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 #103

October 15, 2006

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
Emotional eating is a huge issue for many of us. Although it doesn’t necessarily show as a problem in the first year following surgery, for many it starts to roar back soon after. It is always comforting to know that something that plagues us isn’t caused because we are just weak-willed as the article on emotional eating will show.

I am very excited about starting to plan retreats for next year. This has gone from a single idea, to a retreat in Pittsburgh that was so wonderful that it is hard to describe. The group of women who attended found it so enlightening and have stayed very close, supporting each other ever since. The process has now progressed to my planning retreats in other cities.  I am getting hotels booked and communicating with support groups. I am working on corporate sponsorship and investigating retreat leaders to help me. It is exciting and I hope to see you at one of these retreats.  

In This Issue


* Emotional Eating is Like a Drug Craving
* Retreats
* Lactose Intolerance
* Oktoberfest
* Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin Soup
* Success Story: Ann Meyer

Emotional Eating is Like a Drug Craving

WebMD recently ran an article that reported on a study that is to appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study discovered that the desire to eat in someone obese triggers the same brain action as an addict’s desire for drugs.  Not that this comes as a surprise to us.

To read the entire WebMD article, go to http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/128/116967.htm       

If you are struggling with emotional eating check out my CD on emotional eating http://www.wlscenter.com/emotional_eat.htm
my Back on Track Program http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com/

I am starting to plan retreats in the following cities:

Palm Desert, CA
Charlotte, NC
Milwaukee, WI
Kansas City, KS

Watch future editions of this newsletter for signup announcements.

If you are excited about my retreats, would like for me to have a retreat in your city and feel comfortable that 30 people would attend, contact me at Barbara@WLScenter.com.

 Lactose Intolerance

Dear Barbara,
I am 4 years post-op and have become completely lactose intolerant. Why? I cannot find the answer to this problem or real solid medical information to explain this phenomenon. Thank you. Your books and website are a Godsend to so many of us.
Stef Rand

Hi Stef,
Lactose intolerance
results when the body is unable to digest lactose which is the sugar found in cow’s milk and other dairy products. Lactose is broken down by the enzyme lactase which is produced in the small intestines. The lactose is broken down into glucose and galactose.

When the body does not produce enough of the enzyme, then the lactose cannot be broken down which results in lactose intolerance. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include cramping, nausea, gas and diarrhea after consuming dairy products. 

A common cause of lactose intolerance is injury to the small intestines.  What we experience as gastric bypass surgery patients having our intestines rerouted can be interpreted by our bodies as an injury. This may also be why lactose intolerance disappears for most of us after a period of time.  Our bodies heal from the “injury.”

Diary products such as cow’s milk are obvious sources of lactose.  But lactose is also found in whey, protein drinks that are whey-based, buttermilk, sour cream, margarine, yogurt, cottage cheese, hard cheese as well as some dry products like breads, cereals, etc.

Substitutes for cow’s milk that will not cause discomfort include soy milk and Lactaid.

If you find that you are lactose intolerance after surgery, be extra sure that you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

Oktoberfest Book and Audio CD Sale

The leaves are falling, the air is getting cool and it's time to have a sale. 

During the entire month of October, you can purchase a book, audio CD, or any of our money saving packages at a savings of 10 percent.  This sale is exclusively for the subscribers of my newsletter. 

To get  10% off your entire order, enter the word October in the Discount Code box located directly above where you enter your credit card number when you check out.

To start saving 10%, click the button
(and don't forget the Discount Code: October.)

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

1 Tbsp. butter
2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 cup peeled, cubed fresh pumpkin
1 cup peeled, chopped McIntosh apple
1 qt. vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. apple brandy (optional)
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk

1.    Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic, and sauté 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, apple, stock and salt. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.

2.    Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until pumpkin is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

3.    Puree with a hand blender or food processor until smooth. Return mixture to the stockpot; add milk. Cook until thoroughly heated. Add the apple brandy and spices. Mix thoroughly.

Makes 6 servings. Each serving (including the brandy):
73 calories, 3 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbohydrate

Each serving without the brandy:
67.5 calories, 3 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbohydrates

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

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.

Would you like results like this?
“I am loving this Back on Track With Barbara Program. It really does keep me on track.  I like having a new lesson each week, and practicing each of the new steps in the lessons. I know I need constant encouragement to keep the grazing under control. The low glycemic foods are a wonderful help. Let's hear it for Barbara! I'm so glad she is doing this work for us. This is a real need she is filling.”

New Jersey

For more information or to join the Program, go to


Success Story:
  Ann Meyer

I would like to say a very special thank you to Ann Meyer for sharing her story.

Hi Barbara!
I feel like it is time to share my success story.

I was one of those overweight people who felt like those that went the “surgery route,” chose it as a copout for not trying to lose weight on their own and that they were taking the easy way out.  Boy, was I wrong!  This takes work...every day!  But, would I change any of it?  No way!!!

My sisters and I were known as the chubby girls in school.  We were not obese then, but we were chubby.  I was always about 20 pounds overweight right up until I had my first son.  I didn’t lose all of the extra weight after I had him and then put on about 20 pounds more. 

From there the battle of the bulge began and only got worse after the birth of my second son.  I'd lose but then I'd gain it back plus more.  You name the diet plan and I have probably tried it or at least thought of trying it. 

Then in 2003 my sister announced that she was having gastric bypass surgery and if we could not be positive about it she did not want to hear about.  She needed only positive people on her side.  So, I didn't say anything.  I just observed.  She did so well that I began to think that this might also be for me.  I sure wasn't getting any thinner using my own methods. 

In the Spring of 2004 I began checking on doctors and insurance coverage.  I made an appointment with a surgeon for a first visit.  Then, knowing I would need the support of my PCP, I mentioned it to him during my yearly physical.  He was so positive and immediately started scheduling test for me that he knew I would need.  The scary part was when I mentioned this particular surgeon to him he said he did not know anything about him. The person who scheduled my appointment told me they took referrals from my PCP all the time.  I cancelled this appointment immediately.  Things just didn't feel right. 

My PCP had given me the name of the surgeon he referred to but that particular surgeon and the hospital he practiced in were out-of-network so that put things a little out of my reach.  But, I was still not completely dismayed.  I was continuing to look for a fit for me with the right surgeon.

Out of the blue, someone at my husband's place of work mention 2 girls she knew who had weight loss surgery and the surgeon who had done their surgery.  This woman had no clue that I was considering surgery - talk about a door opening!!  I started to check out Duke Weight Loss Center in Durham, NC and they sounded just like who I was looking for. 

In June 2004 I attended their seminar and took all the paperwork home.  After making my husband check his insurance not less than 3 to 5 times, I sent off my paperwork the first part of July and began my journey in August.  Things moved right along and on October 27th, 2004 weighing 264 pounds I headed into surgery. 

Today, almost 2 years later, I fluctuate between 142 and 145 pounds and have maintained this for the past 10 months.  I have gone from a tight size 24 to a skinny size 6.  Who would have ever thought I could fit into clothes that size?  My high blood pressure is gone, and my sleep apnea is gone. I have very few problems with my back and knees..  I have so much more stamina to do the things I like to do. I am a Boy Scout volunteer and love to camp and hike.  I'm looking forward to taking my Venture Crew to Yosemite next summer on a week-long backpacking trip.

The looks of surprise and then admiration for what I have done on the faces of my friends and family makes me know that this has all been worth it and will continue to be so.  I am one of the fortunate ones.  I have had few problems and can eat pretty much anything - just in much smaller quantities but that is A-OK by me.  I am told I have more confidence than I had before and I had considered myself a pretty confident person before.  I am loving ever minute of the new me!!! 

Ann Meyer

Congratulations Ann
  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.

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.

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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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