Thursday, 29 July 2010

A book about gastric banding which may interest you

Tina has sent me a book to read, about one person's experience with the gastric band, called Fighting Weight by Khaliah Ali, which I have enjoyed and thought I would share with you.  With the help of a writer and two clinicians who performed the surgery in 2005 she tells the story of her years as an overweight child and young adult.   

The daughter of boxer Muhammad Ali, she was frequently in the spotlight, and while this compounded her shame, it drove her further to overeat for comfort.  Before, during and after surgery she allowed the cameras to record the process, and she describes her feelings during this time, and over the next 18 months when she halved her body weight.

She is no stranger to limelight so her story has a tabloid feel to it, not least of which is the title, Fighting Weight, which sounds like something dreamed up by a marketing committee with a brief to attract overweight readers while distancing it from mainline diet literature and cashing in on her parentage by linking it to her father’s profession.  Although I don’t identify with its excited tone of ‘sad-failure-to-triumphant-success’ which calls to mind the sort of motivational public speakers you’re forced to listen to at sales conferences, there’s no doubt that it’s a record of a remarkable personal achievement, whether she is famous or not.

On a personal level I was interested in the notes by one of the clinicians on how bandits need to approach eating in public successfully.  They lead by example, taking groups of bandits on outings to show them how to tackle meals in restaurants.  I needed reminding that the most dangerous stage when eating out is the bread on the table before the meal actually starts, when we are at our most hungrily vulnerable.  How many times have I sabotaged my own enjoyment by joining in with the lovely crusty bread dipped in something melting and wonderful, and then watched miserably as the other guests tuck into a starter or main course knowing that one false move with the fork and I’m done for, as I glance anxiously around the room wondering where the loos are just in case.

I feel I have been well looked after by the bariatric team at Taunton Hospital, but having read this book I realise that I have missed out on what even my beloved bandit bloggers can’t give me – the group therapy evenings where common problems are aired under the chairmanship and guide of an expert.  I much appreciate learning from other bloggers’ experiences, but I would also have liked someone in authority to tell me unequivocally what works and what doesn’t.

The book is aimed very much at the US/Canadian market, not surprisingly, and there are names of celebrities and brand names of high calorie foods which shall forever remain a mystery, but that’s just a detail. 

I would be very happy to post the book on to anyone else who might like to read it, with the request that she/he in turn does the same when they finish with it.  Why not let me know in the comments, and if you include your e-mail address I’ll be in touch with you for your address.  First come first served – and if bloggers are ahead of me and have already read it, I’ll donate to my local library.


Photo Finish:
From Lonicera’s non-digital archive

The Olympic Diver

John and I had many happy Spanish holidays with my parents in Chiva, near Valencia, and the pool made it fun.  Thanks to the direct flights between Valencia and Bristol I could still be swimming hours before we were due at the airport for our return journey and I frequently climbed aboard with a damp bathing suit over my shoulder.

Our hero claims to have perfected his dive after many hours at the goggle box watching swimming athletes perform from the high diving board, and he urges me to go public at last on this blog to show this inimitable sequence taken during the nineties, as a warning training to others.  Before diving in he would always explain carefully to me which moves he had selected.

So – as our lithe hero quietly centres his inner self for the
front inward twisting dive he is about to execute,

his finely tuned body poised on the very edge of the pool,

he stretches out first one arm then the other
in the Olympian ritual.

Amazing to reflect that the dive will include ...

a reverse one and a half somersault and two twists...

with flip and pike.

…and in he goes, his hands triumphantly hitting the water
with barely a gurgle. 

He’s done it again, and the crowd roars its appreciation.

(Or she roars as hard as she can anyway)



tessierose said...

Love the pics! I would love to read the book, and will send it along to the next, if no one else has claimed it. Send me your e-mail and I'll get you my address. That would be wonderful.

Darlin1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darlin1 said...

Lonicera---I was looking over your weight loss recordings and have to tell you that you are an inspiration.
Your losses have been slow but steady--I'm following in your footsteps!!

Love all the photo's!

Lonicera said...

Tessierose - my e-mail is
Darlin1,thanks so much for your remark - I can truly say I've never been anybody's inspiration up to now...

amandakiska said...

Beautiful pool! I'm jealous!

I'm interested in that book. It sounds like it could be a good one!

Lonicera said...

Hi Amanda - why not ask Tessierose? You could always pass it on to someone lse afterwards. Someone put their (first name only) name in the book, so I've carried on the tradition...

-Grace- said...

I loved that book! It was the first I read when I was deciding on getting banded :)

Andrew said...

Nice photos again.

Zanna said...

Fabulous photo sequence - and it must be your day to be inspirational - your series of posts on photos for posterity and all your helpful tips was fantastic and I tried to implement some of your ideas in the photos I took during our trip. Thanks so much for sharing. Zxx

Vagabonde said...

I have not been swimming in a long time and I miss it. I like the moves of your Olympian. Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving a message – I enjoyed reading it.

Jesús said...

Lonicera, gracias por visitarme.

He visto que estuvistes en Valencia.
Espero que te lo pasaras estupendamente.

Un beso con todo el cariño y agradecimiento posibles.

Nola said...

I have just ordered a book written by an Australian woman on her lapband experience. Once I have finished it I will post it to you with the same instructions:)
I miss swimming so much. There are no pools here and the ocean is far too dangerous. Not to mention far too cold at the moment!! I will be blogging again soon.....xx

B said...

Thank you for your lovely comment Caroline. You always bring a smile to my face :-) xxx

Lap Band Gal said...

Love those pics. I will have to go checkout that book :)

Lonicera said...

Thank you all for such nice comments. Nola, would love to read that book. I had never stopped to think that people who live in dramatic coastal landscapes can probably only swim if they have a private swimming pool... I also miss swimming so much here - the only way to do it is in a heavily chlorinated indoor swimming bath shared with zillions of screaming children.

Lonicera said...

Gracias por tu comentario Jesús! Las fotos de Valencia son, tristemente, un poco antiguas - datan del principio de la década de los 90, cuando mis padres vivían por esos pagos. Tengo muchas ganas de volver. Los valencianos son muy 'majos', como decís vosotros los españoles...

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