WLS Center E-Newsletter
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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
The Voice of Obesity
The Christmas holidays are upon us and itís a wonderful time of
the year yet we also know it's a rather dangerous time in terms of
eating. But there are things that you can do to get ready for this
holiday season. Start right now by preparing for the holidays.
Start today being very careful with your
eating and ramp-up your exercise.
If you do that for the next 10 days by
the time Christmas is here you'll be in better shape to handle it.
I want to wish each of you a very happy
holiday. Enjoy the season and I'll be with you next year.
In This Issue
* New Blog Feature
* A Letter of Frustration
* The Lion Roars
* The One-Drink DUI
* Recipe: Chicken Cacciatore (low calorie)
Success Story: Kathleen Gregory
New Blog Feature
|Now you can
be notified by email when Barbara Thompson posts a new entry
in her weight loss surgery Blog. To subscribe, go to
http://weightlosssurgeryblog.net/ and look in the
up-to-date on all the latest information about weight loss
A Letter of Frustration
I wanted to share this letter that I
received recently with you. I think it reflects the
frustrations of a lot of people. We know what to do; we just
canít seem to do it.
You keep asking for success stories. I
would love to be able to send you a success story but I
don't feel like I have been "successful" YET. I haven't
given up, but I am definitely stuck.
I started out weighing 291 lbs. I had
gastric bypass surgery in July 2004. A year later I weighed
201 lbs. Now 2 years and 4 months after that I am STILL 201
lbs. I went up to 205 once and down to 199 once. But in
general I stay about 201 lbs.
I used to wear a size 24/26 and now I
am a 14/16. But that was not my goal. I am very happy that
I have never gained any weight back. I think itís great to
have maintained a 90 lb weight loss for over 2 years. That
I feel like my eating is under control.
It is healthy and balanced. I am no longer a food addict.
So why am I still 201 lbs? I think it must because I don't
exercise, never, no more movement than is necessary! I
can't see any other reason. I know that must be why I stay
at 201. But I feel so frustrated with that!!!! There is
no surgery to fix my lack of exercise!!!!
It feels overwhelming to me. I hate to
exercise! Hate it!!! I have tried many different things,
believe me! I just hate it. I can't stick with anything.
I can't do anything consistently.
Itís so frustrating to have come so
far, and now be stuck here with another huge mountain in
front of me, and this time, feeling like I will never be
able to be truly "successful!" I think I would rather have
surgery again than to have to learn to exercise. Itís so
hard for me.
Way before I ever had surgery, my goal
was to get to a healthy BMI, which for me at 5'6 would be to
weigh about 155-158lbs. So I am still about 45 lbs.
overweight!! And my second goal was to get out of plus
sized clothing. So that means getting down to a size
10-12. Like I said, I am a 16 mostly, sometimes 14, now.
So I don't feel successful. I am still
45 lbs overweight. I do not exercise. I don't know what to
do to fix that. And I still wear plus size clothing.
Is it too late for me? Has it been too
long now that I am doomed to be stuck here forever? Do you
think my theory is right- that if somehow I could learn to
exercise regularly, then I would get past this point???
First of all, maintaining a 90 pound weight loss is
fantastic. But it is not a weight loss that you are happy
with. I feel that it is important to reduce your weight to a
number below the ďObeseĒ category as far as Body Mass Index
(BMI) is concerned. For your height that would mean a weight
of 185. That is 16 more pounds to lose. It is good to look
at that rather than the 45 lbs. you would like to lose.
It is not too late for you to lose
weight, but it will never be easy again. And yes, for you to
lose those 15 lbs. or more you should exercise. It is
possible to lose weight without exercising, but your
metabolism is so low without exercise, that it isnít
possible to lose unless you cut your calories
way down. But that will result in your
body going into starvation mode, holding onto those
calories and you wouldn't be able
to lose more than a few pounds because of that.
So you have a choice. You can be
content with the weight you are right now and be careful not
to gain any back, or you can really work on a program which
includes exercise. The choice is yours.
Don't struggle alone. Join us.
youíre not happy with your weight loss,
then join the
Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring
Back On Track with Barbara is a 6-month or
membership program that provides an
internet mentorship for those who are struggling with
weight regain after weight loss surgery. It also benefits
those who have never reached their goal weight after surgery.
information or to join the Program, go
The Lion Roars
I am 4 years post op and have lost 100
pounds. Lately I have had an appetite like a lion. Do you
have any recommendations for appetite suppressants? I would
greatly appreciate any ideas you can give.
This is a very common problem that people see occurring from
two years post up on. It can be caused by a number of
things. These include:
- A stretching of the pouch.
- A stretching of the stoma
- Eating the wrong foods.
- And drinking right after you eat.
Let's take a look at each of these
problems, starting with stretching of the pouch. With gastric
bypass surgery, the pouch is formed at the base of the
esophagus. The tissue of the stomach, at that location is
very resistant to stretching. However, it can stretch a small
amount. Even stretching a small amount means that you can eat
more food. Your pouch doesn't fill up as easily and it takes
more food to satisfy you.
