Issue #220 April, 2012

In This Issue
Plateaus: Life's Little Miseries
Dummies Book Deal
Research Article: Chocolate - A Health Food?
Back on Track with Barbara


OAC Conference
Hunger Games
Success Story: Your Name Here

Plateaus: Life's Little Miseries

Plateaus are the most frustrating part of trying to lose weight.  They have caused more people to give up even trying. Let’s look first at what a plateau is, and then how you can deal with it.

First of all, think of your weight loss plan as an actual journey from a town that is on top of a mountain (your beginning weight) to a town in the valley (your goal). You start your journey on the top of this mountain. For your climb, you want to be sure that you have the right supplies.  On such a trip, you wouldn’t pack junk food. No, you would pack food that is nourishing and good for you. You would be concerned about what you would eat, and would not just hope to find the right foods along the way. No, you would plan your food, being sure you had enough and that it was healthy. You wouldn't pack chips and soda. So be sure to have all of the healthy supplies that you need for your weight loss journey.

As you start your climb, the first several feet down are easy. It makes you wonder why you didn’t start this journey a lot sooner.  Remember, nothing goes in a straight line, so there are times as you are climbing down when the grade levels off and you walk along a straight path. Sometimes the level portion is long and sometimes it is short. But as you are walking along this straight level path, you are still headed in the direction of the town below (your goal weight.) This is your plateau.

Notice what you do when you are walking along this level path – you are catching your breath, you are relaxing and gaining strength for your next descent. Think of your weight loss the same way.  When you hit a plateau, realize that you are still on this journey.  You are catching up and getting ready for the next big descent and even though you are walking straight and level and sometimes you may even climb up a bit, you are still getting closer to your goal.

Plateaus happen because your body is catching up.  It is holding onto your weight to protect you from famine, not knowing that our hunter/gatherer days are over. Fighting plateaus is like fighting Mother Nature. And remember the old commercial, “You don’t want to fool with Mother Nature.”

So when your plateau hits:

  • Live with it.  As long as you are doing what you have been doing, you are still getting closer to your goal.
  • Double check your calories.  Sometimes we creep up in how much we are eating and don’t realize all of the calories we are taking in. Take three days to journal, weigh, and measure everything that goes into your mouth.  That should total around 1200 calories – no less.
  • You should incorporate at least 60 grams of protein in the calories you are eating.
  • Be sure you are exercising. The ideal is 30 minutes of exercise per day. What are you doing?
  • Make a change in what you are eating and in your exercise.  Sometimes our bodies get too efficient in processing the same food and doing the same activities.  Mix it up a bit.
  • Remember to drink water.  It helps your body burn calories and will also fill you up.  Just don’t drink around meal time.
  • Think what you are doing as a lifestyle, not a diet.  Do what you can live with.  If 1200 calories is too little, up the calories to 1400 to mirror what you would eat anyway.  If you think of yourself as being on or off a “diet,” then it won’t work for you.
  • Stop weighing yourself. How do you know if you are on a plateau if you don’t weigh yourself? When your weight loss stalls, don’t weigh yourself more than once per week, or don’t weigh yourself at all. Judge by how your clothes fit. Get something that you want to fit into and try it on once a week.

And always remember that this is a journey that you are taking, one baby step at a time.

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Research Article:
  Chocolate - A Health Food?

The Archives of Internal Medicine  (AIM) is a very prestigious journal, which is why I was surprised and more than a little nervous at one of their research articles published in their March 26th issue. After examining 1,000 healthy men and women who were free of heart-disease and diabetes, and who had lower Body Mass Indexes (BMI's), ate a lot of chocolate!

The average age of those studied was 57, they ate chocolate on the average of twice a week, and exercised 3.5 times per week. But those who ate even more chocolate had even lower BMI's.

Who would have thought that eating chocolate could be the path to health and lower weight? And there are several other studies that support this. But it makes me nervous.  I'm not so sure that I would rush out and buy chocolate, but it is an important study and concept to keep an eye on.

Click here for a report on the study.  Let me know your thoughts

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

The Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program really concentrates on lifestyle changes. Join our group and receive lessons via the internet and the support of others who are struggling just like you are.

Its Still Time to get started with that New Year's Resolution!

Are you suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
Are you grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Are you lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Do you feel that you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Are you dying to be in better shape?

My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you
need to start your plan to get your weight under control.

View a FREE Lesson and Listen to a FREE Telephone Seminar by
clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.


I was asked recently if I ever regretted having weight loss surgery.

There are many readers who have told me that they regretted their surgery. They have had long-lasting complications that are difficult to live with, or they hate the way their bodies look with all of the hanging skin. I have been very fortunate.  I regretted my surgery on only one day. 

