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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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  1. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in Epic NSV - even all these years out it was boost   
    Some of you know me well as I have been around a long time... but for back story I was pretty hopeless about losing weight and especially maintaining it when I began this sleeve journey. I had "failed" with the lapband in an epic way and by the time I revised to the sleeve I was well over 300# (although down from my lifetime recorded high of 332# while banded). I was super morbidly obese and spent a lot of years there. I felt aged beyond my years and besides feeling physically miserable, I was certainly NOT an object of attention from the opposite gender. Hell, i never even had a chubby chaser interested in me.
    (I did have a serious relationship, I have never been a loner, but my point is I have always been one to focus on intelligence and personality, not looks or body)
    Because of my active lifestyle, I have mostly had slender friends even when I was obese. I never went out for girls night with them, never went dancing, I felt like I didn't belong in those settings. So, after losing a bunch of weight, I had plastics and am now maintaining. I social with lots of people now and feel like i fit in many places, but am still sometimes surprised at my own preconceived notions.
    Currently, I am about 5# over my goal and about 25# over my lowest weight - I am 3.5 years post sleeve so this is frankly pretty typical. It can get a little discouraging as I am having a heck of a time re-losing this weight. I am fine at my current size, but i was finer thinner haha... so it is still something I want. You know how your state of mind is when your favorite jeans are too tight.... that is where i am!
    Okay, now my NSV Story!
    I went out to the racetrack on the 3rd for a big girls day of races and fireworks. I went with 3 very attractive ladies who are all naturally very trim. They range from tiny cute as a pixie (Which also makes her look really young) to that tall blond skinny model look (two of those, one fairly boyish looking the other more curvy - both very very attractive). Anyway, all 4 of us are unloading the cooler, doing stuff getting ready to go in. I was applying sunscreen. this really really really attractive man - probably about 40 (we are all about 50) walks by and looks right at me and smiles and says "need any help with that?". All of us freeze as it processes... he is talking to ME! What? I smiled at him as he walked away (it was only later I thought I should have said "YES") and one of the ladies said "this is going to be a good day".
    I don't spend alot of time comparing myself to others, I really don't. But after a lifetime of obesity, super morbid obesity - you never expect to be the one in your group of attractive friends to get the notice.
    Looks don't actually matter that much - one of the ironies i have learned in this journey, but it still felt good and my friends were all very happy for me too... That also makes me feel good that they are so pleased with my successes.
  2. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from Kindle in List your Tijuana Doctor and Price. Plus a little bit about your experience.   
    @@bluesclues I've heard good things about Dr. Corvala. He must be the best kept secret because I don't read much about him on these boards. I heard of him through someone here in Seattle after I'd already had my surgery and she just raved about him and the post-op care. She is a nurse so someone's opinion with a medical background has more clout for me. I also heard Dr. A. Ortiz's name from a nutritionist here in Seattle, I had researched him initially but ruled him out early on because of price. My intuition kicked in and I had a sense I should save the extra money for OCC ($1800 more than who I was considering - big deal) and go there. I'm glad I listened to my intuition because I had some difficulty and Dr. O. helped me sail right through it.
  3. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from sleevydreams in List your Tijuana Doctor and Price. Plus a little bit about your experience.   
    Please do not use price to make your decision. Find a surgeon who you feel comfortable with and if they are on the higher end, save up. Ariel Ortiz (as opposed to Elias) is fantastic - slightly more than some of the bargain surgeons but worth every penny. I can't say what I paid but call Obesity Control Center, you will have no problem getting a quote with no pressure. Just please don't use price as a deciding factor.
  4. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from Kindle in Ahh! Which doctor is best in Tijuana? Your price? (gastric sleeve)   
    I'm an Ariel Ortiz fan. Had a great experience and was well cared for from the time I got there until I left, never had a problem getting my records, getting questions answered after I returned home either. Don't use price to make your decision, I almost made that mistake. Remember - you have to live with your surgically altered stomach the rest of your life, given that what is another few hundred dollars for peace of mind and a better surgeon?
