WLS Center E-Newsletter
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Weight Loss Surgery:
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You.
Our number of subscribers for this newsletter is almost at
10,000. That’s a huge number. But even with so many people, I
often think of you as 10,000 of my closest friends. I have gotten
to meet many of you from my speaking events. And those I haven’t
met, many of you are in my Internet Mentoring Program. And there
are others that I occasionally correspond with over email.
I say 10,000 of my closest friends, because I
am always so touched at how many of you are willing to open your
heart to me and through me to all of the other subscribers. Four
weeks ago I asked for stories from people who are having trouble
with alcohol following surgery. I received many responses to this
very personal question. I hope you will enjoy the article on this
In This Issue
* Barbara Thompson Speaking
in Pittsburgh PA
* Alcoholism Following Weight Loss Surgery
* Oprah Magazine Article
* Attention Nurses
* Walk From Obesity
* Recipe: Tomatillo and Chile Pepper Salsa Salad
Success Story: Emily from Boise
Alcoholism Following Weight Loss
“At its most
basic level, addiction — whether to nicotine, alcohol, drugs,
food, sex, shopping or gambling — is an attempt to control and
fulfill the desire for happiness. An addict engages in a
relationship with a substance or an activity in order to produce
a desired mood change or a trancelike state." Craig Nakken,
author of "The Addictive Personality.”
I am very blessed. As I mentioned
earlier, people will email me with their hearts wide open. They
will bear their souls to me. In all of this honesty, I have
been seeing a destructive trend start to emerge. The trend is
toward alcoholism. Some of us have replaced our food addiction
with an alcohol addiction and are not able to control it.
A month ago I asked for people to share
their struggles with alcohol with me.
I want to share with you one of the
many stories that I received. I know Patty’s story will touch
you as much as it touched me.
It's time I wrote to you. You brought up the subject of
alcoholism after weight loss surgery. It happened to me. I began
with just a shot of tequila to get a little buzz now and then
when I was with friends.
I soon found out how much I liked that
buzz. It happened quickly and was quite a rush. I guess with our
new anatomy, it's like mainlining alcohol. It's almost as if it
were an IV dose.
In the beginning it was a couple of shots
and that was it for the night. It progressed quickly. In 10
months I accomplished what people who haven't had weigh loss
surgery take 10 years to accomplish. I became a raging
alcoholic. I was drinking daily and the amount had increased so
much it was scary. I withdrew from my friends and family. I did
things I never thought possible for me to do. I knew I was
headed for destruction. I couldn't wait to get home to drink. I
turned into a horrible person and traded my need to fill the
void in my life from food to alcohol.
Now, I attend my weight loss surgery
support group weekly. We introduce ourselves and say how much
weight we've lost and what type of surgery we had, etc. I even
got one of your century club ribbons! We all clap and cheer and
share in the excitement. Four or five other times during the
week, I introduce myself at meetings by saying, "Hi. My name is
Patty and I'm an alcoholic."
There is no going back, Barbara. Once a
cucumber becomes a pickle, it can never be a cucumber again. I
address this topic quite frequently in my weight loss
surgery support group because I see it happening to other
people. I've taken it to my surgeon's office and shared it with
the psychologist there. They don't seem very interested. I'm
scared for my friends.
I will be 4 years post-op from weight loss
surgery in August. In September I will have 2 years of sobriety.
Before surgery, I was a social drinker. I could drink one or two
drinks and that would be satisfying for a night. I usually only
had a drink every few months. It was not a part of my life.
After surgery, it took over. I tried to fill that same void,
that same pain that food used to attempt to fill with alcohol.
And after surgery it was fun... for awhile. But just like
everything we use to fill that void, it stopped working. That
void can only be filled by something within us. We cannot fill
an internal need with something external. It's just not
possible. We must learn to care about ourselves enough to trust
that still small voice that says, "You're ok... just like you
are." It's often very hard to hear because of all the other
things that have overshadowed it from our past and even our
present lives. They scream so loud it is all we hear.
People use many other addictions as a trade
off, but alcohol will kill us. We need to make people aware of
this. Thank you so much for bringing up this topic. If there is
anything I can do, answer, say... let me know. Feel free to use
anything I've said in your newsletter that you feel may help
others. I got my life back... again. I'm not sure how many other
chances I'll have.
Big time hugs!
If you think
you may have a drinking problem, please take one of the online
And this one is
the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test
I am very grateful to all of those who graciously volunteered
their stories. Please
click here for the many
additional stories that I received.
Oprah Magazine Article
Yoffe, Emily, The Real ‘After’
Picture; What Nobody Tells You About Gastric Bypass.” O
The Oprah Magazine. May 2006.
This month's issue of
deals with weight regain after
gastric bypass surgery and the struggle that many of us
If you are concerned about your weight increasing, get
information on my Back On Track With Barbara Internet
For information, click here
If you are a nurse and would like for me to speak on
patient satisfaction and obesity
sensitivity for your State Nurses Association, please have the
conference planner for your State Association contact me. I have
a corporate sponsor who will pay my
fee and expenses so it is free for your Association.
I also speak for many hospitals on the same
Contact me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com or 412-851-4195.
