Barbara Thompson

Weight Loss Surgery

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http://www.WLScenter.com

 

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

 


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Issue #157

Jan 15, 2009

In This Issue

 

* Survey Results: Obesity Tax
* The Right to Have Surgery
* Responses: I Like Weight Loss Surgery Because…
* Recipe: Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free, Lactose-Free Corn Muffins  
* Success Story: Carol J.

Survey Results: The Obesity Tax

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey regarding the obesity tax on regular soda in New York.  You provided some interesting insights. 

80% of you said that a tax on soda wouldn’t help the problem of obesity
76% didn’t feel that regular soda added to their obesity problem
67.7% did drink regular soda prior to surgery.

There were some interesting suggestions about what might work better than a tax. They included:

Encourage physical activity
Limit TV
Serve normal sized portions as opposed to super-sized both at home and in restaurants
Make people more aware of addictions
Subsidize healthy foods. Junk food is so much cheaper
Recognize obesity as a disease – get rid of the stigma
Bring back physical education in schools

Obesity is an extremely complex problem. It is a problem that we still battle, even though we have had surgery. Surgery does not cure obesity; it just gives us tools to battle it.

For an article and video about this topic, go to http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2008/12/the-doctor-is-in-cyberspace.html

Ask Barbara:
  The Right to Have Surgery

Dear Barbara,
I was finally given the OK by my insurance company to have gastric bypass surgery. But now my surgeon tells me that the hospital has a committee that now has the last say. Isn’t this against my rights and considered discrimination? I need to know if I should try and get a lawyer.
Thank you,
Shawn

Hi Shawn,
No, the hospital is in their rights to review if you should have surgery. I know it feels like discrimination, and we have experienced so much of it, but here are some reasons why a hospital would review whether to allow your surgery or not:

1. There are some surgeons who have performed weight loss surgery on patients who weigh less than the standard set by the National Institutes of Health which is above a BMI of 40, or above 35 with co-morbidities. This involves issues of medical ethics and performing unnecessary surgery.

2. Hospitals consider weight loss surgery to be cosmetic (and so do the courts) so they have no obligation to provide surgical care if they don’t want to for whatever reason.

3. If your surgeon has experienced patient deaths or complications, the hospital will want to keep a close watch on what he or she is doing.

4. If your BMI is too high and you are at too great a risk, a hospital can refuse to perform surgery to limit their exposure to a law suit.

There are a lot of reasons. I don’t agree with them, but it is important sometimes to be able to understand the opposition. 

Especially since weight loss surgery is still considered cosmetic, that tends to trump your rights. I know it doesn’t seem right or fair, but patients do not yet have the right to have weight loss surgery. Hospitals are obligated to perform surgery to save lives. Yes, weight loss surgery saves lives, but that view of our surgery isn’t universally accepted. 

If you want to do something, join the Obesity Action Coalition. It provides the obese a voice and fights for rights.  Here is their website http://www.obesityaction.org/home/index.php

 
Responses:
  I Like Weight Loss Surgery Because…

I had some really nice responses to my suggestion that you write why you like weight loss surgery.  Here are some of the reasons I received:

I like knowing that I have taken advantage of a new tool that has allowed me to succeed this past year.  I have lost a total of 161 pounds since March 12th and still have about 65 more pounds to go for my personal goal.  I can now participate in life and not just sit and watch it go by.  I can sit on the floor and play with my grandson and have him sit on the lap I now have.  I feel like a completely new person and for that I will be forever grateful.  It was so worth the money I had to spend since my insurance company would not pay one penny for weight loss surgery.  What a blessing for me!  I would do it again in a heartbeat...no more insulin since March 12th and so many other co-morbidities are gone as well.
Debbie

It gives me the freedom to choose to do anything I want to do, without the worry that I cannot do it, fit into it, or be ridiculed.
Marsha

Since my surgery I have lost all the cushion on my rear end I rarely enjoy sitting for long periods of time.  I am on the go all the time it seems! I am so thankful for the energy.  I will sit for a while, but then I am up and running.  I have lost 85-90 lbs. since last January 10th. I weigh 158 lbs. on a good day and that to me is a miracle! WOW!!  I can surely say that I am no longer a couch potato and really am enjoying doing things around my house that I have put off for so long!
Kim

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Are you...

Suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
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Feel you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape for 2009?

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Recipe:
  Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free,
  Lactose-Free Corn Muffins

I would like to thank Cheryl Ann from New Jersey for sending in this recipe. She writes:

Here is a recipe that I want to share with your readers. Please feel free to post it in an upcoming newsletter.

Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free, Lactose-Free Corn Muffins

This is my version of a healthy and hearty muffin made from oats and cornmeal that uses Splenda and soy milk — tasty!!! I adapted this from a delicious recipe that I found on Recipezaar for Oatmeal Cornbread Muffins.  My version is sugar-free, wheat-free, and lactose-free.

SERVES 12 , 12 small muffins

Ingredients:
1 ½  cups oats (not instant, note, use specially-grown oats if following a gluten-free diet)
1 ½  cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
½  teaspoon cinnamon
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
¼  teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 ½  cups plain soymilk
1/3  cup butter-flavor Crisco stick, melted
¼  cup Splenda granular

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Mix together oats, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
3. In another bowl, beat the eggs then add the soy milk and melted shortening. Add the Spenda and mix well.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the oat mixture and stir to lightly combine (over stirring makes for a tough muffin).
5. Pour into sprayed or greased muffin tins (do not use paper wrappers) and bake for approx. 20 minutes.

Notes:
Don't use muffin or cake wrappers in your tins or the outsides of your muffin won't get that nice crunchy outside.

Best eaten fresh and hot out of the oven but can be frozen and reheated.

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

Success Story:
  Carol J.

I am getting very low on success stories.  If you haven’t done so already, please send me yours along with your before and after pictures. It is how you can give back for what you gain from this newsletter.

If I used your story in one of my past newsletters, your updated story and new photos are welcome.

Send your story and pictures to me at Barbara@WLScenter.com.

I want to offer Carol a special thanks      Here is her story:

I was a skinny and sickly child. I had a lot of allergies, rashes, odd swellings, and ear infections.  When I turned 18 I decided to join the Air Force and they made me gain 6 lbs before taking me to basic training. 

I became pregnant about a year after enlisting and gained 40 lbs before I even knew I was pregnant.  Unfortunately I lost the baby and the weight came back off slowly. 

I was married and pregnant again a year later.  I gained 100 lbs during that pregnancy, and 60 lbs with the next and final child. My husband and I divorced, and I continued to gain weight. 

I tried every diet, one even landed me in the hospital!  I ate according to how I was told to eat, but I kept gaining. I developed high blood pressure, then later on low blood sugar episodes.  I developed chronic pain in my early 40s, and I continued to gain.

I was a geriatric nurse, working long crazy hours. I ate on the run, usually fast food.  After work I'd be so tired and hurting and I would stop at McDonald's again or something similar.  I'd try to make good food choices but the balance between fast and healthy often does not go hand in hand when you're talking about food. 

One day I woke up and realized that I was in trouble.  I couldn't breathe nor stand long enough in the shower to clean myself. I had trouble reaching to cleanse myself after bathroom trips.  I weighed 350 lbs.

At work I was in nursing management and part of that means working when there is no other nurse available, which became impossible.  I had to have a doctor's note on file that exempted me from that which always made me feel like I was not doing a whole job.  There's a lot of self esteem rolled up in one's ability to do well on their job.

There was a lady at work who had undergone gastric bypass surgery here in Albuquerque. She developed a leak, became septic and died.  Those at work were devastated, I was devastated.  A few years later, I knew that I had to have weight loss surgery myself or go on disability and never work again.  I also have fibromyalgia and that has played a huge factor in quality of my life. 

My primary doctor encouraged me to have the surgery. It became harder and harder to breathe, harder to work, harder to live.  So I started doing research about the various surgeries and the pros and cons.  I learned a lot from reading other people's stories, I learned we had a local support group and I started going to meetings.  I knew if I had surgery, I had to really change my eating, thus change my life.  I think most folks go into this not really realizing that it's not just a matter of limiting one's food intake but it's a matter of learning what our bodies really want us to be eating.  My body had been telling me for years that it only wants fresh, wholesome foods but my fast food disposable life did not want to hear it. 

I had a heart attack in 1999, two weeks after my mother died of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.  I started re-thinking my eating habits; but it took hitting 350 lbs and seeing a photo of how I looked to get me going. 

I had gastric bypass surgery because I felt it matched my needs best. I knew I'd never lose enough weight having the lap band. Plus with all my allergies, I worried about infection around the band which is a possible complication. I knew that when I was hurting, I'd figure out how to eat around the band.

Gastric bypass surgery made me re-evaluate exactly what my body needs to thrive.  I started with only fresh protein, fresh fruits, and fresh steamed vegetables.  About two months into this way of eating I realized that just plain food really tastes wonderful!  Sugar peas taste so naturally sweet!  And I love fresh steamed tilapia with a little hot sauce. 

I had my surgery January 30th, 2006. I am almost three years post-op.  I hit my weight loss goal this past year on my birthday. My body settled at about 145 lbs.  I had plastic surgery to reduce the breast skin and tummy skin about a year ago.  My blood pressure is normal and I no longer have congestive heart failure.  Fibromyalgia does not care if you're fat or skinny and that's something I struggle with but it's much better not carrying around all that extra weight. And I do continue to have the low blood sugar problem which is becoming a well known side effect of surgery for some of us. It is bothersome at times.  I'm learning what foods trigger it so I can avoid those if possible.

I try very hard to never eat anything processed but I know that will be my struggle for the rest of my life.  Learning what my body really wants me to put into it is the most important lesson I've learned.  I'm also learning to only eat enough calories to offset my own activity level.  With fibromyalgia, you don't do much. Exercise is not in the cards for me due to pain.  I have to save my energy and strength for working. 

I believe it's not enough to lose the weight.  I believe we have to go one step further and really learn what our bodies need not only to survive but to thrive!  I believe if I eat only what my body needs then I will be a lot less likely to regain the weight, something that unfortunately many of us do.

If I could encourage folks to do anything, it would be to learn about basic nutrition, what occurs in the body and what your own needs truly are.  Stop listening to generalized education about our health because one size does not fit all!  And education about ourselves is the key to healthier living. 

Carol J
starlight471@comcast.net

Highest weight – 350 lbs
Current weight – 145 lbs
Total lost – 205 lbs

Thank you for allowing me to share my success story with all of you.

Congratulations Carol

 

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