Some of you may recognize me from being on TMZ, People Magazine, USA Today and every other publication (also radio and TV) for suing Jenny Craig after I had emergency gallbladder surgery. When I joined Jenny Craig in 2011 I was unaware of any alleged gallbladder problems. I was just excited to lose 20 pounds and get into a size six again.
About ten months into the diet I was at work staring at my urine colored nails thinking something wasn’t right when I felt this viscous pain in my gut. It felt like a million steak knives were stabbing me in my stomach. I dropped the file I was working on and collapsed into my chair.
I picked up the phone and called my doctor who told me to go to the emergency room. My husband picked me up from work and on the way to the emergency room I projectile vomited all over him (I have really bad vomit aim). At Cedars Sinai emergency room it was discovered that I had over 1,000 stones in my gallbladder and that the stones were cutting off the ducts to my liver, pancreas and intestines. My gallbladder had turned into a maraca. Since I wasn’t planning on going on tour with Tito Puente with my maraca gallbladder I opted for emergency surgery.
After 5 weeks of recovery from surgery I went back to work but still felt sick (and still do to this day). One of the many perks of being gallbladder free is that when you eat fat it goes right through you. In other words, I shit myself on a regular basis. It is an immediate soiling too. I once shit myself in the shower. I couldn’t make it to the toilet directly next to the shower. It’s good times, people.
But I digress about my bowels. When I got back to work a friend at my job showed me an LA Times article about a class action lawsuit in 1994 where 360,000 former Jenny Craig clients alleged Jenny Craig’s diet caused their gallbladder disease. Jenny Craig paid $10 million and gave away $36 million in merchandise. (I want to point out that I was fine before starting the Jenny Craig because I had fibroid surgery (I was healthy except for the fibroids). I had an MRI, blood work and a full physical done just two months prior to starting Jenny Craig).
After reading the article I did some research and found many former Jenny Craig clients out there complaining of the same gallbladder problems when they were on the diet. I had to do something. I was introduced to a fancy attorney. When the case was filed everyone and their mother saw me, everywhere. People were saying I was doing it for the money. I wasn’t. I was also barred from talking about it because of litigation. So, this is going to shock you, I dropped the case. It became my mission to shine a light on the corrupt dieting industry.
It’s an industry I know a lot about because I’m a former serial dieter. I’ve over eaten, under-eaten, been anorexic, bulimic, been addicted to diet pills and over-exercised.
In High School I used to eat three pieces of turkey, some croutons and a couple of carrots then run 5 five miles. I fainted during a tennis team practice with that regimen. I have stuck my finger down my throat in more Dunkin Donuts bathrooms in the Massachusetts area where I grew up than I can count.
In college I became obsessed with calories. Go ahead, name a food and I will tell you the calorie count. There are 273 calories in a boneless chicken breast, there! I couldn’t stop dieting. I felt the skinner I was the happier I would be.
Don’t get me wrong; I was fond of overeating too. When I found my emotions just too much to take, I talked to many a pint of ice cream about it.
I finally hit rock bottom after losing my beloved gallbladder. I created this blog to encourage everyone to stop dieting. The dieting industry tells us that we will be happy, more loveable and more successful if we’re thin. Don’t buy into these lies. The dieting industry is more interested in profits than your health.
It was only when I redefined my relationship with food and looked at what was psychologically eating me that I was able to maintain a healthy weight. The key to happiness is having self worth and self worth isn’t measured on a scale.
(If you have had health issues on Jenny Craig or any other diet please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org)