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Beautiful Before and After Slide Show


In 2009 we had an incredible  event in Galveston.  The people in this photograph have lost 100 pounds or more.  Several have lost 200 pounds or more.

Before the event I asked participants to send in before and after pictures.  Some of them were still on their journey.  At the beginning of the conference I played this video.  It was very moving to see these incredible faces on the screen and in the audience.  We had two or three women that were freed from wheelchairs and walkers.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. 

Mary Jo Rapini

 Dr. LoMonaco and Mary Jo Rapini were there.  A great time was had by all.

Dr. LoMonaco


 Special thanks to Sean, Debra and Ramon for always being there.

Sean, Debra, Yvonne, Ramon


 If you’d like to see more pictures you can click on the link below.


Can I be reincarnated as my dog?

When I was obese I wanted to lose weight because of how I perceived I was being treated.  The pain was immense and I didn’t want to lose weight so much to be happy but to stop the painful existence I lived for thirty years.  Just like losing weight doesn’t make you magicially happy it also doesn’t change the perception that some people have of you.   There will always be someone standing in line to complain about you over something.  Always….

The girl in this picture was smiling for the camera but I was thinking I don’t want to be there, I don’t want to be in the picture.  I am on crutches because I have two ruptured discs and my weight was killing me.  I just wanted the outside to match the inside.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Then everything will be alright.

Three years ago I attended an Obesity Help event and a woman came up to me and said she needed to apologize.  Because I had just met her I couldn’t imagine why but she told me that she “assumed” things about me because of my picture.  She continued to say that she could not have been more wrong.  When I told her how much it hurts to be misunderstood she said “Well I’d rather be misunderstood as a thin person than a fat person”.   For the next thirty minutes I tried to explain that pain is pain whether you are obese or thin. 

My whole life was spent trying to win the approval of my father and people around me.  I was running a race I couldn’t finish.  It was debilitating and impossible.  Nothing can be done about people that wish harm to me.  I can’t change them so I wish them no harm and I mostly want to get out of their way. 

My heart gets me in trouble.  I want everyone to get along.  Just call me Rodney.  I want to agree to disagree and leave it at that.  So much energy….wasted energy…. on too much negativity.  If I choose to concentrate on the tragic parts of my life they will get too big and I will crumble…. so every day I push those parts down and start over.  If today I am hit by a bus I don’t want to go out knowing I spent a moment without living for the beautiful parts of life.  My family, my friends, my furry children that loved me fat or thin… I am never on guard with them watching every action and word I speak because they love me just like I am.   I have a great deal of work to do on myself because I am still plagued with the stinkin’ thinkin’ monster that tells me every day that I am unworthy and unloved. Loving Sundance 

When Sundance sits in my lap and looks up at me with those eyes…so innocent…he doesn’t have to worry about anything except eating, walking, pooping, peeing  and being loved.   He makes me feel worthy and loved.

Now…how can I be reincarnated as my own dog?


Walk around the puddle of mud

This morning I was doing my usual walk with my beautiful boy Sundance and I was trying to create a good analogy about the mud puddles in life.  Many times I have talked about pointing your journey toward the light, toward the good things in life but no matter how much we want to we cannot avoid mud puddles.  Spending so many years….trying over and over to fix the mud puddle so someone else wouldn’t accidentally step in it has been a massive waste of time.

If I fill it with dirt I will only have to dig another hole that will eventually fill with rain.  Even if I scooped out the water it will rain again.  It wouldn’t really matter because after I was long gone someone else would just dig another hole or even several.  I certainly wouldn’t walk all the way back to fix those but there were times in my life that I might have.   In 2007 I posted the “Hole in the sidewalk” and even though there are similarities it is definitely different. 

Walk around those puddles of mud.  If on your journey you are able to put up a sign to warn someone who is walking behind you that’s alright but keep your eyes on the prize so you will see the mud puddles ……walk around them. 

You can’t fix the puddles of mud.

Continue your journey and walk to what you want most in life.  Slowing down for things you cannot fix only makes for a much…much…longer journey.


Connie’s miracle and remembering Alice

Sometimes I get lost in this thing called living and I forget how quickly it can be taken from us.  As we are preparing for the WLSFA event in Las Vegas I am reminded about the purpose of this organization.  My previous post explained the reason I am passionate about the WLSFA and how a couple of miracles have already come from the tragic suicide of my friend Alice Neff.  On May 13th-15th we will be attending the WLSFA Mother of All Meet and Greets in Las Vegas, Nevada.  You can view the agenda here.  On Saturday morning The Alice Neff Grant will be presented to Connie Bailey who will be receiving the miracle of weight loss surgery through the WLSFA. 

If Alice only had known that she would not be forgotten…that others would be helped just like her.  In the video “Surviving to Thriving” Connie talked about getting her hopes up and thinking that once again she would be approved when yet again she would be denied.  Those words brought tears to my eyes because Alice said the same thing so many times. 

Excerpt from Alice’s correspondence:

hello hope your weekend event went well.  Well I had written my state rep. and they called acting like they would do their utmost to help. And I tried not to get my hopes up, but of course I did to a certain extent. Only to have those hopes dashed once again. When they called me back again and told me there was nothing they could do. It just felt like one more blow. And I was stupid and started crying. Then my disabled daughter came in the room by me(she scoots around the house on her butt to get around) and I quick dried my face. As I try to never let her see me crying. As I do not ever wish to upset her. I am trying to not lose my faith in God, in asking for his help to be allowed to have this WLS. But it at times gets difficult. At times i just wonder.

Alice wrote dozens of people and organizations begging for help.  She had severe lymph edema that drained so much fluid that it stayed infected.  Her list of comorbidities was immense. 

Please consider attending the WLSFA Mother of All Meet and Greets in Vegas.  There will be wonderful speakers of all ranges and lots of fun will be had as well. In the near future there will be announcements made regarding something BIG and incredible.   At the very least…please join (it’s free)…. and lend your voice to this organization that will make a difference in the future of so many deserving people…. that were just like Alice.

Special thanks to Bariatric TV for the documentary “Surviving to Thriving” and to Antonia Namnath (WLSFA)


What did I ask for?’s exactly what I got.

Butterfly blonde

Butterfly Blonde by Yvonne

What did I ask for?  Let’s think about this….

I wanted to lose the weight and be just like “normal” people right?  What did I beg for, pray for every day for over thirty years?  I would have made a deal with the devil if I could have found him to ask.  It’s embarrassing when I admit to myself the lengths I would have gone to if I could have mustered a little more courage.  My fondest wish was to lose the weight that put me in the most severe prison I could ever imagine.  My obesity was like living dead.

Today I was answering a message and wanted to share my response.  I was explaining that fighting a twenty pound regain made this wonderful lady normal and this is what I said.

“I know without a doubt that my pouch is stretched.  I can eat a lot of food but that’s OK because my greatest wish was just to get back to normal…. to get a second chance and be like everyone else.  I’m just like everyone else now fighting to stay at a normal weight…where it’s easy to gain the 10-20 pounds if I’m not careful.  I got exactly what I asked for didn’t I??”

Unfortunately it is easy to forget that I would have given up a toe or a finger to have only twenty or thirty pounds to lose.  That was an impossible dream but now a regain of that much scares me to death.  Perception changes everything.  I also told her to be careful about the holidays and to recommit right now.  Yep the food is awesome during the holidays but how long do we enjoy it?  Our high only lasts for few minutes.  We even chose a sucky high.  Legal…but sucky.   Next thing we know we are facing the beginning of the year with another ten pounds that kills our heart and soul.  We don’t even remember at that point what we ate and how it tasted. 

Is it easy? Nah…it’s never easy but the things worth doing are worth working for.

So be careful for what you wish for…you just might get it.

Then when you get it…remember that it’s what you asked for.

And most of all…be grateful for today because like my friend Ramon says, be happy for any day you’re above the dirt.

Hugs, Y

p.s. that’s a little art piece I did, hope you like it.