Issue #180 January 1, 2010

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In This Issue

*  Safety in Numbers
*  Are You a Food Addict
* Your Chance to Make a Difference
* Recipe: Crockpot Beef Stew
* Success Story: Ginnie Thompson

Safety in Numbers

Hi Barbara,
I am writing you on behalf of 7 of my gastric bypass friends. We have formed our own little support group as we do not get the support we need any more from our doctors or the hospital. We are all 3 or more years post-op.  Our problem is we are all at a standstill, and have some weight to lose yet or find ourselves gaining and becoming very depressed about it. We seem not to be as motivated as before. I have 40 pounds to lose yet, and am determined to lose them by Spring. I do subscribe to your newsletter and find it very helpful. Can you give us some hints on how to get out of this slump? We sure would appreciate it
Thank you so much
Mary Lou

Hi Mary Lou,
You are dealing with a very common problem. I canít tell you how many emails that I have received, expressing the same concern.  That is exactly why I started The Back on Track with Barbara Program.

One advantage that the eight of you have is that you can support each other. Here is what I suggest for your group:

1.  Break into groups of two so that whatever you do, you will have a specific buddy that you will be accountable to.  Your buddy should be the person who supports you and cheers you on.  Your buddy should be the person you will call or email when you are having a bad day.

2.  Have each person come up with 3 specific goals, write them down and give a copy to your buddy.

3.  Each goal should be very specific and you must be able to measure it. Otherwise, how will you know when you have reached the goal, or whether you need to step up your efforts?

I cannot give you, in a paragraph or 2, the essence of my Back on Track Program. It just isnít possible to distill 26 lessons down. But try the accountability technique within your group, and it will make a difference.


Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

Are you:

Suffering from emotional eating and canít stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and canít control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you donít 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!


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

Are you a food addict?

Are you a food addict?

None of us likes to admit to a food addiction, but it does play a significant role when considering causes of obesity, according to Dr. Valerie Taylor, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University and Director of the Bariatric Surgery Psychiatry Program at St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario.

The question remains, after we have weight loss surgery, does the addiction disappear? Is this something that we should be aware of as we manage our weight in the years to come? When we recognize the emotional eating that many of us fall prey to, is it really a food addiction that we are dealing with. This question is an important one to answer, because it makes a difference when selecting the most effective treatment.

The original article appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dec. 22, 2009. For more information, go to .

Calling All Long Term Post-Ops

Was your surgery 9 or more years ago?

If so please drop me an email.

Your Chance to Make a Difference

I am speaking to all of the people reading this who have had weight loss surgery. What if you wouldnít have been able to have the surgery? What if it wasnít available to you? How would your life be different? But you were fortunate and were able to have weight loss surgery, and it is working for you. 

Now think about the millions of people who havenít had their surgery yet? How about those who have tried to get insurance coverage and have been denied?   Do you care even a little about them, or do you feel that you had your benefit and they can worry about themselves?

We have all walked down the street and seen someone who is morbidly obese and thought to ourselves, ĎShould I tell them about weight loss surgery?í But we stop ourselves, because we know how it would have hurt us if a stranger had approached us before we lost weight. But what if there was no weight loss surgery anymore to tell them about? What if that benefit disappeared except for those who could afford to pay $25,000 out of their own pocket?

I am speaking to those of you who want to open up your hearts and pay it forward. It is getting more and more difficult to get coverage for weight loss surgery.  You can make a difference and help to ensure that the blessing that you received in being able to have surgery, is there for those coming behind you. You can do that by paying it forward. You can do that by joining the Obesity Action Coalition, for just $20 per year.

I am very proud to share with you that effective January 1st, I am Chairman of the Board of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support. It is the OAC that speaks for the obese and ensures that the rights of the obese are protected.

Here is your chance to make a difference in the lives of all obese people who are struggling with the lack of dignity, lack of confidence and persecution because of their weight. Your membership in the OAC is worth far more than just $20. It is a strong voice to the world that obese people should have the same rights and privileges as everyone else. Who knows, with the current health care reform, where care for the obese will come out? Who is in Washington advocating for the rights of the obese? The OAC is.   

Your membership provides you with an annual subscription to the magazine, Your Weight Matters, as well as a monthly e-newsletter. You will receive alerts on issues that need action and attention. But most important of all, you will lend your voice to the cause of obesity and help to provide representation in advocacy issues.

I hope that you will support our efforts by joining the Obesity Action Coalition.

  Crockpot Beef Stew

This is a great time for some comfort food. Beef stew is a great warming food for January.  This is low in calories and fat, and making it in a crockpot makes it so easy.  If you donít own a crockpot, put all ingredients in a large heavy pot and simmer covered about 2 Ĺ hours.  Add additional water as needed.