  5. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from ANuMe2014 in Doctor warning   
    Folks who elect to have surgery in the US have bad experiences too, they just don't make the news. Just sayin'
  6. Like
    slvrsax reacted to jjinWA in To MX Alone   
    Read all the posts here about surgeons in Mexico. You will find a great deal of information based on personal experiances. I had surgery (sleeve) in the US which was approved by my ins co. However my daughters were not as lucky and both received denials from their ins. Companies. So we chose a surgeon in Mexico and they both had their surgeries (sleeve) on Dec 8th. They are both doing great and progressing very well. Mexico is a very viable option for those of us that do not have ins approval and who cannot finance via self pay here in the US.
    For us the dollars compare between $28000 to $6000. It was clear to us that Mexico was the only option for my girls. Never been sorry we made that choice. Do your research, make your surgeon selection, and move forward to setting a surgery date. You will love being on the other side and joining the rest of us on the losers bench! ????
    Your support will be all of us that have experience with the Mexico surgery. We will be here for you. And you are never really alone there because there is always multiple surgeries scheduled each day. You will quickly make friends with your fellow comrades!
  7. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in Help me please! I continue to gain weight!   
    You probably know this already... but one of the ways people regain is that whole "I am not hungry enough to eat a real meal".... so then they are not satiated so that is when liquid calories and little snacky unhealthy foods start sneaking in. Those snacky foods are insideous. It seems like you really aren't eating... but the carbs and calorie count can be astounding.
    So, while I understand not having hunger for Breakfast and lunch, I think it is important to get at least a small amount of nutrient dense food (ie Protein and veggies in) and it may prevent over eating in the evening.
    I say don't buy into the "my metabolism is nil" story. I KNOW I need to eat less compared to other women my relative age/size. Oh well, that is life. Sort of dwelling on that crap is just negativity. We each have to find our own path, and what we need may adapt over time even. I compare this to my orthopedic doctor who told me that he never likes to tell people they have "bone on bone" arthritis. What matters is can they function with a managable amount of pain or discomfort? If they can, who cares what the XRays show.
    Relating back to food, I genuinely believe that eating the right kinds of food will help you manage your weight over strict calorie control. If it were just calories, I would have been trim while following weight watchers etc and I never was.
    I am one of the rare people that don't track (although i believe in the value of it) because I KNOW that eating healthy foods, in sort of the program I typed up is how I maintain.
  8. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in Help me please! I continue to gain weight!   
    Ok, so this is just my personal experience. I am 3 years out in 10 days and what I have noticed is that "compliance" is easier sometimes and harder other times. What I will say is that I have quite recently noticed a much higher drive to eat, and seems to me like the maintenance challenge is not getting easier over time. I think in reading other "vets" sharing, I am not unique in this. The experience at 2-3years post op is a bit different than someone in their first year or so of surgery.
    Anyway, you know what needs to happen, but the question is the best way to "reset". First, deep breath. Anxiety over gaining/shame - all those feelings CREATE emotional desire to stress eat. If you can start working on a calmer "get er done" point of view, it will take some of the anxiety out of it and become much more action oriented.
    I think you need to know yourself a little. Some people are cold turkey and others need to make small gradual changes and work hard to get one change to stick at a time. I am probably a blend of both, but when I am uber stressed (come on you lost your husband!) I can't deal with cold turkey.
    So, I would probably tackle 3 things first - perhaps spreading the changes out by a few days or a week or whatever feels like you can manage. One, start reducing coffee big time. I would go to 50-50 Decaf to start with, and then place quantity and time box rules (like, no coffee after 10 am or something like that). have "abused" coffee during maintenance as it gives me a pick up energy feeling and helps combat appetite. That can boomerang on you though, cause tummy troubles AND if you are adding a bunch of sweet junk, can also introduce a bunch of calories and craving inducing carbs. replace it with plain Water or herbal teas.
    Second, just stop buying trigger foods - sounds like fudgecycles are yours. for me, it is Protein bars and bread. The bread is really hard because my sons live here now and like sandwiches. Trouble is it calls my name. anyway, if you can make the decision just once - at the grocery store - to simply not buy trigger foods - it is so much easier to resist. Once they are in the house... oh boy!
