In This Issue
* Safety in Numbers
* Are You a Food Addict
* Your Chance to Make a Difference
* Recipe: Crockpot Beef Stew
Story: Ginnie Thompson
Safety in Numbers
I am writing you on behalf of 7 of my gastric bypass friends. We
have formed our own little support group as we do not get the
support we need any more from our doctors or the hospital. We are
all 3 or more years post-op. Our problem is we are all at a
standstill, and have some weight to lose yet or find ourselves
gaining and becoming very depressed about it. We seem not to be
as motivated as before. I have 40 pounds to lose yet, and am
determined to lose them by Spring. I do subscribe to your newsletter
and find it very helpful. Can you give us some hints on how to get
out of this slump? We sure would appreciate it
Thank you so much
Hi Mary Lou,
You are dealing with a very common problem. I canít tell you how
many emails that I have received, expressing the same concern. That
is exactly why I started The Back on Track with Barbara Program.
One advantage that the eight of you have
is that you can support each other. Here is what I suggest for your
1. Break into groups of two so that
whatever you do, you will have a specific buddy that you will be
accountable to. Your buddy should be the person who supports
you and cheers you on. Your buddy should be the person you
will call or email when you are having a bad day.
2. Have each person come up with 3
specific goals, write them down and give a copy to your buddy.
3. Each goal should be very
specific and you must be able to measure it. Otherwise, how will you
know when you have reached the goal, or whether you need to step up
I cannot give you, in a paragraph or 2,
the essence of my Back on Track Program. It just isnít possible to
distill 26 lessons down. But try the accountability technique within
your group, and it will make a difference.
Are you a food addict?
Are you a food addict?
None of us likes to admit to a food addiction,
but it does play a significant role when considering causes of
obesity, according to Dr. Valerie Taylor, an assistant professor of
psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University and
Director of the Bariatric Surgery Psychiatry Program at St. Joseph's
Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario.
The question remains, after we have weight loss
surgery, does the addiction disappear? Is this something that we
should be aware of as we manage our weight in the years to come? When
we recognize the emotional eating that many of us fall prey to, is it
really a food addiction that we are dealing with. This question is an
important one to answer, because it makes a difference when selecting the most
original article appeared in the Canadian Medical Association
Journal, Dec. 22, 2009. For more information, go to
Calling All Long Term Post-Ops
your surgery 9 or more years ago?
If so please drop me an email.
Chance to Make a Difference
I am speaking to all of the people reading this
who have had weight loss surgery. What if you wouldnít have been able
to have the surgery? What if it wasnít available to you? How would
your life be different? But you were fortunate and were able to have
weight loss surgery, and it is working for you.
Now think about the millions of people who
havenít had their surgery yet? How about those who have tried to get
insurance coverage and have been denied? Do you care even a little
about them, or do you feel that you had your benefit and they can worry
We have all walked down the street and seen
someone who is morbidly obese and thought to ourselves, ĎShould I tell
them about weight loss surgery?í But we stop ourselves, because we
know how it would have hurt us if a stranger had approached us before
we lost weight. But what if there was no weight loss surgery anymore
to tell them about? What if that benefit disappeared except for those
who could afford to pay $25,000 out of their own pocket?
I am speaking to those of you who want to open up
your hearts and pay it forward. It is getting more and more
difficult to get coverage for weight loss surgery. You can make a
difference and help to ensure that the blessing that you received in
being able to have surgery, is there for those coming behind you. You
can do that by paying it forward. You can do that by joining
the Obesity Action Coalition, for just $20 per year.
I am very proud to share with you that effective
January 1st, I am Chairman of the Board of the Obesity
Action Coalition (OAC). The mission of the OAC is to elevate and
empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and
support. It is the OAC that speaks for the obese and ensures that the
rights of the obese are protected.
Here is your chance to make a difference in the
lives of all obese people who are struggling with the lack of dignity,
lack of confidence and persecution because of their weight. Your membership in
the OAC is worth far more than just $20. It is a strong voice to the
world that obese people should have the same rights and privileges as
everyone else. Who knows, with the current health care reform, where
care for the obese will come out? Who is in Washington advocating for
the rights of the obese? The OAC is.
Your membership provides you with an annual
subscription to the magazine, Your Weight Matters, as
well as a monthly e-newsletter. You will receive alerts on issues that
need action and attention. But most important of all, you will lend
your voice to the cause of obesity and help to provide representation
in advocacy issues.
I hope that you will support our efforts by
joining the Obesity Action Coalition.
This is a great time for some comfort food. Beef
stew is a great warming food for January. This is low in calories
and fat, and making it in a crockpot makes it so easy. If you donít own a crockpot, put all ingredients in a large heavy pot and simmer covered
about 2 Ĺ hours. Add additional water as needed.
Crockpot Beef Stew
1 pound beef stew meat ó cubed, 1″
8 teaspoons McCormick Beef Stew seasoning ó (1/2 package)*
15 ounces green beans, fresh or frozen
15 ounces canned black beans (1 can)
15 ounces peas, fresh or frozen
15 ounces corn, fresh or frozen
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots sliced
3 cups water
Garnish with fresh chives
* If you can not find McCormick Beef Stew seasoning use another brand
of seasoning or use your own favorite spices i.e.: salt, pepper, garlic,
or onion soup mix
Put in a crock pot and simmer all day (about 8 hours or so).You just
canít get any easier that that!
Makes 8 servings. Each serving:
calories, 20 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat, 8
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
of success stories is still low.
support this newsletter by sending your story.
If you have reached your goal weight (or close to
it), you have a success story to tell. Be proud of
your wonderful achievement and let the world celebrate
If you are one of the many support group leaders who
use my newsletters in your discussion groups, please
encourage your members to submit their stories.
Send your success story with before and after photo
files to me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com and I will include your story
in a future newsletter.
If you need help with the photo files, contact
I want to offer Ginnie Thompson a
special thanks for sharing her story with us. Here is her
My turning point was in 2006 when my husband and I
had to cut a golf vacation short because my knees hurt so
badly. I realized then that if I wanted to golf when I
retired in a few years, that something needed to be done
about my weight. My knees couldn't carry all that weight
It seemed like my weight loss surgery
journey took a long time. I started the process by going to
the mandatory support group meetings, a minimum of 3. My
surgeon also required patients to lose 5% body weight. I
went to support group meetings and lost 30 pounds, more than
the required 5%, over 6 months.
In October 2007, I had RNY gastric
bypass surgery. I continued going to support group
meetings, and joined some on-line support group sites as
well. I highly recommend getting as much support as
possible. What other place to get advice and helpful hints
then from those who have already gone through the process of
weight loss surgery, and who have been successful. From
those who have not been successful, you can learn to not
make the same mistakes they did.
It took me less than one year to lose
150 pounds following my surgery. Prior to surgery I was an
insulin dependent diabetic; now there is no signs of
diabetes. Two years out from surgery, and I've never felt
better in my life, nor have I ever worn a size 8-10 in my
life, other than shoes. In my opinion the old saying,
"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" is right on.
This year I have undergone some plastic
surgery. I've had a belt lipectomy. This is where the
excess skin is pulled up from your tummy and tush, and even
helps out your upper thighs. I had a great plastic surgeon,
Dr. Gregory Baum from Syracuse, New York. He recommended
the belt lipectomy over the tummy tuck, and I'm so glad I
went for it. I do have a scar that goes around my entire
mid-section, but as time goes by the scar fades.
Just a few weeks ago, I underwent my
2nd round of plastic surgery, having the excess skin removed
from my thighs. My legs were very bad and bothered me the
most. Prior to these surgeries I had heard many horror
stories about plastic surgery, including stories from
support group members who had surgeries themselves. Dr.
Baum, however, put me in contact with a person who had the
surgeries I wanted, and she was kind enough to meet me and
put my fears to rest. There really wasn't much pain at all
with the surgeries; in fact I'm going for my third and
final surgery on my arms at the end of January.
I'm so excited with the thought of
having all this excess skin removed. To answer the big
question, yes, I did pay for this all out of pocket. I
equate it to the expense of a new car. What other vehicle
would you want to put your money in than your own body?
What other vehicle do you drive as much? I'm ecstatic with
my new body and mental state now.
Life is grand now! In June I became a
grandmother to a beautiful baby girl, and I just love being
able to get down on the floor with her. My recommendation
to all weight loss surgery patients is to make a list of all
your "WOW" moments, so you don't forget where you came
from. Write them down so you don't forget. Just the little
things in life, like the first time you were able to climb
the stairs without thinking you needed oxygen; or the first
time you crossed your legs, without having to use your hand
and arms to get the one leg over the other one. I was so
happy the first time I flew on a plane after weight loss
surgery. It thrilled me not to have to use a seatbelt
extender, and it thrilled my husband not to have to share
part of his seat!! Another WOW moment was going horseback
riding. I wasn't ever able to horseback ride due to
exceeding the weight limitation. The WOW moments are just
I hope I've touched someone with this
success story. Things weren't always easy for me, and it
took me a few months after weight loss surgery to realize I
had made the correct choice by having the surgery. Now each
day I'm so thankful for everything, and appreciate
everything all the more!
Syracuse, New York
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