Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.


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Issue #162

Mar 15, 2009

In This Issue


* Trouble with Food: Can You Help?
* Plateaus; Words of Wisdom from the Past
* Recipe: Homemade Italian Sausage Patties
* Success Story: Bob Sampson

Trouble with Food: Can You Help?

Dear Barbara,
I had Roux-en-Y surgery on Sept. 4, 2008 and have lost 60 pounds since then.  Pre-op I lost 50 pounds so have lost a total of 110 pounds. I now weigh 166 pounds and hope to get down to 140.  I should be very happy with this and am happy that I have lost that much but.......  I am probably the only person that I've heard about that isn't sure if I'd go through with the surgery if I had it to do over. 

The problem is that it is 6 months since my surgery and I do not really enjoy any of the food that I am eating.  I force myself to eat proteins but have lost my desire for cheese, chicken, pork, hamburger, etc.  I like a bit of steak on the rare side, fresh shrimp with ketchup, almonds, and lettuce with dressing (which does not have protein) but am sure I will get sick of these fast if that is the only things I eat. I know I shouldn't be eating ketchup and salad dressing but need it in order to force down the proteins. 

For fruit I eat apples and bananas, because I was low on potassium, but don't like the taste of other fruits. Tonight I tried apples with natural peanut butter which I ate but didn't enjoy. I have tried salmon but that was the one time I got frothing and throwing up so now I am turned off by any type of fish.

I talked to my dietician and she assures me it will get better.  I thought I was doing ok but then was turned off by the chicken and hamburger. 

I haven't been able to go to the support group meetings the last two months due to the weather but will go as soon as I can.  At the ones that I have attended I've noticed, even those who had problems, would do it over again, so I don't speak up at the meetings because I don't want to discourage others contemplating the surgery.

I am usually not a negative person so wonder if I'm the only one who feels like this or have you had others who felt like I do?  I have a very social life going out to eat with friends but actually hate to go out to eat now because I don't know what to order.  I continue to go with them but it's hard on me because the social part always seems to involve eating out. 

At 6 months I can tolerate crackers, bread and low carbs but know I must really limit that to a small amount. 

Do you have any suggestions for me?  Thanks. 

Dear Joy,
It is very easy to become discouraged following surgery when there is nothing that tastes good and that you can even tolerate.  What a shock it is. Our society revolves around food so much, that when you and food arenít getting along you can feel very left out and lonely.

I experienced problems after my surgery, but not to the extent that I regretted having the surgery.  I had about 4 to 5 months of nausea every time I ate something.  Here are some things that worked for me:

1. I could eat something one day and it would go down all right.  The next time I tried it, I might have problems.  The third time would be a toss up whether I could tolerate the food or not. But I did keep trying various foods. I did not give up on a food. I kept trying it until I found that it would consistently go down well. My range of foods that I could tolerate then grew and I was much more comfortable.  You have to believe what your dietician told you.  It will be OK one day. If you believe that then you might have more tolerance during this very difficult time.
2.  Gravy, broth and sauces were very important to me and I used them liberally when something caused me problems. It would have taken me a very long time to be able to eat chicken or pork otherwise.  The flavor and the softer texture with that extra moisture made a difference.
3. If I found a food that I liked, I ate a lot of it.  Fortunately for me it was cocktail shrimp.  That was my mainstay for about 5 months.  Because shrimp is high in protein and low in calories, my weight loss was good and I didnít experience any hair loss in part because I was eating so much protein. Look for a food that you can tolerate and keep in mind that you wonít have to eat it forever. You will have to eat it just until you make peace with other foods. That might help you to not get tired of foods so fast.
4. Unfortunately I could not tolerate protein drinks. My surgery was in 2000 which was before a lot was known about the affects of surgery on patients. I did not realize that you could become lactose intolerant from the surgery, and that is what happened to me. All of the protein drinks that I tried were made from whey protein. They made me very sick. But if you are OK with protein drinks, try them. It is so important that you have a diet high in protein.

1.      I feel very confident, like your dietician, that this will pass. I have communicated with many people who have had problems eating and those problems were eventually resolved.

It is unfortunate that you feel uncomfortable saying at your support group that you wish you hadnít had surgery, fearing that it might dissuade others from the surgery. But I can certainly understand how you feel. I am sure that not being able to share that compounds your isolation. And I am sure there are many others who for whatever reason wish they had never had surgery.

If you have ever had the feeling that you wish you never had weight loss surgery because of problems tolerating food, please email me so that I can pass on your stories and best wishes to Joy. I know it would help her.

Email me at

  Words of Wisdom from the Past

Dear Barbara,
Do you have any newsletters in your archives that discuss plateaus, stalls, things that cause them, and how people get out of them?  Iím about 7 months out, and have lost very little weight, staying in stalls for 2-3 months at a time.  My thyroid has been checked and double-checked.  So far the only thing Iím lacking is Vitamin D.  Do you have any information to help?

Thank you,
Sheryl Williams

Dear Sheryl,
I started writing my newsletter in January 2002 and this issue is my 150th!!! In 150 issues I have addressed plateaus a number of times.  Here are some of the newsletters that have articles on plateaus:

Newsletter June 1, 2008: Plateaus: Hitting the Wall and Bouncing Back

Newsletter Sept. 1, 2007: Plateaus are Part of the Journey

Newsletter March 1, 2005: Pushing Past Plateaus

Newsletter May 15, 2007: Low Protein and Plateaus

Newsletter May 2002: Question of the Month: Plateaus

Hereís how to find that out for yourself:

Just go to my home page About 2/3rds of the way down the home page, just under the ad for my book Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding inside You, you will see a box labeled ďSearch Barbara Thompsonís Website.Ē Put in any term that you want information on and click Search for the newsletter containing information about that term.