    Third, I would start meal planning/tracking on my fitness pal. When I read your descriptions, it is hard to see that you are eating enough to be seriously gaining (although who knows, right?). My fitness pal or some other tracking tool kinda makes you face reality. I would go back to the basics of planning nutritions meals and Snacks. For me, 4 per day, Protein first with veggies is the winning combination. If I can eat that way, my cravings and hunger reduce DRASTICALLY.
    Not sure if you have started drinking a bit of wine or other alchohol or having crackers/snacky type foods, but to the extent you can eliminate them - it will really help reduce the feeling of cravings.
    So, I am suggesting that you don't need to severely restrict your food, which can be very stressful. I am suggesting that you put some structure around your eating - planned meals and Snacks, plan how much Water you get, plan to limit your coffee. Plan a snack substitutue for the fudgecycles.
    Example, how about 1/2 cup of greek yogurt with frozen fruit. Plenty of carbs, some protein, but a healthier way to get it. Even if if is higher calorie than the fudgecycles, you are unlikely to want 3 servings.... and will be more satiated with one.
    So a healthy eating plan might be something like:
    Veggie and turkeY (low cal/low carb) sausage and egg beater omelette
    salad greens and salad veggies with tuna or chicken breast. Use a bit of olive oil and yummy white balsamic vinegar dressing
    Lean meat
    Side of veggies like brussel sprouts, green Beans, etc
    small salad if still hungry
    Greek yogurt with a bit of frozen fruit
    anyway, these are just some ideas.
    I know this is hard, but I am also sure your beloved husband would want the best for you, including your good health. Worry more about health than strictly the number on the scale and good things will follow.
    Once your eating is feeling more solid, then start considering activity and exercise as that can really make you feel better.
    Good luck and hang in there!
  9. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in Help me please! I continue to gain weight!   
    Lisa. I am 3 years out. I know exactly what you mean about changes a few years down the road. I have not lost a husband but I too have suffered losses and emotional stresses. I can give you some advice ...for what it's worth. Message me if you'd like to talk by phone I r something.
  10. Like
    slvrsax reacted to Lisa's Hope in Help me please! I continue to gain weight!   
    Thanks Ann for your support. Yes I've been posting about this. I think 3 post since my husband died. Yes, it is ultimately up to me. I was hoping to get some advice from the veterans about food and what they are eating this far out. I'm 2 1/2 years out so things are different with my body than it is with yours since you just had surgery in August and are still in the "honeymoon" phase. I did lose a 130 pounds. Tragedy in someones life especially since I watched my spouse suffer and be ate up by cancer can do this to someone. I wasn't asking about my mental state. Things change when you are further out. But thanks again for taking your time to post and tell me this. I appreciate it. I thought the vets forum was for people that are one year out and more? I was asking for help with the types of food and meal plans.
    You seem a little judgemental. I wouldn't be that way If I were you. It is easier to gain this far out.
  11. Like
    slvrsax reacted to LipstickLady in I actually asked myself.. is this really worth it?   
    Thank you for making me think about this. I've not read all the replies but I will.

    So, here's my thought on the OP. Even if I gain every pound back. Even if, in ten year's time I am twice as big as when I started, I have had the best freaking year of my life. SKINNY. I've done mud runs with my kids. I've earned my black belt. I've bought clothes and shoes and HIGH boots. I've Zumba'd without flopping, I've done 5ks without dying, I've shopped recklessly.

    I've danced, I've flirted, I've been flirted with. I've been called a MILF, a hottie, I've gotten whistles and cat calls. I feel GREAT about me for the first time in a long time.
    Even if it all goes away, i will relish the times I've had and the times I will continue to have while I am thin.
  12. Like
    slvrsax reacted to HumanMerelyBeing in I actually asked myself.. is this really worth it?   
    I think this reality is critical to face and understand. It's very hard to be a grown up and really face this:
    1) At 5'2 and 41 years old, I probably only need 1100 calories in maintenance mode and need to be under 1000 to lose
    2) There is very little room for carbs, sweets or treats
    3) food cannot be the answer to joy, celebration or sorrow
    4) It is possible to out-eat your exercise and graze through your sleeve restriction
    If we treat these realities like gross deprivation and loss and a sense of self-pity: we will probably not be able to maintain this. If we replace some of these "losses" with other exciting and joyful things in life, we stand a chance.
    To me, this is a total brain re-train (and heart). As the Good Book says, "For where your treasure is, so your heart will be also."
  13. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in I actually asked myself.. is this really worth it?   
    Ann - good point - a man who is trying to maintain 280# is in a whole different "eating situation" than someone like me hoping to maintain in the 140s....
    I never had the expectation that I would be able to just eat whatever I want. I was pretty realistic going in, but the reality of this day after day, year after year... well... it's real.
  14. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in I actually asked myself.. is this really worth it?   
    I do like that image of modeling good behavior. Actually, it was funny but we were talking about mixed drinks at a local bar and i told them that I choose a vodka soda with lime - and my colleague said something about how that was pretty dang healthy for a mixed drink..ha
    This is what success looks like. Well, one version of it anyway. I am not perfect, I fail pretty regularly in fact, but i get back up and keep going. It sometimes gets tiring, something I am not sure I related to even a year ago. I think THAT is an important message for newbies. I am astounded by the number of posts from people who never get to goal, or who get to goal and then have a regain and they are shocked by the experience - like they didn't "get" that the weight slides back on after the honeymoon period if you don't really manage it aggressively. The surgery is absolutely what I needed to get to where I am at, so I do not intend to be discouraging, but rather realistic. Anybody who thinks that maintaining a massive weight loss over the long haul is easy certainly isn't walking in my shoes. I hope it is easier for others, I really do. I thought for quite awhile that i could eat more than i really should (meaning, if i eat that much I regain)....
    Some posts made by people in the honeymoon period make it sound easier than i think it really is over the long haul. I can think of a few people who don't actually post here anymore that were gung ho perfect exercise and "food planners" and I do wander if they have sustained that over time. I am determined to continue to walk a liveable balance between weight management and enjoying life. Some days are just harder than others.
  15. Like
    slvrsax reacted to CowgirlJane in I actually asked myself.. is this really worth it?   
    So, I am hanging out right at my goal weight, which is higher than my lowest weight. I knew this was very likely to happen and so on the one hand, i am okay with it, but on the other hand, I feel fatigued by it. I know that I need to stabilize/re-lose a few pounds to keep that "cushion" between me and the 200s or 300s.... but I grow tired of it sometimes
    In the past, that seemed very do-able. Buckle down, go back to basics, do Protein first, do 5:2, change up exercise. For whatever reason, right now, while it seems possible I had one of those pity parties where I asked myself what is fair about me eating a pittance of food, spinning on my bike and yet still struggling to keep a normal weight. I watch others eat a whole lot more than me and I sometimes want to eat with abandon too. The thought crossed my mind... is this REALLY worth it?!??!???
    Then, I thought about the people I was comparing my eating to. Example - I went into the office yesterday and did a day long workshop so got to see people eat lunches - large portions and of course Cookies for snack later. The two ladies i sat next to are considerably younger than me - one is obese and the other is morbidly obese by my judgement. I had to remind myself that they are still healthy, but they are heading down my former path and I cannot let myself go back or else i go back to feeling ill, feeling like i was becoming disabled, feeling hopeless.
    Anyway, it is worth it, but this is the first time I have ever really questioned it. I think I understand a bit more why people regain years out from surgery. We all know that you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle etc but I am telling you - my experience is that "lifestyle changes" UNDERSTATES the level of effort required. I don't even really eat junk food, but I still need to really watch what I eat - this is beyond "healthy choices" this is eating very small, eating the right things very consistently or else I will regain. This whole thing about an average healthy woman needing 1800-2000 calories a day to maintain is bogus. i don't eat anywhere near that and I know many of my fellow vets that are maintaining don't either.
    So, as I used to say, but haven't in awhile...."carry on... what choice do we really have?"
  16. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from Kindle in Discouraged Already   
    You are you. You are not everyone else. YOUR journey is unique and unlike any other! Enjoy it! There will be ups and downs but at the end of the day the weight will come off. If you are like the rest of us, it is hard to have faith, but trust the process. I know - easier said than done but follow the eating rules, exercise as soon as you are able as much as you are able and trust the process. This too shall pass.
  17. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from jess9395 in Veterans what is your daily routine like?   
    I'm 13 months out tomorrow, I suppose that gives me veteran status
    It's comforting to read other replies and realize that I'm doing pretty much what others are doing. Yesterday is pretty typical for me, here goes:
    5:30 wakeup - take my omeprazole (2 20 mg script. capsules) before I walk out the door at 6:20. I take a 20 oz Water bottle on the bus with me, I don't have coffee until I finish this bottle on my way to work. I don't eat for probably an hour to let the antacid do its thing.
    Breakfast of either a Protein shake or 2 eggs (on occasion I finish both eggs but usually not quite) around 7:30 - 8:00. If I'm living dangerously I'll add some feta to my 2 eggs. That's living on the edge people! Yesterday I had one egg and a couple bites of a sausage patty. An hour later I have some coffee with a bit of milk. Once a week or if I'm having a difficult day I'll have a non-fat latte with sugar free vanilla Syrup. I really try not to do the sugar free sweetners because I don't think the artificial is good for me but sometimes I give in. We have starbucks brewed and a full free coffee bar here at my workplace.
    snack around 10:30 - yesterday it was a piece (1 oz) of swiss cheese. Might be string cheese, almonds, or a light in fit dannon greek yogurt, or cottage cheese. I wanted a banana but forgot it at home.
    lunch at noon or 1:00. Yesterday I had probably 3 oz of turkey meatloaf left over from the day before and 4 or 5 cherry tomatoes. Sometimes it is a salad from our salad bar with greens, tomatoes, beets (love beets), almonds, chicken or tofu and my own dressing because I swear the dressing in our salad bar is full of sugar. I use Annie's organic low fat dressing I keep here at work.
    Snack about 3:30 - yesterday it was about eight brown rice triscuits. I ran out of my little 100 calorie guac cups. Ate a Quest bar (the new s'mores flavor which I do not recommend) at 5:30 on the bus because I was planning on taking a class and knew I'd have just enough time to get my kiddo to work before I had to go to class. My plan was actually to do 2 classes but needing to get my kid to work canceled that, so just one class for me, an hour long dance class. Probably just as well, I was sore from the class the day before. Just getting back to strength classes after gall bladder surgery in November. Note on the Quest bars: I limit myself to 3 a week. I'm really aiming for whole, real food. A Quest bar is just a means to an end, like if I don't have time for a meal before class or I'm out shopping and I get hungry and figure a Quest bar is better than the food court. I also carry 100 calorie almond packs in my purse and 1 fun size bag of skittles. For several months my blood sugar was dropping unexpectedly at times and I'd get the shakes, sweaty, etc. The skittles are for those times to get my sugar up in a hurry. I haven't had to resort to that in a few months.
    dinner 8:30 - eating late I don't really like but with my schedule, it is all I can manage sometimes! I was pretty hungry. I had several roasted brussel sprouts (I make a bunch and eat on them over a few days no one else in my house touches them), 3 oz of deli style turkey breast and a small piece of low carb cheesecake I made last weekend. I had a cup of sleepytime tea with bit of half and half before bed, and a small handful of pecans. Sometimes I'll have a yoplait frozen yogurt bar for an evening snack, or a few baby bel lights, or some beef Jerky but last night it was tea and pecans. Reading this I realize I'm probably eating too much too late
    Exercise for me is 1.5 hours of Zumba on Monday, 1 hour strength class Tuesday, 1 hour Zumba Thursday, 1 hour Zumba Saturday. I need more strength training, thinking of adding a boot camp type of class on Friday lunch hour. I have access to a small free gym here in my building, a 24 hour fitness membership and unlimited classes at a dance studio, I have NO reason not to exercise except maybe a full workday with 3 hours of commuting a day.
    I'm not good about my Vitamins, and Water I need to improve upon. I sip water throughout the day but honestly forget sometimes. I need to be better about both!
    My weight loss is currently at a stand still, I guess I just keep on keepin' on!
  18. Like
    slvrsax reacted to Rubygirl in Sleeved this morning!   
    Hello, I had my surgery this morning at 1030.......no pain, no nausea.....just a twinge in the small incisions. And some shooting gas pains, Been walking a lot. This is a great clinic and the private rooms are lovely. The staff are very friendly and professional. Be glad to get to the hotel tomorrow. Thanks everyone for all your posts pre-op and post-op I have been reading all of them and have found loads of good advice and suggestions.
  19. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from jess9395 in Marathon training   
    So sorry for intruding on your thread, but I have to say you guys inspire me! Surgery for me was 12/2013, 113 lbs down and try as I might I can't seem to lose anymore (CW 167). I tried running last summer, after five C25K runs, I hurt my hip at Zumba (the Zumba I go to is no ordinary class it is very cardio intense). My PT recommended that I NOT start running at age 44, that it's hard on the joints blah blah blah, which is such a bummer. I can't stop thinking about it - even with that advice I haven't completely let go of the idea. I've always thought I had a runner in me even at a heavy weight. To see folks who were formerly heavy like me roughly the same age (I'm 44) makes me think that maybe I CAN run without injury. I might just have the courage to try again.
  20. Like
    slvrsax reacted to deedadumble in Marathon training   
    My DH was against it as well, but once my mind is set it's hard to change it. I had the body work on one day and neck (which is a lower face lift as well) 3 days later. Recovery was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. One of the reasons I went to Dr S, besides the support system, was he uses twilight sedation and epidural. I have a hard time with general and the twilight was like have a really good sleep. I felt so good when I woke up. I was so thankful to get everything done and over with, instead of having to recover from multiple surgeries. At 49 I have the body of a 30 year old and it feels fantastic.
  21. Like
    slvrsax reacted to bluesclues in List your Tijuana Doctor and Price. Plus a little bit about your experience.   
    Dr Corvala Lopez in TJ...i think i paid $6500...best decision I ever made....def recommend him and the nurses were amazing and so was the hospital
    had issues w/ my diabetes but that would have happened anywhere b/c of my pump and etc
  22. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from sleevydreams in List your Tijuana Doctor and Price. Plus a little bit about your experience.   
    Please do not use price to make your decision. Find a surgeon who you feel comfortable with and if they are on the higher end, save up. Ariel Ortiz (as opposed to Elias) is fantastic - slightly more than some of the bargain surgeons but worth every penny. I can't say what I paid but call Obesity Control Center, you will have no problem getting a quote with no pressure. Just please don't use price as a deciding factor.
  23. Like
    slvrsax reacted to mduffield in Dr. Ariel Ortiz at the OCC   
    I'm 2nd to last surgery so playing the agonizing waiting game. Sigh...isn't helping my nerves at all.
  24. Like
    slvrsax got a reaction from mduffield in Dr. Ariel Ortiz at the OCC   
    I used Dr. Ariel Ortiz a year ago.  I cannot say enough good about OCC.  Dr. O. is fantastic, as are his associates Dr. So and Dr. Martinez!  I had a wonderful experience and would do it again 10 times over.  Not one single regret.  Started in a size 24, a year later now in a size 10.  Go for it, you will not regret your decision.  Good luck!
  25. Like
    slvrsax reacted to Kindle in Activity tracker accuracy - clip on vs wristband   
    that will make for a good experiment. As for me, I finally settled on the Fitbit Charge HR (I figured the realtime heart rate monitor would make the assessment of my activity more accurate). However, I became impatient since they wouldn't give a release date and I finally broke down and got a Fitbit One. I figured it would be easier to transition from one Fitbit product to another once the Charge HR became available. And then, just my luck, they released the HR the day after I ordered the One. I debated just sending the One back, but decided clipping the One on my pants or bra would work better for me than wearing something on my wrist. I just deal with too much gross stuff during the day....cat pee, dog vomit, diarrhea, sweaty horses, stinky cows, etc. and not being waterproof, I would worry about washing my hands 20+ times/day.
    Let us know how the two compare.

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