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Life After Surgery News

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Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.


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Issue #167

June 1, 2009


Video: Goal Setting

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In This Issue


* Goal Setting Video
* Pausing for Menopause
* Dallas Conference Heats Up!!
* Does Sensa Make Sense??
* Ready for Summer? Get Back on Track
* Recipe: Chicken and Black Bean Chili
* Success Story: Kim Pillman

Pausing for Menopause

There are many things about growing older that are wonderful. As we age, often we have a greater wisdom and sense of security because we have been in situations before and have survived them and have even thrived. Many of us have more disposable income than we did when we were struggling kids, right out of school in minimum wage or very low paying jobs. We have a better sense of who we are and what life holds for us. Yes, being older has a lot going for it.

What it doesnít have going for it is menopause. The average age for a woman going through menopause is 51.  It is marked by the end of the menstrual cycle as well as the onset of hot flashes, wrinkles, a change in hair texture, bone loss and sagging breasts. It also often brings with it weight gain, sometimes referred to as middle age spread; about 2/3rds of women experience this. The weight settles around the stomach area instead of being evenly distributed between the hips and thighs. And trying to lose these pounds seems next to impossible. The change in our hormones affects our appetite, our metabolism and how we store fat. For example, if you ate 1,000 calories before menopause, you would burn 700 of them and store around 300. After menopause, your body will store 700 and burn only 300!

The weight gain is caused by several factors.  Hormones are stored in fat cells, and as your body stops producing estrogen, the body perceives these empty fat cells as a sign of famine and clings to those fat cells for preservation. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, so your body works harder to convert calories into fat in an attempt to increase estrogen levels. Women also start to develop insulin resistance which makes our bodies cling to those fat cells even more.

If you donít want to accept that weight gain is inevitable, there are two things that you can do to combat this:

1.  To combat insulin resistance, eat a diet that is very high in protein, especially lean protein.
After our surgery, we were told to do this so that we would heal from our surgery, maintain muscle mass, and avoid excessive hair loss. Now we have yet another reason. A diet that does not include simple carbohydrates will help you to reverse insulin resistance and keep you from craving sweets.

2.  Weight bearing exercise
Exercise is important to not only burn calories but also to build muscle mass. The more muscle that you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you will burn. Besides doing such exercise as walking or exercising on an elliptical machine, lift some hand weights. Lifting weights will definitely help you to build up those muscles.

It seems like the solution to all of our problems is protein and exercise. Itís a lesson that gets preached to us over and over.  Sometimes we hear and sometimes we donít. But each time the message gets a little louder. Letís not settle for that middle age spread. Let's work to keep that weight we attained right after surgery.

Does Sensa Make Sense??

My local news always seems to feature the latest diet craze. Recently they ran a report on Sensa, the ďSprinkle Diet.Ē Sensa was developed by Dr. Alan Hirsh, the Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment Foundation in Chicago. Dr. Hirsh found through his research that people who lose their sense of smell and taste, gain weight.   Those two senses are tied to satiety, or the feeling of fullness that stops us from eating because we feel full and satisfied; so he developed strong tasting powders to sprinkle over food to stimulate the sense of taste and smell.

In his research Dr. Hirsh asked 1,436 overweight or obese men to sprinkle their food for six months, but not to change their diet or exercise in any other way.  After six months, those who stuck with the program lost an average of 30.5 pounds or about 15% of their body weight. The control group who used sprinkles without strong taste or smell lost an average of two pounds over the six month period. Some complain that the sprinkles smell like fish.

The cost of Sensa is approximately $53 per month and is available on the internet.  I definitely donít recommend Sensa, but at least Sensa doesnít appear to be harmful.  It is not a crazy and unhealthy way of eating or stimulant medication. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who might have used it. Email me at

Ready for Summer? Get Back on Track


Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring 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 for Summer?

 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.

  Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Here is a quick and easy meal. It may be a little hearty for summer, but I love chili and wanted to share this with you. This recipe seems high in carbohydrates, but remember, these are good carbs that come from the beans.

