WLS Center E-Newsletter

A FREE publication from


Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #75

August 15, 2005

Next week my daughter goes off to College.  She is my one and only so I am trying my best to be strong, not get depressed and not stress eat!! How we handle stress can make us or break us after weight loss surgery. Do you use stress or depression as an excuse to eat? Or do you even know you are doing it? One way to break that cycle is to do some exercise. It gets those endorphins going! Makes you feel better! I guess I’m going to be doing lots of exercise this month!!!

In This Issue


* Osteoporosis and Exercise
* Update on the Centers of Excellence
* You asked for it and now it’s coming!!!
* Recipe: Fruit Salad  
* End of Summer Special
* Success Story: Dick Thrun
* Spreading the Word in Cincinnati

Osteoporosis and Exercise

Hi Barbara,

I had my surgery almost 3 years ago and really enjoy your newsletter---I also often refer back to your book.  Your newsletter this month talked about osteoporosis and I wanted to ask if you have specific ideas for weight bearing exercise other than walking.  I have chronic bursitis in my hip and walking is limited for me....I work and am active in general and know that weight bearing exercise would be helpful for me and my current osteopenia (which has shown improvement).  My work schedule makes it difficult to go regularly to a gym and I often find their 'trainers' are young and don't really understand my needs (I'm 53)---I would prefer to exercise at home since my time at home is precious to me.  Can you recommend some helpful exercises or a site or book where I could find some?

Thank you for your help and support,


Hi Karen,
Weight bearing exercises are exercises that you do when standing and you use your bones to support your weight. They include walking, jogging and stair climbing. These exercises slow mineral loss in the bones of your legs, hips, and lower spine which is where we have the most problems with osteoporosis or osteopenia.

Because you have chronic bursitis, I can understand that you are limited in the weight bearing exercises. Here are exercises that the Mayo Clinic recommends for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis exercises Click Here
This is a slide show that shows 15 different exercises. You will notice the numbers 1 thru 15 toward the top of the page.  Some of these exercises you will be able to do with hand weights as you get stronger.

Karen, I know that you want to do exercises at home, however others might be interested in the exercises that you can do in the pool.  Here is an excellent slide show also from the Mayo Clinic on water aerobics.

Aquatic Exercises Click Here

Building muscles is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself.  As you increase muscle mass, your metabolism increases. So you are avoiding osteoporosis by slowing mineral loss from your bones while burning more calories. Great combination!!


Update on the Centers of Excellence

The Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) has just reported that 120 applications have been received for Center of Excellence status and that 60 site visits have been completed.  The first round of contracts have been sent out and once they are signed and returned, the SRC will start to announce the names of those Centers.

If you are new to this newsletter, you may want to read my article that appeared in WLS Lifestyles Magazine. Click Here to read the article. (.pdf file)

You may wonder why you should care about all of this.  Here are some reasons:

  • If you haven’t had surgery yet, you may want to have your surgery done in a Center of Excellence so that you will get the very best care. Once these Centers are announced, you will know where to go.
  • The SRC is starting to sign agreements with insurance companies such as Excellus Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, one of New York’s largest health insurance companies. This will help those covered by those insurance companies to receive coverage for the surgery.
  • If you have had surgery and believe in it, you want it to continue and to be available to as many patients as possible. Wouldn’t it be terrible if weight loss surgery were just to die off and go away?

You asked for it and now it’s coming!!!
Does this sound like you???

“I lost 120 lbs and I have gained 60 pounds back.  I am hungry all the time.  I am miserable.  I thought I couldn’t regain my weight?  Please help.”

“I am scared to death. I can eat more and am scared of gaining. I can’t even get down to my goal weight. Help!!!

If this does sound like you, I can help. I will be starting a personal mentoring program soon.  I will tell you more about it in the next newsletter, but if you just can’t wait or want to be sure to get in the Program, email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com and I will tell you more about it.

  Fruit Salad
This is a wonderful season for fresh fruit. Make this delicious fruit salad for lunch or dinner.

Fruit salad

6 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 pound strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1/2 pound seedless green grapes
1/2 pound seedless red grapes
3 bananas peeled and sliced
Enough artificial sweetener to equal the sweetness of ½ cup of sugar

juice of one lime
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Place all fruit in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the fruit, chill and serve.

If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com

End of Summer Special
“Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You”

Have you gotten your copy yet??

Here is what readers say:

“I've read your book over and over!  It's sooo helpful.  In fact, I just keep it out on my night stand to help me stay focused on certain things that I need to do more of during this journey.”  Kamillah Lewis

“Thank you for your book!! I can't say it enough or with enough enthusiasm, but truly, sincerely, thank you. You put a huge effort into your wonderful book and it has been so incredibly helpful. I have read it now three times (my surgery is in 3 days!!) and I will soon pass it on to two friends whom I hope will also opt for the surgery, especially after reading your informative, insightful, and inspirational text. You look beautiful, you ARE beautiful. Thank you, Barbara. I wish you love, prosperity, and health for always! I hope that you will someday realize even a fraction of what you have done to help so many.” Katie Peterson

“I read your book before my surgery and have read it twice since my surgery. Your informative book has been the encouragement and support I needed to lead me down the path to a new and healthy life.”  Claire Taylor

Success Story:
  Dick Thrun
I want to offer a very special thanks to Dick Thrun. We don’t often have success stories contributed by men. Here is his story:

I never considered myself fat.  I was larger then most by age 15 but, not fat. At age 18 I was 6" 1" and 235 pounds with a 34" waist.  

Over my next 62 years I grew very comfortable with my weight.  But, in March of 2003 I finally realized that I had a problem with the weight I was carrying around.  I weighed 416 pounds.  I was 62 years old and many things were no longer possible to do.  I could not walk over 100 feet without sitting because my knees ached.  I could not dance with my wife more then twice a night because of the pain.  No one knew how much I weighed except my Doctor.  All my life I was big but very active and athletic.   Slowly year by year I added the weight especially after age 40 as I slowed down and got larger. 

I had tried to lose weight trying all the diets and exercise but I soon would regain it.  I was a rewards eater.  To replace love, I used food.   I could and would drink a 12 pack of Coke in a day. 

I was looking at the possibility of having both knees replaced.  I was approaching the fact that diabetes would soon be with me as my blood tests were beginning to show.  I had a chronic snoring problem.  I suffered all the pains of seat belt extenders, no booths in restaurants, breaking plastic chairs, and trouble tying shoes. .

I had 3 great-grandmothers that lived to be 98, 99 and 100, so my life-long goal was to live to be 100.  At 62, I realized that dream would not be achieved unless I took action.  I had never had surgery in my life but I knew the only way to fix my fat was to make it impossible to eat so much.  I also made a pact with my self that once given this opportunity I would control my destiny and follow the rules and not fall in to the eating for pleasure trap again.I had a good friend that had the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and she convinced me it was safe and worked!

I went to all the meetings, had all the tests, and was told it would be a 6 month wait.  In Oct 2003 I was given a May 24th 2004 surgery date.  My surgeon, Dr. Edmund Schute of General Vascular Surgery Consultants in Minneapolis would perform the surgery with an incision from the breast bone to the navel.  On my surgery day I weighed 416 pounds, had a 60" waist, a 25" neck, and wore size 15 shoes. My shirt size was 5X large tall.

When I awoke from the surgery, I was so happy I cried!  The first 2 days were uncomfortable but bearable.  The 3rd day I went home.  I walked in the house and had to sleep on a recliner because all my life I have always slept on my stomach.  It took about 10 days for me to be comfortable enough to use our bed and get a good nights sleep.  But it was worth it!

I never had any complications from the surgery.  My scar healed fast and now you can hardly see it.

As I said earlier I was determined to use the tools afforded me by this operation and never over eat again.  I started out with soft foods.  By the 2nd week I found that I could keep  home-made vegetable soup down if I ate it very slowly and chewed it to apple sauce texture.  For protein I used vegetarian Soy hamburger crumbles and after a month switched to 93% fat free ground chuck.  I would get up in the morning, made a pot of coffee and about 11 am I would have a bowl of the soup.  I also had one at 3pm and 6 pm.  My only snacks in between were a glass of low salt V-8 juice.

I have kept this regimen since that time. 

At 4 months I changed my intake to include home-made chili Mac with the same portions.  Now I switch off after ever batch is gone.  I make it myself and put it into gallon sealed tight jars.  I use all fresh vegetables, vegetable soup stock and low salt tomato juice.  I make 2 gallons which lasts me 4 days.  I only drink water, v-8 juice, and in the morning coffee.  I do not eat sugar of any kind.  I have kept my promise to myself if given the chance I would do it right.  Every time I feel good about myself that re-affirms my commitment to keep on doing this right.  I am not sick of doing this or crave to eat anything.  Eating is only for keeping your body fit and energized.

I have kept a log of my weight and inches lost. One week after surgery, I weighed 389 pounds. At 1 month after, I weighed 357 pounds. At 3 months, I weighed 330 pounds. And on the 6 month anniversary, I weighed 298 pounds which was a total of 119 pounds lost.

On my one year anniversary I weighed 252 pounds and now in August, 15 months after surgery, I am the size I was the day I graduated from high school.  I weigh 235 pounds. In 15 months, I have lost a total of 181pounds, 36 inches from my waist and 18 inches from my neck.  I have 27 pounds to go to have lost half of me, which has been my goal.

It has been a beautiful experience. I have been very lucky to have very little excess skin.  As I was losing weight, I bought clothes at thrift shops.  When I grew out of them I got more.  Just last week I went to a department store and bought $200 worth of shirts, pants, underwear, and a belt.  Large shirts, 36" pants, size 13 shoes and a 17 and a half inch dress shirt collar!

People that have known me all my life do not recognize me until I talk, and then are shocked and amazed.  My secretary of 20 years did not recognize me until I spoke to her.

I have been married to a wonderful friend for 20 years.  Mary never said much about my weight but has backed me 110%.  She loves the walks we take now and the all-night dancing. My only exercise is walking.  I can do 2 miles but usually walk less.

My triglycerides are 75 compared to 160,  my cholesterol 125 compared to 190.  My blood pressure 110/72 compared to 130/98.

Soon I will change my diet to more traditional foods and I am comfortable to know I will never be hungry and I will have a long healthy life.

I recommend this surgery to anyone that is morbidly obese and who is willing to give up their food addiction.

This week I go to my 45th class re-union.  It will be a blast!  Over the years they have called me "Big" guy!  I can't wait to see the looks and comments I get this time!

Dick Thrun
Prescott Wisconsin and Hood River, Oregon

Before After

I love good news.  If you have good news, a success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.  

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Reprinted from Barbara Thompson’s free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
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