journey -- and if we hear that "gastric surgery cured my food addiction" -- we're being sold on something that does not exist.
Unhappy, obese individuals may see weight loss surgery as an answer to their problems. They believe that their lives will become easier if they lose the weight. However, many psychologists believe that without therapy, the addictive behaviors could remain or even become more harmful. As the excitement of losing weight begins to wears off, the underlying unhappiness is still there, and an individual will still try to find some way to fill the void.