WLS Center E-Newsletter

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Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #79

October 15, 2005

Hello Everyone,
We are getting into the Fall months and Halloween will soon be here.  Here’s a tip.  When buying candy for those Trick or Treaters, buy something that you don’t like.  For instance, I don’t buy small candy bars- especially little Hershey bars. I can eat one of those and not experience dumping. They are just too easy to graze on.  I try to buy gummy type candy, or something like Skittles.  Those are not at all appealing to me.

In the article below, I talk about grazing.  It is a universal problem no matter when you had surgery or what type of surgery you’ve had. For some of us, grazing is something that we can tame but never fully conquer.  So I hope I have offered some tips to help.

In This Issue


* Grazing: That Great Nemesis
* Research Article: How Much Exercise Is Enough?
* Mentoring Program Is Off and Running
* Recipe: “Fried” Chicken
* Success Story: Fannie LaGreca

Grazing: That Great Nemesis

After we have surgery, binge eating is difficult.  We have the small pouch that just won’t permit it.  And if we even try, up it comes or we have such a tummy ache that the pain reinforces our determination not to do that again (at least for awhile).

But what about those little bites of this and little bites of that which just go down so very easily.  That is one of the most difficult things to conquer. And learning to control grazing can mean the difference between success and failure.

Grazing is “unplanned eating.” It is not eating small meals.  And you can eat little bites all day, as long as you plan for it. Huh??? Does that sound like double speak? Let me explain.

We are the product of calories in versus calories used, so calories still count, even after you have surgery. So if you have a specific plan, not just a plan to not graze, but a plan of exactly how much you are going to eat, and stick to it, you’ll be just fine.  How you split up that food, doesn’t really matter. For instance, if you plan to have 1200 calories during a day, you can spread those calories out anyway that you want.  You can eat that food anytime, not just at mealtime. However, if you are planning meals and then snacking in between on foods that you haven’t figured in, then you are grazing.

There are many reasons why people graze. One is that they have a food addiction.  They need food to help them cope with any emotion in their lives. Another reason is that they are not eating enough and find that they are hungry because they aren’t getting enough at meal time. That is especially common as we progress with the size of our pouch. We think we should be satisfied with very tiny meals for the rest of our lives.  That is unrealistic.  At some point, we need to transition to eating like normal weighted persons, maybe not in such large quantities at once, but the same quantity divided into more eating “episodes” throughout the day.

So if you have problems with grazing, here are some things to consider:

  1. Plan out your food or calories for the day
  2. Spread it out into as many meals that work for you
  3. If you are grazing, ask yourself why you are eating – hunger or emotion
  4. If it is emotion, try dealing with those emotions in another way than food, or consider getting counseling
  5. If you are grazing because of habit or boredom, start a food log.  It is a very effective deterrent if you have to write down everything you are eating before you put it into your mouth.

Grazing can be conquered.  It is a habit that you can break.  It is tough, but you can do it.

Research Article:  
  How Much Exercise Is Enough?

I heard a surprising statistic 2 weeks ago. It is that 60% of US adults get less than 10 minutes of exercise PER WEEK!!

Wow, of course that means that all you have to do is to exercise 11 minutes a week or 1 minute and 34 seconds per day and you are doing better than 60% of people out there. Can you do that?  If you say you are too busy to exercise, can you at least find 1 minute and 34 seconds per day?  Sure you can!! It’s a start!!

CNN had an article recently on how much exercise is enough.  It can be very confusing and this article attempts to sort it all out.  Here is the article:


Mentoring Program Is Off and Running!!

“I have lost 8 pounds and am back in my size 10 pants. I am back on my exercise program again. I am feeling so much more positive about me.

I am so happy about Barbara's mentoring program. This is really what I needed to get back on track.”

                                                           -- Sandy M.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is, “Is it too late to join the Mentoring Program?” The answer is no, you can join anytime!!!

The almost 100 people who have joined the Mentoring Program love it!  We had our first telephone seminar last Sunday evening.  The next telephone seminar will be on a week day night. If you become a member, you'll be able to join us!

If you are regaining weight or have never reached your goal weight and want to get back on track, go to http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com. You will get more information and find out how you can register.


“Fried” Chicken

This chicken is baked but really tastes fried. I bet you’ll love it!

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/8 cup (1/2 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup finely chopped almonds
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of ground black pepper
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2" thickness and cut into 6 pieces
Sprig Italian parsley, for garnish

Pound the chicken breasts and cut into 6 pieces. Combine the first 8 ingredients. Dip the chicken in the oil and roll in the crumb mixture. Bake the chicken in a 400° degree oven for 25 minutes or until done or juices run clear. Do not turn chicken while baking.

Nutritional Information:
383 calories
15 g carbohydrate
41 g protein

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

Success Story:
  Fannie LaGreca

I want to offer a special thanks to Fannie LaGreca. Here is her story:

Hi Barbara,
I was overweight all of my life. I graduated from high school in 1985 weighing 180 pounds. By the time I was 22 I weighed 220 pounds.

My weight went up and down as I went from diet to diet. I did them all; Deal a Meal, Weight Watchers, Nutri-System, and nothing worked. Even if I lost 20 pounds, I would gain back 40 just because I never learned how to eat. I finally gave up on dieting and accepted that I was fat and decided to just go with it. By the time I was 36 I was over 300 pounds.

In the summer of 2001 I had the worst burning in my chest while I was driving to work one morning. I took off my bra because I thought some kind of irritant was in the material. I soon realized that the bra was not the problem. I had just experienced the absolute worst heartburn I had ever felt. From that day on I carried Pepto Bismal with me all the time. You would think that would change my eating habits. No way! I continued to eat a big breakfast, equally big lunch and certainly not a sensible dinner. The weight just packed on.

One night I was bowling with some friends and I saw a girl I had seen a few weeks past. She looked like she had lost weight. I asked her what she was doing to have lost so much weight in such a short time. She told me she had gastric bypass surgery. I had heard of the surgery when Carnie Wilson had her surgery. Now, I was curious. She told me she had it performed at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. I went home and looked it up online. I got a schedule when the surgeons were speaking about the procedure and I attended a meeting in July 2003. There was a patient who stood up and said he lost 97 pounds in three months. I was amazed. I thought, ‘Hey, this is for real!’ It was so radical I thought that it just might work for me. I sighed up that day and started the paperwork.

In early February I was notified that my surgery date was March 23, 2004. After surgery I had two complications that were dealt with and since May 2004, I have never felt better.

Today I weigh 157 pounds. I went from a BMI of 47 to a BMI of 24. I went from a size 24 to a size 11/12 and I have not had heartburn since my procedure. I thank God and my surgeon all the time. This has truly been a tool that has saved my life. I have learned how to eat to live and not live to eat.

Barbara, thank you so much for the newsletter and many blessings to you.

Fannie LaGreca
Oceanside, Ca

Before After


I am getting a little short of success stories. 

If you have considered writing yours, please send it to me along with your before and after pictures. If you have submitted your story in the past and it hasn’t been printed, please resubmit it.  It may very well have gotten lost in the shuffle!!

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.  

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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.
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