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About biginjapan

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    Aspiring Evangelist

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  1. biginjapan

    Making your own protein shakes on liquid diet

    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).
  2. 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.
  3. Yay! Finally hit onederland! My weight loss was stalled for a couple of weeks but the last week or so it has been moving again. Because I'm tracking in kilos I didn't actually realize that I am now under 200 pounds. I'm so happy! Next goal to hit, probably this week, is for my BMI to hit the lowest obesity level (class I). After that I'll be gunning for just overweight, but that probably won't happen until summer, provided I can keep from snacking during all this working from home!

    1. GreenTealael



    2. DaisyChainOz


      Awesome work :D I will also be tracking in KG when I get my surgery done later this year.

    3. summerset


      Congrats! ;)

  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. biginjapan

    7 weeks post op...

    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. biginjapan

    Pandemic Check In

    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. It is - that's what makes it easier for surgeons to do, instead of a tiny pouch like the RNY.
  8. I believe that's most common for MGB, but not so much for a regular RNY. So mine was a hybrid surgery - the long bypass, similar to MGB, but with a much smaller pouch (not sleeve).
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. biginjapan

    Food Before and After Photos

    I'm 5 weeks post op and except for the potatoes, I can eat that much. (it bothers me that I can, I don't feel any restriction, I'm trying hard to keep calories low but it's hard).
  12. biginjapan

    When does energy return?

    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.
  13. biginjapan

    When does energy return?

    @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.
  14. biginjapan

    When does energy return?

    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.
  15. biginjapan

    Gas, Gas and More Gas

    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.