Today’s recap is not that eventful. I took two planes. I did NOT take Spirit Airlines which means the planes got where they were supposed to go when they were supposed to get there. Yay!
Upon arriving in Arizona, I had three thoughts:
- Damn, it’s hot!
- This landscape is gorgeous!
- I am about to be among “my people!”
And I was! The first two people I ran into was my pal Beth, aka “Melting Mama” and fellow Foodie, Nannette!
This is a record year because I’ve seen her and fellow food blogger Shelly, aka “Eggface” three times this year. Considering Shelly lives in Southern California, Beth in New England and me in the Mid-Atlantic, that’s quite a feat!
The main event today (besides registering) was the Meet & Mingle. After registering I took some time to go through my “swag bag” and found this:
They gave us the menus for all planned meals with nutrition information AND a worksheet to calculate how many calories and how much protein we planned to consume at each meal. Kudos, OAC! I like this a lot.
The Meet & Mingle was a great event as well. They had a decidedly more health conscious menu than other conferences I’d been to this year. There was some stuff of the starchy variety (keeping in mind this conference is not exclusive to weight-loss surgery patients) but there was also this:
A beautiful tray of veggies with some nice dips. I sort of used this reception as dinner (because a Foodie is on a budget!). I sort of missed having meat, but I dealt.
So the main event was the talk, “Teaming Up to Tackle Obesity.” This consisted of a panel of two bariatric surgeons, dr. Archie Roberts and Dr. Henry Buchwals and two former NFL football players Corey Louchiey, who lost weight with diet and exercise and James Thornton, who lost weight after having bariatric surgery. I LOVED this panel for several reasons:
- There was no emphasis on one method being better than the other. Both were treated with equal validity.
- Both men spoke on their struggles with eating more healthfully and changing their lifestyles. (And many of those struggles were the same!
- These two men didn’t know each other well before they both decided to change their lifestyles but are now good friends who support each other, without judgment or comparison, in healthier lifestyles.
This was so encouraging to hear. I believe WLS is one of many options for gaining control of obesity. The two doctors recognized this and also the fact the people look up to athletes. That admiration has value and they wanted to capitalize on it to be able to capitalize on that to motivate people to change their lives.
Me & James Thornton, former NFL player who is “Teaming Up to Tackle Obesity.”
After they talked they took questions and one person asked James Thornton what he’d say to people who told him he took the easy way out. James said that there is no easy way. No magic bullet and that he’d let people know that the reality is that any method of losing weight is hard.
I have an amendment to that. (Indulge me another soap box moment this week.) After James spoke one of the surgeons made a remark about people not saying the same thing when a person has gall bladder surgery or heart surgery, about “taking the easy way out.” This is true but in my opinion there is a reason for that.
When you have gall bladder problems and have to have surgery for it you don’t apologize for having gall bladder surgery. When you have heart surgery, even if it was caused by some behavioral pattern, you don’t apologize for having heart surgery. And the world doesn’t expect you to. But in some way – whether overt or subtle – many WLS patients apologize for having to have WLS. We apologize for not being able to do it with diet and exercise alone. We apologize for not being born with ideal genetics. And in many ways we apologize for being human.
Let’s work on that, ok? Because in reality if you look at your so-called “skinny” friends, many of them probably have the same habits you did back in the day. But you might not consider them bad habits because that person did not end up obese as a result. So stop apologizing for being human, for making mistakes and for needing medical treatment for a medical condition that is likely threatening your health and future.
That one simple shift in thinking has the power to do so much. So think about it, ok?
In the meantime to follow what I do on Friday, August 16, you can:
- Follow the hashtag #BFYWM on Twitter. I’ll be using it to post updates.
- Stay tuned to the Bariatric Foodie Facebook Page. I’ll be posting pictures and quotables there as well.
- Tomorrow night I’ll post my Friday recap.
I hope you guys are enjoying my coverage so far. If you have questions about anything I’ve seen or done, leave a comment. I’m happy to address anything you want to!