Get Help to Get

Back on Track with Your Weight.

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring 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 for 2009?

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

View a FREE Lesson and Listen to a FREE Telephone Seminar by
clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

  Italian Sausage Patties

Italian Sausage Patties

2 slices (1 ounce each) white sandwich bread
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
2 ounces lean ground pork
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
ľ tsp dried sage
1 tsp grated orange zest
Ĺ tsp salt
ľ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white, beaten
3 ounces Italian bread, cut into 8 slices
Ĺ cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin strips

1. Preheat the broiler. In a food processor or blender, process the sandwich bread just until coarse crumbs form. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl and set aside. Add the chicken to the processor and process until coarsely ground, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the chicken to the bread crumbs along with the pork, fennel seeds, sage, orange zest, salt, black pepper, and egg white, mixing thoroughly. Shape the mixture into 8 round flat patties. Broil the sausage patties 6 inches from the heat, turning once for 6 minutes, or until cooked through.

3. Broil the Italian bread slices for 30 seconds per side, until lightly toasted. Dividing evenly, spoon the roasted red peppers over the toast. Top each piece with a sausage patty and serve.

Serves 4
Nutritional Information per serving:
175 calories, 17 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 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:
  Bob Sampson

I want to offer Bob Sampson special thanks for sharing his success with us. Here is his story:

Hi Barbara,
My name is Bob Sampson and here is my story. I am 44 years old, and for my entire life, I have been overweight. At my highest weight, I was 428lbs.

I grew up in South Florida and as a matter of fact I still live here. Growing up as an overweight child I suffered all the same things that many of us experienced. I was last to be picked for anything athletic in school, I could never wear the cool clothes because, well, they didn't make them in my size back then, and I got stuck wearing your grandfatherís sans-a-belt slacks which is just what a pre-teen wants to wear. Anyway, like everyone I know, I endured all the insults and taunting which caused me to do a lot of negative things.

As I grew up, I felt ashamed of myself which led me to do a lot of destructive things. I spent a lot of years drinking and pretty much living a self destructive lifestyle. 

Unlike other overweight people I know, I was very fortunate that I never had any health issues, which is a miracle. My sugar, my blood pressure, even my cholesterol are all normal. Considering how I lived my life, what I ate and how I behaved in general, not to have any of those problems is an amazing thing.

As I grew older, I started to make small changes in my lifestyle which began with quitting smoking. I then quit drinking. I then made an important career change. It became very apparent to me that if I wanted these changes in my life to mean anything, I needed to lose weight AND to keep it off. Like all of us I have been on so many diets over the years that I knew that was not the answer. I never have been able to sustain the loss, so I knew that was not the way to go for me.

I started researching weight loss surgery in 2004. I decided that while it is a risky surgery, doing nothing was riskier. I went to visit the weight loss center at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Weston, Florida.  I attended an orientation and decided that I could handle this surgery so this is where the fun began. 

I applied to my insurance company and of course I was denied the first time. I did not give up however, and spent the better part of a year weaving my way through the insurance companyís attempts to deny me this surgery. I was determined to make it happen and  after jumping through hoops I was finally approved for the surgery.

On May 16th 2006, I had my surgery which was performed by an amazing and skilled surgeon, Dr Samuel Szomstein at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Weston, Florida. The surgery was performed without complications; however, after the first night, I developed a twisted bowel and they had to go back in and repair it. After that was taken care of, I was discharged and sent home.

Over the next 13 months I did what I was told. I took my vitamins, got my protein in and drank my water, all the things they stressed were important and which I eagerly did. I exercised and got myself into shape. As a result of all the things I did, I have lost an amazing 228lbs. I went from wearing a 62 waist and a 5x shirt to wearing a 36 waist and a regular extra large shirt which is loose.

My life has changed beyond my wildest dreams. I have ridden the roller coaster I have always wanted to ride. I sat in the window seat on a plane. I have gone to movies and sporting events on a regular basis. And yes, I enjoy shopping for clothes now, because it is no longer a chore.

And I will be honest. While my life is so much better than before, I must tell your readers something that is an issue to all of us who have been fat our whole lives. One of the hardest things I have had to learn to do is THINK and VISUALIZE myself as a normal sized person. I had to learn to ask for a booth in a restaurant, take a seat in the middle of a row, and remember that I do not have to turn sideways so a person can get by me. All of these small things required me to erase all my old tapes in my mind. That is a very difficult thing, but, it is actually a fun and challenging thing. I am learning to live this new life and realize I can do all those things now, and it is rewarding. All the things that have come to me as a result of this surgery far outweigh some of the things I canít do anymore.

It's fun for me to fit into my small sports car. I have energy to spend the day shopping or walking around a flea market in the hot sun. I could go on and tell you more of the good things that have happened to me as a result of this surgery, but I really donít need to. Anyone considering this surgery should realize how much your life will change for the better.

In closing, Barbara, I want to thank you for letting me share my story, and also thank you for your monthly newsletter. I look forward to reading these success stories because they are motivators. I hope my story will help someone else out there. Anyone who wants to, can drop me an e-mail at   I wish all your readers the best of luck in their journeys as well.  Thanks, Barbara                            

Bob Sampson

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 Bob


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