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 #80

November 1, 2005

Hello Everyone,
This weekend I went on my last bike ride of the season. Well at least I tried! It turned out that it was too cold to do much and my 22 mile planed ride turned into only 8 miles. For the most part it has been a wonderful Fall, but the cold weather is soon coming. 

When it’s cold, we have a tendency to huddle up into a ball to try to keep warm and not do too much moving.  That has to come from our caveman ancestors.  I know it has always been hard for me to embrace the cold and love winter sports. 

I would love to know ways that you keep active during the winter. Do you venture out to walk when it is below freezing? Do you go ice skating or skiing? Do you mall walk? I admit I don’t. I hit the gym. So I am always looking for inspiration on ways to stay active when it is cold. I search for these because the only way I am able to maintain my weight is through exercise, and variety in exercise is so important.

Please let me know your methods and what you do when the temperature dips. Email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com so I can share them.

In This Issue

* Shame On Wal-Mart
* Back On Track Mentoring Program
* Recipe: Chicken and Apples Normandy
* The Horror of Hair Loss
* Success Story: Wendy Belvick
* Spreading the Word in Houston, Orange, CA and Cleveland

Shame on Wal-Mart
Wal-mart, America’s largest employer with annual profits of $10 billion was embarrassed this week when an internal memo leaked by the New York Times revealed that executives want to dissuade “unhealthy” workers from applying for jobs at Wal-Mart. It was evident from the memo that one characteristic of “unhealthy” is obesity. Makes one wonder how far we may be from employers charging higher health care premiums for being obese. We have seen Southwest airlines charge morbidly obese passengers double fare. Are movie theatres far behind?

Many have asked the question, “Is Obesity a Disease?” With the discovery of over 300 genes that contribute to obesity in terms of our appetite, metabolism and how fat is stored, the answer to the question seems obvious.  Whether obesity is a disease is such an important question because the answer will determine who gets treated for obesity, what treatments are available, who pays for the treatment and who stays healthy. Recognizing obesity as a disease will ultimately work to eliminate discrimination in employment, and in other areas of our lives.

I would like to introduce you to an organization that you may not have heard of.  It is the Obesity Action Coalition. Here is their website http://www.obesityaction.org/home/index.php You will be hearing more about them in future issues of this newsletter.  In the meantime, check out their website and please consider joining.  We can unite and do so much good.

Back On Track Mentoring Program
Join the Mentoring Program Now.

The Back on Track mentoring Program is an internet mentoring program in which Lessons are emailed to you every week for 26 weeks. It includes a Message Board and Teleseminars led by Barbara.

The Program is self paced so you can join at any time.

If you aren’t happy with your weight loss or are regaining weight, read on.

Here is what one member wrote:

“Barbara, God bless you! This program has been a life saver for me, and I mean that literally. My depression was starting to go way down hill. I have actually lost 2 pounds this week, but the best part is that I am learning to eat right and care about myself. Thank you also to everyone who has talked on this forum. I love having the teamwork and support. Thank you all for being honest and helpful.”


Internet Weight Loss Programs work!!!

A 2005 US Air Force study showed that those enrolled in an internet weight loss Program were 3 times more likely to meet their weight loss goal than those who weren't on an Internet weight loss program.

Go to http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com for more information on the Program and to register.


Chicken and Apples Normandy


2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped (do not peel them)
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tbl flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbl light sour cream

In a medium saucepan combine the apples, onion, cider, vinegar and ½ tsp salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 7 minutes

Meanwhile, on a plate combine flour, black pepper and remaining salt. Dust the chicken in the flour mixture. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook turning once until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the apple mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. Stir the sour cream into the apple mixture, spoon over the chicken and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Nutritional information for each serving:
Calories: 284
Carbohydrates: 31 grams
Protein: 28 grams

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

The Horror of Hair Loss
I have always felt that the cruelest trick that weight loss surgery plays on many of us is hair loss. Significant hair loss occurs in approximately 30% of post-op patients. Those are the statistics, but from all of the support groups I have visited and speaking events that I have attended, the number seems higher.

Hair loss will start about 4 months after surgery and will continue for about 3 months. It is such a cruel trick because hair loss starts at a time when you are not yet happy with yourself and your weight loss. I don’t know about you, but there were few things that I liked about myself before my surgery and one of them was my hair.  If I had to face losing just about the only thing I liked about myself, I would have had a tough time. Fortunately I was not one of the many who had to face that.

Hair loss is additionally upsetting because hair will come out at a significant rate. You will find clumps of hair in your hair brush, on the shower floor when you are washing your hair. It is frightening. You have visions of losing all of your hair and being that way forever!!

The good news is that your hair will grow back in almost all cases. Starting about the 6th or 7th month, new growth starts to show.  Be forewarned that your hair sometimes comes back a little different than it was before.  For instance, it may be curly whereas before it was straight.

It is not known exactly why some patients lose up to 50% of their hair following surgery. It is speculated that it is because

·        You are going through the shock of major surgery and this shock causes hair loss. This sometimes happens with other surgery as well.

·        Combined with the shock of surgery, you are eating very little following surgery. Hair is actually a dead protein called keratin, so the lack of protein shows in the quality of quantity of your hair.

There are some steps that you can take to try to minimize hair loss, although there are no guarantees that some of these will work.  But it is worth a try.

  • Eat as much protein as you possibly can. Strive for 60 grams in whatever form you can whether it is through food or protein shakes and bars.
  • You may want to try biotin which is available in health stores, although I have never read any studies that show that it works with weight loss surgery patients.
  • You may also want to try minoxidil which you can get in any drug store.
  • Get you hair cut shorter.  A shorter hair cut makes your hair look fuller
  • Buy a wig or just a hair piece for the top of your head.

If you are concerned about hair loss, eating enough protein, using biotin and minoxidil are things that you will want to do right after surgery.  If you wait until you have a problem, it will be too late and the remedies will not work any faster than just going through the process.

Hopefully, you will not be one of the percentages who experience hair loss.  But if you are, remember, it is a small and temporary price to pay for a lifetime of good health, better self esteem and freedom from the effects of the disease of morbid obesity.

Taken in part from my book, Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You. 3rd edition, 2003.

To order a copy click to visit our store

Success Story:
  Wendy Belvick
I want to offer a special thanks to Wendy Belvick. Here is her story:

I have been on every diet and all of the weight loss meds on the market and with every attempt I would lose weight only to gain it all back again, plus some. With my medical problems, Type 1 diabetes, Graves disease, sleep apnea, arthritis, high cholesterol, I knew for my health and my family, I needed something more drastic.   I wanted to be a participant in my family's life and at that point I was watching my boy’s childhood from the sidelines most of the time because I didn't have the energy to be involved with them or my husband and felt too insecure to try.

I started investigating weight loss surgery seriously two years ago and eventually got to meet Dr. Greenbaum at his support group 8 months prior to my surgery. I talked to him about my health concerns, met his patients and learned invaluable information. After that, I chose to place my future with him and on March 15th, 2004  I had gastric bypass surgery with the help of my wonderfully supportive husband and my two little boys, along with friends and family!

Since then, I have been able to set and complete some new goals for myself.  I can run and play with my children and enjoy family outings. I feel confident and have more self-esteem in handling daily situations. I’m on half the amount of insulin, have replaced my medications with protein supplements and vitamins and have so much energy now that I can’t live without the gym. It is amazing! I feel the best I have felt in my whole life and finally feel like a “normal” person. 

I have gone from a size 22/24 to a size 12/14! This surgery is a good “tool” but not a cure. It does give you that good jump-start to get your life back, by eating the right things and exercising, but it is definitely a lifestyle and a mindset change!

I thank God for answering my prayers,  and my surgeon for giving me back my life, and all the friends I met in support groups that have given me invaluable knowledge, strength and encouragement. My outlook on life has really improved and when people have asked me if I am glad I had the surgery, I always say yes, it has saved my life.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Wendy Belvick
Willingboro, NJ

Before After

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.  

Spreading the Word  
  in Houston, LA and Cleveland
I will be speaking at 2 upcoming Obesity Help events; a Regional Event in Houston on November 19th and a National Event in Orange County, CA, on December 2-4th

Click here for details:http://www.obesityhelpevents.com/                  

I will also be in Cleveland, at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation on Thursday December 8th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, in the Lerner Research Institute Building, Carnegie between 96th and 100th, Cleveland, OH. This event is free and open to the public. 

Please Note: If you are interested in having me speak for your practice, call me for details 877-440-1518.

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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.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/

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