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  1. 7 points
    Finding unflavored protein in a single serve packet will allow you to sample a brand without having to buy the larger container first. Single serve packets of whey protein isolate are available online with Bariatric Fusion, Jay Robb and Unjury. Whey protein powder is also found in the bulk bins at Sprouts Farmers Market. You can buy a small amount to taste test. Our patients have also liked the larger containers of unflavored whey protein by brands like Inspire , Isopure (GNC, online) and online (online). Keep in mind, whey protein must be kept under 140 degrees, otherwise, it will curdle. Soy protein isolate is also available. Brands include GNC and brands like NOW Foods and Genisoy, which are available online and some natural foods stores. These will be in larger containers. Sprouts Farmers Market also has soy protein in their bulk bins, so that you can buy a small amount to taste test. Sometimes you can get a sample taste of unflavored protein in stores that sell natural foods, supplements and sports nutrition products. Ask about the return policy if you don’t like the product. There are many other brands of unflavored protein powders on the market. If you have a group of bariatric buddies, perhaps the buddies can buy different brands to try and share. This cuts the cost of taste testing. May your protein status be awesome!
  2. 3 points
    I’m in New Zealand today, where I have been for the past three weeks. It has been a privilege to work with a number of bariatric professionals from different disciplines associated with the Foundations Healthy Living Retreat. During this five-day retreat, a small group of post-operative bariatric patients live together, eat together, exercise together, learn together and share with one another. Various staff members share their expertise about healthy living. Topics include much more than how to eat well and exercise. Participants learn the importance of focusing on personal values in all areas of their lives, discover the importance of positive self-talk, address self-sabotage and learn the importance of living mindfully. Coping skills, communication skills, and boundary setting skills are discussed. The topics of shame and vulnerability are explored, as well. Participants get what all bariatric patients in all corners of the world need following bariatric surgery: the Foundations of Healthy Living. Hmmm… good name for the retreat! What I think as I look around me are the many “non-coincidences” in my immediate surrounding. I do not believe that my being here, halfway around the world, is a coincidence. To begin with, Dr. David Schroeder, a bariatric surgeon, and his wife, Andrea, are, in many ways, absurdly similar in personality to my husband Steve and myself. David and Steve are both kind, intelligent, rational, left-brain thinkers who are mild-mannered and soft-spoken. Andrea and I, on the other hand, while also kind and intelligent, are passionate, passionate and more passionate. Translated, we are thinkers and DO-ers, we are upfront and direct, and are most definitely whatever the opposite of soft-spoken is. Oh, loud. That’s it! Andrea and David are passionate about their work in the bariatric field. They are zealous about the physical health of surgical weight loss patients and are also super passionate about the patients’ psychological health. The Schroeder’s know that the journey of recovering from obesity takes a lifetime and includes the physical and the psychological wellbeing of each person. Andrea created the Foundations of Healthy Living Retreat and they have been hosting the retreats for the past five years. It is definitely not a coincidence that David reached out to me after reading my first book, Eat It Up! Our professional philosophies are very much in sync. My work, with great help from Steve, is all about addressing the psychological needs of patients while their physical needs are being medically managed. David and Andrea, like Steve and myself, dedicate much more than our careers to providing bariatric patients with education and support. We address the WHOLE person, pre-operatively and after weight loss surgery. We put our hearts and souls into the work we do because we are convinced by the feedback our patients provide that they want and need much more than the surgical procedure can provide in order for them to live healthy lives, both physically and psychologically following bariatric surgery. Since meeting in 2011, I have learned a great deal by working with both Andrea and David. The Schroeder’s have twice brought me to New Zealand where I have had the opportunity to learn from and contribute to, the lives and education of their patients and staff. Andrea and David, as well as every person presenting information at the retreat, address bariatric patients from a whole person perspective. Each participant is treated respectfully and compassionately, as a human being who is much more than a bariatric patient. Their emotional support needs are emphasized, as a success following bariatric surgery involves more than dealing with a person’s biological innards. Is it a coincidence that Andrea and David, in New Zealand, know the same things that Steve and I know in the US? We all know and work toward, helping patients and bariatric professionals realize that bariatric patients have tremendous emotional and psychological needs that require attention. Behavior modification by itself is not enough when it comes to sustaining weight loss. If it were, well… wouldn’t more people have kept weight off after diets and bariatric surgery? Is it a coincidence that the bariatric patients I have talked with during individual sessions, along with the participants at the retreats, all from New Zealand, talk about the exact same issues as the bariatric patients I have worked with in the US for the past 15 years? I’m not talking about the physical problems. I’m talking about the lack of self-care this population acknowledges. Not just in their eating and exercise behaviors. These people talk about a great lack of self-value that translates to a lack of proper self-care. The greatest common denominator aside from the physical co-morbidities of the bariatric patients I have spent time with in both countries boils down to this: I don’t believe I’m good enough. That, my friends, is the definition of shame. Our bariatric patients need to heal from the shame that draws them back into unhealthy habits. Healing from shame requires much, much more than a bariatric procedure in an operating room, or “theater,” as they call it in New Zealand. It is not coincidental that bariatric patients across the globe suffer from shame. It is tragic that so few bariatric professionals around the world are willing to provide the full spectrum of care that patients require in order to be able to follow through with behavior modification techniques. Deep shame will eventually extinguish behavior modification efforts. How long before more bariatric professionals get it? How long before more than a handful of patients get the emotional support and psychological care they need after bariatric surgery? How long before we provide a truly comprehensive program to help our patients eliminate shame and establish self-acceptance? The shame belongs to the programs and professionals who do not provide a comprehensive program… because those programs simply aren’t good enough. (Along with the Schroeder’s, I will be offering residential retreats through bariatric centers in the near future. For more information, contact me at connie@conniestapletonphd.com.) I’m grateful for the non-coincidences that have led to meeting Andrea and David Schroeder. I am not surprised to see and hear that the patients in our very distant geographical countries are so very similar. Mostly, I am thrilled to know that there are professionals and patients who know that the Foundations of Healthy Living go way beyond medical care alone! For now, patients can participate in the GAIN While You Lose 10-week program. This is a great way for patients around the country (and the world) to have access to the same topics discussed in the Foundations of Living Retreat. This class includes an hour and a half “lesson,” taught live but available online or via recorded session, followed by weekly homework to make the information applicable to each person’s life. (http://www.conniestapletonphd.com/onlin…/weight-loss-program) Why aren’t we currently doing retreats in the US? Are you, the patients, willing to pay to attend? Are you willing to take the time and spend the money to invest in yourself? Do you value yourself enough to work on your emotional issues? You’ve most likely been willing to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for weight loss programs, powders, gimmicks and scams. What about actually finding a way to find self-acceptance, a requirement for being able to follow through with behavior modification tools? Patients: there is no shame in having problems. It is tragic to me if you know there are problems, but choose not address them. Please seek the help you need! After all: YOUR HEALTH is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. THIS DAY. EVERY DAY.
  3. 3 points
    Louisa Latela

    A Valentine Reflection

    In this space remember the importance of prioritizing good self caretaking, talking more kindly to and about yourself, embracing and feeling your feelings, setting boundaries, declining to engage in gossip or negative chatter, walking away from low energy people and situations, being gentle with yourself, not putting unrealistic demands on your time or energy, and understanding that it’s actually GOOD to be SELFish. Bring to the forefront of your mind your innate knowing of the absolute necessity of nurturing your soul with things like art and music and movement and nature and deep conversations with people you love, respect and admire. Let this Valentine’s Day be a Reminder that you need to Love YOU FIRST. That you need to be your most significant other <3! Live In Love, Louisa
  4. 2 points

    Ode To Pumpkin

    Pumpkin also delivers a punch of potassium, a comely amount of copper, an interesting bit of iron, a pleasing amount of magnesium and a fair amount of fiber. A caution for bariatric patients is the 10 grams of carbohydrates found in a ½ cup pumpkin puree. And who doesn’t love carving Jack-O-Lanterns with your children (or just for you) for All Hallow’s Eve? Who has not posted adorable pictures of their kiddos in your local Pumpkin Patch? You can prepare your own pumpkin puree or stock up on the canned type. Perhaps our greatest love of pumpkin awaits us at Thanksgiving with our beloved pumpkin pie. One estimate says Americans eat 50 million pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Alas, a pie is known as a confection loaded with sugar and fat. What is the bariatric patient to do? Modify the recipe, of course! Lower the sugar and fat and pump up the protein is the goal. Try the Pumpkin Pie pudding recipe on the BariatricPal website. If you need a pumpkin treat before Thanksgiving, there are many pumpkin-flavored protein shakes, protein bars and yogurts in the stores right now. So, pumpkin can be a health partner this season. Enjoy!
  5. 2 points
    Why Does It Matter? Support during your Weight Loss Surgery journey can help you succeed. It is motivating to know that the people who love you are on your side. Through the long days of diet restrictions and dramatic lifestyle changes, your journey will be easier if your family members and friends pitch in however they can, whether with verbal encouragement or concrete changes such as avoiding eating off-limits foods in front of you. Still, it is important to remember that you CAN succeed, whether or not you get the support you hope for. Get to the Heart of the Matter First, make sure you know why they are against your weight loss surgery. It is often because they are afraid for your safety. They may know people – or know people who know people who know people – who had complications from Weight Loss Surgery. You can talk to them about the real risks of surgery – using statistics rather than hearsay – compared to the risks of remaining overweight. Still, do not assume that your safety is why they are negative about your decision. It is important to let them express their concerns and to address them directly. These are some other common reasons why your family and friends might have a negative gut reaction to your exciting news. They may be worried that you won’t be able to stick to the Weight Loss Surgery diet, and that you’ll be disappointed with the results. They may think you don’t need it. A lot of family members have trouble seeing how overweight you are, and understanding how much it interferes with your life and health. They may feel insulted. Parents especially may feel as though they have failed if they see you, their child, opt for surgery. They may feel threatened. Your significant other, for example, may be comfortable in the relationship you have had for years, and may worry that the way you feel about him/her will change as you lose weight. They may not know what it means for them. Friends may worry that you won’t want to hang out with them anymore, especially if your time together tends to revolve around food or if they think of you as their dependable “fat friend.” Whatever the true concern is, address it directly. Reassure your friends and family that you are doing this for you, and that you will not become a different person. Offer Them a Role Some friends and family members may feel overwhelmed by your news of Weight Loss Surgery, and that can lead to their negative response. Surprisingly, offering them ways to be more involved in the experience can actually help change their minds. They may feel better about your WLS once you tell them the details about the prep, procedure, and diet, and may even be grateful if you let them know specifically what they can do to help. Address Meal Times Directly Food is central to relationships at home and in social settings, so it is understandable if your loved ones are worried about how your upcoming Weight Loss Surgery will affect the time you spend together. If you think this may be a concern, discuss meals at home and in restaurants with your friends and family. Let them know that you will still be present at the table and interested in being good company, even if you are not eating as much as them or ordering the exact foods that they are. If you are comfortable with the situation, they are more likely to be. Agree to Disagree In most cases, family members mean well. It may be hard to remember or see in the heat of the moment, but they often do genuinely want the very best for you. If you have already tried your hardest to convince them to support your Weight Loss Surgery decision and they are not ready to do so, your next hope is to keep them as an ally in other aspects of your life. Hopefully, you and they can agree to disagree about your Weight Loss Surgery. You can let them know that you respect their opinion and will not be pressuring them to support your WLS. In exchange, you can ask them to continue to be your friend regardless of whether you are a bariatric surgery patient. Be Patient Sometimes, it just takes time. Your own Weight Loss Surgery success may be the best argument for why your loved ones should support you. It may take weeks, months, or a year, but they may come around as they see how happy you are, and as they realize how much they miss you. Bariatric surgery is a lot easier when everyone you love supports your decision, but that’s not always the case. Don’t let resistance from family members and friends get you down, though. They’re probably trying to act in your best interest, and in most cases, you can still get Weight Loss Surgery while keeping strong relationships with them.
