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November 2002 Issue


WLS E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by
Issue # 19
Circulation: 7,286


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

** In this Issue **

* Watch That Holiday Cheer
* New Research Article: Obesity Gene
* Recipe: Pumpkin Soup
* Hospital Stories Needed
* New CD: Weight Loss Surgery; A Thinner Way of Life
* Spreading the Word in Latrobe


Dear Subscriber,

This is such a busy time of the year. So busy, in fact, that it is easy to lose track of what we are doing. We are heading into the season when everything seems to center around food. There are huge family dinners, holiday parties, and baking. Depending upon where we are in our journey, we have different responses. Where do you fit?

Waiting for Surgery: "I am going to stuff myself tighter than that turkey because I will never be able to eat again. Opps, I missed a crumb"

Just Had Surgery: "I can't eat anything!!! Why did I do this to myself??!!!"

Six Months to a Year after Surgery: "Isn't it wonderful that I have such wonderful control. Food doesn't even faze me." How can everyone eat that much?"

Two Years + After Surgery: "I can't believe I ate that much. I better watch what I'm doing."

And the battle with food continues.

The tool helps, but it is not a cure. It makes control easier, but we all reach a point where we have to exercise that control. It doesn't come naturally. I don't know about you, but each Thanksgiving I give thanks to my surgeon and all who contributed to this life-saving and altering surgery. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


** Watch that Holiday Cheer **

Interested in ruining a perfectly good evening? Then do what I did last weekend.

My husband Frank and I went out to dinner and planned to go to a movie afterward. I was all dressed up. My sweet Mother who now lives with us told me I looked beautiful as I walked out the door. We went to our favorite restaurant and a familiar waiter came over and asked the mandatory first question. "Would you like a cocktail?" "Hmmmm," I said. Then a bright idea hit me. "I'll have a Beefeater's martini with extra olives." I was feeling invincible. I was feeling good. I was out with my favorite person, had a hard but productive week and I wanted to have a good time.

The martini arrived. We toasted and I drank. For those of you who aren't martini drinkers, martinis really taste awful for the first sip. But after your mouth is numb, every sip after that is wonderful. After a few more sips, I ordered. "Oh, you have something new on the menu, duck with cranberry sauce. I'll have that" The martini was doing its evil work already. I didn't even notice the slightly surprised look from my husband as I ordered. More martini sips. I was feeling no pain (for the moment).

My salad arrived and I picked at it and boxed the rest. Ah, yes the duck! It arrived in its fat and sugar laden glory. It looked wonderful. I took one bite of it and gagged. Why is it that gourmet restaurants think that rare fowl is appealing? I went rapidly downhill from there. The effects of the martini were now in my system and there was no stopping it. My head started to spin. I was now nauseated headed for something worse. I was no longer in denial. But I still thought that if I sat quietly with a smile plastered on my face (beneath rather glazed eyes) and did not put another bite in my mouth that I might be able to save the wonderful evening that we had planned. Surely when we walked outside to the car, the brisk November air would revive me. We started heading for the theater. I couldn't take it anymore. I cried out, "Frank (otherwise known often in my mind as Saint Frank), I'm soooo sick. Take me home." The evening was over. I went home and slept!

It has been almost 3 years since my surgery, and I am happy to report that the tool still works. After gastric bypass surgery, alcohol gets into your system so much faster than before, that regardless of our past tolerance, we all become "cheap dates." Drinking and driving are never an option after surgery. It is just too risky for yourself, your family and those sharing the highway with you. A small amount of alcohol allows us to totally lose constraint and make very bad food choices. Yes, I can tolerate alcohol now. But I have to be very careful. I can drink much better at home than when I am out because I control the portions. At home I can pour myself 1/3 of a glass of wine and enjoy it before dinner. When I am out, I am brought the entire glass. I may have the intention of drinking just part of it, but the alcohol goes to my head and I end up drinking the entire glass and regretting it.

After surgery, life goes on. We stumble often. We make bad choices and mistakes. But what a tool we have. What a built in behavior modification process we have. It is wonderful. And you can bet that the next time Frank and I find time to go out to dinner and a movie, I won't be having a martini!


** New Research Article: **

Fat Gene: It Really Exists

WebMD recently reported on an article that appeared in the "American Journal of Human Genetics" in which researchers have isolated a gene that directly causes obesity. The gene has been named HOB1, for Human Obesity 1. It is clear from this discovery that we inherit the likelihood to be obese from our family and that our size is not our fault. Although this is something we have always sensed, it is reassuring and helpful in some way to our self-esteem to have it validated by the scientific community.


** Recipe: Pumpkin Soup **

Just in time for Thanksgiving, try this pumpkin recipe.

1 can (11.5 ounce) apple juice
1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream *
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin *
1/2 teaspoon chili powder *
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander *
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg *
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bring the juice and broth to a boil and add the cream. Add the pumpkin and the spices and heat for 10 or 15 minutes. Garnish with the cheddar cheese.

* Note: You can substitute low fat evaporated milk for the whipping cream and pumpkin pie spice for all of the individual spices listed


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


** More Hospital Stories Needed **

In January, I will be addressing a group of sales representatives concerning what it is like to be a morbidly obese patient in the hospital. I am looking for stories regarding your stay in the hospital for your weight loss surgery or for any other surgery you might have had. I am looking for anecdotes about how you were treated as a morbidly obese person by the staff and especially in terms of hospital equipment not being size friendly.

Don't worry about the quality of the writing. I would just like to have the stories. These stories can eventually help those morbidly obese patients who come after us, so you have the potential to help many people. Thanks so much!!!

Please email them to me at


** New CD **

"Weight Loss Surgery: a Thin Way of Life"

Just in time for the holidays, my new CD is now ready to be shipped. Let me start with what it is not; it is not a book on tape or a substitute for my book. It is a general overview to weight loss surgery, done in a light interview style. While my book is a reference book that patients refer to often for up to a year after surgery, the CD is designed for those who are first starting their research on the surgery. It is especially suited to your support system - those family members who will be going through the process with you, who need to know what you are going through but you know will not read an entire book. It makes an excellent gift for them or for you. The CD is $16.95 plus shipping and handling.

Click Here for more information and to order


** Spreading the Word in Latrobe, PA **

First of all, my deepest apologies to Dr. Eric DeMaria, I was very honored to speak for his practice on September 17th and last month I referred to him as Dr. Robert DeMaria, not Dr. Eric DeMaria and I also listed the hospital as the University of Virginia. The correct hospital name is the Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia. What was I thinking??? I'm suprised that I showed up at the right place. What I did get correct was that I had a wonderful time and was truly honored to be there. This all keeps me humble!!

On Tuesday November 5th, I spoke for Dr. McCaughin at the Latrobe Area Hospital, Latrobe, PA. It was one of those cold, rainy Fall days, but there was a terrific turnout. There were far more people there than were expected, in fact, they had to bring in extra chairs. Dr. McCaughin gives all of his patients a copy of my book, so many people brought them to have them autographed. I got to speak to some wonderful folks.

On Monday December 2nd I will be speaking for Dr. Stickler in Charleston, WV. On Saturday December 14th I will be speaking for Dr. Snyder in Denver, CO. If you're in either neighborhood, I hope you can make it!



Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved