Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


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Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #142

June 1, 2008


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In This Issue


* Walk on the Capitol
* Ask Barbara: Controlling Weight Regain During Pregnancy
* Murder Mystery Cruise
* Look who's on the cover of WLSLifestyles
* Fat Cells among Us
* Vitamins: You Canít Stay Healthy Without Them Study Shows
* Recipe: Tomato Vodka Soup
* Success Story: Sue Failer
*Obesity Sensitivity Training

I know raising awareness of obesity is important to you. And, that is why we need your help and your voice on June 17th for an historic and first of its kind event Ė the Walk from Obesity Ė Walk on the Capitol.  

On June 17th at 6:30 pm, the Obesity Action Coalition and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation will host this National event to send a strong message to the public and government that obesity needs to be prevented and treated. The Walk on the Capitol will be held on the National Mall in Washington, DC, where thousands of individuals will gather. We encourage and invite you, your family members and friends, healthcare professionals, industry leaders and any individual concerned about obesity to take part in this historical event. For more information, visit

I am very excited about this. I hope you can join me and thousands of others. I have received so many emails from people saying, ďHow can I help?Ē Well this is it.  I hope to see YOU in Washington, DC! Iíll be there!

Ask Barbara:
  Controlling Weight Regain
  During Pregnancy
April 12th, 2008 was  my two year surgiversary and I have lost about 140 pounds.  About a month ago, I found out that I am pregnant and I'm due in October.  The old pre-op habits are coming back.  I eat a whole lot more and I'm stressed out and tired. For example, Saturday I had two chili dogs. Yes, I did have the repercussions of having the runs for eating such poor foods, but my hormones are more controlling than my right frame of mind.  My main fear is that I will regain a lot of weight during my pregnancy and won't be able to lose it.  This month I'm starting an eight week step-by-step class for running.  I've spoken to the coordinator and advised the person of my situation and the person reassured me that the class is for beginners and that most of the people do a brisk walk.  I have to double check with my doctor to make sure that I have the okay.  Do you have any suggestions on how to be able not to gain a substantial amount of weight during pregnancy?  I want to stop the bad habits before they become out of hand.

Hi Carla,
Congratulations on your pregnancy!!  And congratulations on your concern about weight regain. I have noticed that many patients when talking about how they became morbidly obese often cite the amount of weight they gained during pregnancy and then were not able to lose that weight.  

However, first and foremost is the health of you and your baby and Iím sure that is your first concern as well. I would begin with working with the nutritionist that is associated with your surgeonís office.  If there is not a nutritionist available, ask for a referral. And if that doesnít work, then ask your obstetrician.  You can find out from a nutritionist how to eat healthy for you and your baby, yet stay in bounds so you are not gaining too much weight.

Be very careful of your vitamins.  Now is not the time to cheep out. See the article below from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If is OK with your nutritionist, be very careful of your carbohydrate intake.  Simple carbohydrates such as white bread, white potatoes and sweets will only serve to increase your hunger. And this is a time of excessive hunger and cravings, so you donít need anything that makes it worse. Make your carbohydrates the complex variety found in fruits and vegetables.

Just the fact that you are asking and are already taking steps to increase your exercise in a healthy way shows that you are definitely headed in the right direction. I wish you the best and that you continue to have a healthy pregnancy and in a few months, a beautiful baby.

If you have a question you would like to ask, email me at  I can keep your identity anonymous if you prefer.

Look Whoís on the Cover of

WLS Lifestyles Magazine

OK I admit it. I am really excited! Iím on the cover of WLS Lifestyles Magazine. If you arenít familiar with the magazine, it has been publishing for many years and is a quarterly magazine dedicated to inspiring, educating and supporting life after weight loss surgery. I have been a frequent contributor to it. I am very proud to have been selected for their cover which will also be distributed at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in June.

Click here for more information and to
to subscribe to the magazine

 Click here to read the article
on Barbara Thompson

Fat Cells Among Us

The journal Nature in their May 2008 issue reported on a study that counted fat cells. The study found:

  • That the number of fat cells that we have is established during the first 20 years of our lives.
  • Those who are obese have more fat cells than those of normal weight.
  • If we were obese as children, we are stuck with the higher number of fat cells into our adulthood. 
  • We cannot lose fat cells, but by dieting or losing weight through weight loss surgery, we can keep the fat cells smaller. 

The study suggests that for those of us who are obese, it is harder for us to maintain a normal weight because of our higher number of fat cells, but it can be done.  The study also underlines the importance of preventing childhood obesity.

Click here for more information on the study.

Vitamins: You Canít Stay Healthy
  Without Them Study Shows

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Nutritional deficiencies after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity often cannot be prevented by standard multivitamin supplementation.

Christoph Gasteyger, Michel Suter, Rolf C Gaillard, and Vittorio Giusti

Standard Multivitamin Not Enough After Gastric Bypass

A study just published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that the majority of gastric bypass patients cannot maintain their nutritional health on a basic multivitamin supplement.  The study followed 137 gastric bypass patients for two years.  By the end of year one, 59% of the participants required additional supplements and by the end of year two, this number had increased to 98%.  The most common additional supplements needed were B12, folic acid, calcium, iron and vitamin D.  Much less commonly, they identified deficiency of thiamine, zinc, magnesium and B6.  The authors concluded that basic multivitamins are not effective at preventing deficiency in gastric bypass patients, and typical supplementation to keep a gastric bypass patient health averages about $420.00/year when additional nutrients are accounted for.  They also encouraged further study and the use of routine post-operative labs to assess nutritional status.

Source: Gasteyger, Christoph, et al, ďNutritional deficiencies after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity often cannot be prevented by standard multivitamin supplementation,Ē American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 5, 1128-1133, May 2008

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Nutritional Supplements for Bariatric Surgery Patients
Bariatric Advantageģ provides a complete line of nutritional supplements that have been specifically formulated to meet the unique demands of both the pre-operative bariatric surgical candidate, as well as the post-operative bariatric surgical patient.

Try a 7-Day Sample Pack

Tomato Vodka Soup
This tomato-Worcestershire-vodka soup gets served in shot glasses for fun. This is great to have for a summer party. It is just as good with the vodka left out. Look for the pickled veggies near the jarred vegetables in the supermarket.

32 peeled deveined cooked medium shrimp
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Pickled vegetables (such as carrots, celery, green beans, and olives)
1 28-ounce can tomatoes in juice
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons vodka (optional)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon lemon juice in large bowl. Thread 1 shrimp and 1 vegetable on toothpick. Repeat with remaining shrimp and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place tomatoes with juice, green onions, 1/2 cup broth, Worcestershire sauce, vodka, if desired, horseradish, celery salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice in blender. Cover; blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, thin with additional broth by tablespoonfuls. Season Bloody Mary mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to pitcher. DO AHEAD: Skewers and soup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Pour Bloody Mary mixture into shot glasses or small glasses. Garnish each with shrimp-vegetable skewer. Serve remaining Bloody Mary mixture and shrimp-vegetable skewers alongside.

Makes 8 servings

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:
    Sue Failer

I want to offer a special thanks to Sue Failer. Here is her story:

My first diet was in 5th grade when my mother signed me up for Weight Watchers. That was the beginning of my diet journey. I covered them all through the years: Jenny Craig, the Cabbage Soup Diet, Phen Phen, Nutrisystem, Deal a Meal--you name it, I tried it. I lost weight on all of them to some degree with the highest weight loss being 110 lbs on Jenny Craig in my late 20's. I was not able to maintain my weight loss then because my reasons for losing weight were for other people and not me.

Fast forward 15 years to my early 40's where metabolism and life stressors pushed me to 281 lbs. I had relocated to another State after a miserable break-up that I dealt with by eating. I was now becoming concerned for my health as I was pre-diabetic and already on two cholesterol medications. My sister had gastric bypass surgery 4 years earlier and she tried to educate me on the surgery. I was still under the assumption that I didn't need the surgery and I could lose weight on my own.

I was in such denial that I didn't even visit my sister in the hospital when she had her surgery. Sure enough, she lost 100 lbs that first year as I continued to try and fix my weight problem on my own. As the depression increased and the realization that losing weight in my 40's was a completely different story than in my 20's, I began to open my mind to learning more about weight loss surgery. I started asking my sister questions and doing some research on my own. I went to an introductory meeting in Spring of 2006 and had the roux-n- y surgery December of 2006. Two and a half years out of surgery, I have lost 135 lbs and now weigh 145 lbs and am a size 2. It took a while for my brain to catch up with the pounds I had lost and I still struggle occasionally with a distorted body image.

Not only has my weight loss far surpassed my expectations, I have become a very strong advocate for the surgery and through my own success have influenced several other women to have the surgery themselves. Because I have an addictive personality, I didn't just lose weight, I completely changed my entire life. I believe the reason I have been so successful is my propensity to not do things in moderation and I was able to correctly make a lifestyle change that incorporated new behaviors and exercise. I also have started a support group for post gastric bypass people as well and am excited to facilitate this monthly group as not only an encouragement to others, but to also hold myself accountable. I have discovered that I have needed to establish some life long new behaviors in my life in order to ensure continued success. Some of these new behaviors include regular, scheduled exercise; not drinking with my meals and making wise, healthy food choices while still not depriving myself of things I enjoy.

I believe that exercise is truly what made the difference in my life and I have the work schedule that allows me regular gym workouts 5 days per week. I began weight training about 4 months after surgery and that has made an incredible difference in my body shape and size. I found the second year out of surgery, even though I lost another 21 lbs, the changes to my body were attributed primarily to exercise. I am in the process of pursuing certification as a personal trainer and hope that my knowledge of exercise could only help other weight loss surgery patients to be as successful as I have been.

This surgery was absolutely life changing and something I would do again in a heartbeat. I am so thankful that my insurance covered the procedure and that I have made the necessary changes to my life to be called a success story!

Sue Failer

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 Sue

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.

Back on Track 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 with warm weather coming?

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

For More Information and to Join


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ďReprinted from Barbara Thompsonís free e-newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
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