Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
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In This Issue
* Single Best Way to Lose Weight
* Back on Track Program
* Weight Loss Surgery from the Insurance Companies Perspective
* Recipe: Arabic Green Beans with Beef
* Success Story: Eric Hurst
* Attention Nurses
Says This Is the Single Most
Important Way to Lose
Have you stopped losing weight or are
you regaining? Well, let me ask you a question. What did
you have to eat 3 days ago? Can you tell me exactly? Can
you tell me every bite of food that you put in your mouth?
You can only tell me these things if you have been journaling.
Journaling is the single most
important way to lose weight according to a Web MD article.If you are serious about wanting
to lose weight, you will start that food journal today!!
Supplements for Bariatric Surgery Patients
Bariatric Advantage® provides a complete line of
nutritional supplements that have been specifically
formulated to meet the unique demands of both the
pre-operative bariatric surgical candidate, as well as
the post-operative bariatric surgical patient.
I received the following email from Anna
who gave me her permission to reprint it. I wonder how
many others are feeling this way.
“Have you noticed since you re-gained any amount of weight,
people that were around you when you were thinner are slowly
fading into the woodwork, no longer to be seen or heard? Is it
me? My husband says it's because I have changed my attitude
back to the way it used to be before I lost weight and that is
why people are backing off.
You know, as much as that sounds
sensible, I can't believe it. And I won't. I truly believe
that people don't even want to be friends with someone who is
just 50 pounds overweight. I say just 50 pounds overweight
because I used to be 170 pounds overweight. When I was 170
pounds overweight, I accepted it as my fault, but now I just
can't. The so-called friends that lost all their weight with
weight loss surgery, have kept the weight off, and have had
plastic surgery seem to avoid me like the plague. Surely they
should know weight gain is not contagious.
I just realized this the other day.
People who were so friendly and cheerful and just knocking my
door down to be my friend, calling at all hours of the night,
are dropping like flies. Is anyone else experiencing anything
I want to add a comment here.
Some people just want to move on. But some people might be
like a former friend of mine, Renee. Renee had weight loss
surgery, lost her weight, had plastic surgery then pulled away
from me. I hadn’t regained any weight, so I knew it wasn’t
that, but I knew something was wrong. I finally confronted her
about it and she admitted she was pulling away. She wanted to
leave her old morbidly obese life behind and I was too much of
a reminder of that. She had a new job and she didn’t want
anyone to know that she had ever been heavy. She felt such
shame about her former size. It was sad that I lost my friend.
She has since moved away and I miss her. But I had to respect
What is equally sad is when
people who were morbidly obese and have experienced the
discrimination that accompanies morbid obesity, would do the
same thing to a friend who is not as slim as they are.
I remember when I was preparing for my
weight loss surgery 8 ½ years ago. I went through all my
testing and my claim was submitted to my insurance company.
I had no idea if weight loss surgery was covered by my
insurance company. I was too
afraid to even call to find out. I was afraid that if I
asked it would send up a red flag, so I meekly waited to
That was a frightening time. But I
think it would have been easier if I understood the
perspective of my insurance company better. Here is an
article from the January 2005 issue of the journal
Managed Care, a journal for the insurance industry.
Insurance companies recognize that
weight loss surgery works. It is effective for treating a
population that is becoming heavier and heavier. They also
recognize that there are co-morbidities that go along with
obesity that cost businesses and insurance companies money.
We as patients have always used the
argument that the surgery saves money because we are
healthier post-surgery and not requiring as much care.
However the chart in this article shows just the opposite.
So be careful using that reasoning for an appeal.
What has to be kept in mind is that the
statistics in this chart are based on data from 1995 to
2001. How many of you had your surgery during that time? I
did, but people are always marveling how long ago I had
surgery. In the world of weight loss surgery, those
statistics are ancient. The follow-up surgery rate is much
better now, but writers still quote ancient statistics
because there isn’t another survey (that I know of) that up
dates these statistics.
The other point made in the article is
that the benefit of weight loss surgery should be made
available to only those people who are employed by the
company for a long period of time so that people are not
taking a job just so they can have the benefit of weight
loss surgery and then go off to another job.
Sun Tzu said in the book The Art of War, “Know thy enemy.” Be smart about your
arguments with insurance company and try to understand their
Green Beans with Beef
Arabic Green Beans with Beef
1 pound beef
round roast, cubed
1 onions, diced
1/2 cup water
1 pound fresh
green beans, trimmed and halved
ground black pepper
8 ounces canned
8 ounces tomato
Heat the oil in a
skillet over medium heat; brown the beef in the hot oil for 10
minutes. Stir in the onions and 1/2 cup water; cover, reduce heat
to low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix the
green beans, allspice, pepper, and salt into the mixture; cover
and simmer another 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce;
cover with water; cover and simmer another 45 minutes.
Makes 6 servings. Each serving:
160 calories; 12 g. protein, 11 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fat, 4 g.
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 Eric Hurst for
submitting his story:
I grew up in a family in which
weight was always a topic of discussion. We were professional dieters--who
cheated a lot. I was a pudgy little kid, but when I look at photos of myself in
my teens and early 20s, it makes me mad that I could not learn to be happy with
my weight—I looked great! But I was always tall, which translated in my mind to
“big”, and I always weighed more than “the charts” said I should.
My poor self-image became a self-fulfilling prophecy once I
was out of school and sitting behind a desk all day. Although I started having
issues with blood pressure and cholesterol/triglycerides in college, over the
course of the next 14 years, my weight steadily increased, and my medical issues
along with it: diabetes, sleep apnea, acid reflux, back pain, plantar fascitis,
and chronic sinusitis were added to my list. I was spending a fortune on
medication. What finally made me realize enough was enough was when, after 8
years as a diabetic, I was taking such huge doses of both oral medication and
insulin that the pharmacist argued with my doctor that no one could possibly be
taking that large a dose! I was definitely headed towards an insulin pump, and
of course more insulin = more weight gain.
I had been monitoring with interest the progress of 3
friends (all women) who had had gastric bypass surgery. I really didn’t think
it was an option for me. My BMI never reached the target, and most of my
friends couldn’t believe I was considering something so drastic. “You’re not
that heavy!” they all said. At 6’2”, I carried my weight well enough that most
people wouldn’t guess the actual number, and most people didn’t know the extent
of my health problems. When I mentioned the possibility of surgery to my
endocrinologist, I was surprised at how receptive she was to the idea. I
received similar positive support (and support letters) from all my health care
providers, and Blue Cross approved me for the surgery with no delays.
On the morning of surgery—December 28, 2006—I was 41 years
old and weighed 299 pounds. The surgery went fine, and I was back to work in
less than 3 weeks. I was soon taking no medication for anything! I lost all my
excess weight in 5 months, and reached my present weight of 185 after 9 months.
One of my mentors had told me: one month after surgery, join a gym. I laughed,
but took the advice, and joined 6 weeks after surgery. With a little
rearranging of my daily routine, I found I could make the time for exercise I
never thought I had, and I’m still faithfully going to the gym 3 or 4 days a
I did have one complication. About 2 months post-op, as I
began eating a greater variety of foods, I started throwing up quite a bit.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to it, and I was prepared to
live with it if I had to. But my surgeon said no, that wasn’t going to be
necessary. So 6 months post-op, he did an upper endoscopy, and found, as he
suspected, that the opening to my pouch was too small. So in the same procedure
he stretched that opening with a balloon (like an angioplasty), and within a few
weeks I was no longer having problems.
My surgeon and his staff say I’m their poster child! My
regular doctor says I have the best physique of any WLS patient he’s seen. When
shopping for clothes, I buy mediums and smalls—and was surprised to discover
than a lot of men’s clothes don’t come in small (who knew?)! I still get a
thrill out of running into someone who hasn’t seen me in awhile, and listening
to them search for words to describe the transformation (“You didn’t just lose
weight, you found a time machine!”). But most importantly, I put a stop to the
downward spiral my health was on, and am enjoying my new lease on life!
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.
Preparing for COE Status?
Would You Like to Have
Obesity Sensitivity Training for
Your Hospital Staff?
(Guess What - It May Be Free)
If you are a bariatric coordinator and need obesity
sensitivity training for your hospital staff, contact me at
Barbara@BarbaraThompson.net. Obesity sensitivity
training is a Center of Excellence requirement. I have
sponsorship that your hospital may qualify for.
Search Barbara Thompson's Website
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