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 #113

March 15, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
We are in that time of the year here in the Northeast when I know Spring is coming, but many days it just seems so far away. We have some really nice days, but then there are days like today when it rained all day and then turned into snow.  I just heard the weather report which is calling for 2 to 3 inches of snow! But I know that Spring really is just around the corner.  

This reminds me of weight loss.  You know that you’ll be successful if you just stick to it.  You have many good days, but then those bad days creep in and it seems like the bad days will never end.  But they do. If we could just be as sure of our success as we are sure that Spring will come, we would be better off. Be strong!

In This Issue


* The Latest Study of Diet Soda
* Milwaukee Retreat
* Healthy Food Puzzle
* Cruise to Paradise
* Recipe: Citrus Chicken
* Success Story: Ron Nippe
* Spreading the Word in Park Rapids, MN; Milwaukee; Washington, DC; Greenville, PA; and the Western Caribbean

The Latest Study on Diet Soda

If you were normally a soda drinker prior to your surgery, as most of us were, you have probably wondered what the big deal is regarding drinking soda after surgery. You have probably heard the arguments that the carbonation in soda will expand your pouch. Therefore you may have reasoned that you will let the soda get flat and then drink it.  Of course the time you wait for the soda to go flat may have gotten shorter and shorter, so that you may just be drinking the soda right after opening the can.  And besides, if you are many years post op, the fear of expanding your pouch probably left you long ago.

And then there is the argument that if you drink decaffeinated soda, then there is no caffeine to dehydrate you because caffeine acts as a diuretic. So what could possibly be wrong with drink decaffeinated diet soda?

There is a new study reported March 12th on MSNBC from the University of Texas.  Researchers followed 600 people over an 8 year period. They found that of those who drank 1 to 2 cans of diet soda per day, 54% of them over the 8 year period became obese.  Those who drank 1 to 2 cans of regular soda, 33% of them became obese.

I am not suggesting and neither is the study that you should drink regular soda. And there is an argument to be made that the group drinking diet soda may have had a predisposition to obesity. However, this study is one more reason to consider how artificial sweetener acts in your body. 

Most diet sodas contain aspartame which studies have shown decreases the serotonin in the body.  Serotonin is the neurochemical that regulates emotions and appetite, among other things. Therefore a decrease in serotonin can cause depression which can lead us to turn to comfort foods as well as increase our appetite. So the caffeine free diet soda that you are drinking may very well be making you more hungry and causing cravings.

The jury is still out on Splenda. There have been some adverse reactions reported, so you may not be safe substituting Splenda for aspartame.

Just try going a week with no diet soda or artificially sweetened products and see if you notice a difference. Here are some substitutes for diet soda that you might want to consider

  • Water – pure and simple
  • Water with a little fruit juice mixed in
  • Water with a slice of lemon or orange
  • Herbal tea

Healthy Food Puzzle

Here is a word search puzzle for your entertainment. This puzzle is based on a list of healthy foods.  How many of these foods can you get in this week?

Please let me know how you like these puzzles and if you think they are a fun addition to the newsletter.  Email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com

Citrus Chicken

Citrus Chicken

¼ cup lemon juice
2 T Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
2 T frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 T plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 packet instant chicken broth mix, dry
1 T dried parsley
1 pound boned and skinned chicken, cut into chunks
1 T plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup water

Spray a large skillet with Pam. Sauté chicken pieces 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and add lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper, orange juice concentrate, oil, broth mix and parsley to the skillet. Heat until hot.

Add the chicken and cook, turning frequently until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add this to the remaining liquid in the skillet and completely stir in.  Return the chicken to the skillet. Increase heat. Stir and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened.

Makes 4 servings.  Each serving:
233 Calories
10 Carbohydrates
17 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:
  Ron Nippe

I want to offer a special thanks to Ron Nippe. Here is his story:

I am sure this is nothing new, that you have heard it before. The occurrence that pushed me over the edge and slapped me into realizing I needed to address my weight problem was a pre-operative airline trip from Manchester, NH to Ft. Myers, FL, a trip I make several times each year.

Last summer, I sat in my seat with my lovely wife of 30 years (110 pounds!) next to me.

Thanks to the designer of most aircraft seats, we are able to raise the armrest between us and there was (was!) then ample room for my 6’4”, 331 pound frame to sit comfortably.

On this particular trip, I could not buckle my seatbelt. Rather than face the embarrassment of publicly asking the flight attendant for a seat belt extension, I placed the belt in my lap and covered the buckle area with a magazine…When the cabin crew made the pre-takeoff seat belt inspection, I passed (luckily) without a second glance!

Over the past 5 years, I had ballooned from 275 to 331 pounds! It was partly due to anxiety medication and appetite, partly due to junk food and my business lifestyle. Heck, I would even hit Mickey D's on the way home for dinner for a junk food pre-dinner.

I carried the weight well. Family members and even the doctors at the hospital in Boston that performed my surgery last year asked me several times why I was doing this. The answer was simple and obvious to me! I was 100+ pounds overweight. I had perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol, and no co-morbidities. I had some knee discomfort (wonder why?). My family supported me but could not understand…save for my wife!

Now, at 220 pounds and dropping, back in the gym 5 mornings per week, eating “right,” and feeling great, I will never again be dreading the many flights I make each year!

Here are my dimensions  pre and post-op

Then                                                Now
Neck   20”+                                     16”
Chest   56”                                       44”
Waist   50” on a good day!              38”
Pounds 331                                      220 and dropping (goal is 200)

Have a great day!
Ron Nippe

Congratulations Ron

You achieved your goal, be proud and tell the world.

I am running low on success stories.  If you have a story to share, are at least 1 year post-op and have before and after  pictures, please send them to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include them in a future issue.

Spreading the Word in
  Park Rapids, MN; Milwaukee, WI;
  Washington, DC; Greenville, PA
  and the Western Caribbean

Saturday April 14th, 10 AM to 11:15 AM, sponsored by Dakota Clinic, Park Rapids, MN. Call Laurie Hanson, 218-732-2829 for information.

Tuesday May 8th, OR Thursday August 9th (date tentative), Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC.

Wednesday May 23rd, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Thiel College Auditorium, sponsored by UPMC Horizon, Greenville, PA. Call Jonathan Bailey, 724-589-6642 for information

Please Note: I am asked very often about coming to speak for various practices. If you would like me to speak, I am sponsored to speak by either the Hospital or by a corporation. Call me for details 877-440-1518.

Attention Nurses

If you are a nurse and would like for me to speak on positive patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, or obesity sensitivity for your State Nurses Association, please have the conference planner for your State Association contact me. I have a corporate sponsor who will pay my fee and expenses so it is free for your Association. I also speak for many hospitals on the same topics. 

Contact me at Barbara@WLScenter.com or 412-851-4195.


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