Obesity Workshop



As a provincial representative (Saskatchewan) of the Canadian Obesity Network www.obesitynetwork.ca one of my major passions is to educate society about the hidden as well as the overt ways in which we “Fat Shame” people suffering from the disease of obesity. The Canadian, and the American Health Associations as well as the World Health Organization have all declared obesity a disease. You wouldn’t make snide, hurtful comments about people suffering from cancer, MS, or diabetes so why is it acceptable to make those same comments to those suffering from another disease, one that affects over 50% of us?

In this workshop I will take you on my journey from a lifetime of being obese, and how in 45 minutes I changed the course of my life. With diabetes in the rear view mirror as well as the excess 170 lbs I was carrying on my frame, I’m able to see both sides of the “obesity coin”…the nasty looks, comments and helpful suggestions, as well as the failures of various diet plans, to the now positive comments that anger me somewhat. “Where were you when I weighed 354 lbs?” I’ve learned about nutrition, and the role exercise plays in maintaining a healthy life (surprisingly little).

Join me for a workshop filled with gasps, emotions, laughter and hope. There is a good life to be had living with obesity. Let me show you how.

Learning Objective:

1) Key words

Where you considered “big boned” when you were a child? Dressed in “Husky” clothing from the Christmas catalogue? These words set the stage for how we view ourselves as children and become part of our self-esteem. What message are our parents giving us that they may not even be aware of?

2) Medication and weight gain

There are many common medications taken by millions of people around the world today that have the unexpected side effect of severe weight gain. Learn from my experience how one medication prescribed to me added 100+ lbs in one year.

3) Bariatric Surgery

What is it, and what are the risks? Is it for you and, why should you consider having the surgery? What can you expect pre and post-surgery, and “Yes, you can eat that hamburger once again.”

4) The Failings of the Canadian Health System and Obesity

You HAVE obesity, not you ARE obese. Obesity is a disease. If you are a cancer patient, you HAVE cancer. You ARE NOT cancer. This is one of the failings of health systems worldwide. Doctors tell you to lose weight. How? Diets? Studies after studies have shown that they don’t work. 95% of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back in short order. What isn’t our health system doing to help those who are in need?