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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by southernsoul

  1. southernsoul

    Natural Hair and Bariatric Surgery

    I started wearing my hair in it's naturally curly state shortly before I had sleeve surgery. I hoped that if it started thinning after surgery, wearing it curly would help it look fuller. I found a couple of products from Mixed Chicks that I like a lot. Post-op, your hair might change, but you can't know until it happens. If it does change, you'll learn how to work with it just like you did when you went natural. Good luck!!
  2. southernsoul

    plastics questions

    My insurance approved a panni, and I paid $3K out of pocket to get the full tummy tuck. I was also approved for a breast reduction at the same time. I didn't do anything special, my surgeon just submitted for approval and got it. I had another surgeon tell me he wouldn't bother submitting for insurance approval because I'd "never" be approved....I still had about 20 lbs I wanted to lose, had not maintained at goal for a year, etc. I said thank you very much, went to a different surgeon, and boom.....I was approved and had plastics about a month later.
  3. southernsoul

    Starting Now - Prep

    Congrats on your recent marriage & upcoming WLS. I'm 3 years out this month. As I recall, I made sure I had plenty of broth prepared and frozen in small portions. I test-cooked & test-tasted several things beforehand to figure out things I liked for the puree stage, which was the hardest one for me. Stay plugged in to the community for support & recipe inspiration. Best of luck to you!
  4. southernsoul

    Emotional Eating

    I'm 3 years out this month. In my opinion, learning to cope without turning to food is one of the hardest challenges post-WLS. Many of us have used food for comfort, or when faced with stress, or just when boredom would set in. It's important not to "graze" all day, too. Maybe it would help you to keep a journal? Write down how you're feeling when you see that you're not eating well. Are you feeling stressed? Sad? Angry? Lonely? I think a lot of emotional issues that have been band-aided with food pre-op rise to the surface post-op, and it's important to work through them. Good for you for weight-training, though. Exercise is one of the very best outlets for stress relief and for releasing dopamine and serotonin. Wishing you the best of luck!
  5. southernsoul

    Anybody from Atlanta, Georgia

    I'm hardly ever on here anymore, but this post caught my eye today. I live in Athens, and was sleeved by Dr. Paul Macik at Northside. He was really good, and his office staff is great. I'm 3 years out this month. Because of the distance, I didn't go to the support groups at the hospital regularly, but I did join several WLS groups on FB, in addition to being here. Good luck to each of y'all!!
  6. southernsoul

    Adult beverages after the sleeve?

    Before sleeve surgery 3 years ago, I usually had a 1-2 cocktails or glasses of wine a night. Post-op, I didn't drink at all for about 3 months, but I eventually got back to the same 1-2 per night. I had stopped drinking soda about a year before surgery, and haven't gone back. I have found that natural fermentation/carbonation, such as in champagne, doesn't give me a bloated feeling like soda or beer. Best of luck to you!
  7. southernsoul

    Why I'm here

    Dear HFFM, I haven't been on this site in quite awhile, but I logged on today & your post caught my eye. I'm 3 years out this month. Six months after my sleeve surgery, my husband was killed in a fire. The fact is, any one of us could die today, tomorrow, next week, or next month. We get in cars, cross busy streets, fly in planes, and do many other things that expose us to risk. There's no way to control all risk. You sound like a loving, committed husband and father. You are having this surgery to increase your odds of having more time with them. You have prepared for the possibility of something happening to you, and you have provided for them if/when that day comes. You have controlled for as much as you can, and big kudos to you for doing so. The rest of it is simply out of your control. Take a deep breath, kiss that beautiful wife and son, and keep moving forward. Best of luck to you!
  8. I'm playing around with ideas for post-op & thought I would share what I tried today. I hate the texture of cottage cheese, but have learned that it's much better when run through the food processor until smooth. I eyeballed the amounts, so the amounts I listed are just my best guess of what I used & may need to be adjusted. It has a smooth, rich texture that made me think of cheesecake. 1 chopped medium apple 3/4-1 cup cottage cheese 1 Tbsp apple pie spice 1 tsp vanilla 3 heaping Tbsp unflavored Protein powder 1 Tbsp honey Process until smooth. Makes about 2 cups, so there are several servings. I did a second version with about 4 Tbsp pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup instead of honey. Both were yummy!
  9. southernsoul

    Fighting To Keep My Perspective

    I've gone from a size 26/28 to about a size 14 right now. I'm 5'6, currently weigh about 206 & have a larger frame. Like marfar above, I'm looking weirdly top heavy now & don't particularly like that. I recently bought a cute dress in a juniors store that was a 3X and another dress from Chadwick's that is a medium. Both fit me just fine, which is kinda crazy. Women's sizing is all over the place, so if I ever feel like I'm losing perspective I just put on one of the things I kept from my biggest sizes. Seeing how ginormous those clothes are on me now always makes me feel better.
  10. southernsoul

    Discouraged and Heartbroken.

    Oh, Lisa, I'm so very sorry you are having to go through such a heartbreaking thing. As you already know, my husband died in a fire back in January. Although that's different from losing someone to cancer, the need for comfort in grief is such a powerful force. I have also given in to some comfort eating over these last months. I agree with the above posters...don't worry so much about losing right now, just getting rid of the unhealthy habits. Hugs to you, sweetie!
  11. I also haven't lost much from the boobie zone, but I haven't had nerve pain. Maybe a chiropractor could help? Also, I recently treated myself to a proper bra fitting, which I had never done before. I bought a couple of new bras which were pretty expensive, but also make an amazing difference in terms of good support & how my clothes look. It couldn't hurt to get a fitting & see if a new and/or different style of bra might help get rid of the pain.
  12. southernsoul

    sick and needing some advice

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about losing weight while I was sick. If you're sick, you're sick & getting well has to take priority. Losing 62 lbs in 3 months is great! Cut yourself some slack & realize that gaining a few ounces (or even a couple of pounds) while sick is not the end of the world. When you're well again & able to function better, you'll get right back on track. Feel better!
  13. southernsoul


    It's only been 3 weeks or so after you had major surgery. Try to cut yourself some slack & understand that everybody heals at a different rate. Just hang in there & keep trying...things will start to get better very soon!
  14. southernsoul

    Is the weight loss on track?

    thanks. i appreciate it. I fear the dreaded 3 week stall I read about will happen. I hope not! Sounds to me like you've made great progress! But try not to fear a pause....I don't even like the word "stall". We're asking an awful lot of our bodies with this surgery & we asked a lot before, when we were carrying around so much extra weight. Try to accept that you WILL have pauses while your body adjusts itself so it can keep on responding to the downward direction. That's a perfectly normal thing to happen, and it's not a reason to feel stressed or anxious. For me, it was much easier to stay on track through the pauses if I wasn't thinking of it as something being wrong. Good luck & congrats on your great progress so far!
  15. southernsoul

    I need help

    My advice would be to stay on your surgeon's plan & be patient. For pretty much the whole first 6 months postop I seemed to follow a general pattern of losing for 2 weeks & "pausing" for 2 weeks. We are asking a lot of our bodies with this surgery, and I think it's unrealistic to expect a completely consistent pattern of loss. Our bodies need pauses to adjust, so try not to get too stressed over it. Hang in there...the scale will start moving again!
  16. In the beginning I weighed every day & sometimes twice a day. However, I wasn't usually very disturbed if the numbers didn't change every day. I seemed to have a pattern of losing for 2 weeks & then pausing for 2 weeks, so I didn't freak out if a week or more went by without a change. If it started to get frustrating, I would stay off the scale for a few days. Now I weigh myself most days, but not every day, so maybe 4-5 times a week. You just have to figure out what works for you & go with that, regardless of what anyone else does.
  17. southernsoul

    Yesterday I went rogue....

    I'm also a rebel straw user. It works well for me & I've had no issues. I carry my camelback bottle everywhere.
  18. southernsoul


    I had surgery with Dr. Macik in June & have done really well. I live in Athens, so I haven't attended the support groups except for once. I think that's an important component, though. Good luck to you!
  19. southernsoul

    What do I do?

    A few months ago I was chatting with a woman at a party. She had heard I had surgery & she asked me how I was doing. I said I was doing great...I told her I had started at 320 & told her whatever I weighed at that time. She said, Wow...you really put it out there so matter of fact. Most of us women never discuss our weight so honestly. My response was, "Well, I had this surgery to help myself be better in several ways, and BS-ing around the truth wouldn't help me do that. Before you can truly fix a problem, you have to own it. If I wasn't willing to own this, I'd really be limiting myself in terms of how well I can fix it." In my opinion, we don't do ourselves any favors by hiding from the truth. It's not always necessary to wave it in front of others, but keep it in plain sight for yourself. Good luck to you...you can do this!
  20. I can only share my own experience, but for me the sleeve has been wonderful. I will be 9 months out soon and I'm down about 109 lbs, from 320 to 211. The hunger came back for me, but it seems much more manageable now. I haven't come across any food that I can't tolerate, although I know for some that's not the case. I joined a gym last September & was going about 3 times a week. I got off track in January, but I'm working on getting myself back to exercising regularly. Right now it's only 1-2 times a week, but that's better than nothing. I've been OK with keeping my carbs fairly low, but I know that can be a struggle for some. I'm not on a strict diet. I eat mostly what I want, but I definitely focus on Protein first. Usually the protein fills me up to where I'm not very tempted by the carby stuff. Taking only a week off might be OK, but I would definitely suggest keeping a light schedule & following your surgeon's recommendations about lifting, walking, food schedule, etc. Good luck to you!
  21. southernsoul

    You have to fight for it...

    I think it's important to be aware of the number on the scale, but not to let that dictate whether or not you're doing "good". You are dropping weight that plagues your health (both physical and mental), and you're only at the beginning of the journey. The long term effects are gearing up & you WILL see a difference. Keep following your plan, keep exercising, and keep your focus on the bigger picture. You can do it....and you will!!
  22. At the 1-2 month mark, I think I was still sort of uncomfortable when I ate. It's hard to get used to how much is the right amount & you can't know how you will react to new foods as you introduce them back in to your diet. Slowing down was a big thing for me...the 3 times I threw up postop happened because I was eating too fast. Even now, at almost 8 months out, I can still get uncomfortable once in awhile. I just try to start each meal slowly & if I notice a bit of discomfort I stop eating for a few minutes to see if it settles down. It doesn't happen often, but I still try to be mindful of it.
  23. southernsoul

    Is this really gonna happen....smh

    Your insurance company should be able to give you a timeline for what you will be required to do. My surgeon told me that the timeline comes from my insurance company, not from him. Different employers choose different coverages & requirements, so I was going to have to follow what my husband's employer had selected. It ended up being 3 months of doctor supervised diet (which was only going to see the surgeon once a month & getting weighed, no specific "diet" to follow), a psych eval, clearance from my primary care physician, and 3 monthly meetings with the NUT. I was also required to get cardiac clearance, pulmonary clearance, and an endoscopy in the 2 weeks prior to the surgery. It took me about 4 months to finish all the requirements, and I had surgery last June. Good luck to you!
  24. I'm just over 7 months out & I still haven't had rice. I've had a couple of bites of someone else's Pasta dish, and once I had a little bit of mac & cheese, but that's really it. I've had tortilla wraps a couple of times & I eat those Arnold Sandwich Thins (the Flax & Fiber ones). When I do have bread, I make sure that I've eaten Protein & veggies first. Like MichiganChic above, those things were mainstays in my diet, but I really don't miss them now.
  25. I have been a pretty frequent poster here since last March, except for the past few weeks. Almost 3 weeks ago, my husband was killed in a tragic fire at his brother's house. I am still reeling from the shock & trying desperately to find my way through this awful new reality into which I have been thrown. I miss him so much, at times I almost can't catch my breath. I am incredibly fortunate to have a strong & loving support network of amazing friends & family. Eventually, I will be OK. But at the moment, I am struggling to eat enough, I started smoking again, and I am having a drink each night to help me sleep. At some point, with the help of the many wonderful people who love me, I will find my way back to a healthy and happy path. I believe that in my head, even if I can't yet feel it in my heart. I am thankful that my improved physical condition will help me be better prepared to take care of myself now than I would have been six months ago. But here's the thing I want to say to you. Sometimes, life is going to suck. Surgery is not a magic cure-all for the problems we deal with. Life is going to throw us curve balls & challenging situations. Sometimes we can prepare ourselves for those challenges, but sometimes there is simply nothing that will prepare us to face what we must. So, when life rises up & punches you in the face, remember these guidelines: Spend more of your time focusing on your achievements rather than your shortcomings. Devote more energy to expressing your love to others rather than tallying up the things that piss you off. Understand that we are all far more than a number on a scale. If you are waiting to try new things until you lose weight, STOP WAITING. Your life is happening now, here, today....don't let it pass you by because of fear, insecurity, or doubt. If you pray, send me a prayer. If you don't pray, then send me good vibes & healing thoughts. I appreciate all the good & supportive thoughts I can get right now.

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