Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
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In This Issue
* Look Who's on the Cover of WLS Lifestyles Magazine
* Walk on the Capitol
* Long Term Effects
* 10 Years After
Recipe: Fish Steaks with Orange-Curry Sauce
Success Story: Maureen
Look Whoís on the Cover
WLS Lifestyles Magazine
OK I admit it. I am really excited!
Iím on the cover of WLS Lifestyles Magazine. If you
arenít familiar with the magazine, it has been
publishing for many years and is a
quarterly magazine dedicated
to inspiring, educating and supporting life after weight
loss surgery. I have been a frequent contributor to it.
I am very proud to have been selected for their cover
which will also be distributed at the annual meeting of
the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Click here for more information and to
to subscribe to the magazine
I know raising awareness of obesity is
important to you. And, that is why we need your help and
your voice on June 17th for an historic and first
of its kind event Ė the Walk from Obesity Ė Walk on the
On June 17th at 6:30 pm, the
Obesity Action Coalition and the American Society for
Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation will host this
National event to send a strong message to the public and
government that obesity needs to be prevented and treated.
The Walk on the Capitol will be held on the National
Mall in Washington, DC, where thousands of individuals will
gather. We encourage and invite you, your family members and
friends, healthcare professionals, industry leaders and any
individual concerned about obesity to take part in this
historical event. For more information, visit
I am very excited about this. I hope
you can join me and thousands of others. I have received so
many emails from people saying, ďHow can I help?Ē Well this
is it. I hope to see YOU in Washington, DC! Iíll be there!
Long Term Effects
I recently received this email in
which the reader asks a question that I have been asked many
times before. I thought I would address her questiont here
for everyoneís benefit.
I have just started to receive your newsletter and find it
very beneficial. It is almost like a support group. I am
preparing to have RNY weight loss surgery. I am 35 years
old, my BMI is 42, my weight is 234 pounds and I am 5'2". I
have been told I will have diabetes if I do not do
something. I already have PCOS, gallstones, and periodic
acid reflux. As I begin to tell people that I am
considering weight loss surgery, they say they are scared
for me because there is not enough research to support the
long-term results at 15, 20, or 40 years or more after
surgery. Could you point me in the direction of such
research if you know where it might exist? Thank You!
Renee from Michigan
Welcome to the group!!! You have a very common concern and I
am happy to have the opportunity to address it. There are no
long term studies that are 40 years old because the surgery
in its present state was not done 40 years ago. The New
England Journal of Medicine in their August 2007 issue
published a long term study that compared weight loss
surgery patients who had surgery from 1984 to 2002, with
people who are morbidly obese. Nearly 8,000 of them were
matched according to BMI, age and sex. What they found is
that those who had surgery had a 40% lower death rate than
those who didnít have surgery.
So I guess what you might say to those people
who are saying that there are no long term studies is that
you donít want to wait 20 more years for a longer term study
and die in the meantime. Say that you want a chance at a
better quality of life.
I also wonder if the people who are
saying that there are no long term studies are themselves
candidates for surgery. They may be discouraging you because
they will feel bad about themselves when you are thin and
they are still large because they havenít had the courage to
have surgery. I am one to believe in the basic goodness of
people, but I have seen this many times. I donít think
people realize what they are doing. They donít intend to be
intentionally mean. They do it not knowing what they are
This is a decision that only you can
make. It has to feel right for you. But you need to read,
do research and talk to people at your support group who
have had surgery. Yes, there are definitely things that can
go wrong, but your chance of a good quality of life is much
higher having had surgery.
Good luck to you!
Back on Track Program
Suffering from emotional eating and canít
Grazing on carbohydrates and canít control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you
Feel you donít know what to do now that you
have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape with warm
Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet Mentoring
Program is just what you need!
I called a bariatric doctor on a radio talk show and she said
that successful weight loss is measured at the 10 year mark.
Any and all bariatric weight loss surgery has failed before the
10 year mark. I am now about 6-7 years out. She said to call her
back at 10 years and she could bet I wouldn't stay the weight I
was. What are your thoughts about this?
I canít print my real thoughts on this because too many
expletives would have to be deleted!! That was a very
irresponsible thing for this doctor to say.
My surgery was 8 Ĺ years ago, but having
surgery was actually recommended to me in 1998 Ė 10 years ago.
My surgical option 10 years ago was the Vertical Banded
Gastroplasty (VBG) which was the common surgery at the time. The
RNY was being done, but it was much rarer than the VBG. I
delayed my surgery until January 2000 and by then I had the RNY
as another option.
The VBG is almost never done anymore
because so many of them failed. There was no bypass of the
intestines and the banding between the upper and lower stomach
was just sutured and the sutures would open up so your stomach
would revert to its original size and you would regain all the
weight you had lost.
