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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by biginjapan

  1. I've got the dreaded "turkey neck" thighs!


    Seriously, I was applying some BodyGlide anti-chafing stick to my inner thighs this morning, and I guess its the first time I really looked down there in a while, because I was shocked to discover that the backs of both my inner thighs literally look like a turkey neck! I was so shocked! As I've been losing weight, I of course have some loose skin, but nothing really bad (or so I thought). Thankfully I won't be wearing shorts or a swimsuit for some time yet....

    1. Newme17


      I haven't heard of the thighs doing that...I am with Outside though, maybe over time some of the skin will bounce back. There's always hope! Hang on to it. :)

    2. biginjapan


      Thanks! I know it looks bad now, and will probably get worse as time goes by, but I'm hoping there will be some bounce back. However, I am VERY bottom-heavy, have always had huge thighs, so I guess this should not be unexpected.

    3. Newme17


      I have already accepted that my body will probably get worse before it gets better. I haven't really inspected though, just chugging along with what I'm supposed to be doing for myself. :) I'm sure I'll take note of things later, but I will keep that hope.

    4. Show next comments  3 more
  2. I don't mind the Premier pre-mixed shakes, but making shakes from the powder is disgusting (for me at least). I've been using Syntrax powders (both traditional powders - chocolate, vanilla, and unflavoured) and Syntrax nectars (which are like drinking juice) both pre- and post-op. In both cases you get 23g of protein, 0 carbs, 0 sugars, 100 calories. The nectars I usually mix with just water, but the powders I mix with unflavoured almond milk (or soy milk), and if I'm using chocolate, I usually add some PB2 peanut butter powder and (sometimes) either unflavoured/unsweetened Greek yogurt or half a small block of fresh soft tofu (the latter will make it thick like a milkshake), plus (usually) a banana. On top of that I always add either flax or chia seeds (ground). All those add-ons add to the protein count (often I get between 30-35g, depending on what I use). Oh - my new favourite smoothie is mixing Syntrax Roadside Lemonade with unsweetened almond milk, and 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries (or other berries) - it's really refreshing in the summertime!
  3. I think everyone feels it a little differently. I've only got the burps once in all of my post-op eating. Usually it's just discomfort - tightness and pressure, and I feel like I can slowly feel the food moving through my intestines while my stomach remains uncomfortably full. It's definitely not a GERD-type feeling (which I had pre-op), although I do get pressure in my chest occasionally. If I overeat there's no way I can drink 30 minutes after eating - it's more like an hour before I feel good enough to consume anything.
  4. biginjapan

    What are your favorite workouts???

    I've always loved walking, did it pre-op, still doing it post-op. I add a little strength-training in when I can. In September I'll be joining a gym (as I'm travelling during the month of August) and I hope to up both my cardio and weight training there. I doubt there will be any special workouts offered at the gym, as this is Japan. I've decided to join the gym because I just don't work out enough at home. I live in an apartment so I'm limited to certain types of exercises since I don't want to disturb my neighbours, and the reality is, I don't work out enough when I'm here. The other issue is the weather here can really limit what I do outside, especially in the summer so having a place where I can work out is really helpful. Usually I don't like gyms since I have to go out of my way to get to them, but I found one that is on the way to work, so that gives me a lot of incentive to use it. Edit: In the past I always preferred to do (or learn) real activities - like dancing, boxing, etc. or doing physical activities as James has suggested, as opposed to straight gym workouts. But there's not much here for me to join (or do) so I'm going to try the gym for a while.
  5. biginjapan


    Well, even pre-weight loss I wanted my breasts done (they've been pointing to the floor for at least 20 years now, and one is a full cup size smaller than the other), and now they're even worse, so the breasts will be the first to be done, (lift and maybe augmentation since I'm losing a lot in that area), probably in conjunction with my arms. If I had a desk job or any other job that did not require me lifting my arms up in front of people on a regular basis, I could probably live with my flappy arms. But I'm a teacher and I write on the board a lot (and do a lot of presentations both here and abroad) and I definitely feel the breeze blowing as my arm flaps back and forth as I write. No amount of strength training is going to fix that problem. However, I'm also very bottom heavy (pear-shaped) and I imagine I'll need some work done below. I never thought I would need a butt lift, as I've always had a very round, high butt my entire life (even when thin), but now it's sagging and touching the back of my legs (a really strange feeling) and it hurts to sit on anything for any length of time. I'm not sure if I'll need a tummy tuck yet - I thought that I might, but my belly seems to be shrinking nicely with no real problems at the moment. Thighs will probably need work (and lipo) but that's where I'm losing weight the slowest (of course) so it'll be a while before I know how bad that problem is. In any event, I'm starting to save for plastics now, which won't happen for at least another year from now (probably longer), and I'll split the surgeries up - one for breasts and arms (first), and then 6 or 12 months later, my lower half.
  6. I'm six months out and although I don't weigh food anymore, I still use my small plates and bowls and generally know when too much is too much. I've learned that it's easy for me to overeat, but that I won't feel the discomfort (most of the time) until after I've finished almost everything, and then I'll be uncomfortable for quite a while afterwards.
  7. biginjapan

    I finally have my surgery date

    Fantastic news Walter! I was actually thinking about you today and wondering how you were doing. Luckily you'll have in built-in support with your wife going through it with you too. I also did a three-week pre-op diet and lost more weight on that than I did after the surgery! But the pounds keep coming off so I'm not complaining.
  8. My weight loss has been officially noticed by the women I work with (from about 2 months post-op) and by my students, but not really from anyone else. Some of my students from 3-4 years back often don't recognise me at first, and do a double-take when they realise it's me. It is heartwarming to hear my students call me "slim" now, even though I'm not, as I'm still obese, and even if and when I get to a normal BMI I will still be considered big by Japanese standards (as I was when I first came here many years ago). The men I know haven't said anything to me unless I bring it up first.
  9. biginjapan

    Gained 2 pounds!

    It's worth tracking what you eat for at least a week or more, just so you can get an idea of what your macros look like based on what you usually eat. Of course, tracking every day is best, but I know that not everyone does it (including me). However, my food intake hasn't changed too much from week to week, and I mostly eat the same kinds of food every day, so I know that I'm hitting my goals. Also, what's your water intake like? Even now, 6 months out, I find it hard to get in all my water and all my food during the day - I have to constantly remind myself to keep drinking, especially now when the weather is so hot and humid. If you are drinking a lot, you probably won't be eating as much. Finally, if you find yourself snacking at night, you may want to impose a limit on yourself (for example, no food after 8 p.m.) and/or find something else to do to occupy your time (like go for a walk). I find the more I sit around at home, the more I tend to eat - which makes weekends more of a struggle for me, rather than during the week when I'm busy at work.
  10. In the beginning it's better to measure your food as you may not be getting the right signals until its too late.
  11. biginjapan

    Old clothes? What did you do?

    Unfortunately I live in a country that has one of the lowest obesity levels in the world, and where second-hand shops aren't interested in big clothes like mine. Plus, not being able to shop here has meant that I've always had the "just in case" mentality of saving all kinds of clothes, even ones with rips, tears, and stains, just in case I needed something at a particular size because there is no possibility of me finding anything in the shops here, ever. However, as I started losing weight, the first thing I did was get rid of all the clothes that had holes, tears, stains, etc. Two huge garbage bags full went into the trash. Then, anything that was too big went into storage boxes - 7 of them. But since then I have lost enough weight to fill 2 more storage boxes. My plan was originally to try to give away or sell clothes to any large women here in my local area. But it's going to take a lot of time to do it, and I still may end up with a lot of clothes left over. Since I'm going home for vacation soon, I've decided to pack up my suitcase with as many clothes as I can that I can donate to an organisation that will pass them on to people in need. I could do that here, but they tend to cut up the clothes into scraps, and I don't want that for most of my clothes, especially the ones that were barely or never worn. Hopefully I'll be able to take at least half of all my big clothes home with me. The rest I will try to give away when I come back, or donate them to places like H&M, since I can get their discount coupon with every donation (not that I can shop there yet - or would want to). I'm still struggling with the "just in case" mentality, since I've lived with it for so long; on the other hand, being able to free up closet space will be a huge plus since there is almost no closet space in most apartments here in Japan. However, I will be doing shopping for new clothes when I go home, but it will be difficult to plan ahead, in thinking about how small I should buy certain items, since I will definitely keep losing weight over the next year, but who knows how much. The worst thing is that, even when and if I reach a healthy BMI, I probably won't be able to buy anything here, because I'm way too curvy. Japanese women are not known for having much in terms of breasts, hips, thighs, or butts, so most clothes are cut with that in mind. So even very thin Western women have a hard time finding clothes here because there's nothing extra cut into tops or pants or anything else to accommodate those curvy body parts.
  12. Starting BMI: 49, size 24/3X Current BMI: 34, size 16/18. By the chart I should be a 16, and that sounds right to me, but the 16s I have (which are at least 8 years old) are still a little tight for me. But all my 18s (most of which are plus-size 18s, not regular size 18s) are too big for me. So I'm in a weird place at the moment with not having any bottoms fitting me correctly. Luckily I have a lot of skirts, and they look better than pants that get really droopy as the day goes on. I think another thing to consider is body shape. I'm a definite pear, so my bottoms are often 1 or 2 sizes bigger than my tops. So my sizes are probably different than someone who has more of an apple shape, even if we are at the same BMI.
  13. How's everyone doing post-op? I just had my surgery yesterday, and other than the scars on my belly and general fatigue, I feel great. Don't know how long that's going to last though!
  14. biginjapan


    Congratulations! I hit onederland not too long ago myself, and now I'm 13 pounds away from hitting 100 pounds lost.
  15. I had my surgery done in Mexico back in February (BMI 48). Based on these forums, I was expecting the worse. It didn't happen. No pain, very easy recovery, no gas, I was walking day 1 post-op and never stopped (even with a drain), the barium swallow post-op was a non-event, etc. In fact, at one point I burst into tears when talking to my doctor, because I felt they hadn't done the surgery (despite my scars). My experience didn't mesh with what I had "learned" here, nor with what the other people on my floor were going through. My doctor laughed (in a nice way) and told me not to worry - that I was one of the lucky ones that had no problems post-op (believe it or not, it does happen). And to prove I had the operation, she showed me a photo of my excised stomach with my chart beside it (apparently I have quite a long stomach, compared to others). I did go to the hospital prepared - I had my gas-x strips, and mouth spray for dry mouth. The gas-x I ended up giving to another patient on the floor who was having real trouble with gas pain, but the mouth spray was a real life saver. Even when water couldn't really "wet" my throat, the spray could. I also have found it useful even when flying, since there's only so much you can drink at a time.
  16. biginjapan

    Is this all i will lose?

    Averaging 18 pounds a month is great! I think many people here have unrealistic expectations of how fast they will lose post-op. There are so many factors: did you have sleeve or bypass? Are you male or female? Was starting weight/BMI high or low? etc. No two people are alike, and no two people will lose weight the same way in the same time frame. You're only 2 months out. Do you really think the weight loss is going to stop suddenly? I know it's hard not to compare yourself to others, but really, the only one you should be comparing yourself to is... you! What was your weight loss like before you had the operation? I know for me, the most I could ever lose was about 10 pounds a month, but after a month or two, the weight loss would plateau and creep up again. What are your body measurements like? You may find that you are losing inches, even if the scale is stalled. How do you feel? Do you have more energy? Do you have less pain (if you have it before)? There are so many non-scale victories to keep track of. Even for me, the last two weeks have been a bit of a downer, as the scale hasn't budged (but it finally did today). That said, even though the scale wasn't moving, clearly something was happening because I suddenly found most of the clothes I was wearing were too big - pants and skirts literally falling off my body, shirts so baggy it was embarrassing. So I've done another clean-out of my closet and I'm happy that I am starting to fit into size 16 bottoms, something I haven't been able to do for over 10 years. Anyway, focus on your NSV's, stop comparing yourself to others (social media is great for support, but it often can create false expectations based on what others are projecting out there), and relax. Hope you start feeling better about this soon.
  17. biginjapan

    Low energy/Lethargic

    As OutsideMatchInside has said, everyone is different. Some people have a lot of pain/energy/fatigue, some barely any, and others in between. I was prepared for the worst, but in fact I did very well after my operation - I was walking as much as everyone else on my floor combined. And although I was tender in places, I really didn't have any pain. By day 3 post-op I was walking at least 10,000 steps plus a day (sometimes over 20,000 (day 5)). Did I have the same energy as before? No. But I found that after I pushed through my initial fatigue (usually having to take a short rest every 5-10 minutes for the first half hour), I started feeling energized afterwards. What kind of music festival are you going to? Is it a lot of sitting around? You'll probably be okay, but, and this is a big but, it depends on what your recovery is like post-op. I travelled to Germany exactly 4 weeks after my operation for 10 days (for business) and I was fine. I was no longer on purees by then (soft foods were okay) but I didn't have a single problem when I was there. I was just conscientious of what I could and couldn't handle, brought extra protein powder for drinks in case I needed it, and it was ok. In any event, you should talk to your doctor about it.
  18. biginjapan

    Best protein shakes and why

    I love Syntrax - I use both the nectars and the regular chocolate/vanilla protein powders. A full scoop of either is 100 calories and 0g of carbs, fat, and sugar. I also like the Quest salted caramel protein powder (it also seems to be the one out of all the flavours I tried that clumps the least). I was accidentally sent a huge tub of vanilla-flavoured Premier Protein powder instead of the pre-made drinks from an export place that carries both. They ended up sending me the drinks and told me to keep the powder. I never used it until yesterday, partly because I didn't like the fact that it has almost twice the calories, plus carbs, of Syntrax. When I made my smoothie it was a lot thicker than the Syntrax ones, and in the end I had to throw half of it out. The aftertaste was just disgusting, and despite brushing my teeth and using mints and other things, nothing could get rid of the aftertaste, which lasted several hours. It's definitely going in the garbage. The pre-made drinks I can handle, it's the powder that's gross (at least for me). I make all of my own protein drinks (Syntrax nectars or Quest - the former mixed with water and the latter with almond milk) and smoothies (also mixed with unsweetened almond milk, and 1/2 cup of berries or banana thrown in, plus chia seeds). I like them so much better than the pre-made drinks, which always have a weird chemical (or something) taste to them.
  19. biginjapan

    Mexico Location's - Please Help

    I went with Dr. Cabrera at Mexico Bariatric Center.
  20. Just curious as to how people measure their major milestone dates. In the beginning, most people seem to go by weeks, but as you go further out, do you continue to go by weeks (and therefore 4 weeks = 1 month), or do you go by the actual day anniversary? So, using myself as an example, my surgery was Thursday, Feb 9, 2017. If we go by the standard 6 months (even though they range from 28 to 31 day each), my 6-month surgiversary will be August 9th. But, if I go week-by-week, as I have been doing since this started, 6 months will be July 27th, 2 weeks earlier. I'm probably overthinking this (!) but I consider Thursday my surgery day, not the 9th of any given month, since it usually doesn't fall on a Thursday. However, if I do that, then there will be 13 "months" in a year, not 12. Ugh. I need help. How are you measuring your dates?
  21. Yeah, I guess I should stop counting weeks at this point and just go by full calendar months using the actual date (not day) as the marker. So August 9th will be 6 months. My initial hope was to lose 100 pounds by then, but I'll be lucky (and happy) if I can hit 90 pounds lost. I just need to up my game over the next month.
  22. biginjapan

    Whole grains?

    I wish I could eat whole grains. Well, I suppose I do in the form of oatmeal, and occasionally lentils, but otherwise there are no whole grain products in Japan (they love simple carbs here). There is brown rice, but my digestive system can't handle it, along with other grains like barley and bulgur (that was pre-op due to gastrointestinal issues I've had my whole life). I'm going home this summer for a couple of weeks so I'll try some then and see how they affect me.
  23. biginjapan

    Not a lot of Flavor in my foods

    I wish I could say the same at times - with a few exceptions, I haven't lost my taste for anything. Which means I do actually have to be careful with sweet things, so I may never really introduce them back into my diet (which is the point I suppose). Sorry, I know that's not much help, but maybe some vets who have experienced this can chime in.
  24. I've entered a new country and it's called onederland! Another goal achieved...how to celebrate? ;)

    1. Newme17


      Happy Dance!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!

    2. Berry78


      Oh, man, that's so exciting! Maybe go to a special tea house and get some good sencha!

    3. ProudGrammy


      when i lost 100 lbs

      i got my 1rst tattoo!!

      1rst initial of my three

      grand-kids put on my wrist

      you can do same -letters

      of my grand-kids on your

      wrist too:lol:or pamper

      yourself at the spa, nails

      etc. congrats kathy

    4. Show next comments  3 more
  25. So...officially I'm still obese (BMI 35) but I certainly don't feel like I am. I feel so much better (and smaller) at this current weight than I did the last time I was here (albeit gaining then). Just need to get that pesky scale moving a little more!

    1. Newme17


      You've lost a lot of weight, so I'm happy that you don't feel like you are "obese". But I'll be even more happy when you can get rid of that label. It'll happen!!!

    2. biginjapan


      As of right now, I'm 200 pounds - one more to go to reach onederland! - It would be nice if it was tomorrow - 6 months since my highest weight (which happened to be January 1st).

    3. MowryRocks


      Amen! I understand that feeling!