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Gastric Bypass Patients
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Posts posted by biginjapan

  1. Good luck Eric. I had the same problem - sleeve 3 years ago, lost 100 pounds in 8 months, gained back 60 over the next 2.5 years. I tried resetting my pouch and going back to pre-op diet mode, but nothing really worked for me. In the end I decided to have a revision to bypass earlier this year. I've been losing weight consistently (but slowly) since then. However, it hasn't affected any real change - I can eat just about anything (pizza, bread, Pasta, whatever - serving sizes are normal portions, not bariatric portions). For the most part I DON'T eat these things (still doing shakes and fish and salad, etc.), but every now and then I've just been pushing to see if there is anything that my body does not like/can't handle. There's nothing. I'm really disappointed because I thought the even smaller stomach would help with Portion Control (it doesn't), that having bypass would make me not like sugar (it doesn't), or that I would have other food issues (like lactose intolerance - I don't). So it's a good wake-up call for me that portion control and what I eat is the key - I can't depend on the surgery to help me out, other than initial weight loss. For whatever reason, my body has reacted to these surgeries really well. In both cases I was up and walking and feeling great within a day after surgery, I never had food restrictions like so many others (I could eat at 3 months what many patients could at 2 years post-op), and I never had any food issues after surgery either. I'm saying all this in that the second surgery didn't fix any of my food/body issues, it's all a mind game, really. In a way I wish I hadn't had the second surgery (money-wise), but if I hadn't done it, I don't know if I would have learned these lessons as well.

    FWIW, I think the best plan for me going forward is a mix of protein-prioritized Keto (or maybe paleo) mixed with intermittent fasting (I'll start with 12 hours and work my way down to 8 hours, maybe to 6 eventually), plus adding some weight training to my regimen. I'm working on weaning myself off of all my bad habits over the next week or so and will be starting fresh on July 1st.

    Hopefully others can chime in with what they've done to deal with weight regain after surgery. Unfortunately I think a lot of people who do tend to leave these forums (as I did), so I'm hoping that sticking around here on a regular basis will keep me more motivated.

  2. I've never really liked pre-made Protein drinks as they have a fake taste to them and are sometimes kind of slimy. I've always made my own, mostly because here in Japan pre-made shakes are pretty rare. I've settled on Syntrax protein powders because they taste the best to me and have 0 carbs and only 100 calories per serving. For the chocolate and vanilla flavours I use unsweetened almond milk and some kind of fruit (1/2 banana + PB2 powder for chocolate, usually 1/2c frozen berries for vanilla), which ups the carbs but it's the only fruit I have during the day. I also like the "juice" powders from Syntrax, like Roadside Lemonade and Wild Cherry. I just use Water for those but mix them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge as they taste best when really cold.

    Edit: I was going to say I did not add fruit to my shakes pre-op, but before my first surgery (I've had two), I know that I did, except for the last week before surgery. For the second surgery I was not on a liquid diet, in fact was encouraged to eat a carb-heavy meal the night before surgery, so no help there. However, after both surgeries, I started adding fruit again to shakes at the 2-3 week mark. I've never had a problem with shakes that I make myself, and have one every day (usually for breakfast).

  3. I'm also someone who has known the frustration of trying to figure out sizing for online ordering (I live in Japan so I have to buy everything online). Even when they give measurements, it still never comes out right. So I end up with a lot of unwearable clothes because they're not worth returning since the shipping is so expensive both ways. However I don't think that's as much of an issue for you being CA (California? Canada?)

    That said, I have learned a few things along the way. Your shape is a big determiner to how well something fits. I'm pear-shaped, and it virtually impossible for me to find dresses to wear, since the bottoms need to be big and the tops small, but the majority of women would actually go for the opposite (and clothes are cut that way as a default). Even when I just order shirts, they tend to assume a lot more breast is there than actually is, so I've learned that with certain brands, even if my measurements are equal to theirs, that I have to order a size smaller for it to actually fit correctly. I'm a teacher and will be teaching online for the next 4 months, and I've noticed that the shirts that look best (I'm still wearing sweats which they can't see!) are simple, fitted v-necks (or scoop necks) with half or 3/4-length sleeves (hides the bat wings should you need (or tend) to lift your arms up). I also like that these shirts show my collarbones, something I haven't seen in quite a while! Also, I tend to wear a lot of cardigans in real life (useful for keeping pens, markers, etc. if they have pockets, and help with temp control when the aircon is too cold, or vice versa). I wear them for online conferencing too - they can mask shirts that are a little too big (or too small) and still make you look professional.