Chicken and Black Bean Chili

1 lb chicken tenderloins, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 can beans - pinto, white, or small red, drained (15 ounces)
1 can black beans, drained (15 ounces)
1 can stewed tomatoes, Mexican style, (15 ounces)
2 tablespoons chili powder or seasoning mix

In a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, brown chicken and onion over medium heat. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information per serving:
250 calories, 4 grams fat, 30 grams carbs, 23 grams protein

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

New Lowered Price on
  Protein Blender Bottles
We have found a new supplier and were able to reduce the price of our great protein shaker bottles. 

This Blender bottle has a 28 oz capacity and comes with a stainless steel mixing ball. The ball is sized to stay in the bottle when you pour your mixed drink.  Easy to clean, dishwasher safe, secure screw-on lid won't leak and fits in your car holder.  Blue top only.   $8.95

Also Great for:

  • Nutrition Drinks
  • Salad Dressings
  • Pancake Batter
  • Yogurt Smoothies
  • Lump-Free Gravy
  • French Toast Batter
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Tempura Batter
  • Sauces and Marinades
  • Pudding
  • Omelets & Egg Dishes
  • Water Bottle
  • Dry Ingredients (cinnamon or colored sugar, etc.)
  • Food Storage (nuts, syrup, etc.)

Success Story:
  Kim Pillman
I am completely out of success stories.  Please send in yours along with before and after pictures. It is your way of giving back for this free newsletter. Thank you so much!

I want to offer Kim Pillman a special thanks for sharing her success with us. Here is her story.     

As long as I can remember, I have been big. As a teenager I was popular and into everything and was even a cheerleader but I was the Ďbiggestí cheerleader. To this day there are things I remember vividly that people have said about me or even to me in my cheerleading uniform that haunt me.

One time in particular, some guys were sitting in the bleachers and started making fun of me. It kept on during the whole game. I mention this because there are so many instances like this that are so vivid in my memory and sadly they still have the same affect on me now, that they did then, when I think about them.

I gained a bit more weight after this, as well as while I was pregnant with my first son. The stress on my life at that time was overwhelming. I was a single mom with no help, I was still dealing with growing up in an abusive home, still having those voices in my head of people, mostly guys, calling me names, and I just continued to gain weight.

In 2000 I weighed about 250 lbs. Something wonderful happened that year; I met my future husband on the internet. He loved me for ME! I was afraid to show him a picture of myself, but when I did, he told me he still thought I was beautiful. I ended up moving with my son, 1,000 miles from home, to where he was living. That would add to the stress in my life and in my sonís life. I didnít know how to deal with all the stress that was building up, so I ate. I felt like giving up. By this time I weighed 326 lbs, and wore a size 26 pants.

I started researching gastric bypass surgery on the internet and found a support group in my area. I got in touch with a few members, went to a couple meetings, then chose to have the procedure. I knew that I needed not only to fix my outside, but my inside as well. I needed to find a way to deal with stress. I worked on that daily. I chose my surgeon, went through all the processes, and October 27, 2003 I had my surgery, a Roux-en Y procedure.

My surgeon and his staff were so wonderful. Dr Keith Gersin from the University of California Surgery Group was wonderful. The medical staff educated me about what to expect from the surgery in the near future. They also educated me about pregnancy and the need to wait 18 to 24 months before getting pregnant. We didnít try, but found out we were expecting when I was just three months post-op. It was a very tough pregnancy for both me and my baby. But today my 4 yr old son is a healthy, wonderful kid.

Because of the stress of the pregnancy and the changes I was going through, I do not absorb many vitamins and iron. I have some issues with hypoglycemia. On the upside, I have maintained my size 12. I am more active than I have ever been in my life. The excess weight put so much strain on my back and joints so I have days when I am in pain. But I enjoy life now, more than I ever have before. God has truly put so many people in my life when I needed them.

I use my tool as it should be used. I had this surgery for a reason and I am going to abide by the rules of my pouch. You know why? Because I enjoy the new me so much and NEVER want to go back to how it was before. That is so worth staying on track.

Kim Pillman

Congratulations Kim


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