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familyguy

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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About familyguy

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    seattle
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    WA

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  1. familyguy

    7 year update

    @EducatingtheMasses I'm so glad you found it useful. The first few weeks aren't pleasant but hopefully every week gets better than the last. IMO it's a good tradeoff vs. living life with a 100 pound weight tied around your neck. Good luck and feel free to send me a message anytime.
  2. familyguy

    7 year update

    Friends, I had my surgery back in Nov of 2013. It was a huge decision for me at the time and I anguished over it. All the information on this website was super helpful, both before and after the surgery. One thing weighed heavily on me was the long term effects of the surgery, so I committed to giving annual updates on my experience back to this forum. This is my seven year update. Posted below is my last update, with the previous nested within. I weigh about 205 right now and my weight continues to fluctuate within about 10 pounds. I would really like to weigh 190, so like most normal people I'm working on losing a few pounds. With that said, back in 2013 I weighted 275 and was headed for 300+ quickly. I have zero doubt that without having the surgery, I would be in very, very bad shape today and have no regrets about the decision. Positives: I've been able to enjoy a "normal" weight life style for the last seven straight years. I'm off all meds. I fit comfortably in coach seats on the airplane. I shop for clothes in regular stores and it's easy to find a size that fits. I'm between a L and XL for shirts and have a 36 waist. My bones and joints don't ache. I can exercise, play golf, ski, etc. comfortably and enjoyably. I happily and naturally eat "normal" size portions and have no "trouble" foods. My meal (whatever it is) basically fills on a salad plate. Two eggs and a piece of toast is a full breakfast. Lunch could be a regular sandwich with nothing else or a half sandwich and a small side. Dinner could be a tiny 5 oz steak and a small portion of potatoes and veg. Importantly, these are all full portions for me and totally satisfying. I love food and definitely look forward to eating (head hunger) but I rarely experience physical (stomach growling) hunger. I used to take omeprazole daily for heartburn, but it's unnecessary now. Occasionally, I'll take a Tums but only a few times a month. Since 7 years have gone by, none of my real old friends even remember me as a big person or ask about my weight. Anyone that I've met since wouldn't even know to ask -- they just view me as a normal weight person. When I tell them I used to weigh 275 the reaction is always "no way!" Occasionally, the old pictures come out and everyone gets a chuckle. I don't see myself as a fat person. Negatives: I'd still like to loose 15 pounds. Even with the gift of not being able to eat much, my ideal weight of 190 requires more work. Reducing snacking, sweets and more exercise is what's required and WLS does nothing to help on those fronts. I'd say WLS solves 80% of the challenge but the last 20% goes back to the basics we've heard all of our lives. If I overeat or eat way too fast, I will need to throw it up. This happens about once a month. It typically occurs when I eat something that's really good and I gobble it down too quickly. About 2 minutes later, I will feel pretty uncomfortable. I can wait it out and eventually it will go away. But more often than not, I just head to the bathroom and get it out. It's kind of gross to be honest. I have always liked to drink alcohol -- beer, wine, whiskey, mixed drinks and so on. IMO, drinking doesn't have any increased impact as a result of WLS -- I'm not more of a "light weight" than I used to be. But, as a practical matter, I do believe that it's easier to over drink following WLS. If I'm out to dinner with friends, they have starter courses, main courses, desert and so on. It's pretty easy for me to pour another glass of wine or order another scotch, while they eat through the evening. I would caution folks that like to drink to pay extra attention to this tendency following WLS. (BTW, I'm doing "dry January" right now:) That's about it. In sum, the sleeve was the best decision of my life. I hope this helps folks that are wondering about how things play out way down the line. If you have questions, you can DM me and I'd be happy to share thoughts. Good luck and look for another report from me next year.
  3. I posted this in the guy's room, but thought woman might also find it useful.
  4. familyguy

    5.5 Year Update

    Back in 2012/2013 when I was contemplating my VSG, I spent hours scouring this website, which I found incredibly helpful. In fact, I don't think I would have gone forward with the surgery without it. As a "pay it forward" I committed to providing annual updates to the community. I missed my year 5 update last November, so here goes a 5.5 year update. Prior updates are linked below, in case you're curious about annual progression. Enjoy and feel free to comment or ask question, if you think I can help. This year was probably my toughest since having surgery in terms of weight management. I took on a new job that was particularly stressful and involved a lot of travel. That led to some bad eating habits. I also used to weigh myself every day and sort of stopped that for a year. Low and behold, my weight increased from ~ 195 to 218, which was my highest by far since having the surgery. My clothes got tighter (and I grew out of some) and I generally felt like ****. My lovely wife basically called me out and said "what's going on?" The truth was I just lost discipline and abandoned the basics. The biggest contributors were SNACKING and carbs. I was constantly eating between meals and choosing more carb options during meals. The sleeve provides little defense against these behaviors. I can eat as much popcorn, potato chips and candy as anyone. And during meals, the sleeve doesn't restrict as much against carbs like bread, rice, potatoes, etc.. The solution for me was just attacking these two bad habits. BTW, cutting out the carbs sort of solves the snacking issue too. By that I mean, no carbs means no chips, candy, etc.. I allow myself as much cheese, beef jerky, quest bars or veggies for snacks as I want. For me, I can eat a piece of cheese and be done. Not the same for chips. With those changes, my weight dropped back down to 198 (my current weight) in about 2 months. While this situation was a bummer, it's still child's play compared to what would have happened pre surgery. I wouldn't have gained 20 pounds, but rather 50 or more. And it wouldn't have been so easy to drop it with behavioral changes. Other general observations 5.5 years out: Positives: I'm a totally "normal" eater. That means I naturally eat portions that a healthy, non-weight issue person would eat. For breakfast I have 1 or 2 eggs and a veggie sausage or some yogurt. For lunch I eat a salad with some protein or a small sandwich. For dinner, protein (small steak, a hamburger, 1 or 2 pieces of chicken) and a veg. Even 5.5 years out, I'm still completely full after those normal portions. In sum, the sleeve still works just fine and hasn't stretched out or anything like that. I can eat anything. No stuck foods, etc.. Of course, some things fill me up faster, but I generally view that as a good thing. The weight is staying within a reasonable band, although not perfect by any means. Today, I weighed in at 198. At my worst pre surgery, I weighed 275 and was headed for 300+ fast. Post surgery, I went all the way down to 175. I'd like to weigh 190, so like most people you talk to in the world, I've got those 10 pounds to lose. Ever since I had surgery, I've been able to participate in all sorts of activities that would have previously been out of the question. I regularly walk, golf and now a lot of hot yoga. My knees and joints were killing me with all the weight and all that's gone now. I sleep better. I'm off all meds! Pre surgery, I had to take meds for cholesterol and heart burn. I was pre diabetic and was considering meds for that. Post surgery those meds became unnecessary. Most surprising is that over the the last 18 months, I've even stopped taking omeprazole for heartburn. I don't get hungry like I used to. I've always liked food and eating, so I do continue to think about food (head hunger), but I rarely physically feel hungry. No growling stomach ever. Negatives: Once in a while (5 or 6 times per year), I eat past my stomach's capacity and vomit it up. This is always frustrating and I kick myself for still letting it happen. Weight loss surgery is NOT a silver bullet. For the first 12 months post surgery it seemed like magic. Weight flew off and it didn't seem like I would ever gain it back no matter what I ate. Not true 5.5 years out. I still need to think about my weight and diet. If I forget or get lazy / complacent, I gain weight. I need to weigh myself every day. I need to lose 10 pounds. Managing weight is still work. I elected kept my surgery a secret, expect for just a handful of people. I'm not sure I'd do that again. I was pretty embarrassed about having to have a surgery to get my weight under control. Since I eat normal now and it's been so long since I lost the majority of my weight, the "how did you do it" conversations don't come up any more. But when I interact with really obese people that are friends, I'd like to be able to talk about my experience and try to inspire them to consider surgery. Secrets in life aren't that fun. Yes, I could always reveal what I did to everyone, but it seems silly at this point. So that's all for this year. Having surgery was the best thing I've ever done for myself. My only regret is having waited until I was 39. I wish I would have done it 10 years earlier! Thanks for reading and your support. Familyman
  5. familyguy

    4 Year Update

    I can't believe it, but it's been 4 years since my VSG. I rarely visit bariatricPal now, but found it enormously useful leading up to my surgery and during post opp. As I contemplated surgery, one of the things that kept me up at night was what would happen way down the road. As a give back to the community (and a little therapy for me) I've committed to posting annual updates. You can see my posts from previous years down below. Feel free to send a PM if you have any questions or comments. Year 4 Update: Highlights I often forget that I even had the surgery. This is probably is the biggest positive change from year 3 to 4. Don't get me wrong, when I'm stuffed after eating 4 chicken wings or a half a burger, I know why. But, I'm no longer obsessed with post surgery eating strategies or worried about people wondering what's going on with me. After 4 years, my old friends and family seem to have forgotten that I was the fat guy and my new friends and coworkers never knew me that way. More importantly, I have started to forget about myself as the overweight person. I'm basically a "normal eater" and have no problem with any foods whatsoever. Four years ago, as I contemplated the surgery, stories from newly post opp people scared the daylights out of me. Stuck foods, explosive diarrhea, allergies, blah, blah, blah. I had a tiny bit of that early on, but it dissipated quickly. Now, I can eat whatever I want without issue. The VSG constriction mechanics still work well. I still get full quickly, especially if I sequence proteins first, veg's second and everything else after that. Yes, I can "eat around the sleeve" but that takes a lot of effort and can backfire. I literally just finished a spaghetti and meatball dinner with my family. I ate two golf ball-sized meat balls and about 4 bites of pasta and am completely stuffed. It was a salad-plate sized portion. Pre surgery I would have eaten 2 dinner-plate sized portions and still wanted more. When I see big eaters go to town on huge portions, I just look on with amazement. I'm an active person now participating in racquet sports, golf, hiking, skiing, yoga and playing with my kids. I believe these activities would have been impossible, or at least extremely unlikely, without the VSG. Pre surgery, at age 39, I was already bowing out of most physical things. Adding 4 years and whatever weight I would have continued to pile on, things would be much worse. Being able to do fun physical activities vs. waiving from the sidelines is a huge benefit that I can't emphasize enough. Life is significantly better now. I had low to medium heartburn following the surgery and took a daily 20mg of omeprazole to manage it. My heart burn has actually decreased and now I only take omeprozole every 2nd or 3rd day. I don't need any other meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.. Lowlights Weight management is NOT a given. This last year, I put on 10 pounds, which is definitely frustrating. What happened? For me it came down to snacking and drinking alcoholic beverages. VSG doesn't help with either of these bad habits whatsoever. Popcorn, chips, candy, nuts, crackers and cocktails all go down just as easy as before. For the first year, eating was such a hassle that I naturally avoided this issue. That "benefit" is gone forever. Now, I have to watch it like everyone else. I weigh 205 today, down from 275 at my high. Had I not had surgery, I believe I would weigh over 300 today. BUT, I want to be 185 and that 20 lbs seems very daunting to loose. Everyone once in a while, I eat too fast or too much and need to throw it up. As soon as I swallow the last ill-advised bite, the physical reactions become obvious -- forehead sweat, runny nose, sneezing and, obviously, a feeling of full stomach / chest. Recognizing the symptoms, I have to make my way to a bathroom and bring up the excess. It's not physically painful or anything, but just a little embarrassing and disappointing to me. This probably occurs once every month or two. As you can see, highlights far outweigh the lowlights. Overall, I'm thrilled with the results 4 years out. I really struggled with the decision to have surgery and delayed it for several years. At the time, it seemed like I was amputating a leg. I regret stressing out about it so much. Now I reason that I had an enlarged stomach that needed to be "right-sized." That's not medically true, but that's how I feel about what happened. In that context, I had a relatively minor procedure with a HUGE outcome. I don't think about my VSG often and don't expect to post again until next year. I do want to give back and help others -- like so many on this site helped me. If you have questions or comments -- post publicly or PM me. Familyguy.
  6. familyguy

    3 Year Update

    It’s been three years and, as I did a year ago, I wanted to post my annual update. The two year update, which includes the one year update is linked below. Enjoy. What's changed from year 2-3? No longer a fat guy. I changed jobs and met a lot of new people over the year. Combined with the fact that I'm 3 years out from surgery meant being a fat guy, both in my head and as reflected by people around me, is a very faint memory. I had the surgery when my kids were 3 and 6. They don’t really even remember me being fat, until they see pictures which just makes them giggle. This is a good thing, but when I reflect back on the 35 years of being overweight, it still blows me away. Portions Normalized. I really am just a normal (for a non-fat person) eater. I eat whatever I want, just normal portions of it. Breakfast might be 2 eggs and a piece of toast, lunch is a half sandwich and some Soup (or a whole sandwich without the bread), dinner is frozen dinner from trader joes or a small portion of just about anything. For those of you yet to have the surgery and can't imagine eating so little or those of you who just recently had surgery and can't imagine eating so much, I know it sounds very strange. Between years 2 and 3, I'd say the portion sizes really seemed to normalize. Here's the best way to describe it: Look at the nutritional information on something -- like a package of ravioli or a can of chili, etc. and find the serving size. That's pretty much what I can eat until I feel full and happy. In the olden days pre-surgery -- those suggested serving sizes always seemed like some sort of hostile joke! Battling 10 Extra Pounds. I feel like I have to watch my weight and need to lose 10 pounds. This is new. I weigh 194 on a 5'11" frame, wear medium or large shirts and have a waist of 34 or 35 inches depending on the brand. Don't get me wrong, that's amazing. BUT, last year, I weighed 185, which did feel a bit better. I'd like to say that my weight has finally normalized, but that wouldn't be totally in line with how I feel. The point is that, just like about everyone else I know, I'm working on losing those extra 10! For the first year of surgery, I couldn't stop LOSING weight. In the second year, I rarely thought about my weight. Now, in the third year, I feel like I need to lose 10. Health is Excellent. I just had my annual physical and everything is great. Blood sugar: Normal. Cholesterol: Normal. Same with everything else. I still take 20mg of Omeprazole for heartburn at least 5 out of 7 nights. It doesn't have any noticeable side effects and if I don't take it, I definitely get mild to medium heartburn. Some Advice to Those on the Fence: If you can, do it. Like a lot of people on this site, I'd say my only regret is not doing the surgery sooner. I honestly think (no scientific proof) that there is just simply something wrong between my head and stomach that resulted in me NOT having and "off" switch when it came to food. I'd watch other people that seemed to like food, get a plate at the buffet and then just eat a normal portion and stop. I'd go to the buffet, fill up a big plate and then get seconds and thirds. Even then, I'd probably just stop eating because I felt disgusted with myself or embarrassed, rather than feeling satisfied. This surgery really helped me in that way. As I noted above, I'm one of those small one-plate people now. By weighing a regular weight, life has completely changed. I wear normal clothes, can participate in all sorts of activities, happily sit in the back of the plane, etc, etc, etc. I wish I would have done the surgery when I was 21, not 39. VSG helps Quantity, Not Rate or Frequency. You engineers might appreciate this. Basically, VSG allows me to eat much less quantity at any one sitting. It doesn't tell me which foods to eat. You will need to find ways to eat steamed salmon vs. fried chicken, broccoli vs. mashed potatoes, etc. In the very early days, I really disgusted by really fatty food and was also worried about Protein intake. As a result, I directed my eating towards healthier foods. Three years out, VSG no longer helps with those types of decisions. Furthermore, if you like to graze, VSG doesn't help that at all. I work in an office that has Snacks all over the place. It's super easy to grab a handful of mm's or a bag of doritos every time I pass by the snack area (actually that's part of the reason I'm up 9 pounds from last year). I just want to set expectations about what you’re getting and NOT getting. Alcohol drinkers: Watch out. You can't eat much with VSG, but drinking is even easier than before. About 6 months ago, I felt like I was drinking too much and have limited my intake by a lot (1 or 2 drinks per night, not 5 or 6). I know, I know, still too much. My point is that this is a real risk area and something that needs to be considered. This post is getting long enough, so I'll stop here. If any of you would like to reach out with a PM, I'd be happy to chat. Good luck. http://www.bariatricpal.com/topic/355438-two-year-post-opp-upda/
  7. familyguy

    Two Year Post Opp Upda

    redmond -- the worst part is behind you now. Good for you my friend!
  8. It's been just about two years since my VSG and I thought I'd share an update. I've copied my post from one year out below so that you can have a point of reference. In sum, VSG was really the best thing I ever did. While it has only been two years, my life as a big fat dude is sort of a distant memory. Let me share some of the observations I find most interesting... Positives: I'm basically at peace with food. By that I mean that I enjoy and appreciate food, but it's just no longer a monkey on my back. I weight 186 pounds (5 pounds greater than last year and about 85 down from my peek of 272). There are just so many things that you can do at a lower weight that are either impossible or unpleasant at a higher weight. I played golf all summer (walking the course), do hot yoga twice a week, play squash, mountain bike, etc.. In the gym, I can do pull ups and dips. These things were out of the question before. I shop for clothes at regular stores and beyond being able to find my size anywhere (medium / large shirt, 34" waist), clothes just fit and feel better. Oddeties I see overweight people and think they're crazy for not doing something about. I was flying home from a business trip a few days ago and saw a woman that weighed about 300 pounds shove herself into a first class seat, ask for the extra belt and then eat huge sub sandwich and a bag of chips that she brought on the plane and wash it down with a few cocktails. I wanted to send her the WLS clinic immediately. This is obviously terribly judgmental, but it's true. I still sort of feel like a big guy in my head. I used to always make fun of myself as a defense mechanism when I was huge. I would say things like "not bad for a fat guy" and people would laugh. Every once in a while I say the same thing and people just look at me puzzled. I still feel like I perpetually need to lose 5 or 10 pounds. My lowest weight post opp was 175 and though people said I looked too thin, I felt great. I'm 186 now and would really like to be 180. That's crazy talk to someone that's 2, 3, or 4 hundred pounds, but there you go. Annoyances -- not much to report, but here are a couple. I still cannot eat and drink at the same time -- there is just no room. I'm used to it now, but it sure would be nice to wash down dinner with a glass of wine, Breakfast with a cup of coffee. Instead it's drink a cup of coffee, then eat breakfast. Ditto for other meals. I still take 20mg of omeprozole daily. With it, I'm fine. Without it, I have some heartburn. Since this hasn't changed in two years, I'm resigned to taking it perpetually. Advice -- Everyone is so different so take this for what it is... If you're into alcohol pre opp, you're in for a challenge post opp. While you can't eat tons of food after WLS, it's just as easy to drink and you don't have hundreds of extra pounds to absorb it. I get into trouble with this every once in a while. If you're pre-opp and thinking about the surgery, consider what kind of overeater you are. If you just have a huge appetite and eat portions that are too large at meals (a bottomless pit), then this surgery will help you a lot. I used to be like this and now a big meal is a piece of chicken and a half cup of veg or starch -- even at two years out. HOWEVER, if you eat reasonable meals but have a problem snacking on junk food all day long, I don't think VSG is very effective. I can eat whole bags of dorritos, large portions of ice cream and drink whatever, i.e. slider foods. VSG just doesn't help with this stuff and it's easy to snack all day long and pack on the pounds. I was on this site constantly leading up to and after my surgery and really appreciated hearing everyone's story. I'm rarely here anymore, but thought I'd share some perspective especially for those considering surgery and needing some extra support or wondering what the future might be like. Feel free to comment or PM me. Family guy My Post From One Year Out November 25th is one year post opp for me and I wanted to share my observations for the year. Here you go.... Unwarranted Pre Opp Fears: I was super worried about complications and recovery and felt like I was seriously risking my life. In reality, surgery was a breeze. I had 2 or 3 uncomfortable days and then was quickly back on my feet. I dreaded pre and post opp diets. The pre-opp diet was harder for me, because I knew that my food days were coming to an end and I sort of had to mourn all the things I loved to eat. The post opp diet wasn't fun, but since I really couldn't eat anything (nor did I have any desire to), it wasn't all that difficult. Now that period is just sort of a distant memory. Standing out for eating like a mouse / not being able to dine socially -- I have a job that entails a lot of entertaining, business lunches and dinners and was really worried about this. In reality, it's been no big deal. After a while, I got used to ordering the right stuff and just picking away at my plate. When I'm done, I just put the silverware on the plate and the waiter whisks it away. This is actually what most people without eating issues do! It turns out the big eaters and the table are really focused on their plates and not yours. Every now and again, people will make a comment like "you barely ate" or "was the food not good", but they're very easy to dismiss away. Pleasant Surprises: I started the process at 255 (275 highest ever) and was hoping to get down to about 200. That goal seemed like a big stretch because the best I ever did on my own was 225 and that was by starving myself for months and working out like dog and I was only at that weight for about 5 minutes. About 9 months after surgery, I bottoming out at 175 and currently hover between 178 and 182. I didn't think my current weight was even possible, but it turns out I feel and look great at this weight. I wear a medium shirt and have a 33" waist, down from xxl and a 42" waist. This is just shocking to me. Everything is easier. sleeping, tying my shoes, clipping my toe nails, sitting in airplane seats, shopping for clothes, exercising, playing sports, etc. My joints feel better and my frequent head aches have gone away. I was pre diabetic, had high cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure. All gone. Not having food monkey on my back. I still think a lot about what and how much I'm eating and have some bad habits (see below) but the monkey is gone! For as long as I could remember prior to surgery, I woke up every morning hoping that I wouldn't overeat that day and went to bed every night feeling guilty about all the eating. Food just doesn't occupy my mind like it used to. Annoyances: Every once it a while, it would be fun to man down a big meal. I recently went to an amazing new BBQ joint in town and it would have been a great time to wolf down a huge plate of smoked meats and sides and wash it down with a few beers. That's just not possible. I had a glass of wine before the food came and ate about 20% of the plate of food I ordered and was absolutely stuffed. It would be nice to eat and drink at the same time. lunch with Iced Tea, Dinner with Wine -- I've been doing this for 40 years but again, that just doesn't work with VSG. Sometimes I eat and sip (small sips) but that's about it. I was prescribed omeprazole (prilosec) right after surgery to control heart burn. If I take it everyday, I have zero heart burn. If I stop taking it, I have a little (not horrible) heartburn. I was kind of hopping to not have to take a pill for ever, but I think that might be the case. Bad Habits / Struggles / Watch Areas: Slidder foods -- chips, ice cream, candy, etc. I can pretty much eat these foods in the same quantities as pre opp and will munch away if I'm not watching it. I've found that the best strategy is to eat the good stuff (proteins) first and then there's really no room for junk. Starting with the junk first is a bad idea. Alcohol -- I liked to drink pre opp and that hasn't gone away post opp. In fact, since food is much more effort, drinking sort of becomes easier. I now see why people caution about the dangers of substituting. Eating too quickly or too much. Food still tastes good and if I'm not concentrating, I can still eat too much and really regret it. This happens less and less now that I'm 12 months out, but it's still something I'm always watching for. In sum, VSG was the best decision I ever made. If I could go back in time, I would have done it 10 years sooner. Comments or personal messages / questions welcome.
  9. familyguy

    My nerves and the Last Supper.

