- Deciphering between the truths of others can cloud our ability to see our own reality.
- Holding onto the things that weigh us down can create debilitating physical FAT and emotional Falsely Acquired Thoughts (F.A.T.) Change the brain, change the body, and find out how to fight F.A.T. for real. Presented by Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT, a licensed psychotherapist and understands the debilitating effects of emotional and physical weight.
- September 25 - 28, 2014 - Orlando, Florida
Via OAC - Nominations END tomorrow!
We are proud to open the nomination process for the OAC’s 2013 Annual Awards that will be presented on Saturday evening, August 17, at the 2nd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention in Phoenix, AZ.
Last year, the OAC unveiled its Annual Awards Program as a way to honor outstanding OAC members and volunteers for their tireless efforts to advance the cause of obesity and help individuals affected through education, advocacy and support. Our members truly drive the successes of the OAC, and we are excited to celebrate the individuals that have made a direct impact in furthering the goals and mission of the OAC.
During this year’s awards ceremony held in conjunction with the 2013 National Convention in Phoenix, we will present seven awards in key areas of focus for the OAC. A complete list of the awards to be presented may be found to the right. Of the seven awards, four are open to the membership to submit nominations. The remaining award recipients will be selected by the Annual Awards Program Review Committee.
If you know someone who is deserving of one or more of the OAC’s awards, we encourage you to submit a nomination using the below links. Self-nominations are also welcomed and accepted.
Deadline to Submit Your Nomination: Friday, July 19
Candidates for the below awards are nominated by the OAC membership and will be submitted for final review by the OAC Annual Awards Program Review Committee. Self-nominations are accepted. The description, qualifications and criteria for review are available once you click the link provided for the respective award.
- The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, July 19.
We hope you submit a nomination for the OAC’s Annual Awards and invite you to join us in Phoenix for the presentation. Here are the details of this year’s Awards Ceremony:
Saturday, August 17
7:00 pm – Arizona Grand Ballroom – Conference Center at Arizona Grand
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
8000 South Arizona Grand
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Plated Sit-down Dinner
Tickets to the 2nd Annual OAC Awards Dinner are included in Full Convention Registration and can also be purchased separately. To learn more about registering for the Convention and this event, please visit the official Convention Web site at www.YWMConvention.com.
- To view the recipients of the 2012 OAC Annual Awards, please CLICK HERE.
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...
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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!
- Related articles
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.
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.
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!
HW - 320 SW - 298 CW - 151 - GW - 150
Don't judge the comic-sans.
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.
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.)
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.
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
But, recently I started paying attention - and seeing results:
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.
Because it works. (Shut up Weight Watchers.) And my little brain likes proof.
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.
- Food journaling and keeping myself aware of the calories I take in. I don't journal everyday, but I DO journal.
- I stopped using soy milk, and swapped to unsweetened almond milk in my coffee and for whatever other "milk" uses I have. I don't use dairy milk at all.
- I quit my Starbucks habit pretty much altogether. I get an iced coffee or cappuccino if someone else takes ME out for coffee, but it's rare, and definitely less than once a week. Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, once a week.
- No crackers. If I must, one serving, with protein.
- No potato chips, etc.
- No candy, only super dark 70%+ chocolate if I must have something. One serving.
- No protein bars, except to review them, unless I am REPLACING A MEAL with one.
- No protein shakes, except to review them, unless I am REPLACING A MEAL with one.
- This isn't "new" - but zero alcohol in my house. It's just a rule. If it's not here, I can't have it. It's just the rule.
- If there's one thing I have learned this year - it's that I can't graze without noting. I can't just nibble all day long and expect that I won't see gains, because I do. I gain very fast on relatively low calories.
I have also learned that giving up things I can't control - stressors - outside influences - people, even - helps. I started losing the weight as soon as I made this connection.
Look at my weight loss timeline. Look at the dates.
Now look at my regain photos from the last year - same timing.
Let. it. go.
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” ― C. JoyBell C.
People CAN be TOXIC to your HEALTH. Let. them. go.
(*Not the ones in this photo. LOL. But, I am also 25 lbs lighter SINCE these photos and the timeline. It's a visual.)
Here's to YEAR ten. It's a big one.
Thanks Taunia, thanks everyone who voted!
PS. I THINK every single thing I voted for, won too! ;) We're a great community sometimes.
- The WLS Awards are *nominated by* and *voted on* by members of the WLS Community. Any person, business, or charitable organization that is part of the weight loss surgery and bariatric community is eligible, EXCEPT Diva Taunia and last year's winners.
In 139 days the BBGC is descending upon Phoenix, Arizona for the #YWM2013 with the Obesity Action Coalition. This is the 2nd Annual Event -- and we want to be a bigger part of it. Last year several of us traveled to Dallas, Texas for the 1st Annual YWM Event and LOVED EVERY MINUTE of it. Note:
This year -- we decided we want to put a ring on it.
In addition to fundraising for the Walk From Obesity (Walks From Obesities? Plural... Remember last year - $7,300.) and doing good the Bariatric Bad Girls Club is sponsoring a portion of the #YWM2013 event. I implore YOUR business or group to do the same, it is a worthwhile cause.
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
- To start we are selling #YWM2013 - BBGC - Support - Advocacy Bracelets for a limited time with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Obesity Action Coalition.
- Our BBGC ink injected wristbands are black debossed silicone wristbands with HOT pink colored ink injected into the engraved letters. Pretend they are below, cause my photo is NOT here yet.
- The bracelets are IN PRODUCTION (I'm watching the tracking...) and will be SHIPPED AS SOON AS THEY ARRIVE. You will receive a bracelet in a few weeks.
- Alternatively if you DO NOT WANT A BRACELET and want to SUPPORT THE BBGC CAUSE, you may also simply donate directly to email@example.com at www.paypal.com - below
- For more about the convention - http://www.ywmconvention.com/
- Thank you for your SUPPORT of the BBGC and the Obesity Action Coalition!
"I can't find a support group in Massachusetts!"
Here is a list of bariatric support groups in Massachusetts from the ASMBS website -
Dear BTV -
These snarky-ass women are the ones I met, and loved to begin with. Freak the eff on.
"In this weeks episode of BariatricTV we kick things off in The Dumping Ground with an update on whats up with BTV. Then in Altered Reality we discuss the ofter heard saying “100 pounds gone forever!!!”
I blogged this before I watched the whole thing, ladies. I love you in the non-stalkery way. Thank you. Finally.
Gastric bypass patients who follow through with their post op appointments in the first two years lose nearly twice as much weight as those who do not, suggests a study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Imagine what could happen with even more follow up.
On October 27, during the Your Weight Matters Inaugural Convention, the OAC recognized some of our outstanding members at the 1st Annual OAC Awards Dinner. The OAC presented six members with the following OAC awards based on their service and dedication to the OAC:
Advocate of the Year
This award is given to the OAC Member who has lead the charge in taking on and engaging others in advocacy initiatives. This individual is a tireless advocate advancing the cause of fighting obesity and representing individuals affected.
The recipient of the OAC Advocate of the Year award was Beth Sheldon-Badore, of Plymouth, MA. Beth is a long-time member and supporter of the OAC, and she continuously advocates for those affected by obesity.
Community Leader of the Year
This award is given to an individual who continually works in their community to advance the cause of fighting obesity. The recipient is an individual who actively engages their community or with their constituency in spreading awareness of obesity and encourages others to get involved in activities that further the mission of the OAC.
The recipient of the Community Leader of the Year award was Tammy Beaumont, BSN, RN, BC, CBN, of Dallas, TX. Tammy, a long-time OAC member, is extremely involved in fighting obesity in her community through the OAC as well as the Walk from Obesity.
Outstanding Membership Recruitment by an OAC Member
This award is designated for the individual OAC member who is an active membership recruiter in the OAC. The individual is a regular membership promoter and continually encourages membership in the OAC.
The recipient of the Outstanding Membership Recruitment by an OAC Member award was Michelle Vicari, from Temecula, CA. Michelle continuously works to raise awareness of the OAC, as the positive impact of membership in our organization.
Outstanding Membership Recruitment by a Physician
This award is given to the Sponsored Membership Program participant (physician) that recruited the highest number of new members in the OAC in the 12 months prior to the Convention month.
The recipient of the Outstanding Membership Recruitment by a Physician award was Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians. Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians is a leader in the OAC’s Sponsored Membership Program. Through the Sponsored Membership Program, they purchase memberships in the OAC for each of their patients. To date, they joined 268 members in the OAC during 2012!
Bias Buster of the Year
The OAC’s Bias Buster of the Year is awarded to the individual who has lead the charge to put the OAC on path to effect change in mindsets, policies and public perception of weight bias. This individual is both proactive and reactive in responding to weight bias issues and is an example to others on how to get involved as a Bias Buster.
The recipient of the OAC’s Bias Buster of the Year was Rebecca Puhl, PhD from New Haven, CT. Rebecca is a member of the OAC’s Board of Directors and is the leading expert on weight bias. She is also the current chair of the OAC’s Weight Bias Committee. Her profound knowledge on weight bias allows the OAC to tackle a variety of bias issues ranging from entertainment to healthcare and more.
Member of the Year
This is the OAC’s highest honor and is awarded to an OAC member who goes above and beyond to help the OAC in its efforts to achieve its mission and goals. This individual is an exemplary OAC member and continually represents the OAC in impacting the obesity epidemic.
The recipient of the OAC Member of the Year award was Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, of Pittsburgh, PA. Ted sits on the OAC’s Board of Directors and is also a member of several OAC committees. His extensive knowledge in the field of obesity has continually assisted the OAC in advocacy efforts, combating weight bias, developing educational resources and more.
The OAC National Board of Directors and staff congratulate these individuals and recognize them for their continued support and dedication to the OAC, our mission and goals.
A very sideways look (Facebook won't let me fix this...) at a very frozen Walk From Obesity last weekend. We walked, ran and huffed through an hour of laps with blue fingers and frozen, wet toes. Team BBGC brought in $7050 for the Obesity Action Coalition! Woot!
On October 27th, 2012, during the Obesity Action Coalition "Your Weight Matters" Event at the Hilton Anatole, there will be another first: the first annual OAC Awards!
Your friendly blogger was nominated in one of these categories, and I am thankful to you for that. Thank you. And, really, thank you.
I will be present at the events, dinner, ceremony, and of course the Walk From Obesity with at least $6000.00 in donations from Team MM + BBGC.
Have I mentioned that there is still time to donate to Team MM + BBGC and I do not see your donation in yet?
Go ahead, I will wait for you!
Thank you - and see you there?
Do. not. miss. it.
Join the OAC event on Facebook!
The following awards will be presented during the OAC Inaugural Your Weight Matters National Convention:
OAC Advocate of the Year - This award is given to the OAC Member who has lead the charge in taking on National, local and state advocacy issues. This individual should be a tireless advocate to advance the cause of fighting obesity and the individual affected by obesity.
Community Leader of the Year - This award is given to an individual who continually works in their community to advance the cause of fighting obesity. The recipient should be an individual who actively engages their community or with their constituency in spreading awareness of obesity and encourages others to get involved in activities that further the mission of the OAC.
Outstanding Membership Recruitment by an OAC Member - This award is designated for the individual OAC member who is an active membership recruiter in the OAC. The individual is a regular membership promoter and continually encourages membership in the OAC.
