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 #134

February 1, 2008

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
Winter is here and most of us are long past the motivation of our New Year’s resolution. And except for those in the extreme South, the weather has been pretty bad all across the country. Times like these make us want to curl up, not move and indulge in some good comfort food. It’s a tough time. We all go through this.  So don’t feel like you are going through this alone. Hang in there and Spring will soon be here bringing sunny skies and the chance to get out and move!

My thanks to the hundreds of readers who responded to the survey about newsletter topics.  The results appear below.  And because you won’t have another newsletter until the 15th of February, Happy Valentine's Day to you. Remember, as you look at your slimmer body that flowers really are much better than candy (and of course, jewelry tops them all!!).

In This Issue


* Results Are In
* Some Thoughts on Weight Regain
* Love Yourself Valentine's Day Sale
* Stop and Think before You Grab
* All About Cheese
* Checked Out My Blog Lately?
* Recipe: Barbecue Roasted Salmon
* Success Story: Rebecca Spalding
* Spreading the word in Salem, OR

Results Are In

In the last issue of the newsletter http://www.WLScenter.com/NLArchive/jan_15_2008.htm I asked for your input into what topics you would like covered in future issues of the newsletter.  I got a terrific response, and I thank you so much. And by the way, if you missed getting in your two cents, you still can by accessing the newsletter link above.

Here are the results of everyone who responded. You want to see articles on:

69.8 %  Weight Regain
47.1%   Exercise
43.8%   Nutrition
41.4%   Body Image
37.8%   Plastic Surgery
37.3%   Hunger
33.6%   Vitamins
22.3%   Side Effects of Surgery
18.7%   Hair Loss
7.4%     Discrimination against the Obese
2.2%     What Kind of Surgery to Have

You are definitely interested in post-op issues and, of everything on the newsletter, you like the success stories the best (78.8%). Coming in second are research articles (71.1%) followed by the recipes (70.3%).

There were some very interesting ideas that were put forth in the text section.  I really have a boat load of ideas to make this an even better newsletter for you.  Thank you for your time and wonderful responses.

Some Thoughts on Weight Regain

When we first had surgery, the trip to the scale to weigh ourselves was a delight. “How much did I lose yesterday?” One pound? Two? It was truly weight loss heaven.  For the first time in our lives, our relationship with the scale was not only friendly but intoxicating!

But over time the weight loss slowed and then one day it stopped.  Hopefully when that day came, you were at your goal weight.  But for most of us, we have fallen short of that goal. But really, is that so bad? Weight loss surgery is not designed to get us to goal.  It is a tool to help us hopefully get within 70% to 80% of our goal weight, to get us to a healthy weight where our obesity related symptoms disappear.

Reaching goal is a very tough road.  And with the accumulation of hanging skin, and the toll our excess weight has taken on our joints so that exercise is sometimes difficult, many of us never see our goal weight.

Most of us can live with that. What we cannot live with is when we see the numbers on the scale moving up.  Panic sets in.  We have all been through the yo-yo dieting. It is natural to wonder if the same thing will happen this time.

The problem with weight loss surgery (especially gastric bypass) is that the weight loss is so fast and automatic that it gives us a false sense of security. We start to feel like the pounds will never return. We feel like we can eat anything and we will still have the weight problem licked. But we don’t.

As we get further out from surgery, our appetites return. We haven’t learned how to eat and how to control those demons. Yes, we know that we are supposed to eat protein, but what does that actually mean?

And as we get further and further from our surgery date, our motivation dwindles. We rationalize that we look OK, certainly better than we did before.  And besides, maintaining a weight to fit into a size 6 or 8 is just too hard. A size 10 is just fine.  But it is when the size 10 turns into size 12 into size 14 and 16 that we start to panic.

We each need a rational approach to maintaining our weight.  And sometimes it means just getting bask to basics – drinking water, exercising, eating protein first and no grazing. It all sounds so simple, but it’s tough and we are in this together. If you are struggling with your weight, don’t feel alone. Most people do, even after weight loss surgery.

Love Yourself

Valentine's Day Sale

If you want help with controlling your weight regain, then join the Back on Track with Barbara Program. You will relearn what you need to be doing and get the support from people just like yourself. The lessons work and the message board is awesome. Hear from someone from the Program right now:

“I must say that when I post and talk to people on this message board, I am much more aware of what I am eating. I eat less and it lasts throughout the day. If I reach for food, I remember what was said on the message boards and I feel like, "I can do this", I have friends here to help me. And I also say a little prayer for everyone struggling with the same thing at the same time I am.”


Special Offer For the Month of February

As a special incentive, for the month of February, anyone who enrolls in the Back On Track with Barbara Program will receive the first month at 50% off!  This offer applies to both the 6-month and the 12-month programs.

Click here for more information and to enroll http://www.backontrackwithbarbara.com/

Stop and Think Before You Grab

I heard a fascinating set of statistics last week. To burn off the calories in one single M & M, you would have to walk the length of a football field. For one peanut M & M, you would have to walk 1 ½ football fields.  And after eating a small bag of M & M’s, you would have to walk 55 football fields.

Since I heard that, it has made me really pause before I put something in my mouth.  It really emphasized to me that what we might think is insignificant, really does count.

Growing up with Weight Watcher diets, I became accustomed to “free foods.” Those were celery, carrots, lettuce, otherwise known as “rabbit food.” But if you were like me, that list of “free foods” started to expand to include a couple of M & M’s, a few nuts, broken cookies, a small piece of cheese, all of which add up.

One of the 4 Rules of Success that I emphasize in my book, “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding inside You” as well as in my Back on Track Program is to stop grazing.  And I give great tips of how to break that habit.  Grazing is defined as unplanned eating.  It is grabbing a little piece of this, and a little piece of that in between your meals and planned snacks. Grazing can not only stop your weight loss in its tracks, but can lead to weight regain. And honestly, an M & M, which can eventually lead to eating so many other things,  isn’t worth it. 

All About Cheese

I must admit, I love cheese.  I could eat it everyday.  In fact, if I want to grab a snack, one of my first thoughts is cheese.  But if I do that, I try to grab Laughing Cow Light cheese with 35 calories a wedge or I indulge in “real” cheese very infrequently.

Cheese has lots of calcium, so it must be good for you. Or is it? Here's a quiz to find out how much you know about this tasty food. The quiz was developed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

1. You get more bone-building calcium from cheese than from regular milk. True or false?

2. Cheese is a major source of cholesterol and sodium. True or false?

3. A serving of cheese is 1 ounce. True or false?

4. One and a half slices of processed (American) cheese is a serving. True or false?

5. The average American eats more than 28 pounds of cheese a year. True or false?

6. If you add cheese to your McDonald's Quarter Pounder or Burger King's Whopper, you add an extra 5 grams of saturated fat. True or false?

7. A 4-ounce slice of Pizza Hut's Pan Cheese Pizza has 14 grams of fat, 6 of them saturated. True or false?

8. Mozzarella has more fat and saturated fat than most other cheeses. True or false?

Answers: 1) False; 2) True; 3) True; 4) True; 5) True; 6) True; 7) True; 8) False.

-- Center for Science in the Public Interest

Checked Out My Blog Lately?

If you aren’t receiving my Blog posts automatically, you could be missing out on some interesting articles.  Just in January there were articles on:

  • Weight Loss Surgery and Transfer Addiction
  • Weight Loss Surgery – A Cure for Diabetes? New Study Says Yes
  • Finally Something to Make Exercise Fun
  • What a Future! Obese and Disabled
  • Weight Loss Surgery and Appetite Suppressants
  • Dieting: Make Sure the Timing is Right
  • Eating Fruit after Weight Loss Surgery

To reach my Blog, go to http://WeightLossSurgeryBlog.net. On the right hand side just above the Archives, enter your email address and hit the Subscribe me! button. This will keep you from missing out on some great news and articles.

Barbecue Roasted Salmon

Salmon is very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain functions and normal growth and development. They cannot be manufactured by the body, and must be obtained from the food that we eat.   The American Heart Association recommends eating fish such as salmon at least 2 times per week. I hope you enjoy this recipe and add it to your healthy favorites.

Barbecue Roasted Salmon

Cooking spray
¼ cup orange juice
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. light brown sugar
4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick

Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, brown sugar, chili powder, lemon zest, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Using tongs, add salmon fillets to the prepared pan. Pour the orange juice mixture over the salmon and turn the salmon to coat both sides. Roast for 15 minutes, until a fork can be easily inserted into the salmon.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information per serving:
302 calories, 29 g. protein, 10 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. fiber, 3 g. fat

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:
  Rebecca Spalding

I want to offer a special thanks to Rebecca Spalding. Here is her story:

Dear Barbara,
I have been reading your newsletters for several months now, and felt inspired to send you my story along with some before and after pictures!

I am 29 years old and decided in 2003 to have gastric bypass surgery. At the time of my surgery I weighed 351 pounds and was just sick and tired of being overweight, and feeling sooooooo low. I hated myself and my body. The only person who supported and encouraged me in getting the surgery was my father. The rest of my family and friends were very scared for me and really did not want me to risk my life with the surgery. Every time there was a "special" on television about a weight loss surgery gone wrong, they were quick to call me and have me watch. I did take their care and consideration to heart, but I had to make the ultimate life/death decision for myself.

My journey began with a trip to my doctor's and I asked "would I be qualified to have weight loss surgery"? He told me what I needed to do, and my journey began. I had to be approved by the dietician, surgeon, and cleared through the psychologist. I went through a year of dietary classes which met once a month. I finally got to go to St. Vincent's seminar and meet their staff. I also had to go through a lot of blood work and other tests, and have a sleep study done to make sure I did not have sleep apnea. After the long awaited year and planning, I was scheduled for surgery!

Surgery took place on Jan. 16th, 2004 at St. Vincent Charity Hospital, in Cleveland, OH. My surgeon was Dr. Sonpal, and I highly recommend him to anyone! He has exceptional bedside manners, and answered all my questions thoroughly. The whole team at St. Vincent's was just remarkable!

I stayed in the hospital for 3 days, and once home I was in a little pain but not as much as I thought I would be. It was more just being uncomfortable.  I was off work for 2 months, and in that short time I lost about 60 pounds. When I went back to work people didn't recognize me! What a GREAT feeling!

It is now 2008, and I am almost 4 years post-op. Since the surgery I have had 2 incisional hernias, but they were fixable. I have lost 184 pounds! This surgery truly has been a gift. Not only did my health improve, but my self esteem has improved also! I have not yet reached my goal of 135 pounds; I have about 30 pounds to go. But I hope to get there this year.

I am currently looking into having reconstructive surgery, but it costs a lot of money and my insurance company does not feel it is a necessity.

If you are reading this and are considering the surgery I have 2 HUGE suggestions. They are to exercise from day one and to go to support group meetings that are offered in your area. The surgery did 80% of the work. We are responsible for the other 20%. The only way to achieve and maintain your goal weight is to follow the directions of your surgeon and to change your way of living, and eating!

God bless and Good luck!

Rebecca Spalding


Spreading the Word In Salem, OR
On Friday evening February 8th I will be speaking for Salem Hospital at a gala event they will be having. If you would like to attend, contact Catherine Quinn, 503-561-3727,  catherinequinn@salemhospital.org . I have not been to Oregon for a long time and I'm really looking forward to this!


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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