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 #120

July 1, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
Yea!! It’s summer!! June 21st is a national holiday for me.  I just love summer so much! Summer means “get outdoors and do something” to me which usually translates into hitting the beautiful biking trails that we have around Western Pennsylvania. Remember to take advantage of the weather and try something new.

This afternoon when I was biking, I saw someone using a Trikke and as we were passing I yelled to him, asking how he liked it.  He let me try it. It is tough and takes some getting used to, but it was certainly different! What an experience and definitely harder than it looks!

In the article below a reader details her experience with PLOM Disease. It’s definitely something you don’t want to catch!

Enjoy your summer!!

In This Issue


* PLOM Disease

* Ask and Ye Shall Learn Results

* Back on Track
* Fat Burning vs. Cardio

* Cruise Info

* Plastic Surgery Responses

* Summer Sale

* Hypoglycemia

* Blogging Along

* Recipe: Almond Fudge Freeze
* Success Story: Becky Hadley

PLOM Disease
I received the following email recently from JoAnne. JoAnne learned an important lesson recently that we can all benefit from. JoAnne’s husband nearly died from pancreatitis and has not had anything to eat for over a month. All of his nourishment comes from a PICC line into his vein. He has lost 36 pounds and is very weak. JoAnne has gracious given permission to share her lessons learned with you.  JoAnne wrote:

Barbara, this whole experience with Joe’s health has taught me so much. First of all, I take too much for granted. When faced with possibly losing the love of my life, I realized that I have taken him for granted for years. I just never stopped to think about the possibility of not having him at my side. I will never go another day without telling him I love him or thanking God for giving him to me.

Secondly, I have seen food and exercise in a different light. I have been going through a period of PLOM's disease (Poor Little Old Me) lately. I have gained back 12 pounds from the time I lost so much after my gastric bypass surgery. It seemed like I just couldn't get it off.

Poor little old me! I went through that surgery, suffered without sweets, can't eat what others are enjoying in front of me, and still pounds have come back. Poor little old me!

Now let me explain. I was still eating smaller amounts but not always what I should be eating. I have a wonderful work out suit that gets worn for trips to the store. I have an elliptical machine in my family room collecting dust. I have a 12-year old overweight dachshund that needs (but doesn't get) his daily walk because I have been too lazy to walk him. But poor little old me!  

Seeing Joe having to go without even a drink of water for four weeks and getting weaker and weaker along with the drastic weight loss was horrible. But, one night it hit me like a ton of bricks: "JoAnne, you are so lazy in mind and in body! You were given the gift of a new thinner life with weight loss surgery but you've become too lazy to follow the rules and have the nerve to feel sorry for yourself! Living without food has wiped Joe out. He's weak and sick. You have the luxury of being able to eat and you stuff your small pouch with garbage. You have the energy to exercise and you sit on your lazy hind side. You have Barbara's Back on Track program and swear to get yourself back on track.  What has happened to you?"   

Well, it might have taken the BIG SMACK from up above to jerk me into line but I'm grateful for it. I got out my "Back on Track" notebook and started all over. Now I am determined to actually walk the talk!

I am taking small steps forward.  For five days now I have improved my diet going back to high protein low carbs like before. I put on the workout suit and have actually dusted and worked out on the elliptical machine each evening. My dachshund is still overweight but the daily walks will pay off in time (for both of us!). 

Your "Back on Track" program, inspirational messages and book are part of my daily routine once again. Thanks for you concern, Barbara.  And, thanks for caring so much about all of us!


For information on the Back on Track Program go to http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com

Ask and Ye Shall Learn Results
In the last newsletter, I included a link to survey questions about your experiences, thoughts, and habits and received really interesting answers.

Most of you found your surgeon from a recommendation of a family member or friend or through the internet. And an aftercare program is very important to you.

Nearly 80% of you exercise, which is much higher than I would have thought. And although nearly 30% of you exercise 60 to 100 minutes per week, the rest of the times are split.

I was very surprised to find out that over 71 % of you experienced hair loss after surgery. The literature says that about 30% have hair loss.  From what I have seen traveling around the country, I knew that statistic was off, and you have just confirmed it.

And on the question regarding an internet radio show that I am planing, over 84% of you would be somewhat or very likely to listen to me on the radio.

