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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by CowgirlJane

  1. I am 6 years post conversion from band to sleeve. I lost over 150# post sleeve and am currently dealing with a partial regain. I had also gotten out of the habit of regular intense exercise (I have remained walking etc. but gave up the higher intensity stuff I used to do). I have tried all year to use the various maintenance strategies I had learned, but I could not sustain it. A month ago, I joined a "small group personal training" gym that has a whole new approach. They are all about reducing bodyfat percentage and firing up the metabolism. The workouts are all HIIT, and short duration. The food plan is actually too much food (I had to have them modify it for me) but I will say I have not been hungry. It is lean protein and veggie focused, with very controlled and properly timed healthy carbs and healthy fats. (My new fave breakfast is pancakes made from rolled outs, egg beaters and zero fat cottage cheese - delish and moderate healthy carb) It's been 4 weeks, I have lost just shy of 12# and just over 3% reduction in bodyfat percentage. Not setting the world on fire, however, my belt is in a couple of notches, I am working out hard 3X a week and filling in with at home workouts another 2X a week. I am sleeping better, my appetite has increased (that is part of the idea in this program-heat up the metabolism) but my cravings are in pretty good control. I am only sharing this because my personal experiences were that low carbing, intermittant fasting and other techniques that I had big success with in the past, just don't seem to be sustainable. IF, which I love the results, seems to trigger massive anxiety in me so sadly that option is off the table for now. I guess the takeaway message for me is that maintenance is an ongoing thing, go with the tried and true (ie what works for you) but then when that stops working - be open minded to try something else. Who knew that eating MORE food (but different focus - like no cheese, no higher fat proteins etc.) would be what I need right now, today.
  2. My scars aren't even visible. Stretch marks were worse, but even those are very faded now.
  3. CowgirlJane

    Not Enough Stomach Removed

    Glad you got the testing done. I didn't read this whole thread but here are a few thoughts (I am over 6 years post revision band to sleeve). Acid sometimes feels like hunger - are you SURE your excess acid is under control? I took a PPI first several months even though I wasnt aware of feeling excess acid, it is just so common my surgeon wanted to prevent it. All these years later, it reared it's ugly head and has caused significant problems for me, but that is a different story. Also, grazing is both a habit, and a state of hunger. 6 years out, grazing can really really catch up with me - I tend to do it I when I am feeling stressed (daily at my job!). It's so easy for me to fall into just having a little of this, a protein drink or whatever... frankly, to comfort me. None of its junk, but it adds up to too much food. What works best for me is to eat by the "scale and clock". My program called for 5 mini meals; I decided that 4 mini meals worked better and I settled into that rythem. It meant that I didn't eat outside those "meal" times. At first I weighed/measured everything and then I switched to eating until "absence of hunger" and then STOPPED, until it was time for the next mini meal. Best advice I ever got "do not seek the feeling of being full, eat until absence of hunger" Anyway, hope they rule out any mecanical problems with the sleeve - keep on going, this isn't easy but it is SO worth it!
  4. There is a reason that I took over a year off from these boards, and now read very very very few posts.... at some point, it just isn't value added.
  5. CowgirlJane

    4+ year Vet Starting Over

    I am currently working off a gain - about 15 down; another 25 or so to go... I am 6 years post revision to sleeve. First, you do still have a sleeved stomach and I think it is possible to leverage it even now. For me, it takes FOREVER to lose weight now but I just can't care about that - I just have to keep losing or maintaining, not gaining. I am also working out and just getting toner, so I feel better. If I don't eat like a sleever, you wouldn't think I have a sleeve. I have always eaten half or less portions, etc - but I still have had regain that I am now turning around. Food wise, high protein (dense protein first), veggies and really don't eat traditional carb sources like rice, bread, noodles. Don't eat alot of processed foods, skip fast foods, make your own meals and freeze them ahead. Find favorite easy to make "go to" foods - and keep the junk, sliders and carby food out of the house, or at least out of sight. Some people find food journaling helpful. Make sure you aren't drinking your calories. Truth of the matter is that people regain post RNY also, after a certain amount of time it is less about the surgery and more about "compliance". I hate that, but it is true. I think your plan to tackle this is a good one, just don't be discouraged at the much slower weight loss this time around.
  6. CowgirlJane

    Trouble getting up in the morning

    Honestly, it took 2-3 months post op before I really felt fully human again. Stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, it will get better.
  7. Many many people have the exact same experience and go on losing lots and lots of weight. Follow your program - it's hard to be patient, but it works!
  8. When I revised I had about 2.5 months between removal of the band and the sleeve. i didn't need to do the medically supervised diet, but obviously I didn't want to gain! I had felt that the band was not working, but after removal, I was incredibly hungry 24/7. I don't know if that is a common occurance, but I would be prepared to meet with your NUT or some other knowledgable person if that happens. I wound up going low carb and did manage to maintain...
  9. CowgirlJane

    Weight Gain 5 yrs out UGH

    I have lost (re)15# since Halloween - and doing it without being hungry! It seems so slow, but you know, I am still 15# less than I was before the holiday season so that is something ! I know it is very hard, but at some point I think it is helpful to get past the obesity induced shame, and focus more on living life, paying attention to healthy habits without being so hard on ourselves. Regain happens to many after about 3-5 years out, it's what you do about it that matters.
  10. CowgirlJane


    Well, you probably don't want to hear what i have to say. I had very bad heartburn when I had the lapband. When I revised to sleeve in 2011 I had an endoscopy they said my pouch was dialated but no serious issues other than that. Since being sleeved I have had occasional heartburn - but NOTHING compared to the 10 years of the lapband. I was controlling the heartburn very well with meds, and at other times didn't need meds at all and so didn't think too much of it until a few months ago. Suddenly, a bit of heartburn started feeling like a terrible pain in my stomach - like this isn't just a little irritation anymore. I had an endoscopy - and it turns out that now I have Barretts esphogatristis. The biopsy showed no cancer, but after I finish my current round of PPI, I will need some other kind of treatment. Surgery has been mentioned. Revision to RNY has been mentioned. I will know more in a few days.... As you can imagine, I am not too thrilled with the prospects. Bottom line, talk to the doctor, maybe keep a log of symptoms leading up to your appointment and they may decide you should be scoped.
  11. CowgirlJane

    Veteran's 2+ years out and chasing 10 to 20lb gain.

    Weight loss is slower than I had imagined it would be, but wow, I am getting stronger.... and while I stalled in December, I am back to losing again. AT least I didn't gain! I am starting to see the return of that toned look, I just need to lose more fat! The workouts are incredible, I premake my meals and have gotten so into cooking, enjoying creative dishes, and then freeze for "tv dinners"that are made from great ingredients. IT is really quite a switch - no more relying on sandwich meat, cheese and a pickle for lunch - I am actually enjoying food. I challenge myself to take delish recipes and make them a bit lower calorie. Example, some dishes that the recipe has you dump in like a cup of heavy cream - instead I use zero fat greek yogurt. Sure, it isn't exactly the same, but I have been feeding other people according to my plan and everyone says "this doesn't taste like diet food - it tastes good!" The other thing I am doing is to be sure to actually eat the full amount. I sometimes slide into that whole "if I starve myself...blah blah". With this program, it is all about firing up the metabolism with the intense (and do I mean INTENSE!) workouts and then fueling it with adequate, high quality food. Anyway, if I buckled down a bit harder and totally gave up wine and going out to restaurants with friends, the progress would be faster. I have decided that mentally/emotionally - I am not in a space to really hit it that hard, so I am settling for slow, but measurable progress. It's awesome to not be hungry, to be truly satiated with food and to be excited about working out. I have decided those things are more important for me than losing quickly.
  12. CowgirlJane

    Veteran's 2+ years out and chasing 10 to 20lb gain.

    Over time, our bodies seem to change in terms of response to what always worked. I joined a gym where I do a different kind of exercise - it's high intensity interval training and it is intense. I am also following their food plan, but in reality it's lean protein and veggie based so not that different. I am just adhering closer. The weight is coming off painfully slow, but, its going the right direction and I am feeling alot better about my situation. I am also still doing my low intensity daily brisk walks, but I don't even count those as exercise now. So, maybe try changing it up - try intermittant fasting or some other technique that you have not been doing, change something about your workouts. Celebrate the very small wins because at this phase it seems to take forever to lose anything and so easy to gain!
  13. CowgirlJane

    4.5 years out gastric bypass -weight gain

    Here is what is working for me. Make a plan and follow it. So, more specifically, if I plan for (and have on hand ready to go) dense protein and vegetables that I split over approx 4 meals it cuts the cravings and snackings way way back. I don't really have room for much else. Last night I came home from the gym STARVING and my son had a nice fresh out of the oven pizza - not on my plan. I almost attacked it, but remembered my premade meal - plop it in the microwave, add some lettuce and tomato and voila - delish dinner on plan. If I don't do that sort of thing, I give in to food I don't really want, it's just easier...
  14. CowgirlJane

    Lack of motivation

    I lost about 150# post sleeve. I still felt fat, I felt like I looked old (hadn't seen my real face in decades, so it was a shocker). It took awhile, counseling, supportive friends etc for me to realize that I am finally pretty normal. Our brains aren't sleeved, sometimes you have to find other ways to help with that part of this whole deal! Some people find support groups helpful. I did counseling - and started living life to the fullest and my brain slowly slowly changed. Now I think I look pretty damn good.
  15. CowgirlJane

    Eggs and Milk just make me sick!

    I became lactose intolerant post sleeve. Killed the ice cream cravings - ha! I found eggs to hit my sleeve like a rock. It was NOT an easy food for me and I didn't add it until later for that reason. Of course talk to your NUT - but I would avoid foods that make you sick.
  16. CowgirlJane

    Post recovery time to golf

    I am not a medical doc - but I can share my experience of 2 surgeries - lapband implant, removal 10 years later, revision to sleeve. They were all laproscopic surgeries. Incisions are not the big issue - they healed quite readily. Being able to get enough liquids in is much more of an issue. Having enough energy, getting used to all the crazy food phases, mood swings due to hormone changes due to rapid weight loss etc was much bigger deal. I was also warned to be careful for 6 weeks - no heavy lifting (like 5 pound limit!) to avoid creating adhesions. So, deskjobs people often go back to work in 2-3 weeks. I personally felt like HELL for closer to 6 weeks - I would have NOT been up to do business travel within 2 weeks of surgery - it was a big adjustment for me. It was even longer before I felt fully human to be honest, but I was doing normal stuff around 6 weeks or so. I was riding horses about 6-7 weeks post op, for example.
  17. Not every surgeon/program follows the exact same protocol. My program had us having either a pureed meal or a protein drink 5X a day. Separate food from drink; 1/4 cup of volume of pureed is plenty. Had hydration (64 ounces included the protein drinks) and protein targets but no guidance on what time of day to eat. That was my program.
  18. protein cupcake in a mug is what I meant! Thanks
  19. CowgirlJane

    Checking In- Sleeved in Dec 2014

    I hit 6 year mark in December - things got MUCH harder for me about 3 or so years out. I had to really work hard to not regain, but over the last 1-2 years have put a few pounds back on. Like many of you have found, eating about the same - yet regain. Maybe some of it is natural aging process, maybe I don't estimate my intake as well - I don't know. I tried ALL the techniques that I have used (5:2, tracking, low carb etc etc) and could not make progress. What I have done is joined a gym with a metabolism boosting program - it is really quite different than anything else I have done post sleeve. I get to eat good quantities of food, and getting healthier. The weight loss is painfully slow, but I have turned the tide - I didn't lose any more over the month of December, but I held my own. Anyway, this seems like a lifelong thing....
  20. CowgirlJane

    Honeymoon over?

    Stalls happen. Keep working the program, keep the faith. This is a long haul thing, and while it is not at all easy - it is so worth it!
  21. CowgirlJane


    April, I am not entirely sure I am following it all. What I can say is that WLS is a big deal, a big emotional rollercoaster - but it gets better. Alot better. I am six years post op, and life has gotten much much better. Hang in there, and if you are really depressed - please call a mental health hotline and talk to someone. Thinking of you.
  22. CowgirlJane

    Long term.. Any case studies?!

    My niece has a close friend who had the GB at least 15 years ago. She is slim, healthy and happy! But, reading the many many many studies out there is a good way to get some peace of mind. Good luck
  23. CowgirlJane

    Time to be honest. Anyone care to join?

    I went on my first diet when I was 8 years old. I lost 30 pounds. I of course regained it and lost weight many many many times. Weight watchers, TOPs meetings, exercise, starvation diets combined with ridiculous amount of exercise (I got very slim and crazy on that one!), the hormone one, medically supervised fast, etc. - so many I don't even remember. I got the lapband in 2001 but didn't do well with it and never got under 200# But in the end - by the time I was in my late 40s I weighed close to 350 pounds. I think it was the hormone one combined with starving (500 calories a day) got me down to my SLEEVE surgical start weight of 308 (6 years ago). I was so hungry all the time pre-sleeve; food was just an obsession. My life has been so much better since getting to a normal weight and having more normal hunger. My actual point is that I do think you need to feel like you have tried so that you take the surgery seriously, and are compliant and all that - but - I am telling you - once you are obese it is VERY difficult to lose and maintain weight and the older you get, it is even harder. It isn't a moral failing - and I am guessing that even IF had you tried every crazy diet out there you maybe could of lost weight, unlikely to have kept it off.
  24. CowgirlJane

    Sleep Apnea and Anesthesia

    My surgery was 6 years ago - so maybe things have changed. My number was 111 - so also severe sleep apnea. What I was told is that the primary risk is the first 24 hours post op and the way my suregeon dealt with it is that I stayed overnight and was on monitors. Otherwise, I was healthy enough to do it outpatient/day surgery. I had no problems but I felt safer with the precautions. I too was frightened, but when I considered the risk of just dropping dead from being so obese, I decided that the surgical risk with apnea was less frightening than the very real risk of entering my 50s weighing over 300#. I had a niece (age 40) and a SIL (age 62), both very obese (probably heavier than me even), both died of sudden heart attacks related to the obesity - although the SIL passed AFTER I had sleeve surgery. Those deaths really hit home. Since I like facts to back up decisions, I would do research on the actual percentages. I get that terrible things can happen due to bariatric surgery but the vast majority of people do just fine and have no serious problems. For the sleeve, I'd be much more worried about reflux as a lot of people do wind up having to manage that to varying extent over the longhaul.
  25. CowgirlJane

    Nothing tastes good

    When was your surgery - did you have the sleeve?

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