Issue #175 October 15, 2009

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In This Issue


* Lose the Clutter/Lose the Weight CD
* Help! Iím Hungry!
* Update on Joy
* Research Article: Are You Getting Enough?
* Recipe: Baked Salmon with Cucumber and Tomato Salsa
* Success Story: Meleani Wheeler

Lose the Clutter/Lose the Weight

New Audio CD!

You might be interested to know that there is a direct link between all the clutter in your home and your ability to lose weight.  If your environment is filled with clutter, you may find yourself unable to cope or to move forward productively with anything.  You are surrounded by unmade decisions. Trying to get organized to eat in a healthy way or to make time to exercise will be impossible. The clutter will be calling you.

In this telephone seminar with Patty Kreamer, Certified Professional Organizer and author of But I Might Need It Some Day, you will learn:

Why you have clutter and canít get out from under it

How clutter affects you and how it directly impacts your weight

 How to get this all under control so that you can move forward to a healthier and happier life

Help! Iím Hungry!

Hi Barbara,
I am 3 1/2 years post op from gastric bypass surgery, and I am fighting some major desires for food. I have regained about 10 pounds, and I am getting worried. I am hungry (probably not really, just head hunger) all of the time. Is there a natural appetite suppressant that I can take to help with this?  I so much need to get this under control.  I donít want to regain my weight, but this is very hard to deal with.  I haven't mentioned this to anyone, because I don't know anyone personally who has had this surgery and is dealing with this.  I hope you can help.

Dear Pam,
First let me say that you are definitely not alone. Like you, there are thousands and thousands who are terrified and suffering in silence. This is a very common problem that can start when patients are 3 to 5 years or more post-op. There are several reasons for this:

1.  We gradually start eating more carbohydrates. When we eat simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, white bread, white pasta, etc, our blood sugar level spikes. When it drops again, it signals our bodies to get more of those energy-rich carbohydrates and it causes cravings and hunger. I believe that even though we are no longer morbidly obese, we are still very susceptible to these blood sugar level spikes and drops. Therefore, stay away from simple carbohydrates. However, complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are very good for us.
2.  We gradually start eating more food, and our pouch actually stretches. We forget that we have a small pouch and donít stop when we are full.
3.  We donít drink enough water, and are actually dehydrated. When we feel hunger, often it is really thirst.
4.  We fail to eat our protein first. Protein is dense and stays with us, helping us to feel full longer.
5.  We donít eat enough low-calorie high-water foods. They help to fill us up with few calories. Green salad is an example of these foods, referred to as volumetrics.
6.  We drink right after eating which pushes food out of our pouches before we can feel full and satisfied.

So here is what to do:

1.  Avoid simple carbohydrates, but eat complex carbohydrates.
2.  Stop eating when you feel food.
3.  Drink 64 ounces of water per day.
4.  Eat protein first, at least 60 grams.
5.  Look for high fiber, low calorie foods to fill up on.
6.  Wait an hour before drinking after you eat.

Most people struggle and many lose their way and really start to regain.  That is exactly why I started the Back on Track with Barbara Program. It is good that you are addressing this early, before your weight really gets out of control.

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`?

 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.

Update on Joy

In the March 15th, 2009 newsletter,, I included a letter from Joy who was 6 months post-op, and was really struggling. She was even to the point that she regretted having surgery. Joy is doing much better, and wanted to provide an update to all of you who have been so supportive of her.

Dear Barbara,
This is the Joy whose email was published in your March 15th newsletter. It was a very negative email on my part, but very truthful as I was not happy with the progress I was making. I wasn't sure I'd go through the procedure again if I had that choice.  I was so surprised at the number of letters that you published in response to my original email, and I dearly thank so many of you for those words of encouragement. 

I had my Roux-en-Y surgery September 2008, and I wrote that email about 6 months after surgery. I had lost quite a bit of weight, but still wore large size clothing, and didn't really enjoy eating.  My social activities included a lot of eating out with friends, and at that time it wasn't much fun for me. I was so limited in what I could eat, and most things didn't taste good.         

That was when I was 6 months post-op. However, during the 7th and 8th month, things really changed for me.  The food tasted much better, and I enjoyed eating out again with my friends.  To my surprise, my clothes sizes shrunk from a 4X blouse down to a medium, and instead of wearing a size 26-28 pants I can now wear a size 10 or 12.  I don't even look bad in a swimming suit anymore. 

I did lose 140 pounds in less than a year, and am happy to say that I am holding at that weight.  Yes, I do weigh myself every morning, and allow myself to fluctuate 5 pounds. If I go over that weight, I immediately adjust my eating, because I never want to get back into the shape I once was. I feel this surgery was my last hope of ever being at a decent weight.  I am now so happy to go shopping with friends, and am able to shop in "normal" stores.   

Ice cream was always my biggest treat, but I find I no longer like it.  Instead peanuts, vegetables or fruit are my choice for a snack. I must confess that I usually don't have any problems when eating, although I no longer like a few items that I used to, such as ham and hamburgers. I try to stay away from pastas.  I now love soups, which I never cared for in the past.  I still have a dessert when we're invited out, but only take a small sliver, and enjoy that just as much as a large piece.  I usually take part of my meal home when eating at restaurants. 

Having had a weight problem all my life, I can now say that this is the first time in my life that I feel good about my body.  I've even been called skinny a few times.  Yes, I do have some hanging skin, but not bad enough to have surgery.  I do go to an exercise class with a senior citizens group twice a week, which helps very much.    

Again, thanks to all who emailed words of encouragement (and some even sent hugs), and told me to "hang in there."  I hope all who have gone through this surgery will someday feel as good about it as I now do.


Are You Getting Enough?

Sleep that is. There is a direct link between sleep and your ability to lose weight. If you are sleep deprived, your body will start to produce more of the hunger hormone and less of the hormone that makes you feel full. This is a very interesting article. Read it and then get to bed early!!

Click here to read more:

Recipe: Baked Salmon
  with Cucumber and Tomato Salsa

Low in calories, high in protein and high in omega 3 fatty acids. What more could you ask for?

Baked Salmon with Cucumber and Tomato Salsa

  • 4 salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 lemons sliced in circles
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 1/2 C finely diced cucumber
  • 1/2 C finely diced tomato (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 C chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Place salmon fillets in a glass baking dish, skin side down. Rub garlic over the top of the salmon and sprinkle with salt and thyme. Cover salmon with slices of lemon and bake at 400 degrees about 30 minutes or until done.

In a small saucepan melt butter and whisk in lemon juice. Fold in cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, dill, and salt. Once the salmon is done, remove the lemon slices and place the salmon on a dinner plate. Cover salmon with cucumber and tomato salsa and serve.

Number of Servings: 4
Nutritional Information per Serving:
283 calories, 18 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein

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:
   Meleani Wheeler

I want to offer a special thanks to Meleani Wheeler for submitting her story.

Dear Barbara,
I have been wanting to write something about my success thus far for your newsletter for quite some time. I was waiting until I felt I had lost enough weight so that people could "visually" see the difference.  In just over six months, I have lost 89 pounds, with about 65 more to lose to reach my goal, and I feel wonderful!

Here is a little about myself. I was always a larger child.  I never fit into the group of popular kids. Can we all relate to that at some point in our lives as obese people? I certainly received my share of teasing and torture as a child and teenager. 

As an adult, I continued to gradually gain weight, but I never thought I was that bad until I finally woke up one day and weighed more than 300 pounds!  And over 300 pounds is where I stayed for more than 15 years. My all-time highest weight was 365 pounds.

At one point, about five years ago, I went to my doctor in desperation to talk about the possibility of surgery, and to discuss what all my options might be.  He suggested I try using the drug phentermine to suppress my appetite. I really did not want to have surgery, except as a last resort. 

I took the drug for two years and lost 85 pounds on my own. But as is the case with so many of us, I gradually began to gain it back. Last year I could "see the writing on the wall," and I realized that I really needed help.  Part of my frustration with losing weight on my own was that I would always reach a plateau, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't break it.  That discouraged me so much that eventually I began to pack the pounds back on. 

Last year, one of my best friends had gastric bypass surgery.  Two other friends, a married couple, had their surgeries in October 2008 and January 2009.  After watching their success with gastric bypass surgery, I decided it was time I took back control of my life and my health. I decided I wanted to have gastric bypass surgery as well, so that I could be healthy.

Going into surgery I did not have all the co-morbidities that many bypass patients have. I did not have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, even though I weighed 317 pounds on the day of my surgery.  But I was having problems with my knees and my back.  Since having my surgery, those problems have completely disappeared.   I feel like a new woman! My husband calls me "the incredible shrinking woman" - a title I proudly wear! 

After surgery I have had absolutely no complications.  Sure, I have the occasional times when I eat too much or too fast and suffer with the "foamies,Ē but it is a small price to pay for the new lifestyle I have embraced. 

I love my life now.  I can ride my bike, walk in 5K run/walks, and exercise without feeling like I'm going to die!  I can buy new clothes that are not plus sized!  I can cross my legs when I am sitting down, walk all over Disneyland in 100+ degree weather, and not have sore feet or feel tired. I can put the arm down on my driver's seat in my car, which I couldnít do before, and the list could go on and on. 

I have never regretted, not for one second, my decision to have this surgery.  I will forever be grateful to Dr. Coates and his team at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, CA for giving me this second chance at life.

Thank you, Barbara, for your website and newsletter. I did a ton of research before I had my surgery and your book Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You, was such a valuable tool for me. 

Click here for information regarding the book

If anyone ever needs encouragement going into their surgery, please feel free to drop me an email.  That is one thing that is so wonderful about the bariatric community -- everyone I know is always so willing to "pay it forward" and encourage those who are considering or have just had their surgery.

Thanks for listening to my story!

Meleani Wheeler

Congratulations Meleanie
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.


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