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Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by VDB

  1. VDB

    Guys who started over 400 lbs.

    Started at 420+, but had been as high as 460# in the past. Lost about 130, gotten under 300# when my maintenance kicked in at 9 months out (I had gastric bypass), which meant the rapid weight loss period was over and loss became much slower but still is steady, slow and steady. It is great you are thinking of this now. I did not do this until 63 years old and wish I had done it at your age. I had led a full active life, even flying 30 times a year with a seat belt extension, but at 60 years old my normally healthy bod finally did what the docs had always said it would do -- sleep apnea, diabetes, edema, heart problems, bad cholesterol readings, etc. I also was at risk of losing mobility -- walking and running my small farm were huge barriers. I missed alot with my kids because of the weight and it certainly effected my relationship, even though we are going on 40 years together. So, now, 11 months out, diabetes 90% better; edema gone; heart strong; blood readings perfect. The apnea goes away for some, but mine is likely genetic as a slim dad and a slim brother both had severe apnea. I will have a sleep study when I am at goal weight but likely will still use the CPAP.... not problem. My mobility is so much better. I can ride a bike again, swimming is much easier. Today, spent the entire day maintaining irrigation ditches and working my greenhouse, no problem at all. Walking my dog three times a day, no problem. BTW, my results are fairly typical. Negatives -- the first week was a bit painful, but could get out within 10 days The first month post surgery was challenging, mainly learning to eat so differently, quantity so much less, etc. but now am used to it without any real challenges. I do eat too many carbs, but not to much excess really, am working on that, guess what I am saying that food challenges don't stop. I found that the rapid weight loss was very debilitating -- did not have much energy even though almost always ate healthy according to instructions and took my Vitamins etc. I was actually glad when the loss slowed, as I needed the energy in my work. It is tempting to declare victory and say that with these great results, that is enough. However, I have been fat since I was 3 years old, and I want to experience not being overweight! I did not have any unusual prep instructions, pretty routine. You really deserve to have this monkey off your back. I encourage you to reclaim your life!
  2. VDB

    What Are Your Fast Food Faves?

    The large cheesecake slice from the cheese Cake Factory... nah, just kidding. I can't believe I ever ate that monster amount of calories, fat, and sugar. I also used to eat a double cheese Whopper and a large shake, how bad for the heart and soul that was! The single serving of refried Beans from Taco Bell works for me, is about the right volume. The grilled chicken sandwich from Sonic or Chick-fila, only eating a few nibbles of the bun -- funny how just a small bite of the bun is enough, but don't need the carbs, ask for extra lettuce. After a year, still can't eat beef in any form, but my MD says that is normal until 18 months out. For some reason, I can't stomach (love that term) anything from Subway anymore.. but used to eat their small salads with a dash of oil and vinegar, now everything from there tastes old and rancid. My tastes have changed. When I am traveling, I take some chopped dried fruit (home dried from my orchard) and nuts (walnuts) with me in a little zip lock bag, throw a small apple in my briefcase, a little sugar free hard candy to get me through an airport snack emergency, and a few dark chocolate Hersey's kisses in a bag. Funny about those dark chocolate Hersey's kisses. The act of unwrapping them is just enough work that I never eat more than two, whereas if they were free of foil, I might eat a handful. For the first day of traveling, a few sliced carrots works great, or any chewy vege like celery.
  3. Good luck, RNY saved my life -- 11 mos out, a great great thing to do, you will never ever regret it. Congrats for having made it this far.....
  4. I am closing in on my permanent size, and have a really nice wardrobe, including sportcoats, sweaters, slacks, quality dress shirts, Pendleton wool shirts, etc. for all around $300. I love EBAY -- especially those sellers who take offers, feel like I am on American Pickers.
  5. Agree with all who said you can't control him. All you can control is yourself. I was him for 30 years, then finally, facing loss of mobility for the first time, went in for gastric bypass. Huge health improvements and return of mobility. You have a choice to make. My wife of almost 40 years chose to focus on herself, her happiness, and chose not to make me feel the pain of shaming, blaming, "real talks" and recruiting others to tell me I was fat. Others choose to leave and refuse to watch their spouse self-destruct. Both are understandable positions. Addiction, food addiction, is a bitch. We have decades of data from addiction treatment which says you can't force others to address their addictions. Speaking only for me, I would look in the mirror and say "I can only control myself" and then ask "What can I do to make me a better person" followed with "OK me, develop an action plan to focus on my self-improvement and happiness that only involves me -- the only one I can control" Then, even if he gets disabled or dies, you have a life. Modeling health and self care is not a bad thing.
  6. Dub, good lessons being learned. I am with you, I pretty much do not eat out in a normal way anymore, just not worth it. When I do eat out, I just order an appetizer. Now that my weight loss "fast" time is done, I know that weight gain is possible... so being very vigliant about my eating and exercise. I had a major shoulder injury four months ago, but that is better and am able to start swimming again this Monday. On eating fast -- I was always an inhaler... very fast and very big servings. The stomach will not allow big servings so even with the small serving, I was still eating way too fast. At 5 months, began in earnest to change that habit. Set an old fashioned timer (the one with the avocado green dial and a big ringer) for 20 minutes, and the divided all of my food into thirds, to be eaten at 6-7 minute intervals. Sometimes I would space out and forget, and all of a sudden the food was gone. Finally, now at 10 months, I have my slow going on.... 98% of the time. Whew. Same thing on drinking Water with meals. Big bad habit. Now, never drink 25 before or 30 after, it is finally habit... Still trying to figure alcohol out. At 10 months, had my first beer last night, actually 1/2 beer, sipped. A 1/4 cup of wine sipped over 30 minutes is my normal. It goes right to my head.
  7. Good question and a good thing to stay on top of. I think that for me, volume had traditionally been my downfall -- eating many of the right foods but my lifelong habit was large amounts of it. With the bypass, my surgeon just said eat 2 cups of food a day, spaced out, my NUT said 80 g. of Protein, 80 oz Water, and always get 5 servings of fruit and veges a day -- this leaves almost no room for any other foods! At 7 weeks, I was really struggling with eating way more than that, the old habit were strong, but I could not eat more than a few oz. at any sitting, but ate more frequently. I gradually changed those habits, and by 14 weeks, was eating totally according to what the NUT said. I occasionally get sloppy. Like, last visit with the NUT she reviewed ny food record and thought I had too many carbs creeping back into my eating, I agreed and corrected. Now, at 10 months out, am doing very well with three small meals a day, 1-2 Snacks of fruit (small, like 1/2 a small apple), I am past my rapid weight loss, and now losing a few pounds a month, just the level I want (the very rapid loss left me debilitated and out of energy, which is totally back now).
  8. VDB

