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 #86

February 1, 2006

Hello Everyone,
I am from Pittsburgh and a Steelers fan through and through. In fact, my first goal after I had my surgery was to not weigh more than the Steelers football players! It would bother me when they first announce the players at the beginning of the game that most of them weighed less than me. I always think of professional football players as being big bruisers! Well, I guess I was a big bruiser too! But not anymore!

In the recipe section below, I have a chili recipe that you can have on Super Bowl Sunday.  I hope you enjoy it. Go Steelers!!

In This Issue


* Your Medicine Cabinet: Safe Remedies for Colds or Flu
* Hospital Experiences
* Girl Scout Cookies Revisited
* Biking to Honor All of Us
* Recipe: Super Bowl Beer Chili
* Success Story: Juanita Logan
* Research Study Info Requested

Your Medicine Cabinet:
  Safe Remedies for Colds or Flu

We are in the middle of cold and flu season. If you have caught a bug, you may be confused about which over the counter remedies are usually acceptable or not for us to take. This article from my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You” will guide you through.

Taking Pills Post-Op

It is important to continue your prescribed medications  post-op. But you may be concerned about taking pills that are large fearing that they might get stuck.  You can try crushing your pills and putting them in something like a little bit of applesauce.  Or you can buy a pill splitter to cut them in half.  However, be careful if you take timed or sustained released medication.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist to determine if the medication you take falls into this category.  These medications are not designed to be crushed and can release medications too quickly into your system. 

Timed and sustained release medications may no longer be the best choice if you have had gastric bypass surgery.  These are designed to slowly break down in the stomach and intestines.  Because of the change in your anatomy, they may not be absorbed correctly.  Immediate release medications seem to be better suited for gastric bypass patients.  Talk to your doctor about this.

Also, be sure that your primary care physician understands how rapidly you will be losing weight.  Many conditions are drastically improved soon after weight loss surgery including high blood pressure.  Your physician needs to monitor your medicationsso that they are correct for your changing needs.  A patient from my local support group was on blood pressure medication and about a month or two after surgery started complaining of dizziness and feeling faint.  When her problem was isolated, her doctor discovered that her high blood pressure medication was now too strong for her, causing her blood pressure to drop too low, making her feel faint.

In general, any non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug is not acceptable because they tend to cause bleeding and stomach ulcers. 

The following list is a general guide to over-the-counter drugs.  Be sure to check with your own surgeon to ensure that he or she agrees with these recommendations.

Medications to Avoid














Medications That Are Recommended For Colds






Tylenol Cold Products


Medications That Are Usually Well Tolerated
(Try to obtain sugar-free or diabetic formulas for any of these products




Tylenol Extra Strength




Dulcolax Suppositories

Fleet Enemas

Glycerin Suppositories

Milk of Magnesia



If you do not have your copy of my book “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You,” what are you waiting for?  It is recommended by surgeons across the country and has been dubbed the “unofficial bible of bypass patients” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Order your copy at http://www.wlscenter.com/1shopmain.htm

Hotel Experiences

Have you checked into a hotel and had a bad experience because of your size?  Were the front desk personnel less than helpful or insulting? Was your room so far away from the elevator that you could hardly make the trip down the hall? Was the furniture or bathroom design or fixtures not accommodating? Then drop me an email and share your experiences or thoughts with me at Barbara@WLScenter.com.

I have been invited to address the hospitality industry and would like to share with them your experiences and also your suggestions on what would make your stay better.

Girl Scout Cookies Revisited
After my article in the last newsletter about avoiding eating Girl Scout cookies, Ruthann Foltz of the Girl Scouts of Erie Shores sent this information about a great program that Girl Scouts have to send cookies to our service men and women overseas. Check with your local troop about a similar program. She writes:

Many Girl Scout Councils in the United States have a new program that ships donated cookies to our service men and women overseas.  The program at our council, Girl Scouts of Erie Shores in Lorain, Ohio is called “Thanks a Lot.  Anyone can purchase a box (or case of 12) and the purchase of the cookies benefits the girl, the troop, and her home Council. It is with these proceeds that we are able to help fund programs that build girls of confidence, character and courage.  We have various organizations who are paying shipping and handling fees, so cookies will be sent to our service men and women to enjoy. We have had a great response to this program and many of our overseas personnel are receiving a “taste of home” from young citizens through this program.

This year Girl Scouts of Erie Shores will be selling five cookies with zero trans fat grams per serving! The classic Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, and the brand new Thanks-A-Lot and Reduced Fat Cartwheels will all feature zero trans fat.  Now you can support Girl Scouting and enjoy a delicious treat, while still maintaining a healthier lifestyle.  What’s more, over 70% ($2.11) of the $3 cost of a box of Girl Scout Cookies goes to support local girls. To find out more about our program, and see some pictures go to www.girlscoutserieshores.org . Click on the cookie and then “Thanks a Lot.”  The best way to support your local Girl Scouts is to make your monetary donation to local councils who hold the 501 C3 status.

PS………Since my surgery in July of 2003, I have lost a total of 148 pounds….and stayed within 10 pounds of my lowest weight…..I am employed by the Girl Scout Council in our area, and still enjoy a cookie or 2 now and then…(however I have hiking trails available  J  )  

Ruthann Foltz
Teen and Adult Development
Girl Scouts of Erie Shores
Lorain, Ohio   

Biking to Honor All of Us

On April 25th, 2005 Kimberly Clements had gastric bypass surgery.  On April 25th, 2006, she will celebrate her 1st anniversary by starting on a 10,000 mile bike ride along the perimeter of the lower 48 States. She sees the bike ride as a healing process and a way to show that no matter what life throws at you, you can make your dreams come true.  She will be starting her journey in Boston on April 25th and completing her journey 11 months later on March 25th, 2007.

If you would like to follow Kimberly’s journey, communicate with her, or contribute to her cause, go to http://www.ahealingjourney.zoomshare.com/ .

I will post her progress from time to time here in the newsletter. Her determination should make all of us proud!


Super Bowl Beer Chili

Super Bowl Beer Chili

1 (12 ounce) can beer
1 (46 ounce) can V-8 juice
1 (8 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (8 ounce) can chili beans, mild or hot
1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound ground meat  (You can substitute the vegetarian ground “meat”)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package of chili seasoning mix

In a large Dutch oven, brown and drain the hamburger. Add the remaining ingredients except the chili seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. When simmering, open the chili seasoning package. There are 4 packets in the package.  Add the chili seasoning package first, stir. Add the salt package to taste, stir. Add the cayenne pepper package to taste (the entire packet will make the chili very hot and spicy), stir. If you like thick chili, add the mesa flour following directions for your desired thickness. Let this simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking for up to 40 minutes longer.

Makes 8 servings.
Each serving: 239 calories, 19.6 g. carbohydrates, 4.5 g. fiber, 15.3 g. 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:
  Juanita Logan

I want to offer a special thanks to Juanita Logan for sharing her story. 

Hi Barbara,
Thanks for all the inspiration you give me. Here is my story.

I'm 47 years old. I had Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery on September 14th, 2004. It had never entered my mind to have this surgery but I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, severe asthma, sleep apnea, and allergies. My heart doctor said if I didn't have this done I wouldn't live much longer. My heart was getting weaker all the time. So I fought with my insurance company for five months and finally got approved.

I started gaining weight in the early 1980’s when I was diagnosed with severe depression. Of course the side effect of the medication was weight gain. Every pill they added after those made me gain more weight. I tried every diet known to man, but when my heart got bad, I couldn't take diet pills of any kind. Not that they would help anyway.

I've been made fun of a lot over the years. Family members would never fail to tell me how fat I was. Wonder where the depression came from? My brother called me names as a teen and I wasn't even really fat then.

After my surgery in September 2004, my father and mother both fell ill. Taking care of them caused me to lose more weight than I should have. I weighed 272 pounds when I first weighed in. I needed to lose 117 pounds but I lost 140 pounds. I now weigh 132 pounds.

My surgery has been a great success. I would do it again, but my heart never got any better. It is stable for now and I do feel better. I got off of all asthma medications, all breathing treatments, and all antidepressants. I was off of all heart medications, but was recently put back on a small dose.

I wore a size 26-28 and now I wear a size 6-8. That is a huge difference. I like myself now for the first time in years. I hope that I can keep the weight off, but sometimes it scares me that I might regain it. But I do have good support where I had surgery. Even though I can't make it to a lot of meetings because of the distance, I can communicate by email to them when a problem arises.

Keep up the good work on your web site.

Juanita Logan from Kentucky


Congratulations Juanita

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.  

Research Study Info Requested

Susan Smith, a weight loss surgery patient 2.5 years ago, is working on a dissertation and needs to survey 220 pre-op patients. She is doing research on distress, obesity, and weight loss surgery in the United States. She wants to test how distressed people are prior to surgery and if their distress is lessened after surgery.

If you have not had surgery yet and are willing to participate in the survey, contact Susan Smith at smsmith333@msn.com

Permission to Reprint

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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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