Outstanding Membership Recruitment by a Physician - This award is given to the Sponsored Membership Program participant (physician) that has recruited the most new members in the OAC in the 12 months prior to the Convention month. The recipient of the award has encouraged membership in the OAC by purchasing it on behalf of the patient.
Bias Buster of the Year - The OAC’s Bias Buster of the Year is awarded to the individual who has lead the charge to put the OAC on path to effect change in mindsets, policies and public perception of weight bias. This individual is both proactive and reactive in responding to weight bias issues and is an example to others on how to get involved as a Bias Buster.
OAC Member of the Year - This is the OAC’s highest honor and is awarded to an OAC member who goes above and beyond to help the OAC in its efforts to achieve its mission and goals. This individual is an exemplary OAC member and continually represents the OAC in impacting the obesity epidemic.
Even with a few miniature traumas (Toni Lee + a curb = broken toes, although that's the story we are making up...) all-in-all it was another great event and lots of lifelong memories were made.
“We don't heal in isolation, but in community.” ― S. Kelley Harrell
I had a fantastic time speaking on the grads and pros panel, although I was a bit more than terrified and I might have cried. (You'll have to ask the BBGC.)
Thank you all for making the trip to Atlanta to see us -- and thank YOU for being there. A good time was had by all and absolutely worth it.
Thanks again to Obesity Help, to the good people of Atlanta, to the ATL POPO (no, really...) the Waffle House and various caffeine reloading location, also Target Pharmacy!
See y'all in Dallas, Texas in two weeks! BBGC Road-trip 2012!
By the time you read this I should by the transportation security admininstration and getting a little lovin' and scanning and running through Logan Airport on my way to Atlanta by way of Washington for the one-and-only Obesity Help Event of THE YEAR.
I love traveling. O-o
PS. No, no, I don't. I love airports, I loathe planes. I have to sing soft kitty and force naps to get in the air. It's bad. But, I've done it All By Myself for five years now, I think I have beat the monster!
SEE YOU THERE! I know I'll see YOU, and YOU, and YOU, and YOU! And I am SO HAPPY! And even some last minute joiners!
- If I don't see you there - FIND ME ON FACEBOOK while I'm off!
- Make sure to give a LIKE to CLICK Espresso Protein Drink + Building Blocks Vitamins, too!
Friday, October 5th, 2012
Clothing Exchange Drop Off
9am - 11am
Open to Public, Savannah Room
Professional Workshop, Chattahoochee A
Understanding the Obese Patient
|1:00pm - 5:00pm|
Mixed Q & A Panel,
|2:00pm - 4:30pm|
Performing operations laparoscopically since 1991. His practice offers Gastric Bypass, LapBand and Sleeve Gastrectomy options. Also an Instructor for Quarterly In-Service Program of Bariatric Surgery atEmory Dunwoody Medical Center and Northside Hospital.
Jim lost 215 pounds and found a love for running. With 58,038 Race finishers at an avg time of 01:17:35, Jim finished the 2012 Peachtree Road Race (10k) in 1:07:57, a goal he's worked towards since having Gastric Bypass.
Dr. Williams principal clinical and research interest include minimally invasive techniques, and the surgical therapy of morbid obesity. He has been involved in training surgeons in laparocopic techniques in the United States and the Caribbean.
Blogger, & Founder of Bariatric Bad Girls. "Melting Mama" as she's known through her blog has been blogging about life since her WLS in 2004. Her witty, honest approach to life after WLS has inspired and supported thousands.
Double-board certified, plasticand reconstructive surgeon and a board-certified general surgeon. In 1995, he created and began sponsoring Pink Ribbons, an annual October event during Breast Cancer Month to benefit breast cancer organizations.
Celebrity licenced medical aesthetician and make-up artist. Beyond her celebrity clientele, Colleen also works with Plastic Surgeons and Dermatoligists' patients that have skin challenges due to weight loss, scarring, burns and victims of domestic violence.
An active OH member for 5 years and a frequent poster on the VSG forum! She's bringing her post-op experience as a Lap Band to VSG Revision. Courtney has lost 170 lbs and is training for her 1st half marathon in October. Her goal is to complete an Iron Man in 2014!
|Break for Dinner
with your friends!
4:30pm - 6:30pm
Meet and Greet
7:00pm - 10:00pm
TOPIC: Nothing Succeeds Like Success
7:30pm - 8:30pm
TOPIC: Post-Op & a Doc LIVE!
8:45pm - 9:45pm
|Saturday, October 6th, 2012
|Registration & Exhibits, Grand Salon Prefunction Area||
7:30am - 8:15am
Meet the Speakers & Vendors,Grand Salon Main Session
8:15am - 8:30am
TOPIC: WLS and ALCOHOL:Facts and Folly
8:30am - 9:30am
TOPIC: Exercise, Myths and Realities
9:40am - 10:25am
Professional Q & A Panel
|10:30am - 11:55am|
Fellow-ship trained advanced laparoscopic surgeon. A member of the American College of Surgeons and the ASMBS.
The 3rd surgeon in the world to perform the totally laparoscopic DS and the 1st bariatric surgeon in the world to present the Hand-Sewn Duedenal-Ileal Anastomosis technique.
Dr. Stapleton is a licensed clinical psychologist, received her doctorol degree from Texas A&M University in Counseling Psychology.
Safa Nooromid, RD, LD
A Registered Licensed Dietitian in the state of Georgia for the past 9 years. Guest speaker for Georgia State University Food and Culture Diversity Group, Life college, and for many companies for their health fair and wellness programs. Also a preceptor for Georgia State University, Huston University, UGA, Life College and Emory University.
A Ph.D Candidate in Sport Science at East Tennessee State University and for a number of years, served as ObesityHelp's Exercise Physiologist.
Lunch Buffet & Prizes
12:00pm - 12:50pm
12:50pm - 1:15pm
Breakout Session #1 Options:
|1:15pm - 1:55pm|
Session #1, Option 1 in: Grand Salon A
TOPIC: DS Nutrition
Session #1, Option 2 in: Grand Salon B
TOPIC: Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss Surgery
Breakout Session #2 Options:
|2:05pm - 2:45pm|
Session #2, Option 1 in: Grand Salon A
TOPIC: Hope & Help for the Pain of Regain
Session #2, Option 2 in: Grand Salon B
TOPIC: Every Thing You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to AskDr. Michael W. Blaney
Breakout Session #3 Options:
|2:50pm - 3:30pm|
Session #3, Option 1 in: Grand Salon A
TOPIC: Optimizing the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery for Long Term Success
Session #3, Option 2 in: Grand Salon B
TOPIC: Taming Your Inner Critic: The Connection Between What You Feed Your Head & What You Feed Your Body
Breakout Session #4 Options:
|3:40pm - 4:20pm|
Session #4, Option 1 in: Grand Salon A
TOPIC: No Shame in Revisions
Session #4, Option 2 in: Grand Salon B
TOPIC: Spending Your Money Safely and Wisely For Body Contouring After Weight Loss
Exhibit Visits OR Optional ZUMBA Class
4:30pm - 5:15pm
|6:00pm - 8:00pm
The Grand Finale:
Member Fashion Show with designer clothing options sponsored by Gwynnie Bee, Clothing without Commitment.
Masquerade Party with a DJ & Free Unlimited Photo Booth Photos from3:00pm until 10:00pm Sponsored by Premier Nutrition. AND
Bryson Bmoney Jenkins performs LIVE for you!
|8:00pm - 11:30pm|
Breakfast for Registered OH Leaders!
Hold the Press Releases, Suz!
I read a blog post yesterday regarding storytelling as a means of keeping a person "sick," stuck in the past, or marinating in their overall... bad place. The blogger went so far as to suggest that the telling and retelling of ones stories might be an addiction. *gets the crack pipe ready to share a story*
"I think we do it because it feeds a need for validation and justification (or even vindication) really. We need people to tell us we look good. We need people to tell us we “didn’t cheat” with surgery. We need people to tell us we are successful. We need people to forgive us (?!) for regaining 4.7 pounds. Mostly…we need to believe these things about ourselves, but since we don’t believe it ourselves, we seek the approval and agreement of others.
Here’s my next theory: I think this behavior is an addiction. I say this because I am an addict, and I know how easy it is to become addicted to the feeling you get when people praise you, or when people condemn others who dare to disagree with you. I believe it’s an addiction because, I am never content to stop telling the story to just ONE PERSON. Oh, sure…I might start with my best friend, but once I curry her agreement (and know she’s on my team, of course), I have to go collect OTHERS, or I might stop believing my story. Of course, I’ll have to embellish my story a little to get others to agree with me. I might have to make it sound more dire, or harrowing, or riveting. And, with each telling, the story will become more powerful, more believable, and more tellable.
Given that, how can I NOT share a riveting, powerful, extraordinary, unbelievable story with EVERYBODY. EVERYWHERE???
It’s a regular feeling-feeding frenzy. And it sounds like Addiction to me."
As I get the visual of myself lowering a chum bucket (blog post) into the sharky waters (The Interwebz) Yeah. Because I'm trolling to Find Others to Agree With Everything I Say, right? I ... guess?
I apologize? *takes a hit*
What is addiction?
The seven criteria for substance dependence are:
(1) Tolerance is defined by either of the following:
(a) A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
(b) Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
(2) Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: (a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance (refer to Criteria A or B of the criteria sets for Withdrawal from specific substances). (b) The same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
(3) The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
(4) There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
(5) A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (such as visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (such as chain smoking) or recover from its effects.
(6) Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
(7) The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision, Fourth Edition, (Copyright 2000). American Psychiatric Association.
Or behavioral addiction -
The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as compulsive shopping, sex addiction/compulsive sex, overeating, problem gambling, exercise/sport and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user themselves to their individual health, mental state, or social life. There may be biological and psychological factors contributing to these addictions.
The blog post struck a nerve with me. And here I am, indulging my "addiction" with likely 2000 words in response. *twitch*
I am a storyteller. I may not be much good at it, because I lack attention to detail (sometimes I have the opposite -- complete detail with photographic memory) I have poor short term recall, and I lose parts of my stories. Or not, but mostly I suck at storytelling.
That blog post just told me not to Say Things Like That, like "I suck at storytelling," because then I will marinate in that Feeling, and then You Will Feel Compelled To Give Me Sympathy Or Give Me Compliments.
Uh, please don't. #1 - I can read through bullshit. #2 - I don't need sympathy over writing crappy blog posts. If you did not want to read this, you'd just click away, right?
Thing is: I can't tell if I Suck. I might just be in the moment -- and writing out my feelings -- or sharing an experience because it's fresh on my mind. When I bring up past issues, I try to share them with as much detail as I can recall, but that's where I fail. (Don't Say That You Fail, Beth!)
I just come to the computer and type, as I am doing right now. I never plan to tell a story, whatever I share is whatever comes out of my fingers. Because, uh, my fingers are magic. I Am The Best Blogger Ever, And Everything I Type Is Pure Gold I Win At Blogging And Storytelling.
But mostly not. I know I suck. I blog because I can, not because I'm any good at it. And most of you quit reading about 200 words ago anyway.
I would suggest that most individuals who find cause to make blog entries (for example) are, indeed, storytellers. I agree with the original blogger's suggestion that some people do rehash bad things from their past in order to garner more sympathy, attention or otherwise, but only sometimes. Some people tell stories to garner lots of things, attention might be the least of things they want. Ever heard of someone faking a debilitating disease for money? It happens. People do bad things sometimes.
There are thousands of situations that people Do Not Share On Purpose because they might rather have No Attention. And in our weight loss surgery community - in particular, People Do Not Share Lots Of Things Because -
They do not want to expose personal history, it HURTS.
They don't want to appear less than ... anyone else.
They may find that it's better to hide lots of things about themselves because they feel judged.
Here is a comment from someone else in the community, who has dealt with some serious shit, in regards to this topic -
"Revisiting the past is a necessary evil for many of us that need to deal with the original reason of why they became obese in the first place. People need to tell their story to help them heal in order to get to that next step of recovery and happiness. The events that happen in a person’s life that causes them to become obese are countless… some are abused, molested, lose a role model, bullied, eating disorders, and alcoholism… and on and on we can go. These are real issues and HAVE to be spoken about.
Once a person loses the weight their life will NEVER immediately be a flip of a coin and have a “HALLELUJAH I AM HEALED” scenario, the truth of the matter is the internal, physiological and mental causes and issue will take years of talking, therapy and talking, and more therapy to be resolved or repressed to a manageable level. So, to answer the questions below:
What would happen if you stopped telling your story? If people stop telling their story they could regress, gain weight, have a transfer of addictions, or simply become depressed and have a feeling of being unwanted. People have to tell their story, because for most that is the ONLY therapy they can get / afford. Lets face it when we lose all the weight we become a “different” person.
- What would happen if you stopped saying where you’ve been and focused on where you ARE? Again refer to the above. Simply put, where you have been (the past) is what got you to where you are today (it is a part of you). You CAN NOT forget about the past, because for most of us, the past is who and what you are it is where you spent most of your life. The new you is honestly a small fraction of who you are and learning the new you will take years.
- What would happen if you lived in the now, rather than in the past? Living in the now and not in the past has to be a balance. You have to talk about the past in order to make the now a better place. You have to talk about the past in order to improve quality life for the now. You have to talk about the past to deal with the emotional issues that all of us have to make today better.
THE BARIATRIC AFTER LIFE (TM) IS NOT ALL ROSES AND BUTTERFLIES LIKE SOME IN THE COMMUNITY MAKE IT OUT TO BE. You can’t shy away from the bad, or it will never go away."
I agree, to much of that.
In order to heal remember you have to tell your story, seek professional help, join a support group that is right for you and if you fall down or regress, remember you are not alone, and continue to fight and tell that story.
The blogger says -
Each time you speak the negative — each time you retell your story — you give it renewed energy. Each time you replay that tape about how disappointed you are in this or that (person, behavior, event), you give it new life, new purpose, new meaning. But, you know what? If you just leave it unsaid and move forward, the story fades away in significance, power and meaning. Amazing.
And MM says -- Then You Find Yourself In Therapy at Age 35, Crying Because You Have No Fucking Clue Why You Are So SAD. Or, why you are binge eating again, or why you are ____________.
Some story-tellers make up (better than the reality...) stories about themselves to avoid having to deal with (or answer questions about) who they really are and where they came from. I have seen people create personas for themselves to shield their real selves. Lots of this is about protection, fear and not DEALING WITH THE PAST, and sometimes people are truly stuck in their past, or dealing with severe narcissism.
(I know, I know, I've got a ridiculous cartoonish banner up top and a blog called, Melting Mama. I did not know that I would be blogging long-term, nor that anyone would ever see the stupidity that is my name. That said, it's really me. I am cartoonish. It's not fake.)
Their motive might be as simple as making themselves appear shiny and special, because their reality sort of blows. We sell, of ourselves, what we want Others To See.
"I believe that the more we focus on the past…our unhappiness, discontentment, rage, disappointments, hurt, pain – even successes – the less we live in the present. "
We NEED to clean out ours pasts in order to move on!
I would suggest that storytellers choose to share what we do in some type of self-preservation. Some of us share many facets of our lives, including things that aren't so shiny. Many story-tellers (bloggers, mostly professional-types) try to maintain a mostly positive storyline, and that can be helpful to those who need to see those kind of messages.
