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Arabesque

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Arabesque

  1. Arabesque

    Weight Gain Scare

    Weight regain happens. You’re not the only one you had or will experience it. We get over confident or complacent & poor choices slip in. We go back to old behaviours of using food (or alcohol) to comfort us or sooth us in times of stress or emotional upsets. It’s why what you need to do is reset your head not your tummy. Remember how we always said doing the head work is a very important aspect of our weight loss & maintenance. A pouch reset won’t reduce the size of your tummy (not that your’s would be stretched) nor do anything to get to the root of your eating & change your behaviours. Stretching your tummy is pretty difficult. It would take a concentrated to eat excessive portions multiple times a day for a prolonged length of time to do it. You’ve made the first two steps already by acknowledging & recognising the what & why behind your regain & by starting to track your food again. Best advice then is to go back to how you were eating (food choices, portion sizes, eating behaviours, meeting protein & fluid goals) when you were nearing your stabilised weight. Would you consider going back to your dietician to help you get back on track? Did you see a therapist when you had your surgery? Maybe get in contact again for the regain & also the drinking. We have to be careful with addiction transfer after surgery. It can be a slippery slope. All the best. You got this.
  2. I’d be making an appointment with your surgeon too. Best to rule out a medical reason for what you’re experiencing. Water can feel heavy & be difficult to drink. Try other fluids (green or herbal teas, sparkling water, home made yoghurt drink, etc.) but I’d avoid the capri suns even the no added sugar ones. Even without added sugar, juice still contain natural sugars. It also doesn’t contain all the nutrients a piece of fruit does. Consider how many oranges you need to produce a 250ml glass of orange juice. Would you eat that same number of whole oranges in one sitting? A piece of fruit is always better than a glass of juice. Generally simple carbs like rice, breads & pastas (includes all noodles) are off the menu while you are trying to lose. They are filling, can sit heavily in your tummy & stop you from being able to eat your vital protein. They also are more heavily processed & contain very few nutrients. In time you’ll e able to add complex carbs - multi & whole grains. Some plans allow a small portion of these while losing. I was allowed rolled oats. Focus on eating your protein first then your vegetables & only after those any complex carbs you may be allowed if you can. Almost 5 years out I still can’t eat bread, pasta, rice because how heavy they are in my tummy. I used to eat a lot of them before my surgery but I really don’t miss them. Yes, some people struggle with certain proteins. Chicken, steak & eggs seem most common but others can just be a no for your tummy too. Most find in time they can eat those proteins again. Do you keep your meats moist so more medium rare than medium or well done? Do you include a sauce or jus or gravy with your meats? Often foods that are too dry or coarse can cause the foamies as well as if you eat too much or too quickly. Out of curiosity do you track your food? Maybe find a dietician vs a nutritionalist & go through your tracked food diary with them to see if you’re missing something. I wondered if you’re not eating enough too or not eating enough nutrient dense foods. But certainly see your surgeon to see what may be going on or consider other options such as surgery, medication, etc. All the best. PS - While exercise has many benefits, it’s only contributes to about 10% of any weight loss you are to lose. I didn’t exercise while losing & still really don’t now. I upped my everyday activity (stairs not lifts let escalators, park further away from where I was going, etc.). About a year ago I started using resistance bands (for a little toning) & doing some stretches (flexibility & for my back) & that’s all I do. Wouldn’t burn 30 calories LOL! There are lots of online videos to guide you through using bands & other activities you can do if you struggle with your mobility.
  3. Arabesque

    Hard to eat 6 days out

    The purée/mush foods may be too heavy in your poor tummy & digestive system. Stick to the liquids for a couple of weeks. 2 weeks liquids, 2 weeks purée, 2 weeks soft, 2 weeks solid food is the most common post surgical eating plan but plans differ so check with your team. You’ve had a pretty major surgery & there are lots of staples & sutures holding your digestive system together. Nausea is quite common so ask for an anti nausea prescription or buy an over the counter version. We heal differently but generally it takes a good 8 weeks to fully heal so tread slowly & carefully. I wonder if you have an UTI from the catheter? It’s not unusual to have no other symptoms except a change in peeing habits. Best to see your doctor & have a urine test to be sure. And grab some cranberry tablets too.
  4. This isn’t uncommon. Our tastebuds & sometimes sense of smell changes after surgery while we’re healing & our tummy is very sensitive. It is temporary usually about two months which is about how long it takes you to fully heal from the surgery. Unfortunately though it can make finding foods & drinks we can tolerate challenging. You may find something you easily ate yesterday you can’t face today. Don’t give up on that food. Just avoid it for a few days & then try it again. Some foods seem extra sweet or salty. Textures can be off putting too. Sometimes a food or flavour you didn’t enjoy before tastes delicious during this time. Add to that our loss of appetite &/or interest in eating & it can feel like a nightmare & you’ll never be able to eat again. In a few weeks you’ll find you are enjoying flavours, textures & foods more. If you’re lucky your loss of hunger & interest in eating will last a 6-12 months +/- which helps with your weight loss but they too will pass. Actually after they return you often wish they hadn’t & you still weren’t hungry. I embraced things tasting exceedingly sweet at this time. I gave up sweet foods - never reintroduced them. So no cakes, biscuits, desserts, lollies, flavoured carbonated drinks, etc. except on very odd special occasion. Very little added sugar (<5g a day) & avoid artificial sweeteners or sugar alternatives where I can. I ate a lot of soup, yoghurt & extra milky scrambled eggs & extra milky instant rolled oats during purée. During soft foods I ate a lot of minced meat dishes (meat balls, savoury mince bolognese, …) with sauces & slow cooked stews/casseroles. Give your self time to heal & recover & your tummy to be less fussy & sensitive. I used to say my tummy was like a petulant temper throwing 2 year old during that time.
  5. Arabesque

    Gastric sleeve after menopause

    I did. Perimenopause & then menopause saw me gain 30kgs (15kg above my usual high weight of my fluctuation range). Tired to lose it for about 4 years but couldn't. No co morbidities. Was almost 54 & on HRT when I had my surgery. Reached goal at 6 months (a 23 BMI & my usual low weight of my range) & then lost another 11kgs over the next 11/12 months. So I lost about 135% of the weight I was hoping to lose. Haven’t weighed this since I was about 12 years old. And I have pretty much maintained my weight at almost 5 years post surgery. My rate of weight loss seemed pretty average. Didn’t exercise (don’t like it). Was a low calorie eater in comparison to many others. My hunger didn’t return for about 12 months. All my menopause symptoms disappeared while losing (still had some breakthrough symptoms though on HRT). Thank you that oestrogen hormonal flush that occurs while losing. They came back after I lost most of my weight though. Sigh! Almost 59 now, still menopausal, still on HRT. No real issues with the surgery or after. My tendency to have low blood pressure drops occasionally before occurs every day now. Had my gall bladder out at the two years mark which left me with a protein malabsorption issue. Blood work otherwise always good. Haven’t taken vitamins since 8 months out (except Vit D in winter). Have reflux but had it before surgery too just mild then. Tummy can be a little sensitive but it was before surgery too. I have episodes of the foamies but I think my oesophagus is more sensitive too. So really just some quirks that are special to me. LOL!
  6. My hunger or interest in eating didn’t really return for around a year. I found eating to a routine very helpful. In fact I still eat this way. I started doing it to establish good/better eating behaviours (been a meal skipper for most of my life in an attempt to control my weight) & also to ensure I was getting in calories & necessary nutrients. Not a food tracker either. Wasn't required to in my program. I do random checks for my own curiosity, to ensure I wasn’t slipping or getting complacent & to check new foods/ingredients or recipes. I more often checked portions. I know my calorie intake was low compared to others (barely 900 at 6 months & my goal) but at least I was eating regularly & nutritiously. I still have times I don’t feel hungry. Usually just a day or two but went through a period of a couple of months recently which saw me reduce my intake a little. Went from 4 meals & 3 or 4 snacks to 3 meals & same snacks. On the days or times I didn’t feel as hungry I chose something lighter to eat like yoghurt, soup or just ate some protein & didn’t care if I didn’t eat all my portion. Oh & I still take 30-45 minutes to eat most meals - used to take up to an hour. I’m also a meal repeater. I have favourites & there’s nothing wrong with that. Know how much I can have as a portion & the protein content. I used to eat scrambled eggs or rolled oats for breakfast. Now I just eat rolled oats. Similarity at lunch - 3 or 4 options I rotated through currently two options. Dinner is repeats too mostly because of left overs. I still cook much as I did before 😁. Eat that meal for 2 or 3 days & freeze the remaining portions for those nights I don’t feel like cooking (love my freezer & microwave - little reheat & sometimes cook vegetables - 5 mins total). I usually cook pretty simply too: protein & vegetables so I can easily check what I’m eating & getting nutritionally. I never had those signals many speak of regarding fullness. No sneezing, no runny nose, etc. Just my restriction if I went too far or if something sat more heavily than expected. It’s why I started asking myself if I really needed the next bite or just wanted it. It’s not unusual for me to put food on my fork & then put it down again to maybe eat a couple of minutes later. I remember the first time I felt hungry after surgery. I was about 7 months, had a busy day & then went to a function. Hadn’t eaten much & there’s was nothing suitable at the event. Was home & in bed when I realised I was vey restless. Something was wrong but didn’t know what. It took some time to realise I was hungry. I realised this was my real hunger signal. Didn’t want a specific food, flavour or texture. There was a logical reason I was hungry - I hadn’t really eaten for most of the day. Took another 3 months before I felt it again. One of the things I’ve learnt along the way is you have to do what works best for you. Because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Whether that is tracking or not tracking your food, how many meals or snacks you have, how much activity you do, what foods you choose to eat, eat occasionally, or generally avoid, etc. Use other people’s experiences & routines as suggestions of things you could try if you’re stuck but if they’re wrong for you, try something else. So after a long way of getting to it, my two suggestions based on my experiences if you want to try them, are: Track your calorie intake & nutrients for a few days just to ensure you’re on track & not missing anything. Then only check new foods you introduce &/or do random checks. Try eating to a routine. Doesn’t have to be a full meal but at least something that is nutritionally dense & protein focused. Oh, yes stalls happen. Mine were short. A few days only. I tracked my weight daily which is how I saw when they occured.
  7. Arabesque

    Weightloss Stall

    If you take away the time you had a feeding tube, you’re probably more at about the four month mark compared to the rest of us. I think I was eating about 600 calories then so a little more. I was a low calorie small eater too. Didn’t stop e losing all my weight & more. So don’t give up. (So sorry you had these struggles.) and I would expect that is also why your doctor is okay with your lower food intake at this time & your eating routine. While yes it is important for you to be slowly increasing your caloric intake & increasing your portion size as you progress, I would expect t your path will be even slower. Out of curiosity what are you eating? Maybe there are some foods that are less dense & with higher calories you could be consuming. Do you regularly see a dietician to guide you on food choices with your specific needs? May be you could reduce some of your activity to take some stress off your body. Exercise only contributes to about 10% of your weight loss. I didn’t exercise as such. Just upped my daily every day activities. Parked further away from where I was going. Walked up escalators. Took stairs. Did single trips up & down my stairs instead of carrying multiple bags or whatever at once. Get some resistance bands. You don’t have to do a lot to see a change in muscle toning & building which ultimately will help you burn more fat. I’ve been doing about 4 x 5 minutes or so sessions across my day for about a year. Doesn’t burn a lot of calories. I say I wouldn’t burn 40 calories a day but my arms look great & I get complements & I had to buy new pants as my thigh muscles had grown. All the best. And yes, the stall will break when your body is ready.
  8. Arabesque

    Liver Shrinkage Diet struggles

    Apparently they called the first week of the pre surgery shake diet hell week at my surgeon’s office. There’s a lot of withdrawal symptoms associated with it (sugar, carbs, caffeine). Your cravings go crazy - you always want more the things you can’t have. Your emotions are all over the place which often makes you want to comfort yourself with food. On & on. Round & round. I was vey relieved I was placed on keto for the pre surgery diet. I had done the shake diet before. Two shakes & one small portion meal of steamed vegetables & plain cooked protein. Did it for 8 weeks & then again for 6 weeks a couple of years later as another diet I was trying. It ain’t easy even with one meal. Check with your dietician regarding swapping out a shake for a broth/soup. Some companies do offer them as well as shakes but they’re still going to be low calorie & go through you quickly being liquids. You’ve got this. You can do it.
  9. Arabesque

    Porphyria?

    Oh, I’m sorry @LindsayT. Is yours one of the genetic porphyrias? They say it’s one of those disease/syndromes that many have but don’t know. At least you do now know what’s been behind your symptoms all these years, as unpleasant as it is. Hope the treatments they’re offering help ease your symptoms. Do they think stem cells may help? I first heard about it watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer lol! It’s known as the vampire’s disease & from where they believe the myth of vampires began.
  10. Arabesque

    Surgery Date 3/7

    I think everyone does in some form. Doesn’t mean it will happen though. Yes, a bounce back regain of 10-20lbs is a real possibility but it doesn’t happen to everyone. Whether you regain or not I think depends on a number of factors. Some you can control & manage & some you can’t. Complacency - letting the new good eating habits slide. Not dealing with emotional & psychological issues behind your eating habits. Health & medications - some medications are renown for increasing your appetite or a health situation may arise that limits you in some way. Unsustainable way of eating to maintain - too restrictive & stops you from enjoying & living your life as you want. Life - sometimes throws crap at you & good intentions are the first to go. Commitment - accepting the changes you make have to be forever. I had 40 years of losing & gaining weight. Every diet, dieticians, medications, exercise plans, you name it I did it. I’d stick to it, lose weight & as soon as I stopped I would start regaining again almost immediately. Simply because I went back to eating the exact same way as I did before. I had a low & a high weight I bounced between until the last 4 or so years & my weight exploded. Nothing worked then so surgery was my only solution. Am nearing 5 years & have basically maintained my initial stabilised low weight. Never have been able to keep weight off like this ever. I had a medication glitch but we sorted that & I lost the 5ish lbs I’d gained without doing anything. I work at it every day. I established a way of eating that was sustainable & works for me, my needs & my life. Same with my activity. Don’t exercise as such just do four x 5 minute sessions of resistance bands & stretches 6 days a week - wouldn't burn 20 calories. I’m okay with that because it works for me & I’m happy to do it You have to be mentally ready for this because that’s where a lot of the battle is. Sure the surgery gives you some tools, but for me, the time it gave me while those tools were at their most effective was the biggest win. It was when I examined my relationship with food (the why, what & when I ate) & worked out what I needed to do make be the most successful. I wouldn’t stress about something that may happen because it simply may not. Just be aware of it. You never know what the future will bring & you’ll have built a wealth of knowledge & strategies & have a support team (doctor, dietician, therapist) to help you get on top of it. All the best.
  11. Arabesque

    How many 2 oz. purees per day?

    2oz is equivalent to 1/4 cup of purée. My plan was 1/4 - 1/3 cup (2-3ozs), three times a day from purée so pretty much like your plan. Honestly I couldn’t eat any more than that but I was a no hunger & no appetite person. Sometime around purées I added a high protein yoghurt or yoghurt drink as a snack to boost my protein intake. But check with your dietician, maybe you can add a high protein yoghurt as a snack too. If you are experiencing real hunger. Never hurts to ask.
  12. Arabesque

    How much protein is too much?

    Liquids won’t fill you in the same way as more solid food simply because they pass through your tummy more quickly. As for your hunger, yes there are some people who continue to feel hungry after surgery. You just have to work out if it’s real hunger or head hunger. If you’ve recently eaten you really would be hungry. If you are hungry for a specific food, taste or texture it’s not real hunger. If your tummy is rumbling (hunger pangs) that’s not real hunger either (just your digestive system working). Are you on a PPI? Tummy acid can make you think you’re hungry. The surgery is hard on us emotionally. Plus we experience hormonal flushes which can mess with us emotionally too. Many of us used food to comfort & soothe our self during emotional turmoil but you can’t. And of course you always want the things you can’t have more. It’s not easy to work all this out. It will take time & that’s okay. If you feel hungry, try distracting yourself. Play a game, go for a short walk, water your plants, craft, read a book, ring a friend or family member, check your social media or this forum, etc. Are you just sipping your liquids & leaving a couple of minutes between sips? Try a warm drink. Many of us found a warm drink like a green or herbal tea easier to tolerate as plain water can almost seem heavy in our tummy & for some cold liquids cramp our tummy.
  13. Arabesque

    Puree

    I was given the 1/4 - 1/3 of a cup from purée advice too (slowly increasing to a cup by 6 months). If that’s yoghurt it would be about 2-3ozs. But I agree with the others - contact your team to ask. We have different needs & surgeons & dieticians have different requirements. Remember to eat slowly. Wait a couple of minutes between bites. I used to dip my teaspoon into my purées. No spoonfuls. Try not to eat until you feel full. Those signals are still not functioning accurately because your nerves were cut. (Takes about 8 weeks to be fully healed.) All the best.
  14. I split my vitamins & meds across the day. One multi, my PPI & vit D in the AM & the second multi & HRT in the PM. Didn’t hurt me or affect my blood work. As long as you’re taking them. Routines are essential.
  15. Arabesque

    NO TRACKING ?

    I wasn’t required to track. I sort of did initially on random days for own curiosity. I did keep to the portion sizes I was given. I still do random checks to keep me on track & ensure I haven’t let things slide especially with new foods or recipes. I check protein, sugars, calories but don’t keep a formal record. I keep a mental tally of my daily protein intake but only because I have a protein malabsorption issue. It works for me & that is the key: finding out what works for you. If that’s tracking great. If it’s random tracking/monitoring or it’s none at all that’s great too. As long as it allows you to maintain, is manageable & not consuming you, all is good. I put on a good 2kgs/5lbs at the two year mark but didn’t know why. We worked out I wasn’t absorbing my HRT after my gall removal (why I don’t absorb protein too). Was put on a HRT patch & I slowly lost half of it over about 6 months again without changing what I ate or my activity. I’ve pretty much lost another kilo and now, nearing my 5 year mark, am pretty much what I weighed at my initial stabilised weight depending on the day. I should add I am very careful with what I eat & how much I eat. Still eat slowly. Still take small bites. Still eat to a routine most of the time around what & when I eat (I’m a clock watcher for my meals & snacks). Still very conscious of whether I am really hungry or just head hungry. Still very conscious of eating what I need not just how much or what I want to eat.
  16. Arabesque

    Undergarment recommendations

    All low cut bras are out for me. All this wrinkling skin on show (more than I actually have too). It’s full cup & only full cup for me. Don't get me started on moulded strapless. OMG I can put half a fist in the top of them. Than goodness I found a bandeau strapless that went to an E cup. Not perfect but better than anything else I tried.
  17. Arabesque

    Undergarment recommendations

    The empty upper slope of our breasts is so difficult to do something with. Add in the little bit of loose skin I have there as well it’s limiting. I actually stuff my proper bras with a tissue or two to fill out the excess fabric in the top. Crazy to think stuffing my bra was something I never ever had to do but now … I even looked at prosthetics but they’re not right shape. Can’t believe no one has developed something yet because many women have the same problem after breast feeding, Not everyone wants to get implants or have a reduction.
  18. Arabesque

    How much soup to eat?

    I was advised 1/4 - 1/3 cup from purées so that much of the oatmeal & that was all I could physically or wanted to eat. I could eat more soups if I still kept them thin (diluted them) so like a cup but sipped over some time. I’d check with your team to see what they recommend. They may say 1/2 cup but physically you can only eat 1/3. Some teams have requirements for the period of time you can eat like no more than 20 minutes for a meal. (I wasn’t given time frames hence my long sipping just those portions.) Of course it depends on what you can tolerate in the end. Go slowly & only eat until you have had enough (not full). It takes a good 8 weeks to be fully healed so until then your nerve endings aren’t able to send you accurate signals to advise you are full or are eating too much. It’s why portion sizes & time frames can be so helpful during this time.
  19. Hopefully the upper GI will show something though you may also need an ultrasound/scan to rule out gall stones, pancreatitis, etc. as well. I’d rather go in & see the doctor than do a Tele health call especially something like this. They can do examinations, you can show them exactly where the pain is, etc. Hopefully they’ll find an answer soon.
  20. Fortunately most of these are not permanent effects though very annoying at the moment. The only exceptions are the constipation which may always be something that occurs at times. And feeling the cold can continue. Head hunger will be a constant battle - surgery doesn’t fix that. It just seems worse at the moment when your diet is so restrictive. You always want more the things you can’t have more. Most of the others pass over a few months once things become more settled. Hormones start to rebalance, energy picks up, you’re eating more & a wider variety of foods, etc. Watch the blood pressure drops though. Get up slowly, avoid too warm showers, keep your fluids up, add a little extra salt to your diet. Add some soluble fibre to your shake, a soup, a smoothie, etc. to help with the constipation. Try not to let it get away from you. I’d take a stool softener if I got to a 3rd day without movement.
  21. Dr Matthew Weiner just did a post on his IG account (poundofcure) today about the pill trials - not that successful yet. Terrible nausea with one & consequently participants dropped out early. Yikes! There are a large number of companies developing them though.
  22. Arabesque

    High Copper levels

    Have you had a liver function test done? Excess copper is excreted from your body in your bile by your liver. While we’re losing, it’s not uncommon to have odd liver function results (processing our fat out of our body strains it). Maybe if your liver isn’t functioning effectively or being stressed by your weight loss may mean it’s not processing the copper out of your system & it builds up. I don’t really know either. Just wondering. Worth a deeper conversation with your doctors as to why it might be happening & what can be done to help reduce your levels.
  23. Arabesque

    Stomach growling in hunger?

    In most cases, your stomach growling is just your digestive system doing its job of digesting food and nothing to do with hunger (despite what we were always told). Your tummy is a muscle that contracts & expands as it digests what you are eating & moves that food through your digestive system. All that squishing & squelching is noisy. At the moment, it’s probably spasming to some degree too as a result of the surgery & the shock to your system. (All those cut nerves, cut tummy.) I’m 4.75yrs out & mine still rumbles & growls like my own personal poltergeist. It will grumble, rumble, whine & groan while I’m eating & even just drinking water for up to an hour or two after so certainly nothing to do with hunger. (It’s doing it now LOL!) My nieces & nephew think it’s hilarious. Sometimes they put their heads on my lap just to see if they can hear my tummy. Can be embarrassing at times though.
  24. I agree. Definitely contact your surgeon. It could be just swelling. It could be a stricture. But you really shouldn’t be experiencing strong pain a week out (except from the surgical gas pain but even that should be reducing each day.). Most of us throw away our opioid pain meds by day 3 or 4 & often don’t need any pain meds after then either. Yes, meeting those fluid & protein goals can be difficult in the beginning. I’m another one who struggled at first (one shake & a cup of soup each day from day 4 & really nothing before then except a few sips of water). As long as you are making an effort & slowly getting closer you’ll be fine. Be aware of possible dehydration though. All the best. And push to get a response from your surgeon asap.
  25. Arabesque

    Road trips post op

    Instead of snacking as you’re driving, try stopping & having a proper meal - salad, soup, grilled/steamed fish, etc. At three moths you'll have a few more options. Even picking up some yoghurt or pack some protein shakes & have them in a park. It may take you a bit longer to get where you’re going but it should reduce your desire to mindlessly snack in the car. Remember that’s just head hunger - eating out of boredom as you sit in the car. Travel safely.

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