I started putting on weight when puberty began. Through high school I tried to lose weight by not eating: no breakfast, no lunch. It was never successful yet it was a behaviour I repeated for years and quite likely contributed to my sluggish metabolism.
My weight went up and down. I tried every diet, went to dieticians (& put on weight!), weight loss centres, shakes, medications, tried all sorts of exercise ... Generally my diet was pretty healthy: home cooking, lots of steamed vegetables, no creamy sauces, pasta and rice infrequently, lots of water, no soft drinks, takeaways once a month (but better choices like sushi, grilled fish, Vietnamese noodle salads, chicken & cashews, steamed rice), smaller serves than my friends. I could never understand why I kept putting on weight.
I admit I enjoyed a (big) glass of wine at night and avoided exercise but so did my friends.
When I was about 49, I was about 12/15kgs over weight and then menopause hit. I swear I put on 15kg over night. Clothes would fit me one week and not the next. I hadn’t changed how I ate or exercised ( I actually had bought myself a treadmill & was walking three kms 5/6 days a week during the weight gain). It was as if I breathed and I gained weight.
My breathing became more laboured. My feet hurt (had to put away the heels). My energy dropped. Fortunately, I did not develop heart problems, diabetics or high blood pressure - just hot flushes & became more feisty (God bless HRT).
After four years of being more vigilant about what I ate & getting no where, I decided I’d never be able to lose the weight. I even got rid of a lot of my thin clothes - St Vincent de Paul got a haul & a half.
Then I caught up with a friend who had lost a noticeable amount of weight. Gastric sleeve surgery she explained. I watched her blossom & become even more beautiful inside & out over the next year so I made the decision to speak to my GP about whether the surgery would help me. A month and a half later I was being wheeled in for my gastric sleeve surgery. I had just made the minimum BMI - first time my weight was a positive.
Generally the surgery went well. I stayed in hospital a couple of days longer as my back went into spasm & I had issues swallowing tablets. Day two home and I took my last pain pill. It did take me a while (two months) to start to feel like me again and to feel generally stronger.
I’ve vomited food once but have trouble with my morning multi vitamin which often makes me nauseous & I’ve vomited salvia & bile about five times as a result.
My biggest challenge is low blood pressure. I always had a tendency towards a drop in pressure and was a reason I avoided strenuous exercise (pressure drops, blood sugar drops, vision goes, hearing goes, legs start to go). I have multiple drops of blood pressure every day now & brief vision & hearing loss. On bad days, my head gets doughy and I have a general feeling of being unwell. My GP has put me on medication now so time will tell if it works.
My face is drier but my dry arms and legs are much improved - I don’t understand why. My hair is falling out.
I used to suffer terribly from hiccups and now they abate much more quickly and I don’t have pulled muscles around my diaphragm. I hope this is a forever change.
I serve my food on a side plate or in a tapas bowl. I use teaspoons, soup spoons, dessert forks or splades so I’m not faced with a largely empty plate or eat too much in each mouthful. I try to eat slowly and mindfully and listen to my body.
When I go out to dinner, I do miss not being able to choose something from the main course or dessert menus but entrees are just as delicious (and make for a cheaper evening out).
My girlfriends know I’ve had the surgery as does my mother and one brother. Everyone else thinks I’ve been dieting and most know I’m seeing a dietician.
I’m looking forward to summer when my menopause symptoms were always worse since I’ve lost so much of my estrogen-storing fat. 😜
I’ve started to buy my new wardrobe even though I’m still about 5kg short of my goal and am enjoying wearing some of my old favourites which I had archived. I’m even wearing belts and can wear heels again. I’m sad to have missed the window to wear some beloved outfits - when they fit it was still too cold to wear them. Now it’s warmer, they’re too big. I’ll be selling off my old clothes to help pay for my new ones.
It’s not easy post surgery but it’s not a major difficulty either. It’s just different. Every day I’m learning what works for me. I don’t regret the decision at all.
Today I officially hit my goal weight - woo hoo! I’ve been sitting on a slightly wavering stall for two+ weeks. Those last 400g would not go. But today they’re gone. Such a joy to see the number on the scale. I know wanting that 400g to go is silly but it is a psychological & emotional win to see it gone. I officially met my goal one day late - one day after my six month surgical anniversary.
it’s been ten years since I was last this weight. I’ve lost a third of myself and am an Aust size 8/10.
I had increased my food intake over the last month because my protein levels had dropped. So I added some cheese, slightly bigger serves of protein at meals & some fruit (did help with my bowel movements). So I have a bit of a good idea about what my maintenance diet will look like.
The last five kg made a lot of difference to my body. I had been a bit cocky about how little loose skin I had but now I’m all saggy baggy. My butt is slipping down the back of my thighs - sigh. My shoulders seem narrower and I’ve dropped another cup size so I need to buy new underwear again.
My face seems to have settled and is not as gaunt looking. I’ve just finished six weekly RF treatments which I’ll be continuing for another six weeks. I’ve seen some improvements especially under my chin and along my jaw line so fingers crossed other areas will start to tighten with this next course.