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.


Share this Newsletter
Issue #164

April 15, 2009

In This Issue


* Dumping: Blessing or Curse?
* Making it a Lifestyle Conference
* Research Article: Weight Loss Surgery Boosts Patient’s Sex Life
* Dear Oprah: Letting Your Voice be Heard
* Recipe: Classic Fajitas
* Success Story: Veronica Strabel

Dumping: Blessing or Curse?

Hi Barbara, 
I had gastric bypass surgery December 1, 2008.  I am struggling to deal with dumping.  I can't eat anything with more than a few grams of sugar.  Can you recommend a sugar-free or diabetic cookbook? 

Thank you,

Hi Rebecca,
Dumping is caused when you eat simple carbohydrates such as white sugar, white bread, pasta, etc. and they pass too quickly into your small intestines. This partially digested food draws excessive fluid into the small intestines and results in your feeling nausea, having heart palpitations, feeling extremely tired, sweating and feeling faint. The symptoms start about 20 minutes after eating and last for approximately 30 minutes.

Dumping is referred to as the curse and blessing of gastric bypass surgery. Although we are limited by the foods we are comfortably able to eat, the foods that cause dumping are those that we shouldn’t eat anyway.

Many people outgrow dumping after the first year or two.  For others, dumping gets worse. Over time, the stoma may stretch which will allow food to move even faster into the small intestines, making dumping worse.

There is a fairly good diabetic website which lists more than 800 recipes in 42 categories. What may work even better than diabetic recipes might be low glycemic recipes. Try googling those. 

There are also some very good bariatric cook books on the market such as Chef David Fouts new one, 90 Ways to Ditch Your Diet  The cook book contains 30 days worth of recipes and is definitely a good purchase for your weight loss surgery library.


Making It a Lifestyle Conference
I am very excited to announce that I, along with Colleen Cook, and Monica Ganz, the 3 Divas of weight loss surgery, will be hosting a conference in Dallas, TX on Saturday June 27th

Click For More Information & to Register

Research Article:
  Weight Loss Surgery
  Boosts Patient’s Sex Life

Will weight loss surgery improve your sex life? The answer is maybe yes, maybe no according to a new study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The yes relates especially to men who are troubled with erectile dysfunction. Obesity has shown to affect the level of testosterone in men that can be improved following weight loss surgery. Sexual dysfunction in women tends to be far more complex.

For an article on this study click here:

Dear Oprah:
  Letting Your Voice be Heard

I look forward to your newsletter each month to read the stories from people who have had weight loss surgery as well as the issues they are facing.   All of the information keeps me focused on the strengths and weaknesses of having weight loss surgery.

Since embarking on the weight loss surgery journey two years ago, I have tried to educate myself about every aspect of the surgery and how it impacts the body and lifestyle.  What impresses me the most is the change weight loss surgery makes in some people’s lives.  The medical changes as well as the physical changes are remarkable. 

What concerns me is how the public views weight loss surgery.  There is a tremendous lack of knowledge on the part of the general public regarding weight loss surgery and the positive impact it has for the people who have had it.  What the public seems to focus on are the failures or perceived failures of people who have had the surgery.  There is not enough positive press about the successes both medically and physically.

I am including a letter I sent to Oprah last February addressing my thoughts regarding her show’s attitude to weight loss surgery.   They continue to be uneducated on the benefits of weight loss surgery for the people who have had it.  The Today Show ran a series about weight loss and outright stated it is only for people who have not had weight loss surgery. 

There needs to be a stronger effort by the professionals in the weight loss surgery profession to get the word out to the public about the benefits of this surgery.  I am appealing to you to see if you have any thoughts on how to make this happen.

Michaela McSheffrey

Dear Michaela,
Yes, it is discouraging how weight loss surgery is portrayed. A few years ago it was portrayed as being a killer surgery, now added to that are the complaints that the surgery doesn’t work because some people are regaining weight.

While I understand your reasoning that “there needs to be a stronger effort by the professionals in the weight loss surgery profession to get the word out to the public about the benefits of this surgery,” they are the worst spokespeople. Professionals in the field such as surgeons and corporations who supply the industry are seen as arguing their case because they have a vested interest. They make a living from this. They are far less persuasive than we are. We are the ones who have been affected by the disease of obesity and we are the ones who understand the tremendous benefits of this life-altering surgery.  We are the ones who need to get the word out, just like you did with your letter to Oprah, just like I do when I send an email to the Tonight Show complaining that Jay Leno is again doing his insensitive fat jokes in his monologue.

We are coming up on primary election season.  Take advantage of those notices of political meetings and ask candidates how they feel about weight loss surgery and access to care for the morbidly obese. Support those candidates who do support our cause and try to educate those who don’t. Continue writing letters and join the Obesity Action Coalition which is your voice for access to care. 

1/2 Off First Month Sale

Start Getting Control Today!

(Summer is coming. Are you ready?)

Get Help to Get

Back on Track with Your Weight.

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

Are you...

Suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you don’t 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.

  Classic Fajitas

This is my favorite Mexican dish. You can use steak, as is in this recipe, or grilled chicken or shrimp depending upon what goes down best for you.