  4. I think Hair loss is common for most gastric surgery patients, usually somewhere in the 3-6 month range post-op. Then it'll last 1-3 months. That's what happened to me with my first surgery and now that I'm 2 months post-op on my second I'm much more aware of the hair that seems to be falling out. I've done Biotin supplements, shampoos, and conditioners, and I don't know if they help or not, but hair loss happened regardless. Unless you already have really thin hair, it probably won't be noticeable to anyone but you and your hairdresser. I did notice the first time this happened that the hairline at my temples got really bare, so I did have to try different styles (or avoid others) to hide it, but otherwise it was okay.

  5. I'm also 7 weeks out, and my progress is pretty slow (I lost 7kg pre-surgery, and now 8kg post-surgery). This is my second surgery, and its definitely going slower than my first one, but I was much heavier when I had that one, so, like others have said, your starting weight is an important consideration too. My weight had been stalled for the past two weeks but it started moving again this week, so I'm really happy about that. With self-isolation I'm eating more than I should (probably around 1000 calories a day, rather than 500-700) so that's not helping, but I've already made a plan to get back on track.

  6. I'm also struggling. I guess boredom is a little bit of an issue, but I'm a happy introvert so staying home for long periods of time is not a big problem. But because I live in a small apartment, the kitchen is always a few steps away. It's hard to keep track of time since I don't have a regular schedule and I've stopped tracking. I just had a revision 7 weeks ago but I feel no restriction - I can eat whatever I want. To be clear, I don't (but I could). It's really hard to stick to tiny portions when they are so unsatisfying to eat. I've realised that I just enjoy the act of eating/chewing. It doesn't matter what. So I need to be careful about that. But I'm sticking to Protein and veggies (mostly) and the weight is still slowly coming off. I usually get my 10,000 steps daily (a two-hour, 7-8 km walk at night, usually after 9 p.m.) which is keeping me sane.

    I find the most important thing for me is to keep busy and not in front of the computer! I start teaching online in 2 weeks so that will give me a bit of a schedule, but I need to work out how I can get my work done, but still do other things as well, including going outside for some fresh air and sun. Not sure how it'll work out. I live alone, have already been self-isolating for 6 weeks and will have about 4 months more to look forward to (unless things dramatically get better). The struggle really hit me this week. I've decided that I also need to start doing some weight training and core exercises, to help keep my body conditioned.

  7. 1 hour ago, JennC92 said:

    Had my surgery on Feb 13th 2020. And ever since surgery my poo and farts are 10x more stinky. And I fart 10x as much as I used to. And my poo looks like a really light colored clay. Lol 🤭

    I had my surgery (not DS - revision to long-limbed RNY) on March 3rd 2020 and in the past couple of weeks I've noticed the same. The smell is so bad it lingers for a long time and every time I go past the bathroom I think I just stock up on some air fresheners, even though I live alone. A lot of clay coloured stools, but sometimes there are darker ones too (sometimes at the same sitting). Thankful I can work from home for the next few months and I can figure out which foods are more problematic than others.

  8. On 4/19/2020 at 9:53 PM, catwoman7 said:

    I know that's an issue for the DS (where much more of the small intestine is bypassed). I've never read that about the RNY - and the diarrhea/foul smell isn't all that common with us. constipation is much more common. Only a few inches of the intestine are bypassed in the RNY. It's more of a gastric (stomach) bypass than an intestinal bypass.

    Some of us have a much longer bypass - mine was 150 cm. This may be more common for revisions though - the main reason I chose it is that my surgeon explained to me that a revision to a regular bypass (short-limbed) is not as successful as a longer-limbed revision, similar to a MGB, but without the possible GERD complication. Anyway, now that I'm eating normally (only 6 weeks out - seriously, no restriction, no other problems), the gas and smell is a major issue everytime I go to the toilet. I'm thankful that I'll be working from home over the next 4 months, would hate to have to deal with this at work!

  9. 14 hours ago, Lily66 said:

    Prayers for you @biginjapan that you’re feeling stronger/stable soon! Maybe our dark circles are fat loss under the very thin skin of the eye area? Hmm. Not sure.

    I am trying to do light chores around the house today and have to rest like every 1/2 hour for about 15 minutes or so because of light headed/weakness and I feel that weakness throughout my entire body. Will continue searching for clues...

    Re: dark circles - it could be the fat loss as well. I definitely notice it more in my face than in any other part of my body. Thankfully they look better today, so that's reassuring. Although last night I Facetimed my parents and they both thought I had put on weight (!). They don't know about the surgery, and I know that computer/phone cameras are not great, but still, you would have thought they would have noticed a 30 pound weight loss!

    That's really too bad about your energy levels - hopefully things will get better soon. I spent all day yesterday going through my closets, boxes, and suitcases to sort through my clothes (yes, suitcases, because Japanese apartments have little storage space and I hate throwing clothes out with weight loss and gains since it's virtually impossible to buy clothes here). I basically sorted everything into piles (too big, just right, almost right, too small) but have to pack everything back into storage now. I sure don't feel like doing it although it looks like my closets exploded all over the apartment! But I think that has more to do with laziness than energy levels. ;-)

  10. @Lily66 and @Arabesque, I find this strange myself. I suffer from really low blood pressure most of the time (for at least 20 years), pretty low albumin (iron) levels (but not enough to be prescribed Iron supplements), and don't do well with pain most of the time. It's just as strange to me that I barely suffered any distress post-op, that pain has been negligible (except for 2 lactose intolerant episodes and a few days of terrible constipation), that I haven't had any real issues with food (except for the lactose intolerance episodes), and that my energy levels are as good as they were pre-op. However, I do notice myself getting off-balance more than once on a daily basis, and that never happened before. And, as mentioned above, I have really dark circles under my eyes - today was the worst yet and if I didn't know better I would think that I was suffering from some kind of wasting disease. Anyway, I think the dark circles indicate low iron and/or B12 levels, even though I've been keeping up with my supplements every day. Of course I can't go to the hospital now to get bloodwork done, so I'm going to see if I can find some additional supplements to make up for what I'm not getting from the bariatric Multivitamin, and see if that helps.

  11. I know I'm an outlier here, but I've basically had no problems with energy since I left the hospital. I get my 10,000 (or more) steps in every day, I'm fairly active moving around all the time, etc. However, I have had a day or two where I felt completely drained, but that's only been 2 or 3 times over the past month since surgery. I have noticed though that even though I get more than enough sleep (thanks self-isolation!) I always look tired - the circles under my eyes are pretty pronounced. I don't know if that's because I'm not sleeping as well as I think I am, or it has to do with the weight loss/nutritional deficiencies.

  12. 59 minutes ago, Hop_Scotch said:

    Perhaps give the raw salad veges a miss for a little while see if that helps. If the gas stops you know that the raw veges are possibly the culprit.

    Cabbage, broccoli, cauli, brussel sprouts plus some others are probably the gassy culprits.

    This is why I avoid these vegetables!!! Even before surgery they caused too many issues for me, and I'll be avoiding them as much as I can once I can start eating those kinds of vegetables again (cooked or raw). Lettuces and spinach are fine, but the gassy veggies are not worth the pain and gas that comes afterwards.

  13. It's totally natural to be scared! But trust me when I say this, there's very little to be scared about. Having any kind of gastric surgery has about the same risk as having an appendectomy. However, the thing to remember is that the heavier you are, the more risk there is for you on the operating table (assuming you have no other major health issues which would impact this). The good news is that surgeons have been doing this for quite a while now and have reduced surgery times significantly. Of course, you have to speak to your doctor about your own issues, but I imagine you would have to lose some weight before surgery (often you need to, to be approved by the insurance company). This is not only better for the surgery itself (in terms of complications, it also helps to shrink your liver, which is important for the surgery as well), but to get you on the right track in terms of eating habits.

    Also, having surgery is NOT CHEATING. It is NOT THE EASY WAY OUT. I've written about this extensively before, but basically obese people, especially morbidly obese people, have a ton of things stacked against them when it comes to losing weight. Low metabolism, lots of fat cells (which you can never lose, only shrink), leptin-resistance, insulin-resistance, food addiction, etc -- all conspire against your weight loss efforts. There's a reason why people lose weight, then plateau, then regain (probably more than where they started from) - it's the body fighting back to get back to where it was. There are lots of books and research done about this, I highly recommend the book Fat Chance as a good overview. What surgery does (bypass or sleeve) is it "resets" the body back to normal. Hunger is gone (literally - that part of your stomach gets cut out). Metabolism goes back to normal. If you're diabetic, you have a good chance of not being one after surgery. They're still not sure why this happens, but it does. And what that does is it gives you a fighting chance to lose weight and to keep it off.

    To answer your other questions:

    What if I still want to use food to cope, what if I fail, what if I die? This is probably why you'll need a psych evaluation and you'll have to have some kind of counselling, or group sessions, or something like that, to help you deal with these issues. A lot of people who get the surgery are able to deal with their food addictions afterwards, but you have to be careful about transferring your addiction (as a coping mechanism) to something else, like alcohol. That happens. As for dying - honestly, at your current weight, that is a reality that will come sooner, rather than later, if you do nothing. The chances of dying in surgery are extremely low, and the success you can achieve from it is worth the risk.

