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 #41

Feb 1, 2004

Much has changed in the 4 years since my surgery, and one thing is the amount of fast food that I eat.  I rarely visit the drive thru’s. Well I do have to admit to a weakness for Wendy’s taco salad, but the days of buying Big Mac’s and French fries and eating them while I ride around in my car are gone.  Thank goodness!  You will find out why when you read the research article section further in this newsletter.

In This Issue


* Research Article: Super Size Me
* Dealing with Winter Blahs
* On Vacation
* Book Excerpt: Diarrhea and Constipation
* Recipe: Deviled Eggs with Bulk
* Success Story: Debbie Thompson
* Spreading the Word in LA, NJ, WV and PA

Research Article:
           Super Size Me

Take one healthy man and 30 days of Big Mac’s and that is a recipe for disaster as director Morgan Spurlock discovered as he made his film, Super Size Me.

Spurlock who is a healthy 33 year old man traveled to 20 cities, eating at McDonald’s 3 meals a day for a month and chronicled the deterioration of his body. Not only did he gain 27 pounds, but he was soon vomiting, suffered from headaches, depression, and low sex drive. But the most dramatic deterioration as verified by 3 doctors who monitored him during the making of the film, was the effect on his liver which became very abnormal.  

The film was recently featured at the Sundance Film Festival.  It does not yet have a Distributor, but hopefully will be available soon.

Here anarticle about the film:

New Zealand Herald: Film records effects of eating only at McDonald’s for a month

The next time you long for a Big Mac, remember this film!

Dealing with Winter Blahs

Are you surviving winter?  There is such a tendency to burrow in to try to stay warm when the weather is awful. This can really put a cramp in your weight loss efforts.

So how is your weight loss this winter? Having problem with plateaus? Has your weight loss come to a screeching halt, or (gasp) have you put on a pound or two?

If your favorite exercise is walking and you haven’t found a replacement, you could be in trouble.   Try to avoid the temptation to stay sedentary. You need to be moving to get the most from your surgery.  And if you are in the “Window of Opportunity,” which is the easiest time to lose weight following your surgery, then you can’t afford to waste these cold months by not exercising. 

It is too cold to walk in most parts of the country so today, find an alternative. Try making a list of 5 exercises that you can do when the weather outside is frightful. Let me help you get started:

  1. Remember Richard Simmons? Buy or rent one of the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” videos and bounce along with Richard.
  2. Join Curves, your local Y or a gym
  3. Challenge yourself to try just one new winter sport (snow shoeing, ice skating, sledding, or making a snow man?).
  4. Fill in the blank and send me your suggestion
  5. Fill in the blank and send me your suggestion.

Send those ideas to be at Barbara@wlscenter.com and I will print them in the next issue.

On Vacation

Our office will be closed.from Feb. 12th to Feb 19th for a much needed vacation. You can still place orders online during that time, but expect a short delay for shipment.  We will be shipping up to Feb 11th so get your orders in early.

Books and CDs can be ordered at http://www.wlscenter.com/1shopmain.htm  

Vitamins can be ordered at http://barbarathompson.isotonix.com  or
at http://www.barbarathompson.unfranchise.com/ and clicking on the Health & Nutrition Store.

Orders will start being filled after we return on Feb. 20th.on a first come, first served basis.

This also means that I will not be able to publish a mid February e-newsletter, but I promise a great one for March 1st!.

Book Excerpt:
         Diarrhea and Constipation

Our altered digestive system often causes us problems that can make our lives miserable.  If you are suffering from either of these problems this portion of my book, “Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You” might help.

Digestive problems are very common post-operatively.  Your system is new and needs time to heal so that it functions properly again.  Also, you are not eating the way you have done in the past.  Your system is not accustomed to this and may rebel in unpleasant ways.

Diarrhea is very common in patients who have had distal bypasses.  But eating certain foods that you may no longer tolerate well may also cause diarrhea.  Common problem-causing foods include those high in fat and sugar, milk products and caffeine

There are several remedies that you can try.  First of all, avoid those foods containing high amounts of fat, sugar, milk and caffeine. None of them are good food choices and should be avoided, even if they did not cause you problems.  Do not eat and drink at the same time. Try taking Metamucil or try the BRAT diet, which is a diet that most parents are aware of, and Pediatricians often recommend. The diet consists of eating ripe bananas, rice, applesauce (unsweetened), tea (decaffeinated) and toast (whole wheat).  These are all very high in carbohydrates, so you may want to limit this diet to no more than two days.

The most effective remedy, however may be to eat yogurt or drink buttermilk.  The healthy bacteria in these cultures may help your body to rid itself of the unhealthy bacteria in your digestive system that is causing the diarrhea. You may also take Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which is the same culture that is found in yogurt.  It can be found in health food stores and most drug stores.  If the diarrhea continues, consult with your doctor.  It is important to avoid dehydration

Constipation is another common problem.  This is often the result of not drinking enough fluids, eating a diet high in animal fat, or not eating enough fiber.  Foods that are high in fiber are a problem for RNY surgery patients because fiber can block the opening (stoma) between the pouch and the intestines.  Also, the normal weight loss surgery diet tends to be very low in fiber. If you are eating your protein first, this leaves little room for fibrous food.  Constipation can also become a problem when not eating enough food because your bowels tend to go to sleep or become semi-dormant.  When in this state, they tend not to move waste products forward.   

As a rule, if more than three days have passed without a bowel movement, the contents in the bowels tend to harden causing constipation. It is not necessary to have a bowel movement every day, in fact, with some people, a bowel movement every three days is normal.  Avoid taking stimulant laxatives when constipated.  These include Correctol, Ex Lax, Dulcolax, Senokot and Fletcher’s Castoria.  It is very easy for your body to become dependent upon them and you may reach a point where you cannot have a bowel movement without taking a stimulant laxative.  Stimulant laxatives should never be taken more than twice a week.  However, a stool softener may be used anytime it is needed.  These include Colace, Dialose and Surfak.  Your body does not become dependent upon these, and they may bring you relief.  Bulk-forming laxatives are considered the safest.  These are taken with water and cause water to be absorbed in the colon making the stool softer.  These include products such as FiberCon, Metamucil, and Citrucel. 

If constipation lasts for more than three weeks, talk to your doctor.  As a last resort, there is a prescription medication called MiraLax that can be very helpful. 

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 http://www.wlscenter.com/Announce_Book.htm#book.

Recipe: Deviled Eggs with Bulk

A special thanks to Patricia Burton for the following recipe.  It is full of protein, low in carbs and easy to make.

I am 2 years post-op and I have a recipe I recently created for myself for a party.  It was a big hit with everyone. It went over great not only for me, but everyone at the party loved it.  I was with my family, so I was able to make something for myself that I could munch without guilt or fear of getting sick.  Try it, you might like it!

Deviled Eggs with Bulk

6 hard boiled eggs halved and scooped
1/2 to 3/4 cups finely shredded green cabbage 
1/2 to 3/4 cups finely shredded carrots 

Combine egg yolks, shredded cabbage and shredded carrots. Toss together with mayo, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and salt to taste.

Sprinkle tops with paprika, parsley, and a little dill.  

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

Success Story: Debbie Thompson

I want to offer special thanks to Debbie Thompson.  Here is her story: 

My name is Debbie Thompson.  I had open RNY surgery 9 months ago.  So far I have lost 136 wonderful pounds.  I never felt better and this surgery has changed my life for the better. 

Here are some of the things I can do now that I have lost the weight. I am walking 3 1/2 miles in a marathon and am signing up for 3 more. I am able to fit in booths at restaurants. I don’t have to wear a seat belt extender. When I go to an amusement park, I can fit in the rides and not have to worry that I will have to get off because I don’t fit. I have made exercise a part of my weekly life. I exercise at least 4 times a week and feel this is also a reason why I have been so successful. 

I went from wearing a size 32 to a size 22 in 9 months.  I knew that getting the weight off would change my life but never realized how much it would change.  I am now more out going.  People will now talk to me instead of maybe just smiling and looking away. 

For the rest of Debbie's story and photos, Click Here


I love good news.  If you have a success story to share, please send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future issues. Be sure you are at least one year post-op and include your before and after pictures.  

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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. Subscribe at http://www.wlscenter.com

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