When I was about eight months post-op, my husband Frank and I went to Dave and Buster's, a young-adult game place, with our daughter, Erin. While Erin was playing, Frank and I decided to grab a bite to eat. All of the booths were occupied, so we sat at a bar (counter). While deciding what I was going to have, the woman next to me was served a great big Philly cheese steak sandwich. The smell was incredible. It was huge and the smell of grilled onions, cheese and steak brought back memories of a way I was no longer able to eat.  

My husband, observing me salivating and looking pathetically sorry for myself, said to me, "If you want it that badly, order it and eat just a little bit of it." But right then, I wanted to eat the whole thing.  I wanted "big" food and I knew I couldn't eat the whole thing. I didn't want just a bite, I wanted gluttony!

In more than 12 years since my surgery, that is it. The other 4,400 odd days, I have been so happy that I had weight loss surgery. I would trade a Philly cheese steak sandwich for the way I feel now both physically and mentally any day!

OAC Announces Its Inaugural

Your Weight Matters National Convention

October 26-28, 2012 in Dallas, Texas

This past week, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) made the official announcement that they will be holding their Inaugural Your Weight Matters National Convention, "Explore. Discover. Empower," on October 26 – 28, 2012 in Dallas, Texas! It will be an amazing educational opportunity for members, as well as the general public.

Since the OAC was formed in 2005, members and followers have asked for an event to give individuals a chance to come together and experience the OAC first-hand. That is exactly what the Inaugural Your Weight Matters Convention will do.

The goals of the OAC's Inaugural Your Weight Matters National Convention will be to:

  • Provide solid, comprehensive and unbiased education

  • Welcome individuals at all stages in their journey with weight

  • Give individuals access to education from the most respected and renowned health professionals from across the country

  • Arm individuals with hands-on tools and effective strategies to manage their health and weight

  • Provide a community for people to come together to discover their voices

"Explore. Discover. Empower." will have something for everyone, whether you are a post-bariatric surgery patient, someone who has treated their weight through other means, are new to the journey and on the quest for information, or a family member or friend supporting someone connected to the OAC. Please mark your calendar and plan to be in Dallas for this historic OAC event!

More information regarding the Convention will be released in the coming weeks. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest news surrounding the Convention, you can sign-up for Convention E-news Alerts here.

Hunger Games

The movie The Hunger Games, which opened last week to record crowds, is a futuristic story set in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. Panem consists of 12 districts which surround their capitol. Each year one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 to 18 represent their district in the hunger games and go to the capitol to fight to their deaths. The game is played until there is only one survivor. 

The actress Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss, the heroin of the movie. Katniss is someone who is young, strong, brave and smart;  someone that young girls can look up to. But, Ms Lawrence has come under criticism lately because she is, in the eyes of her critics, too fat for the role. According to some, she does not look sufficiently hungry for the "Hunger Games," (which incidentally, really has nothing to do with physical hunger). It is not her acting skills that are called into question, it is Jennifer Lawrence's weight.

Reporters and bloggers have mentioned what they consider her "lingering baby fat" and referred to her as a "big-boned lady." Manohla Dargis from the New York Times had this to say, "A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission."

This attitude toward weight promotes the idea that young girls need to be emaciated in order to be successful. In this movie, there is no criticism of the men playing in the Hunger Games. No one has said that the "cast" seems to be too well fed. They have zeroed in on Jennifer Lawrence.

Just when we think we have made strides in discrimination against weight, it seems that we are running backwards in this battle. Such attitudes lead young girls to eating disorders and low self-esteem. Many of us have been there and understand the self-loathing that goes along with this.

If there is a young girl in your life, be sure to emphasize that weight does not determine a person's worth. Praise her for her kindness, her brains, her sense of humor, her faith or her humanity. Individually, we can make a difference as we strive to end weight discrimination.

Success Story:
  Your Name Here

I don't have a success story to offer you this month, but I would like to talk a little about what success is. I have had people say to me that they haven't sent in their story because they don't think they are successful enough.

Remember that success is so much more than being what you may consider to be an ideal weight. It is cutting down on your medications, and being able to play with those grandchildren. Success is walking in a 5 k race, or walking to the end of your driveway. Success is running a marathon, or running to the top of your stairs without feeling like you are about to die. Success is doing what you could not do before. It is more than looking what you consider to be "good."

Don't send me your before and after pictures, but do send me your story to You had the courage to have weight loss surgery, so whatever happens, and wherever you are in your journey, you are a success!

Drink Your Vitamins


Vitamin D,
and more

Chew Your Vitamins

The OAC is the ONLY non profit organization whose sole focus is helping those affected by obesity.  The OAC is a great place to turn if you are looking for a way to get involved and give back to the cause of obesity.

There are a variety of ways you can make a difference, but the first step is to become an OAC Member.  The great thing about OAC Membership is that you can be as involved as you would like.  Simply being a member contributes to the cause of obesity.




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