    Is it worth it/ do you regret it? Yes! I've done it twice now - sleeve, and a recent revision to bypass. Why? Because I failed - I went back to old habits, and after a while it was too difficult for me to realise any kind of success. I'm angry that I had to do it twice, but I don't have any regrets about it. I feel great, I have a different relationship to food, and my failure the first time taught me a lot about what I can and cannot do. I'll have to be careful about what I eat for the rest of my life.

    Do you feel like your life is normal? Yes. In the beginning, it's a bit harder due to food restrictions and the size of your stomach, but after a while you just get to know what you can handle and what you can't.

    Can you do it with 50/50 support from those around you? I did it with ZERO support from anyone - I did this by myself (self-paid) and have not told anyone about it. Not family, not friends (well, a couple of old friends, by they live halfway around the world from me). It's nobody's business but my own. Not everyone does this, a lot of people share, but many people regret sharing. Unless you are truly confident in what you are doing, and you are confident in the support of those you confide in, you may want to consider how much you tell, and to whom.

    Do you have to lose weight first? In most cases, yes.

    Is the loose skin as bad as people make it out to be? It depends on the person. Your age, how long you've been overweight/obese, how much you lose, etc. all impact what your skin will do afterwards. In many cases people will opt for some sort of plastic surgery afterwards to deal with problematic areas.

    Hair loss? It's common to have Hair loss after surgery, during pregnancy, etc. It happens to most people but it only lasts for a couple of months, is probably not noticeable to anyone but yourself (unless you already have extremely thin/thinning hair), and it will start to grow back.

    Tips? Think of things you want to do in your life that you can't, because of your current weight. It may help you with your motivation about what to do. Educate yourself - not just on forums like this, but find real articles, books, that look at real research and make your own decisions based on that. It seems overwhelming at first, and it can take time to overcome your reluctance, but in the end it's worth it.

    ~Thank you all for your love and support!!!

    Also how do I update my profile? CW, surgery date, type, etc.?

    It's better to do this on a computer, not a phone. Go to the top of the page and click your username. There's a dropdown menu. You can update your profile there. Near the bottom of the menu is says "My Surgery" - that's where you can put your surgery information, and update your weight, etc.

  14. I was also told to take about 5 minutes between bites but I find that impractical - especially for hot food, I want to eat it while it's hot! I do my best to be mindful however - not to eat while distracted (watching YouTube, etc.). I focus very much on what I'm eating and I chew thoroughly until there's nothing left to chew. I also try to put my fork/spoon down between bites - it's amazing how much that one simple action does in terms of forcing me to slow down and remain mindful. It doesn't last long however (!) but it makes the difference between me finishing my meal too quickly (which can result in pain), or not chewing enough (again, pain).

  15. I'm officially 4 weeks post-op today, and in theory cleared for all food (was not given any directives on raw vegetables). I started introducing well-cooked vegetables (not pureed) into some of my meals a couple days ago and have been doing fine with that (zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions). I'm eager for some proper salads, but I want to wait until my stomach gets more comfortable with the cooked veggies for a while before I even try that. I'm going to try some cooked spinach this week and see how that goes.

    I was at the supermarket today and had to remind myself of what I could and could not eat (in terms of veggies) - this thread actually kept me on track!

  16. 2 hours ago, AJ Tylo said:

    This is a great thread and I am shocked I did not get ambushed. Only counter to above i go to these countries because of the offshore fishing, The girls run second to fishing offshore. But i do see your point, Love to see the other sides and I agree with the one thing. Seems you can be more confident in other countries

    Now lets end the virus so we can all go :FISHING? We will just use that word for now

    Sorry AJ, I didn't mean to imply that that's why you travelled abroad - you did say it was primarily for the fishing! I like travelling myself, but photography is my main reason to go...anything else that happens is just a bonus.

  17. I weigh myself once every morning but I only log the weight once a week (every Monday). I find, for myself, this actually helps. I see my weight fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, but overall, over the week it's still going down. I found that when I stopped being regular about weighing myself after I had my sleeve done, that that's when I started to gain weight without noticing. By the time I did notice, it was hard for me to reverse the trend.

  18. You said it yourself - your boyfriend is all about what's in it for HIM, how does losing weight help HIM? You didn't get HIS consent to change your body? Are you kidding? He hasn't shown you the least bit of support in any of your weight loss efforts and you are feeling guilty that you are the person that is causing this relationship to fail? You did this for YOU, not him. You did this because you want a healthier, happier life. If he hadn't been your boyfriend for the past 4 years, would you have done this anyway? I think you really need to take a good hard look at your relationship and to evaluate if it's the best thing for YOU going forward. Even though the surgery helps with weight loss, you still need support (or at the very least, the lack of negativity). Is he the one to give it to you? Would you rather live with his negativity than be alone?

    I'm not saying any of these things to make you feel bad, but just because there's no point in beating around the bush. The reality is, a lot of relationships fail when weight loss surgery is involved. If you don't believe me, search these forums. You'll find plenty of examples of people who broke up, or divorced, directly as a consequence of the success that resulted from the surgery. It's often not because of the surgery itself, but because of what it represented. Maybe the person losing weight was getting too attractive and the other partner felt threatened by it. Or because the person getting the surgery decided to focus on themselves instead of focusing everything on their partner (and others) that they had been doing for years - and then the partner didn't like it. You just have to decide if he's worth keeping, and if so, what kind of counselling or other help you both can get to help you stay together; or if he's not and it's better to be free, whatever happens. Either way, it's a tough choice.

  19. 3 hours ago, BadWolfGirl said:

    You may actually need more calories to jump start the loss again. Your body is in starvation mode. I bet your stall will be gone in two days of eating soft foods and hoping calories a bit.

    Exactly this! I've been on soft foods for 2 weeks now (can start regular foods tomorrow, as I will be one month out), and it kicked me out of the small stall I had (so far, no stall has been longer than 5 days for me). With bypass or sleeve the weight will come off - there are some real physical and hormonal changes going on in your body that are helping this along, regardless of what you eat. But if you stick to liquids for too long you may end sabotaging yourself. Try one or two different soft foods for the next few days and see what happens.

  20. 13 hours ago, CammyC said:

    @biginjapan Are you originally from the US? If so, do you think you’ll ever come back?

    I'm Canadian actually, and will probably be in Japan until I retire. Just work-wise I know I'm in a much more secure position here than I could ever have back home (I've got tenure at a university here). I did leave Japan after my first five years here, as, at that time, I knew that if I ever wanted a shot of being in a real relationship and/or having kids, that was the time to do it (I've known a lot of other women who also left in their late 20s/early 30s for exactly the same reason). But that didn't work out for me either (in 2 different countries) and eventually I came to accept that maybe I was meant to be single forever and not have kids, no matter where I was (which is why I returned to Japan). I've never been the kind of person who needs to be with others (happy introvert over here!) so never felt the need to chase people to date because I was lonely or needed sex. Maybe it's just bad luck on my part, but I never really met someone who I really hit it off with (I mean, who were single to begin with😉), so I've always felt happier on my own than the other way around (who needs the stress of a lot of bad or mediocre dates?). But, I'm still an optimist and who knows what will happen in the future.

    FWIW, I'm kind of with AJ here - I think travel to other places/countries opens up a lot of possibilities, and you are able to find likeminded-people more easily. I recently came back from a trip to several African countries where I got a lot of compliments from the local men (who prefer curvier women, even though the local women are quite beautiful (but thin)). I know quite a few people who using online dating apps to hook up with (or just meet) people when they travel. That said, years before apps were even a thing, one of my friends from school got talking to a guy on a bus when she was in Thailand, by the time they got off the bus they decided to spend the rest of their time together for the remainder of their trip, by the end of the trip she flew back to Europe with him and they eventually got married and had kids. It really happened that fast, and they are still together 20+ years later. So, you never know what could happen.

    However, to counter AJ a little bit - he's financially well-off and travels to countries where women are not, and where they often have to depend on men to take care of them (whether they want them to or not). That's fine if that's what both parties want, I'm not judging in any way. But I'm in the opposite camp. I have some financial stability and can take care of myself - I'm not looking for a man who can do that for me, but who can complement my life (and I his). And to be with someone who is attracted to, and wants to be with a successful, confident woman who knows what she wants, and is not the weak/dependent person in the pair (to be clear, I don't want either person to be weak or dependent).

    Here's a final thought too, about what happens when you lose weight, and are successful in keeping it off. I remember reading somewhere (I'll have to find it) that it's not just the person who loses weight who has to deal with their own body image, but people who knew them too. If people around you know/knew you as obese, they may always see you through that "filter", despite the fact that it's been years of more since you were that way. That may make it more difficult to find someone within your own circle of friends, family, and acquaintances, since they may refer to you that way for a long time, even to people who didn't know you at that weight. I know, for example, in my own family, my parents often refer to one our former neighbours (who is a cop), as, "you know, the one who weighed 350 pounds and lost 200 pounds, you remember her?" How do people ever overcome that stigma of obesity? I don't know.