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 #105

November 15, 2006

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
Next week is Thanksgiving. I have many things in my life to be thankful for. They include my family – my loving and supportive husband, my daughter who I love so much that she takes my breath away, my 91-year old mother who inspires me daily, my sister and the rest of my family. I am so fortunate.

I am also very grateful for all of you.  I often refer to you as 10,000 of my best friends.  You email me and share so much of yourselves. And best of all, I get to meet many of you as I travel around the country speaking, and get to know many of you very well through my retreats.

Many write to me and say that I inspire them.  Well, you also inspire me with your courage to have surgery and to face the tremendous change that we have all gone through. Next Thursday I will think of all of my friends.  Happy Thanksgiving.

In This Issue

* Oh my Aching Back Responses
* Back on Track
* Research Article: Body Contouring
* Finding the Thin Person
* Recipe: Artichoke and Spinach Dip
* Success Story: Anne Warner
* Spreading the Word in Orange, CA

Oh my Aching Back:
  Responses From the Last Newsletter
In my November 1st newsletter, http://www.wlscenter.com/NLArchive/nov_1_2006.htm I featured an article, “Oh my Aching Back: Back Problems Following Weight Loss Surgery,” and asked those who were having this problem to respond.  I received a lot of response which you can read on the linked page.

I do want to relate my own experience with back pain. The herniated disk in my back is what prompted me more than anything to have weight loss surgery.  Although back pain is not life-threatening, mine certainly was life-limiting. 

Carrying an extra 125 pounds put added pressure on my herniated disk. The pain was often so bad that I could not walk or stand for any length of time.  I still remember the look on my daughter’s face when we went to Disney World and my husband pushed me around in a wheel chair. She was embarrassed, ashamed of being embarrassed and frightened to realize that her Mom was so vulnerable.

I had hoped that after my surgery, my back would be so much better.  It certainly improved, but I did not have the dramatic recovery that I had hoped for. But I began to notice something. I noticed that because my back felt somewhat better, I was able to move more and exercise more.  And as the years passed (it has been almost seven years since my surgery), my back continued to improve.

It has been a very gradual process of healing and strengthening. Every year my back gets better and, as it heals, I become more active. So if you have had surgery and you are still feeling pain or have started having pain that you never had before, don’t give up hope. It may be that the many years of carrying so much weight has caused your spine to degenerate and you will have a more difficult time, or it could be that like me you will gradually heal.

Click here to read the many responses that I have received about this important issue:

It's Time to get Back On Track

If you’re not happy with your weight loss, then join the
Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program.

Back On Track with Barbara is a 6-month membership program that provides an internet mentorship for those who are struggling with weight regain after weight loss surgery.  It also benefits those who have never reached their goal weight after surgery

Here is a recent comment from a new member:
“I sure wish I had come here when my eating started slipping. But we are all on our own journeys--even though we have so much in common.  I highly recommend listening to some of the audio seminars. I just joined last week and already I have a ray of hope I haven't had in quite some time.”  Cindy

For more information or to join the Program, go to


Research Article:
  Body Contouring
The Facts About Body-Contouring Surgery
When you lose 100 pounds or more, what happens to the extra skin? For many, the answer lies in body-contouring surgery.

All of the excess skin that remains following a massive weight loss can leave many of us feeling like deflated balloons. The results might be less than satisfying if we know that under all of that hanging skin is the body of our dreams. To remedy this, many have turned to body contouring as this Web MD article discusses:  http://www.webmd.com/content/article/128/117102.htm

Dr. Rubin who is featured in this article did a teleseminar with me called:

Plastic Surgery; The Inevitable Next Step?

Click here to find out more and to hear of preview of the CD http://www.wlscenter.com/plastic_surgery.htm

Artichoke and Spinach Dip
Here is a great party appetizer recipe that you can enjoy right along with your guests.

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

15-to16-oz can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
4 medium green onions (green and white parts, chopped)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
14-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained or a 10-oz package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
10-oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt or fat-free or light sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a food processor or blender, process the beans, green onions, and garlic until smooth, scraping the sides several times. Add the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth.

Transfer the dip to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 2 hours to 4 days before serving.

Per 2 Tablespoon serving:
25 Calories; 5 Carbs; 2 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:
  Anne Warner
I want to offer a special thanks to Anne Warner. Here is her story:

My name is Anne Warner and I have been the co-moderator of the WLS Ashtabula Support Group in Ashtabula, Ohio for the last 4 years.  I assumed this position when the founder could no longer lead the group.  I started attending this support group 6 months before my weight loss surgery.  I was very scared and this group helped to give me the courage to go through with the surgery. 

I had open RNY surgery at the Cleveland Center for Bariatric Surgery in Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Schreiber performed the surgery on October 14th, 2002.  I stared at a top weight of 320 pounds. I had no complications and 18 months later I had lost 160 pounds, which was half of my total weight. I was very careful to follow all the rules.

In March of 2004 I had an extended tummy tuck and an upper arm reduction with a few minor problems with healing but nothing that couldn’t be handled.  I had my thigh reduction in January, of 2006. That was the hardest surgery of them all.  Hopefully this will be the last surgery for me.

Bariatric surgery has given me my life, health and happiness.  I can do things now that I couldn’t do since high school.  My husband is my best friend and my main support.  Together we now walk and ride bikes for miles.  We go to parks and beaches, we enjoy life together.  Before surgery I was a very bad diabetic, a severe asthmatic and generally hurt all over.  Now I am still a diabetic but in much better control with much less medication.  My asthma is gone and I feel great!

Through all this I have continued my service as co-moderator, secretary, and treasurer of the WLS Ashtabula Support Group.  I do this for two reasons. 

1) It helps me to stay on track and be honest with myself.  I believe in leading by example.  How can I tell people that something is good for them if I don’t follow it myself??  It also helps me to keep current on all the new findings and changes being made in the bariatric field.

 2) I want to help others the way people helped me those 6 months before my surgery.  I learned so much and was so supported by them.  That is what convinced me that I could actually have this surgery and be successful with it.  I was so scared and those people were there for me.  I want to be there for those people that come after me. 

Too often I find that patients are not given enough information or actually the wrong information to be able to live the remainder of their lives as successful bariatric people.  I believe that knowledge is power.  The right knowledge in bariatrics can give you the power to control your weight the rest of your life using your tool properly.  This surgery gives us a tool to work with if we know how to use it.  This is not just an 18-month commitment, it’s a lifetime commitment.  I hope to help people for as long as I can with currant education and plenty of support.

Anne Warner

Congratulations Anne
  I Love Good News
If you have a success story to share along with before and after pictures, please send it to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.

Spreading the Word in Orange, CA

Start the holidays off right! If you live near Orange, CA come join me just before Thanksgiving. Here are the details:

I will be speaking for Dr. Ninh Nguyen
When: Tuesday November 21st, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: University of California, Irvine
101 The City Drive
Building 53 Auditorium
Orange, CA
Free and open to the public.

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/

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