Thursday, February 4, 2010

Food: The Final Frontier

This morning I caught a few minutes of the Dr. Oz show.  Carnie Wilson, one of the most famous gastric bypass patients, was a guest.  Clearly, she has gained some of her weight back.  I don't judge her for that (hello, I'm up about 45 pounds myself right now).  But it reminds me that my goal of not gaining anymore weight (and, actually losing that 45 pounds) is so important. 

Before surgery, so many gastric bypass patients feel like they've won the weight loss lottery.  THIS IS IT!  You're going to lose your weight, be skinny, turn into a rockstar, never pay your bills again, and live happily ever after.  You spend about a year losing weight, being the center of attention...hearing compliments about how great you look, talking about how awesome you feel.  Then  -- CRASH.  You still have to get up every day, go to work, pay your bills, and no one cares about how skinny you are anymore.  You aren't the girl (or guy) losing weight and looking like a different person every day anymore.  You are  And who are you?  Are you the fat girl who sat in the corner, quietly chatting only with the people who came up to you?  Are you the thin(ner) girl who dances on table tops, still trying to be the center of attention?  And, what do you look like with your clothes off?  You look amazing (to everyone else) with your clothes on.  But naked, you look like a saggy elephant.  Most woman compare their post-weight loss boobs to "socks with oranges in the bottom."  Nice visual.  I had them.  They're not cute.

Gastric bypass works two ways.  It makes your stomach smaller so that you can't eat as much.  And it bypasses some of your intestines so that you don't absorb all of the calories you eat.  However, as time passes, you can eat more and more food (plus, if you're really "good," you learn how to eat more often during the day and consume more calories than you should).  Eventually, you are relying on your own willpower once again.  You hope that you have set up the good habits to continue eating in a healthy manner, but bad habits so easily creep back in.  A little taste of chocolate.  A couple of French fries.  A sliver of CAKE!  Ooooh, who doesn't LOVE cake?! 

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I can eat whatever I want when I'm exercising.  I should probably qualify that.  Carnie mentioned that she eats a little too much cheesecake.  I too love cheesecake.  But I have it like three times a year.  So, yes, if I'm working out, I can eat whatever I "want," but what I want to eat doesn't include daily cheesecake.  I just know that if I'm working out consistently, I can eat more calories and I don't have to think as hard about what I'm putting in my mouth.  As long as its not french fries and cheesecake, I maintain pretty well.

Let's be honest, most people are overweight from overeating and not exercising.  I hear the medication excuse but that's the exception rather than the rule.  And honestly, even that excuse is still an excuse.  Its really not usually the medication that makes you gain weight.  A lot of times, it changes your metabolism and so you should have adjusted your food intake and exercise to counter that (see my note at the end of this blog).  Most overweight people are emotional eaters.  One of my biggest issues with the gastric bypass surgery is that post-surgery therapy isn't absolutely required.  You over-ate for a reason.  You're bored. Sad.  Mad.  Happy.  Food was your friend.  You used it to celebrate.  You used it to mourn.  And sometimes, after surgery, people have to mourn the loss of their best friend (which usually makes you want to eat, right?!).  But that best friend was stabbing you in the back!  Every time you turned to her, she was making you gain weight -- setting you up for health problems later in life.  Sometimes you have to clean house in the friend department.  And your friend, food, needs to go!

I mentioned before that Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous didn't work for me.  However, those might just be excuses because I didn't want to be tied down to a program.  I think if you're going to follow a program, Weight Watchers is a healthy way to go.  They usually promote well-rounded eating, rather than cutting something out completely.  I feel like cutting something out completely usually causes you to crave it and, eventually, you'll binge on it.  However, if you know you can't take a bite of cheesecake without wolfing down the entire cake, perhaps its a trigger food you should avoid. 

Clearly, I'm not a doctor.  These are all just my opinions and personal experiences.  My general rule is:  If calories in are less than calories out, you will lose weight.  I realize there are many opinions about carbs, eating late at night, and things like that, but I try to keep it simple.  I wanted to share some websites that might be helpful to others who have issues with food.

Here is the link to see Carnie Wilson's appearance on the Dr. Oz show:

Carnie Wilson's video

Carnie Wilson promo

This is a link to Freddy Camacho's blog, Look Better Naked.  Freddy is famous in the fitness world for working with Crossfit. This blog has great food suggestions.

Good calorie counters (and other tools for weight loss or management):

Calorie Counter (

Calorie Counter (

What is your BMR?

How many calories can YOU eat in a day?

Article: How many calories should you eat?

What is your ideal body weight?

What is your BMI (basic calculator)?

And somewhat unrelated -- love yourself!

I know that we all love to eat.  If you have a food addiction, it becomes a whole different ball game.  Unlike other addictions, you can't cut food out of your life.  So you have to figure out what works for you.  For me, its following a balanced diet with allowances to cheat (i.e., live my life).

Until next time, I'll keep twirling (but without the cheeseburger in my hand).  ;-)


P.S.  I started thinking about my comment about medication weight gain.  I do want to clarify because I am very sensitive to medications.  With the last medication I tried, I gained 15 pounds in two weeks.  Yuck.  I just wanted to make sure people didn't think I don't believe that medication can cause weight gain, because I do believe that it can.  I just feel like, its not usually the medication...its your metabolism reacting to the medication.  I can eat about 2,500 calories a day to maintain my weight.  But if I gained 15 pounds in two weeks, I gained about a pound a day.  One pound equals 3,500 calories.  So that means (supposedly), I was eating 6,000 calories per day to gain that weight?!  I don't think so.  Or if I was, I was doing it in my sleep.  So, maybe on that medication, I can only eat 1,500 calories per day.  I really don't know.  I'm not an expert on this and have yet to find a doctor who can actually explain it to me (trust me, I've asked a few).  I also routinely gain 8-plus pounds each month of water weight.  And sometimes only 5 come off.  What's that about?!  I don't know.  The body is still a mystery to me but I have to believe that sometimes I must be doing something to keep that weight on even if I didn't necessarily eat food to initially gain it.  I'd love to hear people's opinions and comments on this subject!  For now, I am:  Twirly Girl-Fact Gatherer! 



  1. I love your hones voice that shines through on this entry. (and the picture)

  2. Thanks! :-) I really feel like this lets me get my OCD tendencies out so I don't have to unleash them elsewhere. Like on Rob. hehe!!

  3. Hey they Carnie Wilson interview doesnt work for me. It says access denied (maybe cos Im in Australia). Can you post it on YouTube or something?


  4. I looked all over for that video. It looks like its been removed. I couldn't find it on Dr. Oz's website or on youtube. It was shot home video style. Carnie looked all cracked out and terrible. I'm wondering if she requested that they take it down. I'll keep looking! :-)

  5. Try this link for the Carnie Wilson video:

  6. Oh that's ridiculous. Let me try to fix the link that's actually IN the blog.

  7. OK, it looks like I was able to actually embed the video within the blog this time. My blog keeps telling me it didn't work but I am watching it so apparently it did! Let me know if you're able to see it!