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BigSue

Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by BigSue

  1. BigSue

    Eating Question

    When I first reintroduced meat after surgery, I frequently had problems where a bit of meat felt like it got stuck on the way down, and it was very uncomfortable until it worked its way through. In addition to cutting meat into small pieces, you should make sure it's moist (it should be swimming in sauce), not dry, and chew it really well. The good news is that I stopped having this problem after a few months -- but I still make sure to keep meats moist. I make a lot of Instant Pot recipes for shredded chicken, which is easier to eat than, say, diced chicken.
  2. BigSue

    7 days Post RNY

    Do you drink Crio Bru? I LOVE that stuff! I add a little almond milk and some sugar-free flavored syrup and it's delicious. It's also really good for adding protein shakes. I used to add a couple of ounces of protein shake to my Crio Bru (I don't need to do that anymore because I can get enough protein from food now).
  3. BigSue

    7 days Post RNY

    Have you tried protein hot cocoa? I found that warm liquids went down more easily than cold. If you make it with Fairlife milk instead of water, it has about as much protein as a shake. I love the BariatricPal brand hot cocoa packets, and you can also buy protein hot cocoa on Amazon (the ProtiDiet brand in a big canister is cheaper per serving).
  4. BigSue

    protein snacks

    There are tons of delicious protein bars on the market these days. Built Bars are my favorites. I also love this protein mug cake: Other easy high-protein options include turkey jerky (Chomps jalapeño turkey sticks are my favorite; they’re available at Trader Joe’s) and hard-boiled eggs (if you have an Instant Pot, look up the 5-5-5 method — they come out perfectly every time).
  5. I think my parents did a lot of damage to my relationship with food and eating when I was a kid. I know they didn't mean to. They meant well -- they just wanted the best for me, and they knew that being fat would be a hard life, so they tried to stop me from being fat, but unfortunately, most of what they did was totally counterproductive. I remember my mom always being unhappy with her body, but looking back, I don't think she was as fat as she thought she was. She was probably overweight, but not obese (but of course her weight fluctuated as she yo-yo dieted). I remember once when I was very young, we were on vacation and my mom had a meltdown because she ordered curly fries and they gave her regular fries and she didn't want to waste her calories on regular fries. That was probably my first awareness of dieting. When I got older (junior high), my parents made me participate in whatever fad diet they were doing at the time. I was always chubby, but I have brothers who were skin and bones and couldn't gain weight if they tried. And they did try. My mom bought them all kinds of cookies, crackers, candy, soda, etc., but she didn't want me to have any, so she had them hide their snacks in their rooms. I think this is one of the biggest things leading to my food issues because it made me feel so deprived. It felt so unfair that my brothers were being rewarded and I was being punished, basically for no reason other than my natural body type. So every chance I got, I snuck food. I spent all of my allowance money on candy and junk food. I hid food in my room because I wasn't allowed to eat it openly. It blew my mind when I went to friends' houses and they just had chips and cookies in the kitchen that they were allowed to eat in front of their parents. When I was old enough to babysit, I always looked for junk food to eat after the kids were in bed. I'm so embarrassed now to think about what the parents must have thought of me pigging out on their junk food! I got into a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting, losing a little weight but gaining it all back and more, my parents trying to control my eating more and me feeling more deprived and sneaking more food (which got easier as I got older). My parents made me go to counseling and dietitians, and for a while, my mom weighed me every other day and tracked my weight in a notebook. It made me feel like my entire worth as a human being was based on my weight, and I could never be good enough. Ironically, when I first looked into weight loss surgery, my mom talked me out of it. She cried because it was so dangerous and she was afraid I would die on the table. That's a big part of why I haven't told anyone in my life -- not even my parents -- that I did it. It was my decision that I made for myself and my own health. Not to finally win my parents' approval. My parents were actually the first to notice my weight loss (actually before surgery -- I lost about 70 pounds before surgery) just by seeing my face on a family Zoom call, And the first time they saw me in person after surgery, of course the FIRST THING out of my mom's mouth was how good I looked. Now, my parents had given up on trying to get me to lose weight by the time I was in my 30s, so my weight had ceased to be a topic of regular discussion, but it kind of hurt to see that they are still so hung up on my weight that they got so excited to see that I lost weight. Even though they stopped talking about it, it's obviously still important to them and to what they think about me.
  6. BigSue

    Surgery Day!!!!!

