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…
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.
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...
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.
Barring some unforeseen longevity, I won't be around in fifty years. Who knows, I may not make it 'til tomorrow. As morbid as it is to ponder, someday I’ll join the great majority. My last breath will usher in lost opportunities to interact with my family and friends, and my relationships with acquaintances will come to a halt like a plant that succumbs to a hard freeze before it flowers.