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 #65

March 1, 2005

Hello everyone,
How many 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? 

Think about 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.

Think about 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

Hello Barbara:
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 pound.  Is 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 feeling great.

Thank you
Isabel Goss

Dear Isabel,
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 that you 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.

To read about weight loss surgery including my 4 Rules of Success,

order my book at http://www.wlscenter.com/1shopmain.htm

Attention Surgeons
  and Bariatric Coordinators
If you want to:

Attract Patients -  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 me at Barbara@WLScenter.com

“You 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

Research Article: Looking at the Lap-Band®

Dear Barbara,
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 the Lap-Band®. 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!

Gloria Watts

Hi Gloria,

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 succeed.  

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 exercising.

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 program

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 following surgery.

Send your stories to Barbara@wlscenter.com

Recipe: Tex-Mex Stew

This is a great winter dish made in my favorite appliance - the slow cooker!

Tex-Mex Stew

1 pound top sirloin steak, all visible fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
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

Nutritional information:
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 Barbara@WLScenter.com

ISuccess Story: Jennifer Smith

I want to offer a special thanks to Jennifer Smith. Here is her story:

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 minute!!

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!”

Jennifer Smith

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

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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.
Subscribe at http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/

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