Adam's Fall Musings

By Adam Glasgow - 10/2/2013

The Foliage Changes and So Can You

Just as the leaves fall from the trees the-pounds can fall from your body and the inches from your waistline.  Obviously it doesn’t happen just because the air gets cooler and the wind starts to blow, but there is no reason that you can’t lose weight all year long and there is no better time than fall to do it.

As many of you know and have often heard, I constantly preach the mantra “good food, less of it, and more exercise.”  All summer long when I push the exercise envelope I hear back that it is “too hot” or “I am too busy.” Now is such a great time to get out and enjoy a nice walk and take in the beautiful fall foliage.  Rake some leaves, do some yard work, get out and get some fresh air.  If the kids are at the soccer or football field what better opportunity is there to take a walk yourself?  So many “summer hot spots” are now almost deserted.  For my time and money there is no better time to walk the Cape, New Hampshire, and Southern Maine beaches than Columbus Day Weekend.  Some years in recent memory it has even been warm enough to swim.  Remember, there is no “vacation” from weight loss, from health, from exercise.  If you want the benefits you have to put in the effort.

On the subject of good food-all summer I hear that folks were on vacation and hence over indulged in sweets or alcohol or just food in general.  If it wasn’t vacation that derailed them then it was holiday cook-outs or graduation parties.  For the most part those distractions are done for a while.  We have a one day and night challenge on Halloween and then we are good again till Turkey day.  Remember that “good food” is protein, fruits, and vegetables.  You can certainly eat food fresh and that is often the healthiest way to do it and if you need to cook it then bake it, broil it, steam it, sautee’ it, and very occasionally grill it.  No one serious about weight loss ever breads, fries, or sauces their food.  As there are no “vacations” from health and exercise-there are none from “good and healthy” food choices either.

Cakes, candies, cookies, fruit juice, alcohol, soda, pizza, pasta, potatoes, etc, etc, are just not on the menu if you want to lose weight.  The easiest way not to eat these things-don’t buy them.  Don’t bring them in the house.  If a housemate insists that these foods be available then they immediately go in a labeled bag, drawer, or cupboard and they are for the lucky few who can eat them and not the people trying to lose weight.

A couple of milestones occurred recently.  The program treated its 1300th patient and I also performed my first 3 Gastric Sleeve operations.  7 more are scheduled in the next 8 weeks.  In November the program will celebrate its 8 year anniversary.  So what have I learned from 1300 plus weight loss surgery patients, as well as 8 years in the field, and countless seminars, meetings, and journal articles?  I have learned that weight loss is actually easy to explain but damn hard to achieve.  The plan is simple but the implementation is a killer.  To lose weight you need to “eat good food, less of it, and exercise more.”  People get tripped up on each aspect to one degree or another and sometimes all 3 at once are a stumbling block.  The role of weight loss surgery-whether it is a Lap-Band, a Sleeve, or a By-pass –is to function as a tool to make eating less more satisfying.  None of the operations dictate what you eat or how often you exercise. 

The role of the Lap-Band, the Sleeve, the By-pass is to make less food more satisfying.  This point cannot be emphasized enough. Far too often I find that patients are disappointed in their operation and their weight loss because they had unrealistic expectations about what an operation can and cannot do for them.  The Achilles heel of Lap-Bands, Sleeves, and By-passes is weight regain. While a very small minority occurs because of technical issues-band slips, stretched sleeves, and pouch dilations the overwhelming majority of post-operative weight regain occurs because a patient is no longer following the simple admonition to “eat good food, less of it, and exercise more.”  I have seen it far too often.  For the first 12-18 months a patient is on track, with the program, and doing what needs to be done.  Weight loss and maintenance are good.  Then there comes a point where the exercise is less and the ice cream, cakes, and cookies are more.  When that happens, operations are no help.  The weight comes back-not because the operation is failing-but because the patient is no longer “playing by the rules.”

The good news is that it is never too late to get back in the game, to play by the rules to start losing weight again.  Just this past week we have seen patients who have been away from the practice for 1, 2, and even 3 years.  Lap-Bands, Sleeves, and By-passes don’t get stale.  They don’t have a shelf life.  Whenever you are ready to use them as a tool for weight loss they will be there.  The team here at Surgical Weight Loss Specialists is always available to help.  Don’t be a stranger.  If you haven’t been in for 3 months or more, then give us a call and GET IN HERE!  We are always happy to see “old friends.”

Changing course a little, I just want to let all those who often ask know that Arthur is fine and enjoying good health and good company.  He and my Mom had a terrific summer and enjoyed New England travel and time with their 8 grand-children.  Hard to believe that Dad has been retired for 2.5 years.  Wow, how time flies.  My boys are good.  Sam is in his Sophomore year at Bates and really enjoying.  He is “away” from home but only an hour from us when we are at our Maine home.  We get to see him on sporadic week-ends which is great.  Ari is in his Junior year at Gann and is starting to think about college.  In a blink Jordana and I will be empty nesters.  We aren’t ready now but I am sure we will be when the time comes.

If you want more details than that, you’ll just have to come to the office for a visit or shoot me an email.  I look forward to seeing you soon, to hearing your stories, and to catching up on your progress.  One of my greatest joys is seeing happy healthy patients achieve their goals.

Be well.  Enjoy the fall. 


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