But, often, positive-only storytellers have something to sell us. It's just the truth. If I want to sell you something, I do it with a positive spin. (I know how to sell something, go find a review post for a product I really LIKE. It's mostly positive.) I wouldn't dare give you the reality of post op weight loss surgery life if I wanted to sell you... weight loss surgery. But I am not in the business of selling weight loss surgery, nor the happy that comes post operatively.
And the truth of the life after WLS, for many, sucks. Not all the time, and not forever. And for some it's super-awesomely-wicked-great, and that's super! Go YOU! But, for many it's not. Would yo ulike to discuss how many people I've been in contact with in the last three months that were suicidal?
It's a problem. Stuffing our issues back in our pasts? Does Not Help In the Least.
You are not alone.
And it gets better.
These are a few of a handful of powerful messages that an elegantly designed "belonging intervention" by social psychologist and Stanford assistant professor Gregory Walton conveys to study participants who are going through a difficult period.
In a series of ongoing studies, first published in 2007 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the belonging intervention uses a technique known as "attributional retraining" to help people shift blame for negative events from "It's just me" to "I'm not alone, and there are others going through it."
The goal is to convey to the subjects that when bad things happen, it doesn't mean they don't belong in general.
Why is this important?
"We don't have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that's what I want in life." So began a stunning meditation by Marina Keegan, a 22-year-old Yale graduate who died in a tragic car accident May 26.
What is the opposite of loneliness? Is it belonging?
Because as humans, we need to belong. To one another, to our friends and families, to our culture and country, to our world.
Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being.
Belonging is a psychological lever that has broad consequences, writes Walton. Our interests, motivation, health and happiness are inextricably tied to the feeling that we belong to a greater community that may share common interests and aspirations.
Isolation, loneliness and low social status can harm a person's subjective sense of well-being, as well as his or her intellectual achievement, immune function and health. Research shows that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being, IQ test performance and self-control.
Walton's earlier studies demonstrated that a sense of social belonging can affect motivation and continued persistence, even on impossible tasks. That is, if you don't feel like you belong, you are both less motivated and less likely to hang in there in the face of obstacles.
Even outside a research setting, these are valuable lessons we can all draw from as we navigate life's difficult circumstances. Though Walton's research has involved only students, his work has powerful implications for the workplace and other contexts.
According to Rajita Sinha, the head of Yale's Stress Center, stress itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But stress that is sustained, uncontrollable and overwhelming, in which people can't figure out options to solve their problems, wreaks havoc on us.
Walton's belonging intervention has the potential to downgrade uncontrollable stress by allowing people to put a narrative around their traumatic experiences.
It places those experiences in a box, he says, "with a beginning, a middle and an end. As a consequence, the meaning of the negative experience is constrained, and people understand that when bad things happen, it's not just them, they are not alone, and that it's something that passes."
So what exactly does the belonging intervention involve?
In a broad sense, storytelling.
Walton and his colleagues enlist the study subjects as experts to help "others" who may be similarly situated and going through a difficult time.
The researchers provide subjects with statistics, quotations and stories from upperclassmen about their experiences -- how they struggled at first but eventually got through it -- and ask participants to use that information to write about getting through their own difficulties and how it gets better.
The participants, who believe they are writing for the next generation of incoming freshmen -- an audience many of them relate to and care about -- begin to engage with the material and use it to reflect on their own experiences, ultimately coming to the conclusion that no matter how bad they feel, they are not alone.
This is particularly powerful in settings where people have a looming alternative explanation, as in the case of minorities, women and gay youth.
Please read the whole article at
I am aware that I did not share the details of the interview with 20/20 this week in my previous post about the show. I wasn't purposely keeping anything from you, in fact I wished I had documented the process as it happened, but I only had a phone and it happened so. very. fast.