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Everything posted by bellabloom

  1. Posting these is hard for me- But if they help someone- I’m all about being real. This is where I came from. Before wls I was at rock bottom in my life. I was overweight, in so much pain, addicted to opiates, in a miserable abusive marriage, terribly unhappy, i could barely work, so hard to walk, so hard to just live. I’d been on or off of a diet since I was eleven. I was constantly binging or starving myself. I’d tried every weight loss plan under the sun and I was totally burnt out. I’d tried therapy, you make it. Perhaps if I’d stuck to therapy that would have worked, but at the point I had surgery I was so exhausted I just needed something sure. I was totally committed to the surgery although i didn’t follow the rules very well, I’ve never been good at self care. I couldn’t take care of myself well before surgery and i struggled to do that afterwards. It has taken a lot of work to get better at that. I went in knowing what could happen and that i wouldn’t be able to eat normally again. It was worth it to me at the time. My surgery had complications but the weight loss was easy due to a severe stricture that I had, plus i was just determined to lose the weight- nothing was gonna stop me. I did really well eating very little for a long time, I was so burnt out on food i was able to break my codependent behavior towards it. Maintenance was really really hard for me, I had issues with wanting to keep losing weight and not being able to stop. I rejected food so hard it was a real struggle to begin eating again and I had to seek therapy for that. I’m doing well now and so much has changed. I have a very different outlook with food. I’ve also gone through plastic surgery 2x and I’m finished with that. I’m at my 3 year surgery anniversary on dec 4. My start weight was 240 and my current weight is between 130-135. I’m 5’6. I went from 240 to 120 in about 10 months. My lowest weight was 115- scary. I’ve since gained to a healthy 130 ish. I try not to slide back into the 120s because I look sick at that weight. I don’t try and maintain my weight through dieting anymore, I practice “Intuitive Eating”. While being thin is nice and my weight is something I care about, these days I try not to weigh myself and I focus on overall health and well being. My next goal is to get more active with weight training and exercise. Surgery is no walk in the park. I had a rough time and I still struggle. But it was worth it for me, as you can see. My weightloss did stall a week or two here and there. I never let that get to me, I just kept my calories low knowing eventually it would start again. During the weightloss phase I tried to focus on my life and stay busy rather than focus on every pound. I definitely ate very very little. I suffered from malnutrition and health problems because of this so I would not recommend it- take your vitamins and get in your protein. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for choosing surgery. And don’t feel bad if weight loss takes you longer than others. My biggest regret is that I didn’t give myself more love before my surgery. But at least I gave myself enough to try and change my life for the better.
  2. Hey all! I wanted to post and update my progress and share my journey for newcomers. I’m three years out of VSG surgery, start weight 240 lbs at 5’6. My lowest weight after surgery was 114. Scary scary thin. After my surgery I could barely eat for an entire year and had malnutrition and many mental and physical barriers to overcome before I began eating again. It took a year to get my stomach straightened out to where I could eat solid food, and another two years to get my mind straightened out to where I was eating enough food. Surgery like this is a big deal, easier for some, harder for others. Because we are a population that struggles with disordered eating behavior and many of us eating disorders, it’s hard to predict how it might affect you. For me, it leveled my life for awhile- but intimately put me into a better place. My life before surgery consisted of constant dieting and deprivation with periods of intense binging on thousands and thousands of calories when I failed on the numerous diets I tried. Surgery was for me a last resort that I believed would stop this cycle and make me effortlessly thin forever or really just take away my ability to eat, because eating was a huge source of emotional pain. Here I am at my lowest weight. That’s some scary ****! I went through some very dark times after surgery that forced me to get super real about what I needed to be happy and healthy. This past year I’ve been consistently rebuilding my health. I began doing this by saying no to dieting and calorie control. No counting, no obsessing, no weighing myself. My life now three years out consists of taking care of my health in a more holistic way. I eat in abundance, and I’ve recently began to be super inspired towards fitness and weight training. My calories average around 2500 per day although I don’t know exactly as I don’t count them. I’ve been able to go a lot of time without reading a food label or thinking too much about what I eat. For me at this point weight has become something that I fight to be at peace with. I try to keep my mind off numbers and I’m focused on just feeling great and strong in my skin. I no longer believe being super thin is the path to happiness. Being able to eat and enjoy food, socialize without worry about food, and be in a healthy body is more important to me. My weight will always be secondary to those things. I’m posting this to give you an idea of what’s possible long term. Surgery is a great tool in some ways but it comes at a high cost. It’s taken me years to rebuild my health and I’m still trying to get my metabolism and muscle mass back to wear it should be. But even without surgery I would have faced a hard road and surgery gave me the push I needed. These days I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time and also I think, healthier. Best wishes on your journey! And remember- you are beautiful right now. Weight doesn’t determine a persons beauty or worth!!!
  3. It will take some time for people To accept and get used to the new you. I do believe another persons weight loss can be threatening to some people, especially if they are struggling with their own body image. The important thing is how you feel about yourself. Try to look at their comments with empathy, as for the ones struggling, you’ve been in their shoes. After weightloss the face does fall a bit. Over time it will tighten back up as you get healthier and the weight redistributes. After wls a lot of people go through a period of looking a little off due to just the drastic period of underrating their body has gone through. Over time you will start to normalize if this is the case. From your Photo you look amazing to me! Remember people are just fragile and sometimes they say mean things, but they still love you. It’s okay to tell them you don’t like it, and then let it go.
  4. bellabloom

    Time to be honest. Anyone care to join?

    I think this is great question for this board. And I’m sure that you want to hear people’s stories, but I believe the key here is - you are asking this of yourself. Did you try hard enough to lose weight without surgery? And what you are really asking is “do I deserve surgery?” The answer is yes. Yes yes yes. You deserve to make any decisions you feel is right for your health. There isnt anything that says “this is when you have tried hard enough” and now you get surgery. Would you have a heart attack and make yourself run and eat well instead of taking a medication to control your blood pressure? No. You wouldn’t pass up on an excellent medical invention that could help your disease and save your life. This post could be a mile long for me. Dieting in itself has been shown to fail. And it fails for many many reasons. Weight loss is extremely complex. Statistically speaking, this surgery works for most people. Wayyyyy more than dieting. Take it. You deserve it.
  5. Today was pretty difficult for me. As much as my life post bariatric surgery has changed for the better, in many ways wls is still a struggle for me. Sometimes I worry it will always be this way. Feeling “normal” again- maybe I’ll never feel that again. In 20 years I will still be the same as I am now and what are the long term repercussions on my health? I really struggle with food. Protein is a constant challenge. I find it very very difficult to eat dense protein. It gets stuck so easily, even if I take care to chew the f**k out of it. Chicken and I- not friends. Fish is very challenging. Steak is easier but still, it can go badly. I can’t count the number of times I’ve puked up dense protein. You know that rule, eat your protein first? If I did this I would still be anorexically thin. Once I take a couple bites of protein my restriction is so high I can possibly eat any more. Three bites and done. That’s about it. Lately everything I eat gives me horrid gas. I’m constantly constipated. I try to get enough water but drinking between meals, when I need to eat at least six meals a day to get enough calories, is incredibly difficult. When I drink with my meals it’s a gamble as to wether I will dump or throw up, so I try not to. But in my busy busy life I find it so hard to drink outside of my 6 meals, to grab that bottle of water and get it down when my stomach still only takes sips even after so many years out. I get incredibly thirsty when I eat as well. It’s exhausting. I’m hungry so often. Not physically hungry, although that happens too. But more of a mental hunger or a deep physical anatomical hunger that just feels like I can never really get enough food. I can never, or very very rarely, get quite enough that my body feels truly fed. I’m always in this limbo of not quite satisfied. My stomach prevents me from eating even if my body wants and needs more. I watch other people eat and I envy them. I miss the feeling of true satisfaction and resent the feeling of restriction, especially when I know my body really needs more food!! Sugar and I- we have a very mixed relationship. I love sugar and I don’t fear it will make me gain weight. Carbs are easier for me to digest than protein and so I rely on the a lot to get the calories I need to not become skeletal again. But carbs can often give me dumping syndrome. I’m constantly playing a game of Russian roulette. Will I dump after this meal? Tonight I dumped horrible after a meal of a turkey sandwich and raspberries. I assume it was the raspberries. It’s a constant condition, one that I go through really hard times over and while sometimes I want to just say- ok! No more carbs- see above issues with protein. Following the “rules” doesn’t provide a solution to me. Protein is too hard to get down. Water is so hard to get in. My calorie needs are high. I’m having jaw problems now from the stress on my jaw from so much chewing. I’ve seen my surgeon- he says no sugar. So what’s left for me to eat safely! Protein shakes? That’s not realistic. And I can barely keep weight on as it is. What can I swallow and know 100% it won’t get stuck and I won’t dump. So many people on these forums painting the perfect picture of life after wls. And those feeling like failures when they don’t lose weight. Well I’m a “success story”. I’m thin. And I struggle Every. Single. Day. I wish people would talk more openly and honestly about the long term effects of wls and what it’s like to live with it. What’s it like in an imperfect world for an imperfect person. My best friend had wls and we talk all the time about these things. It’s nice that I have someone who gets it. When people are considering wls they only want to see the positives but they don’t understand the choice they are making. Would I make this choice again? Would I trade my health and freedom with food for a day in the body I have now? Probably. But I’m not sure what that says about me. Will you do the same? Think about it. I’m not saying don’t have surgery. I’m not saying I would go back into my old body. That body had lots of problems too. My mind, my body, my life.. I’ll take it now. But wls isn’t for everyone. I’ve had a few friends chose not to do it, and at the time I didn’t understand their decision. In the honeymoon stage you’re on a weight loss high. I rode that high for a long long time. But now.. years out I’m beginning to understand. Today was a rough day. I have better ones. It would be nice to have a place to get some support for the hard things we go through. Most other people in my life, they can’t understand. For me, having wls is living in a body with chronic digestive illness.
  6. 🤤wowsa [emoji4] You were hot before too though. [emoji57]
  7. bellabloom

    What can possibly go wrong?

    Dehydration is SUCH an issue for me. Drinking water is a truly challenging thing. Probably the thing I struggle with the most. I’ve been really trying to address it lately, forcing myself to drink more. I do suspect it attributes to some of my issues. Not all of course, but being dehydrated isn’t helping me! As anyone who has had this surgery knows, drinking enough can be a real challenge.
  8. bellabloom

    What can possibly go wrong?

    Absolutely. And as I’ve said, even with the struggles I have now, I would do it all again to be in the body I currently have. I have come to believe there are better ways to lose weight that doesn’t involve surgery, but in the place and mindset I was at the time, surgery was the best option for me. I’m glad you are doing well.
  9. bellabloom

    I’ve regained ALL the weight back 😢♀️

    Becoming obese is not as simple as having a lack of willpower and being a glutton. I know plenty of obese people with rock hard wills and incredible self control when it comes to other aspects of their lives- just not food. You are over simplifying an issue that is biological and psychological and extremely complex. Insinuating that over weight people are just irresponsible, don’t care about their health and weak is offensive and wrong. This isn’t about being PC. I’m the last person to care about being pc. It’s not about not hurting someone feelings or babying someone. It’s about bringing awareness to the FACT that obesity is creating by numerous underlying issues in our society and eating patterns and cultural mindset that go far being one individuals liking of cheesecake. We are dealing with a population of people with extremely disordered eating behavior brought upon them by a lifetime of misguided messages about how to eat, what to eat, how much to eat, and most importantly- what to look like. What we are not dealing with is hundreds of thousand of people who just can’t resist the delicious crunch of their double decker. Because I promise you, if being thin came down to willpower alone, I wouldn’t have had to remove 90% of my stomach organ to get there.
  10. bellabloom

    I’ve regained ALL the weight back 😢♀️

    God I love you [emoji173]️
  11. bellabloom

    I’ve regained ALL the weight back 😢♀️

    Except for me, apparently. Lol. Just cause I don’t spin the same worn out diet mentality line of “just eat less and you’ll weight less, it’s magic” doesn’t mean I’m sugar coating or wrong. There are many ways to lose and maintain weight that are different than the usual take of calories in calories out. I don’t like “tough love”. It’s a sugar coated way of just being a narrow minded a*****e. You want to take a population of people with eating disorders and super messed up behaviors around food and tell them all you need is more willpower and some “tough love” and you’ll lose and maintain your weight - YA RIGHT. keep fooling yourself people. Everyone on here can share their opinion. It doesn’t make them right. A lot of people on here are wrong. Just like I was wrong when i still thought weightloss was a matter of willpower. It isn’t. It simply is not. So.
  12. bellabloom

    1 Month POST-OP, did i develop GERD???

    You can change your doctor. Look for someone else. That’s what I had to do.
  13. It’s really hard to explain it exactly. But I will try. When I eat it hurts if I don’t chew my food into pure mash. Which can be really hard to do especially in the company of other people- im talking and forget to chew for example. Even if I do chew it still doesn’t feel great to eat and swallow. It feels like I have a straw in my stomach that is small and tight and it feels like food has to fight its was down. There is a tight kinda stuck sensation and often like a stabbing just below my rib cage. This is especially the case with dense protein. In addition after I eat most of the time i just feel ill. Either slightly dumping or full dumping or slightly shaking or nauseated. Tired and like I need to lay down for a while. Just spent and Ill and sick. This is the case for me about 75% of meals I eat. The whole point of the surgery is to make it physically difficult to eat a lot. Well, that’s exactly how it works. You trade the ability to overeat with a lifetime of discomfort eating. That’s my situation anyway.
  14. It sounds like a stricture. Time to find a new surgeon. Hope you are doing better.
  15. I used a skin forming lotion from nivea a ton after surgery. Not sure if it helped but my skin does look pretty great!!
  16. bellabloom

    Spicy food

    I love spicy food too and I’ve always eaten after my surgery (once I could eat that is) but these days it seems to be troubling me a lot. I get gas and heartburn. Not sure if it’s surgery related or just old age!! [emoji17]
  17. bellabloom

    Any vapors out there?

    Vaping is just as bad as smoking. Nicotine is extremely dangerous to use after surgery. I wish you would consider quitting!! You could get an ulcer for sure and trust me you don’t want that. Plus vaping- it’s just not sexy. [emoji21]
  18. bellabloom

    1 Month POST-OP, did i develop GERD???

    I developed gerd but I also had an ulcer on the surgical line of my stomach. These are pretty common and to me your symptoms sound more like that. If it continues you could ask your doctor to do an endoscopy to check for one. There are medications you can take to treat these.
  19. I don’t think it has anything to do with your gallbladder. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) our bodies are really smart and good at preventing us from starving. A lot of people regain weight after losing it because our bodies get wise to the lack of calories and they slow metabolism and increase cravings. If you are beginning to regain I strongly suggest looking into something like Intuitive Eating and getting away from dieting.
  20. bellabloom

    Are solid foods more satisfying?

    Yes they definitely fill you up and keep you full longer, especially protein.
  21. bellabloom

    Re: When Did Weighloss Being to Slow Down

    It was very difficult for me to stop losing weight. I still struggle to keep weight on even three years out. It can be very hard to go from a dieting restrictive mindset to a maintaining weight mindset. I personally did this through adopting intuitive eating. This means I always eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full, and I don’t have any food rules or no foods. This has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight as long as I make sure to eat enough. You could try something what I do, or you could simply track and increase your calories until you find your maintenance level. I would recommend to start by adding more snacks into your day as well as full calorie fats. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
  22. bellabloom

    What Post-Sleeve Rules Do You Break?

    I didn’t have a whole host of health problems after my sleeve- i had a host of health problems BECAUSE of my bariatric surgery and concurrent surgeries and stricture. So let’s gets that straight. Nothing that i went through was because i wasn’t a rule follower- My story is more complicated than simply saying - oh she didn’t take her Vitamins so she got sick. Not only could I not take vitamins- I could not EAT for a long time. And I mean- anything. For months. I had multiple surgeries and was in the hospital again and again for months. Taking Vitamins was basically impossible for me during the complications I went through. I would vomit profusely every time I tried because I had basically zero food in my stomach. I ended up with a pic line feeding me for months. I did end up using patch Vitamins but I only really Improved once I was able to start eating. This whole thread to me shows that people have to do things the way that works for them. Of course it’s always better to take care of your health and follow the rules. But let’s be real- most of us obese individuals aren’t too great at self care to begin with. And living by rules- that’s really tough long term. Even short term, it’s hard. I personally applaud those of you who are able to follow the doctors orders perfectly. Good for you. Do your best. But it’s realistic to also say- find what works for you and explore your options. Know that good self care isn’t easy and the surgery is a great time to get some therapy to help with that. I wish I had much earlier then I did. The surgery isn’t a magic solution that’s gonna make you be able to live on a diet for the rest of your life. Those that think that are bound to fail. But it will give you a chance to explore what works for you, break the diet cycle and get to a healthier place with some help. With the right attitude and support it can be done, even if the way you do it isn’t “perfect”. Throwing around a patronizing attitude of “well you didn’t follow the rules but I will” just shows a lack of knowledge of living with wls long term and an unrealistic idea of what to expect in terms of challenges down the line. Most of the vets get it, some are better than others at - of I don’t know, never eating carbs again or whatever. But the majority- and I’ve met many many people who have had wls know, the majority have to find something more flexible or they do regain.
  23. I was very lucky in this regard. [emoji1317]
  24. bellabloom

    I Want To See Before & After Pics! (Cont'd)

    Thanks. No i don’t. I’m done making progress and just in maintenance now.
  25. I’m suddenly having an issue with excessive gas all the time!!! It’s been about two weeks. I just pass gas constantly and I don’t get what is happening. Has anyone else experienced this? Any thoughts what could be the issue? I’m terrified I have a blockage or something. I am three years out.