#WLSFA Meet & Greet Recap (Part Two)

I’m late as all get out! I could give you some spiel about
life being busy but…what does it matter? Here we are and I am late!
So where did I leave off?
Oh yes, at the lunch. So after hearing Dr. Garth speak I
returned to the Quest exhibition table for a few hours. We completely “sold out”
(gave out?) of bars! Woot! From there I headed to my room to get ready for the “Let
Your Star Shine” gala.
I had a sense that folks were really going to get dolled up
for this event. Here’s what I wore:

Everyone looked so lovely! It was like bariatric prom. By
this point, sadly, I’d developed an inherent mistrust of the WLSFA’s food
offerings (half-meals devoid of protein and laden with bread = grumpy Nikki) so
I had dinner beforehand at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, Burgr, which is inside
the Planet Hollywood hotel.
And, yes Foodies, I ate another egg burger! I get latched
onto an idea and I just go with it. I’m committed like that! This time it was a
beef burger (miracle upon miracles it sat right!) with duck breast bacon (I
didn’t ask, they didn’t tell), cheese and a fried egg. I ate it sans the bun
which STILL didn’t make it healthy but it was darn tasty! Thankfully Gordon
doesn’t believe in side orders with burgers so I didn’t have to deal with fries
all up in my face (and truth be told if he’d given me fries I would have eaten
So back to the gala. The light fare was of the raw veggies
and bread variety but this time I wasn’t so affronted. Preparation is key in
those types of situations. I did opt to have a glass of wine from the cash bar.
And yes, you can write a book on post-op alcohol consumption but my reality is
this: I am five years post-op and alcohol is NOT my addiction. Believe me I’ve
battled transfer addictions but alcohol has not been one so far. If that ever
changes you all have my full permission to do an intervention.
After we took pictures of ourselves looking too cute for
words, we all took a seat and there were some awards given. One was for the
2013 “Bari-athlete” of the year. I thought that was inspiring. Then there were
a few others, although for the life of me I cannot remember what they were.
Then there was a cute, although slightly campy, competition for king and queen
of the gala.
I took a pic with the king:

After all that, they accepted donations from groups. There
were several groups that gave donations, including the Bariatric Bad Girls
Club. Since the closing of the event, however, the donation by the BBGC has
been returned and the group leader has been banned from future festivities. It’s
not apparent to me why any of this happened (or why it happened so publicly) and I don’t have enough information to say much more than that without inserting my personal opinion. And I don’t want to do that because in THIS space, I represent you, the Foodie Nation. And the Foodie Nation, as of this point, has no opinion.

So I’ll just say this: I hope whatever takes place from this point forward supports people in their efforts to get weight loss surgeries. Because that’s what’s important. That people have the opportunity to take this life-changing journey. And I may be being presumptuous but I think I speak on behalf of the Foodie Nation by saying that sentiment is something BF does support. But anyway, I digress.

The most inspiring part of the night was the keynote
speaker: Carnie Wilson!

“Yes, Carnie, the Foodie Nation IS as awesome as you’ve heard!”
So I could tell I’d like Carnie as soon as she stepped up on
stage and promptly deemed her high heel shoes too uncomfortable and took them
off! Seriously. I think she’s got some Baltimore up in her.
Anyhoo, she talked for about an hour and went through her
entire journey: from being a kid “fixated on sugar” to worrying for her health.
If memory serves me correctly she shared it was her then future husband who
suggested weight loss surgery (and further weight loss surgery in front of the
whole world), thinking it’d not only save her life but many others.
She also shared about the wonders of post-op life we all
know so well. And about the fear and shame associated with regain. And of
course she talked about the decision to have band-over-bypass and how she was
treated as a result of the decision.
Three words. She. Was. Awesome.
It’s inspiring to me to hear how this is a journey. You aren’t
just “finished” at the end of your magic window. Life can happen. And there’s
hope for you if it does.
So after the event I (eventually) made my way up to Carnie.
But first I got distracted by the Cupid Shuffle. It’s like a compulsion. The
song starts and I must dance! But when I did get to speak with her, I told her
I admired her bravery and what she was doing for herself and her family. I
buried Mama Foodie last year because she could not bring herself to do what
Carnie Wilson did: admit she needed help.

And of course this made us both cry. She looks better crying
than I do. That is all.
So that evening came and went and the next morning was the
end of the event. Breakfast was quiche and, for once, I was pleasantly
surprised by the fare. Quiche and fruit. Now THIS is how they should have
approached every meal. But alas.
There were raffles for prizes. I didn’t win anything. And
then we all said goodbye. Well, most of us at least. Some of us were hanging around
another day or two.
The next day my best friend and I set out to get ourselves
an NSV (non-scale victory). We wanted to go zip-lining! The weight limit for
zip-lining is 250 at the place where we went. In past days that would have
meant no zip-lining for us. But this day, we did it!
I took pictures of the in-process zip but…yeah. I have to
get the bravery to post those. For now here’s a picture of us immediately
Besides that we relaxed by the pool a lot and had some good
girlfriend talk and flew out late on Monday night. It was a nice getaway for
this single mama Foodie whose last vacation was…never.
So I hope you enjoyed my recaps, here and on Facebook. If
you did, I have a BIG favor to ask of you guys. I’m trying to represent the
Foodie Nation at the Obesity Action Coalition’s “Your Weight Matters” Convention
in Phoenix, AZ on August 15 – 18.
Going to WLSFA was such a treat and I THANK QUEST NUTRITION
for sending me, but I hope to go to this one without a sponsorship. Why?
Because at WLSFA instead of being in the sessions, live-blogging all that I was
learning, I was in the exhibition hall. Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of fun.
But for this event, with such great speakers, I want to be able to take in as
much as possible and share it with those of you who aren’t there!!!

But a sista is on a budget. So here’s where you come in:
  • If you need to put in a Quest bar order, I ask you to do so
    through my ad on the right menu bar! I get a portion of those sales and I’ll be
    using them toward my plane ticket fund. 
  • If you need to do an Amazon or Netrition order, please start
    them from the search boxes on my right menu bar! Same deal. 
  • If you’ve been thinking about getting the Bariatric Foodie Guide to Perfect Protein
    consider getting it in June! Click here to get it in hardcopy, here
    for Kindle and here for iPad or Nook! 
  • I’ve also set up a secure donation button on the right menu bar at the top if you don’t have any shopping to do but DO want to help the cause! Any amount, big or small, helps!
  • If you all do that in June, I may just have enough to go to
    OAC! And I’d love to go so that I can share my experience, my swag and my
    impressions with all of you! 

Thank you in advance, Foodies!