  6. 2 points
    A Attitude “ Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill A stands for Attitude. Your attitude will determine how you see the world, whether you see your glass as half-empty or half-full. Focus on having only a positive attitude towards your weight loss surgery. Realize that everything in your life needed to happen in order for you to have the life you have today, even the events that might have contributed to your obesity. Rather than viewing your life as “jinxed” or “cursed,” consider past events as lessons that had to be learned at the University of Life or at the “school of hard knocks”. Your attitude will also affect your aspirations. If your attitude is poor, then your aspirations will likely be small, when the truth is there are no limits to your aspirations. Most people have aspirations, but their aspirations are usually so small and uninspiring. Stop setting “realistic goals.” Instead, why not see how high you can fly? Like the renowned motivational speaker Les Brown said, “Shoot for the stars, so if you fail, you might hit the moon!” Stop staring into the bottom of that half-empty glass, and start drinking from the half-full glass of life. *The previous was an excerpt from Dr. Vuong's new book, Weight Loss Surgery Success: Dr. V's A-Z Tips for Losing Weight and Gaining Enlightenment, now available on Amazon.com.
  7. 1 point
    The 3rd Annual National Obesity Care Week (NOCW), October 29th through November 4th, seeks to ignite a national movement to ensure anyone affected by obesity receives respectful and comprehensive care. [Insert your organization’s name] is proud to join the Campaign, which was founded by The Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliance and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. All NOCW supporters recognize the 5 Reasons to Care: Obesity is a serious disease. Weight bias is faced by many. Healthcare providers need to have positive, helpful conversations about weight with their patients Science-based weight management options are available for treatment. We need your help passing the 2017 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA). Although we must educate people about these 5 reasons to care, we must also address barriers to care, such as weight bias in both society and among the medical community. We need more voices – your voice – to reach our goal of achieving better care. You can join us and take action to change the way that you care about obesity by taking the Take 5 Pledge. The Take 5 Pledge is intended to inspire action by addressing the 5 reasons to care and encourage us to change the way that we care about obesity. More information about National Obesity Care Week and their Take 5 Pledge, including information and resources, is available on www.ObesityCareWeek.org. Mark your calendars, and join us in recognizing National Obesity Care Week, October 29th – November 4th.
  8. 1 point
    When new bariatric patients come to my practice, one of the first things we discuss is how unimportant the operation will be for them, in the big picture. Once they recover from the shock of that news, we explain that their mindset contributed to their weight problem, and their mindset will be the secret weapon to ultimately get the weight off. Here’s the thing--we don't operate on your brain. Bariatric surgery will only take you so far. Long-term weight-loss success requires a firm commitment to living a healthy lifestyle—eating the right foods--and ignoring the others that made you feel bloated and too tired to do anything. You need to stay very well hydrated and discover an exercise (or two or three) that you perform about 4-5 times a week for about 30-40 minutes. Take this stress and… Then there’s the stress of everyday life—we all have it. The trick is to find ways to offset these unavoidable pressure points, so that you aren’t on a one-way road to the kitchen. Food is not the answer to your problems, it never was. While you are improving your health, feed your brain with positive feelings by improving the quality of your life. Make the effort to become more social: Join a gym, catch a movie with a long-lost friend, invite the nice parents of your child’s best friend over for coffee. Give a little, get a lot One of the activities I recommend to every bariatric patient is to give back to their community. Want to feel better than any junk food could make you feel? Volunteer. If you look around, you’ll see that you’re far more fortunate than you may realize. Help out, make life better for someone else, even in a small way. Give your time, give your heart. Everyone needs a little help If you think you can’t go it alone, reach out to your bariatric or family doctor to ask for resources who can offer mental health support specifically for people with food/weight issues. You are never in this battle alone, always remember that.
  9. 1 point
    As you age, your metabolism slows down. Older people also tend to have less muscle mass than younger people, which also reduces metabolic rate. This is why we encourage older patients to add light weight-bearing exercise to their fitness routines. So how do you keep that furnace burning in order to burn calories, even if you’re already achieved your goal weight? There are many simple tools to accomplish this task. I’ve outlined my favorites below: Exercise This weapon is key to maintaining and increasing metabolism. Seniors, take note−The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people 65 and older get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and perform weight-bearing exercises on all the body’s major muscle groups at least twice a week. At any age, indoctrinate a 30-minute daily work-out, just like brushing your teeth and eating lunch, into your daily routine. Sleep To increase the chances of boosting metabolism, adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting too little shut-eye can significantly alter your body’s processes enough to predispose you to gain weight. (Do you ever feel hungry for no reason when you’re exhausted and then reach for the wrong foods to boot?) De-Stress When you’re tense, your body releases cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal system that is linked to weight gain. It can also significantly weaken your immune system and open the door to acute and chronic illnesses. Turn to regular physical activity, deep breathing, a quiet evening stroll, or professional help from a psychologist or counselor if you are experiencing chronic stress. Eat and Drink (First and foremost, follow your bariatric practice's instructions on post-op nutrition.) Eating the right foods−clean proteins, fruits and vegetables−fuels your metabolism firing on all cylinders. As soon as you awaken, charge-up those calorie burners by feeding them a protein and a fruit (think omelette with feta cheese, spinach and veggies and a cup of berries). Eat small meals throughout the day but stop by around 7 p.m. Staying hydrated is key to maintaining good health. Keep a glass or refillable water bottle with you throughout the day. You are properly hydrated if your urine is nearly clear. Other than choosing the right foods to eat and finding spiritual solace in your life, these tools serve as a roadmap to good health, including maintaining a healthy weight. Best of all, once you’ve adopted these tips, you will look and feel better--sooner than you think.
  10. 1 point
    The Struggle Often Continues For some patients, Weight Loss Surgery can lower your interest in food, so you are not constantly thinking about it. There’s no question Weight Loss Surgery can help you gain control of your eating, but it’s unlikely to eliminate your struggles with food disappear. A few lucky Weight Loss Surgery patients really do stop being tempted by food. The rest, who make up the vast majority of Weight Loss Surgery patients, continue to struggle. You still may be hungry, enjoy salt, fat, starch, or sugar, or be tempted to use food as an emotional crutch. Your family members may continue to insist on keeping high-calorie foods in the house, or pressure you to eat things you shouldn’t. Your friends may still be going out to eat and inviting you to join them in ordering high-fat, high-sugar items. “Why Me?” Isn’t Appropriate It’s easy, even natural, to think of yourself as unlucky. Why should you have to struggle with food? Why should you have to monitor every bite you take, while some people don’t? The fact is, almost everyone does. Ask almost any skinny person how they stay skinny, and you’ll get some variation of the same answer: “I work hard for it.” Just like you, they are aware of what goes into their bodies. They sometimes may be hungry; they sometimes may want to eat more than they should. But they, like you now, take responsibility for their decisions. They may: Skimp on portions if they over ate at the previous meal. Choose healthy foods first. Have a strategy for dealing with emotions and boredom that doesn’t involve eating. Have a support system that promotes healthy behaviors. Accept It and Manage It If you find you still have a rocky relationship with food after weight loss surgery, don’t conclude that WLS didn’t work for you. Instead, accept that you will need to fight the cravings and urges for months, years, or life, and start making a plan. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in developing strategies – whether you ask other BariatricPal members or an always-thin person you admire! Persist in Order to Get the Answers You Need We all want to be able to trust our doctors. You want to believe your surgeon takes care of all aspects of your Weight Loss Surgery, including your post-op, long-term nutrition. But it doesn’t always happen like that. Nutritional counseling may not be part of your surgery package, or you may only get a limited amount of generic information. Or, your surgeon may simply not know how to help you nutritionally. Remember that many doctors have no more than an hour of nutrition education in medical school. To become a weight loss surgeon, doctors need to learn surgery. There is no dietary education requirement. If you need help finding strategies to satisfy hunger – physical or head hunger – and your surgeon and primary care doctor are not able to help, keep looking. A session with a nutritionist may be more affordable than you think, and worth every penny. Your Emotional Support System and Your Relationship with Food The support system you built so carefully can come in handy right about now. Take advantage of your ability to talk to a therapist or psychologist if you have one to bring up your concerns. Discussing your ongoing struggles with portion sizes, food choices, and over-frequent nibbling with a mental health professional can help you come up with some strategies that work for you. Group sessions are also appropriate forums to talk about food struggles and strategies. Though it may feel embarrassing at first to admit you’re still thinking about food a lot, you will find nearly everyone in that room did or does have that same experience. Most Weight Loss Surgery patients do not find their surgery instantly eliminates their food struggles. You can take months or years to come to terms with a food addiction, and it may be something you need to learn to live with for life, but in a healthier manner than before Weight Loss Surgery. Be honest with yourself and those around you, and be open to suggestions, and you can figure out strategies that work for you. Do not assume WLS did not work for you!