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Mrs. Rob

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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    Mrs. Rob reacted to Alex Brecher for a magazine article, What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You Before Weight Loss Surgery: Stalls ‘n’ More   
    Stalls Happen
    Your surgeon will probably tell you about your likely weight loss. You might hear numbers such as 70 to 100 lb. in the first year, or up to 10 to 20 lb. in the first couple of months. Those might be realistic and turn out to be accurate for you, but what might also be true, that your doctor did not tell you, is that weight loss may not be steady.
    You might lose 75 lb. in a year, which is an average 1.5 lb. per week, but you are not going to lose 1.5 lb. every week for a year straight. You may lose 5 lb. in one week, 3 lb. in another, 0 lb. in another, and, some weeks, even gain weight.
    You are almost sure to encounter stalls, or plateaus, or periods of weeks or even a month when you do not lose weight, even if you are eating right. Your doctor may not tell you about stalls ahead of time, but you can handle them better if you are prepared right out of the gate.
    Your Metabolism May Plummet
    As you lose weight, you need fewer calories to sustain your basic body functions. Furthermore, when you exercise at a lower body weight, you burn fewer calories doing the same workout at the same intensity than you did when you were heavier. On top of that, your body may go into starvation mode and use even fewer calories as it becomes more efficient at using what you give it.
    While there is little that you can do to prevent a slower metabolism, you can at least be aware of it. Also, you can take heart knowing that you are likely to be able to exercise longer and at a higher intensity to offset some of the reduced body weight.
    It’s Freezing!
    Brrr…! Remember the days when you were the hottest one in the room, and all you wanted was to stop sweating? Those may be in the past. Part of the slowed metabolism can be due to your body’s new mechanism to save energy, which means turning down the thermostat. Another possibly surprising side effect of weight loss is that having less cushioning (body fat), so sitting in chairs or lying in bed can be less comfortable.
    People Can Still Hurt You
    You probably know that Weight Loss Surgery does not change who you are, but your doctor may forget to tell you that it does not change other people, either. You may no longer get flack for being overweight, but people can still be hurtful. They can tell you…
    You took the easy way out with Weight Loss Surgery.
    You have not lost much weight. Clearly, Weight Loss Surgery did not work.
    You lost so much weight that you look sick.
    All you care about now is your diet and exercise plan.
    Your Social Life May Change
    Some friends will stick by you. Others may desert you. If some of your friends have just been “eating buddies,” or people you go out with to the bar or restaurants, you may need to exercise self-control at the bar or restaurant, find new activities to do with those friends or find new friends. You stand to gain wonderful new friends who share your new interests, such as walking, going to the gym, or cooking healthy fun foods.
    The Skin Stays
    Losing body fat will not give you a movie star’s appearance. It may not even be all that you need to lose. You may have loose skin that flaps, chafes, and interferes. There is a chance that you will want to get skin removal surgery for cosmetic, comfort, or medical reasons.
    Beware Replacement Addictions
    You may have been addicted to food. It may have provided comfort, entertainment, and companionship. Give it up, and you are likely to find something to replace it. Alcohol is a common replacement addiction, but you can do better! Stay aware of your emotional and physical needs, and you can be mindful of what replaces food in your life. Exercise, within reason, is a common choice; another healthy option is to make some great friends who are supportive and make you feel good.
    Your doctor will tell you a lot about what to expect after weight loss surgery, but she may leave out several important items. Go in with open eyes, and you can prepare better and come out farther ahead.

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