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.

Issue #144

July 1, 2008


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In This Issue


* Help for a Reader
* Four Things EVERY Weight Loss Surgery Patient Needs to Know about Emotional Eating
* Ask Barbara: Living Skin Donation Program
* Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Dill Sauce
* Success Story: Lorraine Evans

Help for a Reader
If you are a Type 1 Diabetic (NOT Type 2) and have had gastric bypass surgery, please contact me.  One of our readers is having a difficult time and needs some folks to reach out to.

Email me at

Four Things EVERY Weight Loss
  Surgery Patient Needs to Know
  about Emotional Eating

This is a very interesting article on emotional eating that was submitted by Melissa McCreery. I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Four things EVERY Weight Loss Surgery Patient Needs to Know about Emotional Eating:

By Melissa McCreery, PhD

It’s very possible to be an emotional eater and not know it.
Emotional eating isn’t always as straightforward as feeling a feeling (“I’m anxious”) and then choosing to eat.  Here’s the tricky part. Over time, if you’ve learned to use food as a way to cope with certain feeling states or situations, your brain may stop identifying that you are eating for emotional reasons. For instance, if when you’re stressed, you reach for a snack to comfort yourself, over time, your brain may stop telling you, “You are stressed and you are going to try to cope with it by eating a cookie.”

Over time, your brain may stop identifying the emotion and move directly to interpreting that stressed feeling as physical hunger. You might not even realize that you are feeling stress. Your thinking will go like this: Something stressful will happen and you will start wanting a snack. You might even feel physically hungry. Food, not stress, will be the central thought in your mind.

If you are someone who feels hungry “all the time,” emotional eating could very well be playing a hidden role.

Emotional eating and self-blame, shame and guilt travel together.
If you are feeling “out of control with your eating,” odds are that emotional eating is happening. The problem is, if emotional eating goes unrecognized, or if we don’t take it seriously, it’s easy to fall into a trap of guilt and self-blame for not being able to “stay in control” of your eating.

Shame and guilt are never helpful when it comes to long term weight loss. They tend to breed isolation, negative self esteem, decreased hope, and ultimately more emotional eating and self-sabotage. If you are struggling with emotional eating and you don’t learn the tools you need to cope with the feelings, the odds are that you will continue to feel out of control with food.

If you don’t take control of emotional eating, it can take control of your weight loss plans.
Research studies of individuals trying to lose weight find that people who eat for emotional reasons lose less weight and have a harder time keeping it off. A recent study concluded that successful weight loss programs need to teach clients how to cope with emotional eating in order to improve the clients’ ability to lose weight and not regain it. The risk of weight gain is not the only reason that emotional eating is important to address. Failure to address emotional eating—using food to cope with feelings and needs and circumstances other than physiological hunger—can also contribute to difficulties with cross-addictions after weight loss surgery.

If emotional eating is something that you struggle with, it’s important to know that no diet and no weight loss surgery will fix that for you.
Taking control of emotional eating requires learning new effective ways to cope with your emotions—this part isn’t about the food.

It’s also important to know that learning new tools to cope with emotional eating can be one of the most rewarding and life-changing gifts that you can give yourself. Learning new ways to cope with life issues and feelings allows you to tackle life head-on. When you do this, food becomes simpler, and your life grows bigger, and ultimately, more rewarding.

Melissa McCreery, Ph.D. is a Psychologist and the founder of Enduring Change Coaching. She helps her clients create and live the life they crave. She is also the creator of the Emotional Eating Toolbox (TM) 28-day Program for Taking Control and Moving Beyond Dieting. Sign up for her free 5 part Self-care Package Audio Course, learn about upcoming WLS teleclasses and programs for emotional eaters, or contact her at

Back on Track 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 with warm weather here?

 Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you need!

For More Information and to Join

Ask Barbara: What happens with our leftover skin?
Living Skin Donation Program

Hi Barbara,
I have loved your newsletters and I have just about read the last year's worth again looking for information on donating skin as option if plastic surgery is not affordable or covered by insurance. I know you had an article on that.

I had surgery March 7, 2008 so I have a while to go before this is a reality.  Since surgery I have lost 65 pounds and have another 100 to lose. My surgery was done in Durham NC at Duke WLS program. They require their patients to purchase your book .Can you help me find your article? 

Keep up the wonderful support you are doing for all of us. Once I get down the road, I will gladly do a success story for you. 


Hi Patty,
I am asked that question often.  There is an organization that collects skin left over after plastic surgery and supplies it to such people as burn victims and those having breast reconstruction. The organization is called the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation.  They do not buy skin, but they do find it a good home. As it is illegal to buy organs, it is also illegal to buy skin (which actually is our largest organ).

Here is their website The program is called the Living Skin Donation program.


If you have a question, email it to me at

Grilled Chicken with Dill Sauce

Grilling out this 4th of July?  Try this grilled chicken that is moist, and full of flavor.

Grilled Chicken with Dill Sauce

8 boneless chicken breast halves (2 pounds) skinned
½ cup reduced calorie Italian salad dressing
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
Vegetable cooking spray
Lime wedges
Dill sauce

Trim fat from the chicken. Place each piece of chicken between 2 pieces of waxed paper and flatten to ¼ inch thickness using either a meat mallet or rolling pin. Place the chicken in a 9”x13” baking dish. Combine the next 5 ingredients in a small bowl, pour over the chicken.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove the chicken from marinade, and discard marinade. Coat the grill with cooking spray. Grill chicken 6 inches over medium coals for 8 minutes turning once.

Arrange chicken on a serving platter and garnish with lime wedges. Serve either warm or chilled with 1 ½ Tbsp. Dill Sauce per serving.

Dill Sauce
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
¼ cup low fat 1% cottage cheese
1 ½ tsp. lime juice
1 ½ tsp. chopped green onion
½ tsp. dried whole dill weed
1/8 tsp. White pepper

Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Cover and chill thoroughly. Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Information per serving:
154 calories, 17 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, 3 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:
  Lorraine Evans

I want to offer a special thanks to Lorraine Evans. Here is her story:

Wake-up Call

It has been two years and four months since I found myself struggling to breathe. There I sat on the side of my bed with my Service Dog leaning into me and licking me to keep me in the here and now. I clung to her as I was struggling to cling to life. I tried to relax to get air. I tried using my CPAP machine with a setting of 16, for air. I knew I needed to make a call for help but how would I? I was breathless, immobile and trapped?

That one call was to my health advocate. She knew the in’s and out’s of my circumstances and she would understand my distress signal even if I were silent. I made the call. I was gasping for air but managed to get out only one word: “hospital.” She called the ambulance, raced home to meet the EMT folks, followed the ambulance to the hospital, and spent the night watching me on oxygen, struggling to breathe. I nearly died. As she watched me hang between life and death, the thought came to her mind, ‘Take note, this could be you ten years from now if you fail to take preventive action now.’

By God’s mercy, my life was spared. And not only mine, but also the life of my friend, for on that day we each made life-changing choices.

The milestones have been these:

v     April 19, 2006—I attended Dr. Verseman’s seminar on bariatric surgery. As I waddled in that evening accompanied by my Service Dog and health advocate, using a walker and portable oxygen, there was a kind and compassionate-looking gentlemen who calmly and patiently came from behind and held the door open for me. Yep, you guessed it. It was Dr. Verseman!

v     May 9, 2006—I met with Dr. Verseman for the bariatric surgery preliminaries. I would be having RNY gastric bypass surgery.

v     The next three months—I prepared for surgery and lost 50 pounds by mere portion control and learning how to sip water day and night, night and day.

v     August 4, 2006, my surgery

v     The next months—I spent this time adapting and adopting a new way of eating for life and health.

v     While I do not remember the date, I well remember the glorious feeling of success the day the durable and medical equipment people came to take all the oxygen paraphernalia out of the house, as well as the day I folded up my walker and put it in the closet!

v     April 19, 2008—After many other milestone, on that day, two years to the very day and at the same time and place as I attended my first seminar on bariatric surgery, I stood with my Service Dog and friend by my side announcing to fellow sojourners and celebrating not only my weight loss, but the weight loss of all of us. And Barbara Thompson was there, too, to offer her support and encouragement with a blue ribbon for each of us, telling us that we are winners by being losers!

I understood that my hospital experience was a wake-up call. On oxygen 24/7 and housebound and chair-bound, within 2-3 weeks after coming home from the hospital at over 400 pounds, I began a rigorous program of pursuing health that has led to my losing over 200 pounds in the last twenty-one months. And I am still working hard to pursue health. Within recent weeks I got the latest blood work report, and most people would be envious of my numbers! My journey – a new journey has just begun.

Even though my friend was only on the sidelines, she also heard a wake-up call: ‘Take note. This could be you ten years from now if you fail to take preventive action now.’ So she too has worked hard at pursuing health over the last two years. Her journey has been through a different means and she would tell you she has worked not as consistently, but nevertheless hard! By God’s grace she has been able to get to the gym fairly regularly, and by His grace she has been able to shed 65 pounds. Both of us have further to go, and it’s slow-going these days, but we both heard a wake-up call and heeded it.

When I got my wake-up call, I heard it and got into action within weeks. From the sidelines my friend heard it chiming for her as well, and she got into action within weeks. There has been much work, but also a lot of reward. I wish each person well who embarks upon this journey to health!


Lorraine Evans

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 Lorraine

Attention Nurse Educators

Preparing for COE Status?

Would You Like to Have

Obesity Sensitivity Training for

Your Hospital Staff?

(Guess What - It May Be Free)

Speaking for Hospitals

If you are a bariatric coordinator or nurse educator and need obesity sensitivity training for your hospital staff, contact me at 877-440-1518 or  Obesity sensitivity training is a Center of Excellence requirement. I can help you find sponsorship that your hospital may qualify for.


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