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 #40

January 15, 2004

Jan. 25th will be my 4 year anniversary. No, not my wedding anniversary! My weight loss surgery anniversary! Gosh, I can’t believe it has been that long. I was interviewed recently on a Louisiana TV program and the interviewer asked me how much weight I have lost. I told him 125 pounds, which to me is not remarkable because I was always able to lose weight. What I could never do was to keep it off. So what is remarkable to me is that I have been able to maintain my weight loss for 4 years. And each day is one more day of amazement. I hope each of you has the same great feeling about your success that I do.

In This Issue


* Family Support
* Recipe: Apple Waldorf Salad
* Issues with Clothes
* Success Story: Lenny Mandel
* Spreading the Word in California and New York

Family Support


Someone was mean to me recently.  I did not meet their expectations and they were angry and said some hurtful things. Or perhaps they were just lashing out and I just happened to be the target. I felt so bad and I was feeling sorry for myself, when my teenage daughter noticed.  I told her what had happened and she said, “Here Mom, listen to this song, it will make you feel better.” It was “We are the Champions” by Queen. I felt so much love from her in that gesture that it didn’t matter anymore that someone hated me. 

Family love and support are so important in our lives. When everyone else may hate us, hopefully our families are there for us.  Some of us are blessed that way and some are not.

I often receive email from people who just cannot get their family members to understand how important this surgery is to them. That lack of support hurts them. And while it is tempting to say that if family members don’t understand just don’t worry about it; that is not realistic.  We long for that understanding, acceptance and support and should do what we can to gain or maintain it.

 Try these steps:

1)      Have family members accompany you to your appointments with your surgeon so that they can learn along with you and ask questions that they have, especially regarding your safety and the long term effects. Most surgeons welcome this; knowing that the more family support you have, the more successful you will be.

2)       Ask them to attend support group meetings.  It will give them the opportunity to meet other patients. They will learn that people just like you have not only survived the surgery, but are now living happy and healthy lives. The fear that the surgery will cause you harm is usually what is at the basis of most family member’s objections.

3)      Have them read my book, especially the last chapter, “For Significant Others” which was written by my husband. Or have them listen to my CD.  It is an excellent general introduction to the surgery and will give them a feeling for why we are the way we are. It is informative, as well as funny and touching.  They will listen to a CD when perhaps they won’t take the time to read a book.  My CD is available at http://www.wlscenter.com/1shopmain.htm.

Recipe: Apple Waldorf Salad

My thanks to my good friend, Joan Stewart for submitting one of her favorite recipes:

Low-Fat Apple Waldorf Salad

1 Granny smith apple, cut into chunks
1 Stalk celery, diced
1 or 2 Tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon peanuts
1 Tablespoon raisins
Cinnamon to taste

Mix all of the above. Can be eaten at room temperature or refrigerated. 

Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound
3434 County KK
Port Washington, WI 53074

Phone: 262-284-7451  Fax: 262-284-1737
Media relations speaker, trainer, consultant and publisher of "The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week" ezine. Subscribe at http://www.PublicityHound.com

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

Issues with Clothes  

My next article for “WLS Lifestyles Magazine” will be on how we feel about clothes following surgery.  I know I had many difficulties regarding shopping and buying new clothes following my own surgery.  If you have a story you would like to share around this topic, please email a brief mention of what you went through and a phone number where I can reach you.  I will try to call as many of you as I can.  Email me at Barbara@wlscenter.com

I Need Your Help!

Would you like to have the opportunity to assist me in helping a group of physicians to understand the importance and effectiveness of weight loss surgery?   This month I will be speaking to a group of family practice physicians and endocrinologists about the improvement of health following this surgery.

If you would like to be one of the cases that I cite, send me your details and your before and after pictures. I will need:

1. Your health problems prior to surgery

2. Specifically how your health has improved following surgery

3. Your before and after pictures (necessary)

4. Your first and last name, city, and State.

Many of you have been so generous in helping me with other projects, so I am counting on you again! Send everything to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com.

Success Story: Lenny Mandel

I want to offer special thanks to Lenny Mandel for sharing his success with us.     Here is his story:

Hi, my name is Lenny Mandel from Bayside, NY.  I had my weight loss surgery in May 2003. These last months have been a mixed bag of emotions.  My emotions have run the gamut from being angry at myself, to the joy of regaining my life.  Would I do this again? Yes, quicker than a New York City second. 

I have been very fortunate to develop many friends through the surgical weight loss community. The kindness that I have experienced is amazing.  It has resulted in many changes in how I think about life.  The best change is, I want to make a difference for someone else.  I have read thousands of posts and have spoken to many super obese people just like I was, and I have really gotten an education about life.

Since my surgery, I lost 141 pounds.  My highest weight was 520 pounds. My weight at surgery was 451 pounds and now I am a trim 310 pounds.

I began thinking about weight loss surgery almost fours years ago.  I was in Washington DC at the time with my daughter and had an accident. I sprained both ankles in a fall and was unable to walk. I was dependent upon people for assistance and I was not a happy camper. I gave myself a time limit to lose weight.  Of course I failed. I did not lose weight to the degree that I wanted and I made the decision to have surgery.

The rewards for having my surgery came quickly.  Less than 2 months after my surgery I attended my daughter's high school graduation.  Without the surgery, I would not have been able to walk from the parking lot to the graduation ceremony.  Prior to surgery walking 50 feet was unimaginable.  The pain was unbearable.  More importantly, I would not have shown up and embarrassed my daughter.  My children suffered enough because of my obesity.

Several other dreams of mine soon became a reality. One of the most important was being able to do things for my parents. I felt like a son again.

Shortly after my daughter’s high school graduation, I regained my mobility.  I have not stopped moving since. I do several miles on a treadmill every day as well as using other cardio vascular equipment at the gym. I exercise a minimum of three days a week.  I am not a gym rat, but I want to be successful at the weight loss game.

I still have many dreams that have yet to be fulfilled. I am careful what I eat, but I still have occasional problems. However, I know I will beat this disease. I do have hopes for a healthy future. 

Is their anything else that I can say but thank you to those who assisted me in my journey?  I hope that I am fortunate to help someone and make a difference in his or her life.

Go to http://www.wlscenter.com/SuccessStories/LennyMandel.htm and scroll to the bottom of the page to see my photos.


Lenny Mandel
Bayside, NY

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.

How Do You Maintain Your Weight Loss?

Are you 2 or more years post-op? If so, I need to know what your secret is for maintaining your weight. I will be using your story to include in a mini e-book on the secrets of success of weight loss surgery patients. You must write at least 1 full page. Anything less than 1 page will not be useable. I need to know how you eat, what you do for exercise, and any tips that you have to offer. This will be a tremendous help to people who are having the common problem of weight gain following surgery, or are struggling to maintain their weight loss.

Send your stories to Barbara@wlscenter.com

Permission to Reprint

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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. If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family.

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