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About this blog

The things I learned pre and post surgery

Entries in this blog

 

5 Tips to Cool Down Quickly After a Hot Workout

5 Steps to Cool Down Quickly After a Hot Workout . 1) Pre-cool before the workout To pre-cool, begin hydrating at least two hours before your workout with cold drinks, sit in an air-conditioned room, or have some cooling packs on hand.   2) Stretch it out post-workout Walk and stretch for at least ten minutes until your heart rate slows down.   3) Take a hot-and-cold shower A Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport study found that athletes who alternated soaking in hot and cold water after exercising experienced a significant reduction in their heart rate and blood lactate levels.   4) Smooth on skin-cooling lotion After a shower, hydrate your skin with a lotion that contains cooling properties like menthol.   5) Drink peppermint tea—hot or cold Research shows that in dry, hot climates, having a hot drink actually helps us cool off, since the heat from the drink triggers a sweating response.     read the entire article: http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/wellbeing/fitness/5-steps-to-cool-down-quickly-after-a-hot-workout.php

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Weight loss surgery: To Tell or Not to Tell?

Weight loss surgery: To Tell or Not to Tell?   I find it interesting that we are so conditioned by the weight loss industry that we feel NOT disclosing weight loss surgery is being deceptive. Like we are hiding a fault within us. That there’s something wrong with us and YOU need to know about it so you can decide whether you want to know me or not.   We don’t feel the same way about other non-communicable diseases. On your first date, job interview, or social gathering, did you make a point of announcing that you had Lasik eye surgery? Chemo therapy? A heart/lung transplant? So everyone could decide if you were good enough to be part of the group.   Not being up front about WLS does not rank as high as not disclosing to your date that you used to be a dude before the sex change. :-p   It’s not the same. Not telling anyone that you had weight loss surgery is not going to impact/change their life in the slightest… unless they might benefit from it. But I would not ever suggest to them that they need weight loss surgery. I would not have taken the suggestion as being helpful. :-P   You would think that with all the societal pressure to be young thin and beautiful, people wouldn’t care how you achieved it. And would even congratulate you for doing what you had to do to take control of your life. But I guess there will always be those that will make comments or criticize us because they don’t understand, think we’re taking the easy way out, fear of losing us or are afraid of seeing us succeed.

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Book Review - Alex Brecher's The BIG Book on Bariatric Surgery

Book Review - Alex Brecher's The BIG Book on Bariatric Surgery by joatsaint   I just recently bought Alex Brecher's book - The BIG Book on Bariatric Surgery. You maybe asking, "Randy (by the way, my real name is Randy), you're almost 3 years post-op, why are you still reading weight loss surgery success books?" Go ahead, ask me... I'll wait. :-)   (insert the theme song from Jeopardy)......   Okay, here's the answer. Years ago, I was listening to and still listen to a great motivational speaker - Zig Zigglar. He said champions never stop training and learning. Even after Micheal Jordan was at the pinnacle of his success, he still trained like he was a rookie. Even though the workouts were grueling and he didn't like it, he still met with a trainer that pushed him to his limits on every workout.   Champions in any area, read and reread articles, books, listen to audio books, and watch video on being a success in their field. I know I don't know everything there is to know about successful WLS. And by continually reading, I remind myself (I have the attention span of a gnat!) of the things I need to do to maintain my WLS success. Sometimes it's just a reminder and sometimes I learn something new that I can apply to my life.   So, on to Alex Brecher's book - The BIG Book on Bariatric Surgery: Living Your Best Life After Weight Loss Surgery   My favorite quote from the book: "From recovering from surgery to losing the extra pounds to keeping them off, weight loss surgery is a part of your life forever. The path to losing weight and keeping it off can be challenging at times, but the rewards can be worth the investment many times over."   You need to know up front, this book is not about choosing the right weight loss surgery for you. It’s great resource if you want to know what to expect life will be like after weight loss surgery.   I found the book well written and very informative. The book's style is such that it doesn't assume that you know everything already, and is easy to understand.   The most important part to me was the emphasis on the importance of lifestyle changes. Weight loss surgery is not a set and forget procedure. WLS success is a continuing process that requires active participation from the patient.   Alex doesn't pull any punches in describing how hard WLS can be. I know! Been there, done that! Had 80% of my stomach removed and I didnt' even get a T-shirt!   You don’t just wake up after surgery and are magically thin!   For months after my sleeve surgery, I had trouble steadily losing the weight. I'd have stalls and get discouraged, or worse, I'd gain a pound or two and freak out. So I especially like emphasis on taking a long-term view of the surgery and life. Alex reminds the reader that successful WLS is not all about the scale.   The book is a great resource for information about: discussing diet
exercise
mental toughness
success factors that contribute to the long term weight loss surgery success
setting goals
dealing with friends and family members who may or may not be supportive
eating right
setting realistic expectations for your weight loss goal
I walked away with new ideas on everyday things, like scheduling my meals and supplements, getting in enough protein without getting too bored with eating the same old things again and again, and making meals that both my friends will like and that I can eat – so I don’t have to worry about social events!   Overall, I found it full of useful/practical information and even some funny parts.   Well-written and easy to read, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The BIG Book on Bariatric Surgery to anyone considering weight loss surgery, as well as to anyone who has had any type of bariatric surgery.   http://www.bariatricpal.com/page/books/recommended.html

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Eating Out Post-Op

My best friend asked my how eating out was going to change post-op. We had been eating out every Sat. night for years and we always went to buffet type places.   I told him that nothing was going to change as far as I was concerned. I went out to eat with him for the company, not for the food. And as far as I was concerned, the $12 - $20 bucks I spent each week was nothing that would change my quality of life, so I didn't care about getting my money's worth.   I wish I had taken a picture of my plate the 1st time I went to a restaurant post-op. I think I had 1 fajita chicken strip, 1 tablespoon of guacamole, 1 tablespoon of refried beans... and I couldn't finish all of it.   Here's a before and after photo from last weeks trip to the buffet. . BEFORE:   AFTER:

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

BBQ Sauce - Low Carb - My New Favorite Sauce

UPDATE: 1/2/2015 After creating this BBQ sauce many times, I must caution everyone to let this stuff sit and cool after cooking - for an hour or so. Let the flavors meld together. I've found that when I taste test this sauce before it's had a time to set, it has a weird flavor. It gets even better if left to set overnight - even if it's already mixed into my food.       Hey guys,   I've been using this sauce for at least 4 meals a day for the past 2 weeks. And it tastes great!   I was searching for a replacement for my favorite Kraft BBQ sauce (since it has sugar in it ) and I ran across this one. It had rave reviews and it tastes really good. I'll need to tweak it a few times to get that sweet/tangy flavor I like so much, but for a good low-carb BBQ sauce, this one works well. The best part was, I already had most of the ingredients on hand (you probably do too).   2 Tablespoons is 12 calories vs. 60 calories for the equivalent Kraft BBQ sauce.     Indispensable Almost No Carb Barbecue Sauce This isn't a substitute for the "real thing," it's an improvement. It's so good the rest of the family gobbles it up and I have to keep making more.   3/8 cup vinegar 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce. (1 15 oz can) Don't buy a tomato sauce that has spices or flavorings in it! 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 tablespoon yellow hot dog mustard 3/4 tablespoon Franks Hot Sauce (the chicken wing sauce) 3/4 tablespoon salt (optional) 1 dash cayenne pepper. Go easy!!!! 3 teaspoons lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring 6 teaspoons Splenda or 18 drops of Liquid Splenda   Optional Things I've Tried and Liked: Instead of 6 tsp Splenda, I tried 3 tsp Splenda, 3 tsp brown sugar - it really gave the sauce "body" and flavor. Toss in 2 or 3 tablespoons of garlic powder Toss in 2 or 3 tablespoons of onion powder Double up on Franks Hot Sauce - I don't find Franks very hot, and I like the flavor Use Apple Cider Vinegar instead of White Vinegar Add 1/3 can of tomato paste   Add vinegar and all other ingredients except mustard to a sauce pan and slowly heat. Put mustard in a cup and slowly stir in a couple tablespoons of sauce until well blended. Then add mustard mixture back to sauce in pan.     Bring to a boil, and lower heat. Let simmer for a 15 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate till cold then serve.   Note: this sauce might taste a bit peculiar if you taste it when it is still hot. Don't worry! Something magical happens when it sits in the fridge. And it only gets better overnight!!!     Carbohydrates per Serving (1 tablespoon): Less than 1 gram. Half an ounce is 1 gm carbs, 6 calories.   Source: http://www.phlaunt.com/lowcarb/19060001.php

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Dealing With Setbacks or Climb Down Off The Cross, Build a Bridge With The Wood and Get Over It!

This post is just goes to show that even Sleeve veterans aren't perfect. The key is to look at a setback as a delay, not a permanent failure, and get back on track.   I was trying to stay low-carb till I lost about 20lbs, but I fell off the wagon this morning. Over the Thanksgiving week, I gained about 5 lbs and was up to 220 lbs in 5 days - probably from all the salt. So I went back to what's worked in the past, low-carb eating - lean protein (pork loin) and a few vegetables (squash, cauliflower).   Low-carbing worked well, I lost the excess water plus a few pounds. In 6 days I've lost 9.6 lbs. But the stress from work has been pretty overwhelming these past few days. And when I came into work this morning, there was a fresh hot box of donuts waiting in the kitchen. I started to limit myself to 1, but then though about how good I was going to feel when I ate them. So I got 2... Go BIG or Go HOME! and enjoyed every bite!!!!!   Will those 2 donuts affect my weight? Probably not, as long as I don't continue eating junk every day. Will it cause my weight loss to stall? I'll know soon enough, the scale will tell me tomorrow morning.   P.S. I'll be back on pork loin and cauliflower for lunch today.   Keep Pimpin' That Sleeve!!!!   Randy   UPDATE: 12/08/2014 Well, eating the donuts plus my "cheat" meal on Saturday night, I woke up on Sunday morning weighing 1.4lbs heavier. But I got back on my diet on Sunday and Monday (today). I lost the weight and weigh the same as I did last Friday (the day before I ate the donuts). I'm back down to 210.4 Now let's see if I can finally break 200lbs. 2nd UPDATE: 12/10/2014 Hit an all time new low today, 208.2 lbs. Still sticking to my diet.   3rd UPDATE: 12/13/2014 Still low-carbing (sorta) Hit another all time low this morning - 206 lbs.   Haven't been that low since high school (38 years ago). My diet revolves around eating pork loin and Raisin Bran (I eat Raisin Bran cause they give it to us free at work) and coffee (loaded with creamer and Splenda). And I'm taking Puritans Pride "Green Source" whole food vitamins made from whole food concentrates. I swear these vitamins make me feel so much better than any other vitamin I've taken.   I take the vitamins first thing in the morning. If I take them in the evening, I have so much energy I have a hard time sleeping.   During the day, I usually eat about 2 cups of shredded pork loin and 2 snacks - Raisin Bran (dry - I eat it straight up like trail mix in a cup - I have a 12oz cup and fill it halfway).   And 2 cups of shredded pork loin in the evening after work. (Although I did have some spaghetti I was rationing out over the week - I'd have 1 cup of pork loin and 2 cups of spaghetti).   It's Saturday, the cheat meal day. Let's see if I gain weight overnight from eating pizza.   4th UPDATE: 12/14/2014 Sunday morning update. After pigging out on Mexican food and drinking 2 16oz Mike's Harder Lemonades Sat night, I'm up 1.4 lbs. I weighted in at 207.8 this morning vs. 206.4 yesterday.   OMG!!!! I'm getting so FAT!!! (can you hear the panic in my typing or is that sarcasm? ) My old pre-surgery self only dreamed of being 207.8 lbs.   BEFORE:   AFTER:   5th Update: 12/17/2014 Wednesday and I'm at a new all time low - 205.6 lbs. I'd like to get to 199, just to see how it feels, but I may let myself cheat a little extra over Xmas and "balloon" back up to 210. Then go for 199 again, starting on the 26th.   But who knows. I never expected to get below 200. And 2 years ago, my doc said I should realistically expect to hang around 225 - 235 in the long term. So hitting 205 and staying there would be fine with me.   One side effect of eating low-carb, once I got the sugar out of my system, I no longer have the head hunger that literally drove me to overeating. And you would think that something as innocent as apples and bananas wouldn't trigger carb cravings, but they do trigger carb cravings in me.   6th Update: 12/19/2014 Friday and still holding at 204.4lbs, not going up, not going down. But the weather and sinuses haven't let me get out and walk off some extra calories. Still low-carbing, no carb cravings and eating well. Been at 204 - 205 lbs for at least 2 days in a row, so I can mark it as official, I weigh 205. - (I only count a new low in my weight if I have sustained it for at least 2 days!) :-)   7th Update: 12/28/2014 Well, after the Xmas splurge, I woke up weighing 211.4 lbs on Dec 27th. Nothing really unexpected after I ate all that salty ham and had plenty of pecan pie. So I'll see what happens when I go back to low-carbing on Monday and get all that salt out of my system.   8th Update: 12/30/2014 2nd day back on the low-carb diet. I'm was at 209.2 this morning and weighed in at 210.0 after work. So it just bolsters my feeling that all the salt from eating smoked ham was causing me to hold water weight and is now exiting my system.   If you're interested, I'm back to eating pork loin w/my low-carb bbq sauce, and (2) 1/2 cup servings of dry Raisin Bran cereal during the day. I did eat a bag of Snapea Crisps (about 400 calories/100 grams of carbs) on Sunday, but it doesn't seem to have affected my weight loss.   9th Update: 02/01/2015 Still eating my regular old routine of pork and bbq sauce, Raisin Bran and cauliflower and brussell sprouts. My weigh is staying steady at 204 - 205 since the 2nd week of Jan 2015. Just have to watch how much of the Raisin Bran I let myself eat. My new job keeps me moving all day and I tend to want to eat more because of it.

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Can I Stretch My Sleeve

How hard is it to stretch my sleeve? This question comes up a lot on the WLS board, so I wanted to share my experience - looking back after 2 years post-surgery.   I was worried about stretching my sleeve pre-surgery. I didn't want to go through all of this and then have the possiblity of gaining all the weight back. From everything I've read, the stretchy part of the stomach (unlike the RNY pouch) is almost completely removed and only the tough non-stretchy part remains.   How Easy Is It To Stretch Your Sleeve I can tell you from 2 years of experience, you will know when you're beginning to stretch your sleeve - you will not like the feeling and avoid doing it in the future!! During the 1st few months, when I would get close to stretching my sleeve, it would hurt like Hell! On the occassion that I do begin to stretch it now, it is merely really uncomfortable.   How to Much Can You Safetly Eat I learned real quick how much I could eat in one meal. I started using a small plastic bowl for every meal. I'd fill it up and know that's how much I could saftely eat. I started with a 1/2 cup bowl for about the 1st 9 months. At 1 year, I moved to a 1 cup bowl, and I've been at 1 to 1 1/2 cups per meal for the last year.   Signs You're Getting Full I am aware of the signs that I'm getting full - feeling bubbles moving around the food in my sleeve or feeling a poking sensation in my chest where the sleeve and throat meet. The days of that good old, "Ohhhh, I'm sooooo full" stretched stomach feeling are gone for good. And I dont miss it one bit!!!!!!!!   I'm sure if someone really worked at it, they could stretch their sleeve. After all, it is tissue, tendons and ligaments can be stretched and lengthened over time. But they would not be enjoying the sleeve stretching process at all.

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

NSV #2 - You Best Step Off, B-hatch!

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with 1 step. What they don't tell you is that the journey is a b*tch if you're on step 1!   1/14/2015 Well it's been a few months since I last walked. November to be exact. With the cold weather and injuries and sinus drainage, I was pretty much out of commission. We were at it hard during September and October, hitting new highs on speed, sometimes going as fast as 3.9 mph for 3 miles.   But November, my partner hurt his ankle and was out for 3 weeks, then I got terrible sinus headaches from breathing the smoke from neighbors burning piles of leaves and then the cold rain set in. So here it is, the middle of January and we haven't walked a mile per day. Fortunately, I've actually lost weight in that time and kept it off. My new job keeps me moving quite a bit.   8/26/2014 Wish there was more the report, but it's still HOT in Texas. Most days the temp is around 91 with a heat index of 101 when I walk. I've had to start wearing a water soaked towel around my neck and a hat while I walk to complete 3 miles. I've come close to heat exhaustion a few times and had to head over to the water faucet and soak my head till the dizziness clears. I thought I'd have built up a tolerance to the heat by now, but doesn't seem like that is going to happen. Good news is, the worst of the heat is over, once we hit September temps will slooooooowly creep down to the low 90's every evening. And by October, we'll be back in the 80's. I can't wait to see how fast I can do 4 miles when the temps are down in the 80's. Hopefully, I'll break the 15 minute mile. :-)   7/30/2014 I know I keep saying this, but OMG!!! IT'S HOT IN TEXAS! The good news is that today was a cloudy day and I managed 4.25 miles @ 3.6 mph. I should be up and above 4 mph by the time cool weather rolls in during October.   The heat is still in the 94 - 95 degree range with a heat index of 101 - 104. And as Madge said on the Palmolive dish-washing detergent, "You're soaking in it." :-P I'm still walking 5 days a week and hugging every inch of shade I can find! But I had to cut back to 3 miles, down from 4. I was just getting too dizzy and sick - even with using a water soaked towel to keep cool and carrying a water bottle. Monday, I had to stop at 2.5 miles and go soak my head under a water faucet. I hit a point and knew I had better get cooled off or something bad was about to happen.     7/24/2014 OMG!!! IT'S HOT IN TEXAS! For the past week it's been between 91 and 94 degrees with a heat index of 101 - 104... during the evenings... when I'm walking! I've had to begin carrying a wet towel and carry a water bottle to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. But aside from that, I've managed to walk between 3 and 4 miles in about an hour, averaging 3.5 - 3.7 mph. And haven't missed a day this week. But you gotta believe it when I say I was looking for ANY excuse to skip walking after work. But alas, the weather has been clear during the evenings and all the rain has managed to miss my exercise hour. I wonder how much it would cost me to have a crop duster fly up and seed some clouds just around the time I supposed to start walking????   7/04/2014 Another 3 miles (including 1 mile in total of jogging in short stretches) in the record book. It still amazes me when I think back to just 18 months ago when I would go to bed wondering how much it would hurt to walk from the car to my desk at work.   The Texas heat is a monster and I was really dreading walking (I mean baking) in 94 degree heat with a heat index of 101. That was yesterday! But I got rained out at the last minute. :-) ****Does happy dance**** I know, I know, I should be like those workout gurus and tell you how much I missed not going out there and sweating my ass off. But I gotta be honest and say I will take any "HONEST" excuse to duck out on walking in this heat. When I say "HONEST EXCUSE" I mean just that.... a real, "believable", reason (rain, when my car had a flat 2 weeks ago, or I feel like I've been pushing myself to the point of injury or sickness). Skipping a walk just because I don't feel like it is not enough.   So this morning the I had planned to walk with a friend at Claiborne Park just north of Vidor, TX. We normally do 3.25 miles and I've been increasing the distance I've been jogging. But the radar shows rain headed right for us in the next hour or so. So we cancelled it.   Instead I ran around my neighborhood. One lap around my block is approx. 1/2 mile. 2 long sides and 2 short sides. In 70 degree weather, I managed to run 12 of the short sides for a total of 1 miles....And the amazing part was I could have done more! So we'll see how much more tomorrow when I'm back out at Claiborne.     6/29/2014 Can't believe how well my attempts to jog are working out. Averaged 3.5 mph for 3.25 miles today. I walk a figure 8 style track and managed to jog the 4 straightaways all three laps. My next goal is to jog 1 mile non-stop. Shooting to reach that goal by the end of July. If the heat gets to be too much for me, my fall back plan is to go back to wearing the 30 lb weight vest and speed walk the trails.   6/19/2014 Another 3.25 miles down. Speed is still slow at 3.1 mph. Temp 91 degrees. Managed to make the whole circuit on 13 swallows of water. It's a pain to have to carry a water bottle on the trail, but it beats getting heat stroke!   It's been tough getting used to the Texas heat. The heat's really been kicked up a notch since the end of May. I thought it was bad when the temps were in the high 80's. Oh how I long for those days. My walking partner calls me the shade hunter. He's much more tolerant of the heat. He can walk in full sun for the whole 3.25 miles, while I zigzag on the trail - going from one patch of shade to the next. I think I may actually be walking farther than him, but he carries the GPS, so I have to go by his distance and time. Doesn't matter to me though, just completing the whole trail every day is a win.   06/18/2014 Man is it hot! The Texas Summer heat is just getting its stride and things are baking in the park. I'm up to 3.25 miles each day/ 3.1 mph while wearing a 30 lb vest. Fastest speed without the vest was 3.6 mph for 3.25 miles. Thinking it might be time to try the couch to 5k plan. Not really sure all this effort is worth the results. It's a vicious cycle - the more I get in shape the farther/faster I have to walk to burn the same amount of calories.   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10/02/2013 Hit a new personal best time at the park. 3.2 miles an hour, did 3 point something miles in about 53 minutes or something close to that, I've forgotten the exact time. :-) But at least I'm getting better, both in distance and being able to recover enough to walk at the same intensity day after day. It seems like only yesterday (actually it was Jan 2nd) that I started my walking program by taking the long way around the office to the bathroom. :-P Just goes to show that taking small steps can add up to bigger things later on.   7/11/2013 Well, I lost Gilligan, my pedometer. I named him Gilligan cause he was my "little buddy". Not sure where he ran off to. I left the house with him on my hip and at the end of the day, he was gone.   So now I have Gilligan the 2nd or Gilligan the Next Generation, depending on your point of view. Gilligan II is a little smarter, so hopefully he won't get lost. He keeps track not only of my steps and mileage, but takes into account my weight, lists calories burned, total steps, aerobic steps (meaning any walking continuously for 10 minutes or more) and tells me how long I've been aerobically walking . And he remembers everything from the past 6 days.   The good news is that I've graduated to a 2 mile trail in a local park. It has lots of ups and downs - and the occasional rabbit/armadillo/snake/Pimp butterfly on the trail to keep things entertaining. And I'm able to make the walk 6 to 7 days a week.   My 1st goal was to be able to complete the 2 miles every day 6 to 7 days a week. I have reached that goal as of July.   The next goal is to start increasing my speed. See if I can break the 45 minute mark for completing the trail. Current best speed is 46 minutes.     5/17/2013 Finally! Made over 10k steps a day for 6 days in a row. My original goal was to do it for 5 days in a row. Plus as an added NSV, I have graduated from walking on flat, level surfaces to walking in a parking garage. I do the 1st 5k steps in the morning on level ground, but at lunch, I step it up (no pun intended) by going out to a 3 story parking garage. Having to walk up those inclines between floors add a whole new level to the phrase "pain in the butt!" :-P   I was walking next to a coworker yesterday and she said, "I smell smoke." I said, "That's me. I'm not just hot, I'm SMOKIN!"   For those out there that have feet and knee pain like me, it pays to move, no matter how little. That's how I started out 5 months ago.   I could barely walk from the parking lot to the store without limping and being in a lot of pain. But I always parked at the far end of the lot and minced my way into the store. And I set a goal to walk the inside perimeter of my office every time I went to the bathroom or had to leave my desk. That was 4 to 10 laps a day.   When we move to a bigger office in Feb. I set a goal to make 4 laps a day around the office (approximately 1200 steps plus the 500 steps from the parking lot to my desk got me up to about 1700 steps a day).   When I got to the point where I could tolerate the 4 laps with no lasting pain, I added 4 laps at lunch. Then 5 in the morning and 5 at lunch till I could do 10 each time. That took several months to accomplish and I usually only could do that at most 3 days a week and be in pain for the other 2 days.   Now 10 laps twice a day is too easy, so I changed to going into the parking garage at lunch. The inclined ramps are easy on my ankles and ups my aerobic activity. Plus it gets me out in the sun - gotta have my Vitamin D!   That's how I did it. Little changes add up. Now I've got 2 ladies a work who SAY they want to start walking with me - but so far it's only been talk. :-)   This is from today, 5/17/2013. It's gonna break my heart to reset it in the morning!     2/19/2013 Just checked my pedometer when I got home and finally crossed the 10k steps goal or 4.5 miles in 1 day.   I usually on get in around 2.5 to 3 miles a day, but today I had a lot of extra walking at work and for the 2nd day this week I've been able to walk additional laps around the building at lunch.   Hopefully my feet and hips will allow me to maintain or surpass 10k a day from now on.   Update:3/28/2013 Still managing to get closer to my goal of 5 miles/day, 7 days a week. I'm averaging 4.5 miles/day 4 days a week. My hips no longer hurt, just some muscle soreness. And my feet are usually only a little painful after walking but the pain is almost gone the next day.   The people at work are starting to take notice of my walking before work and at lunch time. Commenting on my weight loss, that may sound encouraging, but I'd rather stay unnoticed and unremarked on. Noticing my weight loss and exercising will only lead to questions - ones I'd rather not answer.   I've had one or two people comment on how much they need to start walking with me, almost daily, but they never seem to find the time to do even one lap around the floor with me. I never made those type of comments when I'd see people working out, cause I knew that I wasn't going to make the effort. So why try to fool them and me? If I did, it would feel like I was apologizing for being fat and feeling guilty for not exercising.   I didn't feel like any kind of exercise plan was going to do me any good. I was too far gone. As Ralphie May said, "This is way past a diet coke fix."     3/4/2013 I'm still walking 3 - 4 miles per day, 5 days a week, but getting past 10k steps a day is tough. My feet and hips are pretty sore the day after doing that many steps and it limits me reaching 10k more than 2 or 3 times a week. But I keep working at it. As long as I'm walking every day, I'm getting closer to my goal.

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Free Atkins Bars and Quick Start Kit

Hey guys,   Atkins is still giving away their Quick Start Kit, which includes 3 Atkins bars - completely free. I did an Unboxing and review video of the contents, it's posted below. The link to the Atkins free offer is below the video.     http://goo.gl/1mAv8A - This is the link I promised to the sign up page for the free Atkins Quick Start Kit. There's no catch, they need your email and shipping address, they even pay shipping and handling.   The kit included 3 different Atkins bars - one small, one medium, and full size meal replacement bar. All 3 were delicious, it was hard not to eat all three of them.   Just a word of caution, the bars are sweetened with sugar alcohols, so those of you that can't tolerate sugar alcohols might not want to eat the bars.   The kit also includes some literature: 2 coupons for $1 discounts on Atkins bars, snacks, and meals. An Atkins approved food booklet and the Atkins Quick Start guide that explains the Atkins diet and the phases. As well, there are links to the Atkins support community and where you can download the Atkins app.   The Atkins app will help you: *search for nutritional info, *keep track of your carb intake, your weight and how close you are to reaching your goal, *provides a daily meal plan or help you design your own, *has a database of the foods considered acceptable for each phase, *and has a restaurant guide to help you make Atkins friendly food choices when dining out.

joatsaint

joatsaint

 

Taste Buds/Sense of Smell Change After Weight Loss Surgery

My sense of taste was out of whack for a few months post-op. And I've seen the question about changes in the way food tastes come up quite often on the board. This article was posted on WebMD - a UK hospital has evidence that it is pretty common to experience changes in the way things taste and smell after bariatric surgery.   My personal theory is that since we are literally forced to give up sugar (between the pre-op diet and going through the food stages post-op), our sense of taste is reset and we're no longer under the influence of sugar and processed foods.     Taste Changes Reported After Weight-Loss Surgery Sense of smell also altered for some patients in British study   WebMD News from HealthDay By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter   FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- After weight-loss surgery, many patients report changes in appetite, taste and smell, a new study says. One positive aspect of these changes is that they may lead patients to lose even more weight, the researchers suggested.   The study included 103 British patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, in which the stomach is made smaller and the small intestines is shortened. Of those, 97 percent said their appetite changed after the surgery, and 42 percent said their sense of smell changed. Taste changes occurred in 73 percent of the patients, especially when it came to sweet and sour tastes, the researchers found. They especially noted changes in the taste of chicken, beef, pork, roast meat, lamb, sausages, fish, fast food, chocolate, greasy food, pasta and rice.   Nearly three-quarters of patients said they developed a dislike of certain foods, especially meat products. One-third avoided chicken, minced beef, beef steak, lamb, sausages, bacon or ham.   About 12 percent had an aversion to starches such as rice, pasta, bread and pastry and for dairy products such as cream, cheese, ice cream and eggs, 4 percent to vegetables, 3 percent to fruit and 1 percent to canned fish.   The researchers also found that patients with a newly developed distaste for certain foods lost an average of nearly 18 pounds more after their surgery than those whose taste wasn't affected, according to the study recently published online in the journal Obesity Surgery.   Although the study found an association between weight-loss surgery and sensory changes, it did not establish cause-and-effect.   The taste and smell changes experienced by many patients after weight-loss surgery may be due to a combination of gut hormone and central nervous system effects, according to lead author Lisa Graham, of the Leicester Royal Infirmary.   She noted that patients considering weight-loss surgery are typically told about the possible loss of taste and smell.   http://www.webmd.com/diet/weight-loss-surgery/news/20140418/appetite-taste-changes-reported-after-weight-loss-surgery

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The EndoBarrier or How You Too Can Line Your Intestines with a Trash Bag

Just saw the article on this new device today. I'm thinking with enough determination I could install a Hefty bag in my colon all by myself! :-P       Printed from: Boston Herald (http://bostonherald.com)   Device aids weight loss Saturday, March 8, 2014 -- Anonymous (not verified)       Replaces surgery by lowering blood sugars Healthcare Sections: Sunday, March 9, 2014 Author(s):   Marie Szaniszlo       Doctors at three Massachusetts hospitals are recruiting people battling Type 2 diabetes and obesity for a clinical trial of a medical device that has been approved in other countries to reduce blood sugar and body weight without the need for the kind of weight-loss surgery that more than 200,000 Americans undergo each year.   Made by Lexington-based GI Dynamics, the EndoBarrier is a thin, flexible, tube-shaped liner placed via the mouth during a brief endoscopic procedure and inserted in the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine, just beyond the stomach, said Dr. Lee M. Kaplan, the trial’s lead investigator and director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.   “The food you eat goes down the middle of the tube,” Kaplan said, “but the tube blocks interactions between the food and hormone secretions,” which can affect insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, satiety and food intake.   In commercial use outside the U.S., the device has been shown to achieve as much as a 30 percent reduction in glucose levels within the first week and a 10 percent to 20 percent body-weight loss within the 12-month period for which it has been approved for use in countries including England, France, Germany and Australia, said Stuart Randle, GI Dynamics’ president and CEO.   “No one yet knows why, when you bypass the first section of the intestine, these hormones change so dramatically and so immediately,” Randle said.   The U.S. trial, which currently is enrolling people at 22 sites, including MGH, Boston Medical Center and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, will end in two years and, if it shows that the EndoBarrier is safe and effective, the Food and Drug Administration could approve the device in about a year.   If it does, the EndoBarrier could offer new hope to the 26 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in this country, including approximately 360,000 adults in Massachusetts, where the disease each week causes an average of 22 deaths, 38 lower-leg amputations, 13 new cases of end-stage renal disease and five new 
cases of blindness, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.   “Obesity and diabetes are twin epidemics that remain out of control, and while we have good medical therapies for diabetes and some good therapies for obesity, they don’t always work,” Kaplan said. “For those patients who need additional therapy, this device may provide a valuable new option. But testing it is critical.”     Source URL: http://bostonherald.com/business/healthcare/2014/03/device_aids_weight_loss

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You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Lose Weight

I can tell you from 13 months of experience post-op that you do not have to eat perfectly to lose weight. I believe too many people are under the assumption that they can't have this or a bite of that ever again. I can't live with that kind of thinking. It only makes me obsess about what I can't have.   Do you think you have to be perfect in your diet and exercise goals? Try this experiment: Being rigid is similar to holding your breath, keep holding it, don't blow it out yet, hold it, okay, now blow it out. You probably blew it out with a lot of force because you held it for longer than you felt comfortable.   Rigid dieting and exercise are like a tightly wound spring that eventually has to release. It's very important that you begin your healthier lifestyle with an understanding that there will be days when you will stray from healthy eating and exercising. You will not be perfect in your diet and exercise program, nor should you be.   Before you begin a diet and exercise program, tell yourself that no matter what happens, rather than abandoning your new lifestyle, you'll resume your healthy habits as soon as you can. You do not have to wait until the following Monday, the first day of the next month or next year. Don't want until the next day; start again with your next meal. You always have an opportunity for a fresh start to get right back on track with your healthy habits continuing to move to your weight loss goals.   It is equally important that you feel confident, not guilty, about doing so. Whatever the temptation or obstacle is, keep in mind that it's not wrong or bad to eat fattening foods once in a while or to miss a workout. Just remember to resume your healthy lifestyle as soon as possible afterward. If you keep moving forward and you don't let guilt and discouragement stop your program all together, you'll eventually have improved eating and exercise habits - with great results and success in your weight loss and health goals.   With this approach, there is no such thing as "cheating." When we feel we are cheating, we often punish ourselves; we will feel guilt, frustration and as though we've failed. We also get into the perfectionist thinking. We can't have this or that ever again and if we stray, then we've blown it. Replacing the negative concept of cheating with the idea of "straying temporarily from healthy habits" takes away the all-or-nothing emphasis of right and wrong. If you treat every deviation from your plan as a failure, you won't get very far. Substituting the idea of a brief straying away from your plan instead of feeling guilty, and learning to return more and more quickly to healthier habits, is more realistic. It's also easier and more enjoyable - today and in the long-run.   If you don't allow any opportunity to vary your eating and exercise and go into all or nothing thinking, you don't practice moderation and balance. Healthy habits of diet and fitness are most success when you don't think of them as success or failure. It is progress and not perfection. Practice healthy habits more times than you don't. Think in terms of the 80/20 guidelines. 80% of the time, you eat according to your healthy nutritional program and are active; 20% of the time, you relax your guidelines. This allows for balance and living your life in a healthy, easier mode of moderation.     Cathy Wilson is a certified life coach specializing in weight loss. Cathy lost 147 pounds seven years ago. Her passion is to help clients achieve weight loss and life goals. Cathy works with clients to create a weight loss life plan custom to each client. Cathy is a member of the International Coaching Federation, International Association of Coaches, and Obesity Action Coalition. Visit Cathy's website: LoseWeightFindLife.com

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5 Minute Review - Omron HJ-112 Pocket Pedometer Review

This is a quick review of the Omron HJ-112 Pocket Pedometer. I've had it for a few months and if you're looking for basic, accurate pedometer with no frills, this one works well. But it does have a few drawbacks.   Update 12-19-2013: I've had a chance to compare the accuracy of my Omron to a GPS device. It was very accurate, considering that my stride changes in length depending on how energetic I feel. Over the last month, I have done 3 mile hikes several times a week, the Omron was only 2 tenths of a mile less than the GPS on average.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs - What Is A Slider Food

Weight Loss Surgery Frequently Asked Questions "What is a slider food?" For everyone that has had weight loss surgery, there is a slider food. Basically a slider food is anything that you can eat a lot of without feeling full and the feeling of fullness does not last.   For me, my slider foods include; nuts of any kind, popcorn, peanut butter and fruit. I have to keep careful watch over how much I'm eating of a slider food, I can easily blow the calorie count limit I've set for the day.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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How To Explain Weight Loss Surgery Scars

My 1st Vlog entry "How To Explain Weight Loss Surgery Scars" or "Girl! You Ain't Gonna Believe This!" Many people have asked this question, it must come up a least once a week. In this video, I have some creative ways to explain away your weight loss surgery scars. Like the famous man said, "If you can't dazzle'em with brilliance, baffle'em with B.S!" I think my favorite weight loss surgery scar explanation is, "knifed by an exotic dancer, they're nasty that way!"   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve   My Favorite Youtubers: VSGKirk - https://www.youtube.com/user/vsgkirk/videos 7Bites cooking show - https://www.youtube.com/user/SevenBitesShow/videos

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Quick FAQs - What Is The Honeymoon Period

Frequently Asked Questions - Weight Loss Surgery - What is the honeymoon period?   For about 6 to 10 months post-weight loss surgery is the time when it is the easiest to lose weight. Outside of the dreaded stalls, weight generally tends to fall off magically. But eventually the body becomes adjusted to the lower caloric intake and adjusts it's metabolism down. So it's vitally important to take advantage of this "honeymoon period" to stick to your doctor's dietary guidelines and lose as much weight as possible.   After the "honeymoon period" it is still possible to lose weight, but it will require more vigilance on caloric intake and diet, being careful not to fall into old habits, and increasing exercise levels to maintain your metabolism.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs - Weight Loss Surgery - How Long Before Returning to Work?

Frequently Asked Questions - How long were you off work after weight loss surgery? The length of time off work post-surgery is going to vary on your ability to recover and any effects of medications you are taking.   When I began researching weight loss surgery types, I read many accounts and watched lots of videos over how quickly people recovered from weight loss surgery. Some had extraordinary recoveries and were back at work within 3 or 4 days, others were not able to return to work for 4 weeks.   I was back at work on day 10 post-op. I have a desk job that does not require heavy lifting, squatting or bending.   I would recommend wearing the abdominal binder if the hospital gives you one. I wore mine everyday for 4 weeks post op.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs - Why Choose VSG Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy?

Frequently Asked Questions - Why did you choose vertical sleeve gastrectomy over the Lap Band or Gastric Bypass (RNY or Duodenal Switch)? I looked at three weight loss surgery options before choosing the sleeve. I chose the gastric sleeve because it seemed to be the one with the fewest complications.   I wasn't thrilled with the gastric lapband because I have a friend who had the lapband, but had complications including scarring on the outside of the stomach where the band rubbed. And he learned how to eat around his band. After losing over 150lbs, he resumed his old eating habits and gained it all back, plus some.   I was creeped out with RNY. I couldn't handle the thought of being required to take supplements for the rest of my life, plus the whole rerouting of my intestines didn't sound good.     If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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5 Minute Reviews - Russell Stover Sugar Free Pecan Delights

Here's a quick review of one of my favorite candies. Russell Stovers Sugar Free Pecan Delights. I like these as an occasional treat, but not for everyday snacking. They do contain sugar alcohols and may cause gastric distress.   When I first tried them, I was on the Atkins Diet. I learned the hard way, you shouldn't eat 6 of them at once. I was making a bee-line for the bathroom about 30 minutes later. :-P   I don't recommend them to anyone that is still eating less than 1000 calories a day. If your caloric intake is that low, you need to pack as much nutrition into every bite as possible. And candy is not nutrition.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Before and After (VSG) Weight Loss Surgery 10 Months and 130lbs Gone

Weight loss surgery before and after: Saying goodbye to 130lbs 10 months post-op. I usually avoided the camera pre-surgery, but I must have made this video sometime around Nov or Dec 2012, just before weight loss surgery.   The vertical sleeve gastrectomy was the best decision I have ever made for myself. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been a smooth ride every day, but I would do it over again in a heartbeat.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs - Shaving After (VSG) Weight Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery Frequently Asked Questions: How has shaving changed after (VSG) weight loss surgery? Plus, how to make your razor blades last longer.   A few years ago I was researching how to make razor blades last longer, after all, disposable razor blades are becoming really expensive - especially the 4 and 5 blade ones. I read an article that said most razor blades cause irritation not because they lose their edge, but because of dead skin cells and salts that dry on the blades between shaves. I make my blades last much longer by keeping them submerged in plain old tap water between shaves.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs - What Was The Last Straw?

Frequently Asked Questions - What was the last straw the made you choose weight loss surgery?   I was at my lowest point physically and mentally in July 2012. I knew that my health would continue to deteriorate and I'd only become more and more depressed if I didn't make a change. Some people claim that weight loss surgery is the easy way out, but I needed the extra help from WLS to dig myself out of the hole I was in.   It's kinda funny that society ridicules you for being overweight and then ridicules you again if you don't lose the weight "the right way."   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Weight Loss Surgery Tips (VSG) Why Its Good To Be Number 2

Weight Loss Surgery Tips - Why it's good to be #2. I realized it's not always good to be the 1st in line for surgery.   My WLS surgeon had 6 surgeries scheduled on the same day and began at 7am. I felt pretty good about being his 2nd patient for the day. It meant that he had time to get warmed up and in the zone for surgery. But he hadn't been working so long that he was getting fatigued.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs What Vitamins Are You Taking Post (VSG) Weight Loss Surgery

This Frequently Asked Question addresses the need to take vitamins and calcium post-op weight loss surgery. How to pick'em and why you need'em.   My surgeon wanted me on a multivitamin, calcium and B12 post-op. His office carries the Bariatric Advantage brand of vitamins, but said any good brand of multivitamins were suitable post-op.   Just be sure to wait a few hours between taking a multi with Iron and calcium. Iron inhibits the absorption of calcium.   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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Quick FAQs Weight Loss Surgery (VSG) Pre-Op Freak Out and Food Funerals

Hello my fellow VSG'rs. This Frequently Asked Question is a 2'fer. I answer the questions: Did you have pre-surgery anxieties and did you have one last hurrah with a Food Funeral?   If you like/dislike my videos, please thumb up or down, and leave a comment about how I could improve the content. Your input helps me become a better Youtuber. :-)   Keep Pimpin' that Sleeve!   Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/102076899634252886094/102076899634252886094/posts/p/pub   Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frankensleeve-Vertical-Sleeve-Gastrectomy-VSG-Community/289332951205311   Twitter https://twitter.com/frankensleeve

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