This past weekend I had Hubby was nice enough to pull some extra "Daddy Duty" so that I could go attend the Obesity Help Conference in Austin. I love Austin, so I figured, if the conference was boring, at least I'd be in Austin -- a Win-win situation for me.
Luckily as it turned out, for the most part, the conference was pretty good (I do have some feedback for OH though). Lots of room for improvement, and rumor say that most conferences are 2 days, whereas Austin was just one. There were three things/people who really "hit" different spots for me. One was a post-op who described his story, the other was a Dr. MaryJo Rapini, a psychotherapist, and the emcee of the event Jackie Guerra. Of course props go to the others who were there donating their time, but I got the most from these three people.
With regard to my recent inner-conflict (or whatever the heck you call it) I decided I am going to get some help. There is that, as well as some other issues I have uncovered (which are not for sharing here), but need to be addressed with a professional. Dr. Rapini's no-nonsense attitude is exactly what I want from a therapist -- I don't want/need coddling. I need someone to candidly point me in the right direction. Make Sense?
I learned a lot about post-op plastics from Dr. Lomonaco; now I see why the post-ops love him. :) Okay, and it has to be said, he's pretty easy-on the eyes too. LOL He has a great attitude and seems very sincere in his efforts to help "restore normalcy" to a post-op's body. He has some really great ideas that support the post-op effort, that if they come to fruition, would be really helpful for full recovery.
Jeremy Gentile, the exercise physiologist from OH, was also there. He did a great presentation on fitness. I have to e-mail him to get the slide presentation, but he cited a lot of studies done with various bariatric patients and the results from doing cardio only, resistance training only and a combination of both. It was great stuff; unfortunately I think it might have been over the heads of most of the audience. I got to talk to him one-on-one about my fitness effort and got some pretty good information.
I can't say enough about Jackie Guerra though! I'll be honest, when first saw her face on OH, I was like, okay she looks familiar -- but I really couldn't place her. Then when I got to the conference, I heard about who she was and what she's done. Among other things, the was in the movie Selena, as was a friend of mine, and I totally forgot to ask her if she knew her!
Putting aside the fact that she's "famous", you can tell she is simply a good person -- she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! The way she talked to everyone at the conference left feeling you feeling like you made a friend. The way she just have one-on-one attention to those who wanted it. The way she showed empathy for those on their journey.... she was just beautiful! Overall she was very inspiring and so open about her own story, not to mention hilarious.
Currently she's devoting her time to the weigh loss surgery effort. She recently authored a book "Under Construction" which she was selling at the conference and the proceeds from conference sales are going to a fund to help others who need WLS and can't afford it. She also has a syndicated show on XM Radio (Air America, channel 167) , and in July will be focusing on WLS.
That's it... more later.