High Roller Radio

Poker Player Battles Obesity & Depression with Psychedelics...

And Loses 105 Pounds!

Dr. Jaclynn Moskow Interview

Dr. Jaclynn Moskow Interview
Used Psychedlics to Battle Depression & Depression & Lost 105 Pounds!

Full audio of this Q&A  HERE

Alright High Rollers, very excited to welcome back to the show a poker player, a cash game crusher out of Florida, and someone who is a proficient practitioner of Chinese Poker, a big winner in that variant. A game that intrigues me but one that also confuses me. Since we last spoke.a lot has changed in her life and, by the photo evidence, it’s all changed for the better. The focus today is not poker, although i’m sure today’s topic is poker related in that its life related. Dr Jaclynn Moskow is here. Dr Moskow welcome back, thanks for being our High Roller today.

JM: Thank-you so much for having me.

Q: Your blog is incredible. If you haven’t seen it folks, please check it out. Her website is jaclynnmoskow.com, just click the blog tab and you will be immediately stunned by the before and after shots. The article is called 'Tackling Obesity & Depression: How I lost 105 pounds! Jaclynn, you lost 105 pounds? That’s incredible!

JM: Thank-you, thank-you, it feels so good.

2-to-1 you'll LOVE it!

Q: You write that you weren’t the poster child for happiness and that your weight loss wouldn’t resemble a linear graph. How did this journey of fighting depression and weight loss begin? I guess it started in med school? You weighed 236, that was your peak weight, at 5’6 tall. You’ve had a number of health issues, which I’m sure can be attributed to that weight, but deep down you understood it was the other way around, that the weight in fact was causing some of those health concerns?

JM: When I graduated medical school I was in the worst physical and mental shape of my life, that’s just a fact. In terms of the physical aspect, I was obese. I weighed 236 pounds and that was exacerbating some problems. I have some herniated discs in my spine and I had really bad back pain and sciatica. I was having physical therapy, was on a bunch of medications that I didn’t want to be on, and scheduled a date to have surgery. As I mentioned in the blog, I felt a little bit guilty about it because I knew that if I could lose the weight that there was a significant chance a lot of the pain, or maybe even all of the pain, would go away. That ended up being the case. I also had a problem at the time with my resting heart rate. It was too high. The cardiologist said that if I couldn’t get my heart rate down through exercise I was going to have to go on medication for my heart. I was thinking that I was so young to be having those problems, at any age they’re terrible, but to be having hem so young? I decided I needed to make some changes. I was pretty miserable too, suffering from anxiety and other things that were tormenting me. The connection between physical and mental health can never be underestimated. They’re so closely intertwined. I’ve learned over the last four years that they’re closely connected.

Q: You talk about the guilt factor. Deep down you understood the weight was causing the medical conditions? It’s a big problem for a lot of Americans?

JM: I felt like I had no excuse. I felt like I went through so much school, 11 years of higher education, studying science and studying molecular biology first and then going into neuroscience and eventually going through medical school. I became a physician, so of all people to be ignoring their health, I felt guilty. Being overweight increases your chances or heart disease and cancer, where you have an increased chance due to obesity. People don’t know that. There’s the issue with cholesterol, with the development of osteoarthritis.  There’s a connection between obesity and depression. I felt like I had all of the information I needed to know what the answer was but I was just ignoring the answer. 

Q: It comes down to choice. In 2013 you made this choice, a big committment, and I’m wondering if that’s where it starts? Making that committment?

JM: One message I want to get across to people is that it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to make a promise to yourself and to be a hypocrite. As recently as last week I fell off my own exercise routine. I went several days where I was caught up in my own stuff; doing some work, playing poker, on the computer, all of these things where I had to say, “Wait a minute. I’m not sleeping. I don’t feel so great mentally. Oh, I haven’t been exercising.” I know the answers. We’re all human, we’re all prone to making errors and being hypocritical. It’s okay. It’s okay to screw up and it’s okay for it not to be a smooth journey. I talk in my blog about how I joined this gym, was so committed to losing weight and, at that point, I was tackling the weight purely from an exercise standpoint. I really didn’t want to address my diet. I knew I needed too but I wasn’t doing it. It took a little bit more self-examining to find out what it was I needed to do that I wasnt doing. Why was it that all the diets I went on before failed? I had to sit down and examine those things and I had to be okay okay with the answer, okay with failure, and okay with the fact that during these four years where I lost the weight sometimes I gained some weight back. Sometimes I fell off track and that’s okay. It's okay to be human. You hold yourself to a standard of perfection and it’s going to be tough. You have to strive for progress, as the saying goes.

Q: Everything started with exercise but then you began to look at food differently, your portions, the contents, as a way to manage the cravings. I found that interesting. You really gave it some deep scientific thought?

JM: Yes, I talk about it in the blog. Everyone is different but for me, as someone who likes to think about things on a molecular level, scientifically, I had to resort to doing that. At one point, when I first started trying to lose weight, when I was still craving a lot of foods that are a problem for me, I would think about what I’m eating. If I wanted a few pieces of pizza, I’d think about the cheese and cholesterol. I’d think about what would happen inside my body. I would channel having gone through med school and feel blessed for the experiences I’ve had. I was in the operating room for two months of vascular surgeries. Vascular surgery is the result of having plaque build up in the heart. So I knew what that physically looked like and I would just think to myself, “Is this what you want to do to your body? Do you want your arteries to end end up full of plaque, like the patients you’ve seen?” That worked for me. It’s sort of like the smoker who has seen the black lung and they don’t want to smoke anymore. I got to see a lot of the consequences of obesity when I was in med school.