But I decided, "I'm not losing this battle." I went on a detox-and-cleanse regimen, and lost 28 pounds in 28 days.

You've said repeatedly that the decision to have gastric bypass surgery shouldn't be undertaken lightly, and that there can be side effects ranging from the serious to the seriously embarrassing. For instance, your recent admission that you suffered temporary incontinence went viral and resulted in widespread mockery.

People have made their comments. Good for them. I was trying to make the point that a gastric bypass is a dangerous operation. One in 200 people who have the surgery die. If anyone thinks that surgery is the route they want to go, there are things they should take into consideration.

Did you suffer other side effects from the surgery? For instance, can you eat all the foods that you could eat before the operation?

There isn't much that I can't eat, though there are a few things like white meat chicken that I still have trouble digesting. I also can't eat a lot of ice cream, though I didn't become lactose-intolerant.

Some people are afraid that the surgery will take away one of their chief pleasures by destroying their love for food.

I think that I actually enjoy food more. I'm not overindulging; I'm indulging. I still love to cook, and I still love to prepare meals for my family.

Did you discover that the surgery changed your tastes at all? Were there things that you once craved that you can now take or leave?

My tastes did change. The desire for some foods has become less intense, the irrational compulsion to eat high-fat and high-carb foods like macaroni and cheese. Sometimes I'll still eat them, but I'm satisfied with just a few forkfuls. I can actually exercise judgment now.

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

If you go

"Today" show weatherman Al Roker will sign copies of his new book at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Rd. Free. Call 410-377-2966 or go to http://www.theivybookshop.com

About the Book: "Never Goin' Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle for Good" was released Dec. 31 by Penguin Publishing, Inc. $26.95, 288 pages.

  • Text NIGHTLIFE to 70701 to sign up for Baltimore Sun nightlife and music text alerts