Friday, September 10, 2010

Go With Nature Instead of Under the Knife to Reach And Sustain a Healthy Weight

I had a special request for this blog topic by a wonderful woman named Kate, whom I really respect from the on-line diet community I’m a long-time member of (www.dadamo.com). I had started a discussion on that forum on the topic and she said, quote, "Dude, please write about this on your blog! Your thoughts are both accurate and hilarious." Well, I hope accurate and hilarious will translate into enlightening for at least one obese person out there who needs help--real help, not radical, violent surgeries, pills that suppress and go against nature instead of support it and harmonize with it, and harmful fad diets. I say below that I wish I could shout this from the rooftops. Well, I realize that this blog is my cyber-rooftop and I pray, in this case—actually pray, not merely hope, because I’ve been there and I know what a despairing place obese people can be in—that this blog will reach someone who needs it. There is help out there for you that is so simple and so natural. Even though I’ve now lost 76 lbs on the GenoType Diet and I’m no longer physically fat, I’m still a “fat person” in the sense that I know I could gain it back in a split second if I don’t take good care to acknowledge that this is a lifetime challenge for me and that I need to make choices daily that respect that fact and employ the knowledge, tools and experience that I am blessed to have now to stay at a healthy weight. The wonderful news is that those choices, once you know about them, are joyful, satisfying, balancing and sustainable. That said, I’m now climbing up onto my peppermint rooftop...

When it comes to the diet I follow, The GenoType Diet (GTD) by naturopathic doctor Peter J. D’Adamo, I'm in "wish I could shout it from the rooftops and make every man, woman and child on planet earth understand" mode again. I usually don't get this way anymore. I used to want to make everyone understand how great the Blood Type Diet (BTD, the first D’Adamo diet I was on) is, how much it could help them, blah blah blah. But several years into it, I realized that, as the saying goes, "when the student is ready, the teacher will come." You can't make anyone see anything or do anything that they aren't ready to see or do.

So, yes, I tell people about the BTD and GTD, even urge some to try it, but that's it. If they aren't game, I don't lose sleep over it, or I try not to. I just think to myself, “Fine: more good food/chi for me! Enjoy your NutraSweet.”

But every once in a while...

Like this week. I kept seeing teasers for a show on ABC called “Nightline Prime - Secrets of Your Mind: Why We Do What We Do”, about a “radical” (you can say that again!!!) new procedure to lose weight. Folks, brace yourselves: it is BRAIN SURGERY.

Sweet agave nectar, would you just try this "radical", "unproven" diet FIRST, before you let them CUT INTO YOUR BRAIN?!!!

Oh, but many retort, the BTD and GTD were not researched in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. They’re not "scientific"! No, better to have a scientific MD in a white coat saw open my head and attach electrodes to my brain. That isn't risky, like some unproven, unresearched diet based on organic, whole foods.

I want to scream.

These poor, desperate, morbidly obese people. I know what that despair feels like. I’ve been there. I just wish I could get to each and every one of them, tell them about the BTD and GTD, and make them try it before doing anything so radical as brain surgery. The simple little BTD and GTD are as powerful--MORE!!!--than any electrodes. They will stop your cravings, they will get your system into balance and normalize your weight.

What the woman in that ABC story needs is one of the Dr. D’Adamo diets (preferably the GTD, in her case, because if I don’t miss my mark, she is a fellow member of my genotype, a.k.a., a “Gatherer”—see link below re the GenoType Diet), not brain surgery! To wit (from ABC's site, linked below, about this story):

"The Brain and Food

Bashir takes a closer look at the brain's mysterious relationship with food and its impact on America's obesity epidemic. Go inside the brain of an obese person and see how the brain responds to fattening foods like chocolate cake.

Bashir reports on a story of an obese woman who has tried everything -- from diets to bariatric surgery -- to lose weight and manage her compulsion to eat all the time. She turns to brain surgery -- the most radical weight loss procedure ever attempted."

Mind you, I'm not blaming the person who is choosing this surgery, I'm just saying I wish I could get to her--get to them all--and teach them about Dr D's diets, before they hurt themselves like this.

Like I said, I usually don't work myself up anymore over people who need the BTD/GTD yet aren't on it. I tell them about it, and then, usually, I just say to myself: horse, water, up to it to drink. But in this case, the horse doesn't even know there's a pool of water for her. I wish I could at least lead all the horses to water. Up to them if they drink or not, but what breaks my heart are the desperately thirsty ones who don't even know about water. They try all these other things and still their thirst is not quenched. When all they need is the quenching water of the B or GTD.

Sad!

What I witnessed on that show was SO MUCH WORSE THAN I EVEN IMAGINED from the teasers. So much worse.

Upshot? This poor, long-suffering fellow member of my Gatherer genotype had "tried everything" (or so she thought--she never tried the GTD, poor thing), and she proceeded to rattle off a list of the most horrifying protocols imaginable, such as fen-phen, bariatric surgery, etc. Nothing worked. So now she was ready to be wheeled in for experimental brain surgery, wherein they drilled holes "ten centimeters into her brain from both sides" (!) to implant electrodes on the THEORY that MAYBE these could impact her cravings, which she was driven by. Her drug of choice, by the way, was Pepsi.

Well, post-electrodes, she was better on the Pepsi--and here is a VERY SAD PART to moi, although it was just a passing comment she made and no one other than a BTDer or GTDer would have probably even picked up on the significance: She said to someone she was shopping with, who was worried that a liter, or whatever it was she had of something among her groceries, was the dreaded Pepsi, quote "You thought it was Pepsi, didn't you? Don't worry, it's Crystal Light." Crystal Light! In other words: post-brain-drilling and electrode implanting, this poor, sweet-natured woman has learned NOTHING about NUTRITION. She is still ingesting toxic junk that TRIGGERS CRAVINGS and that keeps you addicted and out of balance, not to mention unhealthy. She has lost no weight in a year since the surgery, but is happy that she is no longer ruled by cravings. She has them, but they aren't as powerful.

That is the SHORT VERSION, but my strong thing is: God, the GenoType Diet could have "fixed" her. Cravings GONE, weight OFF, nutritional knowledge, IN, daily exercise, TAKING PLACE, balance IN THE HIZZZOUSE, and all without drilling into her brain and implanting electrodes!

This world has gone crazy. In a sad way.

And those "doctors" who did this! OMG, they were like mad scientists, like Frankenstein! They were just having some big fun with their willing guinea pig.

When I watched her "doctors", I kept thinking: "This is like when they used to do lobotomies on people, just to see if it would "work". All for the advancement of SCIENCE, you see (read: their wallets and/or fame in their field)."

I was out of control re food cravings driving me, when I first went on the BTD in 1997. And it took many years, even AFTER that watershed change, and many "slip and falls", lots of fortitude and faith (because I knew the BTD was the right track, I just still had my struggles staying on said track at times), and then finally getting on the GTD and putting it all together--everything I'd learned--to get to where I can now honestly and gratefully report that, not only am I not ruled by cravings, I don't have cravings. Maybe I get what normal people (i.e., non-Gatherers) would consider a "craving", but that is only because they don't know what us thrifty-genotype-sporting Gatherers mean by "cravings". I mean, sure, I get hankerings for certain things. Right now, I'm on a watermelon jag like you wouldn't believe. But that is DIFFERENT. Take a memo: a hankering is not a craving. It is not driving to the supermarket in the driving rain at 9:00 p.m. to clear the shelves of potato chips and sour cream dip, when you DON'T WANT TO BE DOING THAT...yet you do it anyway, like a drug addict drawn to her drug of choice.

The woman in that story could have achieved what she wanted in a natural, healthy way, but she didn't know it, and doesn't know it, poor soul. That's what kills me, so many folks simply don't know. I wish everyone knew.

True, it is more work in some ways to make lifestyle changes than to just pop a pill or even undergo a radical surgery. I have to walk for at least half an hour per day and I try for an hour, or I fear gaining my weight back. And there are certain foods that I have to avoid like the plague which are ubiquitous in our society, so in that sense, it is challenging to avoid them (not because I miss them AT ALL, but because they are in everything) and eating out, in particular, is a challenge. But I’ve learned to go the homemade route and I love it. I work full-time and am busy, yet I find the “slow food” lifestyle to actually be quite a timesaver and far more relaxing than constantly being “on the hunt” for take-out food. There is more of a learning curve, more time, more effort, required to go the natural route, but the pay-off is priceless: once you learn which foods are your friends and keep you cravings-free, satisfied, healthy, energized and in balance, YOU KNOW. No one can ever take that powerful knowledge from you. It, along with proper exercising for your type, can get you to a healthy weight and keep you there for life, with nary a craving, and always feeling very well-nourished and vital.

I implore any obese person out there who is in despair, as someone who has been there in spades: don’t be afraid to try this “radical” diet, versus what to me is the far more radical route of pills or surgeries. You can get there with whole foods, it is all about learning which ones to choose, which ones harmonize with your genetic makeup. This relationship between your individual hardwiring and specific foods is called nutrigenomics, and it is the key to helping you.  The power to change your situation, to reach and sustain a healthy weight, comes not from fighting nature, but from working with nature. It comes not from fighting, suppressing and attacking your body and brain chemistry, but from understanding and befriending it, eliminating the foods which throw it out of wack, and giving it the foods that put it into balance.

Informational Links:

Blood Type Diet

GenoType Diet

Nightline Prime - Secrets of Your Mind: Why We Do What We Do