WLS Center E-Newsletter

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Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #63

February 1, 2005

Exercise has always been the hardest thing I have faced since my surgery.  I believed in its importance, so I did it.  But I hated it!  My surgery was 5 years ago.  Over the years I have learned to like exercise so much more.  But fitting in the time is still a challenge.  So when I heard the new governmental recommendations on exercise, I was not happy. How can I find the extra time to get in what the guidelines suggest? Well, one thing I have learned in life is that if something is important enough, you find the time to do it. And Iím finding the time, because nothing in this journey is more important than exercise. You can read about the new governmental recommendations on exercise in the article below.

I hope you are surviving this winter.  Stay warm!

In This Issue


* I Would Like to Ask You a Favor
* Research Article: Dietary Guidelines 2005
* Does Age Matter?
* Taming That Hungry Beast
* Recipe: Chicken Kiev
* Success Story: Tina Carter

I Would Like to Ask You a Favor
Could you forward this to ONE of your friends who you think may be interested in subscribing to this FREE e-newsletter?

I receive so many emails from people who love this e-newsletter. They always tell me not only how much they enjoy it, but how much it helps them. Your friends will feel the same way, and they will thank you. And suggest that they subscribe themselves by going to http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/

Thank you,

Dietary Guidelines 2005

Did you do your 1 hour of exercise today?  That is the new recommendation from the Health and Human Servicesí Dietary Guidelines 2005. These new guidelines come as a result of governmental concern over the rising rate of obesity. The guidelines come out every 5 years and provide advice to promote health and avoid disease. Within the guidelines, it is recommended to eat more fruits and vegetables than before, from 5 to 13 servings per day as opposed to 5 to 9 servings. It may be hard to fit all of that into our pouches!

But the most surprising part of the guidelines involves the exercise recommendations. There is a dramatic increase in the amount of daily exercise. If you are still thinking that 20 minutes of exercise 3 days a week is OK, guess again! The new guidelines call for 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise most days to prevent weight gain and 60 to 90 minutes a day to sustain weight loss.

For the full report, click here http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines/

Does Age Matter?
I received the following question on my Blog, but want to answer it here because there are a lot of people who have a similar concern. Here is Margeís question:

Dear Barbara,
I am waiting now for approval for gastric bypass surgery. I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and recently during a stress test (pre testing for the surgery) received an abnormal reading. They found a blockage of 20-30 % but said they felt the surgery would still be a good thing. I am scared now but still desperate to change my life. I am 51. Is this too old?

Dear Marge,
No, 51 is not too old.  There are people in their 60ís and even 70 who are having the surgery.  Some surgeonís have a cut off age of 60, some 65, so you are well within the age limits. 

It happens that during the pre testing period that some new health problems are uncovered.  It is sometimes because we avoid going to doctors because we donít want to be weighed.  It is not unusual that you have undiscovered health problems.

You sound like an excellent candidate for surgery.  Weight loss surgery will either cure or greatly improve your diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And your doctor still believes that you are a good candidate, so thatís great!

It is a big decision to have surgery. Making that decision and then waiting for the surgery are very scary. My surgery was 5 years ago, but I can still remember how hysterical I was - excited about having the surgery one day and scared to death the next day. Your sentence, ďI am scared now but still desperate to change my life,Ē is something that almost everyone who has had this surgery has felt. Your fear just shows that you are taking this surgery seriously.  And thatís very good.

We all wish you the very best!


Taming that Hungry Beast

Dear Barbara,

On Sept. 29, 2004 I had gastric bypass surgery. Here is my problem. All of a sudden I have gotten this insatiable appetite!   I am so afraid that I am eating tooooo much and that I am stretching my stomach!   If you have any advice I would surely love to hear it!!!   PLEASE HELP ME!!!!


P.S.  A friend bought your book for me and I love it!!!  Thank you for all the info!!

Hi Michele,

Welcome to the real world.  You have reached the point following surgery when your appetite returns.  It happens to almost all of us, so donít despair. But I know that when it starts happening, it is scary.  The first thing you think is that your surgery has failed.

There are a lot of things you can do to minimize your hunger and get it under control. If you were sitting beside me, I would ask you several questions so that we might figure out what is happening. So I will try to figure this out from a distance. Ask yourself:

1. Are you eating too many carbohydrates? I really believe that those of us who are morbidly obese are carbohydrate sensitive. When we eat carbohydrates, they cause our blood sugar to rise. We may have temporary energy and our bodies seem happy. Then when the blood sugar level drops, our bodies send out the signal to get that blood sugar level back up there. This is when we feel cravings. So watch your carbohydrates.  I try to delay eating carbs as late in the day as possible.  If I start my day off with carbs, I am hungry for the entire day.  Also, protein is denser and will sit in your pouch for a longer period of time, keeping you feeling full longer. So minimize the carbs and eat protein.

2. Are you hungry or are you thirsty? We sometimes mix up the two sensations.  So when you feel hungry, drink a big glass of water and see if that helps.

3. You just may actually be hungry.  Sometimes we end up not eating enough.  We get used to eating these tiny portions and are afraid to increase the amount.  Well, you canít live on 2 ounces of protein and 1/4 cup of vegetables forever. You are at the point where you may need to increase the amount of food you are eating.

When you eat a meal, eat until you feel full. Take your time and make sure that the sensation you feel is fullness and not something stuck.  Do not overeat and stretch your pouch. Just eat until you have that sensation in your chest of fullness.  Do a food journal and count your calories.  At 4 months post-op, you should be eating about 900 calories per day.  Where do you stand? If you are getting in less than that, increase the amount of food that you are eating. If you are eating more calories than that, donít decrease the amount of food you are eating, just decrease the calories.  Choose lower calorie selections so that you can have more food.

David Fouts, who is a bariatric chef and patient did a telephone seminar on food with me.  During the hour David gave terrific tips on how you can get all of that protein in. We also talked about common eating problems and hunger issues that we all seem to go through. If you are interested in taming that hunger beast, order this audio CD. To find out more about the CD and to read testimonials, go to http://www.wlscenter.com/Teleseminar/ChefDavid/ChefDavid.htm

I hope this helped.  Let me know how you are doing.  I can report it back to the group.


Recipe: Chicken Kiev

1/4 cup low calorie margarine
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. skim milk
3-1/2 Tbs. fine breadcrumbs
3/4 lemon, cut into wedges
round wooden toothpick

Combine the margarine, parsley, rosemary and garlic. Shape the margarine into a 2 inch long block and quarter into 4 2-inch long sticks. Freeze the sticks.

Flatten the chicken breasts using a mallet until they are 1/4 inch thick. Place 1 2-inch long stick of margarine into each breast half. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.

Dip breast rolls in the milk and then in the breadcrumbs. Bake at 400ļ for 25 minutes or until browned. Spoon pan juices over the chicken, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving:
183 calories, 22.5 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates

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: Tina Carter  

I want to offer a special thanks to Tina Carter.  Here is her story:

On October 9, 2001, I had open gastric bypass surgery. I weighed 415 pounds at the time. For years I had tried all kinds of diets with total failure. I was 36 years old and aside from a few positive things in my life, I lived a life of pain and isolation. My health was failing fast and I knew I had to transform the status of my health.

I have always been overweight. When I went to kindergarten, I was the largest kid in my class. I was teased and ridiculed. As I went through school, I remained the largest person in my class. I had few friends, and I participated in very few social activities.

I sank into a world of isolation where I felt safe, away from judgmental people who glared, stared, and called me hurtful names. The extra weight on my body did not cushion me from the pain the outside world had caused. I became depressed. I rejected everyone. I never hated myself, but I did hate the fat that held me back from so many things life has to offer, and I hated my inability to take weight off and keep it off.

Genetics plays a definite role in obesity. Both my father and mother were morbidly obese. Health problems related to obesity caused the death of my father. My mother is still living but has fought high blood pressure and has had a heart attack. I felt that any of these conditions could affect me at any time.

I am 5' 4Ē and weighed 415 pounds. I had severe difficulty standing, asthma, joint pain, severe lower back pain, sleep apnea, depression, high blood pressure and stress incontinence. I also had severe problems with hygiene when going to the bathroom. I had to use huge amounts of powder to keep my skin dry and odor free. I had terrible skin rashes and external yeast infections that were very painful.

Every day activities were also difficult. I had difficulty fitting in my car to drive. I always sat down carefully for fear of breaking a chair. I couldn't fit in most chairs and was forced to stand. And of course the emotional pain which accompanies obesity was overwhelming and all-consuming. Each day was a struggle to live. Depression was a constant reminder that something was wrong with me.

I was constantly challenged by my emotions. I faced repeated failures with dieting, disapproval from my family, friends and even sneers from strangers on the street. The anxiety and depression which accompanies this condition are all inclusive. I lived with the reality of it on a daily basis.

My weight loss surgery was the first step in a long journey to find my health as well as to find my self. I wanted to live for many reason. I wanted to experience things I had never done before. I wanted to clean my entire house. I wanted to paint my toenails and buy normal size clothes. I wanted to wear a swimsuit in public. I wanted to ride a roller coaster and have the bar close on my lap. I wanted to take a bath and be surrounded by water. I wanted to live without fear that I will embarrass myself or my family by being clumsy with my weight. I wanted to cross my legs. I wanted to hold my head up high and smile and feel good about myself. I wanted to do thing that normal people take for granted. I wanted to live and I wanted my freedom. I wanted to become a productive person and I didn't want to continue on the downward spiral of declining health.

Well it is now 52 months later and I have lost 225 pounds. I now weigh 190 pounds. It hasnít been easy, but I would do it all over again. This surgery has saved my life. Life has changed so much for me in so many ways. My health is much better. I am no longer on oxygen. I have no more sleep apnea or swollen feet. I still have joint pain, but my blood pressure is much better. I am now facing an abdominoplasty to remove massive amounts of skin hanging from my abdomen. But over all I am doing very well.

I dared to dream and found that dreams do come true. I am so very thankful to God for giving me a second chance at life.

Tina Carter
South Carolina

Before After

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.  

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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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