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’…
(Bariatric After Life)
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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 160It 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)?
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?
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.