We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. We feel overwhelmed, downhearted, or disconnected. Our personal failures are blinding, and our optimism is sucked from us by the selfishness and hatred of others. All news seems to be bad news.
There was one man in the group who touched the core of my soul. He experienced a life-changing event that has impacted his mobility and his independence. When I asked him how this has affected him he didn’t mention the unfairness of his situation. He didn’t express bitterness or anger. He told me he…
I was excited to present at the Bedford support group because I’d heard very good things about the people who attend. And the rumors are true—Bedford has a great group! One of the most memorable parts of the evening was when a group veteran explained his thoughts on refusing food offers. He said that…
Let’s be honest, maintaining weight loss can get a bit tiresome and may even seem a little boring. Developing health routines and saying “no” to foods that most people say “yes” to can lose its appeal over time. It’s easy to forget how bad you used to feel , the compliments eventually come to a halt, and it’s easy to drift back to old behavior.
I’ve led a lot of bariatric support groups over the years. I’ll be honest, some are a lot of work. Sometimes it’s hard to keep folks on topic. Occasionally group members are unaware they are over participating, failing to give everyone a chance to speak. I once had to shut down one man’s suggestion to add bourbon to protein shakes. But the group at St. Roch didn’t have these problems. In fact, I don’t know if I really needed to be there at all.
The March Speedway Support Group was a special time. I saw a few familiar faces and got to spend time with one of my favorite RDs, Melinda Jones. The smaller group size lended itself to honest discussions about motivation, difficulties, and desires related to surgery. To me, three themes emerged from my time with this wonderful group of people.
Over the next few months I will be presenting at weight management support groups throughout Indiana. In these meetings, I will share concepts contained in my recently published book, A Size That Fits. My goal is to encourage people who feel stuck or discouraged. For those who are currently riding the train of success, I hope these groups will propel them towards a sustainable long-term commitment to their health.
Although I will mostly present at St. Vincent Bariatrics’ groups, the fine folks at Community Bariatrics were kind enough to invite me to two of their locations. Thanks super RD Sarah Muntel for the invitations!
Here are a few take-aways from my time at Community Hospital...
I wish I had a Bitcoin for each time someone has asked me if housework, yardwork, or walking the dog counts as exercise. First of all, any activity is better than sitting. Recent research suggests that sitting too much is associated with decreased fitness and increased mortality. So almost anything that causes us to get off the couch or push away from our desk can be beneficial. But are activities of daily living like vacuuming actually exercise?
I LOVE the idea of intuitive eating. Pay attention to your internal hunger before you eat, stop when you are no longer hungry—nothing is forbidden. Your body knows what it needs and if we listen to it, we’ll make good decisions and live at peace with food. But let me explain why I’m not a fan of the idea that intuitive eating by itself is the one-and-only-way to weight loss.
When I was a child, I was a baseball fanatic. I loved fielding, hitting, sliding, and rooting for the Cincinnati Reds. My brother, two neighbor boys, and I played endless games of tennis ball in the neighbor’s yard. The rules were simple--right field was closed, pitcher’s hand, and over the bushes for a home run. I loved those bushes. Don’t tell my sixth-grade teacher, but my parents once allowed me to skip school, hang out with Grandma, and watch the Reds play their opening day game on TV. This was serious stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, I love education, research, and scientific discovery. But many of my most valuable insights during my career haven't come from a symposium or a journal article—they've come from my patients. These experiences put a face on a theory or provide meaningful context to scientific principles. Sometimes my patients just teach me life lessons that I relay to future patients—no data required.