Issue #206 April 15, 2011
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In This Issue

Social Networking

Recipe: Beef Ratatouille

Success Story: Susan Riddle

Social Networking

This newsletter is late because I was in New York at a meeting sponsored by the corporation, Ethicon Endo-Surgery and the Obesity Action Coalition.  The objective of the meeting was to reach out to the many people who are leaders in the weight loss surgery social media arena. I had the privilege of meeting some incredible people and hearing what other folks are doing.

What this means is that I will be posting on my blog again and really using my Facebook group. My goal is to get people talking about obesity in general and specifically, weight loss surgery.  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.

The interaction of people from all over will provide education and support to those who have interests and concerns about weight loss surgery and obesity.

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.

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.

Barbara Thompson's

Inspiration to Lose Weight

Weekly Email Messages that Will Keep
You Motivated to Lose Weight and Stay Healthy

Staying in the proper frame of mind to continue losing weight can be hard when life's challenges always lead you astray.  Weekly messages will keep you on a steady track to lose weight.

Start receiving weekly motivational messages today
to stay on track with your weight loss.

Click for more information

Queen of Mean Lashes Out

Arizona Governor Janice Brewer is the new Queen of Mean. Earlier this month she proposed a $50 annual “fat tax” on Medicaid recipients who are obese or chronically ill who do not follow their physician’s plan to lose weight or improve their health. Smokers and diabetics would also be targeted. With a Medicaid deficit, the Arizona Governor is hoping to make up the money on the backs of the poor.

As someone with a history of morbid obesity, I know that a $50 fee would not have cured my obesity. I spent far more than $50 trying to find a remedy. If it were that easy, we would not have such a weight epidemic. Unfortunately, the doctor’s advice is going to be to diet and exercise. For someone afflicted with obesity, the dieting will cause an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which will lead to an increase in appetite and a regain of weight.

Therefore what the Arizona Governor would do is to punish those who can afford it the least; those on Medicaid; those who often cannot afford to even buy healthy food. Many studies have shown that these punishments do not work. They are just unfair.

We all must be responsible for making healthy food choices as much as possible; however, it is not fair to penalize someone without offering them effective treatment options. Instead of being advised to diet and exercise, which has been shown to work in only 5% of the cases, what is needed is a variety of covered treatments and the subsidizing of healthy foods so a healthy lifestyle can be gradually reached.

If you are from Arizona, please write your Governor and voice your opinion. The Obesity Action Coalition has an Advocacy Alert on their home page.  That page will help you write your letter.

Please take action.

Beef Ratatouille

This is a recipe from David Fouts’ great cookbook, 90 Ways to Ditch Your Diet. Click here  to get your copy.


Beef Ratatouille



1 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into wedges

¾ lb. beef tenderloin, cut into thin strips

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup eggplant, peeled and cut into 1” cubes

1 cup zucchini, cut into 1” cubes

1 cup green bell peppers, cut into 1” pieces

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

¼ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano



1.      Heat oil in a sauté pan

2.      Add onion, beef tenderloin, and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes

3.      Add eggplant; sauté for 2 minutes

4.      Add zucchini and peppers; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are still crisp and brightly colored.

5.      Add remaining ingredients; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.


Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information for each serving

310 calories, 19 grams fat, 10 grams carbs

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:
Susan Riddle

I want to offer a special thanks to Susan Riddle for sharing her story with us. Here is her story:

Dear Barbara:
My name is Susan Riddle and I am 6 months post surgery for gastric bypass, and have lost 50 lbs so far.

My story is a little different than some of your other readers. You see I was never heavy until I got in my mid to late 40's. Prior to that, I weighed about 135 lbs and was very active and fit. My family then had a series of health problems and deaths, and the stress took a big toll on my weight.

When I turned 40, my mother had a massive stroke and almost died. During the next 6 years, she had 3 more, and ended up in a nursing home for a year. She died from the 4th stroke in March of 1996. That was a very stressful time, and as a result I gained weight. I frequently had to go to Florida to help take care of her. Of course my metabolism also slowed down in my 40's.

Then in 1999 my father had to be placed in an assisted living home because of dementia. Shortly after, my identical twin sister died very suddenly from a head injury sustained in a motorcycle accident. She was 48. My friend and mentor died a week later. Then my dad got sick and died 4 months later. All of these deaths happened in 1999.

The stress was incredible and I gained more weight. I really had a tough time, and didn't care what I ate. Then I hit my 50's, and went into menopause. and my metabolism slowed even more causing me to gain even more weight.

In December 2004, after trying different diets to lose weight, I had lap band surgery. It was a disaster for me. I only lost 15 lbs, and 10 lbs pre-surgery. Every time I had the band tightened, I would throw up every meal. And I wasn't losing weight! I couldn't eat much - just crunchy food and soft food, so I ate pudding, yogurt, and chips. I tried to eat healthy things like chicken, fish and salad, but I was getting sick all the time.

I really tried with the band, but they told me I was very sensitive to the fills. I later found out I also had a hiatal hernia which made my condition worse.

Finally after three years, I had the band removed. As a result of the surgery, I got an incisional hernia. I tried to diet with programs such as Weight Watchers, the Solutions Program, and mindful eating. I would lose a few pounds, but nothing substantial. I also tried to exercise.

Then about two years ago I found Dr. Fares in central New Jersey. He had an excellent pre-surgery and post-surgery program. I debated about the bypass for two years, and finally decided to do it. First I had to have my gall bladder removed and hernia repaired, which were done in July 2010. I had my gastric bypass surgery on Oct 12, 2010.

I am doing well, and have lost 50 lbs. I am eating small meals, and trying to walk every day. I feel just great. I am so glad I made the decision to have the surgery. Of course before I did, I was scared to death about the side effects and risks, and worried that I would fail at this as well. However, it has turned out to be a great decision.

I have never lost this much weight in my entire life. I am back to being more active. I plan on losing another 30 lbs. My goal weight is 135. I weigh 165 lbs. now. My highest weight was 217 lbs. pre-surgery. I have gone from a size 22 pants to a size 16. I am very excited about my progress.

I am learning to use my tool to my advantage. I turned 60 on November 27th, and plan for this to be my best year yet. I used to climb mountains, and plan on returning to that activity as I get thinner.  

Thank you so much for your newsletters. Your book, Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You  helped me decide to have the surgery, and prepare for it. You are an inspiration, and I am glad I decided to follow you on this weight loss journey.

Susan Riddle

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 Susan

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.




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