What happens far more often is the stoma
stretches. The stoma or anastomosis is the opening between
the pouch and the second part of the small intestines. Right
after you have surgery your stoma is about the size of a
dime. Over time, you can stretch the stoma by overeating.
Once your stoma stretches, food remains in your pouch for a
much shorter period of time, because you don't have the small
diameter of the stoma to hold food in your pouch. So your
feeling of being satisfied is shorter.
For those of you who have recently had
gastric bypass surgery, be very careful about not stretching
your stoma. Don't eat food beyond what your body tells you
that your pouch can handle. Once you start feeling that very
familiar feeling of fullness, be sure to stop. This is one
advantage that patients who have had the lap
band surgery have over gastric
In lap band surgery, the
pouch is formed at the top of the stomach and the stomach is
cinched by a band that allows food to move very slowly from
that upper pouch into the lower stomach. A lap band patient
can very easily have a fill
procedure to ensure that the opening
is exactly the right size so that
food remains in the upper portion of the stomach for as long
Eating the wrong foods is another culprit
that adds to our hunger. By ďwrong foods,Ē I mean simple
carbohydrates. I think those of us who suffer from morbid
obesity are extremely sensitive to carbohydrates. When we eat
simple carbohydrates such as white bread, white potatoes, or
anything sweet, it causes our blood sugar level to rapidly
rise. Once we have used up the glucose that those foods
produce, our blood sugar level drops and our body starts to
crave the same carbohydrates that increased our blood sugar
level. This starts that very familiar carbohydrate craving
cycle. I know that if I have a breakfast of carbohydrates, I
will be hungry for the rest of the day. But if I start my day
with protein, such as a hard-boiled
egg or a protein bar or a protein shake, I can control my
hunger much more easily. That feeling of insatiable appetite
often comes from eating carbohydrates.
Finally, look at the way you eat. Most of
us have been taught even before we had surgery to not drink
for 30 minutes after we have eaten. Do you always follow that
rule? If you don't what you're doing is pushing food out of
your pouch and into your intestines, far faster than would
I know we all thought that by having
weight loss surgery, we would never
be plagued by hunger again. And
it's a shock to find that feeling is still with us. By
following these tips, hopefully you'll be able to keep that
lion at bay, maintain your weight and go on living a healthy
and happy life.
For more tips like this, read my book,
Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding inside
You. It's available at
The One-Drink DUI
ĎTis the season to be jolly, but be very
careful this holiday season with how much you drink and then
drive. A recent study conducted by Stanford University Medical
Center, shows that post-bariatric patients can reach a blood
alcohol level above the legal limit for driving after just one
This is a very important article to read if
you intend to be drinking at any holiday parties. Be safe!
Would You Like to Have a
Obesity Sensitivity Training
Your Hospital Staff?
If you are a bariatric co-ordinator
and need obesity sensitivity training for your hospital
staff, contact me at 877-440-1518 or
Barbara@BarbaraThompson.net. I have sponsorship that
your hospital may qualify for.
Would you like me to speak for your
support group? Wouldn't it be great to
have a special event and invite all of your past patients?
Email me at
Chicken Cacciatore (low
3 whole chicken breasts, skinned and halved
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 tbsp. dry onion flakes
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes, mashed
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
ľ tsp. thyme
2 tbsp. finely chopped pimento
Wash chicken pieces well and pat dry. Combine
remaining ingredients in a slow cooker.
Add chicken, pushing down into liquid to thoroughly moisten and
coat. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 to 9 hours. Makes 6
servings at 120 calories each.
NOTE: You may bake this in a roasting
pan in an oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours or until
the chicken is tender.
If you have a
recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this
newsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer
Kathleen Gregory a special thanks.
Here is her story:
I have been overweight since my first child. It was very hard for
me because I used to be small and very active. I kept gaining
weight, more each year. I tried several weight loss products and
did lose but then I would gain after I stopped. I yoyo dieted for
25 years. Additionally, my health was starting to deteriorate in the
last 3 or 4 years. I was at the point that I could hardly walk, when
my orthopedic doctor suggested weight loss surgery. So that is when
I started looking into the surgery. I did all the research, and
went to visit the closest doctor to me.
In April 2006, I had laparoscopic gastric
bypass surgery. My starting weight was 335 pounds. I had high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, GERD, type II diabetes, and arthritis so
badly I could hardly get around.
I am now 143 pounds lighter, I donít have GERD
anymore, my blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol is normal, and
my diabetes is controlled. I feel like a hundred bucks. The
difference is so amazing!
I have had a lot of people ask me if I had to
do this over, would I. I say without even having to think about it,
ďIn a heartbeat!Ē This is the second best thing that has happened
to me in my lifetime, my children being my first.
I recommend weight loss surgery to everyone. It
is wonderful, and I want to thank God, my surgeon, my children and
husband. Without my family support, I donít know if I would have
been so successful.
I still have 40 more pounds to lose to reach my
goal. If I donít lose anymore weight it is okay with me, because I
can do so much more now than I ever thought I would ever be able to
Thanks Barbara, for your wonderful newsletter.
It is very inspiring.
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ďReprinted from Barbara Thompsonís free
e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to
help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
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