Issue #207 May 1, 2011
  Facebook Twitter More...
Share this Newsletter

In This Issue

Kate’s Weight

Back on Track with Barbara
Vitamin Survey: The Results

Social Network

Recipe: Sugar-Free Baked Apple Almond Dessert
Success Story: Midge Ruhl

Kate’s Weight

“She’s losing so much weight. I wonder if her wedding dress will still fit.”  I heard that so many times the past two weeks leading up to the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Everyone was looking at her weight and making comments. There was a lot of speculation whether she had an eating disorder. She was being judged regarding her weight. Sound familiar?

How many times have we been looked at, and judged in terms of our weight? As children we were teased unmercifully. I hated recess. I was called “fatty,” “Barbara Barrel” (my last name started with a “B”), you know all the names. My Mother wrote a letter to my second grade teacher about how I would come home crying because children were teasing me about my weight.  Rather than handling the situation individually, the teacher read my Mother’s letter aloud in class. I was mortified.

Click here to read more.

If you would like to automatically receive my blog posts, go the blog site above and scroll down on the right to the red section. Enter your email address and you will receive notices of all new posts.

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

The Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program really concentrates on lifestyle changes. Join our group and receive lessons via the internet and the support of others who are struggling just like you are.

Get Ready for Summertime Fun

Are you suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
Are you grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Are you lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Do you feel that you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Are you dying to be in better shape?

My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program will give you the
support you need to get your weight under control.

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

Vitamin Survey: The Results

In the last newsletter I asked people to respond to a survey I was conducting about vitamins. I had just heard research results that reported that 53% of Americans take vitamins.  I wondered how we, as weight loss surgery patients, compared. Thanks so much to the hundreds of people who answered the survey questions! I really appreciate your involvement.

Well we came out very well!! Here are the results:

1.      85% of people answering the survey take vitamins. That is really encouraging compared to 53% of Americans who do.  We are doing much better than the norm.

2.      99% of people were told of the importance of vitamins when they were preparing for surgery. That is also encouraging that surgeon or someone from their practice is emphasizing that universally.

3.      87% of those who take vitamins take them regularly, rather than from time to time, and 87% of those, take vitamins faithfully every day.

4.      Only 62% of patients take vitamins designed for weight loss surgery patients.  That is a little concerning, because our ability to break down regular vitamin pills is compromised for those of us who have had gastric bypass surgery.

5.      I also asked those who take vitamins which ones they take. Here is the breakdown:

96% take Multivitamins

87% take calcium

79% take B vitamins

76% take Vitamin D

56% take iron

33% take Omega 3 Fish Oil

14% take folic acid

9% take an anti-oxidant

6.      Of those who take calcium, 79% take calcium citrate. That is great, but 16% don’t. That is concerning, because for those who have had gastric bypass surgery, we cannot absorb calcium carbonate. Hopefully the 16% who don’t take calcium carbonate are lap band and sleeve patients!

7.      67% swallow their pills, and 38% chew their vitamins.

Where do you stand with all of these results? If you are among those who don’t take vitamins, please do. To determine what vitamins you should take, have a blood test and dexa scan. Best of health!

Social Networking

I am posting on my blog again and my Facebook Group, Weight Loss Surgery and Obesity Concerns, has really taken off. If you would like to join very lively discussions about weight loss surgery and living life afterwards, and concerns about obesity, my Facebook page is where you want to be.

My goal is to get people talking about obesity in general and specifically, weight loss surgery.  The interaction of people from all over is providing education and support to those who have interests and concerns about their weight.

I have always tried to answer my email questions in this newsletter, but I can respond to your questions more quickly by using my blog and Facebook.

In addition to the posts, we had a scheduled chat session that was terrific. We will soon be having live “Ask the Surgeon” sessions with a very prominent bariatric surgeon during which you can ask questions that you have always wanted to have answered, but might have been afraid to ask your own surgeon.    

I welcome you to join in on the discussions about obesity and weight loss surgery by joining me on the pages below.  I have also included buttons at the top of this and all future newsletters that will allow you to share my newsletter with your others in your social network.

Barbara Thompson's WLS Private Facebook Group

Start a conversation by making a post.

Barbara Thompson's WLS Blog

You can subscribe to my blog so that you will receive a notification by email when I make a new blog entry.  You can find the subscription box on the right of the blog page.

