Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Impossible? I don't think so.

Weight loss surgery is back in the headlines lately. The governor of New Jersey Chris Christie has had the lap band procedure. Before we get started, I want it to be very clear where I stand on two issues:

1.) While it is not something I would ever do, I make no judgment on anyone who has or has had lap band weight loss surgery. I wish everyone the best in their weight struggle. Please, no hate mail. I know you'll send it anyway, though.

2.) Chris Christie can do what he wants, it is his body. He has as much right to have weight loss surgery as I have not to have it. To each their own.

Now on to what I want to say.

The Today Show online ran a story about Christie's procedure. It's typical run-of-the-mill stuff. The weight loss surgeons throw in their two cents. But then I came across this quote from Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of bariatric and metabolic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York:

“When people get to the size of people like Gov. Christie, it’s absolutely impossible for them to maintain weight loss that’s significant without surgery,” Roslin said. 

Oh really? Impossible?  Incorrect.

Not only is it possible, but I am living proof. I am not sure how much Christie weighed before his surgery, but I would say he probably didn't weigh the 577 pounds I did when I started.

You can tell me it is extremely difficult.

You can tell me I will probably fail.


But don't you dare tell me it is "absolutely impossible," because you are wrong, Dr. Roslin.  This is the mindset of the weight loss industry, of which he is a part. The message is simple: the heavy person is doomed and surgery is the only way out.

But doing it the hard way is always an option, if you choose to do it. And it's not impossible.   What is somebody who weighs 500 or 600 pounds and doesn't have health insurance, or can't pay the money to have weight loss surgery to do? Are they just supposed to give up because some doctor says it's impossible? Are they not supposed to try anything?

Are they supposed to just eat themselves to death, because some idiot somewhere says it's impossible? How about eating better food? How about walking 5 minutes a day? Is that impossible? That's how I started. These doctors promote the idea that it's all hopeless, that the only way out is to file nutritional bankruptcy and go under the knife. We shouldn't even give people the information to try for themselves. We shouldn't help them. We shouldn't encourage them.

I remember one doctor 3 years ago told me that it was impossible to do it on my own because "losing 300 pounds would take 3 years."

He was wrong.

It only took 2 1/2 years to lose the first 300 pounds.

Here is a video I made over a year ago, after I had lost the first 280 pounds. Enjoy the impossible.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Product Review: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 Running Shoes

Being overweight for the first 37 years of my life, I was always very hard on shoes. Most shoes would last me 6 months...tops. And trying to find anything wide enough for my feet was nearly impossible.  Eventually, I settled on 4E wide New Balance shoes and I wore those for probably 20 years.

But, now that I have lost 370 pounds, I can wear whatever shoes I want.  Or can I?

The Feet Transformation
With all that weight being lost, I have discovered my feet have changed dramatically. It's hard to describe, but they are very sensitive. A shoe that rubs my toes or doesn't have a wide enough toe box might be a minor inconvenience for some, but it means excruciating pain for me.  I have tried on at least 100 pairs of shoes in the last year or so and have finally settled on one pair.

My quest led me to my local running store to try out proper running shoes. I had heard these were the best of the best. I also was warned I would pay a lot for a good pair...over $100. But I was prepared to shell out the bucks.  You get what you pay for, right?

The salesman at the store had me run on a treadmill and made a video of the way I ran. It was discovered that I overpronated when I ran, meaning my foot rolls inward. This is also because I am knock-kneed, meaning my legs bend outwards from the knee. It was decided I needed a stability shoe.

Enter the Brooks.

All I can say about these shoes is this: where have you been all my life?  From the moment I put them on, I felt a level of comfort and support I have not felt in a shoe in years.  Comfort is important because I walk 10-15 miles per week and bike about 15 miles on the weekends.

I could go on and on about what I like about these shoes, but I will hit the high points.

Pros:

The support has a lot of cushion, but is a little firm in its support. I love this. The shoe doesn't feel too "mushy," like a lot of the gel or air type shoes. It's just right.

The toe box on the Brooks is really superior to any others I have tried on. It is a wide toe box, so a 12 D fit me perfectly. In some other more narrow brands, I would need a 12 EE.

Lastly, the construction of the shoe. One problem I really have since I walk so many miles in my shoes is seams on the inside of the shoe rubbing my toes raw. This has happened in so many other shoes, including other $100 running shoes. It's a problem...the shoes rub your feet, so you get wider shoes, right? But then...they're too wide, and your foot slides around inside. Not so with the Brooks. The fabric of the webbing is very soft and comfortable.

Any impartial review would also show the cons. There aren't many.

It would be nice if there were more color choices. The Andrenaline GTS 13 in a 12D comes in either blue or red. Also, the style is typical running shoe style...really bright and eye-catching. It would be nice if there were some additional styles.


Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 Running Shoes
Cost: $110 
www.BrooksRunning.com

Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5