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 #106

December 1, 2006

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
Each of us who has had weight loss surgery has had the fear that we would not be successful with our weight loss. That is every patient's nightmare. One of our reader's experienced this to some extent and I offer my insights below. It is important to remember that we are all different.  We are stuck with our own metabolism - good or bad. People lose weight at different rates and people lose different amounts of weight. All you can really do is to make each day following your surgery count for as much as possible, because you will never get those first few months of "weight loss heaven" back.

I am very excited that another retreat is coming up.  This is an incredible experience for those who attend. If there is any way that you can make this, you donít want to miss it.

In This Issue

* Office Closed
* Stalled
* Charlotte Retreat
* Calling All Lap-Band Patients:
* Recipe: Parmesan Chicken  
* Success Story: Matt Welborn

Office Closed
We are sending this Newsletter out a little early because our office is going to be closed for vacation from Friday, December 1st to Sunday, December 10th, 2006.  Please be aware that you can still place orders over the internet, but those orders orders placed between these dates will be shipped when we return on Monday December 11th.

Hi Barbara,
I need some help with an issue Iím having. I had surgery on Jan. 10, 2005 and my weight was 250 pounds. As of today, I weigh 170 pounds.

It has been almost 8 months that I have been at the same weight. It seems that no matter what I do, I can not lose a pound. There are people that had surgery the same time I did and they all seem to weigh about 140 to 150 pounds. Why did I stop at 170?

I am really discouraged and not happy about the situation. Can you give me some information that would make me feel better or is there something wrong with me? Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Nancy,
I know you are very frustrated, so letís start by looking at the big picture.  You have lost 80 pounds, and you havenít regained it. So that is really good, but I understand that you are unhappy because you are at a weight higher than you would like. At this point, I would recommend that you check your Body Mass Index (BMI)  Your BMI should be below 25. If it is above 25, then you have some work to do.    

As it has been nearly 2 years since your surgery, your ďWindow of OpportunityĒ has closed.  The Window of Opportunity is the time after your surgery when it is the easiest to lose weight. All weight from now on, Iím afraid, will be a struggle to lose, but it can be done.

First, letís look at why you stopped losing weight. It may be that you were eating more calories than you thought.  After our surgery, we are still the product of calories in versus calories used. The very best way to guard against that is to write down everything that you eat and add up the calories. Or you may not have been exercising. That is very important. But what you may also be dealing with is your set point.

A set point is the weight that your body believes you should weigh.  As you approach that weight, you metabolism slows to try to keep you at that weight so that it becomes very difficult to go below that weight. The following is an excellent article about this topic:

There is no simple formula, but there are many things that you can do.  Switch to a low glycemic index diet such as the South Beach Diet.  This will help to keep your cravings under control.  You will need an exercise program. And you will need to keep track of what you are eating. 

But the most important thing is to realize that you will need to adapt a healthy lifestyle, not go on a diet.  This needs to be a lifelong commitment, not a diet to lose as much weight as you can in as short a period of time as possible. If you want to lose 20 or 30 more pounds, be prepared to work at this over the next year or two. Learn to listen to your body, eat a healthy diet and move.

For more information on just how to do this, join my Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program. Click here http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com

Calling All Lap-Band Patients
Dear Barbara,
I was advised to have Lap-Band surgery instead of RNY because I have had a lot of gastro-intestinal problems, the worst being Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Sometimes I feel a certain condescending attitude on some of the bariatric surgery message boards because most favor the gastric bypass surgery over the Lap-Band. I was wondering if you could address this topic in a future newsletter.
Thank you so much.
Sue Placey

Dear Sue,
I have heard this from other Lap-Band patients. So I am asking all Lap-Band patients to write in and tell me if you have experienced a condescending attitude on the part of gastric bypass patients, where you experienced it, and how this has made you feel. Email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com so that we can discuss this in the next issue.  

Parmesan Chicken
Parmesan Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 Ĺ inch pieces
1/4 cup diet Italian dressing
1 bag (1 pound) frozen bell pepper and onion strips, thawed, well drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook chicken in the dressing in a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat 6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add vegetables; cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender. Put mixture on a serving platter and sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving:
210 calories; 7 grams carbohydrates; 29 grams protein

Note: If you canít find the frozen pepper combination, use 1 each fresh red, yellow and green peppers cut into strips plus 1 large onion, coarsely chopped.

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:
  Matt Welborn
I want to offer a special thanks to Matt Welborn and his mother Susan. Matt had weight loss surgery at the age of 12.  Here is Mattís story as told by his Mother, Susan:

Dear Barbara,
Well here is Matt's story.  Unfortunately Matt followed in my footsteps.  I was obese my entire life.  I tipped the scales at 330 pounds in October 2001 before I had gastric bypass surgery at Johnís Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.  I successfully lost and have kept off 180 pounds now weighing 150 pounds!  It has been 5 years since my weight loss surgery and I have never been happier. 

As my son got older he was slowly but surely taking after me.  I knew everything he was going through, not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.  He would call me daily from the school nurses office complaining about not feeling well when all along it was because he was getting picked on and didnít want to go back to class. 

Like every other obese person, including the old me, we tried diets, exercise and nothing worked.  I was eating healthy, therefore junk food in the house was not the issue.  I slowly began the search to see if weight loss surgery was even an option for him.

I first e-mailed my surgeon at Johns Hopkins, Dr Thomas Magnuson.  He said my son was too young and that no one was doing this procedure on children.  I knew how miserable my son was and I felt every bit of his pain, yet there was nothing I could do for him. 

I still continued my search.  I finally read an article about the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida.  I was familiar with their bariatric program at the Ohio campus but only for adults.  So I sent an e-mail to Dr Raul Rosenthal, head of the Bariatric Surgery program at Cleveland Clinic Florida.  I told him of my success with gastric bypass surgery and how I wanted to help my son. I asked if he had any options.  He immediately contacted me and requested I schedule an appointment and bring Matt to see him.

We first met Dr Rosenthal on January 31, 2006.  He explained to me a new procedure called the Sleeve Gastrectomy.  Basically this procedure is not like the bypass that I had and does not pose the complication of malabsorption like with my surgery.  They basically remove the back 2/3rds of the stomach.  Dr Rosenthal sat and talked with Matt.  He asked him why he wanted the surgery.  Matt started to cry and said, ďAll I want is to be a normal kid.Ē  Both Dr Rosenthal and I started to cry.  He promised him that he was going to help him.

When Dr Rosenthalís office called my insurance company, United Health Care, they were told this was a covered procedure. I was ecstatic!  However that was soon reduced to sorrow because they denied the authorization once it was submitted.  I decided that regardless, Matt had to have this done and I would have to pull the money out of my annuity fund and pay cash for it, which was $17,900.

We then set off on the trip of our lifetime.  The Bariatric Program at Cleveland Clinic required that Matt see a counselor.  We went for 4 sessions and they were convinced he was in good mental health other than the depression from being overweight and they cleared him.  But Dr Rosenthal wanted more. He insisted that Matt see not only a counselor, but an actual psychiatrist.  We saw her and she cleared him as well. 

Next we had to get the pediatrician on board.  Unfortunately this was an uphill battle.  Mattís pediatrician would not support my decision to allow Matt to have the surgery.  I researched so much and had the surgeon send her a lot of information as well.  But it still came down to the fact that it was all so new and there just wasnít enough information on the effects on children and she would not give her blessing. 

So I decided that if Mohamed wouldnít come to the mountain then the mountain would go to Mohamed! I searched everywhere in Palm Beach County for a pediatrician that would support Mattís weight loss surgery.  I finally found Dr Edmund Doering in Jupiter who, although an older and more reserved physician said he would not only support Mattís decision to have surgery, but follow Matt before, during and after his surgery.  We finally got the all clear from Dr Doering and completed all the pre-op tests which included an upper GI, ultrasound, and blood work. 

We returned to see Dr Rosenthal on Feb. 28, 2006. Matthew weighed 287 pounds on this date.  Matthew was cleared and only had to attend a nutritional counseling session before he was scheduled for surgery.  We got the date, April 17, 2006.

On April 6th to the 10th, I took Matthew and his sister on a cruise to Mexico.  When we returned I got a call from Dr Rosenthal telling me that he had to cancel the surgery.  When I asked why he said that the hospital administration had heard that he was planning to do this surgery on a 12 year old and there had never been a patient that young to have surgery at that hospital. They were not sure about doing it.  I was so angry.  I called the hospital and requested to speak to administration and told them that I was bringing my 12 year old son to their office and let them look him in the eye and break his heart.  Let them tell him the one thing that would change his life forever has been taken away from him.  Within 5 minutes I got a call from Dr Rosenthal saying the surgery was back on.

On April 17th we arrived at the Cleveland Clinic at 5:00 am.  Matt was taken in and treated incredibly well.  I was so impressed with the hospital and staff.  I was constantly kept informed what was going on in the operating room. Once he was in recovery I was taken to his side.  The procedure was done laparoscopically so he was in the hospital for only 3 days.  Matt left the hospital on 4/19/06.

Matthew has returned to Dr Rosenthal for all of his post-op appointments and has done phenomenally well.  He has bypassed adults having the same surgery in recovery time and actual weight loss.  On Oct. 27th, 2006 Matt returned for his 6-month post-op appointment and has lost 75 pounds!  He has gained so much in self respect and confidence!  The local ABC news station WPBF TV 25 in West Palm Beach followed him for 6 months and recently aired his story.  They plan on following up with him at the 1-year mark.

I have attached before and after pictures of Matt as well as myself.  I really hope that this story can get out and help other families of obese kids!  Please feel free to post this as well as my e-mail address.

Thank You!
Susan Welborn

Congratulations Matt and Mom
  I Love Good News
If you have a success story to share along with before and after pictures, please send it to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.

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.

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Reprinted from Barbara Thompsonís 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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