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 #51

July 15, 2004

My birthday is in 4 days, and I want to share with you how I celebrate.  Something as basic as my birthday is impacted by this surgery and I am so grateful.  See the article below along with some summer warnings about food poisoning, a new product we are carrying, a great David Fouts recipe and Cheyenne Wahl’s success story.

In This Issue


* Food Poisoning
* Happy Birthday to Me
* Recipe: Chicken Boursin
* Success Story: Cheyenne Wahl
* Spreading the Word in Chicago, San Francisco and Portsmouth, NH

Food Poisoning

Now that we are in the middle of summer, be especially careful about avoiding food poisoning. We are more prone to food poisoning because we leave food out longer as we take our time consuming it.  The Center for Disease Control estimates that each year 78 million cases of food poisoning result in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.

Hot foods need to stay at a temperature that is 140 degrees or above and cold foods need to be kept at 40 degrees or colder. Never leave food out whether raw or cooked for longer than 2 hours (1 hour in hot weather). You may be asking for trouble. Foods that we tend to eat after surgery that are especially susceptible to spoiling include any pureed meats or meat dips that we have made with mayonnaise as well as deviled eggs.

Follow these tips for storing food during the summer:
Use a cooler that has sides that are at least 2 inches thick.  It is much better than the Styrofoam kind.
Wrap your food in plastic wrap.  It keeps it cooler than aluminum foil
Keep your food out of direct sunlight.  Look for shady spots.  

Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes a fever, the same symptoms as flu. The symptoms may start as soon as 1 hour after eating or as long as 3 days afterwards. Many people have had food poisoning and have mistaken it for flu. Be careful not to become dehydrated. Dehydration is the major complication and sometimes requires hospitalization.

With diarrhea caused from food poisoning, it is generally not advisable to take an antidiarrheal medication.  It may make your situation worse because you are unable to flush toxins out of your body. Just try to stay hydrated, be gentle with yourself, get lots of rest and seek medical attention if you feel you need it.

Happy Birthday to Me

I did my now annual bike ride in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania this past Saturday.  It was a warm and wonderful summer day.  The weather was just perfect, about 80 degrees. I bicycled along a flat trail with a mountain on one side complete with lush vegetation and waterfalls and a river with rapids and kayakers on the other.  There was a canopy of trees lining the trail so that I was in shade for the entire ride. The smells of vegetation and wild flowers were everywhere.  I was in heaven as I bicycled 22 miles.

This is my birthday treat.  This is how I celebrate. And it seems fitting to me to celebrate life in such an affirming way.  It’s much better than a cake and going out to dinner (although I know my dear husband will arrange for that also). 

But the bike ride is a gift I give myself every year.  It brings home to me the very special gift I have been given from this surgery.  It is a gift that some days I have to fight to hold onto as the old habits try to overcome my way of life.  I fight them back and go on and am able to have wonderful days like my bike riding day.

Recipe: Chicken Boursin

The following is a recipe from the cookbook “Culinary Classics: Essentials of Cooking for the Gastric Bypass Patient” by David Fouts.  The cookbook, as well as a CD of a great telephone seminar on food that David and I did together, is available on my website.  Click here for more information http://www.wlscenter.com/Teleseminar/ChefDavid/ChefDavid.htm

Chicken Boursin
6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
6 ounces Boursin cheese
6 tablespoons pignolia nuts (pine nuts)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper

Cheesy Cream Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Havarti cheese, shredded
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Take pounded chicken breasts and season on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic. Next, smear 1 ounce of the Boursin cheese over one side of the seasoned chicken breasts. Sprinkle one tablespoon of the pignolia nuts over the cheese.  Roll chicken breasts up and tuck ends under. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 dgerees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Cheesy Cream Sauce
Over medium high heat in a medium saucepan, melt butter.  Next, add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Next add flour to the butter and garlic and cook for 3 more minutes. Then add heavy cream and stir until the sauce begins to simmer. Sauce will begin to thicken. Add the white wine, Havarti cheese and cook at a low simmer for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Once the chicken is done, pour the cream sauce over the chicken and serve.  

