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Khaliah Ali on Saturday shared a personal story of what she called “a problem we share as a nation.” at Hardin Memorial Hospital.
Ali, author of "Fighting Weight: How I Achieved Healthy Weight Loss with 'Banding,' a New Procedure that Eliminates Hunger – Forever," and daughter of boxer Muhammad Ali, spoke at Hardin Memorial Hospital on Saturday about her experience with gastric-banding surgery.
Ali was also a part of a roundtable discussion with Dr. John Oldham, a bariatric surgeon at HMH, Marcia Barnes, a bariatric coordinator at HMH and Vanessa Paddy, the diabetes program coordinator at HMH.
The discussions were part of a hospital event called A New Year - New You, which also included lifestyle screenings and a seminar on weight-loss surgery.
Ali told the crowd about her lifelong struggle with weight, from going on the “Today” show at age 9 because of her weight, to having her gastric-banding surgery live on the show.
The highest weight she reached was 350 pounds, she said, and her weight made her want to limit the activities in which she participated. She had the surgery eight years ago, and while she’s had some setbacks on the way, she said she’s still working hard to maintain her health and weight and doesn’t regret her decision to have surgery.
Ali said the fight against obesity is important to her because of its potentially deadly results.
“I have friends that aren’t here anymore,” she said.
Barnes and Paddy have also had weight-loss surgery, so they shared their own experiences as well. All four panelists emphasized the importance of changing the way one thinks about food and eating. Paddy mentioned staying away from the food table at Christmas parties. Ali said people have to condition themselves not to feel they have to eat everything that’s served to them.
“Don’t make your body the garbage can,” she said.
Oldham encouraged everyone to consider a high-protein, high-fiber diet, which makes one feel fuller for longer.
“You never diet, you’re just going to change the way you eat,” he said.
Paddy pointed out that the healthier items in grocery stores are typically sold on the perimeter of the building.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.