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 #54

September 1, 2004

I am very excited about the new book that I announced below.  It is not the long awaited book on how to maintain your weight (I’m still working on that), but it is a book that I co-authored with several other authors including Dr. John Gray of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus fame.  The book is a collection of chapters on some very important and relevant health issues.  I hope that those of you who are interested in your overall health will enjoy it!

In This Issue


* Research Article: Changes in Morbidity Following Surgery
* Follow Up on Amber
* Patient Conferences in Florida and Texas
* Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan
* Success Story: Sonia Pearson
* Spreading the Word in Iowa, Texas, and Illinois

Research Article:
  Changes in Morbidity
  Following Surgery

Technology Education Center, “Special Report: The Relationship Between Weight Loss and Changes in Morbidity Following Bariatric Surgery for Morbid Obesity.” Vol. 18, No. 9, September 2003.    http://www.bcbs.com/tec/Vol18/18_09.pdf

I just returned from speaking in Boca Raton, FL. As you may know, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida will no longer cover weight loss surgery in Florida effective January 1, 2005.  Knowing that, I was shocked to read the article referenced above.  It is a very long and complete report about how health improves following weight loss surgery.  In fact, quoting from the 4th paragraph, “There is sufficient evidence to conclude that surgery improves health outcomes for patients with morbid obesity as compared to non-surgical treatment.” I would say that is rather supportive language.  Notice who wrote the report in support of weight loss surgery – The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association!!! In all good conscience, I wonder how they can then deny weight loss surgery as a benefit to their Florida members.

Follow up on Amber

Because Amber received emails from so many of you, I wanted to let you know how well everything has turned outfor her.    Click Here for the link to her original article


Hello.  I wrote to you a few weeks ago about how to tell my bosses about my upcoming surgery in light of the two women we know that act so differently after their surgery.

Well, I am happy to tell you that I told them Monday night and in the end they both said they thought it would be good for me.  There were some tears shed and I had to tell them some things about me that I always kept private... but your advice and every one who read of my dilemma in your newsletter and offered me their take on it, helped me immensely.  I thank you and them from the bottom of my heart.

I also want you to know that I saw you speak at the Jeanette hospital earlier tonight.  Not only did I attend, but both my boss and his wife came with me!!!  I wanted them to hear everything that the surgery entails from an expert on the subject and not from other people that tell some very bad stories. I think it helped them learn a lot!  Your presentation was wonderful!

Thanks so much Barbara!


 Patient Conferences in Florida and Texas

US Bariatric will be hosting their 3rd annual patient education conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL Oct. 22-24, 2004. I was the keynote speaker at their fist conference, so I know how great these are. For more information, go to http://www.usbariatric.com/rewarding/rew_chan_2004/rewarding_change_04.html

Recipe:  Eggplant Parmesan

One of my favorite dishes is eggplant parmesan.  With eggplant being so plentiful right now, I wanted to include this recipe.

Eggplant Parmesan

3 small eggplants
vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
salt and pepper
2 1/4 cups tomato sauce
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
3/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the eggplant and slice them lengthwise ¼ inch thick. Arrange the slices in one layer on a baking sheet sprayed with the cooking spray.  Sprinkle the slices with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes flipping them after 10 minutes.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 8 inch pie plate. Arrange half the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping them slightly, and top with half of the remaining sauce, half the mozzarella, half the parsley and half the parmesan cheese. Repeat the procedure. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serves 6

For each of 6 servings:
192 calories; 14 grams protein; 22 grams 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

Success Story: Sonia Pearson  

I want to offer a special thanks to Sonia Pearson. Here is her story:

You might remember that I've written before, about the joys of trying on new clothes as we lose weight. I made the observation that not only did clothes fit me better, but the fitting room fit me better as well!

I am now 11 months and 1 day post op. Yes, happy anniversary! On Surgery Day, I weighed 235 pounds and was a size 24/26 and 5'4". Nothing was easy for me, including getting out of bed. I lost 33 pounds prior to surgery because my surgeon required all patients to lose a minimum of 10 pounds and to keep it off to prove we could handle a diet.

Eleven months (and 1 day!) later, I weigh 142 pounds. I am a size 4/6 for shirts and size 8 for jeans. I can wear some size 6 slacks. I wonder why are slacks cut differently than jeans! I am 2 pounds from meeting my self-imposed weight goal of 140. I plateaued at 153 pounds, but I lost the last 11 pounds in less than 3 weeks with the greatest of ease. I really thought these last few pounds would be the hardest, but they have been the easiest for me.

I am dating a wonderful man who thought I was beautiful when I was a size 26/28. Last night, we were looking at a photo album and he came to my “Before Surgery” section with photos showing me at various high ends of my weight scale. He commented that I have always been beautiful, and then observed that now that he was looking at the photos, he realized he had never realized how big I was. He had always seen me, not just my weight. He enjoys my smaller size, but tells me that losing weight has not made me any more beautiful, but that the difference is that I finally feel good about me.  We go for long walks (3 to 5 miles), hiking through a favorite local park. He loves to cook and prepares our evening meals. He took it upon himself to learn what foods were best for meeting my needs and prepares those for us. We each have custody of our daughters, so the four of us often enjoy dinners together. His daughter needs to lose weight and looks to me for encouragement and support. We take the girls biking, boating, horseback riding and ATV riding. We encourage them to lead an active lifestyle.

I am looking forward to plastic surgery next year to remove excess skin from my abdomen, chest and legs. I have been surprised by how much excess skin I have, but it is well worth it to have to deal with excess skin. I love having a smaller body size and relish the praise I receive from others.

My parents and brother are overweight. They never faced their weight problems until I began losing my weight. Now that I am so close to achieving my goal, they are now facing their weight problems and taking steps to take off their excess weight. They see me running, jumping, and generally playing like a little kid and they want to have the same energy.

My friends have always been supportive of my efforts, but occasionally they are envious of my success. I have lost a couple of friends because they could not adjust to the new me, but I believe that if they can't handle my being healthy, then they weren't truly friends.

I stop short of recommending gastric bypass surgery to others, but I do suggest they look into it and make a decision for themselves about whether or not this is the right tool for them. Weight loss surgery is not a miracle. We must put forth the effort in terms of diet and exercise in order to achieve success. Nevertheless, it is a tool that can help us to achieve our dreams.

I have included the painful before picture and the joyful after picture. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy the new ones. The suit in my after picture was purchased 3 weeks ago. It was already too big by the time this picture was taken last Friday. It's going to be altered soon.

I've found great delight in trying on any style of clothing that I like in stores, always knowing I can find what I like in my size. It's wonderful. Would you believe the ladies at the fitting rooms in several local stores are aware of my weight loss and have been cheering me on as I shrink? I seem to have my own little fan club!

Whenever anyone talks to me about possibly having weight loss surgery, I recommend that they read your book. Your book did so much to encourage me as I awaited surgery, and I've reviewed it several times post-op. It has been an invaluable guide that has assisted me on this health odyssey.

Sonia Pearson
St. Joseph, MO

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.
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