Emboldened

On December 31, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

There are many reasons I do not want to be a “Professional Post-op” and why I am liable to laugh out loud at those who would use that term to describe me.

I don’t play games.  I don’t play politics.  I’m not fake.  I’m not effusive with my emotions.  I’m not overly chatty.  I tend to be very analytical with my thoughts.  I’m not overly graceful socially.  I’m quite literal in words, actions, and thoughts.  I try very hard not to overreact.  I try not to judge others harshly (let’s face it — we all judge.. it is human nature).  And I try not to allow my emotions to color my thoughts.

That last one is really a bitch.

It is why I’m writing this blog post today rather than last night.  Last night, I was too angry to be rational.  Instead, I painted my nails black and watched Criminal Minds.  Today, I’m just sad.

I’m somewhat going to pick on Cari, formally known as Gastric Bypass Barbie here.  Not because it is Cari, but because she gives two prime examples of problems in our community that I see need immediate changes.  I may not have seen eye-to-eye with her in the past, but I’ve never had a reason to call her out specifically in the past.  However, I feel like I have every right to do so.  She has made a number of not-so-veiled attacks against Beth and the BBGC (which includes me, so she is attacking me by proxy) and the pettiness really needs to come to an end.  Additionally, she deliberately snubbed us in Houston while doing a video, so much so that a vendor came over immediately afterwards and said “What the hell was that about?!?”  (And yes, several people heard it and can confirm that he said it.)  I believe my answer was “She obviously doesn’t care for us.”

I will note that I fully expect to be attacked for this and labeled a “hater” (as that is the usual response).  No matter – I believe it is time for me to stop sitting on my fingers.

In any case, a discussion thread on Susan Maria’s Before and After message board a few days ago highlighted my two biggest complaints within the WLS community: sheer pettiness and continual misinformation (some innocent and some intentional).

The discussion began innocently enough with a question about Click, the espresso-based protein drink that many post-ops rave about – including myself.  The question was regarding the sugar content (7g).

It quickly went downhill from there.

Most of the posters railed against the sugar / protein (15g) ratio as not being sufficient for them.  I’m okay with that.  We all make these choices for ourselves everyday.  A few others discussed their disinterest based on the caffeine content.  That’s fine as well.  Not everyone likes the buzz, or the “risk of ulcers.”  Others disliked the taste.  Again, super.  No problems here.

However, if this was all it was, I would not be so saddened at our community today.

Cari chimed in with the following post, quoted in full:

I’m so glad you brought this up, and yes, what SM said is definitely true.

Here’s my *sad* tale (Quick, Martha! Grab the Kleenex!):

Basically, I was given a bunch of this stuff at a “WLS” event, and was pretty addicted to it for about a month. I even bought a new canister when I ran out of the freebies (gasp!)

Then I looked at the stats. I know, I know, ME, the label reader! Yes, I allowed myself to be duped because it was a giveaway at a Weight Loss Surgery event. Weak? I know. I’m not using it as an excuse, merely an explanation for what gets so many of us into trouble. We blithely/blindly consume whatever we’re given, if the person giving it to us is a member of our WLS community. “Hey, try this! It TASTES GREAT!”

The thing is, I knew better, but chose lie to myself. Ultimately, I knew that anything which got me THAT wired and THAT addicted could NOT be good for me, YET, just like I did in my “before” life, I continued to abuse the product, saying, “Meh, it’s good!”

I ignored the facts and spent a (hyper) month in denial.

Fortunately, the high pricetag was enough of a put-off to make me sit-up, take notice, and read the (freaking) label. I am embarrassed that I chose to drink that stuff, but more saddened some in the WLS community at large who know better, but don’t seem to care about living a healthy Bariatric After Life. It’s as if they are more interested in pushing boundaries, than in making good choices. Of course, they are only doing what any good marketeer does: They are extolling the virtues of a product, simply because it *has PROTEIN*.

Obviously, we are all adults, and must make our own choices — without fear of judgment –– as only we walk in our own shoes. If someone chooses to drink this, I am hopeful that they are doing so with full knowledge and consent. ;-)

The bottom line for me this: We suffer the consequences when we choose to take uninformed or ill-advised actions.

I’m happy to see this brought to the board, not because of this specific product, but because of what it represents as a whole. There are SO many great options for protein out there (heck, in here), that there’s really no need to reach for junk.

Strong words? Maybe, but I take issue with anyone who represents themselves as a healthy bariatric patient, and pedals stuff like this…

Again, no judgment on anyone who drinks this, but if you haven’t tried the product, I’d advise against it.

Hey. I’m just sayin’…

——————–

Cari

(Bariatric After Life)
Email Me! (Please include “BE” in your subject line)

LAP RNY 12/10/07 | Orange Coast Memorial
Arm & Breast Lift with Augmentation 2/26/09 | Dr. J. Timothy Katzen
Revision surgery on arms and breasts 3/13/09

Weight: Highest 316 / Surgery 267 / Lowest 137 (too skinny!) / Current 160

It is no harder to achieve success than it is to achieve failure. There are no excuses required for success and no alibis sufficient for failure.

If you will allow me to point out a few things?

Cari has made a number of references how she is not a nutritionist and frequently does not read labels.  In fact, in one of her video reviews, she makes an error about thiamin and vitamin D deficiencies.  Yes, it can happen to anyone — but she clearly points out that she is not a nutritionist for good reason.

So in the post above, she states she finally reads the label on Click and finds it “embarrassing that she drank the stuff” and “saddened some in the WLS community at large who know better, but don’t seem to care about living a healthy Bariatric After Life.  It’s as if they are more interested in pushing boundaries, than in making good choices.  Of course, they are only doing what any good marketer does: They are extolling the virtues of a product, simply because it *has PROTEIN*.”

If you didn’t catch it, this is a direct attack against the BBGC.  The irony simply is that the BBGC is an advocacy group – not a “eat all you want and be pigs about it” group.  We aren’t about “pushing boundaries” – although, admittedly some of us do like to see what kind of reactions we get from Bariatric Bitches with sticks shoved so far up their asses their spines have been replaced.  The BBGC is more about living a realistic life years past the “puffy heart WLS” stage and living a more realistic life, because let’s face it – we all have to eat real food at some point in the 20-30 years we hope to live after our guts have been rearranged.  However, rather than judge our group based on one’s own insecurities and figure out who we really are, let’s just make snap decisions and broad-sweeping generalities.

So what is this evil protein in Click that has Cari so “embarrassed” to be drinking?  Hydrolyzed collagen (boiled cow hooves, bones, skin all packaged in a dildo-shaped container)?  Believe bottled protein drinks made with brown rice protein (with its PDCAAS score of 0.47 — which is not good, by the way)?

No.

It was calcium caseinate.

Calcium caseinate is a protein derived from dried skim milk.  They take skim milk, dry it, then chemically clean it (much like they do whey from cheese making), and you have calcium caseinate.  It is a milk protein that will handle the acidity of the gut and thickens up to a gel (which is not necessarily a bad thing for those of us with a shorter gut.. we want something thicker so we get the most amino acids out of it before we get rid of it).  It is also a complete protein with a perfect PDCAAS score of 1.0.  It has the same score as whey isolate, egg whites, and even scores better than beef, chicken, and fish.

So this protein, with a perfect PDCAAS score, is bad?  Who says?  And WHY?

Why is a perfect PDCAAS protein not part of a healthy Bariatric After Life?

Oops.

If it’s about the whole 7g of sugar?  Wow.  7g.  Road to disaster, straight ahead. *beware of dripping sarcasm*

Cari also states “If someone chooses to drink this, I am hopeful that they are doing so with full knowledge and consent ;-)   The bottom line for me is this: We suffer the consequences when we choose to take uninformed or ill-advised actions.”

So here’s a tip for anyone who wants to make such broad-sweeping statements such as these: it might be helpful to know what the hell you are talking about before you open your mouth.  I really think Cari should take her own advice here: we do suffer consequences when we take ill-advised actions.  Obviously, actions here were ill-advised as she obviously had no clue as what she speaks.

I drink Click knowing that it is a good protein for me and the many others that drink it.  I do this with “full knowledge and consent” and am glad to do so as well.

Lastly, Cari states “Strong words?  Maybe, but I take issue with anyone who represents themselves as a healthy bariatric patient, and pedals stuff like this…”  (Yes, the misspelling was a direct quote.)

Health is not defined by what size your Little Black Dress is or how many miles you can run.  Health is an all-encompassing thing, which includes mental well-being, accepting of ourselves for who we are while ever striving to better ourselves in a rational fashion.  Judgment against others, especially in a place they cannot defend themselves, is not a healthy behavior.

Of course this is a discussion about Click, but what if it were a larger problem in the community?  What if we were talking about vitamins?

Cari says: “We blithely/blindly consume whatever we’re given, if the person giving it to us is a member of our WLS community.  ‘Hey, try this!  IT TASTES GREAT!”

People have trusted Susan Maria to create a vitamin to bariatric specifications.  Instead, she created something that is completely worthless except to line her own pockets and lead people to deficiencies.  Despite the amount of research done on Journey, some people simply will not believe it because they are blindly consuming what they are given because Susan is one of “us” and thus knows everything there is to know about bariatrics (supposedly).  The severity of this misplaced trust is truly devastating to me.

This sort of misinformation – from the supposed experts – is DANGEROUS.  And the behavior exhibited is petty and uncalled for.  It is childish and resembles grade school.

If we want the community to prosper, then we as members of the community must demand better of our vendors, our medical community, our leaders, and ourselves.

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32 Responses to “Emboldened”

  1. Debra Kay says:

    The WLS is becoming nothing more than another multi level marketing free for all-Avon, Mary Kay and people with designer guts. At one time I seriously questioned how people with similar problems could prey on each other-often pitching their magic pills and potions with the same lines they used to fall for themselves. Then it hit me-gut rearrangement doesn’t change the person inside-just maybe the configuration and space requirements.

    The only thing you can really do is keep spreading good information, and calling bullshit when you see it.

  2. MM says:

    Your balls are showing.

  3. Laurie says:

    Wow! Your balls may be showing(lol), but I am proud of you!

  4. Rachel says:

    not that this dispute is any of my business but thinking I want to blog today about support and BBGC…. thoughts?

  5. MM says:

    Rach – is that YOU? If so, feels free!

  6. Charlotte says:

    I think I love you just a little bit more, tonight.

    Do I think CLICK is 100% perfect? No. Do I think it could have better protein content/sugar content? YES!
    Soo…I do what MANY wls peeps do to their protein. I doctor it. I mix 1 scoop of CLICK with 1 scoop of a higher protein content powder, because..here’s the kicker….IT TASTES FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC. (isn’t the taste thing 1 of SM’s points about her magic foaming pills? oh..and her own caffinated protein..which by the way is a hell of a lot more expensive than click)
    And by god, if 3.5g of sugar and the caffiene of 1/2 a cup of coffee gets me to DRINK MY PROTEIN…I’m gonna be an “adult”, and suck it down with my big fat straw!
    Anybody who doesn’t like it, can kiss my glittery, rainbow farting, ass.

  7. Laura Preston says:

    Interesting conversations…..its kind of how I feel about shakeology.

  8. Jeannie says:

    APPLUASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very well said…and factual. If only our whole community could “get it”.

  9. Andrea says:

    @Laura – Peddle your wares. My point for the WLS community is that it is NOT a supplement replacement despite some thinking that it is.

    If people want to spend $4 for a low-glycemic, low-nutrition, low-protein shake? That’s up to them. But it will not replace their multivitamins, their calcium, their b-complex as many are being led to believe. THAT is my complaint with it. As well as the massive frothing at the mouth many of the “coaches” have for it, the lack of ANY negative reviews (which is VERY fishy.. even the number one companies in customer satisfaction have SOME complaints about SOMETHING), etc.

  10. Maggie says:

    This whole thing is really childish.

    Who died and made her the queen of WLS?

  11. Laura Ryan says:

    Fantastic post! Very true. Thank you.

  12. JaimeK says:

    I am amazed that we, as a community, are coming around this mountain yet again. I wonder when we grow up? I wondered yesterday what the skinny was with all the back and forth on FB and now I know and wished I didn’t. All the conflict over Click….which I think consenting adults are enjoying…and it’s not even alcohol! Holy crap..these folks have nothing better to do then take the “cliq” just a little further? It is us, who are perceived to be non-conformists to the WLS way o’life, against them…the holier-than-thou folks? How about we keep it real? Keep the snide comments to yourselves. If you don’t care for the actions of others, namely BBGC or Beth or Andrea, address them, as adults. Oh and how about educating yourself on the product and conduct of others before condeming both?

    p.s. very nicely written blog.

  13. Kaitlin says:

    Let’s see. The only protein shake I’ve had with any reliability in the past *year* is a scoop of Click vanilla latte, a scoop of Isopure natural vanilla, SF Da Vinci caramel, and milk over ice. Guess what? My body doesn’t distinguish between the protein in Click and the protein in Isopure. They’re equally bioavailable.

    Yes, Click contains additional carbohydrates and calories along with protien. Yes, that may be a cause of concern for some. No, that does not make it a bad product. No, that does not mean it is an inferior protein source.

    Protein quality is determined by amino acid make up and digestibility. According to the PDCAAS (the international standard), calcium caseinate is the same quality of protein as whey isolate. Sorry, but I’m going to listen to the scientists. And continue drinking my Click.

  14. Toni Lee says:

    A wonderful post, very well written. Thank you for doing so.

    I am 7 months out, started having complications around month 2 and went downhill from there. I wasn’t really able to eat anything without getting sick or drink any kind of protein drink. Long story short, I ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks with multiple IV’s going into me and the possibility of a feeding tube. I’m out now, doing much better.

    One of the things I had to do right off the bat was find a protein drink that I could tolerate. I tried Click Vanilla and was able to hold it down, but it did leave me feeling funny all day. Thanks to MM’s wonderful suggestion I mixed it using only one scoop with one scoop of another protein powder. Yay!! I now drink at least one protein drink a day without feeling sick.

    So, my choice between not getting enough protein or the “evils” of a bit of caffeine and sugar? Hands down – I’m clicking in the New Year!

    Oops… does the fact that I want to be healthy make me a bad bariatric patient? ;) I’d answer that but I need to get my Click drink out of the microwave. Happy New Year everyone!

  15. MM says:

    Everything else ASIDE?

    My GUT tells me that this REALLY BOILS DOWN to the fact that it started with a “MM SUGGESTION.”

    Because this product was suggested BY ME, *to the WLS community? (Years ago. I introduced CLICK to OH in June? of 2008.)

    It will never be okay. (Look at Journey Vitamins in “OUR” eyes — same idea — unless they are reformulated.)

    Because the product has been SO SUCCESSFUL — they are going to hate on it.

    It has nothing to do with the product. (Again, look at Journey Vitamins. It has been said that we would “hate on those” pretty much regardless. Unless they were PERFECTION. And, they aren’t, so “we do.”)

    Yes, I can see it from both angles. (Shocking, right?)

    SM or Barbie will say that I am giving myself too much credit here. Fine.

    But, I usually refuse to take any credit, and I was called out on that before, so fine.

    I helped make this product grow. It makes their skin CRAWL.

  16. nessa says:

    funny I started drinking click DAILY at 6 months out…. I’m 15 months out.. I have great numbers… I lost TEN POUNDS this past month and over 60 pounds in 2010

    I feel great….

    I am like Kaitlin..(lucky me)… I drink one scoop of click one scoop of another protein powder 8 oz of milk (1% NOT skim) AND an espresso shot of coffee every morning and sometimes in the afternoons as well…

    33 g of protein for me on the way to work…. woo-hoo means I have the ability to eat CARBS later on!

    I love this post. I love Andrea and I love being a BBG!

  17. Paige Jarquin says:

    Over the past several months, I have sat back and watched the comments go back and forth…. and I wonder why.. that’s it, I simply wonder why it’s necessary to even give these people the time of day.

    25 years ago, extremely angry with a person because I was right and they were wrong, I wanted the world (people in my world at least) to know. Everyone had to “understand” the sheer stupidity and wrong-ness of this other person actions and it was my responsibility to make that happen.

    My husband told me to relax and “let the fools prove themselves”… I hated his advice, thought for sure he was wrong but heeded it none the less.

    Turns out he was a genius…. I stated my thoughts on the subject and then stop participating in the back and forth with this individual. Turns out they made such a stink that eventually the world, those people in my world, realized that it was all a bunch of crap and this person faded slowly out of sight and mind….

    I get that it’s important to tell people the truth about a product that will ultimately prove unhealthy or cause poor results and nutrition but is it absolutely necessary to keep tooting the “she said this mean thing about/to me”…

    Cari and Susan Maria are fools and only time will tell that out to everyone. let it happen… they only look foolish with every one of their stupid posts and don’t need any help from others to point it out… I read her post, thought “wow obviously she feels like someone pissed in her sandbox”…

    I’m just saying…. I learned 25 years ago that “the fools will prove themselves” is a genius philosophy and has worked every time I practice it. Which to be honest isn’t every time.. I’m human ya know?

    In closing thank you Andrea for the information, your blog is wonderful, insightful and helpful to me… 5 years post op and still working the program of staying healthy after GBPS.

  18. Andrea says:

    @Paige – I think I’m pretty decent at keeping my fingers quiet, but I’m human too and have only so far of a tolerance.

    It’s a failing. I’m trying to be better.

  19. Cdn Gastric Chicky says:

    Andrea great post. As an aside – I notice the first response is from Debra Kay – for anyone who cares this is not me- I got a nice pm recently asking why I am hating on MM- I believe that there may me some confusion in names possibly or at least that is all I can figure out (tossing up hands)

    I do not hate MM or anyone really- I have to many health issues currently in my real life to really notice most of what is going on .

    Cdn Gastric Chicky is Debbie Kay but not I repeat not DEBRA KAY- I have no issue with Debra Kay however its not moi! Ok that is all .

    Happy New Year!

  20. Laurel Kay says:

    Its refreshing for chickens like me to know there are others who have the courage to shed light on the real truth of things.

  21. Paige Jarquin says:

    @Andrea… I get it completely. As I said in my comment… I don’t always practice it because I’m human.

    I have been thinking this frequently for a while now in regards to this and other situations online, yours was just the one I choose to comment on, nothing personal about it at all.

    I enjoy your blog immensley please keep writing!

  22. Annie says:

    @andrea, major big applause here. Your post was very to the point, and awesome.
    Debbie… I was wondering myself, but then saw the way her name was spelled and said nope, not our Deb. Thought it was stranged that the name was being used not the Cdn Gastric Chicky.

  23. MM says:

    @CDN Gastric Chicky –

    I hope you are feeling better. <3

    Anyway – I can't keep anyone straight. I need flashcards and name tags as it is.

  24. McNee says:

    wow, I actually know what this PDCAAS stuff is yer talking about. Guess my nutrition class is paying off. heh.

    Unless you know you are hyper sensitive to sugar, 7g isn’t much. 2-1 ratio of protein to sugars isn’t the greatest… for a protein powder. But compare that to a glass of milk or cripes, even some Greek yogurt. They’re nearly 1-1 ratios.

    Education is key.

    But… there are too many out there who don’t want education. They want affirmation.

    They already have an idea of what they “want” to be correct about something, they just need to find someone to back them up.

  25. ASG says:

    Click is not my cup of tea, but not because I think it’s bad for my guts. Trust me, that is not the reason at all, says the girl who is eating a cup of Lucky Charms as I type this.

    I have to admit, around a year ago there was so much Click hype everywhere that I quickly bought a couple of canisters out of curiosity, if nothing else. I’m a Starbucks SKVL junkie, afterall.

    So just out of curiosity, are members of “our” community making money from Click? There does seem to be a whole lot of “hype” on one side versus a lot of negativity on the other side. A year ago, I didn’t see any of the negativity, just hype. But maybe the “other side” is jealous and hence spreading negativity?

  26. Andrea says:

    @Allison – I get no money from Click. I can’t speak for Beth, Eggy, or anyone else.

    The most I’ve gotten from Beth Smith (the owner of Click) are some giveaways for my readers and once a Click shaker cup and cannister as a thank-you. But no money has changed hands with ANY of the companies I have reviewed, hyped, suggested. In fact, until recently, I’ve not even gotten my samples for free. I’ve had to PAY.

  27. Beth says:

    ASG -

    I receive advertising income for the graphic on http://www.meltingmama.net, as it’s been there since 2008.

    Since then, CLICK has been found in nearly EVERY Bariatric store/website.

  28. Beth says:

    But, CLICK is a small, entrepreneurial company and does not advertise widely. They have depended on word of mouth. It worked.

  29. Penny says:

    Great blog Andrea. I do read labels and for that reason choose to use 1 scoop Click with a scoop of whey isolate protein in my hot latte for breakfast. Due to the caffeine in Click, I limit myself to one scoop a day and the rest of the day is decaf.

    Actually today, in fact, I made a order to Amazon for automatic delivery of 2 canisters of Click to be sent every 2 months. I have been using it for 20 months or so and really enjoy it.

    I, too, am a member of Bad Girls and proud of it. I make decisions about my bariatric behavior. I appreciate the research and opinions of MM and you, I look for scientific research to back what you are saying.

  30. Penny says:

    Great blog Andrea. I do read labels and for that reason choose to use 1 scoop Click with a scoop of whey isolate protein in my hot latte for breakfast. Due to the caffeine in Click, I limit myself to one scoop a day and the rest of the day is decaf.

    Actually today, in fact, I made a order to Amazon for automatic delivery of 2 canisters of Click to be sent every 2 months. I have been using it for 20 months or so and really enjoy it.

    I, too, am a member of Bad Girls and proud of it. I make decisions about my bariatric behavior. I appreciate the research and opinions of MM and you, I look for scientific research to back what you are saying. I’m not “swayed” by what you say – but I do sit up and take notice.

    Thanks for taking “hits” for those of us who are on the sidelines – cheering you to keep being you.

  31. chyara says:

    I am so glad i found you via MM’s blog.
    I was buying click back when you could only get it via their website.
    I personally use Click as an alt. to a Star*ucks Frappuccino. Def a better option. in fact nothing says you must use the full 2 scoops.
    While i strive for 30g of protein with shakes. I knowing use Click, not as a form of Protein but as a Treat far better for me then the sugary death that is the frappe.

    Can I be a BBG? I seek reality, a real life [somewhat] free from addictions.
    i loved the analogy about the gun/snickers…. that kind of mindset [if true] is def. suffering from another compulsion. rather like before wls, compulsive eating, after becoming anorexic or the like. it’s still a mental disorder.

  32. Theresa Meyer says:

    I totally agree. I believe the “mentors/bloggers” in our community have a responsibility to generate accurate information and should be accountable for the information they generate. This weekend I spent too much time with a “certified weight loss coach” who was teaching a newbie that if she took her anti-nausea Meds and ate pastries she wouldn’t dump and that gummy vitamins were the way to go. We all push the envelope a little Click is a treat for me, I enjoy coffee. I resent judgemental little bitches who need to keep their petty jealousy in check.

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