In This Issue
* Big Medicine Returns
* What’s Up with My Bones?
* Eek! I Stopped Losing
* Recipe: Soup ala Valerie Bertinelli
Story: Kimberly Wooley
Big Medicine Returns to Discovery
Health Wednesday, Nov. 18th
If you have never seen an episode of Big Medicine, you have really
missed something! Big Medicine is a program which aired for 2 seasons
and is about people who are preparing for weight loss surgery and
following them after surgery. You hear their stories, and get to know
and understand their struggles. They are people that we can all
The show helped people who were considering surgery better understand
it. The show also helped dissolve some stereotypes and showed patients
to be motivated and intelligent people suffering from a disease.
The surgeon on the program, Dr. Garth Davis, has contacted me with a
special request for all of you. Big Medicine is being considered for a
third expanded season and the continuation of the show will depend
upon how well the first episode does.
Please tune in to Big Medicine on the Discovery Health Channel in your
area on Wednesday November 18th at 9:00 PM eastern time.
The show will feature an all new episode, “Where Are They Now,” which
will allow you to see how some of your favorites from the past 2
episodes are doing. It is essential that the show get huge ratings.
So tune in, and have your friends and family tune in as well. Let’s
make sure Big Medicine continues!
Save Big Medicine
Watch Wednesday Nov. 18th,
9:00 PM Eastern Time
on your Discovery Health Channel
What’s Up with My Bones?
I am 7 years post-op and have recently had a physical where I discovered
that I am anemic. In addition, I had a bone scan and learned that I
have osteopenia. Is this something most of us have or will experience?
I have increased my exercise and am doubling my iron. I also take more
vitamin D. Do you know of anything else I should be doing?
You are taking good care of yourself regarding your anemia. And it is
very good that you had a bone scan. That is the only way to tell the
condition of the health of your bones. However, you need to address
that osteopenia right away.
Osteopenia is a mild thinning of the bone
wall, but is not as bad as osteoporosis. This is caused by a lack of
calcium in your body. Lifting weight can help your bone mass, but you
need to be taking calcium supplements.
We, as gastric bypass patients, have 2
particular problem with calcium and are susceptible to osteoporosis. Lap band patients do not share this
1. Most calcium is absorbed in the first
part of the small intestines, which is bypassed in our surgery, so we
leave it up to the 2nd part of the small intestines to do the absorbing.
2. The normal calcium supplements are
calcium carbonate which requires an acidic environment to be absorbed.
In normal stomachs there is a lot of acid which breaks down food.
Since our pouches are so small, and made from the stomach near the
esophagus, we have very little acid, so we must take calcium citrate.
It is essential that you take the right
kind of calcium supplement as well as a medication such as Boniva to
combat this problem before it becomes critical, and you are faced with
the very painful condition of brittle bones. Also, do not take
iron and calcium at the same time. They each interfere with the
absorption of the other. Space them at least 3 hours apart.
I talk a lot about calcium and other
supplements in my book, Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person
Hiding Inside You.
Click here for information about the book and to order.
Also, Bariatric Advantage has
an excellent calcium just for weight loss surgery patients.
Click here to
go directly to our shopping cart.
Eek! I Stopped Losing
I had gastric bypass surgery 1 ½ months ago and I know it is early, but
it seems like I stopped losing weight almost 4 weeks ago. I lost 32 pounds
right away, and stopped. I am not eating more than I should, but I
can't seem to get the weight to start moving again. Am I just being
Yes, you are being too impatient. Patients lose an average of 20
pounds per month right after surgery. You lost 1 ½ month’s worth of
weight in the first 2 weeks. So you actually are on schedule and will
start losing weight very soon.
Also weight loss varies depending upon if you
lost weight prior to surgery, and how much weight you have to lose.
You’re doing great. Also, be careful not to compare yourself to
others. We all lose at our own pace. After my surgery, I hit plateaus
regularly. Just keep going and the scale will catch up.
Soup ala Valerie Bertinelli
I recently saw Valerie Bertinelli prepare this
soup and couldn’t help trying it. I love soup and find it very filling.
And it’s only 95 calories per cup.
1 ¼ cup eggplant (peeled and cubed)
1 cup water
12 oz. chicken broth
14 oz can tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 clove minced garlic
1 small squash, peeled and cubed
Cook for 30 minutes
½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbl. Parmesan cheese, sprinkled on top
95 calories per bowl
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer a special thanks to Kimberly
Wooley for taking the time to share her story with us.
My surgery was January 10, 2008, in Erie, PA. Dr. Rodolfo
Arreola performed my gastric bypass surgery at Hamot Medical
Center. Everything went fairly smoothly.
My starting weight was 245 lbs. and I now weigh
about 165 lbs. For months I have been fighting to stay below 160,
but that has been a losing battle.
Losing weight has been a lifetime battle and a
battle I still feel like I am fighting. My highest weight was 275
lbs. 16 years ago. I tried everything from Weight Watchers when I
was 18 to the six-week-makeover diet. That diet lasted six months,
and I was very successful, but could not keep the weight off. I
became bored after so many months of eating chicken and fruit!!
I watched several co-workers and family members
go through weight loss surgery, and I loved watching them lose the
weight. I finally decided I was going to try it for myself.
It was months of appointments, tests, and
waiting, but when the insurance cleared me, I was a very happy
girl. I am a diabetic, and one of the best parts of my surgery was
being able to stop taking the glucophage for diabetes, blood
pressure pills, and cholesterol medicationl. My energy level is wonderful, and I no longer wake up
But there are some things that bother me. I
feel like I look older than my young 47. The flapping skin on my
thighs is tough to deal with. But I am so happy I can wear the size 8
stretch jeans and I try to forget what is under them.
I truly do feel like I have been a success up
to this point. Now with my two year anniversary knocking at my door,
I have to wonder how long I will be able to wear those size 8's?? I
am one of the unfortunate ones who can eat sugar without "dumping
syndrome." Being a former diabetic my body is really sensitive to
Every day for the rest of my life I will be
making decisions and choices. Every day I will remember my surgery,
because my flapping skin will always be there to remind me of the
damage I did to my body.
I love good news. If you have good news, a success story
to share, or
inspiration, please send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can
include it in future issues.
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