Issue #197 November 15, 2010

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In This Issue

* Dealing With Pain
* Back on Track Program
* Am I Too Thin?
* Recipe: Cream of Tomato Soup
* Success Story: Mary Catherine Moran

Dealing with Pain

I had gastric bypass in 2001. Over the years my osteoarthritis has gotten worse, and my rheumatologist thinks I may also have rheumatoid arthritis.  Last year I had hip resurfacing.  And at 59 years, my knees are bad, I have pain in my hands. and severe arthritis in my feet.  What medications do post-gastric bypass patients use for pain?  I've tried topical, and also take Relafen (NSAID) twice a day.  I'd just like to hear what others do for pain.  Thanks.

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Hi Darlene,
Pain management for arthritis is very difficult after weight loss surgery. Some of the most effective medications for arthritis are the NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs). These include such medications as ibuprofen, Aleve, and Relafen, the medication you are taking. They work to reduce the inflammation in the joints and lessen the pain. What they also do is to cause bleeding or ulcers in the pouch. The NSAIDS are especially bad for those who have had gastric bypass surgery, because there is a much smaller surface for the medication to fall.  If the medication is hitting the same spot, the chance for bleeding increases. Those who have had a lap band are also at risk.

Before taking any NSAIDS, talk with your bariatric surgeon.  Sometimes a family physician is not as familiar with particulars of weight loss surgery. If you must take an NSAID, and the medication says to take it with food, be sure to do that.

An alternative to an NSAID for pain is Tylenol.  It avoids the bleeding, but is not as effective. Unfortunately it is a trade-off. Do you suffer the pain of the arthritis or suffer the pain of an ulcer?

Darlene is interested in what others do for arthritis pain, so email me at and I will summarize your responses.

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?

Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you need to get yourself back on track!

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

Am I Too Thin?

Hello Barbara,
I just read your article on weight. I had gastric bypass surgery 2 years and 8 months ago. I weighed 227 lbs and lost 117 lbs down to 110 lbs.  I have gained 4 lbs back, but I hear all the time that I'm too thin.  I'm 5'4" and will be 61 years old December 15th. 

What I don't like is if I do gain weight, then people will say she's gaining her weight back.  I am petrified of regaining. When I had my surgery, my surgeon wanted me at 130 lbs, but I kept losing. I no longer need any of my medications, and I'm happy where I am. My hair and nails took a beating though.  I still get stomach aches if I eat too much, or the wrong thing.

Do you think I'm underweight?  I would love to hear back from you, and you can use my story if you would like to.

Thanks so much,

JoAnn Gibson

Dear JoAnn,
Actually you are not too thin. I checked a BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator and at 5’4” and 114 lbs., your BMI is 19.6. Your BMI would have to be below 18.5 or a weight of 107 pounds for you to be underweight. You are close to being underweight, but you are still in the normal range.

People are accustomed to seeing you at a much higher weight, as are you. And I do understand that feeling that people will start to think that you are regaining your weight. We have seen those looks many times, and we know what people are thinking.

Since you are feeling good, I wouldn’t worry about your weight right now, but I would recommend that you watch your weight carefully so that you don’t lose more. You will soon be entering a phase between the 3 to 5 year range when people start to get hungry and also start to regain weight. That might happen to you.

As long as you are feeling well, I would not worry about those who are saying that you look too thin.  Just tell them that according to your BMI, your weight is in the normal range.

To calculate your BMI, go to

  Cream of Tomato Soup

Now that the weather is turning cold, my thoughts turn to making soup.  This is a great soup that I remember so well from my childhood. Enjoy!

Cream of Tomato Soup recipe

3 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons crumbled Roquefort cheese (optional, for garnish)
basil, oregano and parsley (optional, for garnish)

1. Melt the butter in a dutch oven.
2. Blend in the flour until smooth.
3. Pour in the tomato juice and stir until it thickens.
4. Stir in the baking soda.
5. Add the salt, sugar and milk.
6. Heat thoroughly.
7. Divide into bowls and serve with crumbled cheese and/or basil, oregano and parsley (if desired).

Servings: 8

Nutritional information for one serving:
Calories: 162
Total fat: 11.1 g
Cholesterol: 33.1 mg
Sodium: 674.4 mg
Total carbs: 12.6 g
Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 4.1 g

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:
Mary Catherine Moran

I want to offer a special thanks to Mary Catherine Moran for sharing her success with us.       Here is her story:

Dear Barbara,
Though lately I have been struggling, I am a success story. I had surgery shortly before Thanksgiving 3 years ago. I weighed 405 pounds at surgery. I now weigh between 206-9 pounds depending on the day. My lowest weight since surgery was 196. I would like to weigh 180 ish.

Prior to surgery I was lethargic, depressed and overwhelmed with almost everything in my life. I could barely walk due to knee problems directly related to my obesity, had painful gout attacks on a regular basis, and my addiction to food ruled my life in every way.

By the time I reached 405 pounds I had literally tried just about every diet under the sun. Additionally, I had been to two rehabs for food addiction. I've suffered from food addiction from a very early age. I am also a recovering alcoholic, and my weight really started to become a problem when I stopped drinking at age 29. I don't really remember a time in my life when I wasn't thinking obsessively about food, either how to get it or how to keep it from getting me!

As a result of RNY surgery, I have a tool that reminds me that food is not intended to be entertainment or escape. I remind myself on a daily basis that I went to great lengths to have a second chance, and that to squander the gift and the opportunity would be a tragedy. I mean that sincerely.

At 56 I no longer have knee problems, my dangerously high blood pressure is under control, and I have the energy I had when I was a much younger woman. Amazingly, I don't have a problem with excess skin as I would have predicted. Now I am optimistic and proactive about my program. I know that surgery was not a cure and that I have to make conscious decisions about my food plan, seek out support on a regular basis, and learn on a daily basis what works best for me.

There have been other losses that I had not anticipated. My 12-year relationship with my boyfriend ended. He considers himself to be "victim of weight loss surgery”; blaming it for our break-up. The fact is that surgery, weight loss, and especially counseling, gave me the courage to face the facts - that the relationship was no longer healthy for me.

Living life after weight loss surgery is not always easy. I have days when I resent the fact that I can't eat anything I want, anytime I want. I ask for help when I need it, and continue to seek out the support that I need to be successful. Success doesn't just mean keeping the weight off, by the way. It means living without the obsession...and that is what brought me to weight loss surgery in the first place.

Looking at my before pictures, I am reminded of my misery, and grateful for this second chance at life. And I am getting a lot out of the Back on Track Program, your internet mentoring program. Thank you!!!

Congratulations Mary Catherine

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.

Barbara Thompson


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and more

Drink 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.


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