Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


A FREE publication from


Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #145

July 15, 2008


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In This Issue


* Big Medicine Returns to Discovery Health, Wednesday, July 16th
* Is Your Night Eating a More Serious Problem?
* Are You Wearing Shorts This Summer?
* Recipe: Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ
* Success Story: Lissa Wiggs

Big Medicine Returns to Discovery
  Health Wednesday, July 16th
Tune in, Wednesday, July 16, at 10PM Eastern / 9PM Central to Discovery Health for the return of BIG MEDICINE!

We are asking that you specifically watch the show, and pass this along to anyone that may be interested in the show, as the ratings earned tomorrow night will play a big part in whether or not there is a Season Three!

The weight-loss surgery community and the public as a whole continue to benefit from the education and up-close stories provided by BIG MEDICINE.  Season Three will showcase a whole new cast of characters and a new, state-of-the-art clinic to act as a fresh backdrop for the compelling patient stories of victorious transformation and overcoming of personal demons.

Tune in Wednesday night at 10PM Eastern, 9PM Central on Discovery Health to watch Drs. Robert and Garth Davis, father/son bariatric surgeons who practice at The Methodist Hospital and University General Hospital in Houston, Texas, and their amazing patients, as they undergo surgical treatment for the disease of morbid obesity and begin their brave journeys to freedom from obesity and start their new lives. 

On behalf of Drs. Davis, we sincerely appreciate your support!

Read more about Big Medicine

Communication Survey Results

I would like to thank the hundreds of you who responded to the survey in the last newsletter about communicating with your surgeon and bariatric practice. Here is a summary of the results:

64% of you see your surgeon for check ups, and of those who responded yes, 46 Ĺ % are 3 or more years post-op.

Of those who responded that donít see their surgeon for follow-ups, here are some of the reasons that you cited:

  • The surgeon is too far away
  • Insurance doesnít pay for the follow-up visits
  • I have gained weight and am embarrassed to go back
  • They do nothing for me yet I still get billed
  • I was assigned to be seen by a nurse.
  • They didnít seem interested in seeing me

59% reported that your surgeonís office does not communicate with you.

Here is what you would like in terms of communication from your surgeon:
74% would like a newsletter
44.7% would like special events
46% would like special support groups

Only 8% of you said that you didnít care if you heard from your surgeon or not.  Clearly communication is important to you. 54% say it is very important and 38% said it is somewhat important.

I would like to submit the details of this study along with other results at next yearís American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery meeting and perhaps help in some small way to increase the communication we receive from our surgeons.  Thank you for your help with this project.

Attention Nurse Educators

Preparing for COE Status?

Would You Like to Have

Obesity Sensitivity Training for

Your Hospital Staff?

(Guess What - It May Be Free)

Speaking for Hospitals

If you are a bariatric coordinator or nurse educator and need obesity sensitivity training for your hospital staff, contact me at 877-440-1518 or  Obesity sensitivity training is a Center of Excellence requirement. I can help you find sponsorship that your hospital may qualify for.

Is Your Night Eating
  a More Serious Problem?

Itís 9:00 at night and I have a craving to eat something.  Iím not sure what I want, but I know that the kitchen is calling me. For some of us, this is a more serious problem than just snacking our way through the evening.  This could be a serious eating disorder called Night Eating Syndrome

Night Eating Syndrome (NES) affects any where between 10% and 27% of the obese population depending upon which study you read. But if you have a problem with wanting to raid the refrigerator at 9:00 PM, does that mean you have NES?

Here is how NES is different than just want to snack at night. Those having NES:

  • Eat at least Ĺ of their daily calories after they have finished dinner
  • Wake up during the night 2 or more times craving a high calorie carbohydrate snack
  • Do not eat breakfast because they have eaten so much during the night
  • Suffer from insomnia
  • Have been doing this for at least 2 months

Those having NES have higher levels of cortisol, signifying high levels of anxiety and low levels of melatonin which helps to promote sleep. The craving for carbohydrates is a way to trigger tryptophan which eventually calms the anxiety and promotes sleep.

Compare yourself to the check list above.  If the symptoms sound like you, consult with your physician and an eating disorder counselor.  You may have a condition that is more than you are able to handle on your own.

Back on Track Program

Are you...

Suffering from emotional eating and canít stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and canít control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you donít know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape with warm weather here?

 Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you need!

View a FREE Lesson and Listen to a FREE Telephone Seminar by
clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Are You Wearing Shorts This Summer?

Most of us, who had weight loss surgery, have been left with less than an ideal body. Yes, there are those who lost weight and their skin shrunk perfectly into place, or who had the advantage of a full body lift. I am truly happy for those people, but that doesnít describe my body!! My calves arenít bad, but look out for those thighs. Some times I start at my knees and pull the skin up and consider how great my legs would look if onlyÖ. At that point I get creative and want to grab a garter belt or tourniquet to hold everything up that gravity is pulling down. So what do I do with these legs? Do I wear jeans or long pants all summer or do I just accept my imperfect body and put on a comfortable pair of shorts?

It all comes down to how we feel about ourselves, which for someone who has come from a background of being morbidly obese, is usually not too positive. Many of us feel so good about ourselves in the year following surgery as we are losing weight, but then the bloom fades as we realize that we are stuck with the body ďas is.Ē That starts to hit home around year 2 and 3 post-op.

There are those whose excess skin is very debilitating. It causes rashes, infection, immobility and psychological trauma. The fact that most often insurance companies do not cover plastic surgery for what is clearly a medical condition for them is terrible. But for those who are fortunate enough to be left with a body that is less than attractive rather than being a medical condition, we still complain.

So here are some suggestions for coming to terms with yourself:

  • Look at your before pictures and count your blessings. Remember what it was like to be that weight and the health problems that went along with it.
  • Remember that how you look on the inside is more important than how you look on the outside. Have pride in what you have accomplished and focus on that.
  • Because of our damaged body image, I would bet that you really look a lot better than you think you do, so please think about that.

So put on your shorts even though your legs could look a lot better and consider the sagging skin as battle scars.  You have come a long way on this journey and deserve to be proud.

Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ

Here is a great summer picnic recipe that is somewhat spicy and very tender for those who have problems getting protein down. Enjoy!!!

Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ

1 (5 lb.) bone-in pork shoulder roast
1 Tbsp. salt
Ground black pepper
1 Ĺ cups apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)
1 Ĺ Tbsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place the pork shoulder in a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinegar around the pork. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours. Pork should easily pull apart into strands,

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard any bones. Strain out the liquid and save 2 cups. Discard the rest of the liquid. Shred the pork using tongs or 2 forks. And return it to the slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and keep on a low setting until ready to serve.

You can also cook this on high for 5 Ĺ hours.

If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at

Success Story:
  Lissa Wiggs

I want to offer a special thanks to Lissa Wiggs for sharing her inspirational success story.  Here is her story:

My name is Lissa Wiggs.  I am 43 years old and living life to the fullest. 

I have struggled with my weight all my life.  I was very athletic in high school and managed to keep my weight under control until I graduated.  Once I stopped the daily exercise the weight just piled on and on.   I hit 200 lbs when I was 19.  By 22 I weighed 225 lbs.  Every time I would lose 25 lbs I would put it back on and then some. 

I got married at 25 and by the time the marriage crumbled a year and a half later I was near 250 lbs.  I married my second husband not quite a year later and 11 years later hit an all time high of 334 lbs.  I had dropped up to 35 lbs at a time but was never able to keep the weight off.  I was never able to get pregnant and I had to be on medication to treat hypertension.  I was in pain all the time and I couldn't call what I had a life.  I dragged myself through each day and then fell into bed each night wondering why I was even on the planet.  My feet hurt before I even put them on the floor each morning.

I heard about weight loss surgery and finally became interested enough to investigate it.  I had heard that one of the insurance plans at my work would cover it so I switched to that insurance, just in case.  I went to the seminar and I loved what I heard.  I had my first appointment with Dr. Watson of Western Surgical Group, which recently became Western Bariatric Institute.  During the tests that I had to take we discovered that I had a moderate case of sleep apnea, which had contributed to my exhaustion. 

The process began in August 2004 and in January 2005 on the first try, my surgery was approved.  My surgery was set for February 15, 2005.  My surgery went well and I was released 23 hours later.  Everything was text book.  I lost weight steadily.  As soon as I was able, I began exercising every day.  By May, I had lost about 75 lbs.  I was walking up to 2 miles per hour and exercising an hour a day.   In high school I had been on the swimming team, and I enjoy swimming a lot.  In May of that year I swam in the "Corporate Challenge" that is a local athletic competition.  It was great fun and I actually felt good about my results. 

My weight loss slowed and stalled at 212 lbs.  I was very frustrated, but knew that I was eating too much and wasn't pushing myself with exercise.  In July 2006, I finally got a fresh start and lost another 40 lbs.  I got excited again and went to see a plastic surgeon.  In October 2006 I had a body lift and a breast lift.  I finally had the body I had always wanted.  That surgery was not as easy as the gastric bypass was.  I pulled out the stitches twice and the drains were uncomfortable.  I had a real delay in healing time because of the pulled out stitches.  It took a very long time to be able to go back to my daily exercising.  But it was worth every pain. 

My marriage didn't survive.  I got divorced.  With the bad comes the good though.  For the first time in my life I am learning to be happy with myself, and learning to please myself.  I like how I look.  For the first time in my life, I weigh what my driverís license says I weigh.  I no longer take medicine for hypertension and I am no longer on the C-PAP machine. 

I would like to lose another 20 or so lbs, but it isn't necessary for my happiness.  Exercise is the key to everything.  I have become addicted to endorphins.  I truly love exercise.  I love the way I look now.  I have never liked to have my picture taken, but now I love it.  I love to hike, I love to dance, I love to run.  I just plain love to move, and I love life in general!

 Lissa Wiggs


I love good news.  If you have good news, a success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at so that I can include it in future issues.
Congratulations Lissa


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