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July 2002 Issue


WLS E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by
Issue # 15
Circulation: 6,623


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

** In This Issue **

* 19th Annual ASBS Meeting
* Speaking in Las Vegas
* Research Article: Employee Benefit Coverage
* Excerpt from the Book: Carbohydrates
* Recipe: Tuna Salad
* Spreading the Word in Northeast Ohio
* Success Story: Rita
Dear Subscriber,

With every passing month, the topic of weight loss surgery seems to be growing in popularity. The number of articles in leading magazines, the number of TV news shows highlighting the surgery, and the number of actual surgeries being performed, are growing at an incredible rate. The world is finally waking up to the fact that the body weight of its population is continuing to rise despite the mountain of diet books and the famous food pyramid. People are finding out that weight loss surgery is the only answer and hope for anyone who is 100 pounds or more overweight.

The downside of all this change in thinking is that the supply of surgeons is not keeping up with the supply of patients wanting the surgery. Long waiting times for surgery dates is becoming the norm. This is very frustrating to the person who has done the research, made the commitment, and is ready to make a positive change in their life.

Regardless of what obstacles you face and how much time you have to wait for your surgery date, don't give up! Always keep focused on the glorious vision of a new healthier and thinner you. Burn this vision somewhere in your mind and refer back to it several times, every day. Never allow yourself to be influenced by negative thoughts or pessimistic conversations with your friends and family. Remember that as each day goes by, you will be one day closer to making your vision a magnificent reality.

I wish you well.

** 19th Annual ASBS Meeting **

From June 25th to the 28th the brightest and the best of weight loss surgery surgeons, nurses, dieticians, psychologists, and support group leaders met in Las Vegas for the 19th annual American Society for Bariatric Surgery meeting. It was so exciting to meet the surgeons that I have heard so much about from all of you. I had a chance to renew the friendships I formed at last year's meeting, as well as visit with the friends I made as a result of my speaking around the country during this past year. I was also pleased to talk with so many people who are just new to the field.

The staff at the ASBS has a very hard time planning for these meetings. They reserved this year's meeting space 2 years ago, and with the growth in this field, they ran out of meeting space. Two years ago when they had 600 attendees, they didn't anticipate that there would be 1800 in attendance this year.

I heard an interesting statistic while I was at the meeting, but it is a statistic that will be of no surprise to all of you who are waiting many months to have the surgery. Even with all of the new surgeons entering the field, there are 80,000 eligible patients for EACH surgeon performing the surgery. As the surgery becomes more commonplace, more and more of those people are going to want the surgery and the wait is going to increase. That is why when I talk with people who are thinking about the surgery, I urge them to get their paperwork started so that the clock will start ticking. They can always cancel later (which rarely happens), but the wait seems much shorter.

** Speaking in Las Vegas **

A week before we left for the ASBS meeting in Las Vegas, I received a call from Pat Watson of the ASBS. She told me that they were receiving many calls from patients asking to go onto the exhibit floor to meet me. Because no one without a badge is permitted onto the floor, she was turning all of these people away. She asked if I could possibly do something. I called Dr. Barry Fisher, bariatric surgeon extraordinaire, who very generously arranged an auditorium for me to meet with patients. It was so kind of him.

So on Monday night prior to the opening of the exhibits, I met with many of the patients from Las Vegas and the surrounding area. I've heard of Sue Barr for many years and it was great to finally meet her in person. I met Vince, Cheryl, a sweet woman who interrupted her Vegas vacation to meet me, and so many others. It was wonderful seeing my friends from Reno, Nevada, Dr. Sasse and Karen Bauman who stopped in. We all just sat and chatted for about 2 hours. It was nothing formal. Just about 40 weight loss surgery patients hanging out together. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

** Research Article: Employee Benefit Coverage **

"Experts weigh in on who should pay for obesity."

A brief article recently appeared in the Connect section of Employee Benefits News, Feb. 12, 2002 regarding legislation mandating coverage of gastric bypass surgery.

We of course look at this as a good thing. One of the worst parts about going through weight loss surgery is the very real concern whether your insurance will cover the surgery. We want to see all States requiring coverage for the surgery. However, not everyone feels that way including those who manage benefits. These are the Human Resources/ Employee Benefits managers where you or your spouse works.

For the rest of this article, Click Here 

** Excerpt From the Book **


In light of all the recent news articles and TV news shows about nutrition, I wanted to reprint the section of my book on carbohydrates. I want to especially highlight the article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine, July 7, 2002, p. 22, "What If It's All a Big Fat Lie?" The New York Times article questions the National Institutes of Health endorsement of a low-fat diet and whether the food pyramid, which emphasizes carbohydrates has just been increasing the incidence of obesity in this country.

