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October 2002 Issue


WLS E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by
Issue # 18
Circulation: 7,127


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

** In this issue **

* More About Vitamins
* New Research Article: Obesity in the US
* Recipe: Mock Mashed Potato Casserole
* Re-Request for Hospital Stories
* Success Story: Patti Staley
* Book Excerpt: Window of Opportunity
* Spreading the Word in New Jersey, Virginia and Orlando

Dear Subscriber,

"Hey, Baby!" I can remember hearing those words with some frequency when I was much younger. Cat calls from construction workers. Gee how I hated that!! "They're disgusting," I used to think. I would do anything to avoid those guys. I would take a different route; walk on the other side of the street; and of course look straight ahead with my nose tilted slightly heavenward. Anything to get away from that heckling! I never would have imagined that one day I would actually miss it.

But the years passed, I put on more and more weight and those disgusting cat calls stopped! I can remember the day I realized that I was no longer a cat call candidate. I didn't realize that I was heading past a construction area, I was in the middle of it and I braced myself for the inevitable. Nothing. It was so depressing! I guess the black outfits that I seemed to be wearing more and more weren't really camouflaging my weight. And then the real fear hit me. Would they now heckle me because I was so heavy?

If there are any feminists that I am offending, please forgive me! I know we should not value ourselves by our physical appearance and that this surgery is primarily for the improvement of our health. And we should not have unrealistic expectations of the outcome of our body after weight loss surgery. But just between you and me (and please don't tell my husband), I got a cat call the other day and I was thrilled! Gee, I sure hope it wasn't meant for that young girl who happened to be walking behind me!


** New Research Article: **

A review of Flegal, Katherine, et al. "Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among US Adults, 1999-2000," "Journal of the American Medical Association," Vol. 288, Oct. 9, 2002, p. 1723-1727.

The media has latched onto the latest report on the state of obesity in the United States. The report appeared in the October 9th issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Not one to take anyone's word for much, I rushed out to the Library to read the article myself. The Journal of the American Medical Association (or JAMA as it is known) does not reprint its articles on the web so I had to go to the source. This also means that, unfortunately, because of copyright restrictions, I cannot reprint the article or link to it for you to read. But I did want to give you my thoughts.

The report analyses data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) since 1960. It shows that the level of obesity was stable at about 14% through the first survey (1960-1962), the second survey (1971-1974) and the third survey (1976-1980). Obesity then spiked up to 23% for the survey conducted 1988-1994 and continued the upward trend to 30% for this most recent survey, 1999-2000. The most recent survey collected data from 4,115 adults.

So what is the difference? What happened in that period between 1988 and now that has caused obesity to increase at such an alarming rate?

For the rest of this article, Click Here

** Recipe: Mock Mashed Potato Casserole **

Do you miss your favorite potatoes, but you are trying so hard not to eat carbs? Then try this recipe. You will be amazed at how much these taste like loaded twice-baked potatoes!!

16 ounce bag of frozen cauliflower florettes
2 Tablespoons of butter
4 ounces of cream cheese
1 lb of cooked chopped bacon
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped scallions

Cook the cauliflower according to package directions until very soft. Drain them and mash them with a potato masher or put them in a food processor. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Put the mixture in a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Wow!!

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

** Re-Request for Hospital Stories **

Last month I asked for hospital stories and many of you sent me wonderful ones. Then guess what happened? My hard drive and my motherboard crashed at the same time. What a nightmare!!! I back up my computer, but I hadn't backed it up since mid August. So all of the hospital stories that were sent were lost!!! Please, if you sent yours, resend it. And if you haven't sent in one yet, please do.

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. Thanks so much!!!

Please email them to me at

** Book Excerpt: Window of Opportunity **

On October 5th, I was the keynote speaker for a conference in Orlando sponsored by Dr. Marema for post-op patients. Later in the day, I led a workshop about plateaus. One thing that struck me from the discussion is the importance of using the window of opportunity as effectively as possible. Eat your protein first at any meal, drink 64 ounces of water a day, don't graze, and be sure to exercise. I cannot stress this enough to those who are pre-op and to those who are in their early months following surgery. I thought this excerpt from my book, "Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding inside You" might help:

Window of Opportunity

There is a time period of 12 to 18 months, immediately following your surgery, during which you have the greatest opportunity to lose weight. This is called your "window of opportunity." Immediately following surgery, you cannot eat and will be on a liquid diet until your new pouch heals. As you slowly transition into solid food you will be eating extremely small amounts. Not only will you have a very small stomach that holds about one ounce of food, your new stomach will also be swollen from the surgery. You will experience fullness and satiety from very little food. Most people find that there are many days when they actually forget to eat! It is important to take advantage of this time, before your hunger returns. Your new stomach will stretch a bit so that you will eventually be able to eat from four to eight ounces of food, but that will take a number of months. It is very important to learn new eating habits during this time period. These lessons will help you to maintain your weight in the months to come.

Take every advantage of the first 12 months to lose as much weight as you can. It will never be this easy again.

This is a excerpt from "Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You" 2nd edition, 2002 by Barbara Thompson, available at  This book is the most recommended patient guidebook by surgeons across the country.

**Spreading the Word in New Jersey, Virginia and Orlando**

On Tuesday September 17th, I spoke for Dr. Robert DeMaria of the University of Virginia, Richmond, VA. While there I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Harvey Sugarman, one of the pioneers of weight loss surgery. The practice had a wonderful reception prior to the conference and there were over 80 people who attended.

On Saturday October 5th, I was the keynote speaker for the weekend conference, Rewarding Change. Dr. Marema of Ft. Lauderdale, FL sponsored the Orlando conference. It began on Friday evening with a reception for all of the attendees. My keynote address at breakfast on Saturday morning was on the importance of change in our lives. This was followed by some fascinating workshops including those on cooking, exercise, couples counseling, and managing your weight following surgery. I conducted a workshop on plateaus. Following a late afternoon book signing, there was a formal dinner and dance. On Sunday morning there was a panel discussion. Everything was very well planned and showed the devotion that Dr. Marema has for his patients. It was a wonderful educational program that other support groups might want to organize for their patients. I was proud to be a part of it and want to thank Dr. Marema and the conference planner, Mitch Katz for inviting me. 

Look for me next at Latrobe Area Hospital in Latrobe, PA on November 5th and in Charleston, West VA at St. Francis Hospital on December 2nd.

Before the end of the year I hope to be speaking for Dr. Snyder in Denver, CO and for Dr. Rothwell in Macon, GA. Specific dates will follow.


Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved