OH2018 Saturday Sessions & Speakers

OH2018 Saturday Sessions & Speakers!

June 28, 2018

Announcing the OH2018 Saturday Sessions & Speakers

We'd love to see you at the 2018 ObesityHelp National Conference in Anaheim, California, on October 5th and 6th. You’ll absolutely love the OH2018 Saturday Sessions; they are jam-packed full of education, support, and celebration! This is a very special year for ObesityHelp since 2018 marks our 20th year in the bariatric community! We'll be celebrating this special milestone with lots of amazing giveaways right at the conference.

We're thrilled to announce the Saturday breakout sessions! Make sure to also check out the Friday speakers, Plastic Surgery Q&A Panel, and the full OH2018 agenda.

OH2018 Breakout Sessions

Dr. Melissa Bailey

Melissa Bailey, PsyD

Dr. Bailey is a licensed clinical psychologist with 25 years of experience, with 15+ years in bariatrics. Her bariatric experience ranges from conducting support groups, pre-surgical psychological evaluations, and providing support after surgery. She has helped manage multidisciplinary teams at hospitals and surgery centers and holds obesity sensitivity classes.

Dr. Bailey will share her experience so you can manage your relationships before and after surgery. You'll learn how to stay on your journey, and navigate the relationships you have with others without sabotage.

Learn More:
Sabotaging Your Journey: Managing Your Relationships Before & After Surgery
Friday Speaker - Kyle Brown


Kyle was a shy, angry kid that struggled to fit in. He used fitness to manage stress, transform his body, and to be empowered with the confidence to pursue his dreams. For Kyle, “Fitness was the anti-depressant that saved his life.” His holistic approach to health and fitness ensures that your body is given everything it requires for health and vitality from the inside out.

Join Kyle's session to find out strategies you can use to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes forming habits for movement and exercise, appropriate water and nutrition intake, monitoring and addressing overall health, getting quality sleep, and learning to manage daily life stressors.

Learn More:
Redefining WLS Success: Your Journey to Overall Health & Wellness
Gina Giarratano-Gilland

Gina Giarratano-Gilland

As a bariatric post-op, Gina lost 150 pounds and gained a love of fitness. Gina has completed 5ks, 10ks, and half-marathons including the final Nike Women’s Half and the Long Beach Marathon. Her love of Pound Fitness and Pilates empowered her to become a certified instructor of both.

The popular Pound workout has made its way to OH2018 with Gina's session. Gina has customized this session for anyone that has mobility concerns. A Pound workout is an energizing, fun way to be fit while you're using drumsticks beating to the tunes of motivating music. Bring out your inner rock star and Pound with Gina.

Learn More:
Rise ’n Shine: Rock-Out With Pound
Dr. Colleen Long, Psy.D

Colleen Long, PsyD

Dr. Long is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Boston, Massachusetts. She has performed over 3000 pre-operative psychological evaluations and provides post-operative support for those struggling with the psychological aspects of weight loss surgery. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today, as well as many nationally recognized television programs.

You won’t want to miss Dr. Colleen Long’s session; she’ll be sharing practical, real-life psychological coping strategies to help break the cycle with mindless and emotional eating.

Learn More:
Emotional & Mindless Eating, Breaking the Cycle After Bariatric Surgery
Dr. David Podkameni

David Podkameni, MD, FACS

Dr. Podkameni is a bariatric surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgery. He is the Medical Director at Banner Gateway Bariatric Center located in Gilbert, Arizona and Banner Estrella in Phoenix, AZ.

During this presentation, Dr. Podkameni will discuss the surgical and metabolic effect that is derived from the initial gut hormonal changes triggered by bariatric surgery. He will explore the most up-to-date theories and common misconceptions in bariatric surgery including facts on the stretching of the pouch, pouch size, and restrictive effects.

Learn More:
Bariatric Surgery Stomachs: Facts on Stretching & Size
Sheryl Spaulding

Sheryl Spaulding

Sheryl struggled with her weight since puberty and started her first diet at 13 years old. That was the start of an unhealthy relationship with food and yo-yo dieting. In her 20's she weighed 382 pounds and decided to have bariatric surgery, she lost 200 pounds!

Join Sheryl to hear about plastic surgery, starting a family, the dreaded regain and finally finding an ending that can last a lifetime. Sometimes we have to fail to truly succeed!

Learn More:
WLS-It’s Not A Quick Fix!: New Realities and New Discoveries After Weight Loss Surgery
Angela Taylor, LCSW

Angela Taylor, LCSW

Angela is a licensed psychotherapist, certified EMDR practitioner and certified yoga instructor. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology. Angela works with men, women, and adolescents who struggle with eating disorders, body image, trauma and blocked creativity. She is experienced in providing pre and post-bariatric surgery support and assessment.

If goals are too restrictive and cause perfectionism, they are difficult to achieve. Join Angela’s session to learn how to balance goal setting and restriction. Angela will connect you with the “why” factors to your goals, combat perfectionism, and how you can progress to reach your goals.

Learn More:
Sneaky Villains: Restriction and Perfectionism
Kristin Willard, RDN, CSG, CLT

Kristin Willard, RDN, CSG, CLT

Kristin is a Registered Dietitian that is passionate about helping bariatric patients develop a healthy relationship with food and improve their confidence in the kitchen. She has been a Registered Dietitian for eight years and has worked in various clinical settings such as the hospital, skilled nursing facilities, and doctors offices.

Meal planning is a helpful strategy to reach your goals after surgery and prevent old habits from creeping back in. In Kristin's session, you will learn the essentials of meal planning, tools that will make it easier, and how to develop a healthy eating plan for you and your family.

Learn More:
Tips & Tricks for Meal Planning After Bariatric Surgery

Grad Panel: Post-Op Life, Lifestyle Changes, & Pitfalls to Avoid

Do you have a question about post-op life, lifestyle changes, or pitfalls that you should avoid on your bariatric journey? Then you're going to want to attend the Q&A Grad Panel! Come ask your questions to Cathy (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy 2012), David (RNY Gastric Bypass 2008), and Frances (RNY Gastric Bypass 2013). This panel of three has lost a combined total of 1,017 pounds! Just raise your hand and let our staff bring the microphone to you, so you can learn what your WLS peers are doing to stay on track long-term!

Cathy Jones

Cathy Jones

Cathy grew up in Pasadena, CA and as a child was always "pudgy." She was put on diets by her parents starting at five years old, and doctors put her on amphetamines for appetite control.

As she grew to adulthood, married and had a baby, her battle with weight continued. At 278 pounds, with bone-on-bone knees, she was pretty much handicapped and had high cholesterol, borderline diabetes, high breast cancer risk due to family history, and high blood pressure.

Cathy underwent VSG in 2012 and finally dared to hope again. One step at a time, Cathy is now living the life of health and vitality that she never thought she could have, and doing it in a size four!

David Kern

David started battling weight during middle school, by the time he was 37, he weighed 600 pounds. As a chef, it was challenging for him to be productive. He struggled with depression and rarely left his home. David came to a place in his life where he knew he was going to die if he didn't lose weight.

David consulted a bariatric surgeon to see if weight loss surgery was right for him. The surgeon told him that he had to be serious about his weight loss goals and he had to lose at least 40 pounds before he could undergo surgery. David ended up losing 100 pounds and was able to have RNY surgery in 2008, he has now lost over 360 pounds and is back to being a chef!

Not only did David lose weight, he also gained a new passion for body-building, specifically powerlifting. He now works out four to five days per week!
Frances WInslow

Frances Winslow Williams

Frances was on a path to death, before making a life-changing decision. At nearly 800 lbs., the decision to have bariatric surgery was her only hope.

Wanting to be there for her nephew, who is her "Prince Sunshine," along with being there for her only son, Frances has lost over 500 lbs. and continues to be a work in progress after having the RNY with a silastic ring in 2013.

Her motto is, "In It To Win It," which she had tattoed on her arm along with the date that her new life began!

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