    Hey Bob, You got this my man. I'm looking forward to the post you write in a few months where you say that you "only wish you would have done it 10 years earlier!" You've got a couple nonstandard days ahead of you -- hospitals, recovery, etc -- but in no time, you'll be back on and much, much lighter on your feet. I went through the whole things 12 months ago and haven't regretted it, even for one second. Drop me a note if I can help you with anything. Good luck!
  10. familyguy

    One Year Post Opp Update

    Mark, A huge congratulations on getting the surgery behind you! The toughest part is over. On exercise: Like you, I started walking pretty much immediately after surgery and gradually ramped up from there. Now I do a regular mix of cardio and weight training. It's so much easier and more enjoyable to exercise without all the extra weight and you can really see the results. On telling others: I choose to basically tell no one. My experience is that the general public views bariatric surgery as some sort of extreme, unnatural decision. I'm not embarrassed but I just didn't want to explain VSG to everybody. When people ask how I lost the weight, I tell them that I eat and drink a lot less and exercise more (all true). When they hear that, they lose interest and change the topic! Anyhow, I'm really excited for you. Send me a message anytime you want.
  11. familyguy

    One Year Post Opp Update

    Hey Taylor. I do work out 3-4 times a week. I actually did pre surgery as well. It's much more enjoyable now without a 75 pound bag on my back!
  12. November 25th is one year post opp for me and I wanted to share my observations for the year. Here you go.... Unwarranted Pre Opp Fears: I was super worried about complications and recovery and felt like I was seriously risking my life. In reality, surgery was a breeze. I had 2 or 3 uncomfortable days and then was quickly back on my feet. I dreaded pre and post opp diets. The pre-opp diet was harder for me, because I knew that my food days were coming to an end and I sort of had to mourn all the things I loved to eat. The post opp diet wasn't fun, but since I really couldn't eat anything (nor did I have any desire to), it wasn't all that difficult. Now that period is just sort of a distant memory. Standing out for eating like a mouse / not being able to dine socially -- I have a job that entails a lot of entertaining, business lunches and dinners and was really worried about this. In reality, it's been no big deal. After a while, I got used to ordering the right stuff and just picking away at my plate. When I'm done, I just put the silverware on the plate and the waiter whisks it away. This is actually what most people without eating issues do! It turns out the big eaters and the table are really focused on their plates and not yours. Every now and again, people will make a comment like "you barely ate" or "was the food not good", but they're very easy to dismiss away. Pleasant Surprises: I started the process at 255 (275 highest ever) and was hoping to get down to about 200. That goal seemed like a big stretch because the best I ever did on my own was 225 and that was by starving myself for months and working out like dog and I was only at that weight for about 5 minutes. About 9 months after surgery, I bottoming out at 175 and currently hover between 178 and 182. I didn't think my current weight was even possible, but it turns out I feel and look great at this weight. I wear a medium shirt and have a 33" waist, down from xxl and a 42" waist. This is just shocking to me. Everything is easier. sleeping, tying my shoes, clipping my toe nails, sitting in airplane seats, shopping for clothes, exercising, playing sports, etc. My joints feel better and my frequent head aches have gone away. I was pre diabetic, had high cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure. All gone. Not having food monkey on my back. I still think a lot about what and how much I'm eating and have some bad habits (see below) but the monkey is gone! For as long as I could remember prior to surgery, I woke up every morning hoping that I wouldn't overeat that day and went to bed every night feeling guilty about all the eating. Food just doesn't occupy my mind like it used to. Annoyances: Every once it a while, it would be fun to man down a big meal. I recently went to an amazing new BBQ joint in town and it would have been a great time to wolf down a huge plate of smoked meats and sides and wash it down with a few beers. That's just not possible. I had a glass of wine before the food came and ate about 20% of the plate of food I ordered and was absolutely stuffed. It would be nice to eat and drink at the same time. Breakfast with coffee, lunch with Iced Tea, dinner with Wine -- I've been doing this for 40 years but again, that just doesn't work with VSG. Sometimes I eat and sip (small sips) but that's about it. I was prescribed omeprazole (prilosec) right after surgery to control heart burn. If I take it everyday, I have zero heart burn. If I stop taking it, I have a little (not horrible) heartburn. I was kind of hopping to not have to take a pill for ever, but I think that might be the case. Bad Habits / Struggles / Watch Areas: Slidder foods -- chips, ice cream, candy, etc. I can pretty much eat these foods in the same quantities as pre opp and will munch away if I'm not watching it. I've found that the best strategy is to eat the good stuff (proteins) first and then there's really no room for junk. Starting with the junk first is a bad idea. Alcohol -- I liked to drink pre opp and that hasn't gone away post opp. In fact, since food is much more effort, drinking sort of becomes easier. I now see why people caution about the dangers of substituting. Eating too quickly or too much. Food still tastes good and if I'm not concentrating, I can still eat too much and really regret it. This happens less and less now that I'm 12 months out, but it's still something I'm always watching for. In sum, VSG was the best decision I ever made. If I could go back in time, I would have done it 10 years sooner. Comments or personal messages / questions welcome.
  13. familyguy

