Here is an email we received back in March, we LOVE hearing from you!!
Carol* here in Ontario. Had my surgery on October 6, 2014. Just an update on how awesome I feel and look, I now have 100 lbs off (includes pre-op diet) and I could not be happier. You can't wipe the smile from my face! I had bloodwork done and the results last week show everything is perfect including my potassium and I am no longer on the meds they gave me in the hospital. I have also come off my blood pressure medication and my bowels have been the best they have been in years!
I also just want to give you a heads up that you may get an e-mail from a Donna* in Ontario. She is a patient of my doctor as well and is considering the same surgery in Mexico. My doctors office called me to ask if it would be ok if she got in contact with me about the surgery etc. to which I said a resounding "Yes"! She has contacted me by e-mail so I will be providing your information. My doctor was so supportive of me and is also of Donna(we are so lucky to have her as our doctor) and of course you are the route to go! You know, when Dr. R heard I was in hospital she told me after she was so afraid that I was regretting my decision. I told her never ever did I regret it and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself. She hugged me on Monday at my appt. and told me I looked fantastic and 10 years younger... gotta love that!
Well better run. Have a great day and thanks for everything Debra. I continue to rave about your services and when i had the opportunity to pass it along to someone who was interested... well I could not be happier to do so.
(PS Love your new website!)
Just wanted you to know that I hit -65 this morning. My surgery was October 6th. I feel fantastic. Better than in years.
I am just so happy I did it. I never would have thought it would be this good!!!
Thank you for being a very big part in changing my life.
*name changed for privacy
After a full day of making healthy choices, your willpower reserves are low—another reason why it feels nearly impossible to battle late-night munchies. But there’s hope: Baumeister’s and Tice’s research also shows it’s possible to train your willpower just like a muscle. Which means, getting into the habit of resisting night noshing will make you better at resisting those midnight snack attacks overtime.
Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” my clients find helpful for avoiding the ice cream, boosting willpower, and staying focused on good nutrition habits—give ‘em a shot!
DON’T keep pitfall foods at home Yes, it can be that simple! Are you snacking on chips after dinner? Don’t buy chips. People typically hit the grocery store at times of greater discipline and clarity than those sugar- and salt-crazed moments just before midnight, so it’s easier to resist temptations and fill your cart with nutritious options. With that said, you don’t want to shop on an empty stomach—after all, willpower science shows us we’re less likely to make healthy choices with a growling stomach. If you can’t shop right after a meal, have a snack before going to the market. One smart snack now is better than seven nights of mindless potato chip munching.
DO have a fallback plan At some point you’re going to get hungry after dinner. Having a contingency plan to prevent you from suffering all night is smart. Try keeping an emergency bar (that’sbar) of incredibly dark chocolate (80% cacao or more) in the house. Two pieces of dark chocolate with a little peanut butter can satisfy most cravings, and it’s actually pretty hard to gorge yourself on chocolate that dark.
DON’T skimp on supper Consistently leaving the dinner table hungry puts you at a disadvantage, and creates a caloric deficit that will be impossible to maintain in the long term. Be reasonable. If an extra helping of chicken or vegetables keeps you from devouring a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies later, that second serving was worth it.
DO notice your triggers I once had a client who would eat a pint of ice cream on the nights she had a self-imposed midnight deadline to finish an accounting report for her business. When I suggested she move the deadline to noon, her dark-hour dairy binges stopped. Are you overlooking any subliminal cues that might be causing you to snack? Keep track of when you’re logging those late-night snacks in your food diary to see if you can link it to a specific activity, event, or feeling.
DO have a ritual Using a set or series of activities to declare, “I’m done with that; now I’m onto this,” can be very powerful. A simple ritual that works for one of my clients: When she has finished eating for the evening, she cleans her teeth—dinner, floss, brush, done. That clean-mouth feeling reminds her that her teeth are off duty for the night, and it’s time to do something other than eat.
Stopping a late-night snacking habit can be very simple, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. There’s a lot of strategy involved, and these suggestions might only be the beginning for you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Have you recently quit snacking late at night? What helped you break that bad habit?
Mindfulness is often referred to as a consciousness discipline. It is a way of training the mind, heart, and body to be fully present with life. Although often associated with meditation, mindfulness is much more than that. It is a way of being, a way of living. Mindfulness is about presence—being here, now, completely.
The practice of mindfulness has great implications for our happiness, resilience to stress, and our health. Regardless of how hard we are working at the gym, or how planned out our food is for the week, we all know that one hard day at the office, one difficult conversation, one traffic jam, or a lack of a good night’s sleep can alter our healthy behaviors for a moment or even for the day.
Stress is a fact of life. If we can learn how to be mindful of when we feel stressed and what thoughts, feelings, and therefore behaviors occur as a result of stress, we can choose health and happiness over maladaptive ways of coping. At the end of a long day most people want some kind of reward. The choice I most hear about is the reward of late night snacking. A few pieces of chocolate gives a feeling of pleasure in the moment, but in the long run if this choice gets in the way of a desire to lose a few pounds or eat less at night, then it isn’t rewarding after all.
How we perceive and then cope with stressors can trigger the consumption of high fat and sweet foods and have a direct effect on the storing of abdominal fat, , leading to overall weight gain. Other psychological causes of stress and emotional eating include poor awareness of internal physiological states and the inability to differentiate between hunger cues and emotional arousal.
For example, I have a client who tends to reach for cookies when she feels stressed. This habit is pretty automatic and there are many reasons why this behavior is reinforcing, but its not supporting her in her intentions for health and happiness. With the presence of mindfulness, she can pause to assess how she is feeling and what she is actually needing, which most of the time isn’t the cookie. From a place of awareness, she has choice and can act differently.
In my next few blogs, I will be sharing tips on how to use mindfulness throughout the day for health and well-being. In the meantime, you can start with these simple instructions to start a daily mindfulness practice.
If your appendix fails, surgery is your best option. Blocked arteries? Surgery. Obesity and diabetes? Until recently, the most obvious solutions were diet, exercise, and drugs as needed; however a growing body of research suggests the optimal way to manage these conditions is with—that's right—surgery.
"Why isn't every type 2 diabetic referred for an operation?" says Mitchell Roslin, MD, chief of bariatric and metabolic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "I ask myself this every day." His puzzlement stems from a raft of recent reports about the stunning long-term effects of bariatric surgery on diabetes, as well as weight loss. The Cleveland Clinic's groundbreaking STAMPEDE (a charming acronym for the clunkily named Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently) study, published in 2012, was the first to show that bariatric surgery is more effective than medicine in controlling diabetes in obese people. The Cleveland Clinic has since published a follow-up study showing that gastric bypass surgery significantly improves and, in fully 50% of the cases they looked at, even reverses diabetes.
There are several types of bariatric surgery, but the most common reduce the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (called sleeve gastrectomy), or resect and re-route the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).
"It's amazing, honestly," says lead investigator Philip Schauer, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute of the results his team compiled. "We hesitate to use the word 'cure' because that means no more diabetes for the rest of one's life. Remission is more accurate; it means blood sugar is normal without medication. But it is still an almost unbelievable result."
MORE: Life After Gastric Bypass: The Surprising Real Story
Despite the risks and complications of bariatric surgery, it seems to extend life, according to results from the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS), published in the Journal of the American Medical Association three years ago. The SOS followed 4047 obese people, half of whom had bariatric surgery, for a median of 14 years. Nearly twice as many people in the nonsurgical group had died by the study's end.
Bariatric surgery enables the body to become much more efficient at processing blood sugar, explains Roslin, and patients are able to greatly reduce their dependence on insulin. In some cases, they're able to go off the pricey drug altogether. Because diabetes is still one of the top 10 killers in America, this is big news. "A diabetes diagnosis means that your risk of developing heart disease and stroke rises to the same level as that of someone who has already had a heart attack," says Schauer. "You don't normally think of surgery as prevention, but in the case of someone with uncontrolled diabetes, it clearly is. It's heart disease prevention, death prevention."
Of course, like any operation, bariatric surgery carries risks of complications and even death. And post-surgery life is no picnic: Patients must eat much smaller meals several times a day and take vitamins to make up for deficiencies; they may also experience gastric pains and diarrhea. However, Schauer believes the risks of not intervening are just as serious: "If you stay morbidly obese—or even if you are simply mildly obese but have poorly controlled diabetes—you have a significantly higher risk of dying."
Then there's the expense. Schauer believes insurance carriers, bowing to pressure from all the large diabetes organizations, will begin to cover bariatric surgery for diabetes remission within the next year or two. In the meantime, however, he says the surgery runs about $25,000. "That's big," he says. "But bariatric surgery's benefits are beyond big. If it were me, I'd forgo the expensive car, and send my diabetes into remission. You can quote me on that—it's my absolute best advice."
Dr. Jaime Ponce De Leon is a Chief Bariatric Surgeon in Tijuana Mexico and has been practicing surgery for the past 19 years and performing laparoscopic surgery since 1995. He is currently Chief Surgeon at various Baja Hospitals, and Mexico Extreme Makeover. He has devoted his life to helping fight obesity and is truly caring and compassionate about his work
Dr. Ponce De Leon received his Medical Doctor Degree in 1991 from Saint Nicholas University in the Mexican State of Hidalgo as a General Surgeon. He completed a 4 year residency in Tijuana’s General Hospital where he obtained his speciality as a gastroenterologist surgeon.
In 1997, Dr. Ponce de Leon got his certification from the Mexican Association of Endoscopic Surgery and he started Bariatric Surgery with Laparoscopy in 1998 when he got his Certification from the Mexican Association of General Surgeons.
Dr. Ponce De Leon later learned various techniques from courses he took in the United States and France. He received authorization to perform Obesity Surgery with Gastric Bypass and Lap-Band from the Mexican Society of Obesity Surgeons in 2004 after having received formal training and authorization in 2001 directly from Bio Centrics Corporation. Dr. Ponce De Leon continues to improve his studies in obesity surgeries adding Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Plications over the last several years.
Dr. Elizalde did his medical studies at the Faculty of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Baja California, after which he went to Mexico City to attend the Juarez de Mexico Hospital Surgery and Internal Medicine services including the areas of Intensive Care Unit, Nephrology, Hematology and Transfusions service.
He returned to the state of Baja California to attend the Gynaecology and Obstetrics service at the Tijuana General Hospital, then went to the Ensenada General Hospital to the Paediatrics and E.R. services to obtain his medical degree.
Dr. Elizalde attended the Institute of Superior Medicine Studies to obtain a Master Degree in Cosmetic Surgery which is specialized medical and surgical training focused on body contouring and face procedures.
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