Issue #192 August 15, 2010

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In This Issue

* Look Into My Eyes, You Are Getting Sleep?
* Experiencing Numbness
* Back on Track with Barbara
* Recipe: Grilled Lemon Chicken
* Inspiration to Lose
* Success Story: Bill Burkett

Look Into My Eyes,
  You Are Getting Sleepy?

I have always been one who has no appreciation of sleep. I felt too much sleep was just a waste of time.  There was so much living to do, and I never wanted to sleep my life away. But I never stopped to think how a lack of sleep might have affected my health and my weight.

Sleep affects the part of your brain called the hypothalamus which regulates appetite. The hypothalamus impacts how much of the hormone ghrelin (an appetite stimulant) is produced and leptin (which regulates satiety, or the feeling of fullness) is produced. The less sleep we have, the higher the ghrelin and the lower the leptin.  No wonder we are hungry.

In addition to these 2 hormones, when we are tired we are less energetic, and our resistance against food is weaker.  In general people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  Some require more and some less.

So how do you manage to get in that much sleep per night? You must plan for it, just as you would plan others things in your life.  It is all part of taking good care of yourself, and realizing that you deserve to be healthy and happy.

Here is a link to a WebMD article on the subject

Here is a link to an article in USA Today

Experiencing Numbness

Hi Barbara,
Do you have any information on gastric bypass and neuropathy?  I had my surgery in 2004 and about 2 years ago began experiencing numbness in my feet.  I went the route of testing and going to a neurologist.  No underlying cause can be seen, but he suggested it may have something to do with the bariatric surgery.  There is so much on the web about this, but I value your input.


Hi Chris,
Peripheral neuropathy, or numbness in the hands and feet can be caused by a lack of B-12. A lack of B-12 can damage the sheath that surrounds and protects nerves. Gastric bypass patients are very susceptible to a lack of B-12, because we have a lack of gastric acid which helps in the absorption of B-12.

B-12 can be added to your diet by taking vitamin supplements, by taking B-12 sublingually (under the tongue) or by taking B-12 injections. Foods rich in B-12 include red meats, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy. Vegetarian bypass patients are especially susceptible to a lack of B-12, because the vegetarian diet excludes those foods rich in B-12.

It is very easy to have your B-12 levels checked.  A simple blood test does it.  But it is unusual to have your B-12 levels checked by your primary care physician. If you are going to your bariatric surgeon for annual visits, then your B-12 levels are routinely checked. This is just one of the many reasons why follow-up visits with your surgeon are so important.

Have your B-12 levels checked and consider taking B-12 supplements. Best wishes.

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?

Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you need to get yourself back on track!

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

It’s So Good to Hear

I recently received the following email regarding an appreciation of all of the work that goes into this newsletter. It was so good to hear!

Dear Barbara,
I just want to praise the great job you and Frank do on your newsletter. 

I recently began writing for an on-line newspaper, and it was agonizing just to set up my page!  The work you do to produce your very readable and well arranged - not to mention interesting and timely and well-researched - newsletter is phenomenal.  I hope all your readers realize what it takes for this to happen.

Keep up the good work.  I look forward to the newsletter, and I hope you keep it going forever!

Carole Kane

  Grilled Lemon Chicken

This is definitely the time of the year to grill, and chicken on the grill is wonderful.  This is a recipe that couldn’t be easier to make, and is low in calories and high in protein!

Grilled Lemon Chicken

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 chicken breast halves (skin not eaten)
4 lemons, halved crosswise

Make a marinade by combining the lemon zest and juice, oregano, oil, 2 teaspoons of coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the marinade and chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag. Shake to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium; lightly oil the grates. Remove chicken from marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken, skin side up, on grill. Lower the lid and cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, and cook until well browned, 10 to 15 minutes (an instant-read thermometer should register 175 degrees when inserted into thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bone. If chicken is browning too quickly, move to a cooler part of the grill, or turn the grill to low heat.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Tent with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place lemon halves on the grill, cut side down; cook until slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with grilled lemon halves. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving:
155 calories, 2 grams fat, 17 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates.

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

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

Success Story:
Bill Burkett

I want to offer a special thanks to Bill Burkett for submitting an article about him that appeared in his local newspaper. Here is his story:

 Springfield TWP, Ohio —

Social Studies teacher, Bill Burket said he has struggled with weight issues for a long time.  “I was a big guy all through high school and college,” said the 1986 Springfield High School graduate. “My health was good, I really had no issues but my dad passed away and he had blood pressure issues and sugar issues so I knew it was in my family. I hit 40 and I thought, here I was 400 pounds and the health issues were in my family, I knew I was bound to have something happen to me health wise.”

Burket had success on Weight Watchers, losing 90 pounds. But he gained it back and lost it again and gained it back.

His doctor had mentioned gastric bypass surgery but Burket said, “I was not real keen on doing that.”  The doctor said that Weight Watchers is the best way to go if he did not want to have the surgery.  Eventually, he decided to try the surgery hoping to help eliminate health issues down the road.

“The surgery is done laparoscopic now so there were no big incisions but it is not as easy as it may sound. You do not just go in have the surgery,” Burket said.   He stated that it is a four-to-six month learning process before you can have the surgery.  First there is an informational meeting and the doctor is there and he explains it and shows a video of the surgery. Patients undergo an interview to decide if the patient is a candidate. Patients have a physician guided weight lost program, followed by a psychological evaluation.

Classes about eating habits are mandatory. “They train you to give up the things you will have to give up after you have surgery,” he said. “They want you to give them up before the surgery so you do not come home after and you haven’t trained for this.” Burket met with a nutritionist, a nurse and the doctor before he began. He had to lose 15 pounds before the surgery.  “I was 407 when I entered the program and I gave up pop and fast food and lost 30 pounds in a month so I was ready for the surgery,” he said.

Burket underwent surgery on  April 23, 2008. At the time he weighed 372 pounds.  He lost 100 pounds in the first three or four months. At his six-month checkup, Burket was at his goal weight, which is to lose 60 percent of your excess weight.

He currently weighs in the 170s and he has lost over 235 pounds.  “I went from a size 58 waste to a 34,” Burket said. “I feel a lot better, and I can shop now. I do not have to go to just the big and tall shop. I can shop anywhere. I was wearing 4X and 5X shirts. Now I wear a large.”

He still attends meetings and helps others through their surgeries.

Burket’s surgery was completed by Dr. Walter Chlysta’s off at Akron General Hospital. “They were great I could call anytime and talk with someone at the doctor’s office. It is like a family, it is a wonderful program,” he said.  “They say it is the easy way out but I challenge anyone. It is not easy,” he said. “It is a lot of advance planning. You give up a lot. I was a sweets-eater. I wanted the sweet taste. I would buy a box of Fruity Peebles and go home and eat the whole box. Now if I eat sugar it will make me sick.” Burket said sugar or alcohol hits a gastric bypass patient faster because the sugar absorbs faster, resulting in sickness.

Burket runs marathons now. He eats almost anything but the sugar.  “I still have my sweet tooth,” he said. “I love doughnuts. I can tolerate something that has less than 10 grams of sugar in it, if I have over that I get sick,” he said.  

“My back doesn’t hurt any more. My knees don’t bother me. My sleep apnea is gone and I can get up and down the steps easily. I can walk five or six miles without breathing heavy. I am so much more active now. I have more energy to teach and I am involved more in extra things,” he said. “I have a more positive outlook on life and I get tired now because I do so much not from carrying weight around.”

Burket said he had a good support system of friends and family. Today he is helping others that want to lose the weight and be healthier.

“It may not be for everyone but it does not hurt to check it out and talk with someone,” he said. “There are ups and downs, but it has made a difference in my life.”

Congratulations Bill

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.

Barbara Thompson

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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