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Before and After: Living and Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery Hardcover – May 4, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Weighing 278 pounds and unable to tie her bathrobe closed, in June 2001, Leach had her stomach reduced to the size of an egg. But her battle with food didn't end there. Like all those who undergo weight-loss surgery, Leach must diligently watch her food intake; eating more than a few bites of a dish or ingesting too much sugar will result in "dumping," a bodily reaction as unpleasant as it sounds (it involves food emptying from the stomach too quickly). Leach's journal of her post-operative year (which followed her loss of 143 pounds) shows that she remains just as obsessed with food as she was before surgery. Leach isn't exceptionally self-reflective and doesn't analyze what readers might find most helpful: how her relationship with her husband has changed. He grows jealous of her girls'-nights-out and tries to force her into eating key lime pie, even though it will make her sick. Later, in a q&a section, Leach matter-of-factly answers such inquiries about weight-loss surgery as "Does insurance cover it?" and "How fast should one lose weight?" In the book's final third, Leach provides more than 100 tasty (and dump-proof) recipes for protein shakes, main dishes and holiday meals. Many of the recipes can be found in other low-fat cookbooks, but Leach's recipes for desserts are unique (e.g., Lemon-Almond Sponge Cake). Although her journal may paint an overly rosy picture of post-weight-loss surgery life, those who have undergone or are considering such surgery may find it helpful.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Susan Maria Leach gained her knowledge of weight loss surgery through her personal experiences and research. She holds a degree from the University of Vermont in Medical Laboratory Technology, specializing in microbiology, hematology, and blood chemistry. She lives with her husband, Ty, and her cats, Sushi and Ziti, in Florida.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060567228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060567224
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Written in a breezy, chatty style, the narrative part of this book is only a prelude to the recipes, which are great. The narrative is 1/2 of the book, and is basically a travelogue description of the expensive restaurants she has eaten at since WLS(you can tell she's rich)and how she coped at them. She does has some unbelievable dessert recipes, all high protein and/or low carb. It should have really been marketed as a cookbook, because for WLS surgery info, its a zero.

If you need post WLS recipes--its a really great book. For pre and post-op WLS info, the very best choice is Weight Loss Surgery: Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You by Barbara Thompson. That book is what I credit as the one thing that made the decision for myself as whether or not to have WLS.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry to be rude, but did anyone else want to trip this woman as she headed down a flight of stairs? I knew before I opened this book that it was not the best weight loss surgery book to read. But I reviewed several different books and decided that I wanted to read the good with the bad. This book wasn't just bad, it was arrogant and hypocritical. I think only once does she mention feeling sorry for other heavy people. The rest of the time, she's telling me about how she fit into a paper thong at the spa or felt like such a "badass" because she bought some leather chaps to ride on her husband's Harley. She all-too-often sings the praises of life after gastric bypass, but she also forgets to mention that her charmed life is due to the fact that her husband is a real estate salesman whose clients are able to afford million dollar dwellings while she's throwing up in the bushes outside. I'm only halfway through this swill and if she tells me how gorgeous, beautiful, or perfect she is one more time...I'm throwing it right into the garbage with the rest of the trash.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm 5 months out of WLS and I find this book horrible. I'm glad I did not read this before surgery because I would think that life after surgery was perfect. She quickly skims over her bad episodes while going on ad nauseum about her triumphs. We all go through good and bad and it need to have equal weight. Any body who has had surgery will tell you to follow your surgeon's dieticians advice. She offers advice on eating that is not the norm followed by most surgeons. The one point she did not bring home is that everyone is different.
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Format: Hardcover
This had to be the worst book I've read on Gastric Bypass. I should have read the other reviews before I purchased this one. I could not relate to the author and her jaunts to her new condo in Daytona and all the name dropping. Do we really care where she ate at? If you are looking for an informative book that will give you insight on the pros and cons of Gastric Bypass surgery this is not it.
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Format: Hardcover
The first half of the book has no bearing for the "common folk". It reads like a giggly high student who just became a cheerleader, and we're past that stage of life. She uses no tact or class in describing her husband's riches, her high-priced tastes, and her vanity. The business plugs are tacky as well.

It may appeal to those longing for their lost youth; but for those of us who have real lives and better things to do with our life besides center it around money, expensive food, and looks, it's a dud.

Other books are out there that describe the "Before and After" of WLS in realistic terms, making life applications that make you a better person inside. No matter how many pounds we lose, we will never stay young. My hope is that others will really do something of importance...with purpose and meaning, when given their new chance at life.
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Format: Hardcover
This was an awful waste of money. Little more here than... "aren't I amazing, and having a good time now?" I have found some of her advice to be contrary to current medical thinking and I have found some of the products she sells - not to be in the best interest of post-op patients.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read 7 books on weightloss surgery. This is NOT the BEST book on gastic bypass surgery, but certainly isn't as bad as a lot of reviewers say. Yes, the woman is super rich and travels a lot! But, just like us, she was getting too big to fit in restaurant booths, and I am sure she was just as embarassed when the seat belt on an airplane didn't fit. She does seem to gloss over the potential nastiness of surgery you need to know about. But, she has a super-positive attitude.

There is a whole section of recipes for fish which I don't eat at all, but there are a lot of recipes to help gag down protein powder, which are great to have.

The BEST book I have read was "The Real Skinny on Weight Loss Surgery". It was realistic, honest, and seemed to include all the nasty details you need to hear. The next best book is "Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You!" by Barbara Thompson. There is even a letter, written by the authors husband, to significant others to help them understand why you want this surgery. Also, it includes an appeal letter for your insurance company if they reject you.

Good luck and I hope this helps!
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Format: Hardcover
Save your money. This is one big sales pitch for protein drinks and vitamins that are oh-so-conveniently available at the author's website.

Spare me the details of her rich, spoiled, privileged lifestyle.

For anyone looking for an excellent book on WLS, check out "Exodus from Obesity".
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