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 #76

September 1, 2005

In each issue of this newsletter I try to have content for people regardless of where they are on their weight loss journey. However, I do want to say that I am very excited about the Mentoring Program that I will be starting soon.  It has taken shape based on the survey I took of people who said they were interested.  I designed it based on their responses. This will be the light at the end of the tunnel for many people who are struggling with their weight.  I can’t wait to get it started!! Read all about it below. 

In This Issue

* Mentoring Program: More Info
* Battle of the Bulge: Losing Weight Prior to Surgery
* One Reader Speaks
* Recipe: Braised Chicken with Artichoke Hearts
* Success Story: Candi Talley

Mentoring Program: More Info
“50% of weight loss surgery patients will regain 50% of their weight by their 5th year!” 
  Dr. Daniel Stickler
Bariatric Surgeon
Cincinnati, OH
June 24th 2005

That was a very frightening statistic that I heard when I was speaking in Cincinnati. What a sobering thought! What side of the 50% will you be on at the end of 5 years?

For reasons such as that statistic, I decided that I wanted to start a mentoring program for all of those people who email me terrified because they are regaining weight or have never been able to get down to their goal weight. 

These are people who are not getting the support they need for a variety of reasons:

  • Some may feel that their support group emphasizes the first few months post-op and don’t have a place for those who are struggling years later
  • Some just don’t like support groups or it doesn’t fit into their schedule
  • Some are embarrassed because they feel that they have failed yet again
  • Some don’t have a surgeon to turn to because the practice stopped doing bariatric surgery, the surgeon moved to another practice, or the patient moved
  • Some practices don’t offer any support

Whatever the reason, if it sounds like you, then you will want to learn more about my Mentoring Program.

With your help, we are moving ahead.  I had an overwhelming response from the last newsletter from people who feel they desperately need help, but could not afford an expensive program.  So I surveyed those who expressed interest to see what was important to them and what they could afford.  Using that information, I have designed a Program that many of you said you want and need!!

Back On Track with Barbara will be a membership website that provides a weight loss mentorship for those who are struggling. 

This is a totally Non-Judgmental Program!!! It will always be a haven to learn and get help regardless of how successful you are.  Within the group I will not highlight and congratulate the successes and ignore those who are not.

It is a 6-month program that includes the following benefits available to members only:

1. Weekly lessons emailed to you on all aspects of getting back on track (see list below)
Weekly homework assignments
A monthly teleseminar (telephone class) that I will lead with only those members of the group. I MAY do this twice a month. I will ask members to email in questions ahead of time and will discuss those questions first. For those members unable to attend, or who do not want to make a long distance call, classes will be recorded and posted on the web for members to listen to.
A members only Message Board
Discounts on my products and vitamins  
6. Special articles 

Here is the list of topics to be covered:

  • Step One - Let's Get Back to Basics
  • Low Glycemic Index - What Next?
  • The Big E: Exercise and Our Love Hate Relationship
  • Dear Diary - Journaling to Stay on Track
  • Goal Setting - You Can't Get There Without a Map
  • When's Dinner? Dealing with Hunger
  • You Are What You Eat - Analyzing Nutrition
  • Metabolism - Our Best Friend
  • Pumping Iron - Strength Training
  • Plateaus - Our Worst Enemy
  • Please Pass the Potatoes - Portion Control
  • Taking Baby Steps
  • Getting Creative with Exercise
  • Diets and Diet Pills - Not That Again
  • All in the Family – Relationships
  • Self Image - How We See Ourselves
  • Do you Have an Eating Disorder? If so, What to Do About It?
  • Those Special Times - Vacations, Restaurants.
  • Work, Stress and Staying in Control
  • Water Water Everywhere
  • Grazing - The Tiny Bites that Are Our Undoing
  • A, B, C, D. Vitamins for Life
  • No Pain, No Gain - Ramping Up Your Exercise
  • Are You a Success? How do You Know?
  • Ready to Fly

The cost will be only $35 per month

We are waiting on a software upgrade for the website, but should be able to start by Sept. 15th.  If you are interested, and you haven’t already contacted me saying that you are definitely interested, then email me and I will put you on the list to make sure you know about it as soon as we are ready to launch.  Email me at Barbara@WLScenter.com 

Battle of the Bulge:
  Losing Weight Prior to Surgery
Many patients complain to me that they have been told by their surgeon that they have to lose weight before their surgeon will operate.  Many feel betrayed because if they could lose weight then they wouldn’t need surgery. Some even feel desperate because they just cannot lose the weight. I have contradictory feelings about this whole issue, so let me air them here.

On the Pro Side:

·        By losing weight prior to surgery you are shrinking a fatty liver.  During surgery, the liver, if enlarged, is somewhat vulnerable. If the liver is in the way of where the surgeon is operating, the liver can be nicked, and you can lose a lot of blood. Your liver can also obstruct your surgeon's view and be in the way as he or she is operating.

·        By asking you to lose weight, your surgeon is guaranteeing that you will not go on a “last supper syndrome” binge and gain even more weight.

·        The more you weigh, the more at risk you are during surgery. Weight affects your breathing and heart functions. It aggravates diabetes and blood pressure if you have those conditions. Extra weight puts more stress on your joints which will effect how much you can move after surgery. The more you move the healthier you will be and the faster you will heal.

·        Some surgeons feel that by losing weight you are demonstrating that you will be able to be successful with this “tool” after surgery.

·        The more weight you carry in your abdominal area, the more difficult it is to operate, especially laparoscopically.

On the Other Side

  • Morbid obesity is a disease. If you could cure it yourself, then you wouldn’t need surgery.  It is like telling an asthmatic, “Well, before I treat you I want you to breathe better.”
  • For most of us, losing weight has not been the problem. It is keeping it off that’s been the problem. We have lost weight in the past, only to regain the weight plus more. There is no guarantee that losing weight before surgery will result in success after.
  • Laparoscopic instruments are now long enough that the extra abdominal weight should not be an issue.  The request may indicate a surgeon with less experience.  This may be a red flag, but not necessarily.
  • More surgeons are asking patients to go on a liquid diet about two weeks before surgery.  This accomplishes much the same safety benefits as dieting without the requirement of specific pounds lost.

If you are asked to lose weight, ask why. If you feel that the reasons don’t make sense, speak up. Don’t be afraid to question your surgeon. If this is not something that you think you can do, tell your surgeon and tell him or her why. Perhaps suggest the two weeks of a liquid diet instead.  If you feel the request is unreasonable, find another surgeon. 

But with all that said, you will be healthier and safer if you lose weight before surgery.

Send opinions or experiences to Barbara@WLScenter.com

One Reader Speaks
Let me share with you what one reader wrote

Your book has really helped me out especially after the surgery. I know that I have read and re-read your book a thousand times since my RNY on May 19th of this year and each time, I get something new out of it.  It has definitely been a lifesaver for me!  THANK YOU SO MUCH! 

I wish that I could give you a hug for all of your inspiration and support that your book has given me! It has been a wonderful tool for me.  What's best is that I don't feel like I have to whine on a message board or to a support group (although don't get me wrong, I REALLY need the support from there as well), but I can look at this book anytime I want to and I don't have to wait for a response from a board or hear the same old "it gets better" line from a support group member.  It reminds me that there is another human being out there who has felt the same way I do!  You don't try to just encourage people, but you also let them know that, "Yeah, I felt like crap sometimes too, but it was worth it!"

Again, God bless you for taking the time to write your experiences down and sharing them with the world!

Heather Paschal

If you do not have your copy of my book “Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You,” what are you waiting for?  It is recommended by surgeons across the country and has been dubbed the “unofficial bible of bypass patients” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Order your copy at http://www.wlscenter.com/1shopmain.htm

  Braised Chicken with Artichoke Hearts
What a great recipe!  High in protein, low in carbohydrates and delicious!! Hope you enjoy it. 

Braised Chicken with Artichoke Hearts

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 medium onion (about 1-1/2 cups), diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Place the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and braise each side for 2 - 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the heat to medium. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the mushrooms, onion and jalapeno pepper to the skillet. Add an additional tablespoon of oil, if necessary. Saute the vegetables until the onions are translucent.

Return the chicken to the pan. Add the artichoke hearts. Pour the chicken broth over all. Add the thyme and salt. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, until the chicken broth is almost completely cooked away - about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream. On the platter, spoon the veggies over the chicken and serve.

Serves 4.

1 serving:
18 grams total fat; 31 grams protein; 9 grams total carbs; 2 grams dietary fiber
325 calories

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:
  Candi Talley
I want to offer a special thanks to Candi TalleyHere is her story:

Hi! My name is Candi Talley. I am 32 years old and I am happy to share my weight loss success story with you. This is not only my story, but my husband’s story as well.  My husband has been my #1 supporter through my weight loss journey.

I will begin with my childhood. I had been overweight for as long as I can remember. I loved to dance and as a child, my mom signed me up for dance classes. I participated in these classes for many years. I enjoyed every minute except when the time came for me to be fitted for costumes for our dance recitals. At that time in my life weight should have been the last thing on my mind, but it wasn’t. I would get so embarrassed when the seamstress would measure me because I knew I was the largest in the class. That’s just one memory of being an overweight child.

Moving on to my high school years, I had many friends including boys, but not an actual boyfriend. I was always told that I was fun to hang out with and I had a great personality. I had many secret crushes on the boys I went to school with but the crush was as far as it went. I remember on the first day of school each year, I would get so worried when I stepped into the classroom. I would worry that there wouldn’t be a desk that I could fit in comfortably. It was especially embarrassing when the teacher had assigned desks. When it was time for the prom, I went with a group of my girlfriends. I would have liked to have gone with a boy, but I was never asked. My prom pictures included me and only me.

In my twenties I married my first husband. We were married for 5 ½ years when the marriage ended in divorce. We didn’t have children, thank goodness, because he never wanted kids. That was fine with me because I knew with me being overweight, if I had tried to conceive it could have possibly been worse on my health, not to mention the baby’s health.

When we divorced I lost 60 pounds. I was down to 200 pounds and it felt great!! I looked pretty darned good, if I say so myself.  I had been on prescription diet pills on and off through my twenties, and yes, I would lose, but once I stopped taking the pills I would gain it all and more.

Being single and feeling great had its many advantages. That is when I met Brian, my wonderful husband of 3 years. When Brian and I met we instantly “clicked.” While we were dating we would go out and eat. When we would stay in for a movie, we would eat. After we married we noticed the weight start to pile on. We were happy and in love and that was all that mattered. We fell into “the Comfort Zone.”

Although I didn’t have serous health problems, I knew the added weight I had gained was taking a toll on my knees, especially walking up and down a flight of stairs. I did almost have a stroke when I stepped on the scales one day and weighed in at a whopping 300 pounds! I knew I had put on some “extra pounds,” but this much was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe I had allowed myself to reach this weight.

I had heard the success stories of Carnie Wilson and Al Roker and thought to myself that I would have weight loss surgery, but I couldn’t afford it. My husband and I discussed it and I took a chance and checked into my insurance and guess what! My insurance covered it! That’s when I went “Gung-ho!” My husband told me he loved me unconditionally and would support whatever decision I chose.

May 5, 2004 was the day that changed my life. Dr. Dan Proctor of ObesitySolutions gave me a second chance at a new life. Dr Proctor performed my Lap RNY. I weighed in at 316 pounds, wearing a size 26/28 with a BMI of 51.

I consider Dr. Proctor and his staff a “God send.” I’ve been very fortunate. I had no complications and now that I am a year out I have dropped 150 pounds and wear a size 12/14 and my BMI is 28! Wow!! I’m smaller than I was in high school. I feel and look amazing! My husband Brian has lost 60 pounds. He didn’t have surgery, but he has changed his eating habits along with mine. I tell my doctor it was like a buy one, get one free offer. I knew I couldn’t have been as successful without Brian's support. I can’t find the perfect words to explain how he has made me feel through this journey.

Living in a “normal” sized body is awesome. I feel blessed for the little things that people who haven’t had a weight problem take for granted. Here are some examples:

  • Wearing a pair of jeans that button and zip comfortably instead of ones with the elastic waist bands
  • Being able to cross my legs appropriately without feeling uncomfortable
  • Fitting in restaurant booths and being able to sit on the same side with my husband instead of across the table
  • Actually shopping at Victoria’s Secret for lingerie and not just buying the lotions
  • Not scoping out the parking lot to find the closest vacant spot because now I feel like walking
  • Wearing my husband’s T-shirt as a night gown

These are just a few examples. I could go on and on. Need I even mention our sex life! Wow!

My only regret is not having this surgery earlier in life. I would do it over in a heartbeat. I have found that nothing tastes as good as thin feels and I believe it! When I have people ask me, “How did you lose all that weight?” I do not hesitate to tell my story. I didn’t expect that accepting compliments would be so difficult. I am learning to just say, “Thank you.”

I would like to send a special “Thank You” to my surgeon, Dr. Proctor for giving me a new lease on life and also I would like to send a special “Thank You" to Barbara Thompson for allowing me to share my story with you.

The before picture are Brian and I at the beach in September 2003 and our after picture was taken prior to us attending a Valentine’s “Sweetheart Ball” this past February 2005.  See, I finally got a real date to the prom…

Keep smiling!

Candi Talley
Clayton, GA

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.  

Permission to Reprint

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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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