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 #125

September 15, 2007

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
I have been speaking to a lot of support groups lately about the subject of success. These have been terrific events of celebration. As I have met with patients at these events, we have had a chance to chat about how far they have come and what that has meant to their lives. It is good for all of us to reflect on that. 

If your support group would like to have an event like this, check the article below. It could be free for your group because of my sponsor.

In This Issue


* Speaking for Your Support Group
* Got Bad Knees? Here’s Something for You
* Blogging Along
* Grand Traverse Surgery Marathon
* Poem: The Journey
* Welcome Back Big Medicine
* Recipe: Pumpkin Surprise
* Back on Track
* Success Story: Inderjit Salwan

Speaking for Your Support Group

Would you like to have an exciting and special event at your support group?  If your event will draw 75 people or more and you would like for me to speak, have your support group leader contact me for details. Have them email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com

Got Bad Knees? Here’s Something for You

Most of us recognize that exercise is good for us. But do we do it? Not always! Some of us hate exercise and just avoid it. But there are others that really want to exercise and can’t because of knee and ankle problems.

Before you do any exercises, you should check with your doctor.  I know we always hear that, but in this case, it is even more important so that you don’t cause yourself more harm than good.

The best exercises you can do are those in the water. Water will provide you with buoyancy so that you can move with much less stress on your joints. A water aerobics class is ideal because it will be taught by someone who is trained to deal with people who have joint problems.

Leg Lifts
Prevention Magazine
emphasizes the importance of strengthening the muscles around your knees by doing side leg lifts, partial squats and calf and straight leg lifts.

Weight Lifting
The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. Lifting weights will help you to build those muscles in your upper body. I don’t recommend using heavy cans. A simple pair of hand weights are very inexpensive, so there is no reason to skimp. Weights will have hand grips that will keep you from dropping them and they are balanced. Start with 2 pound weights and progress to 3 and then 5 pound weights. Do the lifts slowly and deliberately, never completely extending your arms.

Walking is very low impact. Start with what you can do.  If it is a few steps to the mail box, then that is good. Do that until you feel comfortable and then walk one house down and back. Start walking and counting mail boxes, gradually working to increase that number.

Physical Therapy
See if your insurance will cover physical therapy. There you will be able to get a set of strengthening exercises that will guard your knees while you learn to strengthen your knee and hip muscles.

As you lose weight, the stress on your joints will lessen. Practice some of these tips, if it’s OK with your doctor, and you will move on to a more active and fulfilling life.

Blogging Along

Check out my Blog and be sure to leave your comments. Since the beginning of this month, there are new articles about:

  • MacDonald’s Does It Again
  • Britney Spears and Unrealistic Expectations
  • Weight Loss Surgery – Required Coverage in England
  • Weight Loss Surgery – How Common Is It?

If you especially like a specific post in my Blog, be sure to email it to a friend.

Visit my Blog at http://WeightLossSurgeryBlog.net and leave a comment.

Grand Traverse Surgery Marathon

A “marathon” is described as an event or activity that requires prolonged effort or endurance.  On July 14, 2007, twenty-two members of the Grand Traverse Surgery TEAM participated in the National Cherry Festival’s 5 km non-competitive walk in Traverse City MI.  For many of us, it was truly a marathon and when we crossed the finish line, we knew that the efforts we had made in the previous months had been worth it.  Every member of the TEAM had undergone weight loss surgery, most the RNY gastric bypass and others the Lap Band, and as of that date, we had lost a total of 2568 pounds.  It was a rainy day but the weather did not dampen our spirits or enthusiasm.  For most of us the marathon is not over…we continue to put every effort forward to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. 

TEAM is an acronym for Together Everyone Achieves More.  This event has connected us in ways we have never imagined and we are determined to achieve more.  The TEAM is planning more “marathons” in the communities where we live. As we plan these events, other Grand Traverse Surgery patients and our support persons are joining us in what we have come to regard as the Marathon of Life.

Poem: The Journey 

by Annette McKitrick

I received the following poem by Annette McKitrick which describes the journey taken by a weight loss surgery patient.  It will ring true with each of you.

 I chose to go on a journey
The most important one in my life
It started out in a hospital
But was not with stress and strife

I began with much thought and soul searching
It was not so easy to do
I entered into it joyfully
With positive thoughts thru and thru.

It took me down long winding pathways
Places I've never been to before
But entered with great expectations
And I knew that I want to learn more.


Welcome Back Big Medicine

If you haven’t seen the show, Big Medicine, you are missing a great program on the lives of weight loss surgery patients. The program follows Dr. Bob Davis and Dr. Garth Davis as they treat their weight loss surgery patients. 

I was very disappointed when the show stopped airing, fearing it had been cancelled. I wrote a blog post about it and contacted Dr. Garth Davis. Dr. Davis wrote, “A second season has started filming and they are really working to make it even better.  The patients are really opening up this season, amazing stories.”

Reruns started Sept, 12th and the new episodes will follow. Catch Big Medicine on The Learning Channel on Wednesdays.

Pumpkin Surprise

I would like to thank Pam Caswell from Erie for submitting this recipe. I love recipes made with pumpkin and this one is especially good!

Pumpkin Surprise

1 small can pumpkin
1 small sugar free cool whip
1 small sugar free vanilla pudding
1 cup skim milk
pumpkin pie spice to taste

Mix well and refrigerate a few minutes until firm.

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

Are you regaining your weight?

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 or a 12-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

For more information or to join the Program, go to


Success Story:
   Inderjit Salwan

I want to offer a special thanks to Inderjit Salwan of New Delhi, India.  I asked Inderjit how many weight loss surgeries are performed in IndiaHere is his reply

There are quite a few surgeons doing surgery in India; both in New Delhi and Mumbai.

My Surgeon DR. P.K.Chowbey is the leading Bariatric Surgeon in India and is based in New Delhi, India at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Quite a few Americans have also been operated on by him here. The cost of a complete RNY gastric bypass  package is around $10,000 US plus traveling.

Unlike in the United States, this surgery is not very common in India. There are approximately 1,000 to 1,500 RNY and Lap Band surgeries performed annually. The mortality rate of Dr. Chowbey is as per International norms for this surgery.

Here is Inderjit’s story:

Hi Barbara,
I am a male and 45 years old. I live in New Delhi, India. I am happily married to my loving wife Minni and have one son, Yashkaran who is 15.

Since birth I have always been on the heavier side and have been constantly fighting with my weight problem. All through my Boarding School I was a big kid and was always the most favorite target of my Sport Teacher who made sure that I was slogging on the play field more than others. If he had it his way, he would even want me on the play grounds during study hours. 

I joined college in 1980 and weighed about 350 pounds. I worked hard and ate right and got down to lowest ever of 190 pounds in about 2 years. I maintained the weight loss from 1983 to 1990 in 190-210 pound range. I then was involved in a car accident and was operated upon twice, then bed ridden for nearly 3 years.  I went from 210 pounds back up to 340 pounds. Thereafter, I struggled with my weight, losing 30 pounds and gaining 40 pounds; experiencing the “YO YO” effect. It was an annual routine and I was really worried and tired of it. Finally I decided to have RNY gastric bypass surgery. My weight was 450 pounds and my BMI at the time of surgery was 81. I had my surgery in India.

Now 20 months post-op, I weigh197 pounds and it feels good. One thing which has kept me going with that much weight to lose was my daily exercise routine.

This has been the best decision I have made and my life has completely changed. All my health problems have either vanished or have been cured to a certain extent. After my surgery, I fell victim to a new addiction which was alcohol. But now 6 months later, I have learned to control it drastically with great support from my family and groups like yours. Thanks, Barbara, for helping us remain on our successful path.

Inderjit Salwan

Congratulations Inderjit


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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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