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WLS Center

April 2003 Issue


WLS Center E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by
Issue #24, April 2003
Circulation: 7,661


From the Desk of Barbara Thompson
Author of "Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You"

** In this Issue **

* Research Article: Times PicayuneH
* Children & your Surgery: What About Me?
* Recipe: Rueben Casserole
* Book Excerpt: Depression
* Walk From Obesity
* Success Story: Cynthia Pedder
* Spreading the Word in Macon, Merrillville, Lafayette, and New Brunswick


Dear Subscriber,

I want to take this opportunity to thank so many of you who sent emails and cards expressing your sympathy about the death of my dog, Gambler. Your kind words and reminiscences about your own pets lifted my spirits. So often when I am writing this newsletter month after month, I feel like I am writing to over 7,500 of my closest friends. You are a wonderful group of people!

** Research Article: Time Picayune Series on Weight Loss Surgery **

Recently I was interviewed by the Times Picayune of New Orleans for a series of articles on weight loss surgery that were written by staff writer Maria Montoya. Maria had her surgery this past Fall and is sharing her experiences, and those of many others, with the people of New Orleans. The series is so good, that I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. There were several articles over a week’s time. Here are some of the links:

Life Transformed

Maria’s Story

No Quick Fix

One Last Chance: Colleen Hawley

One Last Chance: Allison Romero

One Last Chance: Sherry Siefermann

** Children and Your Surgery: What About Me? **

Being of normal weight is something that you might have longed for your whole life. As you reached out for the promise offered by the many diets you have been on, the reality of thinness was always just out of your reach. You were always plagued by the extra pounds that made you suffer from ill health, limitations on your activity or created life threatening conditions. Even if you did not experience any of these problems, you knew that this disease of obesity would eventually cause you to have a shorter life. When you were introduced to the idea of weight loss surgery, the possibilities seemed to be the answer to a desperate lifelong prayer.

You know that you are at a much higher risk of developing significant problems when you stay morbidly obese, but to your children, you are their Mom or Dad and you are in the only body that they have ever known. Even if other children tease them about your size, and even if they have missed your company in physical activities, they may still not be ready to accept the changes in you that will come as a result of your surgery.

For the rest of the article, go to:

** Recipe: Rueben Casserole **

Gosh, I just love Rueben sandwiches. But what I have to admit is that I really love just the inside. I have never been a big bread eater. This recipe gives you all of the Rueben ingredients without the bread, so it is very low in carbohydrates. I think it’s great. And by the way, if anyone has good low carbohydrate, low fat recipes, send them in!!

Rueben Casserole

1 lb Deli-style corned beef
6 ounces Swiss cheese
16 ounces of sauerkraut
4 Tablespoons of low-carbohydrate Thousand Island dressing
4 Tablespoons of sugar free Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of Splenda sweetened relish

Spray a casserole dish with a non stick spray. Tear up slices of corned beef and scrunch them in the dish. Don’t use the canned corned beef and don’t lay they slices flat so they are slab like

Drain off half of the sauerkraut juice. However if you are newly post-op, then drain it all off and rinse the sauerkraut so that it will not irritate your pouch. You will need to judge that yourself.

Layer the Swiss cheese on top and bake the casserole for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The cheese should melt just a bit.

While the casserole is baking, mix the mayonnaise, Thousand Islands dressing and the relish together.

Cut the casserole mixture into 4 squares and place a dollop of one fourth of the dressing mixture on each square.

Please share your recipes with the rest of us. Send them to me at

** Book Excerpt: Depression **

Recently I have talked with several people who were going through a very difficult time following their surgery. The depression they were experiencing, while temporary, was very painful. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind those of you approaching surgery, to expect some depression, whether it is mild or profound. Remember that it will not always be this way. This is an excerpt from my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.”


So you have gone through this surgery. You have waited months for it, perhaps fought your insurance company to have it. It is what you thought you wanted. But being thinner does not solve all of your problems. You are still the same person inside. Your family members have not changed. Being thinner does not make your life perfect. It does help many things, and makes them better, such as your health problems. But it does not solve psychological problems.

You encounter so many changes in your weight loss surgery journey. A good counselor can help you work your way through these changes.

Depression, following weight loss surgery, is very common for a variety of factors. First of all, for women, estrogen is running rampant through your body. As body fat is burned to produce energy, the estrogen that is stored in those fat cells is released into the blood stream, causing a hormonal surge. It is like having a very bad case of PMS. Another cause of depression is the anesthesia from your surgery. As the anesthesia leaves your system, sometimes taking up to two weeks, it is very common to experience some level of depression. And if you have been an emotional eater before surgery, you no longer have that outlet. You are at home recovering from surgery, probably watching a lot of television, and being bombarded with food commercials. You cannot eat any of the food that you see on television, as you are limited to liquids or pureed foods. Of course you are depressed!

Many patients experience what Drs. Selinkoff, Pilcher and Reiss of San Antonio, Texas refer to as “hibernation syndrome.” Within two to four weeks after surgery, the body realizes that it will not be getting the nourishment that it is used to receiving and reacts to that. You feel extremely tired, lethargic, and often depressed. Your body just wants to stay immobile until the old food supply returns. This period comes at a time when you are just starting to recover from the traumatic effects of the surgery. The pain is gone and energy was just starting to return. And then the hibernation syndrome hits.

The best way to deal with the hibernation syndrome is to recognize the symptoms and know that you are normal. Then start to exercise so that your body becomes accustomed to using your own body fat as a source of fuel. As soon as your body figures out that it has ample sources of fuel stored inside, and does not have to be constantly fed, the syndrome will end. It may take as long as two weeks for this to happen.

If you do not have your copy of my book "Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You," what are you waiting for?  Many surgeons all across the country will not allow their patients to have the surgery

unless they have read my book. Order your copy at

** Walk From Obesity **

On Saturday, September 20, 2003, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) will host the first annual Walk From Obesity. The walk is designed to raise awareness about the effects of obesity, the discrimination against the obese, and effective treatments of obesity. Walkers will find personal sponsors for the event, much the way walks for other diseases are organized. The funds will go to the ASBS Foundation for obesity awareness and discrimination, public education, increase education of health care professionals and for research funding for severe obesity.

I will be speaking in Reno, NV that day for the Western Surgical Group of St. Mary’s Hospital. They have several activities planned around this event. I hope that many of you are already organizing people in your support groups.

I urge all support groups to become involved in this project. It can be a positive springboard for awareness of our disease. For more information, go to

** Success Story: Cynthia Pedder **

Hi Barbara,

My name is Cynthia E. Pedder. I'm going to be 48 years old in May, and for the first time in my life, I like who I am and how I look. Prior to my surgery, I would avoid mirrors and windows, or anything that would reflect my image back to me.

I have been overweight for the majority of my life. When I was born I only weighed 3 pounds, 10 ounces. My mother had a bad fall when she was carrying me and I was born 3 months early. I was healthy and a perfect baby, but just tiny, and she was told that I would always be a tiny, scrawny kid, but that would soon be far from the truth.

For the rest of Cynthia’s story go to:

I love good news.  If you have good news, a success story to share, or an inspirational message, please send it to me at so that I can include it in future issues.


Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved