New Tool Decides When to Authorize Weight Loss Surgery

by Christine on August 16th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

There’s a new tool out there hitting the medical community that will help doctors determine when a person should get weight loss surgery. It’s call the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) and you can read about it in this WebMD article here.

A selection from the article:

“When you have a waiting list, you try to think about how you prioritize people on that waiting list,” says study researcher Arya M. Sharma, MD, PhD, professor and chairman of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, “Who do you see first?”

“So we thought, maybe take the heaviest patients first because they might be the people who are sickest,” Sharma tells WebMD. “But when we looked at that closely, we found that that isn’t always true.”

Doctors call this the obesity paradox.


And this little tidbit:

And when researchers cross-referenced their work against death records, they found that BMI wasn’t a reliable predictor of a person’s death risk, but their EOSS score was.


Interesting stuff. Even more interesting is that they list a BMI of 25 or higher as the start of their criteria for the surgery. When I got the surgery, I had to have a BMI of 40 or higher!  Hells bells, I only have a BMI of 24 right now, which just barely puts me in the “Normal Weight” category; I’m only 1 point away from being obese.  In a mere six pounds more than I weigh now, I could qualify for weight loss surgery again. Man, that’s….weird.

What do you think of this new EOSS tool?  What do you think of the BMI requirement for surgery?


Orchestra & Working Weekend

by Christine on August 15th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope you all had a good weekend. What did you all do over the weekend? Hopefully something fun!

My weekend was filled with work, work, work. I worked my butt off on household chores! The bad part is that I didn’t get as much fun-time in as I would have liked, but the good news is that I got a lot of things done that sorely needed to get done.

Friday I did a ton of yard work: majorly trimming the shrubberies and weeding, primarily. I hauled six huge tarp-fulls of debris away from my work areas. It was a LOT of work! It involved a lot of over-my-head pruning (hello triceps muscles!) and bending over, up-and-down work. It took about 4 hours and whew, I was exhausted!  Afterwards I met a friend for dinner.

Saturday was another big work day. I mowed the lawn with the push-mower (half an acre), which took me 4 fill-ups of gas, maybe 2 hours worth of work?  I trimmed the grass under our little adolescent trees. I did about 6 loads of laundry and ran some much-needed errands.  That evening I went to SPAC, which is an outdoor amphitheater, to see the last night of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra play their Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and other Tchaikovsky hits. I think the picture of me from that night is hilarious! Compare this with a mere 3 years ago, when I went to another outdoor orchestral event:

tanglewood john williams spac orchestra

What a difference 100 pounds make! (And oh my, look at those bags under my eyes!)

I actually have a friend that plays in the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, but he wasn’t playing that night: he was in D.C. with my husband playing in a card tournament!  Still, it was fun to go to the concert even without Friend there.

Sunday was more work.  We have an indoor hot-tub room that we use during the winter. In the summer I move all the plants onto our screened-in porch and we shut the hot tub down. In the fall we move all the plants back into the room and open the hot tub back up.  Well, it was “Fall Cleaning” time, and I spent about 4 hours scrubbing the floor down there. Oh, I tossed four buckets of BLACK water! Where does the dirt come from?? That was hard work, scrubbing the floor with a stiff-bristled brush.  After 2 hours, I took a short walk around the block to stretch my legs. I also did another 2 loads of laundry. Afterwards, even though I was dead tired, I went to the gym for an hour. It was weight-training for my legs, plus jogging on the treadmill. Man, was I tired! But I didn’t stop there. I put a movie on (5th Element was on Syfy) and hand-sewed a satin Christmas bag for our advent calendar ornaments. It turned out cute–I’ll have to remember to take a picture at some point.

According to, an individual my size burns 172 calories/hour doing housework. I”m sure that varies greatly depending on what kind of housework! It also says you burn 250 calories/hour mowing with a push mower. If that’s true, then I burned well over  1000 calories with my housework this weekend.

That’s a lot of housework-related-exercise that I did this weekend! The good news is that I can confidently say that I’m rocking out my 2-week XN Challenge!! I’ve successfully completed 10 out of my 11 days of exercise; I only have three more days to go!

Weight is still the same: 131.2 today. My size 2 pants don’t seem to fit, and my Size 6s are baggy on me. Must mean that I’m in the 4-range. Why don’t they make clothing sizes in half sizes? I bet a 4.5 would be just perfect!

Have a great week everyone!


My Body Gallery: Find Women Your Size

by Christine on August 12th, 2011

filed under Eating Disorders, General Information

Article taken from here:

My Body Gallery: finally see other women who are your size

By Joanna Douglas, Shine Staff,

Have you ever tried to size up other women and determine if they wear the same size as you? Or if their bodies look the same as you? Many of us do this subconsciously and it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. This morning we discovered a new site called My Body Gallery that promotes a positive body image and we’re kind of obsessed. Basically you plug in your height, weight, shirt and pant size, and body type to browse ladies with similar stats. You can also upload your image into their database anonymously.

“In a world full of images of how we ‘should’ look it can get difficult to tell how we DO look,” the site says. “Most women have spent so many years looking at themselves in mirrors that we can no longer see what’s really there. The My Body Gallery project’s goal is to help women objectively see what we look like and come to some acceptance that we are all beautiful.”

Some other interesting stats the site presents:

  • 95% of non-eating disordered women overestimate the size of their hips by 16% and their waists by 25%, yet the same women were able to correctly estimate the width of a box.
  • Two out of five women and one out of five men would trade three to five years of their life to achieve their weight goals.

Wow. We tried plugging in our measurements and saw a handful of women in our range. It was interesting to see how different ladies carried their weight, where the were more toned, and how they looked both in clothing and stripped down in underwear. It was equally fascinating to see some women with similar fleshy areas or hip-to-waist ratios that aren’t so prevalent in the fashion world. We also tried subtracting and gaining 10 pounds to get an idea of what we might look like at different weights.

Our verdict? It should be obvious, but bodies come in literally every shapes and size imaginable and they’re all beautiful! As My Body Gallery points out, “the world is not a place of cookie cutters.” This site further proves that you should never feel alone or insecure about yours.



Rollerblading during my lunch break…

by Christine on August 11th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

I’m doing pretty good with my 2-week XN Exercise Challenge! So far I’ve made it through 7 days of exercise with only 1 day missed. Not too bad. Yesterday I got my exercise in when I went rollerblading at lunchtime. I always keep my blades in the trunk of my car so I can go out.  The Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail is close to my workplace and is a wonderful, paved recreational trail following the Mohawk River.

Yesterday was a lot of fun because a storm was rolling in. I thought I would get rained on at any moment! When I was on my return route, I kept feeling sprinkles fall on me; I kept pushing forwards faster and faster, trying to beat the storm. What a great workout, trying to keep ahead of the storm!

Calories Burned Rollerblading: 189 calories (30 minutes)

Food yesterday:

8 a.m.: Coffee (163 calories)
10 a.m.: Trail mix (150 calories)
1 pm: Salad from Subway with ham (110) plus salad dressing (60), diet coke
3 pm: Dried peach thing, fruit-roll-up-ishy (50)
7 pm: Tuna steak with peppercorn, maybe 3 oz (90) and about 1/2 cup rice (100) and a side salad with balsamic dressing (40), water
9 p.m.: Chocolate skim milk (200)
Total Calories: 963; Right on target!


A day in the life…

by Christine on August 10th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Yesterday and this morning I thought I would post some pictures of food and what I’m eating and whatnot.

It all started with a trip to the grocery store. After yoga (yes, I’ve managed to hit every day of my XN 2-Week Exercise Challenge, except for one! 6 days and going strong!) I was pondering what to do about dinner. Now, I live in a godforsaken part of the world that has no Trader Joe’s or Wholefoods. In fact, the nearest Co-op is about 40 minutes away and completely inconvenient to get to. However, there’s a new grocery store in town called the Fresh Market that I think is like a Trader Joe’s. I hadn’t been there before (it’s not really convenient for me…about 10 minutes out of the way) but I decided to hit it up last night.

What a wonderful store! The vegetables look great. Their cheeses went on for miles. Their heat-and-serve foods looked great, and I would have gotten some salmon except the line was too long. Oh, and my favorite part of the store…a long section will make-your-own-trail-mix! They had tons of kinds to choose from! It was terrific!

Have you ever noticed that you rarely see overweight people shopping at organic food stores? Not like you see overweight people shopping at the Walmart Supercenter. I wonder why that is. I mean, the foods that you get at stores like the Fresh Market, Trader Joes, Wholefoods, etc….they might have “Organic” on the box, but they have plenty of crappy foods littering their shelves. You can still get potato chips and boxed/frozen meals…things loaded with salt and preservatives and fat and sugar. Similarly, you can always shop healthfully at other grocery stores like Walmart. There are plenty of fresh veggies, fresh meat, and good natural produce you can buy there. So why the weight discrepancy? And what makes “Fresh Market” a draw over regular grocery chains? Is it the appearance of the products and the store? Or is the food really healthier and more savory? Hmmm. I wonder….

In the end I grabbed some fixings to make a cheese quesadilla and a few snackies for work.

I whipped up a quesadilla. (I ate 3/4 of it.)  It’s always important to measure! I took out the measuring cup to make sure I had exactly the right amount of countable cheese.

I wanted to indulge in a teeny tiny bit of sour cream, but not enough to break my calorie budget. So I took out a measuring spoon and gave myself just a little dab!

Homemade Quesadilla:

2 slices of whole wheat tortilla/low carb: 100 calories
Cheddar Cheese: 23 calories
Sour cream: 40 calories
Salsa: 10 calories
Total: 233; I ate 3/4 of the meal (but all of the sour cream and salsa), giving me 187 calories for the meal.

nom nom nom!

This morning I thought I would try some of this new granola cereal I bought at the store last night. Granola is yummy but it really high in calories (200 per 1 cup) and is high in sugar and carbs. Yikes! I better make this a once-a-week treat. I bet this stuff leaves me feeling hungry mid-morning, too. I would have been better off with an egg! Still, I measured out just a little bit and had my 150 calories worth. 150 calories is my goal for each meal….my lucky number!

Before I left for work I got the measuring spoon back out and measured out a small serving of nuts. You guessed it…about 150 calories worth!  Now the orange stuff is weird. I’ve never seen it before! It’s some kind of dried + pressed peach thing. It tastes like a fruit roll-up. There’s probably a lot of added sugar in the thing, but I can’t seem to find any calorie stats about it online. Still, it is at least kind of natural, and I was wondering if that would help control my mid-afternoon sugar cravings. We’ll see! I forgot to picture a handful of baby carrots as well.

So my total calories for the day yesterday clocked out at:

7:30 a.m.: Cheerios (110 calories) + skim milk (23)
8:30 a.m.: Dunkin donuts coffee (168 calories)
Noon: Out to Chilis with a colleague: 1 bowl of chili with no toppings (310 calories), diet coke
7 p.m.: Quesadilla (187)
8 p.m.: 1 glass of skim milk, on ice (136)
Total calories: 934 calories

Right on target! My goal is between 800-1000 calories. I should have had a lower-calorie lunch so I could have had some snackies in the afternoon, but I had to work with what I had ordered.

This morning I weighed in at 131.0 pounds.  Coming back down, but still up overall. I think the exercise is helping (duh!).

Good morning to you!

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