Issue #221 June, 2012

In This Issue

 A Team Approach

Back on Track with Barbara

Rate of Weight Loss

You Can't Pass Up This Dummies Deal!!
Recipe: Glazed Lemon Chicken
Success Story: Tammy Richards

A Team Approach

It was August of 1998 and I was frightened and filled with despair. I know that may sound overly dramatic, but I felt that despair of having tried and failed to lose weight over and over. My weight was out of control, and I didn't know where to turn.

I had always been overweight. Occasionally I would bring up my weight to my family doctor, and he would pull out a dusty copy of the Mayo Clinic diet. I would leave his office and eat hard boiled eggs and spinach for as long as I could stand it, lose some weight, and then go off the diet. I would regain the weight, and be even more shy about talking to him  about my weight, because I had failed with the only tool he had to offer me. After all, it's not rocket science. You eat fewer calories than you can use up. What is so hard about that?

So here I was again asking for advice about my weight. He was clearly disgusted with me. I had known him for many years and he had never had a weight problem, so did not understand how I could be so weak and not control my weight.

But this time when I went to talk with him, he threw up his hands in disgust and told me to go to see another doctor who was a bariatrician. Dr. Vasquez was an expert in the field of losing weight and I clearly needed an expert.  My family doctor had no idea what to do with me, and I think he was grateful to pass the problem on to someone else. Does this sound familiar? Is this something that you have gone through with your doctor?

My doctor was very aware of my weight problem, yet he never initiated a discussion with me about it. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that he didn't lecture me about my weight.  He may have reasoned that at my weight, I knew that I was obese and would do something about it if I wanted. He must have thought that I was obese by choice.

What I would have truly appreciated is if together we had attacked the problem. We needed a plan of attack. We needed an arsenal. At that time, the arsenal was there, it is just that too few people knew about it. Weight loss surgery was just becoming known.

Fortunately, the doctor that my family doctor sent me to was incredibly enlightened. In 1998, Dr. Vasquez was recommending weight loss surgery. After meeting him, I was on my way. But there were hundreds of thousands of people who have gone through what I have, and gotten no help at all.

Those out there who are severely obese need so much help. I was very happy to see the FDA panel so overwhelmingly recommending the weight loss drug, Qnexa, recently. After all, it is that arsenal that we need in the battle against obesity. Not everyone wants to have weight loss surgery, and initially I was one of them. Surgery scared me to death. I wanted to be sure that I absolutely could not diet my weight problems away. I tried yet once again and failed yet once again and ended up having my surgery in January 2000.

But I have often thought about my family doctor through my weight loss surgery journey and our lack of a team approach to my weight problem. I think that a team approach might have helped. But it is not just my doctor. Doctors universally are very reluctant to talk to their patients about their weight. I know that many doctors go overboard and start to nag. Or they will blame every ailment that you have on your weight.

Doctors need to learn how to be our team members and then cheer leaders in our battle against obesity. That hasn't happened and the medical schools don't seem to be headed in that direction.  The heartache of obesity will just continue until that happens.

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 to get ready 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.

Rate of Weight Loss

I recently received this question from a reader who is a little anxious about her rate of weight loss.

Hi Barbara
Since my surgery last week, I have only lost 5 to 7 lbs. I am thinking that is too slow. What do you think?

Dear Reader,
You are right on schedule with your weight loss. Patients initially lose about 15 to 20 pounds per month. If you lose more than 20 pounds in a month, your weight loss will probably hit a plateau and slow the loss down.

There are several factors that impact your weight loss. If you lost weight prior to surgery, your weight loss will be slower. If you are older or have less weight to lose, your weight loss will be slower. But the rate that you lose weight will not impact the total amount that you will lose. For instance, some people lose 150 pounds slowly, some lose it faster, but the amount lost in the end is still 150 pounds.

Follow your surgeon's rules (including exercising) and remember that this is the easiest it will ever be to lose weight. A year from now, 2 years from now, it will get harder and harder, so take advantage of this time to lose.

The old rules still apply: Eat your protein first at any meal, don't graze, drink 64 ounces of water per day, and exercise. You will be happy with the results!

Best wishes,


You Can't Pass Up This Dummies Deal!!


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!!

New Special Price, and Now with a FREE Barbara Thompson Audio CD

  Glazed Lemon Chicken

Here is a nice light chicken recipe for summer dinners. The lemon marinade will keep the chicken moist and tender. You can grill the chicken breasts as well as bake them. Your choice!

Glazed Lemon Chicken

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 tsp honey
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a bowl. Pour into a zip lock bag. Place the chicken in the bag and roll the chicken around to coat.  Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish, spoon marinade over chicken breasts. Roast for 25 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Information per serving:
262 calories, 2.2 grams fat, 20.8 grams of carbohydrates, 1.3 grams of fiber and 39.8 grams of protein.

Note: You may grill the chicken rather than bake it. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on both sides until the chicken is no longer pink. Brush the chicken with the marinade as it grills.

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:
  Tammy Richards

I want to offer Tammy Richards a special thanks. She has contributed her story twice. Here is her latest.

Dear Barbara,
I wrote to you about a year or so after my weight loss surgery. I was doing well and have continued my success.

I can eat anything I want to, just in moderation. I had to learn my limits, set new limits, and live by them. We have to remember that surgery is a tool not a cure. I see so many people who have surgery go back to poor eating habits or not follow the rules, and they wonder why they aren't losing or they are even gaining. I admit, I have the occasional Nutty Bar or Reece Cup, what girl doesn't want her chocolate fix? But I don't make a practice of sitting down and eating an entire bag of chocolate. I use my tool.

For the first few months I didn't do much exercising. I didn't feel well for awhile. I have fibromyalgia and I heal very slowly. After the first three months, and when I was totally healed,  I started walking more. Then I got a membership to an all-woman's gym. I felt a lot less self conscious there than competing with some beautiful skinny girl for an adorable weight trainer's attention at a gym. As if the skinny girl needs it!

I started working out three times a week. I did this for about a year. This helped a ton with the extra skin. I have had no additional surgeries or tucks. I haven't had to. I'm not perfect, but I am happy with me.

I admit I have slacked off to just normal living. I'm not as active as I should be, but I try to boogie around the house when cooking or doing chores to get a little extra in. I'm not a good example to follow with exercise.

I have stayed with my plan, and keep a close watch on my weight. If I start gaining too much, I panic and slow down on what I'm eating and start being careful again. Like everyone, I gain in the winter and lose in the summer. I am five foot five, weigh 135 lbs., and I'm holding strong.

I had my surgery February 11th, 2005. That was my new birthday, or the day I was reborn into control as I see it. With the tool of not feeling obsessively hungry and empty, I have kept to eating in moderation. I avoid eating at buffets that won't let me take a to-go bag. In my experience, Chinese restaurants are good about letting you take a to-go bag, fill it one time, then sit and eat with your family so that you can take what you don't eat with you as long as you don't take advantage and refill it. Other places that don't let you do that,  I avoid because I always try to eat my money's worth, and end up going home sick or in serious pain. I don't know about you, but I don't want to stretch this pouch that I paid $20,000 to get control over!

I lost ten years of my life hiding away from people. I was 287 lbs, I was unhealthy, and I hated myself. I hid from the world. I think back to living like I did; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, winded just going up a few steps, having to use the bathroom 15 minutes after I ate because food went right through me, and God help me if I sneezed.

I have seen people I knew pretend they didn't know me. I have seen strangers look away or down like I might do something to rub off on them. I have heard people make comments like they needed to tell me I was fat. As if I didn't know already. As if I didn't see it every time I looked in the mirror.

Gastric bypass surgery gave me my life back. I have two boys who are 21 and 19, and I run at their pace now. I'm healthy except for the fibromyalgia. I have normal, even low blood pressure and cholesterol, and my levels in everything else are good.

But what is most important is that I am happy. I like me. I like taking pictures, and I like having my picture taken now. I enjoy life to the fullest. If we remember always that our surgery has provided us with a tool, not a cure and treat it as such, then success is in our pocket.

Weight loss surgery was the best thing I ever did. After six years, I would have to say it's been successful for me, and the best money I ever spent. Good luck everyone, and God bless!

Tammy Richards

To read Tammy's story two years after her surgery, go to

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.




  Search Barbara's Website
Custom Search
Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from this newsletter in your own print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from Barbara Thompson’s free newsletter featuring helpful information and research material to help patients succeed following weight loss surgery.
Subscribe at  ”

Subscription Corner

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Would you like to receive your own copy?

It's simple! Just go to  and scroll down to the subscription form.

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to your friends and family and have them subscribe to receive their own copy.

Do you want to unsubscribe? Go to the bottom of this email and click the unsubscribe link.  You will be automatically deleted.

If you have any problems with this process,
call our office toll free at (877) 440-1518.

Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved