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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where are the WLS Veterans?

There is a GREAT conversation underway at the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood. Our friend Kimbre, who will be "Arriving" in February asked posted:

"I'm a pre-op though I'll be able to submit to insurance at the beginning of February (YAY). I ran across something this week that disturbed me a little bit. I ran a across a blog that I hadn't seem before and the blogger had posted a comment from someone else (the source was not given) and it said:
Search for any wls blogs or stories or even posters on wls boards from post ops more than two or three years out...they are virtually non-existant. Nobody posts on boards more than 2 years post op. Blogs are abandoned at two years out. The surgery has a honeymoon and people still in that period tend to get very emotional about defending it. Once the regain, ruptures, complications and malabsorption side effects take over, these people feel like failures and hypocrites and go into hiding. Where are the ten year post-ops? Or the five year ones? That's who I want to hear from.
Are there people here who are five or more years out? I would like to think that you don't hear from those folks as much because with weight loss, they are now out living their lives, and not inside, having regained their weight or fighting constant illness as a result of this surgery.

I'm just wondering what the post-ops think about this."

One seasoned successful weight loss surgery post-op, Kim answered, "Well, you're in luck. First and foremost, there are many members of this forum (with blogs) that are long term success stories. Let us motivate you and educate you. (The Neighborhood Blogs are private and available to registered members only. Link to learn more).

Lots of blogs disappear only because people move on to just "living". Life becomes less about weight loss and more about being normal...having a family or a job that takes all of their time! Here are some stats that I posted on MY blog...
National Statistic
RNY Gastric Bypass – 95% lost 70-75% excess body weight in 2 years; 85% maintained loss of >50% EBW at 5 year
What you will learn from the long term folks on this site is that it takes work...forever. You must go into this surgery knowing that you must never go back to living your pre-WLS ways...quit going to the drive-thru restaurants, make healthy food a focus, exercise every day in some form and most of all, ENJOY life!"

And here is my 2-cents worth: "Hello Kimbre! Welcome to the Neighborhood! You have certainly landed in the right place to ask this question. If you look at the profile of different members here in the Neighborhood you'll see "Arrival Date" and that is the date of their surgical weight loss. We call it "Arrival" because our slogan is, "Welcome to your new life - You Have Arrived". You will see many who are 5, 10, 15 and 20 years post weight loss surgery. Our senior member is little tiny Judy Petite - 21 yrs. post-Arrival. I've met her and she is petite and adorable!!! And she is LIVING. I will be 9 years post-Arrival in September and there are many others with lots of experience to share with pre-ops and those in the weight loss phase of this life-long experience. Many people do drop off message boards or blogs after 1 1/2 - 2 years post off. Many because, as you say, they become highly engaged in LIVING. Some because they are struggling and feel ashamed or embarrassed. Some because they can't find a group dedicated to the daily challenges of surgical weight loss.

One thing I know about weight loss surgery is that it is a part of each of us every single day. Studies indicate that those who seek consistent peer support are better empowered with the skills, knowledge and desire to work the tool -- not just for a year or two -- but for life.

I am happy you are here and hope that as you become better acquainted you will find friendship and support to empower your Living After Weight Loss Surgery. Welcome!"

So, what are your feelings? Where are Veterans of Weight Loss Surgery? Are you looking for a home, a safe haven community where you are respected, welcome and empowered? Come to the Neighborhood. We always have hugs and compassion for one more.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Introducing Celadon, Food Editor

It is my pleasure to introduce Celadon aka Barbara Gibbons as our LivingAfterWLS Food Editor. This fabulous female is burning the midnight oil editing our new cookbook and contributing recipes to our online recipe collection. She is smart about recipe makeovers and a gifted foodie who arrived in the weight loss surgery community July 31, 2007. Since that day she has worked her tool magnificently! I am proud to call her a friend, a mentor and now our LAWLS Food Editor.

Today's Recipe of the Week features her culinary brilliance. You can look for more online in the Neighborhood Community Kitchen

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Recipes Wanted: Holiday Cookbook

Link to download your easy How-To Guide

I know if you are like me things got nutty crazy over the holidays and I didn't get nearly everything I wanted entered into our great new cookbook. So to help me --- and encourage YOU --- We have extended the deadline to February 15, 2008. Now do not get feeling all comfy thinking -- ahh, 6 more weeks. Get entering now so that Celadon, the First Lady of the Neighborhood Kitchen, has time to do the first edit. We still want to publish this in early summer and there is a ton of work between the deadline and publication....

Right now we have 243 recipes -- need 147 more. Also, I've increased the number of contributions per person to 24 (from 18) so you have 6 more chances to publish your Yumm-O recipes and have them shared around the world with others just like you, doing the best they can to rock awesome with WLS.

It looks like we could use some Spring Recipes for holidays like Easter, Mother's Day, Passover, Memorial Day and Weeknight Suppers.