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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Rogofulm

  1. My doctor didn't seem to think a high B-12 count is a problem. Which is great news!
  2. Rogofulm

    Self Sabotage

    If getting your fluids is a problem, buy a 24-ounce Tervis tumbler (and separate handle). Drink one tumbler between breakfast and lunch, another one between lunch and dinner, and a third one between dinner and bed time. That's 72 ounces right there! I drink watered-down Crystal Light (or generic) decaf iced tea. I make a 2-quart package in a 3-quart jug. It's just the right level of sweetness and really refreshing. Good luck!
  3. Two pounds from goal and you're feeling defeated? Grab that goal by the throat and kick its a$$! You can do this!!! As you say, one foot in from of the other today, and then tomorrow.... At support group last night our surgical coordinator/nurse was talking about how after 18 months we lose the metabolic advantage. Meaning that we have roughly that long to get our heads straight and inculcate the "good" habits. If we don't, it will be a much harder road. (See what I did there @@VSGAnn2014? Used "a$$" and "inculcate" in the same paragraph.)
  4. Ooooh.... "extrapolatability" and "f**k" in practically the same sentence? Love it!!! Who says people curse because they lack the vocabulary to express themselves properly?
  5. Rogofulm


    I weigh myself every day and have for 14 months since surgery. If something's not right, I want to know it and get a handle on it immediately. Not next week. Putting off facing the music until "next week" is what got me here. Good luck!
  6. Rogofulm

    Self Sabotage

    What works for me is regimentation, that is, repeating the same schedule every day. Weekends can be tricky, but I still try to stick to my schedule as closely as possible. Your menu may vary, but try to eat, drink, and walk on the same schedule. Below is an example I posted during my weight-loss phase. I found that the closer I stuck to it, the faster the weight came off. Good luck! As for carbs, mostly I get them from my shakes, Greek yogurt, and the very limited veggies I'm able to fit in after my Protein. Other doctors and nutritionists give you carb targets, but my doctor just says to limit them as much as possible. If you're not logging your food yet, I'd suggest using http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. It helps you keep track of your protein and fluids, but also can help you figure out if anything is going off track and affecting your weight loss. Okay, here's an example of my day: I keep a 2-quart jug and a 24-oz Tervis tumbler (with a handle) both at home and at work. I count my morning protein shake as a meal, not a Fluid. (30 grams of protein) 30-60 minutes later, I have a cup of coffee. (Count it as a fluid if you like.) After that, I drink a 24-oz. tumbler of watered-down, decaf, sugar-free iced tea, like Crystal Light throughout the morning. (Lots of frequent sips) Then I walk for 30+ minutes at lunch. Then it's lunchtime - tuna salad or chicken salad, or leftover protein from dinner. (16-22 grams of protein) and maybe a bite of veggies if there's room. About 45 minutes after lunch, I'll fill another 24-oz tumbler of iced tea and sip that throughout the afternoon, finishing by 30 minutes before my afternoon snack. At around 4:00 or 4:30, my afternoon snack is usually a Greek yogurt (12 grams of protein) or some leftovers. (This is also a good time to get in some veggies or a V-8 if you're getting enough protein at other times.) Maybe a cup of hot tea in the later afternoon. (Count it as a fluid you like.) Then dinner – again, getting 20-25 grams of protein from lean steak, fish, chicken, or pork, and maybe a bite or two of veggies. Finally, another 24-oz cup of iced tea or Water 30-45 minutes after dinner that I sip throughout the evening. If I'm hungry later, sugar-free Jello or sugar-free popsicles are good. And if I'm short on protein or still hungry, another yogurt or protein shake. (I'm not worried about the calories because this menu only provides 700-900 per day.) So that's 70+ grams of protein and 72+ ounces of fluid, with some exercise as well. If you have a regular enough schedule, you can follow it every day. If not, maybe a modified version will work. The big trick is in pre-planning your meals and your fluids, especially if you're going to be away from home or work. In those cases, I always make sure there will be something I can eat, or I bring along a Protein shake or some kind of meat to carry me through. I've also gotten pretty good at restaurant eating. I avoid the bread and salad, order chicken, steak, lamb, fish, or pork, trade in the starch for a second veggie, skip the dessert.... and end up taking half of the meat, and almost all of the veggies home. I know we need to learn to eat "normally", but I'm not there yet – especially when it comes to carbs. When I get to goal weight, I'll work on finding my new low-carb "normal". Hope that helps! Rog
  7. I weigh myself every day and have for the past 14 months. It helps keep me on track. If my weight starts to creep up, I want to know it and address it immediately, not next week. Putting it off to "next week" is what got me here.
  8. Rogofulm

    So it turns out my wife is gay...

    We all feel for you,@@Smye, and wish you nothing the best in working through this painful ordeal. Hopefully through therapy and the support of groups like the BariatricPal family, in time you'll regain your footing. In the meantime, please, please don't let this derail your amazing weight loss progress. You're down 150 stinkin' pounds, man! Stay proud and stay strong. These are the types of crises that often cause people throw away their progress for the short-term comfort of food. You need to funnel your pain into the strength to persevere over the food demon. I guarantee you that gaining misery weight will not help. I repeat, eating will not make you feel better! Especially in the long run. Stay focused on your program; and hold onto that as proof that you are strong! Big hugs, dude, we're rooting for ya!!!
  9. You know what, though... Having this knowledge might motivate some people to commit even more fully to the life-long effort required for success. We need to beware the dangers of short-term thinking that tells us if we get to our goal weight -- or to a weight we find acceptable -- that the journey will be over. It's not! That's only the beginning....
  10. Sorry, I missed it when you put it out. So this is another reminder, I guess...
  11. I take a timed-release B-12 daily, and my last lab work showed that my B-12 levels were through the roof.
  12. RogofUlm's Story Vertical Sleeve surgery: June 24th, 2014 Pre-surgery high weight: 265 Weight at surgery: 254 Initial goal weight: 154 Time achieve goal: 8 months (including 2-week pre-op diet) Stretch goal weight: 145 Time to stretch goal: 10 months (including 2-week pre-op diet) Total weight loss: 120 I went on my first diet at the age of 7, and sometimes feel like I've started a new diet every Monday morning for the last 48 years. I've done 'em all – from a 40-day hospital stay in a ketogenic program in 1974, to Weight Watchers (3 times), Diet Center (2 times), Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Atkins, South Beach, Cambridge, Slim Fast, Fen-Phen, grapefruit and egg, and even starvation. I've probably lost close to 1,000 pounds throughout my life, including three or four diets resulting in nearly 100-pound losses. And after all that, at the age of 55, I still found myself 110 pounds overweight; with diabetes, apnea, asthma, arthritis, high cholesterol, and borderline blood pressure. With a wonderful wife and 10-year-old child at home, I was a heart attack or stroke just waiting to happen. So why was I able to lose weight so effectively at times, but never keep it off? Same as most people, I suppose. When fully committed, I could “flick the switch” in my brain and resist anything… for a while. I'd lose a bunch of weight and start looking and feeling better, and then I'd be at a party with lots of goodies and think, "What the heck. I've done so well, so I’ll treat myself just this once and get right back on my diet." Hello, slippery slope! And then the cycle would begin: pig out, starve myself, pig out, starve myself… Eventually the pig outs would last longer and require more and more fat, salt, and sugar to satisfy. And, of course, each new day brought a brand new commitment to get back on track, so I wouldn't eat anything until 6 pm... and then I'd pig out again. That “switch” doesn’t always stay flicked, you know? So what's the definition of insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Then, 20 years ago, I lost a bunch of weight and maintained it for quite a while. But because of a bad reaction to a medication, I eventually had to have a hip replaced. Everything went well with the surgery and I even quit smoking in the process. Great, right? Yeah, but then the weight started coming back on, and eventually I gained about 50 pounds. So then I bounced around for a few years, yo-yoing all over the place between 60 and 100 pounds overweight, until I got married and we had a baby. Of course, during the pregnancy I gained 40 more pounds of "baby weight". But unlike my wife, I never delivered mine! So that brings me to the more recent past, when all those years of being overweight finally caught up with me and I began getting all the "fat diseases”. When the diabetes first came on, I dropped 30 pounds without even trying. But eventually we diagnosed it and got it under control with pills; and then the weight came right back on. A couple of years later, my weight started dropping again "for no reason". Of course I knew what was really going on, but the weight loss felt so good that I rode it down 45 pounds. But again, eventually I had to get it back under control, and again, all the weight came back. So by the time I decided to have WLS, not only was I taking pills plus daily insulin injections for diabetes, I was sleeping with a CPAP machine for apnea, and taking fistfuls of pills every day to manage the other co-morbidities. And that brings us to last year. In addition to all the diseases, I was exhausted and achy all the time, and had trouble dragging myself out of the recliner to play with my kid like I should. I'd take naps after stuffing myself at lunchtime, and exercise as little as possible. We all know the drill, right? And I’d gotten myself hooked on chicken wings with high-calorie sauces, a mountain of French fries, blue cheese dressing, and four large glasses of tea. I'd go out 2-3 times a week for wings, but I'd go to different restaurants because I was so embarrassed by how much and how frequently I was eating them. And gradually, I got more and more disgusted with myself. During that time, two of my co-workers had weight loss surgery: one bypass and one sleeve. Every day for about a year, I watched them get smaller and smaller. They didn’t keep their surgeries a secret, so when I asked about their experiences, they graciously shared all the details with me – the good, and the bad. And gradually I got to the point where I said, “I WANT THAT!” So my inspiration to have weight loss surgery was a direct result of my co-workers’ successes, and their openness about having had weight loss surgery. Once I decided to get sleeved, I went "all-in". I followed all my doctor’s post-op rules to a tee (with the exception of coffee – my one remaining vice). But this time something was different from all those past diets. Because of the restriction in my stomach, instead of losing momentum and giving in to temptation, I was able to stay on the horse. My new “tool” gave me the strength I needed to consistently make the right choices. I lost 110 pounds and made it to goal in 8 months. And in the two months after that, I lost another 10 pounds to give myself a comfortable buffer. I put away the CPAP machine; I’m off all diabetes, blood pressure, and asthma meds; and I'm on the lowest dosage of my cholesterol meds. In a few more months, I hope to be off those too. So now that I’ve reached my final goal weight, I don’t need – or want – to lose any more. I’m exactly where I want to be for the first time in my adult life; which, quite frankly, is a totally mind-blowing thought! My big secret? Just follow the danged rules – all of them! (And mind you, I’ve been a rule breaker all my life.) If you do exactly what your doctor or nutrition program recommends, the weight will come off. After a month or two of making good (but difficult) choices, the cravings for the foods that got you to your pre-surgery weight will start to fade away, and the pride in your accomplishment will have a stronger pull than the food. That’s when you really get on a roll! Here’s the formula I used to get to goal weight quickly: Start every morning with a Protein shake for Breakfast. Eat 60–80 or more grams of protein daily. Drink 64–120 ounces of fluids daily. (I drink tons of Crystal Light, or generic, sugar-free/decaf iced tea.) Do not consume any starches or sugars. Get all carbs from green veggies, legumes, and dairy products. Do not consume empty liquid calories/sugar (fruit juices, ice cream, etc). Try to avoid alcohol. It’s empty liquid calories that turn to sugar in your body and can lead to poor choices. All Snacks must be protein-based (Jerky, nuts, cheeses, Greek yogurt, deli meats). Get some exercise 4-6 times a week. Never leave the house without a plan for what you can eat and drink while you’re out. If necessary, bring food and drink with you. Restaurant eating is not hard: 1) skip the bread; 2) order a meat (or legume/bean) dish; 3) replace the starch with a second vegetable; 4) skip the dessert. You’ll probably end up taking some of the meat and most of the veggies home for another meal. Beef/turkey jerky is my secret weapon. It’s saved me more times than I can count, so I try to always have some in the car for emergencies. You can buy a bag of jerky almost anywhere. It’s kind of expensive and not great for sodium-restricted diets, but it’s also high protein, low fat, okay sugar, and a 3.5-ounce bag is a meal by itself! If you fall off the horse, get back on immediately – at the next meal. Not tomorrow, and definitely not next Monday. That’s what got us here! Go to Bariatric Support Group meetings in your area, if possible. Participate actively in online forums like BariatricPal. Read as much as you can about the process and the journey; and especially, read posts and articles from those who had their surgery a few years ago. Try to understand what lead to their successes and/or struggles. Share your story and reach out to help others who are behind you in their journey. By helping them, you’ll help yourself as well. Have a goal weight in mind and strive to get there. (I weigh myself every single day.) But also set lots of smaller goals. It’s fun and inspiring to achieve them. Believe that the slimmer person in the mirror is the real you. Always be looking forward. Don’t look back over your shoulder waiting for the heavier person to drag you back. Let that person fade into history. A little vanity is okay. Enjoy how you look. Accept compliments graciously and don’t deflect them. Have fun trying on smaller-sized clothes that fit now. Compare before and after pictures. Take pride in your accomplishments! Accept that this is a somewhat selfish process. That’s okay, too. You don’t have to apologize for it. And don’t let other people interfere with your progress. We have to make our weight loss program a priority in our lives. But at the same time, recognize that your journey affects your friends and loved ones as well. Be sensitive to their reactions and their emotional needs, without allowing it to derail your program. And finally, try to have fun losing the weight and getting healthy! Now, I’ll admit that many people think this much rigor is unreasonable and unsustainable. They believe that you need to learn how to “eat normally” on your way down. I get it… but I don’t buy it. (And believe me, self-discipline has never been one of my strengths.) My philosophy has been that there’s plenty of time to learn how to eat for maintenance once I get to my goal weight. That way, if I add something back in my food plan and it causes me to gain a few pounds; I only need to re-lose those few pounds. I don’t need to lose them PLUS all the rest that haven’t come off yet. That’s a whole lot harder and more daunting than just losing a few. I also believe that we get a 9–12 month “honeymoon period” (when the weight comes off more easily and the hunger is more manageable), to get our heads in the right place for the long haul. I firmly believe that people who take maximum advantage of their honeymoon period are far more likely to get all the way to goal weight; and hopefully, to keep it off. And now my theory will be put to the test... Over the next few months, I’ll need to start experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. I’ll need to add back some foods that will stop the weight loss, without causing a gain, and without putting me back on the slippery slope. But what are those foods? My doctor suggests that if you want to increase your carb intake, to add only foods that you would eat cooked as part of a meal (like brown rice, whole wheat Pasta, sweet potatoes, barley, quinoa, oatmeal, and green peas). No white bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes, no refined sugar, no fruit juice, soda, or ice cream, and nothing that would tempt you to go to the fridge or pantry for a handful or bowlful as a snack. That sounds reasonable, so that’s what I’m going to try. But what about all those yummy foods I’ve been missing? I don’t know yet. Maybe the day will come when I can have one small scoop of ice cream, or four cheese crackers, or a mini chocolate bar, or a sandwich. But today is not that day. For now, it’ll be baby steps until I’ve maintained my weight loss for a good long time. If the truth be told, since I detoxed completely from starch and sugar, I haven’t really craved the stuff. So how do I feel about my weight loss journey so far? Believe it or not… it’s been a total blast! And see... that’s another reason to follow all the rules and lose the weight quickly – the compliments, your reflection in the mirror, clothes that fit and look good, the extra energy for family and friends, and most of all, your new-found health – are a thousand times more fun and motivating than anything that could ever go into your mouth! And here’s one final thought… Several months ago I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen for a while. She’d been thinking about weight loss surgery, but was afraid to take the first step. But when she saw the “new me”, she said the exact same words I had said a year ago, “I WANT THAT!” Well, a few weeks ago she got sleeved and she’s doing great! And that’s how this wonderful story continues… I wish all of you great success, and a healthy, exciting, and fun journey to good health!!! Rog (of Ulm)
  13. Thanks so much for the kind words! Like you, my biggest fear was of gaining it all back. I'm four months into maintenance, and so far so good. I'm staying within a 4-pound bounce range right around my "ideal weight". Most days I'm below my target weight, and some days I'm above it, but never by more than 2 pounds. Then I jump on it and get it back below the target. My experience may not be "typical", but I'm finding that as long as I avoid starches and sugars, nothing else matters. I eat 80% Protein (and fat) and 20% healthy veggies. I eat ridiculous calories worth of meat, nuts and cheese and maintain my weight just fine. I suspect that if I ever let the refined carbs slip in, I won't be able to get away with the high fat and calories. But I'm in a strange, and kind of cool place right now. Yesterday my family went to costco for Protein shakes. And while my wife and kid were grazing the tasting stations, I found myself filling the cart with seaweed Snacks, seaweed salad, frozen quinoa and kale mix, and avocado oil for cooking. From a former sugar/carb junkie that seems insane. And yet, those were my choices. I find it almost impossible to believe! I wish everyone could have that same type of out-of-body experience. Eat to live!
  14. Rogofulm

    sleeve reset was successful

    Haven't tried it myself, but I believe this is what people are referring to when they talk about the pouch/sleeve reset. http://www.5daypouchtest.com/index.html
  15. Rogofulm

    You know you lost weight when

    ...the day you can finally pull your pants and belt up to an actual, honest-to-goodness waist! And it turns out to be more comfortable than wearing them under your belly like you did for all those decades. And you don't have to keep pulling your pants up every five minutes because your stomach is pushing them down. In other words.... When you're no longer shaped like one of those blue bulbs used for sucking the stuff out of a baby's nose.
  16. I'm very open about having had surgery. If someone asks how I lost all the weight, I say, "I had bariatric surgery last June. I haven't had a starch, or a sweet, or fruit juice, or a soda, or alcohol since then. I eat mostly Protein and vegetables, and I get exercise 4-6 times a week. It;'s hard work, but it's SO worth it because I feel great and I'm much healthier than I was before." Then if they have more questions, I answer them honestly. If anybody has a negative response, they haven't shared it with me. They usually say, "Wow, good for you!"
  17. ...you go on vacation and lose 2 pounds. ...you gain a few pounds and don't freak out because you know you can knock it back off in a couple of days. ...as so many have said before, someone you've know for years doesn't recognize you. Happened again last night. I saw someone at the theater and I said, "Don't I know you?", and she answered, "I don't think so." Then I told her my name and she said, "OMG, I'm so sorry, I didn't recognize you!" I'll take that one with a smile every time!!!
  18. Rogofulm

    You know you lost weight when

    Before WLS, my driver's license weight was off by 60 pounds. It still is... but in the other direction!
  19. Rogofulm

    You know you lost weight when

    And you have three saggy butts.
  20. Rogofulm

    Tator tot hotdish?

    Tater tots? Are you kidding? Did you get an eating plan from your doctor? What does it say about starches? If you didn't receive any information, call them ask why the heck not?!! I'm at my goal weight, and I STILL won't touch the "white stuff" (potatoes, bread, rice, or pasta). Good luck!
  21. For those of you now fully in maintenance mode and doing well at maintaining your weight, would you please answer these questions? 0. What type of weight loss surgery have you had? Sleeve 1. How long have you been in maintenance mode? 3 months 2. What's your current height and weight? 5'6" and 145 lbs 3. How many calories do you eat daily (on average) to maintain your weight? Don't count them at the moment. 4. What kind of focus do you put on Protein -- number of grams or anything else you want to say? Same as during weight loss phase, only with the occasional healthy carb like quinoa, barley, or brown rice. Not as careful to avoid corn as before, but still no "white stuff" or sugary sweets. 5. What kind of focus do you put on carbs - number of grams or anything else you want to say? Very limited! 6. What other nutritional tips / tricks are working for you that help you maintain? Still eating lots of nuts, cheese and Jerky. Probably too many nuts. 7. Which foods, if any, do you avoid altogether? White stuff, sugars, alcohol. 8. What exercise regimen (exercise types and frequency) do you follow? Walking 3-4 times a week and gym once a week. 9. What role, if any, has counseling or therapy played in your WLS success? Active on Bariatric Pal and my local monthly surgery support group. Use sharing my experience with others as my "therapy". 10. What advice would you offer WLS patients to help them be successful? See my story for lots of advice and tips.
  22. Rogofulm

    You know you lost weight when

    Woo HOO! You go, Bariatric Hero! That is so fantastic!!!
  23. Rogofulm

    You know you lost weight when

    When you put on a few pounds and that's okay – because it puts you closer to your goal weight.
  24. Rogofulm

    What's the story behind your profile name?

    And yet, very cool too!!!
  25. Okay, so I've overshot my final goal, and my wife is upset that I'm getting "too skinny". Now what? I'm still losing, slowly, but I really need to stop, and maybe even put 2-3 pounds back on. I guess I need to get out of ketosis. My doc suggested adding back carbs that you'd eat cooked with a meal (brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat Pasta, etc. And I'm guessing quinoa, barley and oatmeal would probably be okay, too. Can any of you vets who have successfully transitioned to maintenance advise about how you did it? What can we do to stop the weight loss – and what shouldn't we do – in order to prevent weight gain? Thanks in advance!!!

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