Classic Fajitas

¼ cup lime juice
1 Tbl. chili powder
3 bell peppers, mixed colors, cut into thin strips
1 red onion, thinly sliced
¾ pound well-trimmed flank steak
Eight 6-inch flour tortillas
¼ cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 Tbl. reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup mild or medium-hot prepared salsa
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce


1.      Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, chili powder, bell peppers, and onions. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bell peppers and onion to a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2.      Meanwhile brush the steak with the remaining lime juice mixture. Push the vegetables to the outer edges of the broiler pan and place the steak in the center. Broil, turning once, for 10 minutes, or until medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut the steak into two pieces. Then slice it into strips.*

3.      Place the tortillas under the broiler for 30 seconds to warm through. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and sour cream. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates. Dividing evenly, top the tortillas with the steak strips, pepper and onion mixture, salsa, lettuce and yogurt mixture.

Note: This recipe can also be prepared on a grill.

*Flank steak tends to be tough; for tender fajitas, cook the steak just until it is medium-rare, then carve it this way: Cut the steak in half; with the grain, then carve it across the grain at a steep angle into 1/4- inch-thick slices.

Makes 4 servings. Nutritional information for each serving:
349 calories, 38 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 3.7 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:
  Veronica Strabel

I want to offer Veronica Strabel special thanks for sharing her success with us. Here is her story:

On May 6, 2003 my life changed dramatically and would never be the same again.  I was on my way to the operating room to have gastric bypass surgery performed.  The decision to have the surgery was an easy one for me. I had struggled for years with my weight and had tried everything under the sun to lose it.  I was on Weight Watchers 3 separate times, joined aerobics classes, took prescription weight loss pills and even tried the drugs Phen Fen/Redux.  Of course all of these methods worked for a little while, but as soon as I had to stop them for one reason or another, the weight came back on and brought more with it.

I was on a family vacation in Hawaii when I realized that I had to do something dramatic about my weight or I was just going to get heavier and be miserable the rest of my life.  I went to my family doctor and he agreed with me that I was a candidate for weight loss surgery and recommended I find a surgeon I felt comfortable with. 

I found Dr. Waldrep at the Sacramento Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeons Association.  He was very helpful and knowledgeable and I felt very comfortable with him right from the start.  I went to a meeting with him and signed up right then to get the process started and get me on my way to having surgery.  I was very lucky in my process for surgery; I had to see a nutritionist, bariatric surgeon and psychologist before I could even be accepted by my insurance company to have the procedure done.  I passed all of the testing and I got my surgery date.  I only had to wait 4 months; I was the happiest girl on the planet. 

For the first month after surgery, I stayed at my parent’s house so that I had someone to help me, watch over me, and make sure I followed the rules.  I was very strict with myself. I was determined to do this right and I did not want to mess anything up.  If the doctor told me to eat soft foods for 1 week, I did it for 2 weeks.  I started losing pounds the first day.  I lost a pound a day, and I was amazed. 

I decided to be out of work for a month so that I was not around others eating and getting me back into the bad habits at lunch times and snacking.  Snacking was a big huge NO NO.  After the first week, I was able to start exercising so that I could start losing faster.  At first, I only did a few minutes on the treadmill since I still weighed well over 200 pounds and could not do too much.  After a little while I was able to do more. I started walking around outside more and kept losing a pound or two a day.  I weighed myself every single day two or three times to see how much I was losing. It was very exciting to see the scale change. 

Once I went back to my house and was living on my own, I started working out at a place for women called “Curves.” It has machines in a circle that you use for 30 seconds each and you go around three times.  I noticed right away the changes to my body. I was losing inches and pounds now. 

I was constantly having to buy clothes since I was losing so rapidly now and none of my clothes fit from one week to the next.  I became a big fan of the thrift stores and Goodwill. 

I kept working out for the whole first year. Since I was only 30 years old, my elasticity was still good enough that I could tighten up my skin so that hopefully after I was done losing the weight I wanted to, I wouldn’t need to have plastic surgery.

My diet changed too. I was no longer able to eat certain things like ice cream, sugar, chicken, spicy foods or large portions.  Everything I ate had to have more protein then carbohydrates in it.  I ate several times day, small meals of course, since my new stomach was now the size of my thumb.  I am supposed to have lots of protein a day, 80 ounces of water a day and exercise.  It definitely takes some getting used to, but I am doing it. 

The only two issues I had after surgery were that I had to have my gall bladder removed around my 9th month post-op.  I found out that rapid weight loss causes your gall bladder to dysfunction.   Around the 10th month post-op, I started losing hair. I was told this would happen if I did not get enough protein in my body.  I lost about half my thickness of hair on my head.  Therefore, I guess that tells you why my hair is so thin now! 

It was a long first year, but when I hit my 1 year anniversary of my surgery, I had lost 100 pounds.  I went on to lose 37 pounds more and have maintained it for 5 years.  I lost a grand total of 137 pounds and recommend this procedure to anyone thinking about it. 

Please know that I love to talk about it all and will share anything else anyone wants to know.  Hopefully this helped some of you to get to know me better.  Thanks for listening.

Veronica Strabel


Congratulations Veronica


  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 e-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 a personal notification  when it is ready for you to read? It's simple! Just go to  and scroll down to the subscription form. After filling out the form and submitting it, watch for an email that asks you to CONFIRM your subscription. 

Your subscription is not complete until we
get this confirmation back!

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them signup for our notification service.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of your newsletter notification email message 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