Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
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In This Issue
* Announcing a Brand New Edition
* Plateaus: Hitting the Wall and Bouncing Back
* Quick Tip: Grazing
* Research Article: Counseling Bariatric Surgery Patients
* Recipe: Chicken Zucchini Stew * Success
Story: Tammy Larson
Announcing the Brand
New 4th Edition
of Weight Loss
Surgery; Finding the
Thin Person Hiding
I started my weight loss surgery
journey in 1998 when a doctor recommended it to me. I
delayed having it until I could research the surgery more
and feel more comfortable with such a drastic change in my
life. I also thought I could diet one last time and it
would work. We all know what that is like.
I have a Masters in Library Science
and research comes naturally to me. But what I found at
that time was that everything was written surgeon to
surgeon and there was nothing written patient to patient.
So I began amassing information.
I had my surgery in 2000 and six
months after the surgery, with all of this research piled
around me, I started to put what I had learned into a book
and Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person
Hiding inside You was born. The first edition was
published in 2001 and was the very first weight loss
surgery book written by a patient for patients. It quickly
became the gold standard for patients and has been
recommended highly ever since. When the newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer did an article about
weight loss surgery, they interviewed many patients.
Because all of the patients told the reporter that my book
was invaluable to them not only before the surgery, but a
year afterward and that they continually referred to it, the Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed my book, ďThe
bible among bypass patients.Ē
Weight Loss Surgery; Finding
the Thin Person Hiding inside You has gone through
3 revisions since then; the last revision was in 2003.
There have been a lot of changes in the weight loss
surgery field since then, especially with the growing
popularity of the lap band. I have just published the 4th
edition and they are hot off the press, complete with a
I am offering
the new 4th edition book to only my newsletter
subscribers, at a special introductory discount of
25%. Enter the word NEW
in the Coupon Code box on checkout. Be sure to click the APPLY
button to the right of the Coupon Box.
Does this scenario sound familiar? You are
nearing your goal weight or you have gained a few pounds, so you ramp
up your determination to lose weight. You eat right and exercise and
then get on the scale and find that you have not lost a pound, or
worse, you have gained.
Or how about this scenario. You had your surgery
4 months ago. You have been losing at a nice fast rate, but all of a
sudden you stop losing weight. You start to wonder, ĎIs this all I am
going to lose? Am I going to be one of those that weight loss surgery
doesnít work for?'
It can be so frustrating. You have hit the Weight
Loss Wall Ė the dreaded plateau. You may want to throw up your hands
and say, ďWhatís the use? Why do I work so hard and why do I even
try?Ē Do you crash and burn or do you rise from the ashes? It is at
that point when you are very vulnerable to gaining weight. It is a
dangerous time. You are experiencing what we have all been through so
many times. Do you give up or do you have patience and just keep
One flaw in all of this is that we think of
weight loss as a steady progression, which it is not. We just donít
normally lose weight consistently. Right after surgery it was that
way, but that was a medically induced very special time that will last
a short time in the whole scheme of things. True weight loss consists
of three phases; weight loss, plateaus and small weight regains. As much as we donít
like it and only want the one third of the process that is the weight
loss, the reality is that it is a 3 part process.
You know that our bodies play tricks on us
holding onto and adding pounds for no apparent reason. Sometimes it
can be linked to salty foods (I never weigh myself the day after I eat
Chinese food!), it may be a monthly cycle, or it may be the evil scale
gremlins that donít want you to lose weight because they want you to
be prepared for the hardships of winter so our species will survive.
Those gremlins havenít gotten the message that there are grocery
stores and fast food places in abundance within a mile or two of just
about everyone. Donít give into those gremlins Ė theyíll just laugh
at you!! Take a deep breath and keep going.
So how should you handle these dangerous times?
What do you do when you you step on the scale and donít have the
results you think you should?
Stop and take a breath. Donít do anything with
the exception of drinking water for at least 30 minutes.
Consider that perhaps you are eating more than
you thought. Start a food journal immediately. Mark every bite down
and then analyze what you have eaten.
Change the food you normally eat. We get into
a routine of eating the same thing everyday for breakfast and lunch
and even snacks. Dinner is usually the only thing that we put
variety into. Your body will adapt and learn how to process that
food very efficiently so that you are burning less of it. Try new
Change your exercise. If you arenít
exercising, then start. But start slowly. If you donít exercise
and try to do it for an hour, you may do it for a day, but the next
day you will probably come up with an excuse not to. Start with 5
minutes every day and work your way up. If you are exercising,
try something new. Your muscles may have built up from those
exercises and what was initially an effort is now a breeze.
Find another challenge.
Be sure that you have realistic goals. If you
are trying to lose weight too fast, then your body will go into
starvation mode and slow your metabolism. When trying to lose
weight, stick to abut 1,100 to 1,200 calories per day.
Weight control is a constant struggle.
Unfortunately we did not get a free pass when we had surgery. We got
a tool to make it easier, but the battle continues. We just fight it
with a better weapon, but we still have to fight.
If you have a story to
tell about dealing successfully with a plateau, please email it
to me and I might be able to use it in my upcoming book for
Quick Tip: Grazing
Itís evening and those potato chips in the
cupboard that you bought for the kids are calling you. Or you are at
work and itís Sheilaís birthday and the chocolate cake with fluffy
white icing looks just too good to resist. How do you call off those
Try this. If you are craving and thinking about
eating something salty and crunchy like chips or popcorn, eat
something that has those same characteristics. Try having
something like celery sticks with salt on them. You may be craving
the sensation rather than the food. For the cake, or cookies or
whatever might be calling you that is sweet, eat a piece of fruit
before you indulge in that goodie.
If after eating the celery, carrots or
cucumber you still want the chips, or after eating the fruit you still
want the pastry, then eat them but in a portion controlled way. You
will already have partially filled up with what I call the appetizer,
so you will naturally eat less. I hope this will help you.
Back on Track Program
Suffering from emotional eating and canít stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and canít control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have
Feel you donít know what to do now that you have
Dying to be in better shape with warm weather
Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring
Program is just what you need!
Orzech, Dan, ďCounseling Bariatric Surgery
Patients.Ē Social Work Today, Vol. 5, no. 6, p. 24.
A reader was kind enough to pass this article on
to me to share with you. The article explores the psychological
aspects of weight loss surgery and treatment available.
In the article, the author points out that having
surgery alone will not allow us to maintain our weight loss. And that
contrary to what we as patients expect, surgery will not make us
happy. While weight loss surgery has been evolving and much research
has been done regarding the surgery, risks and benefits, relatively
little attention has been paid to the psychosocial aspects of the
When we have surgery we arenít prepared for all
of the changes that occur. We donít recognize ourselves, and our
relationships change with food and with those around us. While most of
us have psychological evaluations prior to surgery, there isnít always
psychological follow through available after surgery.
Here is a recipe that is very moist for those of
your who are still having problems getting meat down and is low in
calories for those who are concerned about weight regain. It is simple
to make and uses zucchini which will soon be so plentiful that you wonít
know what to do with it! I hope you enjoy it.
Chicken Zucchini Stew
18 oz. can tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 medium zucchini coarsely chopped (or yellow squash if you prefer)
2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
1 Ĺ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed into
Drain the liquid from the tomatoes into a saucepan.
Chop the tomatoes and set aside. Add the broth, green pepper and garlic
to the tomato liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook
for 10 minutes.
Add the reserved tomatoes, zucchini, salt, pepper
and basil. Simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce
heat to low and add the chicken. Cook for 45 minutes.
Makes 6 servings. Nutritional information for each
169 calories; 4 grams fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 27 grams protein
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
thisnewsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer a special thanks to Tammy
Larson. Here is her story:
First of all let me introduce myself. My name is
Tammy Larson and I just turned 40 years old a few days ago. I am a
stay-at-home mom of 7 children. Half of them have graduated and are in
college or the military. I have one grandchild who is the apple of my
eye. I have always tried to be very active in my children's lives and
activities but a few years ago my weight started to really hinder my
involvement with my children outside of home. And that is when I started
researching gastric bypass surgery.
I have been struggling with my weight every since I
can remember. I have tried so many diets and weight loss programs and
centers. I was successful with some of them only to look and feel great
and let my guard down and gain it all back plus more. My weight loss
surgery journey began two years ago. I started having serious health
problems with my weight, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol,
breathing problems, knee problems, and so on. I spent about 10 months
going to see my primary doctor and a dietitian and documenting my food
intake and exercises every month for my insurance company. I was denied
by my insurance company the first time so a few months later and with
more documentation they finally approved me. My consultation with my
surgeon went great and I was on my way to my new life.
On my surgery date I weighed 270 pounds. I was a
size 24/26 and lived in sweat pants and t-shirts. I am 13 months out and
now I weigh 165 pounds and I am a size 6/8!!! But most importantly all
my health issues are gone!!! I am off all medications except my vitamins
and iron. My life has changed drastically for the better.
The first 4 days or so were rough but after that
things started getting easier. I was very lucky and had no complications
and I have been able to tolerate most foods. Occasionally I will get a
piece of chicken stuck but other than that, no problems. I eat a lot of
chicken and turkey. I have even talked other people into
bypass surgery. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Even though I now weigh 165 pounds and am a size
6/8 pants and med. large shirts, I still have issues where I feel I have
to wear baggy clothes. I am working on that. It is weird to look down
and see my feet. It is amazing to walk into a store and just pick
anything off the rack and put it on and "LOVE" the way it looks on you.
I have bought a whole new wardrobe and I have so many clothes now we
are expanding our closet.
One thing I have really noticed is my energy level.
It has gone through the roof! Just 3 months after my surgery, I totally
re-landscaped our entire yard mostly by myself. This winter I redid my
hardwood floors and have been painting and remodeling the inside of our
house. It is amazing. No more naps for me. And I can now keep up with my
18 month old granddaughter for days on end.
Now that I have had my surgery and am comfortable
in my skin, even though I still have 15 pounds to go, I will never go
back to the way I was. I get so angry when I hear people say that I took
the easy way out because there is nothing easy about going through this
surgery and maintaining this life style. It takes a lot of hard work
and determination to lose the weight, follow the "rules" and change your
I do have to give a special thanks to my wonderful
husband who supported me 100% through all my weight issue. He took two
weeks of his vacation to stay home with me and nurse me back on my feet.
A great support system is crucial and I had a wonderful support system.
Thank you Matt!
I love good news. If you have good news, a
success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future
Attention Nurse Educators
Preparing for COE Status?
You Like to Have
Obesity Sensitivity Training for
What - It May Be Free)
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
Barbara@BarbaraThompson.net. 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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