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 #78

October 1, 2005

Hello Everyone,
I am so excited about the Back on Track Mentoring Program.  It has started and it is fabulous.  See the details below.  I know that there are so many people who are struggling and have no where to turn. I know this will help so many people!

Fall is a great time of the year.  The colors of the trees and the crisp smell in the air have always been special to me.  With the weather being so nice lately across the US, it’s perfect weather to get outdoors to do some activities before it gets too cold.  Try some bike riding or even a brisk walk. Many of us will be seeking shelter from the cold soon enough!!

In This Issue


* Mentoring Program is Off and Running
* What Don’t You Like About Yourself?
* Recipe: Pork Apple Burgers
* Natural Remedies
* Success Story: Tim Barnett
* Spreading the Word in Hartford, CT

Mentoring Program  
  Back On Track with Barbara

50% of weight loss surgery patients regain 50% of their weight by the 5th year. Don’t be one of them. Join my Back on Track with Barbara Mentoring Program!!!

The Mentoring Program has started and you can join right now. This is a great community of people who have not reached their goal weight or are starting to regain weight. Join the nearly 100 people who have already enrolled.

The program consists of 26 weekly lessons emailed directly to you. Here are just a few of the lessons you will receive:

  • Eating the Low Glycemic Index way
  • Dealing with Plateaus
  • Grazing-The Tiny Bites that are our Undoing
  • Dear Diary-Journaling to Stay on Track
  • Metabolism-Our Best Friend
  • The Big E-Exercise and Our Love Hate Relationship

And 20 more!!!!

Also included:

  • Message Board exclusively for members just like you
  • A monthly telephone seminar conducted by Barbara
  • Homework assignments to reinforce the lessons
  • Suggested reading list
  • Discounts on products and vitamins

All this for $35 per month for 6 months!!

Go to http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com to join.

What Don’t You Like About Yourself?

”What don’t you like about yourself?” Those words begin each episode of the hit TV show Nip/Tuck. Those words always make me smile and shake my head, especially when the patient points out some minor flaw for the plastic surgeon to repair. No one – even the drop dead gorgeous – is content with the way they look. If they asked that question to any of us who have had weight loss surgery, we would probably say, “Start at the bottom and work your way up!”

Many of us have suffered real self esteem issues prior to our surgery and our heads don’t keep up with our shrinking bodies. We still see ourselves as much larger than we are.

I have a friend, Terri, who is obsessed with exercise. Terri panics if anything interferes with her lengthy session everyday at the gym. There is a woman at Terri’s gym that Terri really envies.  She has come home and told her husband Rich on many occasions that one day she wants to look just like her – so thin and athletic.

One day when Terri and Rich were out together, Terri saw the woman, grabbed Rich’s arm and said, “There she is, Rich. That’s her.” Rich looked at the woman in disbelief. “Terri, don’t you realize? She’s much bigger than you are.” Terri can’t see it and sadly, maybe she never will.

Many of us are like Terri.  We just cannot see how far we have come and we end up never being happy. We are always too heavy no matter how much weight we lose.

Here are some things that you can try to help you deal with these feelings:

  • Appreciate the very good things about yourself. Even if you haven’t reached your goal weight, you did a very courageous thing by having surgery and that counts. Think about other attributes that you have in addition to your courage and give yourself credit for those.  How does that song go” “Accentuate the positive…”
  • Take a picture of yourself and compare it to your before picture. If possible, have it taken at the same place and from the same distance and then compare the two.  This is much more effective than looking at your before picture and then looking in the mirror. Sometimes we can see ourselves better in a photo.
  • Try an exercise that psychologists use to identify something called “body image disturbance.” Take a paper and pencil and draw your shape.  Draw what you think you look like. Then on another piece of paper, draw the shape of someone you know who is smaller than you. Now ask a friend who will be very honest with you who knows both you and the other person to evaluate your drawings. Are your perceptions correct?

Do your best to control your weight, but whatever your size or shape, look for ways to be happy with yourself and with life in general. Be your own best friend and your biggest fan.


Pork Apple Burgers

The end of warm weather is almost here but there are still some beautiful days to barbeque outdoors. This recipe uses some of the wonderful apples that are in season right now.

Pork Apple Burgers

1 lb lean ground pork
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, grated
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Granny Smith apple (or Braeburn or Winesap), peeled, cored and cut into 4 thick rings
4 slices reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, cut to same size as apple rings
1 light coating of flour, for coating
2 Tbsp olive oil

Combine the first 5 ingredients and shape into 8 balls. Flatten them into patties a little larger than the apple slices. Place an apple slice on 4 of the patties. Top each of the 4 patties with a slice of cheese and then top each with another patty making 4 burgers. Seal the edges of the 4 burgers by pinching the edges of the patties together.

Dust each burger with a little flour. Barbeque on a grill or fry in a skillet with heated olive oil for 8 minutes per side.

Make 4 servings. Each serving:

300 calories

6.5 g. carbohydrates

37 g. 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

Natural Remedies

Have you just had surgery?  If so, here are 3 natural remedies that might help you.

  • Peppermint – If you are troubled by nausea, drink peppermint tea. It is very effective. But if you have a particularly stubborn case of nausea, purchase peppermint oil, available at any health store and some drug stores. Inhale the fumes and apply the oil to your stomach.  It really works!
  • Papaya – Have you ever gotten a piece of meat stuck that you hadn’t chewed well enough? If that happens, mix some meat tenderizer with water and drink it.  The papaya extract in meat tenderizer will help to soften the meat so that it will dislodge.
  • Vitamin E oil – Rub vitamin E oil on your incisions after they have healed.  It will help eliminate scaring.

Success Story:
  Tim Barnett

I want to offer a special thanks to Tim Barnett for his inspiring success story. 

My name is Tim Barnett and I am from South Point, Ohio which is a tiny little town located in the southern most tip of Ohio. I am a Systems Analyst at St. Mary’s Medical Center and have been a volunteer fire fighter for 18 years. I am 37 years old and married to Carolyn, who is a wonderful lady. We have two sons, Connor who is four years old and Ethan who is 19 months old. 

I have heard many people say that they have been large all their life. I too can relate to this.  I was wearing my father’s clothes in the 3rd and 4th grades because at that time my parents couldn’t find kids’ clothes my size. I was always the biggest in my family. By the time I was in high school, my mom was making a lot of my clothes, again because they couldn’t find clothes big enough for me. 

As I grew up, I just got bigger and bigger and bigger – and my health just got worse and worse.  I had a lot of joint pain, I couldn’t walk more than a half a block without stopping to rest, I had trouble breathing, and I had a lot other weight related problems. 

I tried every diet and program that was out there including liquid diets, Richard Simmons, Weight Watchers, and Phen Phen. You name it I tried it.  Many times I lost 50 to 100 pounds and each time I gained it back plus much more. 

After years and years of being super obese, I just got tired. I got tired of all the pain, tired of not having any energy, tired of not being able to find clothes that fit, tired of paying outrageous prices for those clothes when I did find them, tired of stares from strangers everywhere I went, tired of breaking chairs, tired of seat belt extenders, tired of not being able to play with my son, tired of not being able to go places and do things with my wife, tired of just existing and not really living.

I reached my highest weight of 475 pounds nearly three years ago and that is when I started hearing about weight loss surgery.  At first I didn’t pay much attention to it because I thought it was the old stomach stapling procedure that we all have heard about.  But the more I heard, the more I became interested.

I guess the starting point that finally helped make my decision to seriously pursue surgery was when I was visiting a friend over Christmas in 2001.  They had just gotten a new dining room suite and they wanted me to see how comfortable the chairs were. I reluctantly agreed to try one of the chairs.  When I sat down, you guessed it, I literally broke the chair into about 50 pieces and I went crashing to the ground.  It was very humiliating. It was at that point that I knew I had to do something.

So I researched and researched and researched and looked at all the information that was available on the surgery. I finally made up my mind that gastric bypass surgery was my last and only hope. After making the decision to have the surgery, I started looking around the tri-sate area and other places for a reputable surgeon and facility that would do the surgery.  That is when I found Dr. Charles Goldman and the Cabell Huntington Weight Loss surgery team. The more I talked to them, the more confident I became that this surgery was indeed what I wanted and needed to save my life.  

After meeting with them several times, and having all my questions answered, I submitted the request to my insurance company and was denied.  I was disappointed but did not give up.  So I fought my insurance and after about 2 months of fighting they finally agreed to pay for the surgery.

I had open gastric bypass surgery on July 22, 2002. My beginning weight was over 450 pounds and my BMI was 60, which is considered super obese.  I wore a size 60 pants and a 6X shirt.  In the next 18 months I lost over 255 pounds and as today, over 3 years later, I have kept the weight off and have a BMI of 26. I can wear a size 34 pants and a small - medium size shirt. 

My pre-surgery pain is gone, I have no difficulty breathing. I try to walk about 3to 4 miles per day for exercise.  I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever about having the surgery!

The only problem I had early on was when I would eat too fast or not chew well enough, which of course was my fault, but that is a trial and error thing that you will learn quickly.

I did have excess skin on my arms and abdomen.  After fighting my insurance company once again and after 4 denials, they finally approved the skin removal. In February, 2004, I had a panniculectomy (tummy tuck) and bracheoplasty (which is the bat wing removal).

I would do the surgery over again tomorrow if I had to.  It has given me such freedom to do things that I could never even think of doing before.

Here are a few of the things I can do now that I couldn’t do before surgery that a normal person might take for granted:

I can play with my son without the fear of hurting him due to my large weight

I can walk briskly 4 to 5 miles at a time with no problem

I can fly and not use a seatbelt extender or fear crushing the person next to me

            I can go to a restaurant and not get stared at

            I have energy all day

            I can go to a movie and not worry about fitting in the seat

I can tie my shoes now without feeling like I am going to have a stroke

I can sit in any chair without worrying if it will break

I can now fit into a booth at any restaurant and not have to wait till a table becomes available

And (one of my favorites) I can now buy clothes at any store instead of going to specialty stores at the mall and paying 5 times the normal price for clothes that have no style and still don’t fit right.

I had this surgery to be normal. I have never been normal at all in my life. As I mentioned before, I had been very large since kindergarten and I am just now realizing what it means to truly feel normal. It feels better than I could ever have imagined!!

If you haven’t made up your mind whether or not to have weight loss surgery, do more research and talk to those who have had it or who are going to.

I would encourage you, if you feel that this is the right thing for you, and your insurance company is fighting coverage, don’t give up. Fight back!  This is your life and it’s worth fighting for.

Tim Barnett
South Point, OH

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.  

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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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