Issue #201 January 15, 2011

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In This Issue

Strategies for Change

Back on Track with Barbara
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
Inspiration to Lose Weight
New Year’s Resolutions: The Results
Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables and Pork
Success Story: Margery Singer

Strategies for Change

I recently read a very interesting article in the AARP Magazine about lifestyle changes to lose weight. Do lifestyle changes really work, or are you just shuffling around the calories, and kidding yourself? Why not just diet and be done with it?

Well, why continue to do something that has been shown to fail in 95% of cases, and usually makes the situation worse? It is crazy that we keep doing something (dieting) that we have failed with over and over.

So how do we lose weight if we have regained some weight, or if we have never reached our goal weight? The answer is, we make lifestyle changes. And the recent article that I referred to has a great list of lifestyle-change suggestions, some of which are unique.

For instance, one suggestion is to use a smaller plate. Most of us have heard that before, but it really does make a difference. People eat 22% more from a 12-inch plate rather than a 10-inch plate. This could make a difference of almost 140 calories each day, or about 14 pounds per year.  Wouldn’t it be great to weigh 14 pounds less this time next year, just by using a smaller plate?

There are many other strategies such as eating a piece of fruit and a vegetable at every lunch and dinner. Another is to refrain from using serving dishes at meal time.  Fill your plate from pots on the stove. You are likely to eat 19% less than if food is in serving bowels right in front of you.

After offering a number of interesting strategies, the article recommends picking 3 strategies that you would like to try for a month. List each strategy on a chart and across from each strategy number 1-31 for each day of the month. Each day that you do any of the strategies, put an X and at the end of the month, you will be able to see which you did easily, and which were difficult for you. Then analyze if you want to replace the difficult strategy with one you are more likely to do, or just try harder for another month. Then track your weight to see if the strategies have made a difference.

It is really worth reading the entire article which can be found here.

We all need to learn how to eat in a different way. Get away from diets and try to incorporate lifestyle changes for true weight loss, and a long and healthy life.

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.

Its Still Time to get started with that New Year's Resolution!

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 is just what you
need to start your plan 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 D: The Sunshine Vitamin
I had my annual checkup last week, and found that I am deficient in Vitamin D. I have never been bothered by that deficiency before, so I wanted to be sure I understood how serious it might be, why the deficiency is showing up now, and what I might do about it.  Here is what I found.

Those of us who have had gastric bypass surgery are prone to Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is absorbed in the first part of the small intestines which is the part of the intestines that is bypassed in our surgery. It has been found that gastric bypass patients absorbed only about 50% of the vitamin D that they should in their normal diets, therefore supplementation is necessary.

A deficiency of Vitamin D does have serious consequences.  It causes fatigue, but even more so, it affects the amount of calcium that you absorb.  Therefore. it can lead to more serious problems of osteoporosis. It is also important in your body’s ability to fight off cancer, especially in women, and it affects your immune system. These are all very serious side effects.

I still wondered why this was showing up 11 years after my surgery, when I haven’t been doing anything significantly different. A study done by Ohio State University found that the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency varies from 17% at 9-18 months post-surgery to 63% at four years after surgery. Another study found that Vitamin D deficiency increased from 15% to 48% from the first year after surgery to the 4th year. It appears that the further we get away from our surgery, the more prone to the deficiency we are. This is a deficiency that creeps up on us.

Therefore, those of you who have consistently found that your Vitamin D levels have been OK, and don’t bother having them checked anymore, should rethink that. Be sure to have your Vitamin D levels checked in your next blood test.  If you are found to be deficient, a 2006 study reported in the Annals of Surgery recommends a daily supplement of Vitamin D. Some feel that a minimum of 5,000 IU’s is what should be taken. But before rushing out and buying supplements, have your blood tested, and if a deficiency is found, talk with your doctor about supplements. The kind if Vitamin D that you want is D3, so watch for that form.

In addition to taking supplements, you can get limited amounts of Vitamin D from exposure to the sun, which is difficult to accomplish in the middle of winter. You can also eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D.  These include egg yolks, fish, fish oil, some cheese, beef liver and some types of grain.

We concentrate so much on our weight levels that we often forget such things as vitamins and calcium. You don’t want to end up thin, but so fatigued or plagued by osteoporosis that you can’t enjoy life.

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

New Year’s Resolutions: The Results

In the last newsletter, I asked readers to take a survey about New Year’s resolutions and many of you took me up on that.  I appreciate it very much.  Here are the results:

1   Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year?
            84.1%              Yes
            15.9%              No

2.  What does your resolution have to do with?
            68.4%              Weight Loss
            61.4%              Exercise
            21%                 More time for Yourself
            3.5%                Smoking
            33%                 Other

Under “Other” most people commented how they wanted to be better to themselves. Here are some of their responses:
            Focus on positive achievements
            Do 1 good thing for myself daily
            Have more meaningful connections with friends and family
            Read for pleasure every day
            Do more positive self-talk
            Volunteer more
            Have more healthy habits – vitamins, flossing, water
            Take classes to learn more about myself

3.  Have you made resolutions in the past?
            98.2 %             Yes
            1.8 %               No

4. Do you always make resolutions?
            28.6%              Always
            71.4%              Sometimes

5. Were you successful in the past?
            0%                   Always
            78.6%              Sometimes
            21.4%              Never

6. If you weren’t successful in the past, why did you fail? 
The most common responses included:
            Old habits got in the way
            I set unattainable goals
            Life got in the way
            Lack of motivation
            Lack of commitment
            Lack of planning        

I hope this survey will help you in the future, especially the responses that readers were kind enough to share concerning why they failed.  Hopefully this will help you when you are planning future resolutions.  And remember that you can set a resolution at any time, not just on New Year’s Day.        

