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 #101

September 15, 2006

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
Spain this week banned models that are too thin from participating in Madridís fashion week. Organizers of this top level show want to portray an image of health and reality rather than celebrating models that are waif-thin. Health officials are concerned about the growing trend in their country of anorexia and bulimia especially among young girls who want to look like these models, and they are taking measures to do something about it. All I can say is hooray!!

You can read more about it at this CNN site http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/09/13/spain.models/index.html

In This Issue


* Back on Track Program for Support Groups
* Leg Cramps
* CNN: Trading Addictions
* Walk from Obesity
* Spreading the Word in Erie, Alabama, Minnesota and Orange, CA
* Recipe: Cajun Shrimp
* Success Story: Juanita Triano

Back on Track Program
  for Support Groups

Special Offer!!! Attention Support Group Leaders

Use the Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program in your support group and receive a cash return for each of your group members who are enrolled with us.

I have been contacted by a support group leader to create a system in which my Back on Track program can be used as a support group discussion program.  The idea is to use the weekly lessons as discussion topics.

Effective immediately, we are offering any support group leader the opportunity to receive $5 per month for every person in their group who joins the Back on Track with Barbara Program to discuss the weekly lessons and participate in the monthly telephone seminars and Yahoo Group.  The minimum group size is 10 people.  As an example, if you start the group and your group maintains 10 people in the program, you will receive $50 per month for your efforts and your own personal membership is free! The 6-month program for those 10 members would give you $300.  But, and this is the best part, there is no limit to the size of your group so there is no limit to how much you can make. At the same time you will be helping your group members by guiding them through an excellent program that will help them to have long term success.

If you are interested in setting up your special Back on Track with Barbara support group, contact Frank at 877-440-1518.

For more information on the Back On Track with Barbara Mentoring Program, go to http://www.BackOnTrackWithBarbara.com

Leg Cramps
Dear Barbara,
I have a question. I had gastric bypass surgery three years ago as did several other people in my office. We all seem to be having the same problem. We have leg cramps and Charlie Horse a lot and some times I have muscle spasms in my hands. Is there anything we can do to prevent this? 

Thank you
Kim Jones

Hi Kim,
I am well aware of what you are describing, because that happens to me also, if I am not careful.  One major cause is from dehydration or overexertion. This will often happen to me after I have completed one of my 22 mile bike trips. When it happens, I know that on the trail I didnít drink enough water and probably overexerted myself. Be sure that you stay well hydrated at all times.

Another cause is prolonged sitting If you have an office job, you and your office mates may be spending too much time sitting on the job.

Another culprit is caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic so it causes you to eliminate more liquids rather than having them stay in your body.  Therefore, caffeine dehydrates you. Caffeine will also constrict blood vessels so that your extremities like your hands and legs do not have enough blood flowing to them.

To prevent leg cramps try the following:

  • Drink 8 glasses of water each day
  • Cut down or preferably cut out all caffeine
  • When sitting for a long period of time, stand up and walk around periodically
  • Stretch your calves throughout the day
  • Keep blankets loose at the foot of the bed so that your toes and feet arenít pointing downward while you sleep
  • Ride a stationary bike a few minutes before bed, especially if you havenít gotten any exercise during the day
  • If your leg cramps persist, talk to your doctor about taking quinine sulfate, a prescription medication

What to do when leg cramps start:

  • Walk around and then elevate your leg
  • Straighten your leg and flex your foot toward your knee. Grab your toes and pull them upward toward your knee. You should feel your calf muscles stretch
  • Take a shower or a warm bath
  • I drink my Powdered Calcium which has magnesium in it. It gets absorbed into my blood stream extremely fast and the magnesium in it is a muscle relaxant. Within 5 to 10 minutes of drinking that, I am fine

I hope all of this helps. I know those cramps are no fun!! Take care,


CNN: Trading Addictions
On Tuesday Sept. 12th, CNN aired an excellent program regarding how weight loss surgery patients will sometimes turn to other addictions such as alcohol, sex, or shopping when their addiction for food can no longer be satisfied by eating.  The program featured Paul Lentz, one of our newsletter subscribers that I referred CNN to.  If you watch the program very closely, for a split second you will see my website!

It needs to be noted that Dr Phil Schauer, the President of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery made an excellent point during the program. The point is that about 5% of the population has an addictive personality. Surgeons are seeing that same percentage in their patients who are having problems with addictions. About 5% of those who have surgery have an addictive personality and will often turn to other addictions after the surgery. So please donít think that if you have surgery that you will automatically become an alcoholic. But this is something important to be aware of and to watch out for.

If you subscribe to CNN's Pipeline service, to see the entire video of the program, do the following (Sorry for the long list of steps.)

1.  Go to http://www.cnn.com/video
2.  Scroll down to the section titled "Check out the latest free video."
3.  Look in ANY category and click ANY video link.
4.  You will get a video of the video link that you clicked on but disregard it.
5.  Look to the right of the running video for a box labeled "Search Video"
6.  Enter the words "Trading addictions" in the search video box and hit your enter key.
7.  Click on "Trading Addictions?"
8.  You will now see the Trading Addictions video, possibly after a short commercial.

Walk From Obesity logo

Walk From Obesity
Those concerned about obesity will join in walks across the country to raise money for research, education, prevention and treatment and to spread awareness about obesity. Please support this worthwhile annual event.

Spreading the Word in
  Erie, Alabama,
  Minnesota and Los Angeles
I have several public speaking dates coming up when you will be able to hear me speak. Here they are:

Auburn, AL: Friday Sept. 29th from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM I will be speaking for the Alabama Nurses Association at the Dixon Conference Center.  Although this is a meeting for nurses, the Association is opening my portion of the meeting to anyone who would like to attend. I will be speaking on Patient Satisfaction and Positive Patient Outcomes.

ERIE, PA: Wednesday Oct 4th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM I will be speaking for the Hamot Bariatric Center at the Ambassador Conference Center, Courtyard by Marriott in Erie, PA. Call (814) 877-6970 for more information.

Minnesota: Saturday November 11th I will be speaking in Minnesota. Details will follow.

Orange, CA: Tuesday Nov. 21st 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM I will be speaking for Dr. Nguyenís practice at UCI. The location is 200 S. Manchester, 8th Floor, Classroom B and C, Orange, CA. Call Pamela Didur at (714) 456-8173 for more information.

Patient Education Opportunity

If your practice is a customer of US Surgical products, please let me know.  They are interested in sponsoring me to speak at patient education programs.

Contact me at Barbara@WLScenter.com or 412-851-4195.

Cajun Shrimp
Shrimp is one of my favorite foods.  It is high in protein and very low in calories.  Thanks so much to Bonnie Godec who was part of my Pittsburgh retreat for sharing this great recipe.


1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil into a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake until shrimp is well coated. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add shrimp mixture and stir-fry about 4 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Serve over a bed of greens or brown Basmati rice.  Serves 4

Per Serving
215 calories; 35 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates

Success Story:
  Juanita Triano

I want to offer a special thanks to Juanita Triano. Here is her story:

I have read the stories you publish and they made me so glad to know that I wasn't the only one out there in the same situation, so I wanted to submit mine to help others.

I know that we as obese people all know the real truth, yet we just do not want to face the fact that we are "fat".  We all think that we can manage to lose the weight. We'll just go on a diet, but we just need 1 more candy bar before we start the diet.

I was heavy as a child. In the 4th grade I was too large to wear girl's jeans so my mom bought me boy's wrangler blue jeans because I couldn't fit into anything else. I fought with my weight, tried diet after diet: cabbage soup, grapefruit, 24-hour miracle diet, herbal supplements, and even a few of my own that I concocted, all of which were unhealthy.

At 25 years of age I met the man of my dreams, my heart and soul, the man I knew I would spend the rest of my life with. He loved me at my heaviest, which happened to be 500 pounds. After we were married I decided I needed to go to the doctor because I hadn't been feeling good. I had been diagnosed with sleep apnea at 18 and was feeling so run down. I went to Dr. Patricia Alessi, who ran all kinds of tests and found out I had high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic depression, anxiety, venous stasis disease (staph infections in my leg that wouldn't heal), degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, sleep apnea, asthma, etc. 

I had 2 staph infections in my left leg that wouldn't heal no matter what I did. We would get it under control and it would flair up again. I was in the hospital twice with it and the infectious disease doctor was talking about amputating my leg. I couldn't walk without a cane. I would get so out of breath even just walking across the room. I decided then that something had to give if I was going to spend the rest of my life with my husband. I didn't want to die! And I didnít want to lose my leg!

I contacted Dr. Paul Wizman in Margate, FL and he had a seminar that he required all of his patients to go to before he would even agree to meet with them. It was at that seminar that I first saw you speak. You moved my heart and gave me hope that I had never really had before. I saw a dream of a life that I had always yearned for but never thought was in my power to attain. You gave me hope. So I made my appointments that I needed with the nutritionist, the psychiatrist and my family doctor. I did my 3 months of medically supervised diet required by my insurance company. Then I got to see The Wiz!

Dr. Wizman was upfront, he was honest, he looked at me and said "I'll do the surgery." I was on a cloud, but then came the clincher. Because I weighed almost 500 pounds, if I did have the surgery I had only a 50/50 chance of living through the surgery. If I didn't have the surgery he gave me six months to live.

My husband didn't really want me to have the surgery. He was scared that I would die. I told him I hadn't been living and that he was either going to support me on this or he would be a widower at 28 years old. He gave in and came on board with the surgery.

On March 7, 2005 I went through roux en-Y gastric bypass surgery. That morning I weighed 463 pounds. My BMI was 79 Ĺ . I had the highest BMI for a female that Dr. Wizman had done at that point.

My surgery took longer than he expected, I was on the table for 5 hours. Believe it or not he was able to do the surgery laparoscopically. I had a tough time in the hospital because of the lack of education of the nurses and ended up with bronchitis due to a nurse letting my morphine run out for 9 hours! I was miserable, but I knew that as soon as I saw ďThe WizĒ he would take care of me. He did! I looked into his eyes and begged him to send me home, that I would get better care there and he did. I had spent 5 days in the hospital and I wanted my bed. He was reluctant because I lived 2 hours away from the hospital, but he gave in.

I went home and had no complications until about a month and half after my surgery.  I had a stricture, and I went back into the hospital because I got very dehydrated. I have had no other complications since then.

I still need to have surgery to remove my panniculus. I have lost 233 pounds so far, and the plastic surgeon believes that I am carrying 60 pounds of extra skin over my stomach.

I am more active and am looking forward to conceiving children and spending the rest of my life with my husband. I have inspired him to lose weight as well.

I would like to offer some advice. Never regret anything you have done in your life. It's brought you to where you are today! Sometimes you need to climb those mountains to know that you can. Sometimes you need to struggle so when things go well you can truly relish in the fact that you didn't quit!!

Good luck to everyone out there, do not be afraid! Thanks Barbara for everything!

Juanita Triano

Congratulations Juanita
  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.

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 Thompsonís free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive a personal notification  when it is ready for you to read? It's simple! Just go to http://www.barbarathompsonnewsletter.com/ and scroll down to the subscription form. After filling out the form and submitting it, watch for an email that asks you to CONFIRM your subscription. 

Your subscription is not complete until we get this confirmation back!

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them signup for our notification service.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of your newsletter notification email message and click the unsubscribe link.  You will be automatically deleted.

If you have any problems with this process,
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.

Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved