Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


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

Issue #139

April 15, 2008


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In This Issue


* A Wish to You Video from Barbara Thompson
* Losing the Battle against Night Eating
* Another Book
* Spring Sale
* Breakfast Time
* Eating in Restaurants the Guiltless Way
* Recipe: Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup
* Success Story: Sheila Howard

Losing the Battle against Night Eating

I am a night eater.  It is something that I have fought against my entire life and it’s a battle that I have lost over and over again.  But even though I lose the battle, I manage, most of the time, to win the war. I don’t let my night eating defeat me. I recognize that there is no way that I can have dinner and then not eat again until breakfast or even stop eating at 8:00 PM.  So I handle this by having a collection of night foods that are readily available. I keep these foods around and when I travel I take as many of them with me as I can. Here is my list:

  • A wedge of Laughing Cow light cheese spread on 3 Triscuits (sometimes with 3 huge green olives). I also spread the cheese on a slice of deli ham, roll it up and slice it into 3rds.
  • Diet Jello with Cool Whip Free
  • A piece of fruit cut into wedges or a cup of grapes (sometimes frozen)
  • A Weight Watcher fudgesickle
  • Progresso light soup in whatever quantity I want
  • Cut and cleaned veggies (celery, carrots, mushrooms, etc.) with a dip made from fat free plain yogurt and powdered ranch dip mix. The veggies need to be kept cleaned and in your refrigerator.
  • Activia light yogurt
  • A cup of tea with a sleeve of Hostess 100 calorie cup cakes
  • 14 Lays light potato chips (I take them out, count them, re-close the bag, and take them into another room to eat)

I limit the more unhealthy choices such as the potato chips and Hostess cupcakes But this regimen keeps me on track. One thing about getting older is if you pay attention you learn about yourself. But success takes shopping and planning. I have all of these foods in my refrigerator right now. Hmmm, I think I’ll have some of that Laughing Cow cheese. Sounds good!

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Another Book

I am finally ready to start on a project that I have wanted to do for years. I am finally starting on a book purely for post-op patients.  I have had hundreds and hundreds of requests for this over the years, and I am finally ready.

I want this book to be different.  I have learned so much from so many of you over the years. Each of you has a story to tell, a condition that you have experienced, and I want to provide a forum for you in my book. Many of you have said to me that you would like to contribute in the field of weight loss surgery – to give back. This is your opportunity. I will discuss many problems, conditions and situations that relate to post-op patients and I want to include patient stories or perspectives on most of these.

I will ask those of you who want to contribute to either write up a story or email me your phone number and I can interview you.  I want stories that describe your condition and how you were able to solve it, deal with it or overcome it.  There will be no compensation for this and I will keep your information anonymous if you would like.

So let’s start with this newsletter. There are topics that I already have covered. To start with, here are chapters that I would like your input on:

  • Body Image
  • Relationships
  • Emotional Eating

So if you have had problems with any of the 3 and have worked through them or a working toward a solution, please let me hear from you. Let’s start with those topics for now.

Please email me at  and put “New Book” in the subject line.

Spring Sale
Within the last 2 weeks, the daffodils and hyacinths have popped out in my flower garden and the grass and trees are starting to turn green.  This is my official sign that Spring has sprung. I love this time of the year because the dull gray look of Pittsburgh starts getting some color.

To celebrate the arrival of Spring, I am having a sale on my book, “Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.” For the rest of April, I am selling my book for a 25% discount to only my newsletter subscribers. 

To get the discount, enter the word Spring in the box marked Coupon/Promotion Code when you check out of my shopping cart. Be sure to click the Apply button beside the Code box.  This discount only applies to online orders and can not be combined with any other discount.

Click here to order your copy today!

Breakfast Time

I always have a hard boiled egg for breakfast. After experimenting with everything over the years, I find that is what works for me. It has so many properties that make it the perfect breakfast for me. It is quick, can be prepared ahead, I can grab it on the run, I can carry it easily and eat it later, it can be left at room temperature for hours, and what is most important is I don’t feel hungry after I have eaten it.

There were years – the long ago “gaining” years when breakfast was a big part of my problem, I just didn’t know it. I would start the day with cereal. I looked for reasonably healthy cereal.  I steered away from Fruit Loops or (what I really wanted) Count Chocula.

But after eating my cereal, I would feel hungry soon afterward.  If I wouldn’t eat anything I could skip breakfast all together and just not blow the calories on cereal. What I didn’t realize is that the carbohydrates in the cereal were making my blood sugar level rise and when my blood sugar level eventually dropped, I was very hungry.  My response was to skip breakfast.  That just made my metabolism slow. I just wonder if I had steered clear of the cereal, if I would not have had such a weight problem.

Carbohydrates in the morning set me on a path of an eating frenzy for the entire day.  If you are suffering from hunger during the day, check the carbohydrates that you are eating. That could be your problem also.

Eating in Restaurants the Guiltless Way

Like most of you, I am on a tight schedule and enjoy eating out or bringing food in once or twice a week, and more often when I am traveling. I would probably eat out more if I knew what I was eating. I carefully watch what I decide to put in my mouth and have found that I don’t enjoy food as much if I just blindly eat.

If I don’t have nutritional information available, I look for grilled fish or seafood, vegetables and salad (and I bring my own dressing). But that can get a little boring. So I rely on internet sites and guides as well as the restaurant’s own website to clue me in on the nutritional value of what I order.

Here are a few of the websites that I have found to be very helpful.

Healthy Dining
I click on “Start Your Search,” then I click on “View Alphabetical List of Restaurants.”

Although the list is a little limited, for each restaurant listed, there are 3 or 4 suggestions of healthy choices so you don’t have to analyze everything on the menu to try to find the least harmful.

On the left under Brand Browser you can click on Restaurant, Café/Bistro or Fast Food. Hundreds of food establishments are listed with nutritional values for thousands of dishes.

Stop & Go Fast Food Nutritional Guide
Here you can download a 166 page book that lists the nutritional values of food found at 88 of the most popular fast food establishments and restaurants.

These are just a few of the websites out there. They allow you enjoy freedom from the kitchen without guilt. If anyone has additional websites, please share them with me at

Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

Those of you who have received my newsletter for awhile and who know me, know that I love soup.  My Grandmother made soup every day of her married life. I sometimes think that I have soup flowing through my veins. Here is a delicious and hearty soup recipe that I hope you enjoy.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

½ cup dried lentils, soaked
¾ cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 medium potato)
1 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 ½ cup chicken broth, low-sodium
2 cups water
¼ cup red wine
½ Tbl. fennel seeds
½ Tbl. cumin
½ Tbl. cinnamon
½ Tbl. chili powder
½ Tbl. cayenne pepper
½ Tbl. red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Soak the lentils in 1 cup of cold water or green tea for at least 30 minutes.

In a medium-sized stock pot over medium-high heat, sauté the diced onions and garlic in ¼ cup of the chicken broth until onions become translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, and red wine. Cook for 1 minute or until the wine becomes very fragrant.

Add the lentils, water and chicken broth. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring the mixture occasionally.

Reduce the heat. Add the red pepper flakes and fennel seed and cover, allowing the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes begin to fall apart.

Remove the lid and add the remaining spices. If you would like a thicker consistency, raise the heat and reduce until it reaches your desired consistency.

Garnish with some sour cream if you would like.

Makes 6 servings.  Each serving:
160 calories, 19 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams protein, 7 grams fiber, 2 grams fat

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:
   Sheila Howard 

This is my last success story.  If I don’t receive some new ones, there will be no story in this spot for the next newsletter. Please send your success story to me at

I want to offer a special thanks to Sheila Howard. Here is her story:

I have been overweight since I was 17 years old. I’ve tried many, many diets and all to no avail. Then I started having more and more health problems and knew I had to do something if I wanted to live a healthy life. I started my journey at 283 pounds.

I received my letter in November 2004 that I would be having my consultation with Dr Taewan Kim. I went to my first appointment in December 2004. When the day came for my consultation, I was very nervous.

The Nurse Practitioner came in to see me first and she told me that I would have no problem having the surgery. There were some tests that would have to be run such as an EKG, Psych. Evaluation, and an Upper Endoscopy. The Nutritionist came in next and she told me what I would and wouldn’t be able to eat after surgery. This was a good thing because I wanted to stop eating the "bad" foods well before my surgery.

I soon had the first part of my Psch. Evaluation which I found a little hard. The psychologist asked me some questions and then I had to answer 550 true/false questions on paper. The second part of my psych evaluation lasted 15 minutes at which time the psychologist told me that I was a good candidate for the surgery.

During my Endoscopy they found numerous polyps in my stomach and as a result, the doctor put me on the medication Protonix for 8 weeks. It worked and at my second endoscopy, the polyps were gone.

My Surgeon submitted my paperwork to my insurance company and 11 days later I received a letter from my insurance company stating that I had been approved for weight loss surgery. My surgery was scheduled for June 17, 2005 at 7:30 am.

I started my journey when my weight was 283 pounds. and when I actually had my surgery my weight was down to 243 pounds. It’s been a long rough road, but I’m very happy that I had the surgery. I do not take any medicine other than my daily dosage of multivitamins, calcium, iron and potassium.

When I first starting eating I could not tolerate beef at all. Now I don’t really have a problem with any foods. I eat more chicken and fish, but I did before surgery as well. I also drink lots of fluids. I was one of the lucky ones and had no complications at all after surgery. Well, I did have one bout of “bowel impaction.” And believe me after you have that once, you will make sure to get all your liquids in because you won’t ever want to feel like that again! Believe me!

I had my surgery on June 17, 2005 and I now weigh130 pounds. I can’t believe how good it feels to wear normal ladies clothes and not the “big clothes.” I was wearing size 3x when I had surgery and now I can wear size 6 petite to size 8 pants and size small blouses. Even my feet have shrunk!

It’s just SO amazing and I would do this again in a heartbeat! However, now that I’ve been through the surgery and I’m where I want to be with my weight, I would NEVER let myself get back the way I was before the surgery. But in order to maintain my present weight, it does take hard work and determination. Your hunger definitively comes back and you have to have the willpower to STOP eating when you feel full. And believe me... one bite too much will have you running for the bathroom! :-). I hope you enjoy my before and after pictures as much as I do.

Sheila Howard

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 Sheila

Attention Nurse Educators

Preparing for COE Status?

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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 have sponsorship that your hospital may qualify for.


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