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Friday, August 11, 2006

In Central CA for OH Conference

I've arrived safe and sound for the ObesityHelp Regional Conference in Visalia.

The conference begins today and lasts through Sunday. According to the OH Web site, 70 tickets are still available for the weekend. Visalia is only about 2.5 hours from Tracy if you take I-5 down and cut through Los Banos. However, there is some construction along Highway 152 in Los Banos. If you decide to drive that way, pack plenty of patience.

I'm staying in Tulare, at the Charter Inn & Suites. About 15 minutes from the Presidian Hotel where the conference is held, the hotel I'm at offers me a nice break from all the excitement that is often found at convention sites. And I happen to really like the staff here.

Today's session begins at 3 p.m. with registration and a vendor fair until 4 p.m.

Dr. Monica Ganz will host a Q&A session from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monica is a social psychologist who had gastric-bypass surgery in 2002. She has since lost more than 320 pounds and now works for ObesityHelp. Monica is someone whom I greatly admire. Her warmth and compassion are effusive in her discussions, yet she never sugar coats the situation either. Her honesty is appreciated and accepted because it's always tempered with the compassion that comes from someone who has been morbidly obese and changed her life.

Dinner is from 5 to 7 p.m., during which time I'll try to find some place yummy to eat and also take some time to update my blog.

After dinner, the evening sessions will begin and last until 9 p.m.

Check back later today for more updates.

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