1. Well, at my age, I guess my only resolution will be to try to Survive another year, and not be in any worst shape, than I am Now?


  2. Before I was 25, I could eat as much as I wanted, and not put on any weight. After 25, if I ate too much, I would gain pounds (or kilograms, for the non-Americans). At age 30, even a normal amount of food began to show on me. I had to cut down on portions. It took years, but I was finally able to learn how much to eat. Or, maybe I should say I learned how much NOT to eat. I eat much less than when I was young. One thing that motivated me to stay thin was that I just didn’t want to buy new clothes.

    By the grace of God, I’ve never really been “fat.” Fat is relative. For an American, I am thin. In Ethiopia, I’m sure I would be chunky.

    I have sympathy for people who are overweight. It is very difficult to be thin. There is so much good-tasting food out there. And everywhere you go, people say, “Here, have some of this.”

    I am thankful that while many people throughout history have had a problem obtaining enough food to eat, my problem has been saying “no” to all the food that is in arm’s reach of me. What a country! Too much of everything!

  3. Thanks, I needed that. I put on ten pounds in the past year when I needed to lose ten to be about right. I just downloaded her book and I will let you all know how things work out. I have had success in the past when I paid attention and then when I let thing slid my body is like a tree trunk, adding a ring every year.

  4. I’ve been heavy all my life. Until recently.

    My first diet was in the 3rd Grade and I lost, believe it or not, 30 pounds (I was about as wide as tall at the time). For the rest of my life my weight was a roller coaster, diet, gain, diet, gain, diet, gain, with most of the “gains” taking me higher than I’d been before the just-previous diet. By my early 50’s I’d pretty much despondently given up on weight loss and had Type 2 diabetes.

    With the welcome encouragement of my spouse, I had gastric sleeve surgery 3 years ago. I was in my early 60’s and weighed 237 pounds on a 70″ frame. It changed my life. I now weigh between 170-175 and, while I can’t eat very much (before surgery an entire large pizza was a single serving for me, now two slices is enough to make me feel like I’ve had an entire Thanksgiving dinner) I can eat whatever and whenever I like and my diabetes is gone*. (Other than the diabetes, my health was pretty good before the surgery, but I’m sure that it would’ve helped with other weight-related illnesses had I had them. I’m sure lighter on my feet, being 60+ pounds lighter.)

    If Mas’ friend has come up with something new and her program works, more power to her, but I tried every diet out there at the time, from avoidance therapy to Weight Watchers to Jenny Craig, low-fat, low-carb, Fen-Phen, Phen-only, you name it. And you know what? THEY ALL WORKED! Until the weight was off or I got tired of them (extremely easy to do on most of them). Plain old eating sensibly? Did that due to the diabetes: I controlled it completely through diet and medicine. I had a strict, healthy diet and stuck to it like glue and was, frankly, pretty much okay with it. But I still gained weight.

    Since the gastric sleeve, I’ve not shown any tendency at all to gain back the weight. (But to anyone considering it, it’s not a magic bullet: if you try hard enough and push yourself hard enough or eat entirely all the wrong things, you can not lose it or gain it back and, indeed, even stretch out your stomach to the point you’re right back where you started.) If my weight does go up a little, I can usually point right at what’s doing it and if I cut it out for a few days, my weight goes right back down.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but as far as I’m concerned if you have a chronic problem with significant weight that you can’t get to stay off then gastric sleeve (or gastric bypass, which will cause even larger weight loss but is considerably harder to live with, but not gastric banding**) is the only way to go. But, again, bully for Ms. Babcock’s plan if it works.

    All this is secondhand knowledge and personal experience. I’m not a physician or medical professional, so check with someone who is and get all the facts before making any decisions.


    *Bariatric surgery can “cure” diabetes. (It doesn’t really cure it, it just puts it into remission so long as you keep the weight off.) But sometimes it doesn’t work. Bypass will cure it 90+% of the time, sleeve about 80%, so if your ONLY reason for getting the surgery is for diabetes there’s a chance that it won’t work. My understanding, but talk to your doctor to confirm because I’m not at all sure of this, is that if it doesn’t cure it that it will make it milder and easier to control. And there’s a pretty darn good chance that it’ll make you much healthier in other ways so the diabetes isn’t so much a problem.

    **Why not gastric band? Band works for weight loss and, unlike sleeve and bypass is reversible and the surgery to put it in is much less invasive (since bypass and sleeve involve considerable modification and rearrangement of your innards). But something like 1/3 of bands have to be removed within the first 7 years due to complications and many surgeons believe that they’ll all eventually develop complications. My surgeon does all three, bypass, sleeve, and band, but won’t do band unless you agree beforehand to let him remove it after 7 years. And once it’s out, while you’ll probably have lost a great deal of weight you’re right back to where you started on keeping the weight off. Hopefully in the interim you will have developed better eating habits (and there’s a good chance that you won’t have), but the physical sensation that provides the disincentive to eat will be gone once the band is out. It’s also high-maintenance while it’s in, requiring adjustment via filling and emptying several times a year. While sleeve and bypass are in-for-a-penny in-for-a-pound, they’re more reliable, less troublesome (especially sleeve), and less open for complications. There are downsides and complications are possible with all of them, but sleeve worked for me.

    • Liberal Dave, my message is to get better at using your brain to your best advantage, with a heavy emphasis on protecting it from triggers that cause you to lose control of your ability to choose. If you can maintain your ability to choose, you can take control of your life and your health. Without it, you’ll just keep going through the same painful cycle, over and over again. I don’t present a “plan” or a diet. This is about understanding why we lose control and using that knowledge to take it back. I’ve worked with plenty of bariatric surgery patients and they benefit from it just as much, because no matter what you’ve had done to your body, you’ve still got to deal with your brain and how it naturally works.

      • Elizabeth, as I said before, if you’re right you’re right. I’ve not read your book, so cannot judge. And since I’ve, finally, got my weight under control, I have no particular need at the moment to read it. (If you’d like my comments on it, I’d be happy to receive a review copy, however.) However, the notion of emotional triggers being a cause of inappropriate eating is not new. The diet programs like Jenny Craig which involve regular check-ins — I think it was weekly with JC — and 12-step support-group programs like Overeaters Anonymous all include that and attempt (with varying degrees of success) to provide support to deal with those triggers. Perhaps you have found a different way of looking at the triggers or a different and effective way of dealing with them or some other new and novel approach. I truly hope you have and wish you good luck.

    • Liberal Dave. Thanks for your comments. I am encouraged by your success story. I am so used to hearing doom and gloom.

    • Liberal Dave, discounting the diabetes concern, I’m surprised doctors considered band surgery at 5’10” and 237lbs. I’ve had acquaintances who’ve had this surgery, but they were well over 100lbs. overweight. Was this recommended by your doctor or solely elective on your part?

      • It was a combination of both. You’re right, I was kind of at the lower end of body mass for the surgery, but my doctor thought it appropriate due to the diabetes (and high blood pressure, which it didn’t turn out to help very much) and my long history of unsuccessful attempts at weight loss.

  5. The reason I popped over was not to leave the long paean to bariatric surgery, just below, but to raise this off topic matter.

    We recently had an incident in our town where paramedics, a dozen or so squad cars, and the SWAT team descended on a house. As it turned out, one of the adult residents had the flu and was striking a very high temperature, causing him to be disoriented. Paramedics were called but when they entered, they saw a holstered pistol. The pistol was not in the direct possession of the disoriented person (who had a concealed carry permit). The story which has gotten out does not say, pro or con, that the disoriented person made any attempt to get the gun or made threats. It does say that due to the gun being present and the person being disoriented that policy required that the paramedics had to leave and call the police and that neither the paramedics nor the police could reenter the house until the SWAT team brought in a robot to inspect the house for active threats. Once that happened, which took at least a couple of hours, the disoriented man was removed by the paramedics and taken to the hospital without any charges being filed against anyone.

    This is Texas, not some liberal haven, and we’re unlikely to be oversensitive here to the mere presence of a gun. So, let me ask y’all this, especially the LEO’s and ex-LEO’s: Does this have the ring of truth or is it more likely that someone’s got their facts mostly or entirely wrong?

    If it’s true, it’s one more way that having a gun in your house could create a greater risk that it solves due to the delay in obtaining care.

    • Liberal Dave. As I read what you wrote, I was shocked. This is a disaster scenario. If this situation had happened in one of the anti-gun states, the disoriented person could have been shot by SWAT. Maybe I am being too alarmist. OK, the SWAT team would have entered, then seen that the gun was not in the disoriented person’s possession. They would probably tackle the person, and then take possession of the FEARSOME WEAPON!!! Thank God this happened in Texas. I am not a cop, so I cannot write authoritatively.

      I believe that the way to be armed in one’s own home is to carry concealed, just like many do outside the home. That way the gun is always with you and under your control, plus no one knows about it. Guns are just too scary for the sheeple. And I am sure that, even those of us who like guns, we have to seriously try to discover an open carrier’s intentions. Is that a law-abiding open carrier, or is it someone on the way to committing a crime? Gotta study the situation. Concealed carry is better. It is less alarming.

      • And I am sure that, even those of us who like guns, we have to seriously try to discover an open carrier’s intentions. Is that a law-abiding open carrier, or is it someone on the way to committing a crime?

        That’s usually an easy one. Open carriers tend overwhelmingly to be law-abiding. If the guy’s pistol is holstered (read: IN a holster, and not just tucked in his pants), then there’s no real question on the carrier’s intentions. Criminals prefer to keep their weapons hidden until used, and then hide them again once the crime is committed.

        I’ll also note that EVERY uniformed police officer open carries his/her sidearm. Do you feel the need to put much effort into “seriously try[ing] to discover” an on-duty police officer’s intentions?

        As a friend of mine pointed out: If you feel safe when the only guns present were hidden on unknown persons with unknown intentions, but you feel endangered around an open carrier – who by carrying openly is openly announcing his/her intentions – then you should consider taking a step back and analyzing your reasoning. If you felt safe in the former circumstance, then you should feel safe in the latter. If you don’t feel safe in the latter, than you should realize that your feelings of safety in the former were just a comfortable illusion.

      • Archer,

        I can tell you live in a different part of the USA than I do. I have only seen two open carriers in my life. The first was in Phoenix, AZ, so that was “normal” there, but not for me. The second was here in Sussex County, NJ. I saw a man in a Friendly’s restaurant with his family. He was open carrying. I assume he was a cop who chose to open carry while off-duty.

        Open carry would freak out most people from NJ, especially the eastern part. The cops would be called and probably draw their guns on the perpetrator. I have read comments from people who open carry, and they say most sheeple are too busy looking at their devices to notice the gun on someone’s hip.

        I should live where you live, the real USA.

    • Liberal Dave,

      As is usual in stories such as this, there is information left out that could help paint the whole picture. You wrote…

      “As it turned out, one of the adult residents had the flu and was striking a very high temperature, causing him to be disoriented.”

      If more than one adult was present when paramedics arrived, assuming they were not disoriented themselves, did they make any attempt to explain the situation to the first responders? Where was the holstered gun in relation to the disoriented man? Was there any indication that his mental condition and proximity to the gun would cause a reasonable and prudent person to fear for their safety?

      In your community, is EMS handled by the Fire Department? If so, there was a debate in Texas several years back, concerning a desire by some Fire department EMS folks to be armed like police officers in the aftermath of EMT’s coming under fire while responding to calls. The majority of EMT’s were against this idea, believing it would undermine their image as the good guys, and make them targets. I’m sure this debate, coupled with deadly attacks, led to hard fast rules by fire departments concerning discovery of guns being present when answering calls for service. Once these rules go into effect, they will be followed at the risk of losing your job or becoming the target of a lawsuit, if you follow your instincts instead of the SOP, and things go south. Civil servants have been afforded a modicum of protection by the courts if they can prove they were following their training when outcomes were less than desirable.

      The response of the police, while sounding like overkill on the surface, also is a sign of the times. Early in my career, a two man squad would have handled this call, common sense would have guided my response, the gun would have been secured, the disoriented man would have received immediate care….or…. my partner and I would have been ambushed, a shoot out would have ensued and, if we survived and the ones ambushing didn’t, the family and their lawyers would be questioning the way we had responded by ourselves, not waiting for overwhelming force to respond, using every available technology and tactic, possibly preventing the sad outcome. They would be demanding the department change our training, and, of course, fork over a lot of money for not foreseeing these possibilities.

      So, yes, this story, sadly, does have the “ring of truth” to it. Out of curiosity, when the story broke, was a lawyer for the aggrieved “disoriented” man and his family present? Sorry, Dave, but your profession has played a large part in our arrival to this point where stories like this happen. I do appreciate the fact that you didn’t immediately cast blame.

      • All good questions, my friend (except for the lawyer one 😊), and I have no answers to any of them except that I have reason to suspect that it was, indeed, fire department paramedics, though I don’t even know that for certain.

  6. For this blog post, I think that I can do little better than quote Benjamin Franklin.

    On the main topic of New Year’s Resolutions and weight control (which I also struggle with like many people), Ben said:

    “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

    On Liberal Dave’s Off-topic comment pertaining to how being disarmed makes one more safe when the government comes to call, Ben said:

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    We can certainly use a lot more of Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom in these days and times!

  7. As far as I’m concerned, the guy who has the best answers on how to lose fat and build muscle through a combination of exercise and diet is Ellington Darden, particularly his recent book “Bodyfat Breakthrough”. Even his terminology “overfat” (rather than “overweight”, which conflates a bunch of variables) should be standard discourse. How to maintain fat loss, that’s has been a personal challenge in the past, so I look forward to reading this book.

  8. I’m seriously considering to attempt to keep a log of false narrative driven, police involved shooting incidents portraying officers as trigger happy, race driven, sadistic killers, who, when the evidence comes out, were completely justified in their actions. Seems this has been the rule rather than the exception for several years now, becoming very popular with the media and the left back with Michael Brown and the Ferguson lie.

    Here’s a recent police shooting that could have easily escalated to community violence had the police not immediately released the video.

    Even so, I’m sure the leftist will add this to their list of senseless murders of innocent young black males. Sad.

    • Yes, the media in today’s America is so in-bed with Leftist ideology and so out-of-tune with America’s founding principles (and with the American Heartland) that it is scary. Eventually, something is going to have to be done to bring balance back to the mainstream media and to reintroduce real journalism again.

      Tongue-in-cheek, I would almost suggest the approach recommended by Col. Walter E. Kurtz in the movie, Apocalypse Now. See this quote from the movie:

      “We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig. Cow after cow. Village after village. Army after army, and they call me an assassin! Well, what do you call it when the (character) assassins accuse the assassin? They lie. They lie, and we have to be merciful, for those who lie. Those nabobs. I hate them. I do hate them.”

      Note that I customized this quote for our modern media by adding the word in parenthesis. 🙂