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 #42

March 1, 2004

I’m back from vacation and it was wonderful.  I went on a water slide for the first time in my life. It has taken me 4 years since my surgery to get up the nerve. Old fears die hard. Will I get stuck on the slide? The thought went through my head more than once before I would catch myself.

Since I didn’t publish an e-newsletter mid month because of my vacation, I received many emails from people wondering what had happened to their subscriptions.  Because I know that many of you look forward to receiving this, please take special note of the section on “Confirming Your E-Newsletter Subscription” later in this issue.

I am also starting a section in which subscribers can pose a question they would like for me to answer and to hear personally from you.  The first in this series is “Notice a Difference.” It can be our opportunity to help each other.

In This Issue


* The Unofficial Bible
* Confirm Your E-Newsletter Subscription
* 24 Great Cold Weather Activities
* Notice a Difference?
* Recipe: White Bean Tuna Salad
* Success Story: Deborah Francisco
* Spreading the Word in New Brunswick, NJ; Philadelphia; Kansas City; & Hershey, PA

The Unofficial bible
On Sunday Feb. 8th, the “Philadelphia Inquirer” published an article on gastric bypass surgery.  In the article, the author referred to my book as “the unofficial bible among bypass patients.”  Many of you have used that expression when talking with me or writing to me and I have been very touched.  But seeing it in print in a nationally known publication was a special thrill. I thank all of you for your support. And needless to say, if you have not gotten your copy of my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You,” order it at http://www.wlscenter.com.

Confirm Your E-Newsletter Subscription

We have gone to a new service to distribute our e-newsletter since the subscriber list is getting so large.  In order to ensure that we are not spamming, in the next week you will be receiving an email that asks if you want to continue receiving this e-newsletter.  You merely have to click the link to confirm.  If you ignore the email, you will no longer receive this free e-newsletter and your subscription will stop. If you recently subscribed to the newsletter and sent in your confirmation, we thank you for completing the process.

I am sorry for this inconvenience, but the service company wants to insure that they are not sending out spam. Considering the spam email that we all get, I hope that you can appreciate their integrity over this issue and ours as well.

24 Great Cold Weather Activities

In the last E-newsletter I asked for suggestions on what to do during cold weather months to stay active when the weather was too bad to do things outdoors.  I received some great responses that I will share with you. So with 24 great ideas to chose from there should be no more excuses!

Many thanks to the following for coming up with great ideas:

Sue Ashworth from Vermont
Pat Kothe from Rockton, IL
Tina Terry
Cheryl  Trahan
Karen Paquette
Durinda Wilkinson, Durand, Mi
Jan Early
Lorrie Plate, Flint, MI
Patricia J. Petrola
Krystal Hasan

1. Try line dancing classes

2. Take an aerobics class

3. Take an Aqua fitness class

4. Join Curves

5. I like going to classes where I am accountable so that if I don’t go, someone will notice and I hear about it.

6. I usually fit in one of the exercise programs on television which combines yoga and aerobic routines.

7. Become a “Mall Walker.” Leave your purse at home and bring a walkman.

8. Walk at the mall and “reward” yourself once a week by buying something in smaller sizes as your old clothes become too large for you. 

9. Invest in a treadmill and walk while watching TV

10. Exercise video

11. Find the stairs at work and use them!! I started at a flight a day and now, because I work on the 5th floor, I do at least 10 flights of stairs a day. Some days I do as many as 30. And yes, some days I have to force myself but it is worth it!  You just have to pace yourself.

12. Try Yoga!!

13. Go to the Library and check out different workout videos for a different variety. 

14. Do strength training/toning with hand-held weights.

15. Go to your local high school pool to do laps or water exercises.

16. Jump rope!

17. Dance to some music!!

18. Use a cross trainer

19. Join a jazzercise class

20. I use walking tapes.  I can walk a mile and never have to leave my house.

21. Jump on my exercise bike, which does not get much use when the weather is nice.

22. Play in the snow with my kids

23. Do some needed housecleaning and put some muscle into it.

24. I use and recommend the Leslie Sansone’s "Walk Away the Pounds" indoor walking videos.

All great suggestions! They absolutely inspired me!

Notice A Difference?

I received the email below from Penny Kiehl from San Jose, CA and asked if she would mind if I shared it with all of you.  Here is her question:  

Dear Barbara,
Thanks for your newsletter. I enjoy reading all the very informative articles.   I was wondering if anyone has written about negative reactions to having the surgery and weight loss.  I had my RNY surgery on November 17, 2003.  I have had a successful recovery and am doing great.   I have lost 54 pounds and am wearing size 16 in pants and XL in tops.   It is such fun to try on clothes now.   I am really happy that I made this decision and am thankful for people like you that are so supportive.   I read your book early in my research about the surgery and it was very helpful.  

Now that I am 54 pounds lighter I feel much more comfortable with myself.  I like wearing clothes and am always trying on new styles.  Last Friday night we met with another couple that we hadn't seen since just before my surgery, so I was looking forward to seeing them and showing off my new outfit.   But much to my surprise nothing was said about my weight loss.  In passing my girlfriend said, "Oh you are looking good," but nothing about my success or the new me.

After we got home I started thinking about how much this affected me.  I was really hurt that my friend did not acknowledge my weight loss.   Have other people experienced similar reactions?  

Thanks for all that you do. Take care.
Penny Kiehl
San Jose, CA


Hi Penny,

I can certainly understand your dismay at the lack of reaction.  After my surgery (and even before) the subject absolutely consumed my life.  That was all I could think about or talk about.  I am sure the friends that stuck with me through it are my true friends.  The others I bored to death!!

But the sad fact is that when I lost 54 pounds, it was not such a big deal.  I had lost 54 pounds before.  What my friends may have been waiting for was for me to do what I had always done before which is to regain that 54 pounds and then some. They didn’t realize that this time it was permanent so that ever pound off was gone for good and was reason to celebrate.

It may also have been a bit of jealousy on your friend’s part, resentment that the pounds are falling off you, or it could be that she was just having a bad day and it had nothing at all to do with you.

The entire process of this surgery is filled with all kinds of emotions not only for us but for those around us. You are changing both physically and emotionally.  This can cause those close to us to be wary of the change. Give your friend a chance to get accustomed to the “new you.” And if you have a really close relationship, at some point, gently explain to her how you feel. And remember that your accomplishment is tremendous whether your friend acknowledges it and validates it or not.  You go girl!

Penny would like to hear from anyone else that has had a similar reaction.  She can be emailed at pak48@prodigy.net


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.

Recipe: White Bean Tuna Salad

Many thanks to Marcia Perkins for the recipe below.  I wanted to add that for those who are still on pureed food, if you put this into a food processor until it is a “dip” consistency, you will have a good high protein food that should be well tolerated. Here is Marcia’s recipe:

I just found and tried this new high-protein recipe that I think is perfect for "us." I actually use this as a snack on crackers or it can be used as a dip with celery. 

Marcia Perkins

White Bean/Tuna Salad

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 t. minced garlic
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. sugar or Splenda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. olive oil
2-15 oz. cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2-6 oz. cans water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
3/4 c. sliced black olives
1/2 c. chopped red onion 

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. 
Combine beans, tuna, olives, and onion in larger bowl; add dressing and toss.  Refrigerate until serving. 

Serves 6 @ 3/4 c. each
247 calories, 20 gm protein!!!

Marcia Perkins
WLS success 5/07/02 - 125#!!!

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

Succses Story: Deborah Francisco

I want to offer a special thanks to Deborah Francisco.  Here is her story:

My name is Deborah Francisco and this is my story.

I am 47 years old and started my weight loss surgery journey at 417 pounds. I had arthritis in my knees so badly I could barely get up to cross the room. However, when I had to rely on those little carts to get around in the grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. I knew I needed to take a drastic step.

After many, many diets, including Weight Watchers, I knew that weight loss surgery was the last and only resort for me. I actually lost 85 pounds on Weight Watchers, to turn around and gain 100 back!

For the rest of Deborah's story, with photos, Click Here


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. Please write at least one page and attach files of before and after photos.

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

You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

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

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