WLS Center E-Newsletter
FREE publication from
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
I was shopping in Bed, Bath and Beyond 2
weeks ago and in the checkout lane I seemed to recognize the woman
in front of me. She looked at me, smiled, looked away and then
looked back. I knew we were both thinking the same thing, “Do I
know you?” I was the first to say it. After throwing out possible
points of connection, we realized that we knew each other from our
local weight loss surgery support group. The next thought that we
both shared was that I had done well and she had not. I knew from
our previous talks that she always struggled. She never had those
months when the weight fell off, and now she had regained quite a
bit. She felt bad and I knew it, but it was not entirely her
fault. Many people have this problem and I am happy that it is
starting to be addressed as you will read in the research article
In This Issue
* Research Article: “Outeating” Weight Loss
* Advice on Grazing
* “It’s All About Food” CD Available Now
* Tax Deduction for Weight Loss Surgery
* Recipe: New York Cheesecake
Success Story: Becky Creswell
* Spreading the Word in Hershey, PA and New Jersey
“Outeating Weight Loss Surgery”
“Outeating Weight Loss Surgery: High-Calorie
Grazing Negates Results,” Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition,
2/24/2004, Vol. 243, Issue 37, p D1.
It is every weight loss surgery patient’s
nightmare, “What if I am the one person that weight loss surgery
doesn’t work for.” This recent Wall Street Journal article focuses
on just that concern. There is a small portion of patients that
will regain much or all of their weight by grazing their way
back. Even though it remains difficult to eat large amounts of
food, eating small portions all day long can result in a lot of
calories being consumed.
It is difficult to know how many patients
experience this weight regain because they tend to be lost to
follow up, but it is estimated to be between 5% and 20%. Dr. Alan
Wittgrove, the current president of the American Society
for Bariatric Surgery is quoted as saying, “We know there is a portion
of the patient population that will not be successful. Sometimes
the operation fails them, but sometimes they fail the operation.”
It may very well be that patients who have
their surgery in hospitals where there is no aftercare program are
the most vulnerable to regaining weight since there is little
guidance on how to eat, the importance of exercise and the
unavailability of psychological counseling to deal with eating
problems. This is adding fuel to the movement on the part of the
American Society for Bariatric Surgery to establish Centers of
Excellence much the same way as they are set up for cardiology and
organ transplants. These will be hospitals that must prove their
competence by having done a certain number of surgeries, can
document patient success and have a program of support for
patients. It is assumed that patients will want to have their
surgery performed at these centers because they will feel more
confident in their care and outcomes and hopefully insurance
companies will approve surgeries from these centers more readily.
We will be hearing much more about these Centers of Excellence in
the months to come.
Advice on Grazing
I am 14 months post-op, and 110 pounds down. I have gone from a
size 24 to a 10. I have been on a plateau for several months now,
and just recently I gained 5 pounds, and have noticed my clothes are
feeling tighter. I know this is possible, but I know the reason why
this is happening is not normal. It is not the usual expected
outcome of gaining some of the weight back that I am experiencing.
I have a real problem with eating junk food. I crave foods like
chocolate and potato chips. I also have a problem with "grazing".
I have found that I can eat almost anything, as long as I pace
myself. My question is how do I discipline myself to stop these bad
habits before I gain more than 5 pounds? I hope you can help me
with this horrible problem. I am desperate!
It is wonderful and exciting right after we have surgery and we feel
like we have control over food for the first time in our lives. And
it is very scary to discover that you are again out of control. The
inevitable thought is that the lack of control will continue and you
will regain all of your weight. But you have taken the first 2 steps
to regaining control. You have recognized the problem and you have
asked for help. Good for you!
I understand junk food because I love it. And
the junk food seems to be doing you in. You have a serious case of
carb craving. The more carbs we eat, the more we crave. I really
believe that those of us who are morbidly obese are very carb
sensitive. If I begin my day with what is considered breakfast food
such as cereal, toast or (heaven forbid) pancakes, I am hungry all
day and am constantly looking for something to eat. So what I do is
to always start my day with protein and to delay eating any carbs at
all for as long in the day as I can.
However since you are so out of control, it
would be a good idea to totally break that cycle by eating almost
carbs for 2 days and then gradually reintroduce only complex
carbohydrates back into your diet. For instance, do not eat any
potatoes, white rice or white bread. You can eat vegetables, and a
little of whole grain bread (not made with white flour) and wild
If after your best efforts you are still
grazing and you can’t control it, call your surgeon and ask for a
referral to a psychologist with whom you can address eating issues.
Sometimes we just can’t do everything alone. There is help out
there that can make a lot of difference to you. I wish you the very
Teresa would like to hear from anyone else that
has a similar problem. She can be emailed at
If you would like to ask me a question and
agree to my sharing it in a future e-newsletter, send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com and indicate “E-newsletter Advice” in the
subject line and mention that I can use the question in the
e-newsletter somewhere in the email.
“It’s All About
On January 14th I did an hour long
telephone seminar with bariatric chef David Fouts. He talked about eating
and cooking following surgery and the session was fabulous. If you
were unable to attend, you can now buy the
CD. It is available here:
The CD is so popular that every place I speak,
I sell out of the CD. And it is no wonder. Here is what some people
are saying about it:
Even though I'm 7 months after surgery, 150 lbs
less, attend support group every month, and have access to over 200
WLS friends via the Internet daily- I learned something new with
Rick Fisher PA
I thought the telephone
seminar was fantastic. It
gave me a lot of information that really helped me to realize why I
do some of the things I do!
Gloria Hutchinson NJ
My surgery is scheduled for 2 weeks from now,
so I know I have lots to learn. There was good content and lots of
excellent hints that it would take months to gather on your own. It
is much more meaningful coming from someone who has experienced
gastric bypass. He did a good job of using his own experience to
highlight a point.
Diane Rasmussen Minnesota
Get your copy today!
Tax Deduction for Weight Loss Surgery
If you itemize deductions and you paid
for weight loss surgery out of pocket for yourself, your spouse or
dependent; remember to deduct the cost of the surgery and all
related expenses. The IRS designated obesity a disease in April
2002, therefore there is an allowance for treatment of the disease,
but it has a high threshold. You can deduct the cost for treatment
for obesity, including weight loss surgery, over 7.5% of your
adjusted gross income. For example if your adjusted gross income was
$50,000 last year, you could deduct medical expenses over $3750.
Deduction guidelines can be found in
IRS Publication 502.
Weight loss surgery is very much about
attaining a normal life, and a normal life includes indulgences
every once in awhile. Many thanks to Carol from New York for
sending in this great cheesecake recipe. It makes a great special
I found this wonderful recipe for cheesecake using equal. I tried it
and just loved it. So did the rest of my family! Hope you like it.
It's great for that time when you need a sweet fix! Thanks, Carol
New York Cheesecake
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
3 packets Equal sweetener
2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
18 packets Equal sweetener
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint strawberries, sliced (optional)
Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 3
packets Equal sweetener in bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Reserve
1 tablespoon of crumb mixture. Pat remaining mixture evenly on
bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven
until crust is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Beat cream cheese and 18 packets Equal sweetener in large bowl until
fluffy; beat in eggs, egg whites and cornstarch. Mix in sour cream
and vanilla until well blended. Pour mixture into crust.
Place cheesecake in roasting pan on oven rack,
add 1 inch hot water to roasting pan. Bake in preheated 300ºF oven
just until set in the center, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove cheesecake
from roasting pan, sprinkle with reserved crumbs and return to oven.
Turn oven off and let cheesecake cool 3 hours in oven with door
ajar. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Remove side of pan; place cheesecake on serving
plate. Garnish with sliced strawberries.
Makes 16 servings.
If you have a recipe that you would like to
share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer a special thanks to Becky
Creswell for sharing her success with us Here is her story:
My story begins, like so many others, with years of yo-yo dieting.
I began my weight gain in 3rd grade, linked to a sexual molestation
by a neighbor boy. I overate from then on in order to deal with my
feelings. Back then, nobody asked "why" to weight gain; they just
assumed that I was lazy and eating the wrong foods. My life of
I was raised by a physician father who
struggled with his own weight issues so he was bound and determined
to make his children thin. Sadly, this was beyond his control but
for years, he kept trying to control my weight any way possible. I
remember years of put-downs, rigorous exercises, strict diets,
fasts, and unbelievable self-esteem issues. Looking back now, I
can't believe how "normal" my weight was and how athletic and
healthy I was despite this entire negative environment.
I proceeded to prove to Dad that I was fat and
ballooned to 280 pounds! My entire adult life was consumed with the
next diet, learning how not to diet and feeling depressed and
unlovable. I continued to be active through all my ups and downs on
the weight loss roller coaster but never felt "good" about my
accomplishments. The glass was always half-empty to me; I was never
good enough or thin enough.
In 1992, I married a wonderful but thin man,
who loved me literally through thick and thin! We met when I was an
active 220 pounds and during our marriage, I blossomed to 280 pounds
For the rest of Becky's
story with photos,
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 also need
your before and after pictures sent via email. 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
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or
electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:
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
Did someone forward this newsletter to you?
Would you like to
receive a personal notification when it is
ready for you to read? It's simple! Just go to
scroll down to the subscription form. After filling out the form and
submitting it, watch for an email that asks you
to CONFIRM your subscription.
subscription is not complete until we get this confirmation back!
If you like this newsletter, please
pass it on to your friends and family and have
them signup for our notification service.
Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the
bottom of your newsletter notification email message and click the
unsubscribe link. You will be automatically deleted.
If you have any problems with this
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.
Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved