Winter 2004 - Patient Newsletter

Greetings from the Editor  

I thought I would begin my message with a joke from one of my favorite comedians, Emo Phillips. He said, “I think of my body as a temple…or at least a relatively well managed Presbyterian Youth Center.”  I think Dr. Vogel would have really liked that joke because he was always saying, “practice makes better.”

If you are reading this, you know that we were finally able to get our newsletter off the ground.  I must share with you all that as a person who is very familiar with bureaucracy having worked for the state for so many years, I began to lose faith that the newsletter would ever be published.  However, we have arrived and with your help we will endure.

In anticipation of this newsletter, something I thought would never happen, I was undaunted in wanting to facilitate a means of better communicating with one another. I turned my sights on developing a bulletin board…by the patients, for the patients.  If you come to the Mezzanine offices of the OCC, you will see the bulletin board in all of its brightly colored glory.  There is room for writing notes to one another.  I cornered the market on Post-its and they are available to you along with pens…or at least there were two left out of the six I started with…available for you to share ideas, a recipe, solicit support, get a walking buddy, begin a patient-driven support group.  Any number of things is possible.  I am hoping to install one of these boards on the 4th floor waiting room of the OCC as well. 

Given the laws governing confidentiality, many of you signed releases of information to receive our newsletter and many of you signed additional releases in order to contribute and become part of the staff of the newsletter. For those of you willing to contribute your time, we really do need you to step up to the plate.  You are welcome to write a story, share a recipe, conduct an interview… there's lots of creative workspace here in our little community.

I have gotten a lot of feedback on our first edition.  Folks from the gastric-banding and medical-nutritional programs asked for a voice in the newsletter.  I don’t think it matters what method of intervention you choose for yourself through the OCC.  The bottom line is that we are all fat people and formerly fat people connected by the experience of trying to live a quality life with the hand we’ve been dealt.  A person who chooses Optifast as opposed to Gastric Bypass surgery still knows and shares the pain of being fat.  We all know what it is like to live in a thin-obsessed society.  We all know what it is like to feel disempowered by fad dieting etc.  This newsletter is for all of us who struggle with our weight, body image etc. 

We are a community, a collective work in progress and we need one another not only for support, but also for the lifestyle choices we’ve embarked on as well.  Who else could understand you better than someone else who is walking a mile right beside you in the same shoes?

We really do need everyone’s help.  It takes a village or in our case a relatively well managed auditorium full of fat and formerly fat folk to make a difference. 

Keep on keeping on…. Jody Abrams.

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