Walk from Obesity
Now is the time to start planning to
organize your local Walk from Obesity which will be held this
year on September 30th. This is a wonderful
non-competitive fund raising event that is held each year to
raise awareness and end the disability, death and discrimination
of those who are obese.
Click here for more
information about attending or organizing an event in your
Tomatillo and Chile
Pepper Salsa Salad
This recipe comes from the American Heart
Association. Serve it with grilled chicken for a very tasty meal.
Tomatillo and Chile Pepper Salsa Salad
1 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber
3 ounces tomatillos, finely chopped (or substitute tomatoes)
1 1/2 ounce reduced-fat Monterey Jack or
mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 medium Anaheim pepper, seeded and ribs removed, finely chopped
(or substitute ½ medium green bell pepper)
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro (or
2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onions (white and green parts)
3 to 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Nutritional information for each serving:
47 calories, 4 g. carbs, 4 g protein
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues
of this newsletter, please send it to me
I want to offer Emily from Boise special
thanks. Here is her story:
has been just over a year since my laparoscopic gastric bypass
surgery and even though I have not yet met my goal weight, I know
that it is no longer impossible and that I will get there in time.
This hopefulness and sense of accomplishment have probably been the
biggest differences in my life, as I never had much of either before
March 15, 2005.
busy as my life is, I sometimes have to stop and remind myself what
has actually happened to me. I tend to just move forward with
whatever is going on in my life. I don't dwell, but neither do I
stop to celebrate or appreciate. I will need to learn to do more of
I am very reflective,
however, and as I look back over the past year, I can’t even compare
my life now to the life I had before. I don't think it's something
I can put into words, but I feel I owe it to myself to try.
30 years old on the day of my surgery, but I believe that I never
really lived until just recently. It wasn't instantaneous; and I'm
still learning how to live each and every day. Yet, I'm reminded
every day by those that know me of just how far I've come.
weighed 375 pounds at my highest. My story is every other morbidly
obese person's story. While it's personal and unique, the
commonality still remains in the experiences. I dieted and failed.
I hid, I hurt, I denied. I used food for comfort and so on and so
on. I deliberately left a job that I loved for a job that had
insurance which I knew would cover the surgery. I sought and gained
employment with the company, selected my benefits and waited. It
took 9 months before I submitted anything to the insurance company.
I was approved the first time, no questions. I had surgery three
weeks later. It happened very fast for me and I know how lucky I am
to have had it go so smoothly. I remained employed with that
company for eight months following the surgery and then returned to
my former job, cutting hair.
surgery itself was without complication. My uncle died two
days before I went into the hospital and his funeral was the day
after I was released. I made it to the funeral. In a
way, the focus on saying goodbye to him helped me to keep all things in
perspective. He was an alcoholic and died home alone. He didn't
take care of his body and it failed. I was doing the same thing in
another way. I found it very symbolic. I only wish that he reached
for help when he needed it as I decided to. His struggle was
profoundly different, but just as harmful. I miss his humor.
very true when people say that your body changes but you just become
more of who you really always were, yet could not be. That is
either because you were limited physically or limited emotionally
and spiritually. I was all of the above.
find myself doing things for the first time each and every day. It
might be deciding to eat something I never thought I would like, to
an activity that I couldn't formerly participate in. People do
treat me differently which has been an eye-opening occurrence. I
never would have been able to understand just how it felt unless I
was able to see both sides. Now I see just how invisible others can
make you feel even if you're the largest thing in the room. People
didn't look me in the eyes or start a random conversation with me in
the grocery line. I could see the look on some faces at times as I
would introduce myself before cutting their hair -- unmistakable
dread. I don't necessarily believe it to be just because I was
overweight. Quite possibly, I am treated differently because I look
and feel differently. Regardless, I wouldn't ever treat any person
how I was sometimes treated as an overweight person.
suppose that I should mention a few statistics, aside from showing
the photos. Where I am today is 175 pounds less, coming in at an
even 200. The day I'm in the 100's is near and honestly, I can't
wait. I was in a 52/54 shirt and pants both, and now 16 shirt/ 18
pants -- darn hips! Luckily, I'm tall. My goal is 165 pounds but
I'm finding that looking and feeling better is more important than
any specific number.
Physically, I will never be that person again, though in my mind,
I will always and forever be that same fat girl. Those thoughts and
feelings shape who you are as a person and losing weight doesn't
just transform you into someone else. It can either hold you back
or set you free; and I feel truly free.
personal note, I'd like to thank Barbara for her book and for the
work she is doing to help each of us on our journey to become the
thin person inside of us. You are deeply appreciated.
from Boise, Idaho
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.
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from Barbara Thompson’s free e-newsletter featuring helpful
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weight loss surgery.
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Weight Loss Surgery:
the Insider Secrets to Getting Your Insurance Company to Pay for
Weight Loss Surgery!!
Learn how to ask your insurance company
correctly to pay for weight loss surgery and see results. Learn
how in this brand new e-book by Craig Thompson (no relation!!).
There is a “secret language” that Craig teaches as he takes you
step by step through the process, Craig guarantees that your
surgery will be covered within 3 months or he will refund your
money and you get to keep the e-book. What do you have to lose
Please Note: This
is an eBook that you download onto your computer and read with
for more information and to order.
Copyright © 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved