WLS Center E-Newsletter
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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
times have we said, “I got my life back” after our surgery? That is a
phrase that I have heard so often, and a phrase that I have used myself
many times. Each of us who have had weight loss surgery and have
succeeded, have gotten the gift of a second life. The question is,
how well are you honoring that gift? Are you honoring that gift by
doing your very best? And have you thought about giving back in even
some small way?
doing something to improve the world. Doing
small acts of kindness are easy to do and they affect
the world in many wonderful ways. Many people
are troubled by the stressful times we live in. A smile
at someone can brighten their day.
honoring your gift by giving back to the world. You will get that gift
back many times over.
In This Issue
* Pushing Past Plateaus
* Looking at the Lap-Band®
* How Do You Maintain Your Weight Loss?
* Recipe: Tex-Mex Stew
Success Story: Jennifer Smith
Pushing Past Plateaus
First, I have read your book many, many times.
Even after my
surgery I still refer to your book. I congratulate on your
accomplishments, You are doing great things for obese
people. I also enjoy the monthly newsletters.
I am now in my eighth month after RNY
surgery. Everything has gone well except for minor ups and
downs. I have lost 70 pounds. I have reached a few plateaus
along the way and for the last six weeks have not lost a
there someway I can jump-start the weight loss again. I have
been exercising three times a week at the YMCA, swimming and
using cardio machines. If you can enlighten me on some things I may
be able to do, I would appreciate it. I am 68 years old and
You are a wonderful example for all of those people who write to
me and say that they are sixty and are they too old to have
weight loss surgery! Here you are, 68 years old and reaching
for something new and better. Good for you! You go girl!
One of the secrets to getting over a
plateau is variety. It is great that you have been swimming and
using the cardio machines, but now it may be time to change what
exercise you are doing. Try using the elliptical machine or a
treadmill that is on an incline - something that will get your
heart rate up. Of course check with your doctor that this is
OK. And see if you can increase the number of sessions
exercise from 3 to 4. Change what you are eating also. Don’t eat
the same food everyday. Your body will get too accustomed to
processing that same food and will do it too efficiently. As we
age, our metabolism slows a little more each year, so you have a
bit of a battle to keep your metabolism up there.
Remember my 4 Rules of Success. Make sure
you are following all of them! Since you have my book, you know
what they are. Take care and congratulations.
and Bariatric Coordinators
If you want to:
- through an exciting speaking event
Train Your Staff
- in obesity sensitivity by someone who has been there
Then you'll want to talk to Speaker and
Author Barbara Thompson
Call my office, 412-851-4195 for rates or email
are an excellent Speaker and a great motivator. The
phone in our office has been ringing off the hook since
the day following your talk.
- Dr. Farid Elias, Mercy Hospital, Jeannette, PA
Looking at the Lap-Band®
I am going to have the surgery; I have made up in my mind
that this is what I want to do. But I am leaning towards
Could you help me with this one? Is it a good
thing to do? Do the bands slip easily? My sister had the
surgery and it went well for her and my sister in law had it and
she passed away the same day so it's just a lot I have to think
of, but I'm going to do it. I am not afraid. I just want to
know more about the band. Thank you. You rock!
The Lap-Band® was approved by the FDA in
June 2001. So it is relatively new here in this country. It has
been used in Europe and Australia for many years. And the track
record there has been good.
After 2001, surgeons started using the
Lap-Band® here in this country. And with anything new, there was
a learning curve. There was a small learning curve in the safety
of patients, but there was a large learning curve in helping
patients to lose weight. This is why the early results of people
who had the Lap-Band® showed only an 18% loss of excess weight
for patients. But all of that has changed drastically. Surgeons
now know how to do fills so patients can lose weight more easily
and the practices know how to help patients so they can really
During surgery, your band is placed and it
is actually sewn in place. It is not tightened very much at that
time and you go through a couple of weeks of liquids and
purees. This is a very critical time. It is not critical for
losing weight, because that is not the goal right then. It is a
critical time for the band to heal in place. You asked if the
band slips easily. The bands actually don’t slip, but the
stomach can. But if you have a good surgeon who has done a lot
of these surgeries and you follow your surgeon’s advice
regarding eating and not doing vigorous exercising during that
time, then the band should heal in place nicely. Once the band
is set, then you can have the “fills” to tighten the band to
help in your weight loss and you can do more vigorous
Just as Roux-en-Y patients have to commit
to certain things, Lap-Band® patients have commitments also that
make a difference in weight loss. You have to commit to
visiting your doctor even more than if you were having a
Roux-en-Y, because you have to get that band filled so it is
exactly right for you. You don’t want it too tight, because
then you won’t be able to eat. And you don’t want it too loose
because then the food won’t linger in that pouch and you will
get too hungry. And if you aren’t losing weight, you can’t let
those guilt feelings keep you away from your doctor. That’s
when you really need to go in to have things checked.
And you have to commit to a certain way of
eating. Lap-Band® patients don’t experience dumping so you have
to exercise more control over what you eat. It is easy to eat
food high in sugar such as milk shakes that a gastric bypass
patient can’t tolerate.
The jury is still out on whether Lap-Band®
patients are able to keep as much weight off as gastric bypass
patients. There hasn’t been enough time for long term studies in
this country. But like anything, it may come down to the
individual patient and their own ability to stick with the
How Do You
Maintain Your Weight Loss?
Are you 2 or more years post-op and have
been able to maintain your weight loss? If so, I would love to
know what your secret is for maintaining your weight.
I am doing research on identifying the
secrets of successful, long-term weight loss maintenance after
weight loss surgery. So that I can fully understand what you
have done, please include enough detail that approaches 1 full
page. It would be great if you included your before and after
pictures sent via email.
I need to know how you eat, what you do for
exercise, and any tips that you have to offer. I will be using
your input for a project that will be a tremendous help to
people who are having the common problem of weight regain
Send your stories to
This is a great winter dish made in my
favorite appliance - the slow cooker!
1 pound top sirloin steak, all visible fat removed, cut into
12 ounces red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce
2 teaspoons very low sodium beef bouillon granules
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons low-sodium ketchup
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and
cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Makes 4 1 1/4 cup servings
Calories 270; Protein 28 grams; Carbohydrates 30 grams
To reduce the number of carbohydrates, cut
the amount of potatoes and replace the sugar with Splenda.
If you have a recipe that you would like
to share in future issues of this
newsletter, please send it to me at
Story: Jennifer Smith
I want to offer a special thanks to Jennifer Smith. Here is her
My name is Jennifer, I am 32, and I weigh 168 pounds right now.
To many people that may not be something special, but it is
incredible to me. See 19 months ago I weighed 429 pounds. That’s
right, 429 pounds. I had Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, and the list goes on and on.
I tried everything, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri-System,
you name it, I tried it. I was a regular sized baby, a chunky kid, a
fat teenager, and a morbidly obese adult, according to my doctor’s
chart. It was so hurtful, picking up my own doctor’s file and seeing
those 2 words, “morbidly obese.”
Well, after many years of contemplating, and dieting and gaining,
and dieting and gaining, and loosing money, I became severely
depressed, and turned to drugs. I became an addict of many drugs.
But by the grace of God, I overcame my addiction, and have been off
drugs for 8 1/2 years.
Than in January of 2003 I decided to take the final step in
making myself healthy. I went to an information session on open RNY
gastric bypass surgery, and did everything my insurance called for.
June 2, 2003 I had an open RNY performed by Dr. Robert Cooney at
Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. He is an amazing doctor and
Hershey Medical is an amazing hospital. I had great care!
In October of 2004, I had my panniculectomy and hernia repair
done, and as of this morning, I weigh 168 pounds. I no longer have
diabetes, or high blood pressure. I have never been so happy or so
healthy. If I had to do this all over again, I would do it in a
I had no complications from surgery, and I have the best support
in the world, between my fiancee, my mother, and my support group
"New Dimensions" from Hershey Medical Center. They are the best feet
I can get when I need that extra kick in the butt!!
Also, I want to take a moment to thank Barbara Thompson. Your
book and your newsletters are a HUGE inspiration!! All, I want to
say is thank you to God for keeping me healthy, my fiancee for
standing by me through rough times and my mom for being my "Angel."
And to New Dimensions from Hershey Pa, “You guys are the best!”
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.
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or
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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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