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 #131

December 15, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
The Christmas holidays are upon us and it’s 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 right column

Stay up-to-date on all the latest information about weight loss surgery!!

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 can’t 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 it’s great to have maintained a 90 lb weight loss for over 2 years.  That is wonderful.

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. 

It’s 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. It’s 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???


Hi Cynthia,
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 “Obese” 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 isn’t 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.

If you’re not happy with your weight loss, then join the
Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program.

Back On Track with Barbara is a 6-month or a 12-month 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.

For more information or to join the Program, go to


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.


Hi Karen,
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 bypass patients. 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 as possible.

Eating the wrong foods is another culprit that adds to our hunger.  By “wrong foods,”  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 happen naturally.

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 http://www.wlscenter.com/Announce_Book.htm

The One-Drink DUI

‘Tis 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 drink.

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 Great Support

 Group Event or

Obesity Sensitivity Training for

Your Hospital Staff?

(And It May Be Free)

Speaking for Hospitals

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.

Speaking for Support Groups

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 Barbara@WLScenter.com

Chicken Cacciatore (low calorie)

Chicken Cacciatore

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
¼ 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 Barbara@WLScenter.com


Success Story:
  Kathleen Gregory

I want to offer Kathleen Gregory a special thanks. Here is her story:

Dear Barbara,
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 don’t 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, “In a heartbeat!”  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 don’t know if I would have been so successful.

I still have 40 more pounds to lose to reach my goal.  If I don’t 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 do again.

Thanks Barbara, for your wonderful newsletter. It is very inspiring.

God Bless

Kathleen Gregory


Congratulations Kathleen


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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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