    Guy's any regrets?

    I remember feeling the same way but this does get better in two ways. First, you get used to either ordering small or eating just a small portion of a regular meal. That was just completely foreign to me at first. I felt like a jerk going to some restaurant and ordering soup or some small appetizer. But honestly that's just all in the head. Regular non-VSG people do that all the time and no one blinks. I also got used to ordering a regular meal and just picking at it for a while, then laying my silverware across the plate so the waiter takes it away. That move works well for business meals. The second way this goes away is that your capacity does increase. I'm 11 months out and can eat way more than I could at five weeks. Anyhow, just wanted you to know that what you're going through is totally normal and things will definitely improve. Good luck.
  14. familyguy

    Alcohol

    I'm 6 months post opp and enjoy alcohol a couple times a week (down from a couple drinks a night pre-opp). I waited about two months post opp to give it a try. I've keep it to wine and the occasional martini, beer or anything fizzy doesn't seem appealing. No physical complications whatsoever and alcohol basically effects me the same as preopp. Two big points of caution, (1) there are many people that trade one addiction for another post surgery so beware of that phenomena, and (2) as others will undoubtedly tell you, alcohol basically falls into the useless calorie bucket same (or worse) than a coke or glass of grape juice.
  15. familyguy

    Guy's any regrets?

    Yes absolutely, I snow ski, ride my Sea Doo, Mow my 2 acres, ride my bike for up to 2 hours without any problems. If I know I will be out for more than 4 hours and I want to eat right I will take some berries, a Protein bar, and plenty of Water or sports drink. You will need to make sure you have nutritious balanced meals when you have them. Fast food doesn't cut it . I assure you without carrying around the 50-200 extra lbs around you will will have MUCH more energy and stamina, I know I sure do! Completely agree. There's MORE energy post opp rather than less. I get why there's a perception that the sleeve effectively limits the "fuel tank" and therefore will limit activity. But, that just isn't how it works. I lost 70+ pounds with the sleeve. It's true that I cannot have a giant Breakfast to "fuel up" for some activity. However, now I can do that activity without a 70 pound weight on my back. And while it was impossible to lighten the load before, it's pretty easy to bring a Quest Bar or some almonds to get a little energy when needed.

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