Roasted Root Vegetables and Pork
This is a great recipe for winter from Chef David Fouts’ cookbook, 90 Ways to Ditch Your Diet, which is a great book of 90 recipes for 30 days.

Roasted Root Vegetables and Pork


2 medium onions, thinly sliced
¾ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
½ pound carrots cut into 2” pieces
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. dried dill
1 lb. lean pork loin, cut into 2” pieces
2 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 400° F.

2.  Toss cut vegetables, oil, garlic, dill, pork, lime juice, chili powder, pepper, and salt in a bowl.

3.  Transfer vegetables and pork to a baking sheet and roast in a 400° F oven for about 45 minutes, or until pork reaches 170° F.

4.  During the last 30 minutes of roasting, toss every 10 minutes to ensure burning does not occur on any one side.

Makes 6 servings. Nutritional values per serving:
290 calories, 14 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 24 grams protein

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:
Margery Singer

I still need more success stories.  I have a few with no pictures. So please be sure to include a before and after picture as jpg attachments.  We need your motivation!

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

Dear Barbara,
I have many stories to tell about having lap band surgery in 2006 - and I so enjoy reading your newsletter.  But the immediate reason I am writing is that you recently asked us to respond to you if we were too thin.  I am borderline, weighing 105, 5' 4", BMI 18.  I lost 15 pounds because of my last problem due to the surgery, so I feel I definitely need to gain weight back.  I am bony all over.

I had surgery when I weighed 239 pounds, at the age of 53.   From age 25 to 53, my weight fluctuated from "normal" to 20, 40, 60, 80 pounds overweight.  I would diet every 18 months for 25 years. I lost the necessary amount of weight, mostly through healthy eating and exercising, only to gain it back again.  Finally I said, I cannot do this on my own.  I needed to gain control, I needed to give myself a chance at happiness, and I needed to be healthy, although I had no signs whatsoever of being unhealthy, except for my emotional health. So at the suggestion of a very good friend who had the lap band, I did as well.

I lost 100 pounds within 7 months, so by December through March after my surgery, I was looking and feeling good.  During the 4 to 5 following years, I have had a series of what I would call minor problems, but I have never once regretted having surgery. None the less, I have had 4 additional surgeries since having had the lap band put in.

I went through a long series of purposely vomiting, not because of any desire to be thinner, but I felt the food was stuck, and couldn't get the food down.  I have had a series of pains in my stomach over the years, yet I could eat a pint of ice cream nightly, and I did.  My four follow-up surgeries were:

-  the first one, a year after surgery - my band slipped.
-  the second, probably a year after that - my port flipped
-  the third as recently as April 2010 - my tubing was wrapped around my intestines
-  and in October 2010 -  my 4th, and hopefully my last, they replaced the band and broke up a lot of scar tissue

For 1 month prior to my last surgery, I could hardly eat at all, maybe two bites, so I tried to eat a lot throughout day. I was, however, hardly consuming any calories, and I was in pain. So my surgeon came up with this diagnosis confirmed by my internist who did an endoscopy, and saw a very narrow band, with no fill. By that time, I had lost 15 pounds, and I was ranging in weight from 103 pounds to 120 pounds.

The option was mine to have the band replaced or take out the band.  Both my surgeon and internist thought I should get the band replaced.  I struggled not knowing what I would do without the band. Would I go back to terrible eating habits to fill my empty soul, or say "look at all I have been through," take hold, and not use food to take care of the emotional emptiness?  The band doesn't do it.  But I say, it saved my life.  I look good which was of utmost importance to me at this time in my life.  I couldn't afford to hide anymore.  I am healthy.  I had the band replaced

So the long answer is, I feel much too thin and bony, and will try to gain 15 pounds of the weight back responsibly, without eating empty calories.

I am a big supporter of the band and bariatric surgery, and what it can do for you.  In many ways, it's a life-saver. However, it's up to the patient to do a lot of work in terms of eating habits, exercising, and tackling the most difficult aspect of all, the reason for emotional overeating. The band doesn't fix that.  I am grateful to have wonderful doctors that care for me, Dr.. Kurian, my surgeon, and Dr. Yaffe and Dr. Ruden, my internists.

I would never have thought I would have 4 surgeries in 4 years. I've decided that if I'm not better now, long term, I probably won't go through another bariatric surgery. I would have the band removed.  I say that now, but I can't swear to it. 

Barbara, thank you so much for your newsletters.  I find them so interesting.

Margery Singer

Congratulations Margery

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

Drink Your Vitamins


Vitamin D,
and more

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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