Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery


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Hosted by Barbara Thompson
Author of:
Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.

Issue #149

September 15, 2008

Barbara Thompson
The Voice of Obesity

Hello Everyone,
This newsletter is provided to you free of charge. I love doing it, but I ask a few things from you in return.  What I ask of you is to occasionally contribute to the content. You can do this by sending in your success story.  When I ask for your opinion, please take the time to jot something down.  And when I have surveys, please respond.

Right now I really need your success story. I am completely out.  If you sent one and I havenít published it, it is because I either didnít receive it or you sent it without before and after pictures. So please resend it.

So please share your story with all of us. And remember that success isnít only measured in pounds lost. It is measured also in the accomplishments of doing everyday things that were impossible before.

If you are wondering where my video is, my husband Frank who is my videographer had surgery this week. He is still feeling rather delicate. We will resume the videos with the next issue.

In This Issue


* Motivation: The Key to Long Term Success
* Reasons for Surgery: A Special Response
* The Obesity Action Coalition: Your Avenue to Pay It Forward
* Remembering My Surgery
* Recipe: Asian Chicken and Slaw
* Success Story: Wendy

Motivation: The Key to Long Term Success

Motivation to lose weight came easily when we had surgery. With some of us, motivation came from a choice between life and death. Motivation may have came from total humiliation or a quality of life that was no longer tolerable.

But what happens when those circumstances change. What happens when our health improves and we have lost a great deal of weight? What happens when we are not at goal or are starting to panic because the pounds are starting to creep back up? We look and feel better, but wonder if we are on the path back to the weight we were before. How do we get motivated to get moving and eating in a healthy way to reverse a very dangerous trend? Finding that motivation can be the difference between our success and failure.

In order to become truly motivated, there are some things to do to set the stage for success.

  1. Have a positive attitude about yourself.  If you are expecting failure, then you will fail. Have faith that you can do this. You need to have a healthy attitude on the inside before you can be healthy on the outside. 
  2. Surround yourself with positive people who will be your cheerleaders. Share with them what you are trying to do and ask for their help.  Stay away from those who put you down or urge you to eat. Donít bother to even share with them what you are trying to accomplish, because they will make it their mission to stop you dead in your tracks. They can eat away at your motivation and reverse strides you have made.
  3. Find a role model Ė someone that you would like to look or act like. Be sure this is a person who is ďrealĒ and in your same age bracket.  There is a woman who I have seen many times at my local gym who also shops at my grocery store. She is about my age and looks terrific.  I donít know her, but I have watched her over the years. I have seen how she exercises and the food that she buys. She is my role model. She is not a Barbie doll. She is not perfect. She is just a real woman who works at being healthy in a realistic and attainable way.
  4. Examine why you overeat and why you may not exercise. Sit down with paper and pencil and write some thoughts out.  What is it that might be holding you back? Are there reasons that you can work on by yourself, and are there reasons that you might need professional counseling with?
  5. Have a good understanding of why you are doing this. This is truly where your motivation comes from. Know yourself.

Now you are ready to get started. Set a realistic goal that you want to work towards, and then set a time frame. It is better to set a short term goal that is achievable.  Be patient with yourself and have confidence that if you keep trying you will eventually get there. It is only when you give up that you fail. Donít let fear of failure stop you. It can lead to procrastination and never being completely content with yourself.

Motivation is in you somewhere. If you had weight loss surgery, then you are a motivated person. None of us goes through the ordeal of weight loss surgery without being extraordinary. Being the best that you can be takes a lot of motivation, and if you dig deep, you will find it.

Reasons for Surgery: A Special Response

In the last newsletter, I talked about reasons to have weight loss surgery. I received many really wonderful responses. But I would like to share the response that I received from Patty. It especially spoke to me.

Hi Barbara,
Here are a few reasons that I had my surgery. Along with the obvious reasons of looking better and feeling better, these are my personal reasons.

1. The main reason I had surgery was I couldn't stand to see the pain in a little boyís eyes.  A little blonde haired, blue eyed, 2 year old grandson who, when I would come in from working a day shift, would say, "Mamaw, letís go outside and play baseball."  I couldn't do it.  I had no energy and I would come home, sit in the recliner and go to sleep.

 2.  I have been a nurse for 32 years since before my 20th birthday. At 51 years old, I am not ready to hang up my hat yet. I love this work, but my dream job is to be a traveling nurse. I will work 3 days a week in exotic places and I will take my husband along as part of my personal baggage. 

3.  Absolutely to get off the 8 pills I was taking before. 

4. To rid myself of sleep apnea, diabetes, and severe foot and joint pain of arthritis.

5. To be able to look and feel good. This is one of my main reasons. If you don't feel good then you make everyone around you not feel good and they don't want to be there with you.  Misery rarely ever loves company in my experience. 

Thanks for letting me share.  


Attention Nurse Educators

Preparing for COE Status?

Would You Like to Have

Obesity Sensitivity Training for

Your Hospital Staff?

(Guess What - It May Be Free)

Speaking for Hospitals

If you are a bariatric coordinator or nurse educator and need obesity sensitivity training for your hospital staff, contact me at 877-440-1518 or  Obesity sensitivity training is a Center of Excellence requirement. I can help you find sponsorship that your hospital may qualify for.

The Obesity Action Coalition:
  Your Avenue to Pay It Forward

Membership in the OAC is Important to YOU as a Patient

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is an important organization for those who are affected by obesity. Whether you are seeking to treat your obesity or have successfully sought treatment, the OAC needs your support and your voice as a member. The OAC invites you to join with us now and become a Patient/Family Member of the OAC.

The OAC is a National non profit organization formed more than three years ago to bring together individuals affected by obesity, morbid obesity and childhood obesity. The OAC serves these individuals, as well as the public, through education and advocacy efforts. As someone who is affected by the life-changing disease of obesity, YOU are why the OAC exists.

We exist to help others who are trying to access treatments for their obesity. We exist to fight obesity discrimination that unnecessarily happens each and every day. We exist to lessen the negative stigma that those affected face in their daily lives. We exist to educate others and the public that obesity is a complex disease and it isnít a personal failing or lack of self-control. We exist to represent the millions upon millions who are affected in this country. We exist to serve YOU and help YOU in everything that we do.  

Join Now!

Joining the OAC is a small financial commitment of $20/year, and with that you will receive valuable member benefits, such as an annual subscription to the OACís official patient magazine, OAC News. But most importantly, joining the OAC is a way to make a difference and help others with the same challenges you face/or have faced.

The OAC thanks you for your support and hopes to welcome YOU as a member!

Remembering My Surgery

My husband, Frank, had prostate removal surgery this week and it brought back so many memories of my gastric bypass surgery. His surgery was done laparoscopically and he announced that we now have matching scars.  The first time that I saw him get back into bed after surgery, he just fell back onto the hospital bed and groaned in pain.  I said to him, ďDonít you remember anything about how to get in and out of bed from my book?Ē So we reviewed how to use your arms rather than your stomach muscles when lying down and getting up. He used a spirometer, and the leg wraps to guard against blood clots and is dealing with a JP drain. I should have suggested that he review the first part of my book prior to his surgery.

If you have not had your surgery yet, my book, Weight Loss Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You will prepare you and your family for what you will experience, as well as provide you with a guide for the following year.

Get the new 2008 edition by clicking here

Asian Chicken and Slaw

Asian Chicken and Slaw

1-1/4 lbs. ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions (including some green), finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons dark Asian sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package (16 ounces) shredded coleslaw mix
1/4 cup beef broth

Combine chicken, 2 cloves of garlic, green onions, 2 teaspoons ginger, half of the water chestnuts, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, hoisin sauce, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium- size bowl. Shape into patties.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook 4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant thermometer. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm.

Add the remaining garlic, water chestnuts, soy sauce and salt to the skillet, along with the coleslaw mix. Cook over medium-high heat 7 minutes. Add broth, cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Serve slaw alongside patties.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information for each serving:

Calories: 344
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g

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

Back on Track with Barbara 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 with warm weather here?

 Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you need!

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

Success Story:
I am rerunning this success story from 2003 because I am completely out. Please send in your success story along with your before and after pictures. This is a feature that readers really appreciate and it is dependent upon you. Even if you have already sent one in, feel free to write another from a different perspective. Remember to include your before and after pictures and if possible, send pictures in .jpg format.  Send your success story to me at  

If you aren't able to attach your photos to an email, contact

Hello, my name is Wendy and I am a grateful Weight Loss Surgery recipient! I am 48 years old, married, with one 12 year old son.

Weight has always been an issue for me. I went on my first diet when I was in 6th grade. In 12th grade my family doctor prescribed Dexedrine to help me lose and maintain weight. After college I tried: 1) thyroid pills even though there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, 2) a hypnotist, 3) Weight Watchers (multiple times), 4) Nutri-System (several times), 5) Jenny Craig (twice), 6) a liquid diet program, 7) the phen/fen drug combination, 8) the Richard Simmons Deal-A-Meal program, and 9) the Weigh Down Workshop (twice, and boy did I feel like a bad Christian when I failed this program!!).

After all these weight loss attempts my weight was up to an all time high of approximately 315 pounds. I realized that nothing I had ever tried was going to give me a permanent weight loss. That is, until my sister-in-law told me about Carnie Wilson and her weight loss surgery. I started investigating weight loss surgery seriously in January of 2001. I filled out my paperwork the first week in February and was approved by insurance in May. In that time between February and my surgery date, I ate like an out of control eating machine. By my pre-op appointment, my weight had climbed to 333.5 pounds. I had my lap RNY on 9/25/01 with Dr. Wittgrove in San Diego and have not looked back since. I have lost 203 pounds!!

As far as how I feel Ė I feel better than I have since I was a teenager! I have so much energy now it is amazing. And I eat a normal amount of calories so my body is not starving or feeling deprived in any way. Losing weight does not magically change your life. If emotional or other problems exist now, they still have to be dealt with after weight loss surgery. However, life does not seem to be so hard anymore. My outlook on life has really improved!

I just had plastic surgery to remove excess skin and so I am feeling better about myself than I have in many years. Several people have asked me if I am glad I had the surgery and I always answer with an emphatic ďYESĒ!!!!!!! I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Lap RNY 9/25/01
Dr. Wittgrove, Alvarado Hospital
Minus 203 pounds

Congratulations Wendy


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