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 #62

January 15, 2005

We are into the new year and I hope that all of you are doing well with any resolutions that you may have made. We did have a few people join with us on the cancer research project. Please consider donating your computer to run in the background to help find a cure for this disease. It’s free, does no harm to your computer and is a way you can help so easily.

We have a theme this issue of stress eating, something so many of us are very prone to. I hope this may help any of you having this problem.

In This Issue

* Plastic Surgery Telephone Seminar Almost Here
* Emotional Eating
* Research Article: Joint Pain and Surgery
* Book Excerpt: 4 Rules of Success
* Barbara’s Blog
* Recipe: Chicken Marinara
* Success Story: Nannette Ryan
* Spreading the Word in Gainesville, GA

Plastic Surgery  
  Telephone Seminar:
  January 26th
There are only about 9 days left to register for the telephone seminar on plastic surgeryIf you can dial a phone, you can join in!

Here Is What You Will Learn:

Predicting if you will need plastic surgery

Picking the right time to have it

Identifying the keys to successful surgery

Finding the right plastic surgeon for you

Understanding specific procedures

Abdominoplasty/ Panniculectomy - What’s the Difference?

Dealing with Pain - What pain?

Questioning: why not just have liposuction?

Double Duty: Tummy tuck and hernia repair

Money Issues: Who pays and how much?

Breast reduction for men

This is your chance to talk with a plastic surgeon who is an expert in performing plastic surgery on weight loss surgery patients. Dr. J. Peter Rubin, Director of the Life After Weight Loss Program at the University of Pittsburgh, will be my guest on a telephone seminar on Wednesday, Jan. 26th, 9:00 PM EST.

Go to http://www.wlscenter.com/plastic_surgery.htm to hear a preview of the seminar, and to register.

Emotional Eating

In the success story below Nannette Ryan mentions times when she had a rough time with emotional eating. I think we are all prone to that. What is important is to recognize what you are doing and to stop!

I fell prey to emotional eating on my most recent speaking event.  I was speaking for Dr. Ben Hung’s patients in Lincoln, NE on Jan. 13th.  It was something I was really looking forward to.  I was supposed to speak there in September for the Walk from Obesity, but it didn’t work out, so I was anxious to get there now.  Dr. Hung requires that all of his patients buy my book prior to surgery, so there were a lot of patients as anxious to meet me as I was to meet them.

But I ended up having the trip from hell!

I left Pittsburgh on Wednesday and flew to Detroit.  As we approached the Detroit airport the pilot announced that there was so much fog that we couldn’t land and we circled for an hour waiting for it to clear.  My connecting plane was leaving in an hour so I knew that I would miss my connection. I was biting my nails hoping to make my connection but fearful of the fog!

We landed safely and I found that my flight from Detroit to Lincoln was also delayed.  An attendant told me to grab a bite and relax.  It would be awhile. Wow, was he right!

OK I had my bite as he suggested. I had fruit and black bean soup. Very healthy.  I held it together. And I waited.

Six hours later after many delays my flight was cancelled.  I wouldn’t make it to Lincoln that night.  But I then had to stand in line 2 hours to get rebooked. I am now tired and hungry.

My husband at home using the internet found a hotel room for me. I left the airport (after waiting in another line for a cab). I was starving, but I still kept it together.  On the way to the hotel I had the cab driver stop and I got chicken nuggets and chili.  Still not too bad.

Four hours later, after a short night I was back at the airport.  Grabbed a yogurt - still OK.  We left Detroit and off to Minneapolis for the connecting flight to Lincoln. 

It was a bright, clear day.  What could go wrong? Plenty! I got to the gate in Minneapolis.  One more leg to go to get to Lincoln.  Then the announcement came.  Our flight to Lincoln was delayed. That final delay was what it took to push me over the edge.  Would this be a delay like in Detroit and I would end up staying in Minneapolis and not making it to Lincoln at all? 

Right next to the gate was a pizza parlor. It was calling me and I listened.  I had a personal pan pizza and it was great. That time I didn’t hold it together.

Eating and weight control are a life long struggle.  I knew when I ordered that pizza what I was doing. I wasn’t using that pizza to satisfy hunger.  I used that pizza to soothe myself.  I knew because of circumstances I was really prone to losing it with food, which may be why I resisted so long. Frustration and fatigue are a tough combination.

After the pizza, I didn’t beat myself up. I made a mistake and then went on.  I recognized what I did and did not repeat it the next day. And even though it’s been five years since my surgery, I still fall back on old habits. But I have the surgery to help me.  I fill up faster and feel satisfied when I do eat. It’s so much better post surgery. Something like that could have led me to go on eating that way for days. But the next day was a good day.  I’d made it!

Research Article:  
  Joint Pain and Surgery
“Gastric Bypass Surgery Relieves Joint Pain”  Web MD  Oct. 22, 2004

We have heard all of the reports of weight loss surgery helping serious diseases such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart disease, but how about the very debilitating disease of pain? Many of us have gone through years of just plain pain that we haven’t been able to effectively treat.  This really speaks to the lack of a quality of life prior to surgery. This article from Web MD reports on how weight loss surgery also helps pain. 

For the entire article, go to: http://my.webmd.com/content/article/95/103464.htm

Book Excerpt: 4 Rules of Success

Here is an excerpt from my book
“Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.”

This is the time of year to get back to basics.  If you have gotten off track, are starting to regain weight, are on a plateau, or want to make sure that you make the most before your Window of Opportunity closes, you need to remind yourself about the

4 Rules of Success

1)      Eat Protein First - Concentrate on your protein at each and every meal.  After you have eaten your portion of protein, if there is any room left, then eat carbohydrates.  The more carbohydrates you eat, the hungrier you will feel and the more you will crave them. As you eat carbohydrates, they raise your blood sugar level.  As you digest, your blood sugar level drops and your body starts to crave more carbohydrates.  Proteins are denser and will linger in your pouch longer so that you will have a feeling of being full for a longer period of time. Check with your own surgeon about eating a high protein diet.  It will help tremendously with weight loss, but if you have any liver problems, it might not be a good idea for you.  Let your surgeon or dietician be the judge

2)      Drink Water- Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water, or non-carbonated, caffeine free liquid per day.  Do not drink carbonated beverages as the carbonation will cause your pouch to expand. Water will also help with feelings of hunger.  Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Take a water bottle with you everywhere and sip, sip, sip, sip sip.

3)      Exercise- Exercise at least five days per week. Exercise needs to become a regular part of your life. It is very difficult to reach your goal weight and even more difficult to maintain that weight without exercise.  Be sure that the exercise is one that raises your heart rate and increases your metabolism. Also vary your exercise so that your body does not become accustomed to the exercise and it stops being as beneficial.

4)      No Grazing- Do not snack. This is a sure way to sabotage your surgery.  If you are truly hungry between meals, eat a small bite of protein. Grazing is a slow but steady way to regain your weight.

Do you want more good information about weight loss surgery? 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?  It is recommended by surgeons across the country and has been dubbed the “unofficial bible of bypass patients” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Recipe: Chicken Marinara

4 (4-oz) Chicken breasts, skinned and boneless
1 tsp garlic powder
1 nonstick vegetable spray
1 tsp olive oil
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes with puree
1 tsp dried basil leaves, crushed
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick
2. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the garlic powder
3. Spray a non-stick skillet with the spray and add the olive oil
4. Heat oil over medium heat until hot
5. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes
6. Add the canned tomatoes, the rest of the garlic powder, basil, parsley and pepper
7. Turn down the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer for 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings:

Each = 199 Calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates and 29 grams of protein

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: Nannette Ryan  
I want to offer a special thanks to Nannette Ryan.  Here is her story:

Although I was not a fat teenager, I was large and on the "voluptuous" side -- wearing a size 14.  Because I had lots of curves in all the right places, I was not considered fat. 

Then, when I was 18, I left home and moved to another state.  It was the first time on my own, and I found a job waitressing at a local chain restaurant where they had lots of ice cream flavors!  I worked the "graveyard" shift from 11pm to 7am five days a week. Well, of course, during the slow early morning hours, I sampled the various ice cream flavors.  It wasn't long before I had ballooned up to a size 18. But, that was only the beginning.

I moved back to my family home state, met the man whom I would marry and started the weight climb -- weighing 180 when I married, 200 when I got pregnant with my first child, 225 when I got pregnant with my second child and eventually over the next 18 years went up to 300 pounds! 

Around that time, I resolved that I had to get my weight under control, and entered a weight loss program.  I successfully lost about 70 pounds in the next six months and kept it off for about a year.  Then, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the stress eating started all over again. 

By that time, it was decided that all the medical treatments he went through weren't going to beat the cancer and he was terminal. I had once again ballooned up to over 300 - hitting the scales at 340 pounds!

By this time, I had developed Type II diabetes, been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, and suffered from stress incontinence, high cholesterol and severe arthritis.  I knew that stress eating had always been a problem for me, and knew that when my husband died, I would probably end up eating myself to death if I didn't make a drastic change in my life and get healthy.  It was the only way I would have a future. 

I had been thinking about gastric bypass surgery for almost two years - always chickening out by thinking that it seemed like such a drastic step and that I should be able to lose weight on my own. Of course, this wasn't the case and I realized I had to take a drastic step to save my own life. 

In June 2003, I had Roux en-Y gastric bypass surgery at a starting weight of 336 pounds.  Luckily, I had done my research and prepared all the documentation that my insurance company required and I was approved on the first try.  I followed my surgeon's protocol and have never had any complications. 

I helped to found a local Weight Loss Surgery support group and became an advocate for others seeking weight loss surgery information.  Helping others on this path helped to keep me focused on my own weight loss.

Unfortunately, my dear husband never got the chance to see me realize my ultimate weight loss goal. He died in May 2004.  Although expected, it was still tough to deal with, and being almost a year out and being able to eat more at that time, I had a short time when the stress eating started again. But, by being aware of the pitfalls, and keeping up my exercise program  that I had started at only five weeks post-op, I was able to get a handle on it fairly quickly. 

Now, at almost 19 months out, I have lost a total of 180 pounds and am now seeking to take the next step with plastic surgery to remove the excess skin.  I hope to be able to complete all my plastic surgery goals in 2005.

Whenever anyone asks me if I would undertake this weight loss surgery journey again, I
always respond -- "in a heartbeat." I wish I had been brave or knowledgeable enough about weight loss surgery to have done it earlier in my life.

Good luck to all wherever you may be in your weight loss surgery journey. It's definitely a ride!

Nannette Ryan

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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