    While you're on clear liquids, Syntrax Nectar is good and has a variety of flavors. IdealFit also has some good clear protein that you can buy in single-serving packets. Once you're on full liquids, protein hot cocoa! I found that warm drinks went down more easily than cold (especially in the beginning), so if you have trouble drinking cold protein shakes (or just get tired of them), try protein hot cocoa. The BariatricPal brand is really good, but you can also get protein hot cocoa on Amazon (I like ProtiDiet brand). You can boost the protein even more by making it with Fairlife milk instead of water.
  7. BigSue

    Pre Op scare

    Good luck! I didn't tell anyone about my surgery other than medical professionals, so I did it all alone and I was fine. My recovery was surprisingly easy and I only took a week off of work (I just said it was a vacation). I do suggest having a backup plan for someone you can call if you need help because it is possible that you could have complications, but weight loss surgery is statistically very safe and has a low rate of complications. See you on the loser's bench!
  8. I completely relate to all of your feelings about this! I first started looking into WLS 15 years before I actually went through with it. I considered it many times over the course of those years, but the reason it took me so long to go through with it was exactly what you said -- I hated the thought of giving up everything that I loved. I couldn't imagine not eating a whole Red Baron pizza every week, or giving up my diet sodas. But I eventually reached a point where I had to choose between my health and continuing to eat the way I wanted, and that's when I went through with the surgery. The first few months (including the pre-op diet) are HARD. It is a huge adjustment to make to your life, especially in the liquid/purees/soft foods stages. Even when you get to the "normal food" stage, it's hard to know what to eat because it feels like everything you want is now off-limits. I still have the occasional pangs of sadness when I see something that looks delicious and realize I can't have it. I think the biggest surprise for me after surgery has been how little I miss my old diet. I have gradually discovered new, healthy recipes and foods that I never even would have tried back when I was eating pizza, french fries, pasta, ice cream, etc. I'm actually enjoying eating healthy food. I don't miss eating rice at all (in case you didn't know, most WLS patients don't eat rice because it expands in the stomach and can be painful) because I have found that cauliflower rice is a great substitute. I didn't even try it until my pre-op diet because I hated cauliflower, and now I eat it several times per week. I recently tried chia seed pudding and learned that I love it! I've started drinking tea since I quit carbonated beverages and now I'm discovering all kinds of delicious teas. I've found some great spice blends and sauces that make vegetables really tasty, and delicious light salad dressings. Can you believe I never tried sriracha before surgery, and now I love it (Huy Fong chili garlic sauce is even better). I'm about 10 months out from surgery, so still in the honeymoon period, but my experience at this point has been that the adjustment to my diet has been easier than I expected. The hard part for me has been making time in my life to take care of myself and my health because I didn't really exercise before surgery, and now I'm devoting over an hour per day to it. I went years without ever going to a doctor (other than the dentist) and now I have to go a few times per year, get periodic bloodwork, keep my prescriptions filled, etc. I have to take my vitamins every day. It can all be a burden, but the tradeoff is that I am in the best health of my adult life, and not obese for the first time in my adult life. I'm not saying that WLS is right for everyone, but you know all the reasons you have decided to do this and whether it's worth all of the changes you'll have to make. Good luck!
  9. I have been looking for a therapist and having a lot of trouble finding someone who treats eating disorders (I'm not sure I have an actual eating disorder, but I certainly have issues with food that I need to deal with) and takes my insurance. I'm guessing your best bet would be to find a therapist who treats addiction and/or eating disorders. Your surgeon or his nurse might be able to recommend someone who has helped other WLS patients. I'm finding that there aren't a lot of therapists who are experienced in treating WLS patients, unfortunately. We have kind of a special situation, so it would be nice to talk to someone who understands that. It is good that you are recognizing these patterns and taking steps to address them!
  10. First of all, please stop being so hard on yourself! This is not easy and nobody's perfect. Secondly, have you considered therapy? I have seen a lot of WLS patients say that it has helped them deal with their long-standing food/eating issues (which a lot of us have). I have been really disciplined about sticking with my plan and not eating anything I'm not supposed to since my surgery. Fear of dumping is a big part of that for me, but I know that the day will come when I eat something I'm not supposed to and I'll find out whether or not I get dumping syndrome. I'm afraid I won't and then I won't have that fear to keep me in line anymore. The other thing that has really helped me, though, is Pinterest. No joke. I spend so much time on Pinterest finding healthy recipes that I actually want to eat. I've found tons of recipes that fit into my plan and taste delicious. I live alone, so when I make a recipe, I end up with many servings that I freeze for later, so my freezer is absolutely packed with easy, healthy meals. I'm currently working on clearing out some of those saved meals to make room before I try any new recipes. I have a whole list of healthy recipes that I can't wait to try. Finally, I have healthy-ish treats every day. I have a major sweet tooth, so I don't think I could give up sweets altogether, but I eat treats that fit into my plan. I love Built Bars because they taste like candy bars, but they're high in protein and low in sugar. Built Bars are my favorite, but there are tons of delicious protein bars on the market that can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your weight loss. No, it's not the healthiest thing you can eat, but it's better than eating an actual candy bar. I recently started eating chia seed pudding and I LOVE it -- there are tons of delicious ways to flavor it. Add some cocoa powder and it tastes like brownie batter. I also found a recipe for an amazing protein mug cake:
  11. Awesome! I'm glad to hear it works with applesauce.
  12. This 4-ingredient* protein mug cake is amazing! (*This recipe is awesome as written, but see below for my recommended modifications.) Cocoa powder, protein powder, pumpkin puree, and sweetener of choice. It sounds weird, but you don't taste the pumpkin once it's cooked. You can even make it vegan if you use vegan protein powder. https://masonfit.com/one-minute-protein-brownie/ There are a lot of low-carb mug cake recipes out there, but this is the best one I've seen because it's so easy, low in calories, and doesn't require any weird, expensive, hard-to-find ingredients (unless you count protein powder, but I'm guessing most bariatric patients have a tub or four of protein powder in the house). It's amazingly cake-like for something that contains no flour. I normally eat it directly out of the bowl/mug, but I wanted to get a picture that shows the texture (unfortunately, I'm a terrible photographer, so you might just have to trust me). . I find it a bit dry (which could be because I use whey protein isolate instead of the recommended whey/casein), so I always top it with sugar-free syrup or melted sugar-free Jello (plus a dusting of powdered Swerve), flavored Greek yogurt, or -- my favorite -- raspberry or strawberry puree (sometimes I mix about half a tablespoon of raspberry puree into the batter, which adds a little moisture). . Although this recipe is great without any modifications, I couldn't help myself from tweaking it. I like to add a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla. I also like to substitute half of the pumpkin puree with liquid egg substitute (like Eggbeaters), which provides even more protein. But that makes it more than 4 ingredients, so if you want to keep it simple, you can stick with the original recipe. 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (or any flavor you like) Optional - calorie-free sweetener to taste (about 1 tbsp sugar equivalent) Optional - pinch of salt 2 tbsp pumpkin puree 2 tbsp liquid egg substitute (Eggbeaters or equivalent) Optional - 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract Mix dry ingredients in a mug or small bowl. Stir in wet ingredients to make a smooth batter. Microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes (it might take some trial and error depending on your microwave; 1 minute 20 seconds is perfect for me). . Seriously, this is SO GOOD! If you try it, let me know how it goes!
  13. I wore loose-fitting pajama pants in the hospital and had no issues with my incisions.
  14. Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out well for you... it might be better with different protein powder, or maybe if you use pumpkin purée instead of banana (I’m not sure because I’ve never used banana).
  15. I'd love to know how it turns out for you! I won't be offended if you don't like it.
  16. Another one for me: Last year, I bought a shirt for a friend. I wasn't sure if he would wear a medium or large (he's super skinny), so I bought one of each. He wanted the large, so I shoved the medium in the back of my closet and forgot about it until yesterday when I was cleaning out my closet. I came across that medium shirt and put it on and it fit perfectly! It's a men's medium -- I wear a woman's large -- but still... I fit into a shirt that's too small for my skinny friend! I used to wear a men's 3XL because a woman's 3XL was usually too small!
  17. Wow! That is awesome. I think losing 100 pounds is incredible, and you've lost double that. You've worked really hard to accomplish that, so you should be proud of yourself. I hope you can find a nice way to reward yourself for an amazing accomplishment.
  18. Yes, that's what I meant -- just based on math/statistics. Expected weight loss from surgery is typically expressed in terms of percent of excess weight loss, and the lower your starting weight, the lower your end weight will be after losing X% of excess weight. If I started at 340 pounds and lost 70% of my excess weight (140 pounds), I would end up at 200 pounds. If I started at 270 pounds and lost 70% of my excess weight (91 pounds), I would end up at 179 pounds.
  19. BigSue

    Feeling discouraged!

    Your surgery was 4 days ago. Stay off the scale for a couple of weeks -- it's meaningless right now. A lot of people come home from the hospital heavier than they went in because of all the fluids they pump into you. Right now, you need to focus on your recovery (getting enough fluids and protein), not your weight. If you stick to your plan, you will lose weight.
  20. It makes sense that people who lose weight before surgery lose less weight after surgery -- simply because they have less to lose if they've already lost some! But I certainly wouldn't take that as a recommendation not to lose weight before surgery. I lost about 70 pounds in the 5 months before my surgery. My highest recorded weight was ~340 pounds and I was ~270 the day of surgery. I'm ~150 now (so I've lost ~120 pounds after surgery). So let's say I hadn't lost any weight before surgery and went into surgery at 340 pounds. Maybe I would have lost 150 pounds by now instead of only 120. That would put me at 190 pounds. So I am glad I got a head start on my weight loss before surgery. Keep in mind that the heavier you are, the easier it is to lose each pound. At 340 pounds, it was not difficult for me to lose 10 pounds. At 150 pounds, losing 10 pounds is a major challenge. If you wait until after surgery to start losing weight, your results will be more dramatic because that "easy" weight will be melting off in the beginning. I suppose that could be a benefit because the early post-op stages can be rough and the quick weight loss can keep you motivated. But you will still eventually reach a point where the weight loss slows down. It will just be later than it would be if you lost some of the weight before surgery. In addition to getting a head start on weight loss, I think it was good for me to lose weight before surgery because I started getting into some healthier habits before surgery. I think it's extremely important to log everything you eat (I use MyFitnessPal, but there are other apps that do the same thing), and I've been doing that since 5 months before my surgery. By the time I had surgery, it was already a habit. I had also started to make healthier food choices before surgery, which made it easier to eat healthy foods when I transitioned to solid foods after surgery (also easier to avoid high-fat, high-sugar foods that could cause dumping syndrome after surgery, since I had already reduced my intake of that stuff before surgery). By the way, the lower your weight before surgery, the lower your maintenance weight is likely to be (and the sooner you'll get there), so I'd consider that to be a pretty good argument for losing weight before surgery.
  21. BigSue

    Exercise

    Most surgeons say no weights right after surgery (usually 4-6 weeks), so definitely wait until you are cleared for that. I would also suggest you refer to your surgeon's guidance for cardio, but most surgeons allow walking immediately. I didn't do much exercise before surgery, but I started doing cardio a few weeks after surgery. A lot of people here recommended Leslie Sansone Walk at Home videos (many of which are available for free on YouTube), so that's where I started and I've stuck with it. I started with 15-minute videos, but now I do 30-50 minutes every day.
  22. So glad you were able to find them and that you like them, too!
  23. I somehow missed this thread when it was first started. I just found it and enjoyed reading everyone's NSVs! I have a lot of similar ones, but here are a few of mine: I used to have to keep the steering wheel in my car raised to make room for my belly, and it blocked my view of the clock and temperature. Now I can put it low enough to see the whole dashboard. The other day, I climbed 12 flights of stairs like it was nothing. Didn't even have to stop for a break. Amazing how easy it is without carrying a whole extra person! I used to leave a lot of extra time when going to work, meetings, etc. because walking to another building or up stairs would leave me sweaty. I used to carry around a fan and small towel so I could cool off/dry off after getting sweaty. I also liked to be super early to meetings to make sure I wouldn't have to squeeze behind someone to get to a chair. Now I can just get there on time like a normal person and not worry about any of that. I was taking a walk recently (which is crazy in itself -- I never used to just go outside and take a walk!) and I had to move off the road while a car passed, and I tripped and fell in the grass. When I was 300+ pounds, a fall like that would have hurt and it would have been hard to get up. This time, I just jumped right back up like it was nothing. I no longer dread meeting people in person for the first time as I used to when I knew they would think less of me once they found out how fat I was.
  24. According to the original recipe, you can use mashed banana or applesauce instead of pumpkin, but I've never tried those, so I don't know how they compare. I've kept pumpkin puree in the fridge for several weeks after opening. It doesn't last that long now that I make this mug cake all the time, though!
  25. Sorry to hear you're dealing with so much stress... Maybe try having a cup of tea when you feel like stress eating? I find that a nice, warm drink helps to fill me up and it also tastes good, so helps me avoid snacking.
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