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Everything posted by VSGAnn2014

  1. Check out this feature story in today's NYTimes. It reports on a very good research study with albeit a small sample -- 14 of Season 8's 16 "Biggest Loser" contestants. (FYI, TBL's Season 8 was in 2009.) Summary: Dramatic weight loss lowered their basal metabolic rate, and it never came back up. But we already knew that, after decades of yo-yo dieting, right? BTW, one of the contestants (Rudy Pauls) had weight loss surgery since being on TBL and is doing pretty well weight-wise. I predict this is going to be a huge news story for some time. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html?emc=edit_th_20160502&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=40256033&_r=0
  2. VSGAnn2014

    BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!

    I haven't been on this site in about six months. But after this latest idiocy, I'm finally ready to delete my account. Yes, Alec, as the owner and operator of this message board you can do anything you want to do with this board. However, your posts in this thread mischaracterize the ways in which this board's culture and the value it offers WLS patients have declined for some time. But the blockbuster is your admission (long suspected by me) that you read BP members' private messages. IMO reading members' private messages is a significant ethical violation by any message board operator. Those who choose to remain here need to understand that clearly. These days there are so many other social media options for support of WLS patients. I urge those leaving BP to explore them all. I expect that my and some others' opinions will soon vanish when Alex heavily edits or deletes this thread, just as he has deleted other comments and BP threads where members have expressed their opinions about BP's culture and operational policies. But I've bothered to type them anyway. In closing, I would like to thank the many WLS patients here who contributed to my WLS success (I've lost 100 pounds and have maintained my weight loss for longer than a year). I also thank those who invited my input and who appreciated the help I offered. Help is a two-way street.
  3. VSGAnn2014

    Crying on the bathroom floor

    Do you also know about the monster rush of old hormones that is flooding out of your fat cells right now and into your blood stream -- because you're breaking down fat faster than you'll ever do so again?
  4. VSGAnn2014

    Crying on the bathroom floor

    If there were any vets left on this board they would tell you about the Three Week Stall. But there aren't. So.
  5. I am quite certain I don't have the ability to anticipate whether or how my posts will offend hundreds of posters and lurkers. But I can solve that problem. Best wishes, all.
  6. I wish you all the best in the world. Congrats on being in recovery.
  7. VSGAnn2014

    we would like to hear your story

    I might be up for this. I have a Ph.D. in psychology. Could be an interesting hour together. P.S. To what purpose(s) are you two seeking these interviews?
  8. VSGAnn2014

    Tail bone pain

    Good on ya, @@jess9395 , for sharing that photo.
  9. Incredibly helpful VSGAnn. Thank you so much. I'm trying to be extremely honest with myself while I move toward this surgery. I'm facing facts - I ignored my own warnings about eating poorly for years, resulting in the need for surgery to remove the offending body part that really didn't do anything wrong at all - it was all my actions that got me here. I can blame myself and self-hate til the cows come home but I still turn my mind to neutral when it comes to driving through McDonald's every morning for my sausage mcmuffin and tea before work! I don't even TRY anymore. It's gotten to that point now. I gave up.... The surgery seems radical, that's being honest. I worry more about afterward than the surgery itself - honesty again. And that's because there is NO turning back. Permanent decision - elective surgery to remove most of my stomach because I have NO control when it comes to the basics of life - eating. But I also have a long history of weight gain - right back to when I was 9 years old and knowing I was putting on weight - and how?? We didn't have fast food places anywhere around then - in fact, when a KFC came to town I distinctly remember holding the bucket on my lap for the drive home and breathing in the delicious smell - but I can't remember a time after that we had it. A&W - my big brother would drive to it and bring home a root beer for us little kids. But really, other than homemade Cookies we didn't get a lot junk in our house. And my parents and 3 siblings are slender and fit, just I had the weight issue. So I'm pretty sure there's a genetic thing going on too. Although I eat bad things at times, I very, very rarely overeat. It's hard not to beat yourself up for doing this to yourself, but I'm sympathetic to myself and all who struggle with their weight. It's not ONLY a self-control issue. I'm trying very hard to focus on what I will feel like 6 months or 1 year after the surgery, once I'm over the worst of the healing process. It's the spectre of regret that is killing me. And now - the spectre of the hormone dump! LOL If you can, speak about regrets - how did it affect you, or were you able to just get through the day unscathed as you moved toward being 'normal' again? You're welcome, @@TracyBar . Re the immediately post-op hormone dump that many women experience -- I had it very easy because I'm quite post-menopausal. I had sleeve surgery at age 68. And after menopause I used hormone replacement only for a year or so before discontinuing them all. Therefore, my body fat wasn't full of a lot of hormones that flooded my system during the early weight loss periods post-op. Yes, I had a few strange days. But honestly, I was so distracted by the other WLS stuff happening to me at that time -- comparatively rapid weight loss, changing body image, getting used to all the new post-op regimens (eating, tracking, exercising, etc.) that we all go through post-op. Hubby and I also had a lot of distracting things going on in our lives which were distracting. I do know that if the post-op hormonal dump happens to you, it won't continue forever. There are a lot of things that happen to us post-op that change considerably over time. As I wrote on another thread this morning, you can be pretty sure that how you feel today is not how you're going to feel in a few weeks, months or years.
  10. VSGAnn2014

    Tail bone pain

    Well, this problem isn't absolute. I had the tailbone pain problem about 50 pounds down. I've since lost another 50 pounds (total of 100 pounds) and have maintained at 135 for 7 months now. During the last two years post-op I've also walked a lot more than I had for years, done a lot of physical work on our farm, and am now doing some serious yoga work that is building considerable ass muscle. My tailbone hasn't hurt for over a year. You'll find as you go through WLS and losing weight and maintenance that you may experience a lot of phenomena that are not permanent. How you feel today is probably not how you're going to feel in a few months / years. Good luck.
  11. VSGAnn2014

    30-40 percent regain

    Here's what the meta-analysis of all the WLS research shows. (BTW, "meta-analysis" is when you combine the data from lots of studies and analyze it as as a single batch of data.) After losing weight with WLS, half of all WLS patients are described as "successful" long-term. These WLS patients (who've had one or more of all the possible WLS procedures -- there are over half a dozen different types) lose some or all of their excess weight post-op and go on to retain from 100% to 50% of the weight they lost. This includes people who lost all their excess weight and maintained it forever to people who didn't gain back more than 50% of the weight they did lose. And the other half of WLS patients are described as "unsuccessful" long-term. These are patients who gained back more than half of the excess weight they lost. This group ranges from those who gained back 50% of the pounds / kilos they lost with WLS to those who regained all the weight they lost -- and even some who weigh more now than they did before having WLS.
  12. Excellent self-check instrument, @@fatgirlsvelte .
  13. VSGAnn2014

    Feel like a Junkie

    "The best" Protein shake for you is the one you can tolerate the best -- and maybe even like the taste of. The one that works best for me is the GNC Lean Shake 25. The only way to find *your* shake is to try a number of different ones.
  14. VSGAnn2014

    Does anyone regret their surgery?

    No, I don't regret having had WLS (I was sleeved nearly 2 years ago). I'm far healthier today than I was prior to beginning the WLS process. I've lost 100 pounds and am maintaining now at 135 pounds. And yes -- one day I will die.
  15. Have never dumped. Was sleeved almost two years ago.
  16. VSGAnn2014

    Am I Stretching It?

    LOL! Calories in one cup of trail mix? 693. There's your sign.
  17. Quick response ... The 85% of the stomach that is removed during VSG surgery is the FUNDUS. This is the part of the stomach that stretches. The rest that is left is the non-stretchy part of the stomach. That's a good thing. The other thing the FUNDUS does that the non-stretchy part of the stomach (your new sleeve) will NOT do is to produce ghrelin -- the hunger hormone. And believe me, you will be so grateful for the lack of / reduced level of ghrelin post-op. Immediately after surgery, your new sleeve will feel like the surgeon removed 95% of your stomach. She/he did not. However, right after surgery your remaining non-stretchy sleeve will be traumatized, inflamed and swollen terribly, making its capacity incredibly tiny. This inflammation and swelling will go down gradually as the severed edges of your new sleeve (which are stapled together) start to heal, repair themselves and grow / knit back together. This healing takes months. The severed nerves have to find each other and make new connections. So do the stomach muscles and other tissues. And that's why you have to be incredibly compliant and careful about what you eat during the early months post-op. This is when complications can occur caused by eating inappropriately at that time. One of the hardest things for some patients to learn is that post-op they are NOT on *just another diet* and that eating inappropriately is not *just cheating*. This is also why vets and well educated newbies have such strong reactions to people who want to eat cheeseburgers and tortilla chips and drink alcohol and what-not a week or two or three post-op. How long does it take for your sleeve to fully heal? I'm sure it varies from patient to patient. But in my case, I had the sense that by six months my sleeve was intact again. I know that when I and other family members have had other injuries / surgeries of various kinds that we've been told by surgeons that it takes a full year for our bodies to recover from severe injuries / surgeries. This would be a great question to ask your own surgeon. Keep learning about the sleeve. The details about the surgery and its aftermath really do matter and your self-education will improve your compliance. And teach your husband what you learn. The more he knows, the more effective his support for you can be.
  18. VSGAnn2014

    Slimpressions Vs. Spanx Vs. Others

    Never heard of it. I like Maidenform and Spanx products.
  19. Just for the record ... "the sleeve can stretch" is one of the more hotly debated issues on WLS boards. I won't double down on this issue. For those who are interested, you can search the boards and find long threads about this topic.
  20. VSGAnn2014

    Today, I hate being a woman.

    At 70, I gotta say being POST-menopausal is fantastic. Yeah,70 has its issues. But none of the ones y'all are complaining about above.
  21. VSGAnn2014

    Do you still identify as a wls patient?

    At almost two years post-op, I definitely still identify as a WLS patient. Will be very interested to hear what those who are much further out than two years say about this.
  22. Great topic, @@katesuccess .... Yesterday I saw my therapist. And next month (August 2016) is my second surgiversary. BTW, I started seeing my therapist just over two years ago when I told him I was committing to see him for three years: (1) the year of losing weight, (2) the year of maintaining weight, and (3) the year of boring real life. I found a therapist at the urging of my primary care physician who, a year before I had WLS, told me he'd support me in having WLS, but that he thought I really, really, really needed to spend time in therapy to understand better why I was so piss-poor at caring for myself. (He'd seen me lose/gain/lose/gain/lose/gain ... you get the idea ... for many years.) Anyway, as we've all seen / heard from those who are further out than you and I are Year Three can be a real bugaboo! @@Julie norton -- you're such a long-time vet (you're 8 years post-op) that you've seen and heard it all, I bet. Anyway, I expect that Year Three won't be like Year Two, during which I learned to maintain pretty easily for me. I've been at 135 pounds (from 133 - 137) for the last 6 months -- but mostly at 135. So back to my therapist, I reminded him of where we are -- entering The Year of Boring Real Life. Actually, it's not all that boring. Lots of changes here: Since WLS, hubby has had cancer and been through two rounds of chemo, a round of radiation and is now going through more radiation. I've retired. We've moved twice. My mother died. Hubby's dad died. We lost an adult child to a stroke. We lost two pets to disease. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? Actually, it's not been as terrible as you'd think. We've learned so much about acceptance, adapting, trusting, resilience, and being present in this moment and not ruminating. Believe me, we aren't "there" yet, but I truly believe we're both in a better place spiritually and psychologically than we were five years ago. Life sometimes does that to you. I don't think this post was even responsive to either of your posts. In any event, thanks for posting and listening. Anybody want to say anything else? P.S. Just saw your post too, @@Djmohr . Thanks for the straight scoop about brachioplasty.
  23. I agree with Ann 100%. I started at a BMI of 42...low end of what insurance will approve. BMI of 37 the day I got my sleeve. At 43 yo yo dieting was taking a toll and health issues were getting more serious. I needed a permanent solution. I think balloon is similar to the band..... Great on paper but doctors are not getting the results and happy patients so it is loosing its popularity quickly. My doc will no longer do bands and never started doing balloons at all. yeah but you guys with higher BMIs have options that we dont so it's very difficult to compare and poo poo one treatment when really, it's the only tool that's on offer. The OP didn't mention her weight / BMI in her initial post. As she later explained, her BMI is too low to qualify her for actual WLS. If I'd known that initially I'd not have bothered to respond. Again, good luck to the OP.
  24. Sorry ... I weigh every morning. Best wishes to you!
  25. First of all, let me say that what has worked for me isn't necessarily everyone else's best solution. In your shoes, I'd hope to hear from those who've had the balloon inserted, lost their weight, had the balloon removed, and have gone on to either lose more weight and/or maintain their weight loss. However, a balloon would not have been my choice. It's not permanent, so to me it seems like another temporary diet aid. I've lost and gained weight innumerable times prior to WLS and never been able to sustain my weight loss. Therefore, I chose the sleeve because I needed a permanent tool. Two years ago I started out at 235 pounds. I had the sleeve in August 2014, have since lost 100 pounds, and am now maintaining well at 135 pounds. After all, our goals are losing our excess weight and maintaining our weight loss permanently. That's what I've (so far) achieved with the help of my sleeve. Caveat: Achieving our goals are only possible, of course, with a lot of behavioral changes for the rest of our lives. Ultimately, it comes down to our permanent lifestyle change. Only you can judge which tools will help you make those permanent changes.

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