    Hair loss noticeable/problematic?

    10 months out... I lost about 30% of my hair in months 4 through 8, so just took my normally fairly hippie length hair to a buzz cut for the first time in 55 years. Then, in months 9 through now, it is growing back, but have decided at 65 years old to wear it shorter.
  9. VDB

    popcorn for a snack

    I don't have popcorn very often but when I do it is air popped corn, I don't think the microwave corn is very good for me...
  10. I think it depends on your age and health. I was 64 when I had my bypass, and honestly was not up to traveling for maybe 90 days. Not only due to physical healing, but due to the eating issues of traveling others have mentioned. It takes a minimum of 3 months to establish any new habits. Not using a seat belt extension is one of the greatest joys of 130# being gone. Whew.
  11. VDB

    Adding Swimming to my Exercise Routine

    I have a pair of very large foam dumbbells i bought online, they are made by Theraband and have lasted me for five years of vigorous 3x a week use. When I was starting out on swimming (the first regular exercise that ever stuck with me!), they were invaluable, and much more sturdy than the cheap ones at the pool. I now have a comprehensive workout but starting out doing a series of flexibility exercises in the Water made me get started.
  12. VDB

    Alcohol- beware.

    I have always been a very cheap date. One small glass of wine or one beer -- right to my head. Strange, because at 6'4" and formerly over 420#, should be able to handle it, but no, never. Now, 120# and 9 months after bypass, I am an even cheaper date. Now, 2-3 oz of wine is it. I don't drink any beer because of how easy a by-pass pouch gets stretched out by carbonated beverages. I have found that I recover very quickly from a bit of intoxication resulting from 2-3 oz of wine, 15-20 minutes at most. Honestly, I would have always liked a great cup of coffee or a great glass of iced tea over any alcohol. Although I am glad I live in Colorado, so we all have our pleasures
  13. VDB

    Adding Swimming to my Exercise Routine

    I use the XL foam dumbbells and do a series of 13 exercises in deep Water, all are related to muscle strengthening and flexibility. Then, I do laps focused on backstroke, side stroke, and a small amount of crawl or breast stroke. The 13 exercises were adapted from PT I had after back surgery, I also do some deep water swimming, down 6-10 feet, as it seems to strengthen me in ways that surface swimming does not, and builds wind. I also pretend I am Jacque Cousteau.... I have had some shoulder tendonitis and have had to stop swimming for two months, but with PT can start swimming again next month!!! YES!
  14. VDB

    So frustrated!

    good luck Rosemary --- I have a case of shoulder tendonitis and am in PT right now, but getting better... I hope it goes well!
  15. VDB

    Calorie Target

    Hi, not sure about that 1600. My (very competent folks) NUT and PA want me at 800-1200 calorie range, but last visit (at 9 month post WLS) NUT said "Don't care about calories! Just get 5 (low sugar) fruits and veges a day and 80 g of Protein and 80 oz of water" This is my mantra now, also exercise of course. My weight loss has leveled out, too, the spare tire is on 19 inch rims.... but frankly, getting used to the almost 120 pound loss and don't mind too much this slow time, but definitely plan on having that tire gone!
  16. VDB

    What can I do with...cottage cheese?

