and Carnie Wilson.
Having gone well past
"chubby" sometime in the 1990s it was becoming serious
that I do something about my weight. Who wants a heart attack? Who
wants diabetes? Who wants to go in front of a camera when you're
tipping the scales at 350? I had taken the "fat man" as
far as I was willing in terms of the movies. If all I was going
to be was a sight gag I was ready to retire. Exhausted and disgusted,
I was feeling more than a little hopeless. I could lose 40 pounds
in six weeks but inevitably I would gain it back plus 10 within
months. From Weight Watchers to Pritikin to Jenny Craig to Phen
Phen to cocaine -- I had tried everything over the years.
packed on major ton-age while filming Demolition Man in 1993."
My mother, my sister
Susan and I came up with the same idea late last year. We had all
heard about Carnie Wilson's dramatic transformation and my Mom knew
a lady in Birmingham that had a similar surgery with great success.
The phone call from Mother set the wheels turning and I called Michelle
Phillips who introduced me to Carnie Wilson. Carnie was the key.
She had done all the homework and found the best Doctor and was
two years down the road with a new post operative life as a normal
sized person. Her enthusiasm and support were crucial for me to
take the plunge. Abdominal surgery is no picnic and I admit to being
mildly terrified as my surgery date approached. Carnie set me up
with Doctor Alan Wittgrove at The Alvarado Surgical Weight Loss
Center in San Diego. My date for surgery was April 9, 2002.
Phillips and Glenn.
Michelle was a moutain
of support and had me promise to keep my name on the surgery waiting
list when I tried to back out in January of 2002. Michelle had seen
Cass Elliot go through hell and eventually die at 34 because of
her obesity. Cass tried every diet imaginable and like most of us
would lose and then gain it all back plus some more. Michelle is
fearless and she was determined that I was going to stay the course.
"Ill go with you and see you into surgery when the time comes!"
I kept my name on the list.
On Monday, April 8th
Michelle met me in Toluca Lake and we drove to San Diego. We met
my Mother, Ann Barnard, at the airport and the three of us went
to dinner at The Del Coronado Hotel. They had dinner. I was under
pre-op orders to have nothing but water. It was a glorious night
and Michelle and my Mom hit it off spectacularly. The next morning
we were up and at the Alvarado Hospital by 6am. My two angels said
good-bye just before I was wheeled into surgery at 10.
and Glenn's Mother, Ann Barnard, at The Del Coranado.
I woke up to a phone
call from Carnie who told me I was going to love my nurse, Rosemary.
I did, indeed, love the remarkable Rosemary. The entire staff at
Alvarado was exceptional. I have never had better care in a hospital.
I felt like I had my engine rebuilt. And I had. I was up and walking
that first night and after three days in the hospital my Mom and
I were back at the hotel. Michelle grabbed the train back to LA
and Mother took over for our week in San Diego. Jell-O and Broth.
Broth and Jell-O. Learning how to eat again has been a challenge.
So, what exactly was done to my insides you may be wondering...
As best as I can describe
it... Doctor Wittgrove did the surgery laparoscopicly which means
through small incisions with remote tools instead of cutting me
wide open. A new, much smaller stomach was fashioned and attached
to my small intestines (bypassing the larger) and my old stomach
was left intact but has no real job now other than manufacturing
digestive fluids. For more professional details go to
and you can get the full story plus a number to call if you are
Fast forward to July
2002. I am still a work in progress but have already shed some 90
pounds and feel terrific. My diet still consists mainly of soft
proteins but I am adding soft fruit and vegetables and the miracle
is I am not hungry. That knawing, constant hunger has subsided.
I stay in contact with my clinical nurse, Leslie Jester, who keeps
me informed (and in line!). The follow-up at The Alvarado Center
is excellent and lifelong. I am now at the weight I was when I filmed
BEETLEJUICE and I feel like a new man. As time passes I will
update this Bio Tale with new pictures as I approach my goal weight
of 200 pounds. Here I am with Carnie Wilson July 15th at my home
in Toluca Lake. Current weight: 260
Stay tuned for progress
on The Incredible Shrinking Shadix!