Issue #224 September 2012

In This Issue

Are You a Chocoholic?

Back on Track with Barbara
Help for Deb

Inspiration to Lose Weight

Supportive Spouse - Not!

Asking for Your Input 

Obesity Action Coalition Inaugural Convention
Recipe: Zucchini Pizza

Are You a Chocoholic?

There seems to be nothing quite like chocolate. There is nothing like that rich, smooth, creamy taste.

Did you start to salivate as you were reading those words? When you become anxious, do you turn to chocolate to make you feel better and then find that it works? Do you have a really difficult time staying away from chocolate? If so, have you ever wondered if you have an addiction to chocolate?

Well fear not. Researchers seem to agree that a true chocolate addiction does not exist, although sometimes it does feel like it. And even if chocolate isn't a true addiction, it is still very hard to stay away from!

This subject came up recently in my Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program.

Someone wrote, "...Thanks for the support. I have lost 5 lbs., so that is great. The only issue is, I seem to be addicted to eating chocolate. I have an addictive behavior, and I miss my chocolate!!!! I am still craving the chocolate. I am back on track though and looking forward to getting my body back. I even passed up a brownie today, and that was really hard. But besides the chocolate I was eating crackers, bread, and tortillas. So I know that eating the carbs and chocolate was my down fall. I also didn't eat enough protein.

I have always been good at drinking my water and nothing else. I haven't had soda since my surgery. Oh boy, I miss my chocolate. But I know I can do this!!"

Although probably not a true addiction, many people have a physical and emotion tie to chocolate that can be difficult to break. In fact more people crave chocolate than any other food.

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the tropical tree, theobroma cacoa. Substances including endorphins found in chocolate trigger mood enhancing chemicals in the brain which make you feel good. There are other foods that have the same or similar properties, yet do not trigger the same response or cause the same cravings. Therefore it is thought that the mood altering characteristics combined with all of the wonderful creamy, tasty properties of chocolate are what makes it so popular and the object of possible "addictions."

But addiction or not, if you crave chocolate, you need to know how to deal with it. Even though there are some benefits to eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate, the harm of the fat and sugar far outweigh the good. If you are craving chocolate and feel deprived, sad or anxious without it, you need to "own up."

The first thing to do is to question why you have this problem. What is going on in your life or what is not going on, that you need to use chocolate to feel happy. This is not an easy thing to discover, but important. Sometimes it takes working with a counselor who is skilled in working with those with eating issues to discover the root of your problem.

Try eating more protein and grains for lunch so afternoon cravings don't hit. They will give you a more sustained energy boost. Snack on fruit and veggies and have chocolate only occasionally when those cravings come on.

Since chocolate isn't a true addiction, you can have chocolate on a very limited basis. Don't have it as a reward, because you will set yourself up to think of it even more as a prized food. You are better off rewarding yourself with a protein drink.

Recognize when a chocolate craving comes over you. That is the time to stop and not immediately indulge, but to use that time as a learning experience to figure out why that craving came on when it did. What is happening that wasn't happening 3 hours earlier when you weren't craving the chocolate?

After you have put some thought into what is going on, you can have a small piece of chocolate. If you totally deny yourself, you might start to crave it even more, or worse, you might start to substitute other foods which you will find totally unsatisfying and you will still be left with the chocolate craving.

A chocolate craving is powerful; there is no doubt about it. But dealing with, and understanding those cravings to get them under control, is worth the effort.

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

The Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Program really concentrates on lifestyle changes. Join our group and receive lessons via the internet and the support of others who are struggling just like you are.

Are you suffering from emotional eating and canít stop?
Are you grazing on carbohydrates and canít control it?
Are you lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Do you feel that you donít know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Are you dying to be in better shape?

My Back on Track Internet Mentoring Program is just what you
need to start your plan to get your weight under control.

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

Help for Deb

From time to time I receive an email that just breaks my heart. This is one of them. It is short, and I am sure does not convey the amount of pain that Deb is going through. If you have any ideas for her, please email me at with "Help for Deb" in the subject line. I know there has to be someone out there among the 10,000 subscribers to this newsletter that has experienced this that might be able to help.

Dear Barbara
I had open RNY gastric bypass surgery in 2002. For years now, I have been having abdominal pain that comes and goes at any time. It has caused me to be  hospitalized a few times. I have had test done, exploratory surgery, adhesions removed and a hysterectomy done. Today, I still get those pains and there are times where I buckle over in pain. Do you know what would be causing it??

My only thought is that since Deb had her surgery in 2002, many surgeons at that time were not transecting the new pouch. In other words, instead of totally separating the pouch from the stomach and making them two entirely separate parts, they just stitched  between the two. Sometimes there will be a leak between the pouch and the old stomach, and this will cause incredible pain.

If you have had an experience like this, please email me at and I will get the information to Deb.

Barbara Thompson's

Inspiration to Lose Weight

Weekly Email Messages that Will Keep
You Motivated to Lose Weight and Stay Healthy

Staying in the proper frame of mind to continue losing weight can be hard when life's challenges always lead you astray.  Weekly messages will keep you on a steady track to lose weight.

Start receiving weekly motivational messages today
to stay on track with your weight loss.

Click for more information

Here is a sample inspirational message:

#79  Believe In Yourself

"I've gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat."

                                       Joan Mills

Dieting can really wreck havoc with self-esteem.  We lose weight, and then the pounds can creep back on.  We lose our self confidence.  We lose the ability to believe in ourselves and our decisions.  You can be successful. Just remember that you have more strength and resolve than you give yourself credit for. Sometimes you have to just trust in the strength that is in you. 


Supportive Spouse - Not!

Dear Barbara,
I recently had gastric banding surgery, in fact today is my fourth week anniversary.  I can honestly say that the only down side so far--before I have had my first fill--is that I can eat more than I should, and I want carbs. 

I am one of those 'mindless eaters' you speak of:  I eat out of boredom mostly.  My two weeks out of work turned into six weeks when, during surgery, the doctor discovered two hernias which he repaired.  Needless to say, being home so much and still not really up to par as far as physical stamina goes, I have spent my time reading and surfing and that makes me want to eat. 

My husband, who is of normal size, is a potato chip nut.  I will not insist that he give up his favorite foods, and so chips are readily available to me.  So far I haven't been able to resist having a few, and sometimes more than a few, when I get that craving.  I still have two more weeks at home and also two or so weeks before my first fill, so I am sure it will change then. 

I have to force myself to think before I eat.  Usually I try to reach for a bottle of water or some protein, but there are those times that I just give in.  I am losing weight, but I am not happy with myself.

I appreciate your newsletter and find it very helpful.

Thank you,

Hi Jan,
You are trying so hard! I can really hear the determination in your words, but it is not easy. Combine the fact that you haven't had your first fill with the fact that you are at home recuperating from other problems with little to do except be tempted by food, and that makes things doubly difficult. What would make things a lot easier is if you had some support from your spouse, and I am not hearing that.

Regardless of whether your husband is of normal weight or not, potato chips are not healthy for anyone. I think it is entirely reasonable to ask your husband to not bring chips into the house.  This is your chance for a normal weight and you need the support of your family to succeed. Having potato chips in the house is not being at all supportive.

If you were an alcoholic and your husband loved wine, and you were trying to remain sober, would you ask your husband not to have wine in the house? Of course you would.

Let's hope your husband's desire for you to succeed is stronger than his love of chips, and that the family can rally around you and be your cheer leaders!

Asking for Your Input

At the Obesity Action Coalition  Inaugural Convention October 25th to 28th in Dallas, I will be leading a discussion group on online support groups and systems. I would love to hear what your favorite is. Email me at  And I hope to see you in Dallas!


Obesity Action Coalition "Your Weight


Matters" Inaugural Convention

October 25th to 28th the Obesity Action Coalition is having their "Your Weight Matters" inaugural convention in Dallas, TX. If you haven't yet registered, please go to to find out all about the convention and the incredible program that you don't want to miss.

Something that is easily overlooked is the free advocacy training for all those who are registered. It is Thursday afternoon from noon to 5:00 PM.

If you have ever wanted to know what you can do to help the OAC, then you want to be sure to register for the advocacy training as well. On the online registration, you have to indicate that you want to attend. Don't pass up this free opportunity!



Zucchini Pizza

Thanks so much to Debbie Sturdevant for contributing this recipe for a really healthy pizza! And with zucchini still in season, this should be really inexpensive to make for your whole family!

Zucchini Pizza

3 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (4 med)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup soy flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
8 oz. lower carb tomato sauce
Salt, pepper, oregano to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly salt the grated zucchini, and let stand 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture.  Combine zucchini with eggs, flour, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread mixture into greased 9 X 13 pan, bake 20-25 minutes, or until surface is firm and dry.  Then cover crust with sauce, rest of mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with oregano.  Bake 25 minutes.  Cut into 8 squares and serve.  

Debbie wrote, "I am not sure about the specifics of the break-down of nutritional facts, but this is a good pizza substitute.   I think it is:  100 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 8 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams protein."

Debbie Sturdevant

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

Chew 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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