WLS Center E-Newsletter
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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
The Voice of Obesity
The older that I get the healthier that I feel and I owe this to
my having had weight loss surgery. I am not at the weight I would
love to be. I am not skinny with the body of a model, although
some people have referred to me as “tiny.” Instead of accepting it
as a compliment, I think, “What are they thinking?”
We are often our own worst enemy and are
never satisfied with our success. We think of success as absolute
and don’t recognize that there are levels of success. If
recognizing success is something that affects you, be sure to read
my article, “Lack of Weight Loss.”
Enjoy this glorious Spring!!
In This Issue
* Research Article: Risk Assessment of Weight
* Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program
* Lack of Weight Loss
* Blogging Along
* Cruise to Paradise
* Puzzle: Cryptogram
* Recipe: Healthy Lasagna
Success Story: Lucy Edmondson
* Spreading the Word in Charlotte, NC; Greenville, PA; Washington,
DC; Caribbean Cruise and Columbus, OH
When considering whether to have weight
loss surgery, did you ever hear the admonition, “You’re
having weight loss surgery? Don’t you know that you could
die?” Well, a new tool will tell you how much at risk you
A new assessment tool developed by Dr.
Eric DeMaria, Director of the Duke University Weight Loss
Surgery Center, shows how risky weight loss surgery might be
for you. The study of 4,433 patients from 3 weight loss
surgery centers found that you are at a greater risk if you
||Over the age of 45
||Have a body mass index greater than 50
||Have high blood pressure
||Have a high risk of developing blood clots in
Patients with none or one of these
factors are considered low risk. Those with 2 or 3 of the
factors are considered medium risk and those with 4 or 5 are
considered high risk. Only 3% of weight loss surgery
patients are in the high risk category.
Should you wait to have weight loss
surgery until your doctor tells you that if you don’t have
it you could die, or do you take a more proactive approach
and have surgery when you meet the minimum criteria. From
the assessment tool above, patients become more at risk by
For a WebMD article concerning this, go
Internet Mentoring Program
“I loved the fact that you were willing to meet us
where we are, that you are reachable and that you help us over
the humps. You totally come across that you care about us and
are there for us. You seem like you are a real friend.”
The Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is now more
affordable than ever. Only $19.95 a month provides you with
lessons and support for a year. You owe yourself success.
information or to join the Program,
Lack of Weight Loss
I had lap band surgery about 7 months ago and have only lost
40 pounds. I haven't lost anything in over 1 month. I go
back to the Doctor hopefully for another fill in about 2
weeks. What can I do to get back on track? No one seems to
be able to direct me. I am desperate for help and feeling
like I am a huge failure and wasted so much money.
Slow or little weight loss is a more
common problem than you would think. With lap band patients
in particular it is important to have the right “fill” so
that the band will work most efficiently. It is excellent
that Lora is working with her surgeon to try to find a
But not everyone works so closely with
their surgeon, mostly because of a feeling of failure. The
statistics are not really known for how many patients are
unsuccessful with their surgery, because most are afraid to
return to their surgeon for help. We have all had the fear that we would be the
“one” person in the world that weight loss surgery would not
work for. But there are more than one that fits that
But what constitutes “failure?” Are you
a failure if you don’t reach your goal weight? Are you a
failure if you remain in the obese category according to
your body mass index? Are you a failure if you don’t lose a
According to surgeons, you are a
success if you lose 50% of your excess weight. So I guess
you are a failure if you do less than that. In emails back
and forth with Lora, I discovered from her height and weight
at the time of her surgery that she was 108 pounds over
normal weight. This would mean that for her surgeon to
consider her successful, she would have to lose 54 pounds.
She has lost 40 pounds in just 7 months, so she is close.
Yet Lora is feeling like a failure who wasted her money.
Here are some tips to consider when you
are disappointed with your weight loss:
Have realistic goals. You may not end up
skinny, but you will be much healthier than when you started
Keep in close contact with your surgeon,
regardless of what kind of surgery you had. Your surgeon and
his or her staff can be key to your success if you just
utilize their expertise.
Get help. Don’t expect to do it alone. Go to
your support group meetings. Hire a personal trainer. Get
counseling on compulsive eating. Join my Back on Track
Don’t think you are alone. There are people
just like you who are struggling. And don’t think it is your
fault. Dr. Alan Wittgrove made this statement in the Wall
Street Journal when he was President of the American
Society for Bariatric Surgery, “We know there is a portion
of the patient population that will not be successful.
Sometimes the operation fails them.”
Don’t be afraid and don’t give up
hope. You only fail when you give up. As long as you are
trying, then you’re still in the game.
If you haven’t yet gotten onto my
Blog, check it out! Since the last
newsletter I have posted 2 more articles. Read them and feel
free to comment. And please let me know of any subjects that
you would like me to address either in the blog or in this
The articles in the
* How Do You Find Your Ideal Weight?
* NIH to Study Bariatric Surgery for Teens
Here is the link for the
I hope you enjoy the articles.
Do you suffer
from transfer addiction?
On May 14th, ABC’s Nightline
will be filming and interviewing me about the topic of
transfer addiction as I speak for Dr. David Voellinger’s
practice, Southeast Bariatrics in Charlotte, NC. They would
also like to interview patients who have suffered from this
If you have experienced transfer
addiction and would agree to appear on their TV show, please
email me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com and tell me a bit about what you
have experienced. You must be able to come to Charlotte the
afternoon and evening of May 14th.
Transfer addiction occurs
when weight loss surgery patients are no longer able
to eat the way they did prior to surgery and feel
compelled to begin another excessive behavior to
replace compulsive eating. This behavior would
include excessive drinking, shopping, sex, or gambling
When you think healthy, you probably never
think lasagna. Here is a very healthy lasagna recipe to try.
30 ounces frozen chopped spinach
16 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
2 cups spaghetti sauce
8 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese slices
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Thaw the spinach and squeeze out as much
liquid as possible. Spray a casserole pan with Pam and spread 1/3
of the spinach in the pan. Spread ½ of the ricotta cheese over the
spinach. Sprinkle half of the turkey over the ricotta then spoon
half of the spaghetti sauce over that. Top with half of the
mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat the layering process with 1/3 of
the spinach and then the other half of the ricotta cheese, turkey,
spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Finish with the third part
of the spinach and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350°
oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until browned. Makes 8 servings.
Each serving: 260 calories, 9 grams of
carbohydrates, 23 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
I want to offer a special thanks to Lucy
Edmondson. Here is her story:
My story is a little different than those I usually read, because
I have come to the conclusion that I will always have food issues.
The difference now is that I am confident that I can control those
I had laparoscopic RNY surgery on March 17, 2004 and I weighed
293 pounds and am 5'8" tall. I had a number of physical problems such as GERD, arthritis, back problems, and infertility which my weight
either caused or to which it contributed.
After surgery, I was restricted from lifting any weight for six
weeks. The day the restriction was lifted, I hired a personal
trainer and began to exercise daily and lift weights several times a
week. I strictly stuck to the diet prescribed by the doctor and had
nothing with sugar, even fruit, for 9 months.
By September 2004, I weighed 200 pounds. By February 2005, I
reached my goal weight of 140 pounds. I continued to exercise hard and
eat very carefully and got down to 131 pounds. I had 15% body fat
and my period stopped for over a year. People kept
telling me I needed to stop losing weight.
One night I was buying some sugar-free ice cream at the grocery
store and the cashier said, "You're one of those people who never
gains weight." It was all I could do not to laugh hysterically.
When we were visiting Las Vegas, I saw this gaunt, person with huge
eyes on a screen and thought how bad she looked. My husband had to
tell me that it was me. I was wearing size 4's and 6's and I was
just obsessed with being thin and exercising relentlessly.
At that point, I began trying to be more moderate. I cut back on
exercising a bit and began to eat more and a wider variety of food.
I have great difficulty being moderate and I gained up to 180 pounds
by March of 2006. Since then I have been watching what I eat a bit
more and exercising and I currently weigh 153 pounds and am a good
I used to talk about my surgery all the time, now it rarely comes
up. I am not ashamed of it, but I am just a regular person now. I
still tend to turn to food when I am depressed or bored. I want to
taste every new food that comes out. But I can just eat a little
and be satisfied. Before surgery, I felt it was utterly hopeless.
But I feel that if I get off track, I can reel myself in pretty
People ask me would I do it again, and I wonder how they even
could ask. I had an infected incision that had to be packed
for 3 weeks, an ulcer, and various tummy problems. But these
problems pale compared to the problems I believe I would be facing
if I had not had the surgery; not only physically, but
psychologically and spiritually. I
felt hopeless, trapped, and depressed. I could see no future.
Life is not perfect now, but it is pretty darn good.
Rocky Mount, NC
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.
Monday May 14, 2007, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Heaton Hall at the
Cornwell Center, behind Myers Park Baptist Church, 2001 Selwyn
Ave., Charlotte, NC. Sponsored by Dr. David Voellinger,
Southeast Bariatrics. Call Jennifer Sawyer, 704-347-4144 for
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
Thursday August 9th, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Walter
Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Open only to
military related patients and their families. Contact Jenny
West for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Speaking for Dr. Needleman and Dr. Mikami, Ohio State
University, Date not yet set.
|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.
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.
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