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 #115

April 15, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
I just spent a terrific weekend in Park Rapids, MN talking to some wonderful patients of the Dakota Clinic who featured me in their weekend celebration of success. One theme that I heard from many patients is a fear of regaining weight and a fear of doing something wrong.

We all stumble and fall. This journey is not an easy one and we get off track and we make mistakes.  I think we have become so accustomed to failing that we don’t know how to act when we succeed. Success does not come without falling along the way.  That’s how we learn.  So don’t get discouraged and don’t feel alone.  We are all in this Sisterhood and Brotherhood of weight loss surgery together.

In This Issue


* My Take on Recent Events
* Cruise News
* Blogging Along
* Word Search Puzzle: Exercise
* Has Your Pouch Stretched?
* Recipe: Baked Apples in Fruit Sauce  
* Success Story: Kim Jones
* Spreading the Word in Milwaukee; Charlotte, NC; Greenville, PA; Washington, DC; Caribbean; and Columbus, OH

My Take on Recent Events
Don Imus, is a radio talk show host, who last week made some very derogatory remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team.  Despite apologizing, he was at first suspended for two weeks. But as the controversy grew and the sponsors started to desert him, he was ultimately fired.

I couldn’t help thinking however, that if he made comments about someone who was morbidly obese, what would the reaction be? Absolutely nothing. The silence would have been deafening and Imus would have continued on.

Who speaks for us? Who speaks for the obese? It is our voice that has to ring loudly when we hear a joke or a nasty remark being made about someone obese. We allow those remarks to slide because we are embarrassed. We still hold the belief that obesity is our fault and it is not. 

Just yesterday there was a report of a research study done at Oxford University in England about a gene that has been identified that directly leads to obesity. The study included 40,000 people and the gene was identified as the FTO gene.

This gene comes in pairs and there are 2 variations of the gene. Those people with one of the variations in their pair of genes were 30% more likely to be obese. This represented half of the group.  Those with a pair of the variation were 70% more likely to be obese. That group was 16% of the entire group.  To read more about this study, click here. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article1647517.ece

Let’s stop hiding and raise our voices against discrimination and humiliation against the obese.  Even when we have lost the weight and no longer show signs of the disease of obesity, we must never forget. We must always be there to fight for those who don’t have the self esteem to speak for themselves.

Blogging Along

If you haven’t yet gotten onto my blog, check it out! Since the last newsletter I have posted 3 more articles. Read them and feel free to comment on them. And please let me know of any subjects that you would like me to address either in the blog or in this newsletter.

 The articles in the blog are:
* Insurance Coverage for Weight Loss Surgery
* Discrimination against the Obese in Brazil
* Transfer Addiction Following Weight Loss Surgery
* Selecting a Weight Loss Surgeon
* Is it Possible that Stress Can Make you Gain Weight?

Here is the link for the blog http://www.weightlosssurgeryblog.net/
I hope you enjoy the articles 

Puzzle: Exercise

Here is a hidden word puzzle that is all about exercise. How about committing to just one of these exercises this week? And make it one that you don’t normally do. Try something different. 

Go to Puzzle

Has Your Pouch Stretched?

Dear Barbara,
I have been receiving the newsletter for some time now. I find them to be very helpful and want to thank you for having them. I have read your books and enjoyed them. I have gained about 35 pounds since surgery, due to many reasons mostly my emotional eating. Here is my question:  is there any way our pouches once they are stretched out can go back again or shrink? I know that must sound like a crazy question but I have been trying to get back on track and not quite sure how to go about it.


Dear Denise.
If you had RNY surgery, you do not have to worry about your pouch stretching.  The stomach tissue at the base of the esophagus is tough and resistant to stretching. So your pouch probably hasn’t stretched.

What happens more often is that the stoma, which is the opening from the pouch to the small intestines, stretches.  In its original state, the stoma opening should be about the size of a dime. But over time as we force food through that opening, it may stretch. What results is that food doesn’t stay in your pouch as long and slides right through. You don’t get a long sustained feeling of being full.  You are hungrier sooner.

Here is a plan of action to address your problem:

  • Talk with your surgeon and ask him or her to check the size of your stoma and how fast your pouch is emptying.
  • If your pouch is emptying too fast, there are surgeons who are doing revision surgery on the stoma to tighten it up. Many of them are starting to do it endoscopically, which is down your throat rather than making incisions in your abdomen. In the next year or two you will see more and more surgeons doing this kind of revision surgery.
  • Watch your carb intake. What many people think is a stretched pouch or stoma is just your body craving carbs.  Make the carbohydrates complex. Have your source of carbohydrates come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Join my Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program. It is a program that you can work through on a path to success. See the information below.


Barbara, your program has been the best for me! I'm learning all over again.. It's kinda like being injured and learning to walk and talk all over again. Thanks for all you do!!

                                                                   --- Margaret from Texas

Back On Track with Barbara

Now as little as $19.95 per month!!

Baked Apples in Fruit Sauce

I don’t often feature dessert recipes in this newsletter, but I couldn’t resist this one.  I hope you enjoy it.

Baked Apples in Fruit Sauce

4 small apples
½ cup (4 fluid ounces) unsweetened orange juice
1 egg yolk
Artificial sweetener

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and core apples. Wrap each apple in a piece of aluminum foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Whip together the egg yolk and the orange juice. Put in a double boiler and continue whipping until smooth and the mixture just starts to bubble. Add the sweetener to taste.

Remove the apples from the oven and place each in an individual serving dish. Pour ¼ of the sauce over each apple. Makes 4 servings

Each serving:
96 calories; 19 carbohydrates; 2 grams of 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:
  Kim Jones

I want to offer Kim Jones a special thank you. Here is her story:

A testimony is summed up with one word: proof. Proof that something I strongly believed would happen, did in fact happen. The testimony I want to share is the proof that my life has drastically improved through bariatric surgery.

The first question I received from everyone when they found out I was going to have bariatric surgery was “Why?” and the very next response was “You just want to be skinny!” Skinny, no; lose weight, yes; improve my health and quality of life, yes, yes, yes!!!

Most of my young life was spent dealing with other people’s ignorance of overweight problems in children and teens. Some people were well-meaning, but most were just down-right cruel. It’s hard enough dealing with your peers much less some adults. Believe me; trying to embarrass or shame someone into losing weight does not work. If it did, I would not be writing this testimony today.

The older I became the more overweight I became. It worsened after each of my two daughters were born. I tried very hard to blame them, but they both refused to accept the guilt trip I was trying to lay on them.

By this time I had hardened myself against the verbal abuse and accepted my weight as just a fact of life. So life decided to put another wrinkle in the plan; in my case several wrinkles.

I became a diabetic dependant on 100 units of insulin daily. Osteoarthritis in my feet and hips had me taking 800 mg of Neurontin. My blood pressure was so out of control that I was on three medications and even then it was not controlled. I was also diagnosed with life-threatening sleep apnea which caused me to be dependant on a CPAP for over six years.

During this time I developed an extreme lack of energy. Just putting in a day’s work would tire me out till I would just go home and sit down for the rest of the evening. I stopped wanting to do anything or go anywhere. I could not take the heat, nor could I walk more than 5 or 6 feet without being out of breath. In effect, I was in danger of dying from any one of these conditions.

Then June 23, 2004 arrived. Thanks to Dr. Davenport, Denise and his wonderful staff, my life turned around completely. My life did not change instantly, but I was given the tool to start controlling my life and start living again.

So far, I have lost 167 pounds. I am no longer on insulin or any type of diabetes medicine. My blood sugar levels have been normal since the 4th day after surgery. With the weight gone, my osteoarthritis does not bother me; so I am off the Neurontin. I am only on one blood pressure medication and it is under control. Six months after my surgery I underwent a sleep study and subsequently was removed from the CPAP; I no longer have sleep apnea.

As far as the energy level goes, this past week I spent my vacation in the mountains of Georgia, camping, hiking and horseback riding with my grandchildren (yes, the horse survived). I even hiked 850 feet up the side of a mountain to see a tower built in the 1800’s by Indians. I made the trip up and back down without any problems. Then we went swimming.

Everyone asks me how much have I lost. The more important question should be how much have I gained? I gained a normal weight (not skinny), a healthier body, a better self-image and the ability to play with my grandchildren in a way I was never able to play with my own children. My body is no longer trapped by obesity, illness and lack of energy.

For those who are reading this and contemplating bariatric surgery, make sure you are doing it for all the right reasons. I was told by some this was just “the easy way out” to lose weight. That statement could not be further from the truth. It is a diet you will never go off of. There is no, “I’ll start my diet Monday.” There is no binge eating if you get depressed.

Dr. Davenport and his staff gave me all the information on what I should eat and when, but I was sometimes my own worst enemy during this time. I learned that you will adapt or your “new” stomach will adapt for you. This is not a “quick-fix,” but a life-long tool to pursue a healthier life. I am right now healthier than I have been in over 30 years.

I am human and I made mistakes while I was learning this new way of life. You will make mistakes too, just learn from them. I would not change one thing about the surgery or what I went through. In fact I would recommend bariatric surgery to anyone who wants to get their health back. 

Kim Jones,
RNY GB 6/23/2004 by Dr. Donald Davenport,
Weight loss 167 pounds.

Congratulations Kim

You achieved your goal, be proud and tell the world.

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
  Milwaukee, WI; Charlotte, NC;
   Greenville, PA; Washington, DC;
  the Caribbean
  and Columbus, OH

Charlotte, NC
Monday May 14, 2007, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Heaton Hall at the Cornwell Center, behind Myers Park Baptist Church, 2001 Selwyn Ave., Charlotte, NC. Sponsored by Dr. David Voellinger, Southeast Bariatrics. Call Jennifer Sawyer, 704-347-4144 for more information.

Greenville, PA
Wednesday May 23rd, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Thiel College Auditorium, sponsored by UPMC Horizon, Greenville, PA. Call Jonathan Bailey, 724-589-6642 for information

Washington, DC
Thursday August 9th, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Open only to military related patients and their families. Contact Jenny West for more information at walterreedwls@hotmail.com or 443-889-6984.

Columbus, OH.
Speaking for Dr. Needleman and Dr. Mikami, Ohio State University, Date not yet set.

Please Note: I am asked very often about coming to speak for various practices. If you would like me to speak, I am sponsored to speak by either the Hospital or by a corporation. Call me for details 877-440-1518.

Attention Nurses

If you are a nurse and would like for me to speak on positive patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, or obesity sensitivity for your State Nurses Association, please have the conference planner for your State Association contact me. I have a corporate sponsor who will pay my fee and expenses so it is free for your Association. I also speak for many hospitals on the same topics. 

Contact me at Barbara@WLScenter.com or 412-851-4195.


Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

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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