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Restaurant Discounts For Gastric Bypass Patients May Send Mixed Messages

Please do not give me a reason to patronize restaurants with low-quality food options.  MM needs no reason ON THIS EARTH to step foot in a Golden Corral, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc… EVER

Nor do MMs kids.  EVER.  I do not need a trough of pasta, fried seafood or oily iceberg lettuce based salad.

MM Does Not Endorse The Use Of WLS Discount Cards For Food.   We have to learn to eat like normal people.  Having an excuse to pay less for crappy food does not teach us anything.

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NPR - n.pr/UEF2qA

All of these reduced appetites might seem like bad news for the restaurant business, but surgeon-distributed food discount cards aim to make dining out cheaper and more practical for gastric bypass patients.

But is this kind of encouragement really a good idea?

To accommodate the patients' reduced stomach volumes, the cards, called WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) cards, ask restaurants to allow patients to order a smaller portion of food for a discounted price.

These cards aren't a new phenomenon — they've been around in the U.S. at least since the 1990s, and a similar discount programwas proposed to city council members in Campinas, Brazil, earlier this year. 

And like the surgery itself, the WLS cards have grown in popularity, says Ann Rogers, director at the Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program. "Now there's so much word of mouth about it, that if we forget to give them out [after surgery], the patient says, 'What about those discount cards?' " Rogers says.

Some popular U.S. restaurants accept the cards. For example, Cracker Barrel restaurants allow patients to order from the inexpensive children's menu or order a lunch-sized portion for dinner. In a statement issued to the Salt, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants say they are happy to do the same.

Even "all-you-can-eat" buffet restaurant Golden Corral provides a discounted buffet price upon seeing a proof-of-surgery card in some locations.

Though gastric bypass surgery leaves the patient with a stomach pouch only about the size of an egg, restaurants, especially buffets, still spell trouble for many patients. Unlimited portions and heavily processed, quickly digestible foods that keep patients from feeling full make it difficult to keep the weight off, says Rogers.

Golden Corral could not provide a spokesperson to respond to our inquiries, but it and other companies have made efforts in recent years to add healthier choices to their buffet offerings.

Even if the patient makes better choices, however, friends and family who come along may not do the same. "I definitely discourage patients from going to buffet-style restaurants — it's a danger for everybody," Rogers says.

In fact, Rogers says she discourages her patients from eating at any restaurant. So why distribute a discount card that seems to encourage dining out?

Rogers says it's OK for patients to use the WLS card and splurge at the buffet every once in a while, and the card also encourages them to order smaller meals at other restaurants. If patients make healthy choices about 75 percent of the time, they'll keep the weight off, she says.

But just as the buffet can have negative family health consequences, patients who are diligent about eating well a majority of the time can encourage healthy habits among friends and family. Rogers says patients who attend regular follow-up appointments, some featuring weigh-ins and healthy cooking classes, retain their lost weight about 70 percent of the time.

"For most of our patients, when the patients change their habits, it changes the eating habits of the whole household. It's pretty educational," she says.

Changing habits is critical, she says. It's a myth that the stomach surgery is a permanent weight loss cure. After surgery, "the [hunger] hormones go down and stay down for a year or two. But, slowly, the hunger starts to come back," Rogers says.

 

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Bariatric Eating Media Tour is a-comin’! Can you feel the anticipation?

I am getting all tingly excited over the upcoming release of Susan Maria Leach's newly revised and updated book:  Before + After!  

"Susan Maria Leach maintains her new weight and devotes her time to motivating others to keep on track and sustain healthy patterns of diet and exercise not just for a short period after surgery but for life. She owns and operates BariatricEating.com and has opened her first nutrition store in Pompano Beach, Florida. Her company is a member of the corporate council of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery."

Right!

Check out BariatricEating.com –  its chock-full of helpful… malware?

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Check out the social media

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So. excited.

Thanks BE!  You rock!

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I Have The Regain.

I have a case of the regain.   Oh noes.  I have been clear about it, and I do not hide the fact that I have regained weight and I do not hide from the camera.  Evidence: Facebook. That said, I don't make a big deal about the number I see on the scale, because I do not allow the number to define me.  I am very much over allowing a NUMBER tell me WHO I am and HOW I am going to feel on any given day — and I rarely weigh myself.  Several months ago, I was started on a new anti-epilepsy medication that often causes weight gain and it did, and my weight slowly crept up to That Place Where I Freak The Eff Out. Since then, it's come back down to a reasonable place to where I can manage it, and I am within ten pounds of my low-normal-average. But here is the weird thing – it's SO VERY OBVIOUS.

 


One year ago – I hit a low in the summer July/August of 2011. I had life drama and things went awry for a while.  I might have dropped a bit lower – this photo was taken in early September 2011 - 

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This past weekend, at 174 lbs. 

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 I actually saw a few pounds higher many weeks ago and NO NO NO NO NO this will NOT HAPPEN and put the kabosh on some bad habits - 

"Hey, let's have one two three pieces of toast with gallons of butter on it?!  WHO DOES THAT?!"    

Obviously, Beth does.  "OMG, say it isn't so!"  It is.  It can be.  I am pushing nine years post op, and three or even four pieces of 35 calorie bread breaks down to nada ounces in your pouch — and really — is nothing.  So.  Hushyomoufabouteatingtoomuch.

But.

Screen Shot 2012-09-25 at 6.22.54 PMI stopped that bullshit.  

Because I am smart enough to know better because I refuse to purchase size 14W, mmkay?  

I know better.  I have demons, they appear in the form of buttery carbs, hence they Do Not Belong In My Area.

I am already down several pounds, but, I am still remaining apathetic about it because the pounds do not define me, I DO.

The reason I mention it at all — the regain — is that someone else asked me how much I had gained since I saw them last!  I was taken aback a bit, considering I thought I was pretty damn upfront about my size, and I did not realize I had been … watched so closely.  

I suppose I expect a certain amount of it — considering that I blog about weight loss surgery, I expect that there is a certain subsection of people waiting for long-termers like me to Fail, Publicly and Like a Trainwreck.  But, I also have complex issues making my long-term-WLS-life more sticky than they might like to read about — which is why I rarely write about MYSELF AT ALL.

Because it scares people.

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I did not really respond to the well-meaning-regain-question-asker with anything other than, "Well, I am taking a lot of neuro meds."  True.  I am up to a couple thousand milligrams of AEDs a day, and in pre-operative testing for brain surgery.

This person said that she noted that I was noticeably bigger than the last time she saw me, and she assumed from a purely medical standpoint (she meant no harm…) that I simply must be taking medication to cause gain, that it was not something I was doing — like — toast eating.  It's the truth, so it really did not bother me since I was already aware, you know?  I live in this body, I know when I can't zip up my OWN PANTS!  

In the big picture — it's still only ten pounds.  Ten apathetic pounds.  

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Susan Maria Leach Bariatric Eating Doesn’t Ship Orders, But Asks FOR REVIEWS. 93 days.

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Click to enlarge.

By now I've received my order — nice assumption!  

After this debacle, you expect a product review to be left in my name under your web store?  

Feel free to link to my already written reviews of the Believe Protein Lattes!

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Bariatric Eating Susan Maria Leach Network has no email, no phone, zero communication!

Susan Maria Leach of BariatricEating.com repeatedly suggests on her business Facebook page that she's missing customer information and customer orders because of a  "fingerquotes" technical failure. "/fingerquotes"

However, she offers no apology, and has blamed some customers.

BariatricEating.com"…we have already posted info regarding the status of the website that we have maintained for over nine years and the tech problems that caused a lot of problems for the company and our customers. We are happy to answer questions about bariatric surgery and bariatric eating on Facebook as it is social media but we will no longer entertain the drive by bashing by people who have malice as chief intent."

This might suggest that customers should re-send their information to the business, to re-submit orders that should have been shipped months ago.  Or perhaps she might be open to communication?

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That is if the EMAIL worked – I have emailed repeatedly  to various names with no response.  Yesterday's email – just bounced back –

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Or if the phone worked.   Call this number and tell me what happens to YOUR call.  

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  • You can't send an email.  
  • You can't leave a message.  

You try.  Let me know if ANY of these work for you!

Methinks she doesn't WANT communication.  

Day 91 and day 51.