Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In which Carnie Wilson, the supposed WLS Failure, schools MacMadame, the supposed WLS success

The Keynote speaker at this year’s WLSFA’s Mother of All Meet and Greets was Carnie Wilson. Carnie is probably the first WLS celebrity. She had her first WLS back in 2000 or so and, unlike other celebrities such as Star Jones who initially denied that they even had WLS, was very public about it from Day One. She even had her actual surgery broadcast over the internet!

As is normal when you are pretty public about your private life, this invited a lot of scrutiny and criticism which intensified when she had problems with regain after the birth of her children. I’ve written about Carnie before and how I didn’t think 100% of those criticism were fair or accurate.

A few weeks before the convention, a question was posed in my Facebook feed: Would you go to see someone talk (at WLS Conference) about WLS success who had regain and a revision. Pretty much EVERYONE was saying NO WAY. And: what would such a person ever have to say to me?

I found that rather interesting given my new feed was also full of people excited to be going to Vegas to hear and meet Carnie Wilson. Who is a WLS patient who is struggling with regain and who had recently had a revision.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Diet Fix - why everything we know about dieting is wrong

Let's take a break from controversy and talk about the one talk at the WLSFA that I wanted to attend -- one of the things that made it worth the price of attending.

I went to the Dr. Yoni Freedhoff talk expecting a very scientific talk with a lot of references to studies and the like showing how much of the dieting advice we get has been debunked by science. Things like “don’t eat after 7 pm” and “eating fat makes you fat.” His talk was more along the lines of a post I made way, way back when (before surgery even) all about The Dieting Mentality. Only better.

The title of his talk was “The Diet Fix” and it’s also the title of a book that he wrote that was supposed to be published by now but will be published next year instead.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WTF? - My 2013 WLSFA Meet 'n Greet Experience - The Aftermath

MacMadame's patented guide to conflict resolution.
This is a difficult post for me to write. It's difficult for a number of reasons one of which includes my childhood.

I grew up in a family that was full of secrets, dysfunction and feuding. It was too much drama for me and I reacted by becoming pretty much allergic to drama. People start feuding and choosing sides and publicly pointing fingers and I'm outta there.

I am the one who is friends with everyone even people who hate each other's guts to the point of where people are afraid to be in the same room with them. I am the one who invites who I want to be there to my college graduation or my wedding and if this one isn't talking to that one, I shrug and say Not my problem.

The other reason writing this is hard for me is that I'm going to not only choose sides publicly -- not only am I making it my problem -- but I'm also going to criticize an organization that goes good things. This is something I have been trying very hard for the past two years not to do.

But I need to, I think. It's time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Flying with and without planes - My 2013 WLSFA Meet 'n Greet Experience - Day Three

Arriving at Bootleg Canyong
On the third day, I rose again... too early. This time I had no shopping to do or anything really so I wandered around trying to hook up. With friends, people. With friends. Get your minds out of the gutter!

I finally ran into some of them at Starbucks. We chatted and gathered and all went back over to the convention together. Where there was plenty of food. I got very excited until I realized there was plenty of food because they hadn't opened the food lines yet. When they did open them, I jumped right in though having learned my lesson from Friday. There were signs everywhere "Take 1 piece of quiche". Hmm.

Prom Day - My 2013 WLSFA Meet 'n Greet Experience - Day Two

They gave us a good table because it was our anniversary.
After going to bed way too late, I had this plan to sleep in. I wasn't intending to do anything before Dr. Yoni Freedhoff's talk at 10:00 am anyway. But wouldn't you know it, I woke up at the crack of dawn and could not go back to sleep. I finally gave up about 7:30 am and got up.

I was dressed and at the convention by 8:30 am. I met some new people, visited the vendors and picked up some more swag. Then, at 9:00 am, I decided to hit the shops on more time trying to find a necklace for the evening's event. And maybe a new purse. I didn't manage it before I had to run back to see Dr. Yoni.

I deliberately got there early so I could meet him and chat with him beforehand. We had a nice chat and I met his wife too. I teased him about being a doctor with fans. Because I am a fan. He took it pretty well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This is why I hate Vegas - My WLSFA 2013 Meet 'n Greet Story - Day One

The best meal I had all day
I was in Vegas for a convention put on by the WLSFA, an organization that raises money so that people who can’t afford it can have Weight Loss Surgery (and sometimes Plastic Surgery after massive weight loss). This was the fourth of their annual Meet and Greets. I had gone to their second (What? There was nothing about it on the blog. Um, yeah, I know. More on that later.)

Mr. Mac had absolutely no interest in the convention but he wanted to go to Vegas (why?) so he was with me. We left the kids home. First time we left Mini-Mac without parental supervision for an entire weekend, too. It was less stressful than I expected.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The best race report ever - Wildflower Olympic Relay

I raced! First time in over a year. Even longer since I raced when I should have and was healthy! (vs. racing when I shouldn't have and wasn't healthy.)

Since I'm basically only swimming, I formed a relay team and I did the swim leg. This seemed reasonable to me but I should have known the whole experience was going to be bizarre when I had so much trouble forming a team to start with. I got a biker almost right away but I had a heck of a time getting a runner. I was about to give up when I said we could do the Olympic distance (6.2 mile run) instead of the Long (13.1 mile run). My biker really wanted to do the Long course (56 miles) but the difference in the swim is only .3 miles and I figured shorter was probably better for me anyway.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fake cool vs. real cool - The Story of Mike Jeffries

My face scares small children. Buy my clothes.
A firestorm of controversy erupted today when an article appeared in the Business Insider claiming that Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, didn't want fat people wearing his clothes. Now, the article didn't actually quote Jeffries on this. But his attitude towards who he wants in his clothes is hardly a secret. In a 2006 interview on Salon.com, Jeffries was quoted as saying:
In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.
Not to mention, the store does not carry any clothing in a size larger than a 10 except for a few XL and XXL in Mens, presumably for beefy body-builder type guys. So, whether they said so in an official document or used offensive language to do or not, selling clothes only to smaller people is clearly their business model.

If you are bracing yourself for a big tirade about fatty-hate, you can relax. I'm not planning to do that. For one thing, no clothing store can be all things to all people. It's cost prohibitive. Chico's doesn't carry my size and neither does Lane Bryant. That's life. They all pick who they want to sell clothes to.

But the real reason I'm not going to rant is that I think Mike Jeffries is kind of sad and pathetic.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Brain doc gives me some perspective

Yesterday I saw Brain Doc for an official follow up. We had an unofficial one via email when I was raised from 25 mg to 50 mg of Topamax.

For this one, I was of mixed feelings about going up to a higher dose. When I first went up to 50 mg, I had some scary side-effects and was adamant I wouldn't go up any more. But then they wore off. Unfortunately so did the medicine. Well, not "wore off" but it didn't seem to be as effective the past couple of weeks.

So we talked about it.