Author Archive

Obesity Help Los Angeles – Celebrating Ten Years

On January 16th, 2001 I joined Obesity Help. Aftercare was a little understood concept when I had weight loss surgery so I was very fortunate to have stumbled across this site. Obesity Help was started in 1998 by Eric Klein. Ten years and approximately 600,000 grateful members later, I am proud to be one of them and thankful for the education and support of friends I would never have met otherwise.

On October 31st we met in Los Angeles to celebrate those ten years….and celebrate we did! It all began with a Halloween party and the costumes were big fun.
Here’s a few!

It never hurts to be photographed next to the tallest and hottest blonde (Laura Preston) at the party!

And the Click girls!

And the winners of the costume party!
We had a cheerleader that got back into her uniform for the first time in years, a trophy wife, a devilish woman and a Sarah Palin look alike.
The next morning I kicked off the meeting and special thanks to Melting Mama for the picture.
There was an incredible woman at the event named Kim that told me she was inspired by me. I don’t remember her stats exactly but she previously weighed over 300 pounds. This is a picture of us below. Doesn’t she look incredible??

I was honored to speak at the event and as I looked out at those in the chairs before
me, I can’t help but worry who will be missing five years from now…or four..
or three. Each person is a precious soul trying to save their life and I can only hope that those chairs will be filled by the same precious souls next year. On that same note, I fully expect to be standing in front of those souls talking about my passion…and the miracle that was given to me.
So thanks Obesity Help for ten years of changing people’s lives…
one at a time…
including mine.
Here’s hoping you’ll be around another ten years.
Love and kisses,
Yvonne McCarthy
aka Bariatric Girl
I can never get the text to line up with the pictures so the bees are Debra Flores and Ramon Lopez, second row left is Melting Mama and Sarah followed by Rusty in the horns.
To see all the pictures posted from the event, please CLICK HERE!

The Weight Loss Surgery Channel Launches!!

November 1, 2008.
A day that will live in infamy…. well for me anyway…as it applies to my weight loss surgery life.

What happened you may ask?
Well, even if you didn’t ask, you know I’m going to tell you.

I was in Los Angeles, California attending the ten year anniversary event for and I received the news the Weight Loss Surgery Channel had officially launched. The secret is out!

A few months ago I was contacted by Craig Thompson and his wife Leslie regarding a new site they created for us…the weight loss surgery masses. How awesome that I would be priviledged enough to talk to WLS post-ops on camera about their weight loss surgery journeys. Craig is a seasoned post-op veteran himself and he is certainly the only person I know who is eleven years out. (He had weight loss surgery 11 years ago)

After understanding Craig and Leslie’s vision we went straight to work finding WLS post-ops that had stories to share. To say the experience was awesome would be the understatement of the century. Craig has provided a platform for the ultimate resource for WLS success education….learning from the journeys of others that have traveled this road before you.

I am a firm believer that if you want to learn how to succeed at anything, you should seek out those who have gone before you and ask them how. This belief has served me well and I hope you will join me and my guests talking about their stories on Weight Loss Surgery Journeys.

To see this labor of love….

Weight Loss Surgery Journeys on the Weight Loss Surgery Channel. The first show is with my dear friend Debra Flores….an incredible woman who had a tough time with a VBG but got it all straightened out with revision surgery.

A special thanks to Craig and Leslie Thompson for inviting me to be part of their vision.

Oh, and make sure to check out all the programs on the site. Much more to follow on this!

Bariatric Girl

p.s.On the next post I promise to share my experiences and pictures from the Obesity Help Los Angeles ten year anniversary event!




When I was obese….

When I was obese….

When I WAS obese….

When I was OBESE….

I was a photographer, musician and artist.

No one saw the photographer, musician or artist.

They saw obesity.
-Yvonne McCarthy

I read Possibility Girl on the internet. I thought it was thought provoking so I wanted to share it.

Possibility Girl
Everyone thinks Possibility Girl is possibly a genius. Any day now, they continually agree, Possibility Girl will make it big. Become a star. ‘You won’t forget us when you’re famous, will you?’ they always say, as Possibility Girl begins yet another amazing project.
The only person, who doesn’t believe in Possibility Girl’s possible genius, is Possibility Girl herself. She thinks they’re being too kind. She isn’t gifted at all. She’s a fake genius, bluffing her way through life. She is convinced the moment she tries to actually achieve her full potential, she will fail, fall flat on her face, and the people that once admired her from afar, will admire her no more. And so Possibility Girl never actually achieves anything. She just sits on the edge of her possible glory and basks in the adulation of her potential.
-Andre Jordan


Following my Bliss…

This may be the busiest time of my life in recent years. Be careful what you ask for….right?

The truth is that it is all relative and it is only when you put it in perspective that you realize you are not really busy at all. Busy is when you are making time to get chemo….or fighting to return to some type of normal life, living in Galveston when your home has been blown away.

In the midst of this flurry of activity I had made myself a reminder to go to the Plano Balloon Festival. It had been 4 years since I had been and was anxious to take my camera.  As I was sitting in this incredibly dense crowd on a hillside, there was a “lit” couple next to me but they were having a great time. Slightly in front of me was another couple in their mid 30’s I suspect and she was obviously mad because he looked my way. My typical reaction was as usual a feeling of guilt and I felt sorry for them.

Many years ago, I was that woman so I know what she was feeling. When you are no longer confident about yourself or your significant other, any women in the immediate area is no good.

I realized that I was playing those old tapes…finding a way to feel badly for my existence. Then, just like in the movies, it happened. Suddenly I was all alone and even with thousands of people around, I was the only one there.

Finally I got it…I am not responsible for anyone’s feelings except my own. I have no control over anyone except myself. FREEDOM!

The skydiver guys started coming in right over my head. It was awesome.

I got a chance to do some things that I haven’t had a chance to do in a while and that was to people watch.

Below is the photograph of a woman in the crowd.

She was absolutely beautiful and I wanted to make something from this photograph and I realized that it is truly one of the things I love to do.

I know I need to follow my bliss but sometimes it’s really hard to figure out exactly what my bliss is.
Finally it is slowly sinking in.
I love my art.
I love taking photographs and creating something that is totally not there.

I think I would love to do this for women that have just lost a bunch of weight and are just starting to feel good about themselves for the first time….

I did take several balloon pictures and if you’d like to see those, you can see them in my gallery on my photography site here:

Plano Balloon Festival

Follow your bliss…and the rest will come!


The Biggest Loser

As I sit here and watch “The Biggest Loser”, I feel so many different emotions. Not even knowing where to start, I suppose I’ll begin with how they showed each person the age of their body inside….versus their actual age. Each contestant looked appropriately shocked. As I look back on the many years I was morbidly obese, I was appropriately shocked every day but there was absolutely NOTHING you could have told me that would have made me want to lose weight any more than I already did. Scaring me thin just wasn’t possible. I wanted to be thin so badly that I would have sold my soul….and that’s pretty scary.

I tried it….
Problem #2
When the weight is lost on the show, what will be done to keep the weight off? If only I had a actual number of total pounds lost in my life. Of course whatever it was, I still ended up at 260 the night before surgery.
OK, I know. Somehow I manage to remember that it is TV. This is where everything departs from reality…even reality TV.
On to the real stuff.
Yesterday Debra wanted pictures made of her grandchildren. If you don’t know who Debra is, go to Of course I’d do anything for Debra but I’m glad she asked because I received so much joy out of giving her something that would bring joy to her. This is her granddaugher.
Debra said that if I had seen pictures of her when she was a baby…they would have been twins.
Debra also cracks me up because she calls her grandchildren by nicknames. This beautiful little girl is called “Chubs”. Adorable!!
It gets funnier though because she has a grandson too. He’s just as much of a cutie as Chubs is.
This is Stromboli. Adorable again.
I never had kids so I can only imagine a little what it’s like for Debra to have grandchildren. Even better though…
Debra will be able to watch those kids grow up and take them to all the places she couldn’t go when she was obese.
Way to go Debra! You are definitely one of the cutest grandmas out there girlfriend.
Thanks for “inviting” me to take their pictures because it reminded me of some of the beautiful things there are in this life….and it reminded me of the magic of photography.
Will they ever see this?
but only if they do a search for Chubs and Stromboli.
blessings, Yvonne
p.s. I finally got some of the site up. You can see that at