So yes, she is correct that if you had
surgery 10 years ago chances are you regained your weight
because your VBG failed. Is she not aware that the 10 year
failures are due to a surgery that you didnít even have? And how
about me? I have maintained my weight for 8 Ĺ years. So in 1 Ĺ
years she expects that I will suddenly balloon to my original
The success rate of patients is increasing
all the time. Pouches are being made much smaller than they
were when I had my surgery and the Centers of Excellence are
offering so much more support in terms of counseling services
and support groups.
As a doctor, she is challenging you to
fail. I call that a self-fulfilling prophesy. A doctor tells you
that you will regain weight, and we tend to respect doctors and
it ends up happening. Well donít listen to her. She sounds like
the Howard Stern of University radio. Pure shock jock!
I am a real fish fan. I live in Pittsburgh
with no access to really fresh fish and I always tired to buy it
fresh, get it home quickly and prepare it immediately. It
never worked. It always tasted fishy. So I gave up on fresh fish
and started to buy frozen fish. That was the secret. The freshest
fish that you can get if you donít live next to the ocean is
frozen fish. It never has a fishy taste. The taste is very mild
and delicate. I hope you enjoy this dish.
Fish Steaks with
4 halibut, salmon, or other firm fish steaks (3/4 inch thick)
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
ľ cup ketchup
2 teaspoons fresh grated Sunkistģ orange peel
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Sunkist orange juice
ľ teaspoon curry powder
1 Sunkist orange, cut into wedges or half-cartwheel slices
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
Brush the fish lightly with oil; then
sprinkle with salt and pepper. Barbecue on a grill or broil 4 to 5
inches from heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until fish
flakes easily with a fork. Brush occasionally with additional oil.
Meanwhile, to make sauce, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, orange
peel, orange juice, and curry powder. Serve the sauce with the
fish. Garnish with orange wedges and cilantro sprigs.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving:
306 calories, 18 g. fat, 7.5 g.
carbohydrates, 26 g. protein
If you have a
recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this
newsletter, please send it to me at
I had a lot of people come through for me when I
announced in the last newsletter issue that I was down to my final success
story. So many people responded and I want to thank you. Your stories will
appear in future newsletters. Bless your hearts!!
I want to offer a special thanks to Maureen Abramson.
Here is her story:
When I read that the weight loss success stories were coming to an end in your
newsletter I knew it was time to tell you my story. My name is Maureen Abramson
I live in Tamarac, Florida I'm 51 and 5'4" tall. I had gastric bypass
surgery on July 18th, 2005 when I was 49 years old. I went into
surgery weighing 290 pounds. That was my highest weight. I now weigh 120 pounds.
I have lost 170 pounds, and I feel so terrific. I'm thankful everyday for this
surgery, my new found self-control, and my good health. I, like many others, had
researched weight loss surgery, went to the seminars and came away thinking, 'This
isn't for me. I can do it on my own.' But I couldn't, not really.
Eventually my bottom came. I was depressed, lethargic,
bitter, and sedentary. In February 2005 I looked at my primary doctor and said,
"You have to help me." He asked me if I had thought about gastric bypass
surgery. I started to cry right there in his office. Yes, I had thought about
it. I had done some research and I had even started the paper work with a doctor
a few years prior who never found the time to submit it for me as he was
beginning his own journey with gastric bypass surgery and he was then a little
caught up in his own thing.
I needed someone in my corner that would help me do this.
And here was this new doctor willing to help me. That May 2005, I attended a new
seminar at Coral Springs Medical center in Florida with Dr. Paul Wizman. He
changed my life that night. I went home determined to do this and turn my life
around. And that is just what I did.
By July of 2005 I had the surgery. I have had NO
complications, other than some vomiting after eating too fast. That has passed
now. I was then and remain a compliant patient. I eat protein first, I don't
drink after eating for at least 30 minutes, I get out and walk the dog and walk
myself. I took up bike riding again, I can swim, move, and clean the freakiní
house! And I can bend, jump, run, and most of all I don't huff and puff and cry
about everything. My transformation is ongoing everyday and it will be for the
rest of my life. I make a point to stay involved with online groups, or read
about health and good eating every day. I try in my own way to give back.
I wasn't always fat and miserable. The last 20 years of my
life I gained weight, and I vowed that by the time I was fifty I would lose my
extra weight and I did. My weight loss didn't stop at 6 months or a year. It
took me a full 2 years or more to lose all the weight and find my own set
weight. I find that about 120 to 125 works for me. I do weigh myself every day.
It keeps me on track. My weight is now something that I CAN control and I do.
I love to cook, have dinner parties, and most of all I
am just happy with me. I have a loving husband, Gary, who has been there for
me every step of the way. And I would also like to thank an email group of
friends (the Candied Yams) who are now defunct. They were my rock for over 3
years. And I would like to thank you, Barbara, for your continued support for
this thing of ours. And to all who think it can't be done and to all who know
it can. Follow your heart to a new life. It will lead you places that you only
dream of now. Dreams do come true, it can happen to you.
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.
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)
If you are a bariatric coordinator or nurse educator 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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