Paying It Forward.

Paying it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. 

It has only been a wee while since I started this blog of mine, in comparison to some others that is; and is as you know only 12 days since I underwent my procedure yet already I am looking at ways of “paying it forward” and helping others. As I launched last week and stated yesterday, I shall be walking the Ridgeway (an area of natural beauty I am lucky enough to live next to) next year when I am fully fit and fully healed. I shall be doing this for a yet to be determined charity but it will be related to the Oxford Bariatric Service and under the umbrella of Oxford University Hospitals Churchill site.

The reason my becoming actively involved in a fund-raising idea is simple, there are once again apparently going to be some massive changes to the surgery funding requirements which will without doubt make it more difficult for people to qualify. This is instead of understanding the massive long-term cost saving implications that the surgery provides both the sufferer and the local health authority alike. Now I could as I said simply stand by and watch what happens and think as many others have “I’m alright Jack” but that is not the way I work. I need to do something and although it may not be considered difficult by some and in all fairness may well be for me, I am still going to do it and with me I shall take the dog for company, a tent for shelter, a small gas stove for boiling my tea water and I shall no doubt meet people along the way for refreshment delivery and rubbish removal!  Now I would also hasten to add that there will be an immense amount of enjoyment to be had from this walk. I live in an absolutely beautiful part of the world and consider myself very lucky so to be able to live amongst it and enjoy it at such close quarters will be a dream come true. I just hope that I can raise some money whilst I do it…!

So on a personal note, I feel it only fair that if I can do something to help the “plight” of others (I know thats a strong word but this is a big subject) I shall, but it also appears I am not alone. After the lifesaving (let’s face it, that’s what it was) surgery it appears that many people decide they must take their new lease of life and do as much good with it as they can.

There are a growing number of people who after the weight loss surgery start to devote their time to helping others in their post operative recovery by writing recipes and thinking of ways to elevate the boredom of what can become a very bland and pointless food existence. There are very many Bariatric Cookery recipes but very few I am sure who live and breath it as much as Carol Bowen Ball does. Carol also known as Bariatric Cookery is an established food writer with over 35 years experience in the food arena. A prolific author, she has written over 90 cookery books (mainly as Carol Bowen), on a variety of subjects from barbecue to range-style cooking, and a whole lot in between. She won the ‘Cookery Book of the Year Award’ for her ground-breaking book ‘Versatile Vegetables’ when bringing vegetables to the forefront of meal planning was in its infancy.

A former Household and Cookery Editor for ‘Homes & Gardens’ magazine she has always been on the look-out for new ideas, trends and chasing the latest advice on cooking and eating well. Her long association with the media, be it television, radio, magazines, newspapers, the internet or professional journals, means she is a popular and sought-after pundit on all things relating to food. It is for these same reasons that she has worked on ‘Masterchef’; with Keith Floyd in his hey day; and as an editorial food advisor to Nanette Newman and Diana Dors on food-related projects.

Quite the impressive Curriculum Vitae but now devoting a good percentage of her time to the world of Bariatric Cookery, she regularly comes up with new and tasty ideas for us patients who were once resigned to a future of bland and uninspired choices. A good deal of these recipes are listed on her website along with advice on Weight Loss Surgery, a Blog and also a small shop. Carol even sends out monthly newsletters for anyone who cares to sign up to her site and wants to learn more. My own experience of Carol has been extremely rewarding. When I started my blog I emailed her and asked some questions on content and she took the time to offer advice, answer questions and even wish me well on the day of my surgery. In my opinion, anyone interested in the world of Bariatrics would do themselves no disservice to look at the website and see how it might benefit. Sign up right away and you may even be in time for the Easter newsletter!

The second person I have found to be “paying it forward” somewhat is Karen Gillman. She has taken time to write a book about her life with weight loss. The book, entitled ‘It’s Never Too Late’ was written to share with readers her battle with obesity and how she ultimately combatted it with weight loss surgery. In early 2000, her weight crept to an all-time high of over 300 pounds. She found herself going through the motions in a lifestyle she didn’t love, living in a body that was weighing her down mentally and physically. There were several indications that had made her realize if she didn’t make some drastic changes, her future would never match that of what she had dreamed of.

In 2004 she had gastric band (Lap-Band(r)) surgery which helped her to shed 145 pounds. Through tips and tricks she has learned along the way as well as those she has personally developed, she has maintained the weight loss and gained a new life that she, through this book, is ready to share with others who are or may be looking to do the same. Enjoy Karen’s journey from birth to present day as she pulls back the curtain and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly throughout the transformation of her mind and body. She also shares her top 10 ‘Can’t Live Without’ items after weight loss surgery as well as motivational to-do’s so if you or someone you know has struggled with weight loss, or has had weight loss surgery of any kind, this book is written especially pretty much just for you.

Like I say, we don’t all just sit around all day and be happy with ourselves. This is the not often seen side of the coin that makes a difference to others because if one person can offer the slightest piece of inspiration, information or simple plain old help then I would say that is what life is all about.

Loving thy neighbour and paying it forward.

‘Till tomorrow,

WBFM Trying his best.

4 thoughts on “Paying It Forward.

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