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 #69

May 1, 2005

Hello everyone,
We are getting into some beautiful weather.  It’s time to get outside and enjoy some physical activity no matter how far post-op you are.  I’m looking forward to my favorite outdoor activity - biking. Biking was the first activity that I really challenged myself with following my surgery. The first time that I did my 22 mile ride was positively thrilling.  

This is also the time to think about putting some variety in your activity. Maybe you have been mall walking all winter. Why not plan a boating or canoeing trip. Think of something different and try challenging yourself. You can get such a sense of pride by not only doing something different that you never thought you could do, but by challenging yourself to stretch it by doing more than you thought you could.  

It’s a whole new life!

In This Issue


* Research Article: The New Food Pyramid
* Vices After Surgery
* Only One More Week for the Mother’s Day Special
* Recipe: Baked Fish in Orange Sauce  
* Success Story: Jill and Jeff Miksch

Research Article:  
  The New Food Pyramid

The long awaited new food pyramid is here, and it’s very impressive. There are some major differences from the old food pyramid that will add much needed health guidelines to our eating patterns.  Here are the major differences:

  There is much more emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  The suggestions of what you should eat are based on your age, sex and activity level. You are also given a calorie amount to maintain your weight.
  It is much more specific.  Instead of saying “servings” which leaves everything to your interpretation of what a “serving” is, the pyramid guidelines tell you how many ounces, cups or slices.  And it gives you visuals so you can get accustomed to size.
  There is no longer the heavy emphasis on starch.  This is where a lot of us got into trouble. We ate too many bad carbs, our blood sugar level increased and we dealt with cravings.
  There is more of an emphasis on exercise.  The steps along the size with the figure running up is just one of the clear indications that diet and exercise must go hand in hand for a healthy life.

There is so much to see at the new pyramid website.  Go to http://www.mypyramid.gov, explore and learn. You can also register and use the website to track and analyze your food intake and physical activity.  All in all it is awesome!

  Vices after Surgery

Many patients have questions regarding drinking and smoking following surgery.  Here are some points to consider:

Alcohol gets into your blood stream much faster following weight loss surgery, so you feel the effects right away. If you have ever taken a chance and had a drink and then driven, you will not be able to do that following surgery. As the years go by, you will feel the effects less and less so that you will be able to have a very small drink whenever you like as long as your weight is stable.

Alcohol is viewed as empty calories, something you should try to avoid for the first year.  After you have reached your goal weight, then you will be able to figure a drink into your normal diet.  It is unrealistic to think that we will never drink for the rest of our lives.  Having a social drink now and then after reaching goal is part of many people’s lives. If you suffer from dumping, you will need to be very careful about sweet drinks such as margueritas or daiquiris. They can be brutal. But a small glass of dry white wine will eventually probably be no problem.

Smoking is another matter. Smoking before and right after surgery is very dangerous. Being morbidly obese we generally have problems with respiration as it is.  Smoking compounds that problem.  You want your lungs to be as clear as possible as you are wheeled into the operating room. Smoking also inhibits healing. And even if you have had your surgery laparoscopically, you will still have healing to do. Additionally smoking will irritate your new pouch and can make you very prone to ulcers, 

Most surgeons won’t operate if you smoke.  And you can’t trick them.  It shows up in blood tests.

Only One More Week
  for the Mother’s Day Special

Mother’s Day is only one week away, so there is not much time left to ask for a gift of health for your special day. Forget the candy which you can’t eat anyway. And forget the flowers which last such a short period of time. Ask for something that will truly help you on your weight loss surgery journey. 

As my Mother’s Day gift to you, all of our special book/CD packages are on sale. Each of the packages already offers great savings.  But in addition, from now until Mother’s Day, each package will be an additional 10% off if you enter the code MOM on the shopping cart just as you check out, right above where you enter your credit card number. For instance, my book plus the accompanying “A Thinner Way of Life” CD if priced separately is $38.90.  Normally the package is $29.90.  With this sale, the package is $26.91.  So you are saving $13.99! Now that’s a bargain. 

I hope you enjoy your very special day!!

  Baked Fish in Orange Sauce

Fish is very easy to digest, goes down well, is low in calorie and high in protein. What more can you ask?

4 (6 ounce) white fish filets
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 Tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 375º. Arrange the fish filets in a shallow baking dish which has been sprayed with a little Pam. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over fish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the fish is opaque. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve with fresh steamed vegetables and a little brown rice.

Makes 4 servings

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 223
Carbohydrates 2.5
Protein 41 grams

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:
  Jill and Jeff Miksch
I want to offer a special thanks to Jill and Jeff Miksch for sharing their story.

Hi Barbara! My husband Jeff and I saw you speak when you came to Sioux City last year! You asked for success stories and I combined ours and included photos! Below is our story ...

Hello, my name is Jill Miksch and my husband is Jeff Miksch. I am 33 years old and Jeff is 36 years old. We have been married 2 ½ years and have two children, Christopher who is 8 years old and Charlie who is 2 years old.

I’m telling our stories together because we have gone through this entire process together. Like most overweight people, we have been heavy since childhood. I was one of the biggest girls in my class. I was taller than most of the boys by 4th grade. I was a size 16/18 by my senior year. Jeff was one of the biggest kids in his class, also, wearing a size 50 pants by his senior year.

My weight went up and down during most of my 20s. I would try diet after diet (like everyone else who is reading this) and either fail to lose or lose a bit only to gain it back once I “quit” dieting. Jeff’s 20’s were very similar to mine, trying to lose weight only to gain it back plus more.

Jeff and I met New Year’s Eve 2001. During 2000, I had lost 52 pounds and gotten down to 249 pounds. I was wearing a size 20 and feeling pretty good. By the time I met Jeff, I was up to a size 22 and weighing 270. When I met Jeff, I was a little surprised by his size – we had been talking for a month before we met and I knew he was overweight. I just didn’t know he was a 400+ pound man. I would complain that men never looked past MY size and I felt I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t give Jeff a chance despite his size. (Plus don’t we women always think we can change a man??? It crossed my mind that I could help him lose the weight.)

Jeff and I married in September of 2002. We had Charlie in April of 2003. I now weighed 289 pounds. Nursing Charlie was very tough for me, but I stuck it out for 7 months. I was RAVENOUS during that time and successfully put myself over the 300-pound mark. I decided to try Weight Watchers again because I was successful with it in 2000. I even got Jeff to join with me. We both lost a modest amount, a drop in the bucket compared to what we needed to lose. We gave up and decided eating DQ Blizzards daily was more fun.

I had heard of gastric bypass surgery through articles and TV programs. My mom is a good one for cutting out articles she thinks I need to read and with our weight problems; she would make sure I got all the weight loss surgery ones. I wanted Jeff to consider the surgery, but he never pursued it. With having 2 children, I was becoming more and more afraid of Jeff dying before he was 45 due to his size.

In April of 2004, I found out about a couple in our town that had gastric bypass surgery and how great it had been for them. I called the woman and asked who her surgeon was and some general questions. I called the surgeon and signed up for the next information session he was having. I was tired of the back pain and knee pain and heartburn and lack of energy and everything else that comes with being morbidly obese. I told Jeff that I was going to look into the surgery with or without him. He said to sign him up, too. (And I breathed a sigh of relief!!)

I think Jeff had an eye opener at the first meeting. His BMI wasn’t even on the chart. He was classified as severely morbidly obese, weighing 440 pounds at 6’2” with a BMI of 58. I weighed in at 310 at 6’0” with a BMI of 42.

We decided that Jeff should go first. Jeff had laproscopic Roux-en-Y on July 6th, 2004. His first 24 hours were tough, although he does not remember them, but he recovered very quickly with minimal pain. In fact, we went camping 10 days after his surgery!

I went three weeks later. I had my laproscopic Roux-en-Y on July 27th, 2004. I, on the other hand, did not recover as quickly and took about 5 weeks to feel better. There is NO WAY in the world I would have been able to go camping 10 days after my surgery!! That just goes to show how different the surgery is for each person.

But it has worked and worked well!! At almost 10 months out, Jeff has lost an amazing 205 pounds and dropped from a size 66 pants to a size 40!! I am down 114 pounds and have gone from a size 26/28 to a size 12/14!! We both feel fantastic! Jeff is hoping to lose 20 more pounds and I would like to lose 10 more. When we come up on our year in July, we will start the plastic surgery process. Jeff has much more loose skin than I do, so he’ll get to go first again!

Would we do it again? Absolutely! Our surgeon, our hospital and our bariatric program have worked together to help us be successful and we plan on keeping it that way! The surgery is NOT the magic cure-all for obesity and we have to work daily to make the right choices to keep the weight off. But one look at our before and after pictures and I think, “It’s worth it!”

Jill Miksch

Before After


 I Need your Input....

I am running short on success stories! Please consider sharing your success story with the rest of us.  Write your story like Jeff and Jill did above and include your before and after pictures.  I will be happy to include it in a future issue of this e-newsletter and you will be inspiring many others.

Thanks for your help,



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.  

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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.
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