In This Issue
* Stay Inspired to Succeed
* Research Article: Post-Surgery Pregnancies
* Preparing for Surgery: What to Ask the Surgeon
* Recipe: Beef Medallions with Saucy Shiitakes
Story: Bonnie Merchant
Inspired to Succeed
If you can do more, you should.Ē
an interview with Robert Redford in which he was talking about his
experience with the Sundance Film Festival and all the work that he
has done supporting independent films, often to the detriment of his
own career. When asked what pushes him, he said simply, ďI live by
the principle that if you can do more, you should.Ē
of that in your own approach to your health and you weight. It is a
wonderful principle to apply. If you can exercise more, you should.
If you can cook just one more healthy meal per week, you should. If
you can appreciate a little better how far you have come, you
for the positive things that you do in your life and simply ask if
you can do a little more. If you cannot, thatís OK. But itís a great
question to ask to move yourself forward.
I have been writing inspirational messages like
the one above for quite some time, some for my Back on Track with
Barbara Program, and some for other purposes. All relate to weight
loss surgery patients and are meant to inspire the reader to get back
on or stay on track Ė and to be a better person.
I am considering collecting 101 of these into a
book and am curious if you would be interested in a book like this.
Please let me know, one way or the other by
clicking here for a short 2 question survey.
Thanks so much for your help.
For many years, women would use the excuse that
they wanted to get pregnant for not having weight loss surgery. These
women for some reason believed that weight loss surgery would prevent
them from ever being able to get pregnant.
It is true that women should not get pregnant
during their first year to eighteen months following surgery because
the small amount that we can initially eat is not enough to nourish
the patient as well as a growing fetus.
However a new study, reported in General
Surgery News shows that babies born to mothers who have had
bariatric surgery are strikingly healthier at birth and throughout
childhood than siblings who were born before their mother's surgery,
according to results from a large new study from Quebec.
The study suggests that as these post-operative babies grow, they
mirror the improved metabolic health of the mother. This study is the
first to compare children born to mothers before and after surgery.
To read more about the study, click here.
I read your book, Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding
Inside You and have a question for you. Can you give me more questions
to ask the surgeon?
There are so many questions that you can and should ask, but here are
a few. Iím sure our readers can come up with additional questions.
1. Ask what follow-up program the
surgeon has. An educational program and support from a psychologist,
nutritionist and a support group will make a huge difference in your
safety and success.
2. Ask if they are a Center of
Excellence. A Center of Excellence means they have been evaluated by
an independent corporation in terms of their safety, services,
and educational program. Here is a link locate a Center of Excellence in
Here is a link to an article that I wrote
on Centers of Excellence for WLS Lifestyles Magazine
(Please note that this is a large .pdf file that will need extra
time to download.)
3. Ask how many weight loss
surgeries the surgeon has performed. It should be over 200. There is
a huge learning curve with weight loss surgery and the more surgeries
the better in terms of your safety.
4. Ask the percentage of the
surgeonís practice that is devoted to bariatrics. This will give you
an idea if the surgeon does bariatric surgery as a side line, or is
devoted to helping the morbidly obese improve their lives and health
5. Ask if the surgeon transects the
stomach which means that the stomach is completely and forever
separated from the new pouch. If it is transected, there is less
chance of developing a fistula or of food going from the pouch into
the old stomach which can cause horrible pains and additional surgery.
If there are additional questions that
you think should be asked, email them to me at
Order Your Copy Today
with Saucy Shiitakes
1 Tbl. plus 1Ĺ tsp. oil
4 beef tenderloin medallions (about 4 ounces each), trimmed of all fat
and patted dry
ľ tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, about 12 medium, stemmed
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
ľ cup Cognac, or other brandy or Madeira
ľ cup chicken broth
3 Tbl. light sour cream
1 Tbl. chopped parsley
Heat 1 Tbl. of the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the medallions to the pan and
cook about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare, or until desired
doneness. Remove from skillet and set on plates and keep warm.
Add the remaining 1 Ĺ tsp. oil to the skillet. Add
the mushrooms and cook over medium-low heat until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the shallots, garlic and salt and cook until translucent, about 2
minutes. Take the skillet off the heat, add the Cognac, and use a wooden
spoon to scrape up any brown bits that cling to the pan. Return the
skillet to the heat and cook until the liquid is reduced, about 1
minute. Add the chicken broth and cook until saucy, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the sour cream and parsley, and season
with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Information (per serving)
353 calories, 34 grams protein, 1.5 grams carbohydrates, 15 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
This is the LAST
success story I have!
You have lost the weight and you should be proud of it.
Be an example to the many people who need to know how you did
it and what you had to overcome. Consider this to be
your "Pay It Forward" to the WLS community.
Please send your story with before and after photos to me
I want to offer a special thanks to Bonnie
Merchant for sharing her story with us. Although Bonnie is a
success, having lost more than 100 pounds, she is not sure that the
weight loss is worth what her life is like now. There are others
who feel this way, and their stories are just as important as those
who are thrilled with their lives following surgery. Here is her
I enjoy reading your newsletter so much and look forward to each new
one that you publish. But the March 15th letter from Joy
made me realize that I had been looking for someone else that feels
the same as I do about the negative consequences of our surgery.
I had my gastric bypass surgery performed on
February 7, 2008, by Dr. Naziri, of Southern Surgical, Greenville,
NC. He did an excellent job and I had no surgical complications.
Kudos to this excellent caring surgeon.
My weight started at 288 and I am currently at
181, so 107 pounds are gone! Yea!! But I, like Joy, have to be so
careful with my food choices that oftentimes I choose not to eat,
and just have a protein shake instead. It hurts so bad to get sick
from eating a food that my pouch perceives as evil and, as we all
know, that can be any food on any given day.
I can eat salads, most crunchy carbs, moist
ground beef, oatmeal, and chili. Meat still can make me super sick,
especially chicken. Sugar alcohols found in "sugar free" products
cause severe and uncontrollable flatulence. I have had several very
embarrassing moments with this at work so I avoid those foods like
I went on a cruise in June, 2009 and even
though I am a size 14 I still had to dress like I did when I was a
size 28, in 3/4 length sleeves on shirts and pants/Capriís that cover
the entire thigh area. Bathing suit, even the ones with skirts
do not cover all the sag on my thighs. My face has sagged so much
that I was embarrassed to be seen by friends and family who joined us on the cruise. I look 70, and I am barely 59.
So, yes, I too wonder if I did the right thing
in having this surgery. I have to wear the same type of ugly
clothes and in addition to that, I cannot eat! My blood pressure is
still sky high and my sleep apnea is still plaguing me.
Yes, I am thinner and yes, I can buy smaller
clothing. I am able to tie my shoes and paint my toenails. I can
run up a flight of stairs, and, I am sure, in spite of the high
blood pressure, my heart is in better health, which over all are
But, do the pluses offset the minuses? Some days I think
they do, but other days, I am not so sure.
Would I do it again? Probably. But I feel
like I traded one set of problems for another.
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