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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Trinn

  1. Nope. I was never a big salad person -- I like meat. And now, I find that I don't really care for it, and I am so cautious about not getting stringy sorts of greens/raw vegetables. So, pretty much, I have a couple of bits of arugula every now and then, and that's just about the only raw vegetable I eat. My life is pretty much charcuterie and cheeses. :-)
  2. I didn't have an HMO plan; the changes I detailed were for the PPO Also, I was talking about Blue Shield of CA, not Blue Cross/ Blue Shield. Those are TWO DIFFERENT COMPANIES. So, changes in BSCA don't affect BCBS-CA. Don't confuse the two companies -- they're not related.
  3. I didn't have an HMO plan; the changes I detailed were for the PPO Also, I was talking about Blue Shield of CA, not Blue Cross/ Blue Shield. Those are TWO DIFFERENT COMPANIES. So, changes in BSCA don't affect BCBS-CA. Don't confuse the two companies -- they're not related.
  4. Trinn

    Blue shield of California (medical)

    My total out of pocket cost for the surgery, hospital, follow up, etc -- was somewhere less than $1200. The actual bills were more than $100,000. But that coverage was for my plan, etc. Your coverage on an exchange plan is going to differ. It's pretty complicated to estimate, unfortunately. You need to look at per year maximums, life time maximums, out of pocket expense maximums, etc. We basically have the best version of the BSCA policy my partner's employer offers, and that's a really great policy. We also were careful to use in-network for everything.
  5. Trinn

    Blue shield of California (medical)

    My total out of pocket cost for the surgery, hospital, follow up, etc -- was somewhere less than $1200. The actual bills were more than $100,000.
  6. Yeah I call this "complicated food." I am not good at eating complicated food: things with lots of ingredients. Chili is a big one of those for me -- even very Protein friendly stuff, even in small amounts. Just does not feel good.
  7. Hi not to button in but lol lots of good protein from non animal sources. If you're avoiding soy sources, there aren't a lot of *dense* non-animal sources. I couldn't eat enough Beans or quinoa or whatever to get 80-100g of protein a day if my life depended upon it. My vegetarian/vegan friends sometimes assert that it's possible to get that kind of protein on their diets, but I certainly can't see doing it given the limit in consumption I have. 1/2 cup of food needs to give me 20-25g protein with less than 200 calories.
  8. Yup, that's the kind of imagery that keeps me from eating it when people are like, "Oh, you don't eat bread? Well how about having this hummus/peanut butter on celery instead?" Just the mental image of tangled fibers makes me too queasy to seriously consider putting that in my mouth.
  9. Trinn

    Best Exercise

    I love Pilates for this. The arm/shoulder work has been doing great things to reshape my arms. I haven't had skin removal surgery, though, and my arms were not way way big. I do have some saggy skin on them, but it seems to be toning up a bit.
  10. Trinn


    I have to chime in and say I love love love Pilates. I started about four months after surgery, when I hit 250, at a Pilates studio offering group Reformer classes close to my house. Initially I was doing 2 classes a week, but now I do 4-5 a week. I LOVE the stuff. It doesn't make me sweaty, it's easy to modify for my joints, and it's doing a great job of building a flexible muscular structure under my fat/skin. *grin* I also really like that it has a focus on being aware of your body and how it moves through space. Losing 100+ pounds is a lot of change on one's center of gravity -- but Pilates has me covered in working on balance and control. It's also specfically strengthening parts of my body -- my lower back, ankles, hip muscles and abdominal core -- that were weak and/or really affected by carrying so much weight. Benefits: I am starting to wear *heels* again! I have so much ankle strength I can do that! My posture is better. It's helping my um, bosom sit up higher even as I lose weight, because of building my pectoral muscles. It has a focus on getting blood pumping, which I think may help skin tightening. It makes me feel strong and good about my body! I pay $169 a month for unlimited classes, and I absolutely think it's worth it to me. My nutritionist said that between that and walking, she's comfortable that I'm getting enough exercise and I don't need to add additional cardio. On the other hand, if I want it, they also have Cardio-Pilates at my studio.
  11. I date a lot (I'm not monogamous) and I had some awkwardness about the post-surgery thing. For me, it wasn't about the scars -- they're honestly tiny, and not that big a deal compared to the nearby stretchmarks from my two children! :-) However, my eating habits, that I felt awkward about on dates. Like, people would ask me out to dinner, and I would suggest afternoon tea instead, because I didn't want to spend part of a first or second date talking about why I was only eating part of an appetizer, didn't want a cocktail, didn't drink Water with my meal, etc. Or I had a friend who wanted to date me and kept talking about making me dinner at his house, and what all he would cook, and I was like, 'Uh, no, not so much with the rice and Beans..." It's kind of awesome that one of the ways I knew one of the people I was seeing was such a great match for me was how well he took to my food choices without my making a big deal about it. At this point, he *always* invites me out to places that have good Protein appetizers, *especially* charcuterie plates. We have never talked bluntly about my surgery, but I was clear with him that I was in the process of losing weight. And he never comments negatively about my eating habits, the way some friends can be -- "Are you sure that's all you want to eat? That doesn't seem like enough. Don't you want to to order something else?" Yeah, that.
  12. Trinn

    food or protein shakes

    I'm nine months post-op, and "liquid breakfast" is just part of my life now, and has been since I started pre-op almost exactly a year ago. In the morning I have either a PP shake with a Starbucks Via added (my *one* dose of caffeine a day!) or a Syntrax nectar chocolate Truffle with a Starbucks Via, a little milk, a little cocoa powder, and some cinnamon. I make that up really watery -- about 24 oz total. Whatever I'm having, I drink it with my morning Vitamins. I feel like it ensures I start the day with a strong baseline of Protein and liquid.
  13. Some stuff I don't eat because the tummy responses are magnified with the sleeve. The biggest of these is deep fried food. Instead of greasy food causing a little indigestion, it makes me feel *really* crappy now. So, Maybe a bite, but mo more than that. I don't eat rice/pasta even in little bits because it feels like it just swells and swells in my stomach and I go from "I'm full" to "OMG I FEEL LIKE I AM GOING TO POP" a bit after having it. To be clear, these are not things I'm craving or eat much of -- I pretty much don't have a problem being a "Just the Protein, thanks" person at meals. But for example, last night I was out with friends having Burmese food. I was eating some lamb curry -- chunks of lamb in sauce, very well cooked and easy to chew up -- and someone offered me some of the coconut rice. Everyone was raving about the rice, which smelled like a macaroon. I had a tiny bit -- less than a teaspoon -- but would not risk any more at all, because of my experience with rice swelling up. :-) I also tend to not eat foods that are fibrous like celery and broccoli, because I visualize the fibers getting tangled up in my little sleeve and it makes me feel queasy. :-)
  14. No one in my health team has ever presented me with a "goal weight" to get to -- they emphasized the lifelong changes in eating and behavior, but were not "And we want you to get to this weight." As a result, I set a weight for myself on this website that seemed, at the time, to be a crazy "OMG, imagine if I only weighed this!" thing -- 180. That would put me at plumpish and curvy -- which I like -- but not too much. Maybe. I also have mini-goals for myself, and I tend to do cool things when I hit them. So, for example, when I got to 250, I started doing Pilates. My current goal is to weigh less than my sweetie, which is about 215 -- so, I'm *really* close, except he's been losing weight too! When I do that, it will be the first time in our 16 year relationship that I have weighed less than he does. After that, my next goal is to be in One-derland. I had *hoped* to hit that by July 1, but I suspect it will be a bit after. This month I appear to be gaining muscle mass again (Pilates!) and that's slowed my loss. And, I'm gonna be honest, now that I'm closer to it, 180 seems a little high.So, maybe we'll see what that's like when I'm there. I suspect I will end up closer to 150-160.
  15. Trinn

    Why are my ankles puff?

    I'm 8 months post-surgery and while I'm now having actual visible ankles (not cankles!) on most days, I still get puffy ankles sometimes. It's just a normal part of Water retention, hormonal cycles, responses to certain kinds of food, and variations in my activity and Fluid intake. Don't freak out! *grin* You're okay.
  16. I'm a September 1 person, and another stately-paced loser. :-) I am down 80+ lbs since I started my pre-surgery lose on Jun 1; 40 lbs of that is since surgery on Sept 1. I have gone from a 28+ in pants to a 22 (about to move to a size 20, probably by February), and in tops, I'm now wearing 14-16 at Lane Bryant, and a regular size XXL or XL at Target. However, most of my clothes are custom made by eShakti -- I have lost about 8 inches around my waist, 12 around my hips, and 6 around my bust. :-) In another 5 lbs or so, I will be at my lowest weight in over 20 years. Oh, and I've just taken up Pilates. :-) Foodwise, I am eating more "regular" things, but in very small portions. I still have at least one Premier Protein shake a day, usually in the morning. I eat a lot of chicken, but also fresh mozzarella with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar, and occasionally meatballs. I still haven't really eaten much beef that isn't in meatballs, and spicy food bothers me some. Perhaps the silliest thing is that my shoes are all getting too big, so I have to replace them all with new smaller ones.
  17. I am just going to tell you, I am totally feeling you on the crazy heavy period thing. I have spent my life as as "2 days and done" sort of person. The first period after WLS was some sort of crazy Biblical apocalypse. I was basically hysterical in the middle of the night one night because I had an accident in the bed, and was trying to clean it up, then it happened *again*. My sweetie finally made me some tea and just sat with me, he felt so bad about how upset I was about it. But I tell you, the next time was a little better, and two months later, it's reasonably manageable.
  18. Love love love my Fitbit Aria. I especially love that the Fitbit app and website awards me little badges when I reach weight loss milestones. :-) I just got my 75 lbs lost badge last week. :-)
  19. Trinn

    3 months post op

    Don't worry! I am just over 70 lbs down from when my pre-surgical food changes started on June 1, but "only" 35ish from my surgery date. If worried the way some people do, I'd be freaking out that I wasn't losing enough. Instead, I'm just enjoying the ease of the experience, and appreciating that my body is having plenty of time to adjust to the changes. Also, I could not keep up with the clothing needs if I were losing faster! Most of my clothes are custom made (Yay, eShakti.com!) and take a couple of weeks from order to when they arrive. If I were losing any faster, I wouldn't be able to order things that still fit me when they arrived! :-) As it is, I have to guess where I will be in a couple of weeks, measurementwise. :-)
  20. It depends on the protein source. I can eat 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella (with a drizzle of balsamic and some pepper!) and that's about 20g of protein. Yay! The same with chicken breast or fish. OTOH, I cannot eat enough egg in one meal to meet a 20g protein goal per meal, so I have to supplement that. And yes, I'm a protein shake person. I use them two ways -- in the morning, I often have one as breakfast. If I don't, then in the evening, I add up my protein grams, and if I'm short, I have a protein shake or Syntrax Nectar to help boost that number. I am 3 months out tomorrow, and while I do have days with no liquid protein, they're less than half of my days, total.
  21. Trinn

    Blue shield of California (medical)

    "Conservative measures" could include medications, exercise, eating less -- as opposed to a formal weight loss program.
  22. Trinn

    Blue shield of California (medical)

    This topic says "Blue Shield of California", so I am responding with the assumption that you and other posters have Blue Shield of California. If you have another insurance provider, this is not a good thread to ask your question.
  23. Trinn

    Blue shield of California (medical)

    I literally typed up my weight history with dates of when I knew I weighed particular amounts and brought it in with me to my initial consults with both my nutritionist and my surgeon. I gave them a copy for their records.
  24. Trinn

    Blue shield of California (medical)

    It means they'd like to see that a diet or medication or something didn't work. It does NOT mean that you have to have done that supervised for X months or something. So, for example, my surgeon and nutritionist took my history, where I explained that I had lost weight eating very low carb in the past, but I had gained it back, and found that I could not sustain that weight loss over time. I could give them dates of when I did that, and exactly how -- I used Diet-to-Go for food for a period of time, for example. They put that in my history. And then when they wrote the pre-auth documentation, they could say, ""Patient has a documented failure to respond to conservative measures for weight reduction; two separate attempts eventually led to weight regain..." and like that. The point here is that when you meet with a surgeon, have that timeline in front of you. Write it down. Be ready to say, "From February-November 2006, I ate less than 20 gm carbs every day. I lost 50 lbs. However, I regained that weight starting during the holiday season. By the 2008, I weight 30 lbs more than before the weight loss..." Or whatever your narrative is for what you've done.

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