Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


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


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Issue #166

May 15, 2009

In This Issue


* United Airlines Targets the Obese
* Texas Conference
* Weight versus Health
* Back on Track
* Recipe: Frosty Strawberry Pops
* Success Story: Jamie Volner

United Airlines Targets the Obese

Just imagine that you have a wonderful vacation planned. You have finally saved the time off from work plus the money to go on a vacation to Germany to visit the Bavarian Alps, or the beauty of Berlin, or the old walled city of Heidelberg. Your bags are packed; you and your husband get on the plane and prepare to settle in for the transatlantic flight. You ask for the seat belt extender and you are ready to snap the buckle and discover that you can’t get the belt attached.  You’re sitting next to your husband, the arm rest is up and he tries to help you, but the belt just won’t reach. The flight attendant notices what is going on. Verifying that the belt won’t attach, rather than handing you an extra extender, the flight attendant tells you that you have to have a second seat. The plane is full, so you will have to exit the plane and take the next flight to Germany, plus you have to buy a second $978 plane ticket. But, oh, by the way, your husband who can buckle his seat belt will have to stay on the original flight or be charged if he wants to accompany you. Your wonderful vacation is ruined. Facing the possibility of having to buy a second seat is a possibility that Debra, a nurse who recently emailed me, is facing.

That is the practice that United Airlines is now following. And although other airlines have some policies about the obese encroaching on other passengers, United has stated that they are training their employees to strictly enforce this rule.

I was asked to speak on Fox and Friends about this topic on Thursday April 16th and they asked me back again on April 19th. I made the points that the obese are a very easy target and that this policy is an obvious attempt on the part of the airline to make more money. Why aren’t the airlines providing larger seats or at the very least providing a section of larger seats for the obese that are outside of first class?

How do the obese encroach more on fellow passengers than those people who sit in front of you and recline their seats so far that their heads are practically in your lap? We can’t eliminate everyone who annoys us. Should we charge parents for an extra seat in front of their kids who kick the seat?

I know I will not be patronizing United Airlines from now on.  Anyone guilty of such blatant discrimination against the obese does not deserve my business. And I hope they don’t deserve your business as well.

Weight versus Health

The Associated Press just conducted a poll which shows that women are much more concerned about their weight than they are their health.  View poll results.

This made me think about all of us who have had weight loss surgery. Prior to surgery we recognized how our weight was affecting our health. Eighty percent of us suffered from health problems caused by or made worse by our weight such as heart disease, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gall bladder problems, cancer, or diabetes. And 40% of us suffered from 2 or more of these conditions. We knew that our health was in jeopardy if we remained morbidly obese. Yet after having the surgery and seeing an incredible improvement in our health, often all we can focus on is our weight. We aren’t satisfied that it’s not quite low enough. And all thoughts of weight loss surgery for reasons of health have gone.

It’s natural to long for physical perfection, or even physical mediocrity, but we always need to remember what our lives were like before surgery and what our health and longevity are now. We will never be candidates for the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue, but we are alive and often thriving.

Enjoy your new chance at life. And enjoy your new body, with all its flaws and hanging skin. It will be around a lot longer than the larger form that was such a burden before surgery. Wear your body proudly, even as we are approaching summer when we show off more. We have imperfect bodies, but they are our badge of courage.

1/2 Off First Month Sale

Start Getting Control Today!

(Summer is coming. Are you ready?)

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 can’t stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape for Summer?

 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.

  Frosty Strawberry Pops

May is Strawberry Month.  Here is a great way to enjoy those naturally sweet, tasty berries.

Frosty Strawberry Pops
1 pint basket of fresh strawberries, stemmed
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
3 Tbsp. frozen orange, cranberry or pineapple juice concentrate

In a blender container, blend all ingredients about 1 minute until smooth. Pour into eight 3-ounce, wax coated paper cups. Place in a shallow pan and insert a wooden craft stick (available in most craft or hobby stores) or a plastic spoon into the center of each. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

After pops are frozen, they can be transferred to a recloseable plastic bag for freezer storage. To release pops from cups, dip briefly into hot water up to the rim of the cup.

Makes 8 servings

Nutritional information for each serving:
78 calories, 15 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 1 gram fiber

If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at

New Lowered Price on
  Protein Blender Bottles
We have found a new supplier and were able to reduce the price of our great protein shaker bottles. 

This Blender bottle has a 28 oz capacity and comes with a stainless steel mixing ball. The ball is sized to stay in the bottle when you pour your mixed drink.  Easy to clean, dishwasher safe, secure screw-on lid won't leak and fits in your car holder.  Blue top only.   $8.95

Also Great for:

  • Nutrition Drinks
  • Salad Dressings
  • Pancake Batter
  • Yogurt Smoothies
  • Lump-Free Gravy
  • French Toast Batter
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Tempura Batter
  • Sauces and Marinades
  • Pudding
  • Omelets & Egg Dishes
  • Water Bottle
  • Dry Ingredients (cinnamon or colored sugar, etc.)
  • Food Storage (nuts, syrup, etc.)

Success Story:
  Jamie Volner
I am completely out of success stories.  Please send in yours along with before and after pictures. It is your way of giving back for this free newsletter. Thank you so much!

I want to offer Jamie Volner a special thanks. Her success story originally appeared in the Feb. 1st, 2007 issue of the newsletter. Because I am out of success stories, I am re-running her inspiring story: 

Well, like most of us that suffer or suffered from obesity my story is not much different than most.  However, I wanted to share with others just like myself.

I was not an overweight child but did struggle with an emotional eating disorder.  I was an abused child, therefore I learned to comfort myself with food. I was able to keep the weight at bay with sports and activities for the time being.

When one talks about eating disorders the first thing that comes to mind is Anorexia or Bulimia and as I grew older I found out that over-eating for emotional issues was not one that was addressed or really known how to address.  Basically I was told to “deal” with it.

At the age of 19 after the birth of my first child my weight really started to increase.  I had several miscarriages before my second child was born which added to the “emotional issues” and well, you get it, food was my source for coping. 

By the age of 32 I had a stroke and my health issues were just out of control.  I had tried every diet known and just about every pill there was.  Someone had mentioned having weight loss surgery and I was adamant that I was not going to go that route.  I was definitely not taking the easy way out.  Little did I know! 

Several more years went by and I was now 37 years old and couldn’t keep up with my youngest child.  I was depressed, my eating was out of control and my health was failing.  I was up to 285 pounds and I am only 5’5’.  I started reconsidering weight loss surgery in a serious way.  I knew I was going to die if I kept this up. 

I researched for a year and did my homework.  My insurance covered the procedure fully and my PCP was behind me 100%.  There were no surgeons in my area that were certified through the American Society of Bariatric Surgery so I opted to go out-of-network.  It was a fight to get approved out-of-network, but once I stated my case with facts it was finally approved. 

I went to The Wish Center in Tempe, Arizona, which is a 2-hour drive from where I live.  I went through education classes, psychological counseling and medical testing and on November 12th, 2003 I had open gastric bypass surgery. 

I was at my goal weight of 145 pounds within my first year and I am now almost 3 years out and my weight is stabilized between 141 to 145 pounds.  I was a size 26/28 and now I am a size 6!  Who would have thought?

I am happy and healthy.  I have had a few glitches along the way but nothing that could not or has not been remedied and I have no regrets.  Was this the easy way out?  I laugh out loud now when I hear that.  This has been a tough road to travel and no, it doesn’t “fix” the emotional issues.  It is a “tool” and one has to work at it every single day. 

The surgery may not be for everyone but it was right for me.  It saved my life and gave me a life that I didn’t even imagine I could have.  I may be at goal but I never forget where I came from and always jump at the chance to help other's considering this procedure and helping to educate them as best as I can.

Thank you for allowing me to share my success story.  Barbara, thank you for all your hard work in educating people and giving them the encouragement they need to succeed and stay on track to a healthier and happier life.

Jamie Volner
Tucson, Arizona

Congratulations Jamie


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