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 #66

March 15, 2005

Hi everyone,
I’m not really into “fashion” but I can’t help noticing that the colors for Spring are vibrant pastels! And it’s making me want to go shopping!  Before my surgery, the thought of wearing anything but black and navy blue would send me into depression.  Having surgery and being of normal weight is liberating in thousands of little ways that those who haven’t been there would never imagine.  So if you have had surgery, I hope you will enjoy these colors along with me.  And if you are waiting for surgery, just believe that you’ll get there! Believe me - you will!

In This Issue


* Plateau Problem
* Easter Bunny 10% Off Sale
* Gastric Bypass Surgery Is Like…
* Article on Change
* Now That I’m Thin, What About the Skin?
* Recipe: Crustless Seafood Quiche
* Success Story: Penny Brooks

Plateau Problem

Dear Barbara,
I am only 3 weeks post-op.  I started the surgical process in November 2004.  Since then I have lost a total of 33 pounds.  But since my surgery which was Feb.17, 2005, I have only lost 7 pounds.  I have been at a plateau for over 2 weeks. 

After all my readings online and in your book I feel that I should be losing faster and not plateauing so quickly.  Many patients say that they have lost as much as 30 pounds by their 4 to 6 week post op appointment. 

I am walking on my treadmill every day for one hour at a rate of 3.0 mph.  I am getting in all my water.  I am able to eat about 1 cup of thin cream of wheat for breakfast or 6 oz. of yogurt, 2 1/2 pieces of liverwurst and 6 saltines for lunch and about 1 oz. of baked tortillas and 1/3 c. of refried beans for dinner.  These are examples.  Is this too much??? 

I don't want to get discouraged so soon.  I feel great and am trying so hard. I weighed 249 the day of surgery and am tired of being stuck at 242. Your thoughts will be appreciated. Thank you.


Dear Matty,
Don't panic.  You are doing just great!!! And plateaus are natural. Don't eat any less.  Remember, you can plateau from eating too little also.  Your body can go into a starvation mode.

There are a couple of reasons that you are stuck:

1.  You lost 33 pounds prior to surgery. Wonderful! Many people gain weight prior to surgery and then lose that temporary water weight right after. That accounts for some of the people who have this 30 pound weight loss at their 4 to 6 week appointment.

2.  You are at a lower weight to start and people who weigh less lose weight more slowly.

No you are not eating too much, but I would make some alterations. For instance, instead of the cream of wheat, I would recommend an egg, although the yogurt is good. Instead of the refried bean, how about eating some cottage cheese?  I notice you are very low on protein.  You should consider getting in a protein drink sometime during the day.  Try to eliminate the crackers and tortilla chips if you can.  That small amount isn't bad, but those carbs can get you in trouble later on.  As your appetite increases, it is too easy for 6 saltines to become 12 and 1 ounce of chips to become 3 ounces.

I want to put your question in the e-newsletter and see if folks can come up with good protein choices for you. 

And by the way, good going on the exercise and water!  You are doing so well.  I have no doubt that you will hit your goal weight!

Barbara Thompson

So folks - email your suggestions on what protein choices Matty should be eating now that she is 3 weeks post-op.  Send them to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com and put "Matty’s Protein" in the subject line.

Easter Bunny 10% Off Sale
To help celebrate Easter and the coming of Spring, everything (except vitamins) on my shopping cart - every book, CD and even the packages which are already great deals, are on SALE! 

From now until midnight Eastern time on Easter Sunday, March 27th, you can get 10% off your total order by entering the sale code word “Easter” just as you are checking out.  Your 10% discount will be automatically applied.

Start your Spring off by learning what will make you successful with weight loss surgery.  It does not all come automatically! Click Here to get to the shopping cart. 

Gastric Bypass Surgery is Like…

Thanks so much to Marisette Edwards for sharing this story with us.  I thought this was great insight!

Hi Barbara,
I wanted to share a funny story with you and your Weblog readers:

I'm coming up on my 2-year anniversary from my weight loss surgery, and I've been struggling with both eating right and spending right.

My 17-year-old son and I were discussing fiscal responsibility, and how a lack of daily discipline could result in a huge debt that would be almost impossible to pay down.  I then compared it to gaining weight over a long period of time resulting in morbid obesity.  He then observed, "So in essence, gastric bypass surgery is like declaring bankruptcy - ‘I give up, I'm starting all over again’."

I thought that was an excellent observation!  Just like bankruptcy, gastric bypass surgery gives you the chance to start all over again - and just like bankruptcy, if you don't practice daily discipline better than you did before, your long-range goal could still be jeopardized.

Out of the mouths of babes...

Marisette Edwards

Article on Change

I’m writing an article on “change” for WLS LifeStyles Magazine and am looking for people to interview.  If you would like to talk to me about how you reacted to all of the changes that you went through after surgery and how it affected you, please email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com with your phone number - day and evening if possible and the best time to get in touch with you. 


Now That I’m Thin, What About the Skin?

Hi Barbara,
After reading about Jennifer in last month’s newsletter and seeing how great she looks, I was wondering if the panniculectomy was considered a cosmetic procedure. She said she also had a hernia repair done at the same time. I also have a hernia and I was told that when I had it repaired that I could get a tummy tuck along with it and that wouldn't be considered cosmetic. My insurance would pay for it.  What is the difference between an abdominoplasty and the panniculectomy?

Thank you for all that you do for us. I saw you in person in 2003 in Durham, NC. I attended your seminar, and you looked wonderful. I have your book and it’s my resource bible for any questions that come up. I appreciate all the monthly newsletters you put out. Thank you again for what you do for all of us.                   

Nancy Arnott

Hi Nancy,
When I did the teleseminar with Dr. Peter Rubin in January, I posed this same question to him.  What he said was that there is some controversy about distinguishing between the two surgeries even in medical circles.  But that basically, the abdominoplasty is the much more extensive surgery.  The abdominoplasty involves tightening the abdominal muscles and the panniculectomy just deals with the “pannus” or the flap of skin that hangs down from the stomach. The panniculectomy is often covered by insurance because that pannus causes rash and infection as it rubs against the skin.  The abdominoplasty is not covered because it is considered cosmetic. However, when you have a hernia repair, an abdominoplasty can be done at the same time and the cost is usually not that much more than the hernia repair. That way, the major portion of the surgery is covered.


If you want to find out more about plastic surgery, order the CD recording of the telephone seminar on plastic surgery. Find out more at http://www.wlscenter.com/plastic_surgery.htm. And remember, it’s on sale until Easter!

Recipe: Crustless Seafood Quiche
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
6 large mushrooms, sliced thin
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

4 ounces crab meat
4 ounces shrimp
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon green onion tops, chopped

In a blender combine the first 8 ingredients. Blend until smooth
Arrange cheese, seafood, mushrooms and seasoning in a pie dish
Top with blended ingredients.
Bake at 350º F for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Servings: 6 
Per serving: 376 calories, 5 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams of 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: Penny Brooks

I want to offer a special thanks to Penny Brooks. Here is her story:

I started out at 5’ 11,” a whopping 447 pounds with a BMI of 60. I had difficulty standing, and in doing any kind of exercise, even walking more than a short distance.  I had difficulty performing any daily activities. I was severely depressed. Just going to B. J’s or Wal-Mart, I had to ride around in a motorized cart.

I suffered from severe sleep apnea, high cholesterol, fatty liver, chronic lower back pain, chronic knee pain from arthritis and was facing yet another knee surgery. Then what made me hit my lowest of lows was after 20 years of trying to conceive a child, I was told I was infertile due to being super morbidly obese. I ended up having a hysterectomy, and sadly I will never able to have a child to call my own.

I had laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery on April 30, 2003 at Holly Cross Hospital. Thanks to the considerable skills of Dr. Barry Greene, it was an easy, uneventful surgery. I left the hospital the second day and was back to work within 12 days, full of energy and ready to get on with my life.

I took my vitamins and medications faithfully. Within the first month post-op I began to feel the positive benefits of the surgery. I no longer suffer with my co-morbidities, with the exception of some minor knee problems, which I was told, “Too much water under the bridge.” My arthritis is here to stay.

The best advice I can give to anyone considering weight loss surgery is to follow the doctors orders exactly, take all of the prescribed medications, be faithful with taking your vitamins, do a lot of research about this surgery, attend support group meetings faithfully, and get in your protein!

Within 12 months after my surgery, I've lost 200 pounds. I have gone from a snug size 30-32 to a size 20-22. I am happier and healthier and more active than I have been in 30 years and everyone says it shows in everything I do. I still hope to lose another 50 pounds, but if I never lose another pound, this journey would still be incredible, and worth all the effort it took to get here.

A continuous praise to the almighty God for the strength and knowledge to pursue this journey.  Also, a big hug to my friends and family who have watched me melt away.  And of course a special thank you to Dr. Greene who gave me back my life.

I felt like I needed to do something worthwhile to give back and help show others how successful this venture can be. I remember being bombarded by everyone for information about my sudden weight loss. I found myself sounding like a recording. I remember going into my local Wal-Mart and having a circle of friends around me soaking up the information.  I had people’s telephone numbers written everywhere to call.  I thought, ‘I have to do something,’ so I decided eight months after my surgery to start my own support group in the southern Maryland area, since driving to Silver Spring/Rockville, Virginia was too far. We are called the “Lexington Park Losers” and I am thrilled to say the group has begun to shrink beautifully.

My wonderful boyfriend of 4 years has loved me at any weight and has put up with my mood swings, my happy and sad days, and everything in between.  Our life has truly improved; mentally, physically and sexually…ooops, I won’t go there! We can enjoy walking the beach holding hands, and window-shopping in the mall. I am now for the first time ever a lower weight than the man I'm with! I am finding it so satisfying to be able to toss on one of his t-shirts if I so choose even if I wouldn't wear them as a fashion statement. It feels so good to be smaller than my partner. He is able to put his arms around me and lift me! Not that I am a tiny little thing yet! But he can lift me off the ground!

Oh, did I mention I can now fit into any booth?  The list just goes on and on of what I’m capable of doing.  I hope all you are feeling fabulous! I'm certainly not saying all my problems have disappeared but my future looks pretty darned good!

I’d like to say however the operation was on my stomach and not my brain and I have to constantly deal with the fact that the weight loss surgery was only a tool. Dr. Greene did the physical part and the emotional part is up to me.  Little did I know how much was up to me?

I found out early that I am an emotional eater. I am still addicted to food and my ability to control the addiction sometimes waivers. I think what scares me is how easy it is to fall back into the addictive patterns of behavior. Things like eating the wrong foods, sneaking food, obsessing about food, eating to repress feelings and the willingness to suffer the dreaded “dumping syndrome” are still with me. These things do scare me. But it’s one day at a time and I hope to never eat like I did before. I refuse to “live to eat”, but to “eat to live.”

This surgery has freed me to do things I never felt comfortable enough to do. When you have the surgery, you will change also.  Just remember that it will make you more of what you already are. 

Penny B. Brooks

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.  

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.

Support the continued FREE delivery of this Newsletter
by clicking the banner below and purchasing your vitamins.

Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved