WLS Center.com E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by
Issue # 19
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
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
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,
** 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
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
** 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
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
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!