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March 2002 Issue


WLS E-Newsletter

A FREE publication by
Issue # 11
Circulation: 5,427


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

** In this Issue **

*Question of the Month: Protein Sources
* Book Excerpt: Aftercare
* Nutrition Quiz:
* Recipe: Carmel apple
* Research Article: Beyond Change
* Dietary Supplements
* Success Story: Sherrie Meals
* Upcoming Speaking Events
* Poem: The Person Inside

Dear Subscriber,

As most of you know, I live in Pittsburgh, PA. Normally we have awful winters here, and I just hate cold weather. When I start feeling the first bite of frost in October and November, I start to long for sunny climates. I envy those of you who live in Florida, Arizona, and Southern California as I plod along through the cold months.

But then Spring starts to arrive. And I fall in love with Pittsburgh all over again. There is such a freshness about Spring, the idea of renewal and getting another chance that is so inspiring. Were it not for the struggle that I went through to get through Winter, I would not have such an appreciation of Spring, of where I am right now.

To me, weight loss surgery is like Spring. I feel like I have gotten another chance, and I appreciate it so much more because of the physical pain and humiliation that I suffered along the way. It makes this time when I am enjoying renewed health and beauty that much sweeter.

Happy Spring everyone!!

** Question of the Month **

We know that many of our subscribers are experts on the subject of weight loss surgery because they are living it every day. We want to tap into that expertise by asking a question-of-the-month and posting some of the responses we get back in this newsletter. By doing this, we hope to provide a better education about this life-changing procedure.

Last month's question was about "Protein Sources." Here are some of the responses that were sent in from our readers.

My suggestion for a good and easy protein source comes from Laura, one of the nurse coordinators for my surgeon, Dr. Phil Schauer at UPMC in Pittsburgh:

In one cup of Cool Whip Free, add 1 scoop of protein powder. I use Dr. Atkins Vanilla Shake Mix. You may add a little milk if it is too dry or thick. This is a very easy way to get down 12 grams of protein, which is equivalent to about 2 ounces of meat. Two ounces of meat may not sound like a lot, but when I was newly post-op, eating 2 ounces of meat was a major undertaking.

For more great protein sources, go to

>> The question for next month is on Exercise <<

I have such a problem exercising. I still have not learned to enjoy it. I exercise, but only because I have worked too hard to get where I am to not treat it with the respect it deserves. So I exercise to maintain my weight and to continue to be healthy. But I am in constant need of inspiration. If any of you have some exercise tips to share such as what keeps you going, what you do for exercise, how exercise has helped you, etc., please share them with us.

Also, if you have an idea for a question of the month - something you would like to see covered, please send your suggestions to me at

** Excerpt from the book**


It is very important to comply with your surgeon's follow-up program, which is normally referred to as "aftercare." Aftercare usually involves a visit with your surgeon at the one-month, three-month, six-month and twelve-month anniversaries. During the early visits you will inevitable have many questions that deal with adjusting to your new eating habits. Some foods will trouble you and you will be able to address this. Your surgeon will also have the opportunity to ensure that you completely understand what will help you to be totally successful with this surgery, how to stay healthy, and how best to utilize this wonderful tool. During many of these appointments, your blood levels will probably be checked to determine any early deficiencies. Check with your surgeon's staff to determine if you should fast for any of these appointments.

The second year, visits are every six months to a year. During these

visits your weight will be monitored and the staff can address any problems that you might be having dealing with a now slightly larger pouch and the ability to eat almost anything. After the second year, an annual visit is required. Patients who are successful, commit to these follow-up sessions.

Aftercare can ensure your success. Your surgeon can monitor your health to be sure that you are staying on track.

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

** Nutrition Test **

How much do you know about nutrition? Take this test and check your answers here

1. Calcium is important for the formation of bone material. What is necessary in order for calcium to be absorbed?

2. Of the following foods, which has the least calcium:

A. Canned salmon, 1/2 can
B. Cottage cheese, 1/2 cup
C. Brazil nuts, 1/2 cup
D. Cooked kale, 1/2 cup

3. According to a study done by researchers at the University of Arizona, women crave chocolate most when they have a deficiency in what mineral?

A. Calcium
B. Zinc
C. Magnesium
D. Potassium

To take the rest of the test, Click Here

** Recipes **

Thanks to Susan Campero for this yummy simple recipe

Caramel Apple Mix

1 8 ounce tub of lite cool whip,
1 box of sugar free butterscotch pudding
Mix well and add 1 can of drained crushed pineapple to the mixture.
Peel and cut a medium sized apple into chunks and mix....serve cold.

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

** New Research Article **

Healthy Forever; Patient Compliance and Vitamin Supplements
By Barbara Thompson
"Beyond Change," Vol 3, March 2002, P.5.

"My surgery is over. I made it. Now when am I going to wake up thin?" If you have had bariatric surgery, you have probably had these thoughts at some point. It is an easy trap to fall into, as you want to believe that weight loss surgery is strictly the work of the surgeon. But the surgery is just one step in a long journey to health that is directly affected by what you as a patient do. You determine if you will lose 50%, 75% or 100% of your excess weight. And you determine how healthy you might be by how closely you comply with all of those nutritional warnings given to you by your surgeon and the support staff.

For the rest of the article, Click Here

** Success Stories **

Sherrie Meals

As the first anniversary of my weight loss surgery approaches, I find myself feeling very reflective. I think back to how apprehensive I felt about what I consider to be one of the most important decisions of my life. I also think about how I felt both physically and emotionally with over 100 extra pounds. Sometimes, those memories can make me feel very sad and even teary-eyed.

Before my surgery, I was exhausted all the time. After teaching all day, a simple request from my teenage daughter to go to the mall in the evening was more than I could bear. After all, my feet hurt, my legs hurt and I was just too tired! I recall walking up the stairs at school and finding it necessary to stop on the landing halfway up to catch my breath. Now, I'm always ready to go to the mall and for the first time my daughter and I can shop in the same stores. I find myself running up those steps at school without giving it a second thought! Prior to surgery, I've experienced many of the same embarrassments that others have shared such as having to ask for a seatbelt extender on an airplane and not quite fitting in the booth at a restaurant.

This surgery has allowed me to gain control over my addiction to food and live a more healthful life. I'm very thankful that I heard about Dr. Schauer and weight loss surgery. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made!

Sherrie Meals

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 issues.

** Poem **

Many thanks to Mary Myers for the following poem:

The Person Inside

I look in the mirror and don't like what I see. For there is someone else living inside of me.

A stronger, healthier, fun-loving person--totally different then the person starring back at me.

Why is this person hiding inside of me--let her come out and set her free. Why has she been hiding for so many years--what's she afraid of, is there something out there?

I pray every night that the person inside will show her face and take my place. Come out, come out, whoever you are, come out, come out and be who you are.


Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved