Jul 15, 2012
Fairview, Alberta
2006 Z06
I have always told myself that if you can't talk about something openly then you have to wonder about the merit of getting it done.

Throughout my life I have always tried to live a life by example. You do something and it should always be something that you ought to be able to talk about publically or you have to ask yourself why you did it at all.

You know about my cancer, messy divorce, having a gf break up with me when she became a nun and so forth so I have another story that I would like to share with you.

The thought is that there maybe someone else out there in a similar situation or you may know someone in a similar situation and maybe they need to feel that they are not alone.

If I was standing before you I think I would start the story like this.........

My name is Garry. I have an addiction to food. It has been 4 weeks since my last feeding frenzy. I have been overweight for most of my life, at one point I could blank out my scale which is something that only happened when you were over 305 lb.

I have also lost massive weight twice in my life before. Back in 1999 when the nun broke up with me I started to walk every day and lost 100 lb. Held it for about 2 years until I met my ex-wife and then gained back about 60 lb. Then in 2007 when my wife left me I did the same thing (I must walk for stress reduction!) and lost the 60 lb and got into running and worked my way up to 1/2 marathon distances. I was even good at it and usually placed in the top 10 to 15% of the runners in races as well as placing a few times for my gender and age. Sadly doing hill runs after I moved back home three ago resulted in my no longer running but I still walked 10 km a day as I have covered this distance on average without missing a day since January 1st 2008. Hard to believe it will be 5 years of this soon.

But the weight came back still. During the summer I started to think about further options. My gf and mother also both battle weight. We made the decision to look into more radical surgery options. Alberta Healthcare only covers 25 operations a year and you need a BMI of 40 plus complications like diabetes and have to take councilling for a year. Or you can go to a private clinic in Toronto and pay close to 20K to have it done.


Or you can go to Mexico and have it done.

I know what you're probably all thinking but I have many friends who go to Mexico for dental work etc. The field, hotel and dentist is much less than getting it done in Canada if you don't have insurance.

As the cost of living in Mexico is about 1/3 that of Canada guess what, so is the cost of the surgery. So for less $ than getting it done in Canada the three of us went to Mexico and all got the surgery.

The doctor, staff etc. are exceptional, on par with the people I dealt with at the Cross Clinic when I had cancer for example.

Two days in the hospital, one day in our hotel and then back home.

It has been 9 days now and I have lost 29 lb.

It is the oddest experience as when they removed about 75% of my stomach they also took out the organ that produces the hormone that says "hey dummy, you're hungry, go eat something!"

I smell food but I don't get the gastric juices flooding into there and the rumblings.

It was a hard decision as I do love food but I decided I was willing to give up eating as much as I wanted to to be healthier and to return to running again.

I just finished loading up a garbage bag of clothes that are too big for me to take to Value Village.

I know it is early in the process and much could yet happen.

I also had developed lymphodema in my left arm, a swelling as my damaged lymph system could no longer handle the volume of fluid, something that I had considered might be due to my increase in weight since cancer treatment ended and guess what - my arm is even smaller in diamter now.

The Achilles tendonitis in my right foot from the hill runs is gone now as well and I tried a short, very short distance run this morning and it appears to be good to go.

I'm within 2 lb of the weight I was when I ran my last two races but aim to push on to lose another 50 lb.

It ought to improve my autocross times!!!!!

If you're struggling with your weight or a loved on is, I could not recommend this operation strongly enough to have a better quality of live as the outcome.


Food is an addiction just like drugs or alcohol or smoking. The same things that happen to those addicts happen to people whose poison is food. We're not weak or lacking willpower but subject to the same chemical processes for people that have other addictive problems.

With luck I can help one other person by coming forward.


Garry , the first step is always to be admit and recognize that a problem exists . getting treatment is certainly next . Good on you for being able to do both . It will enable you to participate in of life's wonders at longer and improve your quality of life .
Good afternoon Manny,

Yes, that is part of it. Havign yo-yo ed twice before I was looking for a more perminant solution and while I wold never tell someone to look at surgery the as the first kick at the can, I've tried before. Losing is not my problem but keeping it off was and this looks to be something more long term.

It is the oddest feeling not to crave food or to want to eat something.

I've heard people who need to put a schedule up to tell them they need to eat something and I'm looking forward to being on that side of the fence.

Mom says that she wishes she would have done this 40 years ago and that was the same way with me. Once the decision was made to have the surgery it was being patient enough for our three schedules to match up so we could go together, sort of a strength in numbers sort of thing.

What a year 2012 has been for me! It is like really getting a second chance at life all over again.

I know that I am not alone with the problem that I face with food addiction, you just need to go into a shopping mall to see this.

People just need to not feel so alone or to dispare about their lives and need to take control instead. And it means you need help to do so then full speed ahead and damn what others might think. You're not being weak about this but just deciding enough is enough.

I might need to get a narrower drivers seat now!


Garry you really are amazing (in a good way), good luck with all your future endeavors, you certainly have the right mental outlook.

Right now I'm in the opposite position. Since being diagnosed with diabetes in September I've dropped from 172 to 146 pounds, problem is I was supposed to stop at 152. I need to get the weight issue stabilized and back up to where it should be. It is a concern however that it keeps dropping.

On the funny side none of my good clothes fit worth a damn, we had a visit to a funeral home today and underneath my perfectly fitting winter coat was the oddest collection of ill fitting clothes. Hot room and I still kept the coat on. :)

keep fighting the good battle.
Good afternoon FP,

I was on Metformin years ago for my blood sugar which was maybe 12 if I remember. Lost the weight and it dropped to 4 to 5, still in that range now thankfully.

I think what I was aiming to get across is that there are so many of us with problems of one type of another and stupidly we decide to suffer in silence for fear of what people might think of us.

Well F that noise! I am hear to say that I had a problem and I'm dealing with it and my life is going to be better as a result and anyone who can't understand that better get out of the way of my soon to be fine runners bum!

Why oh why do we choose to suffer rather than seeking help? Surgery would not have been my preference for pathways but if it was going to work then take me to the OR please.................

Just remember what Nemesis told Hercules "Pride cometh before a fall"............pride and I have parted ways now and I am in the drivers seat.

I know that people who know this about me might look at me and see failure but I look at me and think instead I took back control of my life. The issue for most is that while they accept drugs etc. as being a legit addiction, they can't see food being one but it is every bit an addiction too. The problem is that the average drunk has much more social cred in society and even sympathy whereas if you are overweight or obese it is a case of society thinking that you just can't control your eating, they just don't understand it is the very same physiologically. An addiciton is an addiciton.

My new addiction by way, buying books on military tanks on eBay. Yes, amongst all my other flaws, I am a 48 year old male who sometimes sits in my hobby room and I build 1/35 scale plastic model tanks! And yes when people here this they actually think I am some sort of war monger - sheesh!

Yep. Being cold all the time. I'm experiencing that right now. Had to dig out fresh, unwarn fleece to not be cold. My hands still are but wearing gloves inside when it is 20 is where I'm drawing the line! But am I looking forward to not sweating come summer time! Oh ya!

One of the treats we get is a new wardrobe! Right now I have a lot of clothes from my last appropriate weight period, even my gf says that I have a lot of clothes so I am looking forward to fitting into them all again, like getting reacquanted with old friends I suppose.

This time I'm probably going to haunt Value Village like I have for most of my running stuff. I've found things there that still have the original tag on it!

Good luck with bumping your weight though, hope to be there myself one day.


This is one of the most brutally honest "personal" threads I have ever read. It takes a strong person to realize their addiction/s, let alone act on it. Good for you to take a stand on this, facing it head on, and changing it. I hope for nothing but the best for you and your family and your new lifestyle.
This is one of the most brutally honest "personal" threads I have ever read. It takes a strong person to realize their addiction/s, let alone act on it. Good for you to take a stand on this, facing it head on, and changing it. I hope for nothing but the best for you and your family and your new lifestyle.

Amen. My feelings too. I'm just glad VelocityYellowRules! didn't post this on the other Corvette Forum. That would have been an absolute train wreck. ;)
Good evening LSXtasy, 67HEAVEN,

It still seems to be so much of a dream. When I look at my left arm and see it returning to it's normal diameter, when I have been wearing clothes I was wearing 5 years ago, when I look in the mirror and see a more lean face and shoulders, what did I ever do to be this lucky?

I can only hope that someone else can find the strength in their life to help themselves the way I was lucky enough to do in mine. It becomes more and more real each day but still it seems hard to believe that it is doing so much good for me in so many different ways. Just goes to prove you should never give up and sometimes you have to try something that you would not have considered.

I remember just after surgery when my gf came to my room and I was lying back, apparently with my eyes closed and with a huge smile on my face. She asked me if I was imagining myself slimmer and I told her no, that I was imagining myself driving the car in front of Manny's this spring...........!

It's going to be sooooo good!

Good grief what other Corvette Forum could there ever be that would be worth while posting???????


On a lighter note, I saw your baby last night at Manny's. She looked beautiful in all her yellow glory. Sorry that I didn't snap any pics. I was actually checking up on my baby as she's getting some work done over winter. Hopefully timing will allows us to meet in person this summer. Take care and make a speedy recovery.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
Good morning LSXtasy,

It is sort of like having a whole bunch of newborns in the nursery at a hospital! You always think that yours is the most beautiful but you look at all the others as well!

I envy all of you who live close enough to Manny's to make social visits. For me it would beat out a Tim's any day.

I will let everyone know when I will be making the trip down and I really hope to meet as many people from the forum as possible. I would like to stay for more than just to get the car and be on the road so I really am hoping that it will be an early loss of snow to permit this.

Whenever I have travelled somewhere in the past, Paris, London, into the US and Mexico I wear a Garmin GPS exercising watch and one of the things I like about it is that it makes me a map of where I've been. Plus I always like to think that it is a place where I've left a little bit of body fat on the road!

The recovery from the surgery was pretty fast. That day I was up and ripping up and down the hallways. The nurses kept telling me to slow down and also eventually made me tie up the back of my hospital gown! No one complained but it must have still been a distraction!!!!!!!

One of the most memorable experiences when I lost weight 5 years ago was running on a trail in Grande Prairie and getting whistled at (and yes by women!). Now if that isn't a boost for a guy who was in his early 40's who had never openly attracted attention from girls I don't know what it would take. Or having the women in the running club talk about my thighs!!!! I'd be OK with that sort of attention and to be thought of in that way again.

God I can't wait to go running again, just a few more pounds before I'm starting.

Losing 60 pounds or more in the end might be equal to a 1/10 th or 2 in faster acceleration too.


Hahaha! That is so perfect. I know you are losing weight for health reasons but thinking about how much faster it will make your car is hilarious....and exactly the way I would think of it.

As for you recommending the surgery, it sounds like you are the perfect candidate. My worry is people who can lose the weight using surgery as an easy way out. Do I need to lose weight? Holy crap yes! I figure I have an easy 30-40 pounds to go. However, unlike you, how has my motivation been? Have I done what I can to achieve this? Not at all. If I were to be excercising and eating correctly and the weight is still not coming off, then I think surgery would be a good solution.

To aid in my weight loss, I joined a fitness class at a gym a couple weeks ago. As it's at a gym, I will tie that in as well. I just need to attack my diet, which has improved but is not where it should be yet....but Christmas is a crappy time to change a diet.:D What do you think a good goal should be Garry? 20 pounds by Spring? This would bring me down to the 225 range.


You sir, are doing it correctly and for the right reasons and you are a great example. Thank you for your honesty in putting up this thread. Hearing others success is great motivation.
Good morning Riley.

Wow thanks for those words. Being honest about things in your life especially to others is a big step forward. But once you realize that there are probably a host of others who are facing the same challenges you are it becomes easier. I think if people were a bit more open about the things they do successfully in their lives it might help others to get on the same path.

The surgery is not something that one should be ashamed of or that they should be embarrassed about. People would brag about getting help with their drinking, drugs and smoking so why the stigma with food???? As I feel that food is the most difficult of addictions to face if we find success then we need to share and get the word out.

The problem is that we are a society that is obsessed with food. Restaurants, advertising, socializing, everything we do revolves around food. How about a "hot dog run" as an example? It seems to be a challenge for us to get together without it being a "lets meet at Tims etc." event. I'd rather get a group of Vette owners together, go for a drive and meet at a park somewhere to go for a walk together. Lets face it, the real purpose for getting together ought to be to talk and we can do that while walking.

One facet of this journey from five years ago when my ex walked out was within 24 hours I had disconnected the satellite TV. Didn't need to be watching it, didn't need the monthly bill either. I read, work on my models, walk instead which are much more rewarding activities.

I think this is correct Riley, never, never consider surgery as the first option. And yes, there are people who can fool the surgery and can re-stretch their stomachs. You need to learn about timing of eating and drinking ie. no liquids 45 minutes before eating. The idea being that your stomach is much smaller now and so the feeling full sensation will happen sooner.

I'd be less than honest as well if having cancer did not affect my motivation. A major U. of A study said that the chances of you having cancer or having had it and it coming back is equally weighted between three factors. Genetics, the environment and if you are overweight or obese. My weight is something that I do have direct control over so it is part of what I can to do make sure I never end up in that hell hole again.

Part of the mental preparation for the surgery is for you to consider the question "am I prepared to give up eating the volumes of food I want to for the rest of my life?" If you can't answer yes to that question then don't go for surgery because that is what you are taking on. Hard enough that there are some things I'll never be able to have again like soda pop, but then again it is not good for me anyway so who needs it.

Exercising is a key point. Even when I was gaining weight back I never stopped walking. 10 km a day for life is my goal. You can be overweight and fit or proportional weight and out of shape so I'd rather be as fit as I can. I see so many people who are awash in self-pity but won't get off their ample backsides to start to help themselves.

Or the "I'll start after my b'day" etc. stuff. Forget that and start today. Why would you ever wait to become a better person in your life?

I'm not sure how tall you are Riley or what your frame size is like. I actually carried my weight rather well as I'm 5'10" and broad at the shoulder. Most people would not have guessed that I was medically morbidly obese at 261 lb. I'm 232 now and OMG does it ever show in my face, shoulders, arm and even stomach.

As for better performance, well there were guys taking out their passenger seats at the autocross I went to. Losing driver weight to improve car performance is a lot more beneficial!

To answer your question, my understanding is that you should never target losing more than 2 lb a week.

The question you need to ask yourself is why you are overweight, if it is from over eating, why? Then you can go forward.

Good luck and take care at Christmas! We're having a Christmas chicken for the 1st time. I'm learning to love canned tuna (I actually already do) as you end up on a huge calorie/protein ration thing..........


Question: How long does it talk you to walk 10 km?

As for frame: Same as you, I carry it well and would not be called obese by normal standards, but by the BMI at 35, I'm right in the middle of the obese category. As I am 5'10" as well, I can do two things to be classified as only 'overweight'. I can either get under 202 pounds or grow to 6'7" tall. I'm hoping to be 6'7" as I think that would be awesome!

I did a body fat % analysis a while ago, it turns out according to the BMI that I will always be 'overweight' for the rest of my life unless I lose a lot of muscle. However, as 202 pounds put me at only 12% body fat... doable...but tough.

Anyway, got distracted by work.... Oh, with that, I thought when you're talking about added performance with weight loss, I thought you were talking about added "performance".:rofl:
Good afternoon Riley,

Wow. How strange. My BMI pre-surgery was also 35. I recall at my leanest, back in about 1999 I was 189 lb one day, achieved by eating a granola bar a day and yet in order to get a BMI of 24 I think it was I needed to be 175 lb maybe. I considered this to be pretty impossible to achieve. BMI is fine as some crude measurement or guideline but it doesn't take into account frame size and I know I'll never be as light as a friend of mine who has a much leaner frame. BMI needs to factor this in in order to give it greater meaning.

Well, if we're going to add that to the subject material, I was asked to give motivational speaches to the newbie runners when I was still going to Grande Prairie and while the women were really attentive the guys were not, until I ended my talk by saying "Guys I can sum up running in three words for you - Mother Nature's Viagra". "Nuff said.

How long does it take me to walk 10 km........well that depends on how fast I want to do it. I consider it a let down if it takes me more than 10 minutes per km. 9 minutes per km is a good pace and I've come close to 8 in my heyday. Depends on the time of year and how I have to dress as well. Some mornings when I couldn't move fast to save my life and it might be 10:15 or 10:20. But my rule of thumb is that there is no such thing as a bad walk or run, it all helps.

What I like best about my walks is that I know it is one of the few periods during the day when I won't be eating since I'm away from food and couldn't snack if I wanted.

Check for a local run/walk club and join up. It will make it a habit when you go out to meet with them on a regular basis. They normally have groups for different levels so find the one suited to your pace.

Get a Garmin 305 or something like that, keep a log of the distances, times, paces which can help you to map your progess and as it gives you real time data can tell you when you're slacking and you should be trying harder.

Take Mrs. Riley with you. One of the best (in public) couples activities. There doesn't exist a person, fit or otherwise who won't benefit from something like this.

People do look at me funny when I tell them I do this and I get the "where do you find the time?" or the "I wish I had the time to do that". I don't "find" the time, I make it as it is a priority for me. I don't watch TV so bingo there is the time. Actually I do it from 6:30 to 8:00 in the morning, it sort of starts my day off with an accomplishment.

Hope this helps!


That does help. Going with Mrs. Riley would work in the summer but she doesn't like being in the cold longer than it takes her to get to her car so that won't work. I used to get out when I had my boy Monster. I would take him for walks everyday and since he died last summer, the walks just didn't continue. (Man, I miss that dog:( ) Anyway, to get me out of the house and into an activity, I started the fitness class and am looking into recreational basketball. I used to be Very good at basketball, one of the top 20 in Saskatchewan during high school.

I think I'll look into a Garmin 305. I love biking and keep threatening to ride on the trails during winter. Like everyone, I don't have the time but I need to start making the time and make it a priority.
Good morning Riley,

While my weight stayed the same the previous four days I was down 2 lb this morning. It sure feels good and I was getting concerned as mom and my gf were losing. But there are bound to be days like that.

I had to invest in some really good winter clothes. I figure if I'm going to be outside I'd might as well be comfortable. I even bought some of those heat packs, you boil them in water to recharge them, they have ametal disc in them you crimp and they release heat for about 30 minutes. Got them at a Dollar store in Edmonton and only got two so when I go back if they have more I might get another 10 or so so I don't have to be reheating them all the time.

My gf is the same way, she gets cold. I do too actually. The first about 20 minutes when I am outside my fingers get very cold actually but after everything else has been warmed up my fingers will get warm too.

Playing sports is good but what I like about walking is that it doesn't require the presence of others to be do and it can be done anywhere. Even just going around the block a few times is a good start.

I hear your pain on the lost pet. Animals give their love unconditionally and I've yet to be betrayed by a pet. I had one great love, my Lucy-puppy and I still miss her everyday.

Yes, the Garmin works well for all sports where you'd like to know distance/speed/pace etc. except for swimming. But there is a Garmin 910 that is waterproof for the swimmers.
Garmin also makes a foodpod for recording steps and also there is one for bike pedals to tell you how fast to pedal I think! You should be able to get a 305 at Costco for like $150 now.

I also like to walk because it gives me a chance to think about things and to set my day out. Plus more often than not no one has yet screwed my day up with some of their nonsense!

My only advice, don't do it in a month, a week or tomorrow, do it today.

I found that challenging myelf to walk or run everyday was a good idea. once you get a streak built up it sort of becomes self-sustaining as if you miss a day you have to start over. Dec 31 will be five years for me so even on the worst days this tends to push me along. Very hard to do when travelling by the way. The Garmin helps here as you get to clock unfamiliar distances as when I am home I tend to do the same stretch of road. Sometimes I just go up and down the road in front of my house and again the Garmin tracks the odd path.

I remember the first year I lived in Spirit River, I lived two blocks from work and I would drive, sometimes letting the truck warm up for 10 minutes when it was cold. Thankfully I saw through the stupidity of that soon enough!

And still check out local run/walk clubs, there may be one closer to you than you realize that you can get involved with, solitary is fine but with others you can get pulled along by their energy.

Get going Riley!


Had my fitness class last night. I am sore today. I find that either you sleep like a rock after exercising or not at all because every time you move, the pain in your muscles wakes you up! But, exercise long enough and the soreness goes away.

Down to 228? That is great! I haven't been under 230 for over 12 years now. By summer I hope to hit a BMI of 32 from the 36 I am at right now (I thought I was a 35!?) Anyway, I would be super happy with a 32. That would be an estimated bf% of 17-18%....On my way yesterday, not even waiting until today.:D
Good morning Riley,

Sir I take my hat off to you! You are on the road to a better life, weight loss or not. Focus on feeling better and the weight loss will come. A word of warning, don't push it too hard to have your expectations out of line. Nothing will crush your spirit or will faster than that. My recollection is that it took me 4 plus weeks of exercise/diet before I ever lost weight so if you don't see scale numbers changing right away don't let that be a factor.

For me getting below 230 takes me back about 3 years. It feels so good.

I had the oddest experience when I was in Grande Prairie shopping yesterday. In three separate stores, three difference women smiled at me. Not something this kid is used to but boy did it make me feel good and confident! I even told my gf when I got back. I wasn't sure if I should as I expect comments/truths like that to come back and bite me in the bum but I did anyway. Her comment was only to ask me how it made me feel.

Riley, it made me feel good and I have been needing that for a while.

Off to the treadmill!



Ran 900 m of the distance I walked yesterday and 1.1 km this morning. An easy pace, 6:30 ish. I want to be careful to approach this slowly.

Actually went and bought clothes which is not something that I ever do often. Had to even take some sweats back and get a size smaller, now how is that for a boost!

One challenge though is getting in enough liquid. You need, apparently, 64 oz a day and drinking that much is a real challenge. Of course you can't gulp it either so it is a constant series of sips.

Oddly, I met a girl I went to high school with today that I had not seen since maybe 1986. Also a cancer survivor for 4 years now but it sure aged her. We hope to get together for a visit, she was a nice girl, one of the few people I probably had been hoping to run into when I moved back three years ago.

Small world.


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