Send your questions, suggestions, and general input to me at and I will include it in future blog posts as appropriate.

Recipe: Sugar-Free
 Baked Apple Almond Dessert

Sugar-Free Baked Apple Almond Dessert

For me, baked apples is a comfort food. Regular recipes are full of sugar and raisins. This is sort of a cross between baked apples and an individual apple crisp, but it's done in the microwave, so it isn't crispy. You can top it with yogurt if you like. This snack/dessert isn't super low-carb, so you wouldn't want to use it for a very low carb diet phase.

* About 2/3 cup chopped apple
* Sugar-free syrup, such as Da Vinci's caramel, or water and sugar substitute
* 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
* 3 Tablespoons almond meal
* 1 teaspoon of butter
* Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Put the chopped apples in a microwave-safe bowl or other container. Sprinkle the cinnamon over it, and pour the sugar-free syrup over the top to about half an inch. Cover. Microwave about 1½ minutes.

Remove the cover. Sprinkle the almond meal over the top, and just a sprinkling of salt. You can add chopped walnuts or pecans if you like. Dot with butter. Microwave, uncovered for another 1½ minutes.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has 9 grams effective carbohydrate plus 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, and 169 calories.

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

My supply of success stories is EMPTY.

Please support this newsletter by sending your story.

Success Story:
Midge Ruhl

Midge sent me her story about 18 months ago and I did not use because I was waiting for before and after pictures. I decided to print her story without the pictures and it follows. When I alerted Midge that her story was going to be printed, she sent me an update.

I want to offer a special thanks to Midge Ruh for sharing her full story with us. Here is Midge’s Story Part 1 from about 18 months ago:

Dear Barbara,
I have put off writing to you forever, although I am a loyal follower of you and all the success you represent in the bariatric community.  I saw and heard you in Hinsdale Illinois, at a speaking engagement at the Community House.  Then I attended an ObesityHelp event at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago Illinois where you spoke. I have your books, tapes and other inspirational material.  All of that is well and good, but somehow I never considered myself successful enough to write to you.

Flash forward to today. Here I am, having lost from 317 pounds the day of surgery, which was January 29, 2004 until today, where I maintain my weight between 160 and 170 pounds. What is wrong with that, you may ask? 

Well, what I have done is trade fat and a tremendous amount of loose skin for horrible, vicious and sometimes painful scars, keloid scars, welts and other disgusting disfigurations.  The celluloid is still there, only more dimpled where the plastic surgeon did liposuction.  I don't blame him, as I inherited my poor healing tendency from my maternal side of the family.  But I still don't feel comfortable in my skin! 

I am now more self-conscious than when I was fat!  The one time I went to the pool this summer, people stared at my leg and arm scars so much that I did not go back. 

The plastic reconstructive surgeries that I had caused a whole set of new problems that we are really not remotely prepared for.  The initial plastic surgeries and then the sometimes numerous revisions, in and of themselves, have created as much self-consciousness in me as the weight I once carried and the flabby loose skin I once had!

I have had revision plastic surgery. I thought the areas operated on again would be normal, only to find I am still disappointed at the shape of my body.  Also, my plastic surgeries relaxed within months, leaving loose skin hanging!  I cannot seem to win! 

I literally feel very bad about myself, yet daily I remain in compliance with a good diet and supplementation. I no longer exercise, as I absolutely cannot stand another minute in the gym!  So, on a good day, I try to do at least 1/2 hour of something beneficial, just to move.

I don't know what the answers are, except I already went bankrupt from paying for the first of the loose skin surgeries. It just is not fair, but then I don't complain, because no one listens and life is just that way!

Midge Ruhl
Indian Head Park IL

This is Midge’s current story which is approximately 18 months after Part 1 above.

Midge’s Story Part 2:

While I am taken by surprise, I thank you for even considering my story.  As you may have noticed, I have always loved you and looked to your inspiration material and book for guidance.  Back when I wrote you, I was sorry that I did not have any photos to send you, along with my story.  But in November 2009, I was not in a good place.  And I am not really one to have pictures taken in spite of the dramatic differences we encounter on our weight loss journeys, even now.  

Barbara, since originally writing to you, I have come country miles!  And I am so thankful to certain people in the medical community, in my area, who took a second look at me, and then gave me a second chance at corrective and great reconstructive surgery. Before that, as I wrote, I was simply, but silently miserable.

On one particular visit with my primary care doctor, I found my voice.  In the examining room, I began to remove my clothing, as I pointed out poorly healed and badly reconstructed areas of my body.  This time, instead of my usual "blame the victim for her poor healing." I was able to express my deepest feelings of disgust at how things turned out for me, and the disappointment I felt with the surgeon whose worked left me feeling so badly. 

I then asked my doctor if there was another plastic surgeon in the network she could refer me to, with the possibility this time of getting insurance coverage.   My very caring doctor looked at my body and was in agreement with me that I had problem areas that had not healed well.  I was also having pain complications and keloiding from poor scar management.  Instead of proper suturing, the first surgeon simply and quickly "stapled" these massive areas of reconstruction. 

I learned so much after the fact and after several revisions by this same surgeon that simply made things worse!  I had been taken in by this doctor's smoke and mirror presentation and paid for it, to boot and i paid out of pocket! "Cheap" ultimately became "expensive," I learned.

A burden was lifted as my doctor made notes and said she would get back to me.  Finally, I had spoken of my misery to the proper person, who just might make a difference!  Soon I was contacted with a referral.  I was elated!  My referral was to see this wonderful female surgeon.  I met her in the early days of my weight loss, when she came to speak at our support group in Hinsdale IL.  However, she was not taking patients in my "network,” so there would be no insurance coverage, and her prices were much higher than the first surgeon quoted.  But I liked her so much, as she conveyed a knowledgeable understanding of what kinds of surgery weight loss patients would need to think about.  

I realized I could dramatically change things by expressing myself.  True to the nature of the “weight loss journey,” the “loose skin journey” also takes many twists and turns on the road to our new life.  I realized that what I needed to do was to speak up and ask for help for myself. It was me having these experiences, and I needed to let the proper people know my condition and how unhappy I was, instead of thinking no one would listen. I spoke up for myself, and this time, there would be insurance coverage! 

I had my brachioplasty redone and also a lot of loose skin removed from my back.  I then had my lumpy and uneven cellulite filled legs corrected. You should see me in my size 12 petite designer jeans!  Although the cellulite does not go away, it becomes tolerable because there is now proper body symmetry, with both legs and arms being the same.  Not to mention the upper back and muffin top skin –it’s gone!  I have no more rolls!

I cannot believe this is me. I had the upper body done in October 2010, and then in February of this year, I had the leg corrections done. What a difference!  This great doctor and her healing program have changed my life!  She rigorously insists on her patients wearing compression garments and silicone scar cover tapes, which I still wear.   I will do anything to preserve the integrity of this wonderful healing experience. I had to share this with you.  It is such good news after so much negativity.  Maybe you could let your readers know there is a happy ending to a situation that started out so badly, in spite of successful weight loss.

Best Regards - Midge

Congratulations Midge

My supply of success stories is EMPTY.

Please support this newsletter by sending your story.

If you have reached your goal weight (or close to it), you have a success story to tell. But you also have a story to tell even if you aren’t at goal weight. You may not think of yourself as a “success,” but if you are able to do things that you couldn’t before, if you are able to play on the floor with your children or grandchildren, or if you have thrown away medications, then YOU ARE A SUCCESS. Let us rejoice with you. Be proud of your wonderful achievement and let the world celebrate with you.

If you are one of the many support group leaders who use my newsletters in your discussion groups, please encourage your members to submit their stories.

Send your success story with before and after photo files to me at and I will include your story in a future newsletter.

Drink Your Vitamins


Vitamin D,
and more

Chew Your Vitamins

The OAC is the ONLY non profit organization whose sole focus is helping those affected by obesity.  The OAC is a great place to turn if you are looking for a way to get involved and give back to the cause of obesity.

There are a variety of ways you can make a difference, but the first step is to become an OAC Member.  The great thing about OAC Membership is that you can be as involved as you would like.  Simply being a member contributes to the cause of obesity.




  Search Barbara's Website
Custom Search
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 Thompson’s free newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at  ”

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive your own copy?

It's simple! Just go to  and scroll down to the subscription form.

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them subscribe to receive their own copy.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of this email 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