Issue #222 July, 2012

In This Issue

A Simple Solution

Back on Track with Barbara
Obesity Action Coalition Inaugural Convention

Staying Hydrated

You Can't Pass Up This Dummies Deal!!
The Worst Thing
Recipe: Grilled Summer Squash and Chicken
Success Story: Heather Sweet

A Simple Solution

In the Back on Track with Barbara Program (See below), there is a reminder that goes out to everyone on a weekly basis. The reminder is ,"What are you doing to get back on track this week?" Someone responded to this on the yahoo group,  "Drinking water, walking, and thinking about what I am eating."

As simple as this sounds, the part about "thinking about what I am eating" is so important. If we can develop a sense of self-awareness, we are a huge step ahead in the weight-loss battle. It is the mindless eating that gets us into trouble. Food may be sitting out, we walk by, and into our mouths it goes, without a thought. We may also have a feeling like we just want to eat something, not out of hunger, but out of habit, or boredom, or loneliness, or anger, or a hundred other reasons that have nothing to do with hunger.

And it is also the lack of planning, that gets us into trouble (a cousin to "not thinking about what you are eating").  If you have ever gotten stuck trying to decide what to have for supper, there is nothing in your refrigerator to eat, and you pull into a fast-food restaurant and order something that you know is bad for you, you know exactly what I mean. If you can pick a day of the week when you plan out your meals, and then shop for all of the ingredients, then that is wonderful. Better yet, if you could make the meals ahead of time, you get the gold star!

Thinking about what you are eating can make the difference between success and failure. It just takes a little bit of planning and a little bit of self-awareness and control to accomplish.

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 time for Summer swim suits!

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.

Obesity Action Coalition
  Inaugural Convention

October 25th to 28th the Obesity Action Coalition is having their inaugural convention in Dallas, TX. If you haven't yet registered, please go to to find out all about the convention and the incredible program that you don't want to miss.

Something that is easily overlooked is the free advocacy training for all those who are registered. It is Thursday afternoon from noon to 5:00 PM.

If you have ever wanted to know what you can do to help the OAC, then you want to be sure to register for the advocacy training as well. On the online registration, you have to indicate that you want to attend. Don't pass up this free opportunity!

Staying Hydrated

It was a really hot afternoon and we were visiting a local alpaca farm.  We had started out just talking, but the owner said, "Let me show you a couple of things." I had left my drink, which I normally take everywhere I go, in the car thinking that we wouldn't be that long.

We walked all over the 50 acre farm, and then into their gift shop.  What started out as a quick stop turned into 2 hours. And the heat was brutal.

That night, I got an incredible cramp in my thigh and I knew immediately what was going on. I was dehydrated. I had left my drink in the car, but when I finally got back to it, I didn't make up for all of the fluid I had lost. I have found that since my weight loss surgery, I need to drink much more water than I ever did before surgery, no matter what the temperature, but the summer is the worst.

The entire country is going through a heat wave right now, and that has some serious implications for dehydration.  Water keeps your body functioning. Without water, your organs will not work properly. And water is what flushes your body of toxins.

Here are some signs of dehydration to watch out for:

Feeling tired and cranky.
Leg cramps similar to a "Charlie Horse."
Having a headache.
Not needing to urinate, when you know normally you would have to go.
When you do urinate, your urine is a dark color. It should be the color of straw.
Feeling dizzy and disoriented.

To combat dehydration, you need to drink, but not any drink will do. Don't drink caffeine, because that will also dehydrate you. That is why you should watch out for sports drinks. Those that give you energy are often very high in caffeine. The caffeine gives you energy, but it also dehydrates you.

To combat dehydration, drink room temperature water rather than something ice cold. Liquids that are room temperature will be absorbed faster.

Eat foods that have a high water content such as watermelon and grapes. Not only are they high in water, but their natural sugar will give you some added energy. 

Summer is my favorite time of the year, however it can be a dangerous time, if you don't stay hydrated and then ignore the signs of dehydration. Enjoy, but be safe!

You Can't Pass Up This Dummies Deal!!


with a FREE Barbara Thompson Audio CD

For a limited time only.  Now is the time to add to your WLS information library by purchasing "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies" at the incredibly low price of just $5.00.  Order today!!

The Worst Thing
Dear Barbara,
I'm thinking of having gastric bypass surgery,  but I wonder about the dangers of it. What's the worst thing about it?

Dear Cathy.
I don't mean to be harsh, but the worst thing about weight loss surgery, is death. Now that being said, if you had asked me what the worst thing about gall bladder surgery was, I would have also said, "death." As with any surgery, there is a risk.  However, the risks of dying as a result of weight loss surgery are actually lower than having gall bladder surgery. Weight loss surgery is a relatively safe surgery. Only about 1/2 of 1% die, and many of those who do die, are in very bad condition going into surgery.

What you have to also consider is, if you are severely obese, which you would have to be to qualify for surgery, you are at risk of dying from many conditions that are brought on by obesity - diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, respiratory problems, and sleep apnea, to name a few.  You may not have these yet, but as you get older, they become more and more likely.

Apart from the mortality rate, the worst thing for me is that I have trouble tolerating certain foods. I cannot eat foods that are dry such as a chicken breast or pork roast. I can however eat and enjoy a chicken thigh or a pork chop that is cooked so it is very moist. But that is a small price to pay for how much better I feel since having my weight loss surgery over 12 years ago. I wouldn't think of trading it in for a chicken breast!

I can also eat very little at a sitting, and that sometimes bothers me. I may be in a restaurant and be thoroughly enjoying a heavenly meal, and I have to stop eating. I know that if I take another bite, I will throw up. I just ask for the meal in a take-out box and then enjoy it later. That also is a small price to pay for my life.

The quality of my life now is vastly different than it would have been if I hadn't had surgery. I can physically do much more. Without having had weight loss surgery, I would be in a wheel chair right now. I would also be living with the horrible feeling of being a failure. Failing at dieting over and over certainly works on how you feel about yourself. It is difficult to have high self-esteem, when you can see disgust or pity on everyone's faces as they look at you. 

Whether to have weight loss surgery is a very personal decision. It was the right thing for me to do at the time, and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to have it done. Only you can decide whether surgery is right for you. I wish you the very best.


What is your "worst thing about weight loss surgery? I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line at

  Grilled Summer Squash
  and Chicken

Grilled Sumer Squash and Chicken

The wonderful taste of grilling paired with the juiciness of the chicken makes this an outstanding dish.  It is the addition of the lemon that keeps the chicken so juicy.

1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (about 1 1/4 pounds) medium chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
4 (about 6 ounces each) medium yellow summer squash, each cut lengthwise into 4 wedges, you can substitute zucchini
1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped
Grilled lemon slices for garnish


1. Grate lemon peel to yield 1 tablespoon, and squeeze lemon to yield 3 tablespoons of juice. Wisk this together with the salt, pepper and the oil. Put 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small bowl. Put the remainder into a zip lock bag.

2. Put the chicken thighs into the zip lock bag and marinade at least 30 minutes.

3. Heat your grill to medium heat.

4. Remove the chicken from the zip lock bag and discard the liquid. Place the chicken on the grill with the squash wedges. Cover the grill, and cook approximately 10 to 12 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through the cooking time. The chicken is done when the juices from the thickest part of the chicken runs clear and the squash is browned and tender.

5. Cut the chicken into 1 inch wide strips and the squash wedges in half.

6. Toss the chicken and squash with the reserved marinade in the bowl. Sprinkle with chives and decorate with the grilled lemon slices.

Makes 4 servings

Nutritional information per serving:
255 calories, 8 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 29 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:
  Heather Sweet

I want to offer Heather Sweet a special thanks. Here is her story:

Dear Barbara,
Most people may say their journey began the date of their surgery, but mine began the day in May 2010 when my doctor gave me the diagnosis of being diabetic. I had struggled with my weight the majority of my life. Then once I hit 30, I began to have issues with my blood pressure, and was put on blood pressure medication a few years later. But nothing really scared me like that diagnosis of diabetes.

I was familiar with gastric bypass surgery, because my mother had it in 2000. I saw how difficult it was, and never anticipated that I would need to have the surgery, that is until that diagnosis. When my doctor called to give me the news, I asked her if gastric bypass was a choice for me. She said that it was definitely an option.

My weight was 328 lbs, I had high blood pressure, and now diabetes. So I contacted the Bariatric Center and registered for their information session. I also spoke with my doctor about getting a referral for a good psychologist to attend to my emotional state before surgery. Observing my mother's journey I remembered her telling me that although physically she could not eat much, psychologically she thought she could. I wanted to make sure that I could overcome that struggle.

I did not take making this decision lightly. I knew my decision needed to be a lifetime change. My journey continued through the many different pre-surgery appointments during which I lost about 35 lbs, then escalated with my surgery on December 2, 2010. Post-surgery I have completely followed all the guidance of the doctors at the Bariatric Center. I still have not introduced pasta, rice, beef and bread. I make sure that I stop drinking a half hour before eating, and do not drink again until an hour after eating.

My weight loss was great. I was afraid that it would come off too fast and I would look sick, so I did not exercise. So in November 2011, when I went to another post-op checkup, I realized that I hadn't lost anything in over a month. So, instead of being discouraged, I began walking two miles each day. Since then I have lost another 15 lbs. Which makes my total weight loss 158 lbs. I feel great! But now it's an effort.

So that is my story. I feel that if I can encourage another person with my story, then it is even more worth it all.


Heather Sweet

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.

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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