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:  
  Cheyenne Wahl

I want to offer a special thanks to Cheyenne Wahl. Here is her story: 

Hi Barbara,
Your newsletter is always such an inspiration to me and I know it is to others as well. Even after more than two years, I still enjoy reading it.

I grew up in a home with a dad that worked and a mother who was always there.  She was a great cook and she still is.  We ate the typical family meals of meat, potatoes, bread and always a wonderful dessert.  Good times always included getting together with family and friends and eating.

I was a chubby kid and a fat pre-teen but was able to starve myself down to a size 2 at age 14 when I got interested in boys.  I managed to stay slim until the birth of my first child.  I struggled but was able to lose the 50 pounds I'd gained and keep it off until the birth of my 2nd son 9 years later.

I gained 70 pounds during that pregnancy but got within 40 pounds of goal afterward.  That is when I started the upward spiral of dieting.  I was 212 pounds when I went through a hospital supervised program called "Opti-Fast."  That is the same program Oprah first lost the tremendous amount of weight on, and then sadly gained it all back.  I did the same thing.  I lost 45 pounds on the diet and couldn't stand having only liquids day in and day out and finally gave up.  Of course I failed and eventually gained 60 pounds back.  I dieted myself up to 252 pounds because with each new diet I would always gain back more than I lost.

I found myself suffering from high blood pressure, sleep apnea and severe asthma problems. My life was just a sad existence spent being depressed and finding solace in food and then hating myself for eating and being obese.  I watched from the sidelines most of the time because I didn't have the energy to be involved with what was going on or I felt too insecure to try.

I would play in the pool with the kids but didn't want anyone to see me in my swim suit.  I couldn't stand to look in the mirror and I knew I needed a miracle.  I prayed constantly to God asking Him to help me find a way to lose the weight.

During one of my many yearly episodes of bronchitis, my pulmonologist told me my lungs were in such bad condition from the weight and the sleep apnea that if I didn't do something about my weight I was going to end up with irreversible lung damage. IRREVERSIBLE LUNG DAMAGE?  I couldn't believe it!  Those 3 words were the catalyst I needed to begin investigating gastric bypass surgery. 

Within a year of beginning that journey, I had Lap RNY on 2/11/02.  I lost 90 pounds in the first 6 months and 130 pounds within 10 months, meeting and even exceeding my goal weight.  I went from 252 to 122 pounds. 

I have since gained back some of the weight I lost and at 5' 7" tall I am now a healthy 135 pounds and wear a size 4 to 6 in clothing depending on the name brand.  I have been this weight for about 6 months now.

I did have to have some plastic surgery to remove excess skin on my stomach and have a breast lift (went from 44DDD to 34C) but it was all more than worth it. I also had skin reduced on my arms and am considering having skin removed on my upper inner thighs. 

Life is now worth living!!  I can wear short sleeve or sleeveless tops, shorts (not too short) and any style of clothing I like.  It's so much fun to shop in the Junior Dept. and buy things that are cute and not have to hunt for something large enough to cover my behind. 

Instead of spending my weekends sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating, I much prefer to be out hiking up the hill at our new lake cabin, riding the jet ski, going to car shows with my husband. Bless his heart for sticking with me through thin and thick and back to thin again!

I am naturally more active and enjoy being alive!!  This is truly living! I thank God for answering my prayers,  Dr. Pennings, my bariatric surgeon for giving me back my life, and  Doc Fisher for his on-line support group. 

My health has improved to the point where I no longer take any medications for ANYTHING!  I take vitamins with calcium etc. and that's it!  What a wonderful freedom I have today. I have escaped from my prison of fat and am a free woman today! 

I would encourage anyone who's considering having this surgery to investigate it fully.  It's not a quick fix, it's not the "easy way out" but it can make your health & weight loss dreams come true!

Cheyenne Wahl

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 Thompson’s free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
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