Here is the excerpt from my book:

Carbohydrates are the enemies of weight loss, whether a person has had weight loss surgery or not. No matter how much we were prepared for weight loss surgery, it is still a shock how little we can eat at one meal. We are used to a different relationship with food and often turn to our comfort foods, namely carbohydrates, as in the past. We find that, as we are able to tolerate regular foods, we are drawn to foods like cream cereals and mashed potatoes, which go down so easily. However, carbohydrates are not what you want to be eating at this point.

Your new stomach is very small and it is important to make the best use of the small space that is available in your pouch. In your healing process, protein is vital for rebuilding cells. Therefore, eat protein first. You will probably hear that over and over again from your surgeon, the surgeon's staff, and several times in this book. Also, remember that carbohydrates will make you hungrier. A small quantity of carbohydrates, such as 20 grams per day, is essential for good nutrition, however it is amazing and dismaying how many carbohydrates are in foods that we would never suspect.

So what is so bad about carbohydrates? Depending upon the type of food you eat, different nutrients will be absorbed through the small intestines.

* From protein, your body absorbs amino acids.
* From fats, it absorbs glycerol and fatty acids.
* From carbohydrates, it absorbs glucose, a form of sugar.

Therefore, as you eat carbohydrates, you are putting sugar into your blood stream. The insulin in your body determines what happens with this sugar. Some is converted into energy, which is why athletes will load up on carbohydrates before an event. But you are not an athlete training for the decathlon, and normally do not need such a high boost of energy. Your body will use as much sugar as it needs to produce energy to do your daily activity, and will store the remainder as fat. This happens with simple carbohydrates such as sugar, honey, fruit and milk as well as more complex carbohydrates such as flour, white rice and potatoes. If carbohydrates are not available in our bodies, then our bodies will burn stored fat for energy.

If you are not losing, are nauseated, or are hungry,
check the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming. 

Also, when an excess number of carbohydrates are consumed, glucose is formed and insulin is introduced into the blood stream to deal with this sugar. The insulin causes our energy level to rise. When the insulin has dealt with all of the carbohydrates, our insulin level will drop and we will feel tired. This drop makes our body send out messages to get the insulin level back up. We therefore crave carbohydrates, we eat them, our insulin level goes up sharply, then drops, and the cycle starts again. Eating protein does not cause that increase in insulin. Our levels stay at an even level when we consume protein, so we do not have to deal with cravings.

After surgery, try to keep your carbohydrate consumption between 20 to 40 grams (or less) per day. Some people are opposed to doing this, feeling that they had surgery so that they wouldn't have to diet again and counting carbohydrates is as bad as counting calories. Counting carbohydrates will teach you just how many carbohydrates are in the foods that you eat.

Become a knowledgeable consumer and check those nutritional labels on food packaging. You would be amazed at how many carbohydrates are in common foods that the American public eats every day. It is helpful if you buy a book such as Dr. Rachael Heller's Carbohydrate Addict's Carbohydrate Counter.


This was an excerpt from "Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You," available at

** Recipe: Tuna Salad **

Thanks to Linda for this great recipe

Dear Barbara,

I appreciate your monthly updates. I had my surgery on March 5 and as of today have lost 83 pounds! YIPPY!

I just spent a wonderful week in New Orleans with my husband and family and realized that I can eat out at restaurants and still lose weight! The key is to drink water, lots of it! With all the heat and humidity it was easy to put down 64 ounces plus!

I have a wonderful recipe that I wanted to share for the hot summer months:

2 cans Albacore Tuna, well drained
1/2 c. olive oil
8 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 c. chopped basil
4 T. capers (or as many as you want)
Black Pepper

Mix all together and let stand for about 1 hour.

My family still eats pasta so I just toss it on that for them, and for us people that don't do the pasta thing I toss over a bed of greens.

Thanks again for the monthly updates.


Linda Hilbert
Park City, Utah

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

** Spreading the Word in Northeast Ohio **

Support group leaders from all across the country often contact me about my speaking events that educate the public about, and promote weight loss surgery. Sometimes, these are groups that are independent and operate far from their hospitals. On July 11, 2002, I had the pleasure of speaking to the wonderful people from one of these groups. The support group serves Ashtabula, Ohio and the surrounding area.

Chris Unsinger, Linda Perone, and a special committee, did a terrific job organizing the event. They had a huge article in their local newspaper that appeared about a week before I spoke. They also arranged for media coverage that included a 1-hour interview of me on a live radio talk show. They worked hard to get the word out about the event and were rewarded with a large attendance. I have to admire and appreciate all of these people who organized a great evening.

** Success Stories **

Thanks to Rita for her wonderful success story

I just wanted to share with you and your readers my success of losing over 140 pounds since my surgery May 9, 2001.

In particular, my husband and I just returned from a special vacation to the Umbria area of Tuscany, Italy. I cannot tell you how elated I was at being able to easily sit in the airplane seats this trip with no seat belt extender!

Click Here for the rest of Rita's story. 

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



Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved