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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Arabesque

  1. Oh yeah, I’ve been where you are @mae7365. I had trouble stabilising my weight. And my surgeon & GP wanted me to gain a couple of kilograms. My dietician wasn’t too concerned as she felt I was making sensible food choices & was increasing my food intake. My weight did finally stabilise just took 11 months post goal. Now they’re all happy with my weight. When my surgeon removed my gall, 2 yrs post sleeve, he told me I’d done very well yet I weigh a good 4 kg less then when he was telling me I needed to gain. I got those comments from family & friends too but not anymore. It takes time for their vision of you to catch up with the reality of you now. Plus we can look a bit gaunt. Once you start adding some good carbs into your diet & your remaining fat sort of resettles the gauntness disappears. To slow my loss, I increased my calories by adding more snacks because I couldn’t physically eat more in a meal. I worked up to 4 or 5 snacks.My meal portions are larger now (about a recommended serving size) & so I usually only have 3 snacks. Gotta reach that balance of calories consumed equaling calories burnt to maintain. Are you healthy? Are you happy? Do you enjoy your life? They’re the important considerations. As long as your diet & exercise regime doesn’t restrict you doing things you’re golden. Good luck.
  2. I had a sleeve gastrectomy too & had some reflux before surgery. I was also a lot like you in that I spent years not eating & skipping meals so my metabolism was pretty shot & I enjoyed a large glass of wine or two at night. I eat more now than I did before surgery (smaller portions but more frequently) & I’m making better food choices. My metabolism is much faster - I feed it all day long. Only have a drink about once a month, occasionally more often or an extra glass & I don’t really miss it or look for it. I still have reflux but it manifests differently but is generally managed by 20mg esomeprazole everyday. The average weight loss across sleeve & bypass is about the same at around 65% at the five year point. That is 65% of the weight you need to lose to put you at a healthy bmi. This takes in bounce back regain, complacency weight gain, lifestyle choices, medical conditions, etc. As with all statistical data some stabilise at a higher point others at a lower point. The surgery will get you so far. There may be physiological & psychological factors which influence your success but ultimately it is up to you. I lost all the weight I wanted to lose plus more - 137% loss. Wasn’t intending to lose more but it took me while to sort out my maintenance. Been stable for a year now. I made sustainable changes to what I eat & when I eat & came to terms with why I ate. I still have odd days or times I’m not hungry but I still try to eat because I recognise I need to eat for my body to function. Eating because I need to not because I want to was an important realisation & contributing factor to my weight loss & now in maintaining my weight. Not perfect about this though because I do enjoy the odd treat but I’m careful about what the treat is, the portion size & why I’m eating it. Good luck with whichever surgery you have.
  3. Arabesque

    Gallbladder removal

    I had my gall removed 2 yrs after my sleeve & my gall removal was way more painful too. Pulled & strained muscles, gas pain, etc. Took longer to recover generally post surgery too. Hope you feel better soon.
  4. Arabesque

    "Pulling" sensation in my arms

    Hopefully it’s just something as innocuous as having pulled a muscle or similar. It’s easy to do. I did it simply by pulling a weed out of the garden. You’ve also lost quite a bit of weight (congrats) so you could be experiencing discomfort from muscles & tendons relearning how to simply hold your now lighter body. Your body had been holding itself in certain ways to compensate for your weight for years & now it doesn’t have to. Some talk about their balance being off because their centre of gravity had changed. Personally I had upper back pain which was eased by buying better fitting & smaller underwear (though a gender specific issue 😉) If it is either of those things acupuncture may help as may a good therapeutic massage or a visit to a physio.
  5. Arabesque

    Pre-Op Struggling

    My surgical team called the first week of the three shake a day diet hell week. You’re breaking a lot of addictions & food dependencies but you usually just have to get through that first week. I thank God I didn’t have to do it this time (done it a couple of unforgettable times in the past for myself). I had to follow keto for about 2.5 weeks. Good luck.
  6. I was allowed green tea because it has low caffeine content - less than a quarter of the caffeine in coffee & about half as in black tea. Watch matcha though as it has a higher caffeine content than black tea. There is decaffeinated green tea available too. Check with your surgeon to see what you are allowed.
  7. Meant to add there are long nerves that run from your lower back & your herniation maybe causing referred pain. Have you had a scan of your back recently to check for deterioration or nerves being affected. It’s unlikely to be from your sleeve this far out from your surgery. Plus you said your doctor couldn’t find a medical cause related to your tummy.
  8. Arabesque

    Increase in B.O

    Welcome to ketosis. Stronger body odour, bad breath, smelly urine, etc. are renowned side effects of ketosis. It’s like all our natural body secretions suddenly reek. We want to be burning fat but it’s a shame the side effect can be quite offensive. Regularly apply deodorants, pop breath fresheners, shower more regularly. I purchased some body wipe towelettes so I could freshen up a little in the toilet at work. https://hip2keto.com/tips/keto-common-side-effects-smell/
  9. Arabesque

    3 Weeks Post Op

    Some go back to work after a week, other two weeks or more. I took 4 weeks. We recover differently so it really is up to how you feel. You could try going back part time or with reduced hours if your work allows you. Though is sounds like you may have picked up a bug as you wondered. If you feel worse contact your medical team. Leaks are rare but if you are vomiting &/or have diarrhoea, cold sweats, a fever seek medical help ASAP. Changes to your taste & sometimes your sense of smell is common. A lot of it is reaction to the anaesthetic but it can also be ketosis. It’s temporary but certainly can make drinking or eating challenging: things just taste bleah! I sometimes find water heavy to drink so I add other fluids to my intake as well. All liquids contribute to your goal. I let sparkling water go flat before drinking & drink green tea. I used to also drink a high protein yoghurt smoothie & diluted my protein shakes (doubled the water added). Hope you feel better soon.
  10. What’s done is done. Ultimately, whether you break your recommended eating plan is up to you. But something to consider is that the staged return to eating a solid diet is there to protect, not stress & aid the healing of your tummy. There are a lot of sutures &/or staples holding your digestive system together. You suffered no ill effects this time but do you want to take the risk it won’t next time?
  11. Arabesque

    When does this SLOW DOWN?!

    I lost another 11kgs in the 11 months after I reached my goal. It took me a while to reach the sweet spot of the calories I consumed equaling the calories I burnt. The weight loss got slower & slower. I found it hard to eat more in a meal so I adding calories via additional snacks. I was up to 4 or 5 snacks a day (yoghurt, cheese, fruit, protein bar, whole/multigrain crackers, hummus). I truely felt like I was eating all day & it took effort like @ms.sss also experienced. Been stabilised for about 12 months. My meals are larger (about a recommended portion size) & I only have 3 or the odd fourth snack a day to reach the calories I need to maintain. I didn’t really start to feel hungry again until well into my second year and I still have days I’m not hungry. On those days I try to at least eat protein rich foods. My attitude to food has changed a lot. I usually eat to provide my body with the calories & nutrients it needs to function - I eat because I need to not because I want to. My experience is similar to some but not most. So far, I’m more of an exception. An outlier who throws a spanner in the statistical data & does more (or less) than statistically predicted. I am on the low BMI range end but turns out I actually have a smallish frame. Don’t know what your goal weight is but if you’re getting close you should definitely be slowing. You could start to add a little more to your diet via healthy snacks. Speak to your dietician for advice & suggestions. Just ignore those comments. We all got them. I did when I was 60kgs but don’t get them anymore 11kgs less - get you look great ones now. It doesn’t help that as we near our goal weight we start to look drawn. Once we add some good multi or whole grains back in our diet & our remaining fat resettles we look less gaunt. Those comments are more about how others perceive you not whether you are healthy & happy. It takes time for their vision of you to catch up with the new reality of you. Congrats on your weight loss so far.
  12. The herniated discs will likely be causing your pain & spasms. I have 2 oozy discs in my lower back which are protruding but have not burst through yet to be fully herniated. Not sure if I fully understand your question though & I am making some presumptions. But losing weight certainly helped reduce the pressure on my back & the discs - less weight to carry & my posture improved. I also was given exercises to support my core muscles & gently stretch my lower back which helped too. My back only gets what I call tired if I stand too long now.
  13. Arabesque


    Oh God, that is brass monkey weather @kristieshannon. Brrrr. Presume you have double thermals under your scrubs. And yes, I still feel the cold too. I only sweat when I have a hot flush 😆.
  14. Sorry your wife is struggling but she has had pretty major abdominal surgery. Pain, discomfort, spasming, swelling, bruising, etc. is to be expected. If it gets worse or she has any of the symptoms the surgeon’s office identified (vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, etc.) go to the hospital ASAP. She should find it improves a little every day. I found warm liquids much more soothing than cool/cold too. A warm compress will help too. And ensure she is sipping slowly. Hope she feels better soon.
  15. Arabesque

    Food Before and After Photos

    Oh, I go for the full fat dressing - Paul Newman’s balsamic. Tried other brands but it’s the tastiest. Used to use just balsamic, strawberry or raspberry vinegar. I sometimes dilute the dressing with extra vinegar but not often. I cut up my meat too @JDLane - bite size pieces. Easier to check portion size & I can cut out bone, fat, etc.
  16. Arabesque

    Nails and hair

    It’s the protein you’re consuming. If you were like me, I never ate close to 60g of protein a day before surgery. Now I often eat more than 60g. Plus, you’re generally eating a more nutrient dense diet than you did before. The protein supplies your body with amino acids which are used to produce keratin which is part of the structure of nails & hair. I used to have itchy skin on my legs & little bumps on my arms. No more lumps & no more itch thanks to the protein too. The broader the variety of protein sources you eat the better the benefits. It’s wonderful. 🙂 Oh, and I don’t take any vitamins or supplements. PS - you could always try laser hair removal if frequent shaving gets too annoying. https://thebeautychef.com/blogs/blog/the-importance-of-protein-for-glowing-skin-hair-nails
  17. I wonder if the cravings, especially sugar, occur in response to the emotional roller coaster of undergoing surgery, the restrictive diet & low calorie intake, etc.? You’re experiencing so many changes that you seek something that likely soothed & comforted you in the past. In times of stress we look to things that are familiar & offer comfort. This is just a thought. We all have different experiences. @Sleeve me alone! & @lizonaplane have offered some good suggestions that are worth a try. I have found if I feel hungry (head hunger) I make myself wait for 30 minutes & this breaks that craving. I do something to distract myself during that time - read, do a puzzle, fold the laundry, watch something on tv (streamed is best - no ads to further tempt us 😉), etc. Don’t be too concerned by your rate of weight loss. We all lose at our own rate - some fast, some slow. Many factors influence your rate (age, gender, starting weight, how long you’ve been overweight, genetics, etc.). Every pound you lose is a win. Good luck.
  18. By 6 weeks @Cindy51, you should be moving on from soft foods & starting to add more dense foods. Think slow cooked meats, minced meats, thick meat soups, flaky fish, eggs, rolled oats, cheese, yoghurt, etc. Start adding more vegetables (well cooked mushy not coarse nor fibrous) now too. I didn’t have a single shake after the first two weeks & I started on purées. My surgeon was happy if I was close to reaching my protein goal those first few weeks. It can be a struggle if you’re not eating much like me at that time: barely 3 meals a day & only about 300 calories in weeks 3 & 4. I’d have a high protein yoghurt drink every second day mid afternoon - it counted as protein & fluids - double win! You may find the calories (carbs & sugar) in the canned fruit too high at this stage @Cindy51. Of course how much you eat will influence what percentage of your daily diet the canned fruit contributes. I wasn’t allowed any fruit for a couple of months then fresh only. Fruit is still the only non protein meal/snack I have. I was adding vegetables by then (non fibrous not coarse). A little steamed cabbage, a small cauliflower floret, a green bean or two. I would add carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, capsicum to any soups or stews/casseroles I made - nice & mushy. Two things you can rely on while you’re losing: stalls happen & we all lose at our own rate. Celebrate every one of those pounds you’ve lost so far.
  19. Arabesque


    What do your blood tests show you’re lacking in? This is the best place to start. You may not absorb certain nutrients as well anymore. I agree, there’s no point buying an expensive vitamin supplement if you don’t need it. Do you still have contact with your nutritionalist/dietician? They could review your diet with you in case you have inadvertently been omitting some essential nutrients or not eating enough of some. There’s no real one size fits all in regard to supplements & nutritional needs regardless of your surgery. It comes down to what you need & how your body functions. I’d contact my surgeon or GP to review your blood tests with them & ask for their recommendations on what you need. Good luck.
  20. Arabesque

    Long term diet after DS?

    Many post op plans are pretty similar regardless of surgery. With my sleeve I had to follow 2 weeks liquids, 2 weeks purées (think sloppy no real chewing), 2 weeks soft (still pretty moist only a few chews needed) then slowly introduce more dense food as able. Certain foods were not allowed for a period of time & others not while I was losing. You may find you have to keep food pretty moist (think sauces, gravies, etc.) for a while. Your tummy can be pretty sensitive to begin too & foods you previously ate you can’t yet. Plus it’s not unusual for your sense of taste & smell to change temporarily. Some have trouble with things like eggs & chicken. It’s trial & error but don’t give up a food, just try it again later and if you need to stay at a stage longer that’s fine - we heal & recover differently. The best place to start is with the the list of allowed foods provided by your surgical team. They’ve been chosen so they don’t stress your healing & sensitive tummy & altered digestive system. You may still have issues with some or you may not. Raw fruit & vegetables, fruit skin, etc. are too coarse for your digestive system at first. The reason for no rice, bread, pasta is two fold. One to cut out processed empty calorie, low nutrition, starchy carbs from your diet while losing (many add these back in moderation in maintenance). And secondly because they swell & fill your much smaller tummy before you can get your protein in. Protein is key. Always protein first. Most eating plans while you’re losing are low fat, low carb, high protein. This is the time you also start exploring how you want to eat in the future. You try new ingredients, cooking styles, try alternative protein & nutritional sources. You’ll find you become very focussed on the nutritional value of what you eat. If you’re not sure about what you can eat & when have a conversation with your dietician. I saw my dietician every fortnight until about 4 months into maintenance then COVID hit but I could call her at any time I needed. We would discuss foods I had added to my diet, how I managed them & what I wanted to try next. She would sometimes suggest alternatives or suggest I wait or go slowly with some things. Good luck.
  21. Arabesque

    Post op 1 day pain and food

    Aaah. The fun & games of how we all differently react to surgery & heal. My back went into spasm too so I know what you’re feeling - every position caused pain. Mine was because I had pain from swelling on swallowing so I was holding tension in my body causing the spasms. A heating pad should help & a pressure point massage from a physiotherapist if you can get one. The pain meds should be managing the surgical pain. If not, speak to your nurse. The back pain was gone in a day, surgical pain was almost nothing by day 4. I didn’t have any gas pain. I did have the sudden & completely unexpected bout of diarrhoea on day 3. Just once but that was enough. Yikes! I still gurgle - my own personal poltergeist in my tummy. It’s doing it now 😂. It does get better but it is scary at first because you don’t if what you’re experiencing is right or wrong.
  22. Arabesque

    Gastric sleeve

    I lost 31kg to goal then an additional 11.5 bringing the total to 42.5kg (93.6lbs). I weighed 48.5kgs then & 49kgs now so I have been keeping pretty stable so far but I’ve years ahead of me. Many surgeons will tell you the weight loss you should expect to lose is the average loss. That is what the average loss is at about 5 years out. This figure is about 65% of the weight you were to lose to be in the healthy BMI range. So if you were to lose 100lbs to put you in the healthy BMI range the average loss at the 5 yrs mark would be about 65lbs. Of course this does not mean this is where you’ll be. Some exceed this some don’t. Years 2 & 3 post surgery are quite notorious for a 10lb+/- regain. Some because of complacency, some personal choice to better complement their lifestyle. The surgery will help you get so far. The rest is up to you. As long as what you chose to do re eating habits & activity levels are sustainable & not restrictive, you’re happy & healthy, the actual number on the scale doesn’t matter that much.
  23. Arabesque

    Food Before and After Photos

    Didn’t have salad for lunch yesterday. 😱 The shock! Bought some fresh salmon & decided to slice it up & have sashimi for lunch instead. Generally struggle with oily fish like salmon but dip it raw in soy sauce & it’s delicious. Was about 70g of salmon. Had to revert to using a fork though - the numb spots on my thumb made using chop sticks too challenging. Then for a retro treat: apricot chicken . Hello 70s/80s. My fabulous butcher had apricot lovely legs & I just had to have them. Not as sticky & sweet as I remembered fortunately (remember cooking them in a tin of apricot nectar?) & I heated some diced apricots as a quick salsa like sauce. Will add some fresh ginger to the apricots I think tonight for a bit of zing. Wish I had some fresh coriander but … Oh well next time. Hey @Sophie7713, everything looks delicious but what’s the top white bean dish?
  24. Arabesque

    Bariatric surgery and keto?

    Always a good idea to get feedback from others. I was put on keto for the 2.5 weeks before surgery but that was all I did. Some will likely swear by it but personally I wouldn’t go back to it. Good to kick start a diet but not long term. Your surgery is the best kickstart you’ll ever find. The high fat intake on keto is the real issue for me. I’ve never enjoyed high fat foods & now I don’t have a gall bladder to help process all that fat. You may find your cholesterol temporarily increases while you are losing (it’s released from your fat). I believe it’s one of the reasons most surgeons & dieticians recommend low fat while you’re losing so you’re not adding to the risk. Losing large amounts of weight & high cholesterol levels also put you had a higher risk of developing gall stones. It’s why many of us end up having issues & have our galls removed post weight loss surgery. I’ve read keto can also screw with your blood sugar levels so if you have issues with diabetes it may not be your best option. Usually best to stick to your surgeon’s plan & dietician’s recommendations while you are losing. Slowing adding in new foods as you go. You’ll lose doing that & you will go into ketosis as well - bad breath & a smelly body awaits you 😉. You may find you end up developing your own eating plan which works for you & which incorporates aspects of many eating styles once you’re close to or in maintenance: keto, vegan, vegetarian, Atkins, intermittent fasting, etc. Whatever way you go it has to be sustainable & complement how to want to live your life. Good luck whatever you choose to do.
  25. Arabesque

    What do you consider "Starting Weight"?

    I use both. My weight at my GP when I asked for my referral to the surgeon (91kg) cause it was my weight when I officially started the process. I sometimes refer to my weight on the day of surgery (85.8kg 6 weeks later) because that was what I was right before I started benefitting from the surgery.

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