    Babbs, how soon after surgery did you start eating tomato? I love tomatoes and surgeon said soft veggies are okay, just curious. I ate tomatoes from 90 days on, with no problems.
  17. My spouse of close to 40 years was diagnosed with Bi-Polar II about four years ago. She always had some major mood ups and downs, and was challenging at times to live with, but five years ago, it started to get worse and her ability to function dropped rapidly, hurting her quality of life. She is an artist, but increasingly did not do art, was unable to share running of the house, and was unable to be an intimate partner in any way, and with her depression, even most affection is now gone. She has sought treatment aggressively, but has made no progress, has seen the best people in our state and is very compliant with all medical help. She and I both agree that she just finished the worst year of her life, and she is very unhappy. She is not actively suicidal, but has little motivation to live. I am a mental health professional (retired pretty much) so I know the basic drill. My coping has been to focus on gratitude for her strengths, such as her tenacity to seek treatment, and her love of art. I also focus on being unconditionally accepting of who she is, what she is, and to show her a life without constant disapproval. I work hard to keep some big positives in my life through volunteer work and by maintaining our small organic farm, and I have a couple of men friends to hang out with whom I can talk about real things with. I am very glad for that. She did support my WLS due to approaching health problems on my part, and is very relieved that almost all my health problems are now gone, but she is primarily glad that she did not lose her care giver, and increasingly I am her caregiver more than her husband. I am nine months post by pass and have had great results, and have killed most of the bad habits, actively working on the rest. However, this post is about looking for any tips or thoughts about keeping focused on my weight loss. It is sometimes so overwhelming to live with such a high maintenance person (I know this is not a strengths-based term but she is incredibly demanding and draining to be with due to her level of mental illness), I just lose focus on my plan. I don't binge, I don't eat horrible things, I keep losing although more slowly now, but I do slip on exercise goals. What I really lose is motivation and I know this will hurt my chances of permanent maintenance after the two year mark. I really miss physical touch, I miss having a partner to manage life, and I miss having someone to share with. I would never cheat on her (never have) but lately have been craving female contact, and have thought about cultivating some female platonic friends. I have thought about maybe getting someone to give me some respite so I can take a trip by myself, but she freaks out at that idea. So, any tips? Any thoughts?
  18. VDB

    Need a Healthy Snack

    I also like hot applesauce with cinnamon and a packet of splenda.... somehow hot it is delicious. 1/2 cup is the amount.
  19. Believe me, OKCPirate, old shrinks know how to fool themselves, having learned from the best of the patients over the years! I am an expert in this! But overall, those things are slipping away, replaced by health and a much much smaller me. I am about to slip under 300 pounds for the first time since 1972.... wahoo!
  20. VDB

    Need a Healthy Snack

    My go to snack is a few dried apple rings. Very chewy, delicious. I have apple trees and dry the apples myself until they are quite dry, of course nothing added. Plus, it counts as one of my 5 fruits and veges a day. I find the dried apples keep me from eating other things. I know that eating fresh apples is overall better, but I rarely eat just half an apple, but half an apple of dried rings (that is four) lasts quite a while, chewed slowly.
  21. I am close to nine months out. For the first six months, I had only 1/4 cup of black coffee in the morning, but now have worked my way back to a full cup. I always get my 80oz of Water, not counting the coffee. My NUT seemed fine with this when I met with her a few weeks ago.
  22. Same thing happened to me, a week out. My MD and the PA said "No worries" it will be better and even if still sniffling, the surgery could proceed -- the day of surgery it was gone!
  23. VDB

    Help with anger issues

    I agree with James,the Water is key. I found the nine months of very rapid weight loss to be very debilitating. It was worth it to lose so much weight, but honestly, those nine months (slowed down now) were a blur. The irritability for me came from being tired all the time, and it lifted immediately after the weight loss slowed. I know that I also have had to adjust to this new body and to the reality of not being super obese anymore. As one of my kids told me, "Dad, you think you are normal, but YOU ARE NOT!" This is a huge adjustment. Way to go on the therapist idea, I use several great men friends, but would not hesitate to use a therapist again as needed.
  24. Thanks all of you. I had avoided posting on this topic for some months, but I finally asked for some tips, and your input has been very helpful The bottom line is that I can't accept any excuse I can create to avoid finishing this weight loss. Stress eating is stupid, I have come a long ways, and it is time to go the last leg. I think that overall I need to dump any guilt about my life vs. hers -- As Dub says, I have to take care of myself if I am going to help her. Yes, as Cowgirl says, it causes alot of anxiety, although not at the clinical level for me, but this level of care giving is stressful, period. Great ideas, very very useful to this old shrink.
  25. Also, thanks for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill suggestion. I have worked with NAMI for many years, they are a great resource, but have not reached out to the local chapter, which I will do. Great suggestion.