Crockpot Beef Stew

1 pound beef stew meat ó cubed, 1″
8 teaspoons McCormick Beef Stew seasoning ó (1/2 package)*
15 ounces green beans, fresh or frozen
15 ounces canned black beans (1 can)
15 ounces peas, fresh or frozen
15 ounces corn, fresh or frozen
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots sliced
3 cups water
Garnish with fresh chives

* If you can not find McCormick Beef Stew seasoning use another brand of seasoning or use your own favorite spices i.e.: salt, pepper, garlic, or onion soup mix

Put in a crock pot and simmer all day (about 8 hours or so).You just canít get any easier that that!

Makes 8 servings. Each serving:

345 calories, 20 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat, 8 grams fiber

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:
  Ginnie Thompson

My supply of success stories is still low.

Please support this newsletter by sending your story.

If you have reached your goal weight (or close to it), you have a success story to tell.  Be proud of your wonderful achievement and let the world celebrate with you.

If you are one of the many support group leaders who use my newsletters in your discussion groups, please encourage your members to submit their stories.

Send your success story with before and after photo files to me at and I will include your story in a future newsletter.

If you need help with the photo files, contact

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

Dear Barbara,
My turning point was in 2006 when my husband and I had to cut a golf vacation short because my knees hurt so badly.  I realized then that if I wanted to golf when I retired in a few years, that something needed to be done about my weight.  My knees couldn't carry all that weight around anymore. 

It seemed like my weight loss surgery journey took a long time.  I started the process by going to the mandatory support group meetings, a minimum of 3. My surgeon also required patients to lose 5% body weight.  I went to support group meetings and lost 30 pounds, more than the required 5%, over 6 months. 

In October 2007, I had RNY gastric bypass surgery.  I continued going to support group meetings, and joined some on-line support group sites as well.  I highly recommend getting as much support as possible. What other place to get advice and helpful hints then from those who have already gone through the process of weight loss surgery, and who have been successful. From those who have not been successful, you can learn to not make the same mistakes they did. 

It took me less than one year to lose 150 pounds following my surgery.  Prior to surgery I was an insulin dependent diabetic; now there is no signs of diabetes.  Two years out from surgery, and I've never felt better in my life, nor have I ever worn a size 8-10 in my life, other than shoes.  In my opinion the old saying, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" is right on. 

This year I have undergone some plastic surgery. I've had a belt lipectomy.  This is where the excess skin is pulled up from your tummy and tush, and even helps out your upper thighs.  I had a great plastic surgeon, Dr. Gregory Baum from Syracuse, New York.  He recommended the belt lipectomy over the tummy tuck, and I'm so glad I went for it.  I do have a scar that goes around my entire mid-section, but as time goes by the scar fades. 

Just a few weeks ago, I underwent my 2nd round of plastic surgery, having the excess skin removed from my thighs.  My legs were very bad and bothered me the most.  Prior to these surgeries I had heard many horror stories about plastic surgery, including stories from support group members who had surgeries themselves.  Dr. Baum, however, put me in contact with a person who had the surgeries I wanted, and she was kind enough to meet me and put my fears to rest.  There really wasn't much pain at all with the surgeries; in fact I'm going for my third and final surgery on my arms at the end of January. 

I'm so excited with the thought of having all this excess skin removed.  To answer the big question, yes, I did pay for this all out of pocket.  I equate it to the expense of a new car. What other vehicle would you want to put your money in than your own body?  What other vehicle do you drive as much?  I'm ecstatic with my new body and mental state now. 

Life is grand now!  In June I became a grandmother to a beautiful baby girl, and I just love being able to get down on the floor with her.  My recommendation to all weight loss surgery patients is to make a list of all your "WOW" moments, so you don't forget where you came from.  Write them down so you don't forget.  Just the little things in life, like the first time you were able to climb the stairs without thinking you needed oxygen; or the first time you crossed your legs, without having to use your hand and arms to get the one leg over the other one.  I was so happy the first time I flew on a plane after weight loss surgery.  It thrilled me not to have to use a seatbelt extender, and it thrilled my husband not to have to share part of his seat!!  Another WOW moment was going horseback riding.  I wasn't ever able to horseback ride due to exceeding the weight limitation.  The WOW moments are just endless now.

I hope I've touched someone with this success story.  Things weren't always easy for me, and it took me a few months after weight loss surgery to realize I had made the correct choice by having the surgery.  Now each day I'm so thankful for everything, and appreciate everything all the more!

Ginnie Thompson,
Syracuse, New York

Congratulations Ginnie


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