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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by biginjapan

  1. 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!

  2. I also got pneumonia about 2 weeks after surgery, but I didn't have any pain like you described. I was given an incentive spirometer in the hospital (although the nurse did not tell me what it was for - he said it was for pain, which I didn't really have, so I didn't use it as much as I should have) but that didn't help in the end. Luckily it wasn't too serious, as I was recovered within 2 weeks - useful, since I went to Germany on a business trip then!
  3. Not only goals, but let's you know how much over the goal you are. Some apps just tell you that you hit your goal (yay!) but really, I'd rather not go over my calorie or fat "goals". I also would like to see a calculation of micronutrients like vitamins - as I input food, it keeps track of how much calcium or vitamin c or whatever that I'm consuming. BUT - it would need to be customised by the user for our bariatric needs. As most people don't need the extra vitamin supplementation that bariatric patients do, I'm often told on other apps (well, Spark People only, since none of the other apps I tried do this) that my nutritional intake is off the charts. Also, no limitations on weight loss/week. Most apps prevent you from putting in a goal that's more than 2 pounds a week, but of course that doesn't work for us.
  4. biginjapan

    I have atleast 135lbs to lose!

    GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease. People often suffer heartburn or have acid indigestion as a result. RNY gastric bypass removes most of your stomach and re-arranges your intestines and you'll be on vitamins for the rest of your life because your body will not be able to absorb the nutrients it needs due to the changes to your digestive tract. Gastric sleeve only cuts out 85% of your stomach, but otherwise leaves your digestive tract alone. You'll probably be on vitamins for at least the first six months since you'll be limited by your small stomach, but eventually you'll be able to get what you need from food with little to no supplementation. People lose faster on bypass, but after one year out, the weight loss is about the same for both procedures. There is no "better choice" - there's only what's the best choice for you. If you are over 50 BMI, have GERD, and/or have an addiction to sugar, bypass is often recommended. If you don't have any of those issues, usually sleeve is recommended.
  5. Ughh - hair loss is very real. My hairline is noticeably thinner. I've been losing hair constantly for the past 3 weeks (exactly 3 months post-up). Today was the first day I dyed my hair since the hair loss started and everytime I went to squeeze water out of my hair, more hair kept sliding out. I know it's temporary but it's still scary!

    2017-05-28 15.19.02.jpg

    2017-05-28 15.18.46.jpg

    1. biginjapan


      Thanks @higher! Which phytocane product did you use? I'm happy to see that this is a product that I can get shipped to Japan, not sure where to start though.

    2. higher


      I use the phytocane revitalizing serum. On the box it says it's for hair loss due to stress, diet, fatigue, pregnancy.

      It's really lovely and kind of glamorous to use. It comes as 12 amber glass ampules, you crack the top off, stick on the plastic applicator and massage the serum directly onto your scalp after a shower. I love the scent and it leaves my hair really soft and volumized. It's expensive but I found it to be quite effective. I personally didn't take biotin post op because I had tried it years ago and ended up growing some unwanted body hair.

    3. FishOn


      I started noticing hair loss around the 90 day mark post-op as I had my surgery 10/17. I just bought this shampoo from Amazon. It pours fast be careful.


    4. Show next comments  6 more
  6. biginjapan

    Pre op diet issues

    What are you eating/drinking? I found my first couple days rough on this diet, but after that I had way more energy than before.
  7. Glad to hear you are doing great! I had pretty much the same experience in Mexico, but in my "wing" of the hospital, out of the 6 patients, I also had a very easy recovery with little pain or discomfort, lots of energy, etc. compared to others, some who were suffering quite badly with gas pain/fatigue. I broke out in tears at one point because I didn't know what was wrong with me - everything I read on these boards matched what everyone else was going through on my floor, why was I not experiencing any of this? Did they even cut out my stomach? Maybe these were fake scars. My doctor laughed and told me to be grateful that I was one of the lucky ones who had no pain or complications afterwards, then showed me a picture of my cut out stomach to reassure me that the surgery, in fact, took place. I really wish I had been prepared for no problems!
  8. How many calories are you eating and how much are you working out? It may be possible that your workouts might be sabotaging your weight loss at this stage if you are not consuming enough calories for your energy expenditure (there's a recent thread about this if you do a search). I'm 3.5 months out from surgery and have lost 50 pounds post-op - but over the past 14 weeks what usually happens is the scale will not move for 1-3 weeks, then will suddenly drop 2 or 3 pounds several days in a row. This has been a consistent theme since surgery and I've just realised that this is how I lose weight. I no longer use the word "stall" since clearly I'd have to go much longer (for a month or so) before I need to start getting worried (but hopefully that won't happen for a while). Your body too is still coming to terms with everything, it will start showing a pattern soon enough I think. Also, averaging 5 pounds a week is really good - that's almost a pound a day - just keep at it.
  9. biginjapan

    How do I take flattering photos?

    I know! I rarely take photos of myself (since I am usually the one taking photos), but honestly, just have fun for half an hour trying different things. The good thing with digital snaps is that you can shoot a bunch and then delete the ones you don't like.
  10. biginjapan

    Hair loss and perms

    I'm 3.5 months post-op and like you, am experiencing major hair loss (or so it feels like). I put my hair up in rollers today and lost more hair taking the rollers out than I have all week! I've already noticed my hairline is quite thin at the temples. I can't help you with your question since I'm at the same stage as you, but I'm really interested to hear what others have to say. (Oh, and I ran out of biotin this morning. Great timing )
  11. biginjapan

    How do I take flattering photos?

    I've been photographing people since high school (yearbook) and I can say that most people's belief in their lack of photogenic goodness is all in their heads. Yes, some people photograph better than others. But that's likely due the shape of their head/face/eyes and the lighting they are in. Also, I find that people who hate having their picture taken almost always find a way to sabotage the photo by making a strange face or scowling or whatever, which further reinforces their belief. A few tips: Be confident. Want to take the picture, want to look good in it. Your confidence will make the picture better. Be aware of different kinds of lighting and how it affects your face. I know for me, natural light is best, and if I can, I always face a window to get a nice, even light on my face. Harsh lighting or low light is generally not good for me, since the shadows emphasize all the bad stuff, so I avoid taking pictures then (but follow advice #1 not to spoil any that might be taken). You must have one side (or more) that you feel is more photogenic than the others (or not as bad as the others) - and this is NOT the back of your head! Try taking photos with that side, and be aware of it when others are taking your picture too. I hate my profile, especially the left side, so try always to be facing forward for any kind of portrait. However, that tends to be opposite for most other people. Take photos with your head/chin in different positions (slightly up, slightly down, slightly to the side) and see what's most flattering. Since you've lost a significant amount of weight you may not need fear the double chin anymore by lowering your chin for portraits. Cell phones have wide angle lenses on them which really distort faces. You can use that to your advantage my taking a photo from slightly above your head (with your chin pointing down and eyes looking up towards the phone) - it will give you a much narrower face. However, if you want a more natural looking picture, try using a camera with a lens between 85-135mm in focal length - this is generally the range favoured by portrait photographers (85 and 105 are usually the gold standards). I'm not sure exactly what your situation is (you taking the photo, or someone taking the photo of you), but I hope you find something useful here.
  12. biginjapan

    I'm lost

    Syntrax and Unjury protein powders are 100 calories, and 0 carb, 0 fat, and 0 sugar and 23 grams of protein. BUT...they are whey proteins. You'll really have to look at vegetarian options if you can't have whey.
  13. biginjapan


    I think almost everyone goes through this, at least once, during their journey. I've heard the first 2-3 days are the worst, and that people feel better after that. It sucks while you're going through it, but it'll get better.
  14. biginjapan

    Finally did a full protein day

    That's too bad. I feel lucky in that, while there are some things that I don't particularly care for, there's nothing (so far) that I can't eat or drink. Hopefully you'll find something more to your taste soon.
  15. biginjapan

    Finally did a full protein day

    Have you tried other options instead of dairy? I use unsweetened almond milk (and before that soy milk) instead of regular milk when making my shakes. Now, I would never drink either of these on their own, but they work well in shakes and add extra protein as well (I find homemade shakes a million times better than the pre-packaged stuff, which tastes way too chemically for me). Another option is the Syntrax nectars (juice-flavoured protein) - they have ones like lemonade, peach, berry, etc. - just mix with water. When I was within my first 6 weeks of being pre-op, having a proper shake in the morning, plus one of the nectars later in the day, really help me hit my protein goals (in fact, most days I was over 100g).
  16. As of today, I'm halfway to goal! 70 pounds down, 70 more to go... And I'm just under 10 pounds away from hitting onederland! I'm 3.5 months out from surgery today and I have to say that even though the weight loss seems slow at times, I'm very happy to be where I am right now.

    1. biginjapan


      Thanks everyone!

    2. mylighthouse



      Me too! I have lost 78 and have 74 to go till I meet goal.

      Keep up the awesome work! :)

    3. _Kate_



    4. Show next comments  6 more
  17. biginjapan

    4.5 months post op

    @niyahimani and @ Tarno3: You are both doing well. Losing 31 pounds in 7 weeks is a completely normal weight loss for bariatric patients. I was the same at your stage (I had my surgery Feb 9). Now I'm just over 3 months post-op and I've lost 40 pounds post-op (but 62 pounds total from my highest weight). You'll go crazy trying to compare yourself to others. We all gain weight differently, we all lose weight differently.
  18. @AGreenEyedWolf: Please note that what I say next is coming from a good place - I have some of the same struggles as you, so this advice is as much for you as it is for me. Just because you have no restriction, just because your plan allows you to eat whatever you want, doesn't mean you should. You (your brain) has to be in control over your stomach/cravings/etc. Get rid of the fruit - that's way too much sugar! My plan allows for 1/2c of berries or 1/2 a banana a DAY total, and I only put them in my protein shakes (if I do). However, even for me I feel this is impacting my weight loss, so for the next few months I'm going to stop eating any and all fruit. Get rid of the bread and wheat thins - I don't even know why this is on your plan. Both are simple carbs, both will induce cravings, both will impact blood sugar levels. Meat/fish/tofu and veggies - focus on that. Your macros are important - protein should be at least twice your carbs. Weigh out your food and eat only the portion you measure. Don't go back for more, even if you feel you can eat it. Finish eating within 20-30 minutes - if it takes you longer than that, you have too much food on your plate. I totally understand the feeling of feeling hungrier at home - this happens to me too, especially during weekends and holidays, so I force myself to do things (clean the closets, go for a walk, etc) to keep myself busy and not in front of the computer all the time, which, for whatever reason, makes me hungry. Your idea for a reset is good, I hope it helps you get back on track!
  19. biginjapan


    @needtorecover: Like you, I did a lot of research and came to the same conclusions as you. It really is obvious that for most people who are obese, that surgery really is the best answer in terms of helping them lose weight. It's the only way to reset the body against it's natural impulse to stay overweight. Even now, though I haven't told anyone I've had the surgery, I do tell them that I don't exercise (I mean, that I haven't done anything extra for exercise - I just continue to go for my long walks and that's it) - I tell them that exercise has a small impact on weight loss, that it is mostly about diet.
  20. biginjapan

    Hair loss?

    Last week was my 3-month surgiversary and as a present, the hair loss began. To be fair, so far it looks like the kind of normal hair loss I experienced for years (natural shedding? age? malnutrition?) but ever since my surgery I have had experienced very very low levels of hair loss. I've been taking biotin for a few months since before surgery, and using biotin-based shampoos and conditioners. I don't know if any of that helped, but I sure hope that the hair loss I seem to be experiencing doesn't last too long - I don't have a thick head of hair to begin with!
  21. biginjapan


    This has NOT been my experience. I've had terrible breasts my entire life - nipples pointing down, one breast a full cup size bigger than the other - and I've seen the disappointed looks when the bra comes off. For years I wanted breast surgery to lift and correct my breasts, but my weight always prevented me from doing it. Since I'm a definite pear shape, I was never "big" to begin with, only getting up to a D at my highest weight (maybe a little larger for the bigger breast). I'm already down to C (and also down a full band size) and I imagine I'll get back to my 'normal' B size once I get closer to goal. When it comes to getting plastics, I probably won't get any surgery on my thighs (I never wear shorts or anything like that), but my arms and breasts will definitely need some work. However, I'm only at the beginning of this journey, so I have a long ways to go yet. Who knows what I'll feel like a couple years from now?
  22. biginjapan

    Dr Carmina Cardenas, Mexico

    You look great! I've already considered Dra. Cardenas for plastics when I need them, but that might be a while yet. From the photos I've seen (including yours) she does some beautiful stitching - I've seen some pretty jagged scars from other surgeons! How long was your recovery?
  23. biginjapan

    Which Foods Can’t You Eat Now?

    There isn't anything I haven't been able to tolerate - I'm 3 months out, but that's been true since I started soft foods. However, I avoid trigger foods like anything sweet (chocolate in particular), refined carbs like bread, pasta, rice, etc. and alcohol. I'm actually afraid to try any of them because if I don't have a problem with them, it'll make it that much harder to avoid them. The good thing is, I'm not even tempted.
  24. Threw out 3 garbage bags of clothes today - the old, stained, repaired, kept "just in case" clothing that is just taking up too much room in my closets. One of those bags was just pants with lots of dreaded "chubb rub" repairs. I'm left with 6 storage boxes of clothes (down from 14) that I would like to sell or give away, hopefully in the next month. I've kept one storage box (only about 1/2 full, surprisingly) of favourite too-big clothes, just for future reference/photos. Even as I was packing stuff up, I was like "how did I ever think this was kind of a normal size?" :rolleyes:

    1. biginjapan


      I have one box of clothes to "shrink into" - mostly size 14-16 (or mediums for tops), and a couple of loose-fitting 12s...The clothes that are slightly too tight to wear in public are already in my closet now and are marked out with hot pink hangers.

      I have one entire box of clothes that still have tags on them, never worn. Hopefully I can get some decent money (30-50% of original cost) for those. Another box of barely worn clothes (5 times or less). I don't even want to think about how much money I've wasted on clothes never or barely worn (a couple thousand at least). As for shopping, of course, I want my rate of weight loss to continue as it has been, but at the same time I hope I don't have to do too much shopping online before I go home this summer, since trying things on in person is always so much better than guessing with online shopping (especially with international shipping).

    2. Newme17


      How is the rate of clothes there in Japan? More expensive? I can only imagine everything being a petite and size 0 there. LOL

    3. biginjapan


      Actually, the cost is probably similar to most other first-world countries. You can get cheap stuff and really expensive stuff. There are a few foreign brands here, like the Gap, Eddie Bauer, H&M...and some Japanese brands that have become more popular worldwide like UNIQLO. However, most of the sizes are only for Japanese - so for example, the biggest size at Eddie Bauer is a 12, but it's a 12P (for petite). That doesn't mean for shorter women, it's smaller overall (more like a 6 or 8 back home). Interestingly, UNIQLO is selling larger sizes (up to 3X - Japanese 3X, not US sizes) to cater to the many tourists who shop there while visiting the country. As such, I was able to buy a cardigan and a pair of pants there that I really like. The pants are still too small - but if I lose 20 pounds I'm pretty sure I'll be able to wear them in public.

      Generally speaking, many Japanese women have next to nothing for boobs, at least until they have children (99% of bras are padded), narrow shoulders and backs, no hips, no butts (flat, flat, flat - sometimes it's just a fold to indicate where the butt stops and the leg begins). That means, even for thin Western women who live here, there isn't much for them either, since the tops are too small (not broad enough in the back/shoulders, no room for boobs), and pants don't fit well either, since they don't leave any extra room for a real booty or hips. Of course, that's just a generalisation, but I have no idea where larger women who don't fit the mold shop for clothes. Luckily for me, even though I don't go home that often, I do travel in Asia quite a bit, and almost any other country has more options than Japan has, either because they have a legacy of colonialism and/or have a long history of Western tourists visiting. That means there are many other foreign brands that I can shop at, and they do carry real plus sizes.

    4. Show next comments  6 more
  25. I'm 3 months out from surgery and the only person I told was a friend I used to work with who lives in another country (I felt somebody should just in case something went wrong). She's been very encouraging, but then again, she's lives (and I used to live there too) in a country where being even slightly overweight is seen as a failure. My family doesn't know, and none of my friends or co-workers know. However, I have lost over 60 pounds, and it's very noticeable (to them at least - what I see in the mirror is a different story), so I get a lot of questions. But I have been consistent with my story throughout - no carbs (bread, pasta, rice, etc.), no added sugar, no alcohol, no dairy (except cheese). High protein, low carb, don't worry about fat - even though I'm not specifically doing keto, my daily macros are pretty close to what a keto diet should look like (except that I'm usually higher in protein than fat). I explain (if I need to) that when the body stops getting carbs from food sources, it forces it to go to it's own fat (glucose) stores for energy. And I have a huge pantry (belly, thighs, and butt) full of glucose!! I don't feel that this is a lie. It is what is happening to my body. I lost a pound a day while I was pre-op doing this kind of diet, while post-op it's been more like a pound every 2.5 days. Surgery is a tool, but you have to know what kind of tool it is and how it works. Basically I see the surgery as a body reset - it gives my body a real opportunity to lose weight, without all the handicaps that obese people face (low metabolism (and metabolic set-point, in which your body will fight against your weight loss efforts so that you end up gaining more weight that before you started), food addiction, insulin-/leptin-resistance, etc) that most regular-sized people have never experienced. But I still have to do the work (eat right, exercise), and I will for the rest of my life, or that reset will have been for nothing. Now, if someone I know is struggling with their own weight and they asked me about WLS, I would be honest with them, but of all the people I know, only one or two people fit that bill. For the rest, it really is none of their business (and, like many others here, I'm a private person so would not share intimate details of any surgery with just anyone).