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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Arabesque

  1. Arabesque

    Food Before and After Photos

    I used to use wine & stock but then I discovered milk. Just pop the salmon in a baking dish, barely cover the fish with milk, a good pinch of salt per fillet, whatever herbs you like & bake covered in moderate oven about 10+/- mins. The milk helps absorb some of the oil too which I struggle with especially now.
  2. Arabesque

    4 Weeks Post Op - Work Food

    How you’re going to manage your food & eating when you first go back to work can be a bit worrying. I bought a small thermos (500ml capacity) & small (1/2 cup capacity) microwave safe containers which I found really helpful for work. I’d put home made soup in the thermos & sipped on it throughout the day - this was my alternative to protein shakes. In the containers I’d put leftovers from whatever I cooked the night before (mince dishes, casseroles, etc. according to the stage I was at) & microwaved it for lunch. I took yoghurt a couple of times to begin but I always ended up taking it home. I also kept a backup packet soup but like the yoghurt I wasn’t hungry & didn’t need it. When I could eat more solid food I also took diced chicken, cheese sticks, yoghurt again, a few grapes, etc. (I would have taken a few chopped veges like cucumber, carrot straws, etc. but I don’t like them unless they’re just cut.) I also had some electrolyte satchets on hand for energy drops - just add to water. Some days I’d tire quickly or found it difficult to concentrate in the afternoon. My boss at the time was very considerate & would let me go early on days I was struggling. Good luck.
  3. Arabesque

    Intense oain

    For the first few months, it can be difficult to find foods your tummy can tolerate. It can be very fussy & contrary (I called mine a petulant 2yr old who’d throw tantrums). You may dump, have diarrhoea, nausea, vomit, feel discomfort or pain, your restriction may kick in quickly, you could develop phlegm in your throat, or just feel blah. A food you ate without issue one day can cause you problems the next. Just take a break from that food & try it again in a couple of weeks. Don’t know why this happens - could be part of the healing process, your changing tastes, or just learning how your tummy now works. It does get better & much easier though you may find there are odd foods you may always struggle with. Breads, pasta (even vegetable alternative ones), potatoes, etc. sit like a lump in my tummy. I can’t tolerate fatty or oily meats like salmon, trout, some cuts of pork, etc. or char grilled meats & vegetables. But that’s me. You may not have any issues in the future at all. Good luck.
  4. Arabesque

    Vitamin question

    I started them on my first day home - day 4 but a lot of surgeons have different plans. Some people struggle with swallowing anything more than liquids to begin so waiting until they are a 2, 4 or 6 weeks post surgery may mean they can swallow the vitamins more easily. Some surgeons recommend vitamin patches, or gummies or liquid vitamins for the same reason. Some of us feel nauseous taking vitamins (I always do) so waiting until you are eating more solid foods & therefore have more in your tummy before you take the vitamin may help avoid this side effect. If you are concerned give your medical team a call. They may even say it’s ok to start earlier if you want to try. Good luck.
  5. Arabesque

    Bowel movement

    Honestly, I have never talked about or read about bowel habits as much as I have since my surgery. LOL! Constipation does become a regular occurrence for many of us - low food intake & less fibre contribute. The trick is to not to let it go on too long. In Australia, we’re not allowed to leave hospital until we have a bowel motion & they sent me home with a strong laxative (too strong actually) to keep things moving. Add some soluble fibre to your diet like benefibre (avoid those that swell in your tummy). I was happy if I went every two days but if I got to day three without a bowel motion, I’d take a stool softener that night. That seemed to work for me. I’d certainly look at taking something now before you need something stronger & it becomes painful (stool becomes hard & dry) to actually go to the bathroom. Congrats on your surgery & good luck with your bowel habits.
  6. Arabesque


    It’s freaky isn’t it that first time you have to buy size 0. The first time I did I just kept staring at the label. Mind boggling. I seem to waver between a 0 & a 2 (4 or 6 in Aust). I’ve noticed my body shape has changed in maintenance. When I originally hit my lowest weight my body shape was quite up & down - no curves like I always had. But I’ve noticed the curves are coming back, even though my lowest weight is now only a pound more, & likely why I need a size 2 in some cuts. I think the remaining fat resettles. This may happen to you too. Have to admit I bought a couple of pants & skirts with elastic waists or drawstrings so I could wear them across a size if needed when I was still losing in maintenance. The slouchy look looks quite stylish when you’re a lower weight versus sloppy when we were bigger. At least it’s pretty cheap to have extra holes punched in a belt - LOL - though my shoe repair man does it for free (& Lindsay’s had to do a lot). I’d love to have your long legs @WishMeSmaller or at least ones in proportion to the rest of my body. I’d be a good 5’5” if they were 🤣🤣🤣.
  7. Arabesque

    Food Before and After Photos

    Do you poach your salmon in milk? It’s the only way I can eat fresh salmon - too rich & oily. I find it also softens that ‘I’ve been cooking salmon’ smell that lingers in your house for ages after.
  8. Fat stores all over your body including your fingers so as you lose weight you’ll lose it from your hands & fingers too. I’ve either resized some of my rings (most was an O down to an L & it fell off my finger last week 🙁) or wear them on other fingers. I even have looshish skin on my fingers so they look wrinkly - didn’t expect that. I’ve slathered on many, many tubes of hand creams promising all sorts of things but the only change is softer hands. I wonder if there’s plastic surgery for fingers?? 😆
  9. Arabesque

    Eating Question

    Dry foods like chicken breasts can be hard to swallow for first couple of months. Some struggle with steak. I still have difficulty with charred meats or vegetables two years out - too dry & rough for me. Soft foods should still be a bit mushy. Try adding gravies, sauces, stocks (just watch the calories & ingredients in purchased ones) to your meats. Think thick soups, stews/casseroles type foods. The meat should be ‘fall off the bone’ breaking down tender. Try chicken thighs not breasts - they’re tastier & more tender. Try different cooking styles & recipes that will keep the meats moist like poaching, steaming, slow cooking, etc. & avoid things like grilling that can dry meat out. You may need to chew a little longer too before swallowing. It does get easier.
  10. Arabesque

    Struggling too

    Be very careful with what you’re snacking on especially this early post op. The staged return to solid food & restricted food choices are to aid healing & not to put pressure on your internal wounds. All because you can’t see them there are a lot of stitches & staples inside you holding your tummy together. Once you are able to eat solid foods there are many high protein more nutritious snacks you can add to your diet if you need to like yoghurt, cheese, a boiled egg or small pieces of chicken. When you can tolerate vegetables try carrot or celery sticks with a little hummus. I sometimes ate chunks of cucumber sprinkled with salt or wrapped smoked salmon around the cucumber. Chia pudding is also great - you can add in some protein powder or milk powder to enrich it & up the protein content. It is likely your hunger is head hunger & your desire for food may be coming from cravings, emotional needs or simply eating out of habit. Working out why you want to eat is a big part of the work we all do. Some can do it alone. Others need the support of counselling & therapy. Don’t beat yourself up. Losing weight is not easy. It’s damn hard & sometimes we trip up. What we have to do is get up & get back on track. Good luck.
  11. Arabesque

    Hunger pangs

    I’m sorry your medical team is not supportive. Lots of support & ideas on this forum which may help when your team won’t. I stopped protein shakes as soon as I was on puréed food. There are lots of protein rich foods you can eat to meet you’re protein goals at the soft food stage. Eggs, yoghurt, beans & lentils, fish, cheese. I ate lots of mince based meals: soft & easy to add favourite herbs & spices. The more solid foods will help with the nausea & hunger pangs too. Solid food take longer to digest than fluids like shakes which go through you quickly. The biggest challenge in the first couple of months is finding food your tummy likes & tastes ok. Your tummy can be very fussy & your tastebuds & sometimes sense of smell go haywire for a while & certain foods can taste & smell terrible.
  12. Arabesque

    Weight loss failed

    Look for online exercise programs for people with mobility issues you can do at home. You don’t have to walk to exercise nor do you need a gym membership. Buy some resistance bands to help build your strength. I’m not an exerciser at all. Never been in a gym in my life. I walked on my treadmill only for a couple of months after surgery & I was able to lose weight & to maintain so far. (I do try to be more active in my general everyday life.) I keep my calories low to compensate for my lower activity rate. Are you tracking what you’re eating,: portion size & calories? Also, check the nutrition panels to see how much fat, sugar, carbs, salt the food you’re eating has - you may be surprised. Same with comparing the recommended portion size with the portion size you are actually eating. If you’re struggling to lose, your calorie intake must be about equal to the calories your body is burning. To lose weight your calorie intake must be less than your body is using. Contact your dietician/nutritionalist to help you. If you haven’t got one, ask your surgical team to recommend one with experience with bariatric patients.
  13. Arabesque

    Pre-op. Clear liquid diet cheated!!!

    You’re not the first to break their pre surgery diet & you won’t be the last. The thing is to pick yourself up & work at sticking to your plan. The first week is always the hardest (my surgeon’s team call it hell week) but it’s a good time to start looking at your motivation to eat. You can still ‘cheat’ or break your diet post surgery too cause the cheating/breaking is done by you not your sleeve. There are lots of posts here with people talking about cravings as they work through the post surgery stages. Or asking when can they eat certain non ‘diet’ foods after surgery. The sleeve can reduce your real hunger but not your head hunger like cravings for a specific taste or texture. That’s up to you. You will have to work at it. Some days will be easy but others will be so damn ‘I want to give up’ hard but you’ll work through it. If you fail one day that’s ok. Just get back on plan the next. Good luck with your surgery.
  14. Some people are fast losers, others are slow losers. You’ll lose at your own pace which is right for you. Three pounds is fine. Don’t expect to be losing 30+ pounds a month like they do on My 600lb Life cause you know they weighed 609+lbs to begin & you didn’t. Follow your weight loss trend not just what you lose every day. Fluctuations are common. Some days you’ll lose nothing then lose 1/2 pound the next. Or you’ll stall & lose nothing. Sometimes for a week sometimes for three weeks. You may be constipated or retaining fluid which can account for a pound or so too. Don’t forget your body is experiencing shock after your surgery too. Give it a chance to come to terms with all the changes & heal. Keep following your plan. Good luck.
  15. Arabesque

    Hunger pangs

    I diluted my shakes too because they were awful & grainy. Didn’t really have meal times as such in the first two weeks. I’d just keep sipping my shake & soup until they were finished. Didn’t care if it took hours. I’d start the shake in the morning & then have soup late afternoon. (Don’t forget you can have soup & bone broth.) My multi vitamins made me nauseous (always did). Try splitting the dose or taking them later in the day when you’ve more in your tummy & see if that helps your nausea. My surgeon said not to worry about meeting fluid or protein goals to begin just as long as you were making a concentrated effort. Also my shakes & soups counted towards my fluid goals. For many hunger feels different after surgery - probably finally feeling real hunger. The hunger you’re feeling may be head hunger as well as stomach acid hunger. It gets easier.
  16. Arabesque


    You always have the most beautiful words, Sophie. My dear friends (not married but together 35 yrs & no children) just lost their furry child - a beautiful English Blue kitty. She was 18. Devastating. You make your own family. Partner, no partner, children, no children, .. I love how Bobby is sitting there all pleased with himself & his non furry parents. 🙂
  17. Arabesque

    My puréed phase

    Oh, yeah, chicken breast is too dry. Chicken thighs are the way to go - juicier & more flavour. There’s a lot of trial & error to find out what your tummy (& taste buds) will tolerate at first.
  18. Arabesque

    Loose skin

    How much loose skin you have depends on a number of factors like age, genetics, how many years you’ve been overweight, how much excess weight you carried, ... Think of your skin as an elastic hair band - ain’t nothing can unstretch a well used, old elastic hair tie. Unfortunately, the only way to really reduce sagging skin is surgery. I don’t have a lot of excess skin - pinches not handfuls & I decided not to have surgery. I scar & decided loose skin was better than scars. It doesn’t bother me that much - I’m way past showing a lot of skin. LOL! I’d rather have some saggy skin than the fat. I added collagen & silica to my diet but don’t believe it did anything really. What helped me was I had bounced around 60 - 75kgs for most of my adult life, gained 16kgs over about 3 yrs & only sat at that weight for not quite 2 yrs before I had surgery. When I hit my 60kg goal I had hardly any loose skin at all but when I lost the extra 10 odd kilos there was noticeably more. A friend did weights to help ‘fill in’ her loose skin but while she gained some muscle, she still has all the loose skin on her tummy, under her arms & between her thighs that she had to begin. Moisturising is likely only going to help the texture of your skin which is always good.
  19. Arabesque

    Post-op PCOS meal plan/s

    Sleeve & PCOS diets compliment each other really easily. PCOS diets usually recommend consuming lots of lean meats & seafood, fibre rich vegetables (leafy greens & cruciferous), legumes, berries all of which are also usually on recommended food plans post sleeve. Foods to avoid for both are processed carbs, (bread, rice, pasta, etc.), sugary foods & drinks, high fat foods, processed meats. Are your medical team for recommendations to a dietician who has experience with bariatric patients. Most of us are advised to see a dietician pre surgery & whose services you can access as needed post surgery.
  20. Arabesque

    My puréed phase

    That does seem very restrictive. If your surgeon gave you a list of what not to eat, did he tell you what you could? Give his surgery a call, or your dietician, & ask what you can eat. I ate lots of minced chicken & beef (purred in a blender with stock, gravy or passata), eggs (scrambled mashed hard boiled) & very thin rolled oats. I puréed tinned salmon & it was disgusting. I was not allowed potato, sweet potato, pumpkin or carrots. Guess you could try beans as a high protein alternative - mashed, in soups, ...
  21. Arabesque

    Miss Chugging Water

    Still can’t gulp after two years. I used to be able to down 1/2 litre in one go but I would be thirsty. Now I can only take one mouthful & drink it in two swallows but that’s it. The other day without thinking I took three big swallows & my restriction kicked in. Probably better to sip continuously all through the day to keep your hydration up & not wait until You feel thirsty & your levels are low ... well that’s what I tell myself. 😉
  22. Today is the two year anniversary of my surgery. 🎉 I’ve made lots of changes around what I eat & when I eat & am way more aware of why I eat. Still not a regular exerciser but have much more general energy than I did before. So glad I woke up that morning & said enough & made the appointment with my doctor. I’m grateful I had a supportive GP, an excellent surgeon & a caring medical team that manages my post surgical follow ups. I’m also thankful of the  support & encouragement I’ve had from family & friends along the way. I love my life. 

    1. GreenTealael


      Congratulations! Happy Surgeriversary!

  23. Arabesque


  24. Arabesque

    Acne After gastric sleeve

    I agree, it’s likely hormonal. We store a lot of oestrogen in our fat. As we lose weight it’s released into our blood stream. As @catwoman7 mentioned a lot of women experience heavier, more frequent, more painful or prolonged menstrual cycles & other associated effects like mood swings, acne, etc. while they are losing weight. It does pass. The oestrogen boost alleviated all my menopausal symptoms but when I hit goal & had lost most of excess fat they all came back unfortunately. LOL! Plus it could be a release of toxins in your body from being on a cleaner & reduced diet.
  25. Arabesque


    I was able to eat oatmeal (rolled oats) from purée stage. I just made it extra milky (more thick soup consistency) - gave me more protein & made it easier to eat. I couldn’t eat much at first (one serve lasted three days) but could manage a single portion at about 12 months out. I eat it every day, still very milky but with blueberries & a little bit of honey now.