If you would like to see the specific percentages, click here:

I am compiling a list of questions for the next survey, so send your questions directly to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com. Include anything that you have been wondering about, and also those questions when you have wondered if you are the only one.

It's Time to get Back On Track

If you’re not happy with your weight loss, then join the
Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program.

Back On Track with Barbara is a 6-month or a 12-month membership program that provides an internet mentorship for those who are struggling with weight regain after weight loss surgery.  It also benefits those who have never reached their goal weight after surgery

Here is a recent comment from a new member:
“I sure wish I had come here when my eating started slipping. But we are all on our own journeys--even though we have so much in common.  I highly recommend listening to some of the audio seminars. I just joined last week and already I have a ray of hope I haven't had in quite some time.”  Cindy

For more information or to join the Program, go to


Fat Burning vs. Cardio

Hi Barbara,

I have a question about exercise.  I go to the gym and all the machines ask if you want a fat burning or a cardio workout. For the cardio workout, obviously it works on getting your heart rate up for a period of time.  However, for the fat burning workout I guess the idea is to keep your heart rate lower & steady while exercising. I know that both have benefits, but can you please explain the physiology of the two different workouts? Isn't the idea of exercise to burn the excess calories that your body can't burn off?  Doesn't exercise help you burn calories regardless of your heart rate? 




Hi Peggy,

This can be very confusing. But before I get into your question, let’s look at something called “maximum heart rate.” This was developed by the American College of Sports Medicine and is equal to the number 220 minus your age. So if you are 40 years old, the maximum number of times your heart should beat in one minute would be 180. The normal resting adult heart rate is somewhere between 60 and 100.


Fat burning sounds so vigorous, yet it is the lower level of the fat burning/cardio question.  Fat burning is a low-intensity workout for burning the body’s fat reserves. For fat burning, you should be working at 65% of your maximum heart rate.  Again, if you are 40 years old, you would calculate that to be 180 x .65 = 117 beats per minute while you are exercising.


Cardio exercises are higher in intensity to raise your heart rate. And like the fat burning intensity are also designed to burn fat, however cardio exercises are designed to burn maximum fat.  For cardio exercises, you should be working at 80% of your maximum heart rate.  Again, if you are 40 years old, you would calculate that to be 180 x .8 = 144 beats per minute while you are exercising.


You will burn more calories in a 30 minute exercise on cardio than on fat burning. The caloric expenditure is directly related to the amount of effort an activity requires. In general, the more difficult it feels the more calories you burn. The easier it feels the fewer calories you burn. That’s it. It all comes down to intensity.


The speed that you exercise doesn’t matter at all. For instance, I was bicycling today and was doing a leisurely 7 miles per hour on my bike.  I was pedaling up a slight grade. The guys in Speedos were zooming past me.  But I had the satisfaction of knowing that if we both pedaled 10 miles, we would burn the same number of calories no matter how fast the Speedo guys went.


Where the difference comes in is intensity.  If we both pedal for 1 hour, then the Speedo guy will not only burn more calories, but will build more muscles.  And we want to build more muscles because the more muscles we have, the higher our metabolism.  A higher metabolism means that we can eat more and not gain weight.


If you have not been exercising, and are in good health you could start with the fat burning intensity – as long as it is OK with your doctor and then work up to cardio. And you want to reach the cardio level because it is more intense and with it you will be building more muscles.  While any exercise is good, always have an eye toward increasing intensity.


Hope that helps.


Cruise to Paradise Info

The window for group rates for our cruise to the Gran Cayman Islands and Calico, Mexico on August 18th to 23rd has passed.  But if you would like to go, there is still room.  However your fare might be higher than under our group rate. 

Contact Dan, our cruise Director at 800-818-3739

Plastic Surgery Responses
I had several responses to the plastic surgery question that was posed in the last newsletter, “Getting Creative with Plastic Surgery Finance,” http://www.wlscenter.com/NLArchive/june_15_2007.htm , however no one had a real solution. 


What I also heard was tremendous frustration from those who feel that the weight loss is only half the journey, having been left with extreme amounts of hanging skin. And there is no one taking up this battle.  Bariatric surgeons have their own insurance battles to fight. And plastic surgeons don’t seem to be inclined.  They are accustomed to people self paying, because most of their practice is cosmetic.  They also know that if insurance pays, they will likely be receiving less than what they would receive from you. There is no advocate for insurance to pay. But I never give up a fight, so I will keep my ears open for any solutions.

Summer Sale

For the month of July, my books and CDs are 10% off.  To receive the discount, enter the Code word Summer just above where you enter your credit card number on my shopping cart

To reach my shopping cart, go to http://www.wlscenter.com/1shopmain.htm

Here is a Summer tip for you people
thinking about Plastic Surgery.
(Don't forget the code word: Summer)

Check out my audio CD created especially for YOU!!

Click Here


I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has been diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia. Please email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com and tell me of your experiences.

Blogging Along

If you haven’t stopped by my Blog lately, please do.  There are some new articles there.  And please feel free to leave me some comments. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these topics.

Visit my blog at http://weightlosssurgeryblog.net/

Almond Fudge Freeze

Here is a yummy and easy to prepare dessert perfect for summer.


Almond Fudge Freeze



½ cup ice
2 cups sugar free vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
¼ cup Smucker’s Sugar Free Hot Fudge Topping
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Sugar Free whipped topping, optional
Cocoa powder, optional


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender container in the order listed. Process on and off,  stirring in between, to blend ingredients.
2. Pour into glasses. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and cocoa powder, if desired.
With hot fudge topping: Remove lid, warm jar in microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Stir topping. Do not overheat.

Makes 4 servings.


Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 144
Carbohydrates: 27g
Protein: .3g

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:
  Becky Hadley

I want to offer a special thanks to Becky Hadley. Here is her story:


Dear Barbara,

I wanted to share my success story with you.  I'm 33 years old and have been heavy and overweight all my life.  As a child growing up I was always taller then most, which helped in some ways, but I was always chunkier then most too.  The more I grew the worse the problem became. Most of my weight was in my stomach and hips but soon it expanded to my legs and arms.


When I was in the sixth grade, and wearing close to a size 14, my mom took me to one of the hospital nutrition experts and enrolled me in the hospital workout program hoping to help me.  It didn't help me much, although I did follow the program for eight weeks.  After that it was one diet program after another.  I went to the county nutritionist, Weight Watchers, Nutri System, my school nutritionist, Slim Fast, etc., but nothing seemed to help.  I just kept gaining weight.


By the time I graduated high school I was in a size 20 and my weight was around 250 pounds.  I carried it better then most, since I am 5'9 inches tall but it was still a huge problem.  I married the first guy that came along, hoping that would make me happier.  My weight soared to 309 pounds in 2 years. I got on a diet pill, prescribed by a doctor, and lost 80 pounds in about 9 months.  I was so thrilled.  However once I got off the pill the weight started coming back and I topped out again around 270 pounds


I met and married my current husband, some 5 years later and he's supported me thru everything.  I started checking into gastric bypass surgery in 2000 after a vacation to Tennessee where we went into some underground caverns and I literally couldn't breathe trying to climb the stairs to leave the caves.


After the birth of our son in late 2001, I tried the working out/diet pills again, but no luck this time. Luckily I did not have any medical problems yet, with the exception of back and knee pain. We moved from Florida to Texas in 2002 and with my husband’s blessings I had gastric bypass surgery in May 2003. My weight at the time was 316 pounds.


Luckily I had no complications with surgery and have managed to go from 316 pounds to 175 pounds, and a size 24/26 to a size 8/10. I couldn't have done it without the love and support of my family and friends and I am much happier today.  I have a lot more energy. I can run and play with my son and I'm no longer afraid to leave the house, for fear
of people looking at me and laughing.  I would do it all over again in a minute and would encourage others to do it as well.  It saved me from a life of misery being overweight and unhappy. 


Thanks for letting me tell my story, Barbara.  Keep up the great work!


Becky Hadley



Congratulations Becky

I Need More Success Stories!!

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.


Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

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  ”

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive a personal notification  when it is ready for you to read? It's simple! Just go to http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com  and scroll down to the subscription form. After filling out the form and submitting it, watch for an email that asks you to CONFIRM your subscription. 

Your subscription is not complete until we get this confirmation back!

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them signup for our notification service.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of your newsletter notification email message and click the unsubscribe link.  You will be automatically deleted.

If you have any problems with this process,
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.



Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved