074 Unedited Cut

What you are about to hear is the unedited version of my most popular episode to date: Episode 34, titled “Set Point, Biology, Environment & Obesity: An Interview with Dr Randy Seeley.” I first published the edited version of this conversation on August 17th 2014. Over the past two years that episode has had the most download of all my episodes. Beyond the download numbers, I know you find this content important because you email me and tell me how much the information in this episode has helped you. If you have never heard this episode before, you are in for an informational treat!

Dr Seeley’s research is helping to shine light on weight regulation, energy-balance, and set-point. Beyond that, his research is helping us understand the complex interplay between our internal human biology and our external environment that can result in obesity. Additionally, his research also looks at the critical differences between losing weight through nutrition and exercise alone and losing weight through nutrition, exercise, and bariatric surgery.

In this episode:
00:00 – 05:24 Introduction by me including THANK YOUs! to my new patrons and attending the 2016 Your Weight Matters convention in Washington DC
05:25 – 11:19 Initial chit-chat before Dr Seeley and I begin the official interview
11:20 – 1:07:56 Official Interview Covering the following:

  • What Dr Seeley tells people he does for a living
  • How he became interested in bariatric surgery
  • How is the answer changing to the question: Why do human struggle with obesity?
  • Set-Point Theory and Defended Weight
  • The role of the hormone Leptin: what is it, what it does
  • What happens when we go on a diet
  • Is Set-Point really set
  • Biology and Weight
  • Environment and Weight
  • Food as a hormone: WHAT we eat matters as much as how much we eat
  • Exercise: The difference between healthy muscle and sick muscle
  • What is the greatest myth about obesity
  • How does biology push back against weight loss and towards weight re-gain
  • When we regain weight, we regain fat, not muscle
  • Our brain cares about FAT, not weight
  • The important role of gut hormones and how those hormones talk to the brain
  • Why simply taking Leptin as a pill does not work
  • The “Bath Tub” analogy
  • What the research shows how bariatric surgery helps a person lose weight (It’s not exactly what we thought)
  • Bariatric surgery can be thought of as an Anti-diet
  • Does the type of bariatric surgery matter
  • Is there a test a person can take to help determine if one surgery will be more effective for them instead of another?
  • After bariatric surgery, why cravings and hunger go away, for a while after surgery
  • Why does hunger and craving come back for some people at some point after surgery and why that is actually a normal physical response that does not have to mean the person will regain all their weight
  • Reeger’s “Rule of Thirds”
  • Some weight regain after bariatric surgery is natural and to be expected
  • Where is the research going in the future

1:07:57 – 1:12:45 Bonus Content Post Official Interview
1:12:46 – 1:14:24 My Concluding thoughts
1:14:30 Bonus After the Conclusion

Mentions in this Episode
Obesity Action Coalition Your Weight Matters Convention

Connect with Dr Seeley on Twitter

Connect with me at
WLSP Facebook

I Believe in YOU




How to Choose

In this episode I welcome back John Bukenas. We explore how to choose a bariatric surgery program. If you are new to the podcast, John and I have talked about his obesity and the possibility of bariatric surgery in episodes 26 and 45.

Topics discussed in the episode

  • John’s struggles and declining health
  • First Step: Contact your insurance
  • Medicare qualification
  • National Institutes of Health bariatric surgery candidate recommendations
  • Accreditation. MBSAQIP. ASMBS.
  • Medicare does not require you to have surgery at an accredited center
  • Pros and Cons of large practices that offer bariatric surgery as part of their service
  • Online versus In-person seminars
  • Considering how stable is the bariatric surgery practice
  • What are the programs pre-op process and education
  • The importance of involving your primary care provider
  • Facing fears. John confronts the truth that he is now more afraid of dying of his obesity than having bariatric surgery
  • I suggest John connect with Jeff Newell
  • What educational methods does the program use to teach their patients
  • What kind and how many support groups does the program offer
  • Does the program have robust short and long term follow-up care
  • Obesity is not curable. It is treatable. It can go into remission, but it is not curable.
  • We explore the nature of shame around obesity
  • Number one regret around bariatric surgery is that the person waited too long before having it
  • John considers going back to his “Let’s Reverse Obesity” Podcast.
  • John’s goals for why he would go back to Let’s Reverse Obesity
  • Evaluating the location of the physical space of a practice
  • WLSP Facebook friends offer thoughts on choosing a bariatric surgery program
  • Emotional and psychological support before and after bariatric surgery
  • What about medical tourism
  • Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Matters National Convention is in Washington, DC this year
  • Psychological, nutrition, fitness evaluations
  • If you are required to do medical weight management

Mentions in this Episode
Becoming a patron of this podcast via Patreon THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast
Obesity Action Coalition

Your Weight Matters National Convention

Connecting with John Bukenas
Twitter @johnbukenas
Facebook Let’s Reverse Obesity
Want more of John and his quirky/funny humor? Check out his other podcast Off in the Weeds with the hilarious Jessica Kupferman

Connecting with Me
Twitter @preegerc
Facebook Weight Loss Surgery Podcast

Never forget, I believe in you,




Hey Reeger...,

Welcome to the weight loss surgery podcast where we talk about obesity and bariatric surgery one episode at a time. I’m your host, family nurse practitioner, Reeger Cortell.

This episode is brought to you by you, my listeners. I am so touched by the love you show me, whether that is iTunes rates, sharing the podcast on social media, or going that amazingly wonderful step by becoming a patron of the podcast at This episode I want to give a shout out and big thanks to: Christine, Dee, Cheryl, Donna, Peggy, Rebecca, and Lynda. is a way that appreciators (hopefully that’s you) of creators (that’s me) can demonstrate their appreciation by offering financial backing for as little as $1.00 per month. Patron money helps me cover my monthly expenses of having and keeping this free content up and available to listeners around the world. So if you like what I am up to with this podcast and you want to show your support by becoming a Patron, please go to and sign up. I will be very grateful and you will hear me give you a shout-out on the next episode! [click to continue…]


071 Jeff Newell: On Gaining a New Life

May 31, 2016

In this episode Jeff Newell returns to the podcast to catch us up on his life since having Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on 12/1/2014. Jeff has been on the podcast before on episodes 055, 049, 043, and 042. He is now 18 month out from his surgery and 300 pounds down from his pre-surgery weight of […]

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070 Reeger Cortell FNP: An Interview by Rob Portinga

May 9, 2016

Presenting Your Host, Reeger Cortell, FNP Over the last 18 months or so, I, Rob Portinga, have had the pleasure of going from being a guest, to being a contributing host on the Weight Loss Surgery Podcast (WLSP). It was started by Reeger Cortel, FNP nearly three years ago now. One of the driving themes, and […]

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069 Talking about the Fear Factors of Bariatric Surgery with Dr Raul Rosenthal

April 17, 2016

My guest today is Dr Raul Rosenthal. Dr Rosenthal works at the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston Florida, where he is a bariatric surgeon, chief of surgery, chief of staff, and the director of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Metabolic and Bariatric Institute. In addition to all those good works, he is also the current president of […]

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068 Understanding Lipedema with Sarah Bramblette and Karen Herbst, MD, PhD

March 15, 2016

In this episode I bring you my conversation with Sarah Bramblette. As you are about to hear, Sarah is many things but above all she is an inspirational mix of hardwork, intelligence, grit, compassion, and determination. She is everything you would want in a loved one, a friend, a daughter, and an obesity advocate. Sarah’s […]

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067 The Bariatric Surgeon Episode

February 20, 2016

In this episode I bring you my interviews with six different bariatric surgeons. I conducted these interviews while I was at ObesityWeek in Los Angeles, CA in November 2015. I asked each surgeon one or two of the following questions: How do you help people decide which surgery to choose? And, If you could wave […]

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066 Connie Stapleton, PhD- Healing Your Relationship with Yourself

January 25, 2016

In this episode I bring you my conversation with clinical psychologist, Connie Stapleton, PhD. Dr Stapleton has been working in the field of bariatric surgery for 11 years and as you would image, and are about to hear, she has a wealth of information and insight and information to share with you. Discussed in this […]

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065 After the After with Nikki Massie

January 2, 2016

In this episode, I bring you my conversation with Nikki Massie. Nikki is many things within the bariatric surgery community including a bariatric surgery patient who had Roux-enY Gastric Bypass in 2008, the creator of the ever popular website Bariatric Foodie where she encourages you to “play with your food,” a prolific blogger, a storyteller, a […]

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064 Scott Monte, PharmD on Medications Just Before and Just After Bariatric Surgery

December 6, 2015

  In this episode I bring you my conversation with pharmacist, Scott Monte, PharmD. I met Scott at the 2015 Obesity Week conference in Los Angeles. Since 2009 Scott has worked as a pharmacist with the bariatric surgery program known Synergy Bariatrics in Buffalo, NY. After talking with him at the conference I knew I […]

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063 Pandora Williams on Feelings and Fitness

November 15, 2015

  After a lifetime of struggling with obesity, Pandora Williams underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on October 19th, 2010. Now, five years later and through a lot of hard work and dedication, she is a fitness and wellness coach, blogger, avid runner, and motivational speaker. In this episode with interviewer Rob Portinga, Pandora tells her story […]

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062 “I Have a Disease; It’s Called Obesity” Video Contest Winner!

November 1, 2015

  This episode is a quick update telling you about a video I produced called “I Have a Disease; It’s Called Obesity.” The video won the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery “It Starts Now” video contest! In this episode I tell you a little bit about how I came to write the script, […]

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061 Sandi Henderson: You are More Than Enough

October 18, 2015

  After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, in 2004 Sandi Henderson’s weight was up to 425 lbs. She had uncontrolled high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma, and significant daily pain from bone-on-bone arthritic knees. After a significant health scare, Sandi decided it was time to make some lasting changes. As part of her decision to […]

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060 Pre-Op Education Part 2

September 28, 2015

  In this episode I go the second part of the Pre-Op education I teach to our patients who are getting ready for bariatric surgery. The focus of this second part is on the psychology of life after bariatric surgery. Discussed in this episode: The 7 right ingredients to live a Bari Great Life The […]

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A Thin Person Responds to Nicole Arbour

September 9, 2015

  I’ve attempted to avoid the whole Nicole Arbour  “Dear Fat People” thing. In general, 99% of the time I do not respond to hatefulness, whether it’s on the internet or elsewhere because I know that people who spew this kind of hatred are just energy vampires who feed off of other peoples responses, no […]

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059 MBSAQIP Accreditation

September 8, 2015

In this episode I am going to take you on a walk of sorts, an MBSAQIP walk. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you will soon. For starters, MBSAQIP stands for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. What you’re about to hear are my reflections, sort of “A day in […]

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058 Texas Tell ’em! Interviews from #YWM2015

August 24, 2015

  This episode I brought my mic to the people! Specifically the wonderful people at the Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Matters Convention in San Antonio, Texas in August, 2015. While I was there I interviewed eleven different people about their bariatric surgery journey. Part of the interview included a game I invented called Texas […]

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057 Pre-Op Education Part 1

August 10, 2015

In this episode I go over the first part of the Pre-Op education I teach to our patients who are getting ready for bariatric surgery. The focus of this first part will be on the common early questions and concerns people have who have just undergone bariatric surgery. I have found that providing this education […]

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056 Randy Seeley, PhD: The Biology of Body Weight

July 17, 2015

In this episode I bring back Randy Seeley, Ph.D.. Dr Seeley is a research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. The focus of Dr Seeley’s work is examining how various hormones produced by the body work to influence the brain, food intake, and body weight. Dr Seeley and I last spoke one […]

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