Fat Boy Thin Man

"You have to be a mentor and a model. There can be no hypocrisy." ~ Dr. Pamela Peeke

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people, and ask for brief answers in return. Usually, I can describe the guests in a phrase or two, but with Pamela Peeke, today’s guest, I barely know where to begin: She’s a doctor, and I start there only because she did. But she’s also an assistant clinical professor in medicine at the University of Maryland, was a Pew Foundation scholar in nutrition and metabolism during a post-doc fellowship, and the first physician to be a senior research fellow at the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine. That oughta be enough, but she’s also WebMD’s lifestyle expert, and chief medical correspondent for Discovery Health TV, and a New York Times best-selling author whose latest book is "The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.” Dr. Peeke is also senior science advisor to Elements Behavioral Health, the nation's largest residential addiction treatment network, where she has developed their first residential program to treat food and addiction. Her work was recently seen on the "Today Show" profiling her work with the Promises Malibu Vista center. I should also mention, although It’s barely a hill among all these mountains, that Dr. Peeke has blogged about me and my book, “Fat Boy Thin Man," a couple of times, and we had dinner together with other friends after the recent food-addiction conference sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of "The Hunger Fix"After that long list of credentials, I have to ask: Don’t you ever get tired? " They say that if you love what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s me.”
Born when and where "The when will never be disclosed, but I’m a Senior Olympian triathlete, so I have to be over 50. And I was born in San Francisco, California."
Resides now Bethesda, Maryland
Family circumstance "Married, Mark is my handsome hubby. He comes from the land of law enforcement. He was SWAT, executive protection, and crimes systems analyst like the guys on CSI. We’re known as cop and doc.
What did you want to be when you grew up? "It already happened. Is that 10 words or less?"
A news event from childhood that left an impression "JFK’s assassination. I remember exactly where I was, singing in the choir at St. Brendan’s. As young as I was, I cried too, because JFK was a very important icon in our family.
"Your first paying job "That would be with my parents. They owned their own companies, and I actually got a little something for working for them. I helped keep the books. ‘Zero Equals Zero’ was my middle name."
Wisdom you retain from that job "The value of work. I was never given anything. I never felt entitled. I felt it was important to be able to show effort and be rewarded for that effort.
Someone outside your family who was a strong influence "Dr. Henrik Blum at the University of California at Berkeley. He was one of the great names in the school of public health. I met him early on, and became kind of his quasi daughter. He helped guide me as an undergraduate. When I became a graduate student with him, where I got my master’s in public health, he was an incredibly important mentor and I suppose a father figure as well."


Sharing a review, or just bragging?

I hope you've noticed that Dr. Pamela Peeke and I collaborated on an interview, posted just below this one on the blog. There'll be another one, too, when I'm done transcribing and editing the chat for a print version. The following isn't going to be in the edited version, for editor's reasons, but I neither did I want to let it slide completely from notice, also for obvious reason. We were talking about the good and bad things about being an author when she said,


The doctor replies again: Once obese, it's tough to escape

You probably know that I've been in conversation with Dr. Christopher Ochner, and this is probably the last installment in that conversation. I expect we'll continue to be in touch, but this exchange has been pleasingly unusual and I don't know that we'll approximate it. Please give Chris a hand for engaging on these points. I am.]

By Dr. Christopher Ochner


Enthusiasm from the audience

On the advice of fellow speaker Patrick O'Malley, I have begun collecting audience members' reactions on video.

I'm fairly sure that this listener, whom I met when I spoke to the Brookline, Mass., Rotary Club last week used the word "brilliant" in relation to me in the prelude to her question afterward, but I didn't get that on film. Even so, when she came up afterward to say hello (and purchase a couple of books), she offered these comments. (It's only half a minute.)


Greetings from Melbourne

I got an inquiry from a woman in Melbourne who'd read my book yesterday.

Ideally, I'd have a point here, to say something like, "...and I thought her point was worth discussing with a larger audience." That way, I could slip in the info that a reader in Melbourne frickin' Australia had written to little old me, without looking like I was just crowing that I have a reader from Melbourne frickin' Australia.


What can the RD designation be worth?

[I originally published this post a year (and three days) ago, but I'm bumping it to the top because it fits the thread of discussion kindled by Michele Simon's Eat Drink Politics report of last week.]

Based on my early experience with them, and on what I've heard from others of their experiences, I have long held opprobrium for registered dietitians. But it has recently bubbled over again.


BED in the DSM

I've been remiss in reporting a key development in the fight for public recognition of food addiction: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, whose statute allows it to say what is a mental illness and what isn't, has indeed included binge-eating disorder in its fifth edition.


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