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Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by BigSue

  1. I have struggled with my weight since puberty and I've been obese all my adult life, and I've hated my body for just about as long as I can remember. I never got to the point of loving myself, but I at least accepted it and decided that I was not going to care what other people thought. I accepted that some people get to be thin and beautiful, and that was not among my gifts, but so what? I am great at other things, so I will make the most of those talents. And I think I have -- I've worked incredibly hard to overturn the stereotypes that make people assume I'm stupid and lazy just from looking at me, and I've earned respect for my accomplishments. But no matter how much you love yourself, and no matter how little you care about other people's opinions of your body, it is freaking hard to go through life as a fat person. There's an active thread on the General Weight Loss Surgery Discussions board called "Things I won't miss about being fat," and while there are quite a few replies relating to body insecurity, there are also a lot of replies about things like not being able to fit in chairs, or airplane seats, or rollercoasters, and not being able to buy clothes in our size at roughly 99% of clothing stores, which are legitimate problems that make life hard. Add to that the widespread size discrimination in our society, and it is hard not to hate being fat. I think you can hate being fat without necessarily hating your body or yourself, although it is easy to see how one leads to the other. Now, back to your question. I did not have this surgery to look better, but because of the health aspects. I have always pushed myself to make sure my weight didn't stop me from doing anything, but as I've gotten older, that's become difficult. I've gotten frustrated with the physical limitations I'm starting to have, as well as health conditions that are strongly associated with obesity. I am just over two weeks post-op, but I lost over 60 pounds before surgery. I've had recent visits with three different doctors who were just thrilled with my weight loss, and it made me so uncomfortable when they cheered my weight loss and congratulated me, because I have tried very hard to separate my value as a person from my weight. I had flashbacks to when my mom used to weigh me every other day and basically made me feel as though her love was conditional upon my weight. And yes, sometimes I feel guilty here when I congratulate people on their weight loss, because that goes against my normal policy of never commenting on other people's bodies, but I also recognize that people here are working hard to change themselves (for whatever reason) and deserve encouragement.
  2. BigSue

    Multivitamin help

    I bought sample packs of Bariatric Fusion and Bari-Melts, and I much preferred the Bari-Melts. I recommend getting the sample pack first to make sure you like them.
  3. I lost over 60 pounds before my surgery by intermittent fasting and tracking everything I eat in MyFitnessPal. I didn't really get any guidance from my program except recommending MyFitnessPal. I was on a "medically supervised" weight loss effort with my PCP for my insurance requirements, but she didn't really give me any specific guidance, either. If you're not already tracking everything you eat, I would start there. MyFitnessPal makes it really easy because they have a huge database of food, so you just have to search for the food and you don't have to enter nutrition information manually. If you eat something with a barcode, you can just scan the barcode and it will find the food for you. It will calculate a calorie limit based on your current weight and weight loss goals. You have a pretty low starting weight, so you probably won't lose that much before surgery, but this should at least help you not to gain.
  4. BigSue

    Food processor vs Mini blender

    I have both. I have mainly been using my food processor for the pureed stage. First of all, you shouldn't puree hot foods in the mini blender because steam pressure can build up and be dangerous. Secondly, a blender is better for liquids, and I don't think it would work too well for, say, refried beans or cauliflower because they're not liquid enough. If you put refried beans in the blender cup and then turn it upside down to blend, the beans would be stuck at the bottom of the cup, away from the blade, and not get pureed. A lot of people recommend an immersion blender, and I've thought about getting one, but I don't think I'd use it enough to make it worthwhile.
  5. I would guess that your surgeon's office is pretty well versed in the insurance requirements. They do this all the time. It might help to ease your mind if you can get the actual fine print from your insurance policy (you may have to call or e-mail the insurance company for this). I had some concerns about my ability to meet the requirements for my insurance, and my surgeon's office looked up the requirements and said, "Don't worry, we'll get you approved." And they did! It was a lot easier than I expected. I got denied initially because my insurance company changed their requirements while I was in the process, to add a requirement for a letter from my PCP saying that I was medically cleared for surgery. My surgeon's office provided an example letter to my PCP, and I was approved in less than a week from my PCP's letter.
  6. BigSue

    Please tolerate my venting

    Sorry you're feeling so awful. I felt terrible when I first woke up from surgery and had a lot of feelings of regret. I was lucky enough to be feeling much better by the next day, so I can only imagine how it would be to feel like that for 5 days. I'm not a doctor and I can't make any promises, but it is very, very unlikely you've messed up your body forever. You may take longer to heal than you hoped. You may have some complications that require additional treatment. But it is really rare to have serious complications, and even if you do, almost all complications can be fixed. I'm sure you picked a good surgeon who knows what he or she is doing. Have you contacted your surgeon's office? They want you to call if you're having problems. Maybe it will help to remember that you put a lot of thought into the decision to have this surgery. I'm sure you had good reasons for it. They say you shouldn't make decisions when you're in a heightened emotional state -- like being in a lot of pain, as you are now. Trust the decision you made when you were clear-headed and not clouded by pain. You'll get back to that point again and this awful time will just be a blip in your memory. I hope you feel better soon!
  7. Good job resisting temptation! I did my best to avoid looking at food, even pictures of food, during my pre-op diet. Never realized how many e-mails Taco Bell sends until then (I didn't even eat at Taco Bell regularly, haven't been there in over a year, but once you give them your e-mail address, they don't stop).
  8. You’ll probably be ok if you stick to the liver-shrinking diet 100% from here on out. Keep in mind that the purpose of the pre-op diet is to make the surgery safer for you. I’ve heard that some surgeons will close you back up without doing the surgery if your liver is too big when they start. That is very rare, and I’m not saying this to scare you, but it is something to take seriously — as are all of the instructions from your surgeon. The post-op diet is really restrictive, too, and you won’t be able to eat fast food for a long time after surgery (and you might not be able to eat certain things ever again without getting sick). If you eat things you’re not supposed to while your stomach is still healing, it could cause serious complications. It’s hard, but so important to go into this fully committed to following your surgeon’s instructions.
  9. That's fantastic! I really appreciate seeing the results of people with a starting weight similar to mine so I can get a realistic view of potential results. You are much taller than I am, so I'm a lot wider at the same weight, but I'd be very happy with losing 80 pounds in 7 months. Congratulations on your success!
  10. BigSue

    Pre op diet

    I had a 2-week pre-op diet. The first week was 3 protein shakes plus one frozen meal under 350 calories (no rice or pasta) per day. The second week was 4 protein shakes per day, no solid food. I was also allowed to have water and other calorie-free beverages, broth, and up to 2 servings of sugar-free Jello or popsicles per day.
  11. BigSue

    2 days post op RNY questions

    I had a lot of trouble getting enough water the first few days. Even drinking 3 ounces per hour made me feel like I just ate Thanksgiving dinner. The good news is that they pump you full of IV fluids at the hospital, so that will help prevent dehydration at the beginning. I'm two weeks out now and I can drink water at a reasonable pace without feeling stuffed. You are doing it right by sipping throughout the day. You don't need to worry about set meal times until you start eating actual food (pureed stage), and at that point, you'll have to wait 30 minutes after the meal to drink anything (some programs also say no liquids 30 minutes before the meal). As for the pain when the water hits the pouch, I was told it is fairly common to have cramps or spasms in your stomach, especially when drinking cold liquids. I was given a prescription for hyoscyamine to help with that (which I took for the first few days, but I haven't had any more issues after that).
  12. BigSue

    Protein shakes

    For ready-to-drink shakes, I like Equate High protein caramel flavor. My coworkers turned me on to it and said that it tastes exactly like Premier Protein caramel but cheaper. Before my pre-op diet, I didn't have much experience with protein powder, so I ordered a bunch of single-serve samples from different companies. Once you start buying these online, you'll see nonstop ads for protein powders on Facebook. You do need to look at the nutrition labels and make sure they meet your requirements. My favorite that I've tried is IdealLean. This is the only one that I purchased a big tub without trying the sample first because it was on sale at a good price. I bought a big tub of chocolate brownie flavor and samples of others, and I liked every one that I tried from IdealLean (chocolate coconut, chocolate mint, and strawberries & cream). I mix them with almond milk, by the way. I also purchased a lemonade clear whey from there but didn't care for it much (I've found that I don't like clear protein drinks in general -- I just don't like the protein aftertaste). I also got samples from: 1Up Nutrition (chocolate peanut butter was my favorite; I also liked mint cookies & cream and coconut ice cream) Northbound Nutrition Waves of Whey (mini marshmallow was good, cinnamon frosting was pretty good but I wouldn't want a whole tub, chocolate freak shake was terrible) Strength (belgian chocolate is good but I prefer IdealLean chocolate brownie) KetoShop (unicorn vanilla milkshake and cinnamon roll were decent; I haven't tried chocolate and strawberry yet)
  13. BigSue

    I cant eat

    My surgeon said that if I have problems tolerating food, I should go back to liquids for a few days. Everybody heals at different rates, so maybe you’re just a little slower than expected and not ready for food yet.
  14. BigSue

    Not hungry, hate eating

    I see... This seems like something you need to figure out with your doctor. I don't know if you still see your surgeon after all this time, but if not, maybe you could go to another bariatric surgeon (i.e., someone who is very familiar with issues of bariatric patients). But still, it is a legitimate medical issue, not a matter of "just eating more."
  15. BigSue

    Not hungry, hate eating

    Is the only problem that your fiance is driving you crazy, or are you having other problems, like not being able to eat enough (which doesn't sound like the case since you have reached a stable weight) or malnutrition? Because, I have to say, this is the outcome I am hoping to get from surgery -- not wanting to eat anymore. Does your fiance know that you had weight loss surgery? If so, it seems like a pretty easy explanation: you had weight loss surgery to lose weight, you succeeded, and because the WLS was a permanent change to your digestive system, you are only able to eat small quantities of food now. If you are healthy and your labs are good, this is not a problem and he should not try to get you to eat more.
  16. I just had my surgery two weeks ago, so I guess take my advice with a grain of salt, but I was able to lose 60 pounds before my surgery just by doing two things: tracking everything in the MyFitnessPal app and intermittent fasting. If you're not tracking what you're eating, that will be a major step in the right direction. It really helps to look at how many calories you're eating, and MyFitnessPal will calculate a calorie limit based on your current weight and weight loss goals. I'm not stupid and I know how to read nutrition labels, but something about seeing all my food listed in the app and having a clear goal really made me start thinking about what is or isn't worth the calories. It motivated me to find lower-calorie items because they felt like a good "deal." And I could still indulge if I wanted to, but I'd have to give up something else that day to stay under my calorie goal. The app makes it really easy, by the way, because you don't have to manually enter the nutrition information. You can just search for the food on the app, or if you're eating something with a barcode, you can scan the barcode. Intermittent fasting was also a great help to me because it made me feel less deprived. I did a 16/8 fast (fast for 16 hours, feed for 8 hours). My feeding time included lunch and dinner, and I skipped breakfast. Splitting my calories between two meals instead of three made it much easier to stay within my calorie goals. If I had a small lunch, I could really pig out at dinner and still be under my limit. I learned to be patient when I wanted to eat something because I could tell myself it's not that I can't have it, I just have to wait until later to eat it. Since I was going 16 hours without eating every day, I got out of the habit of snacking, even during my 8-hour feeding time, because I just got used to waiting until mealtime to eat.
  17. BigSue

    One Year Anniversary

    Awesome! I'd love to see before and after photos if you're willing to share. I'm just two weeks out from surgery, but I hope my results will be as good as yours a year from now!
  18. I agree... I don't think it's anyone's business how you lose weight, unless you choose to publicize it. If you're going to use your weight loss to promote products or get followers, you should be honest about how you lost weight. Some of the stigma of weight loss surgery is because people think it's so easy to lose weight through diet and exercise (and shady weight-loss products). It doesn't help anybody to lead them to believe they will get the same results without WLS.
  19. BigSue

    Still Winded

    I don't think it's surprising that you don't have much energy when you're hardly eating anything. Even if you don't feel hungry, your body is on the verge of starving. Plus, surgery is physically traumatic and it takes energy to heal. I'm two weeks out today and I feel surprisingly good. I went back to work on Monday (it's a desk job so not physically strenuous). But I have been making sure to take it easy and especially avoid anything that will make me sweat, since my fluid intake is ok but not quite where it should be. I know I will need to exercise to achieve the weight loss I want and get in shape, but I'm not worrying about that at this point since my calorie intake is so low (about 400 calories/day).
  20. BigSue

    Scheduled my surgery date!!

    I bought a bunch of single-serving samples of protein powders from different brands. It helped to have some variety when protein shakes were all I could have.
  21. My program requires a weight loss surgery seminar (general information about WLS), a one-on-one nutrition consultation with their dietitian, and a group nutrition class (general nutrition information and some info about the post-surgery diet). I also had a 3-month medically-supervised weight loss requirement from my insurance company, which was with my PCP, who did not provide any guidance other than "eat less and exercise more." A couple of weeks before my surgery, I had to attend what they called a "consent class," where they went over all of the possible complications of surgery plus detailed pre-op and post-op instructions. Most of the information from the classes is included in the bariatric patient manual for my program. Does your surgeon have something like this? I think most programs do. If yours doesn't, you can search for manuals from other programs to get an idea, although every program varies a bit and you'll need to follow your own surgeon's instructions. You could call your surgeon's office and ask them if they have a document like this. There is a lot of information online about post-surgery meal planning and recipes (check out https://www.bariatriceating.com/blogs/recipes and http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/). There are a lot of videos on YouTube about bariatric meal preparation, as well as people telling their personal WLS stories. Pain can vary a lot from patient to patient, but I can tell you I had very little pain. The first day, when I woke up from surgery, I was in a lot of pain that I'm pretty sure was gas pain, but that went away very quickly, within 24 hours. I haven't felt any pain from the incisions. For the first few days, I had a little internal discomfort when I consumed fluids. I was given Toradol for pain while I was in the hospital, and I was sent home with several prescriptions, including hydrocodone + acetaminophen for pain (which I didn't take at all, and I didn't even feel the need to take regular Tylenol), ondansetron (Zofran) for nausea, and hyoscyamine for cramps/spasms. I haven't needed any of it after the first few days.
  22. BigSue

    Have lost way too much weight

    I don't know if this will be helpful to you at all, but Dr. Matthew Weiner answered a similar question in this video (start at 11 minutes 48 seconds): He basically says that he rarely recommends WLS patients to try to gain weight because most patients eventually have some regain, and he wouldn't be concerned with too much weight loss unless you have some other problems (e.g., serious deficiencies in your blood work or inability to keep food down).
  23. BigSue

    Weight gain.....

    I can tell you for sure that if I hadn't been in my pre-surgery weight loss stage when the pandemic started, I would have gained weight. I find it very easy to stick to my diet when I'm at work, simply because there is no food around. I bring my lunch every day and do not keep snacks at my desk. I usually avoid food that other people bring in due to hygiene concerns (it's amazing how few people take the time to wash their hands before they eat or handle food). So if this had happened a year ago, and I was stuck at home all the time with constant access to my kitchen and all the yummy food therein, I would have been snacking all day long. I also got most of my exercise by walking around at work, so that would have been a double whammy. I had a period of unemployment several years ago and that's exactly what happened, and I gained a lot of weight. As it went, I lost 60 pounds in the 5 months before my surgery. I often thought about how much I would have been eating if I weren't trying so hard to lose weight before surgery. I was kind of proud of myself and expecting that I would be the only one to lose weight while everybody else gained weight, but actually, most of my coworkers lost weight (or at least said they did), too. Nobody even noticed that I lost weight because I'm still the biggest person in the office. As far as how people use their time, sure, they could use it to exercise more and plan healthy meals, but for some people, it is really hard to get motivated to do this stuff, especially when they're stressed, scared, and possibly mourning the death of loved ones. Plus, many people work out at the gym and haven't had access to gyms during the pandemic, and although there are plenty of options to work out at home, it could be a big change and get people out of their exercise routines. The bottom line is that there are many, many factors for all of us that can lead to weight gain, and probably nobody knows that more than bariatric patients. I can easily see how major changes to our lives and our world, like a pandemic, could result in weight gain.
  24. I'm probably weird, but before I made the decision to have surgery, I looked for WLS horror stories because I like to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and it kind of helps me to know what that is. I was surprised by how difficult it was to find horror stories and people who regretted their WLS. Even some people who had horrible complications still said they would do it again! The reality is that the overwhelming majority of people have few complications (or none) and the surgery drastically changes their lives for the better. Also, it is a lot safer than it used to be, so some of the horror stories from 10 or 20 years ago are about complications that are incredibly rare now. I still thought, "Yeah, but what if I'm the unlucky one out of hundreds who has horrible complications or dies?" I took some steps to make sure my affairs were in order just in case (like updating my beneficiaries and calling my mom, who didn't and still doesn't know I had surgery), but you can't spend all your time worrying about everything bad that could possibly happen, because bad things can happen no matter what choices you make. I do not remember going under at all. I don't remember being in the OR or seeing the anesthesiologist or counting backwards from 100 or anything. The last thing I remember was being wide awake in the surgery staging area, and the nurse said she was going to give me a heparin shot in my stomach but she would wait until the Versed kicked in. Next thing I knew, I was waking up after surgery.
  25. BigSue

    Grief and staying on track

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Of course no one can blame you for turning to anything that might bring you comfort during this difficult time, so don’t beat yourself up for eating the ice cream and candy. Maybe you can find a treat that won’t derail your progress, say, Halo Top ice cream or your favorite protein bar. Maybe you can enlist your husband to make your favorite bariatric recipes.