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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by rjan

  1. I definitely worried that I had made a mistake during the first month post-op. It's a huge, sudden, irreversible change, and you have no idea how things are going to even out in the end. 13 months later, and I'm a normal BMI, I eat normal foods that I enjoy and don't feel deprived or guilty about what I eat anymore, and my health is much better (both my bloodwork and how I feel). I couldn't be happier that I did it. Most likely, you will get there too!
  2. rjan

    Puree food help

    I pretty much lived on scrambled eggs and cottage cheese (often with a little soft fruit like mandarin orange). Luckily, these are both things I like. Other things I had less often but still liked were mexican type dishes with refried beans, sauce, and soft cheeses and greek yogurt.
  3. I think your friend makes a perfectly fine point - you are going to want to learn what "full" feels like to you - you're just too early for that. Since she's 6 years out, she probably doesn't really remember very well when/how that happened to her - I really doubt she learned what full feels like at 2.5 weeks out. Right now you are healing. Any stress you put on your stomach could slow the healing process. You don't want to do that. That's why your doctor has given you a strict list of food/amounts, and you should keep to that. Once you do get to the point where you're eating larger amounts and regular foods, you probably won't have to work that hard to find out what too much is. I often found that the "too full" point came near the end of a normal meal. If I finished that last bite or two (despite not feeling hungry all of a sudden), I would get a sharp sudden pain and feel dizzy and need to lie down for 10-20 minutes. Often I would burp, and that would relieve the discomfort. Now that I'm 13 months out, it's more rare to get to that point and the symptoms are milder, but it still happens. It's funny how now I often feel proud of myself for NOT finishing the last bite of my meal.
  4. rjan

    Stalling and food portion

    People vary a lot with these things. I could drink water more than others at my stage. Perhaps because I've always been a big water drinker. Even so, I remember being annoyed in months 2-3 when I'd go out and exercise in the sun and be really, really thirsty, but could only drink 1/4-1/2 cup of water. I think you're well within the range of normal. I had a stall that started after 2 months and lasted 3.5 weeks. It sucks, but it's totally normal.
  5. Since you're able to eat so little, it's likely that your stomach is particularly swollen. It takes something like 2 months for the incision on your stomach to heal. My stomach capacity was always a bit higher than others at the same stage - but I definitely remember hearing from others who couldn't eat that much at first. Personally, I remember how annoying it was in the first couple of months to go out for a walk and get really thirsty, but not be able to drink water very fast - 1/2 cup of water doesn't do it when you're super thirsty. Plus I often had pain after eating, which was usually relieved by burping. Stomach capacity increases over those first few months as your stomach heals and the swelling goes down. Keep checking in with your doctor regularly to make sure they aren't worried that it's something serious. But I think that as long as you stick to the diet and don't let the annoyance of your healing body give you a reason to get too off track, you'll probably find this issue gets better over the next month or two. Once you can eat more at once, I think you won't be hungry all the time, and you won't feel like you're so focused on food all the time either.
  6. I was starving during the liquid phase. Once I moved on to purees, I was able to get more protein and the hunger stopped. If you can only eat a few bites, it makes sense that you are getting hungry quickly. I was able to eat more like 3/8-1/2 cup at 3-4 weeks, so I didn't experience that. How much are you actually eating? I mean I'd say go ahead and eat again in 30 minutes if you feel hungry. You're probably still not getting enough protein. I believe in listening to your body; I think it's an essential thing to learn after WLS. Some people will come on here and tell you about how it's probably just all head hunger and you need to ignore it. If you tended towards emotional eating before, then that may be good advice. But I didn't have that bad of a problem with emotional eating - I was simply pre-diabetic. Once my metabolism healed (which happens before you lose the weight), I was able to listen to my body again and trust it.
  7. rjan


    My first stall started after 4.5 weeks, and my worst one started after about 2 months and lasted 3 weeks. Stalls happen to everyone. Telling you that probably won't erase your anxiety though... I remember my really long stall after 2 months was at exactly my lowest adult weight, where I had stalled out for nearly a year when trying to lose weight "normally" in my 20s. All I could think was that I must have reached the lowest I could ever get, so why did I bother to get my insides cut open? But I kept at it, and after losing almost nothing in my 3rd month, I lost 12 lbs in my 4th month. Just keep trucking on! As long as you don't use it as an excuse to ruin your diet, the weight loss will return!
  8. rjan

    Hungry and full at the same time

    The first few weeks after surgery are pretty miserable. Your body has been put through a huge shock, and is adjusting. You're all swollen and healing. Things definitely do settle down within the first few weeks or months, and it will get way, way easier. One issue is that your stomach starts out really swollen - its capacity may be only 1/4 cup now, even though it may be more like 1 cup after the swelling has gone down. This makes it hard to even fit enough water and/or food in right now. Later you will be able to eat/drink more at a sitting, and you will start to feel more satisfied. Another problem is that it is particularly difficult to get enough protein in at first, especially on the liquid diet. And yet your protein needs have actually gone up, because protein is essential for healing. For me, the first couple of weeks on the liquid stage were absolutely miserable, and I was starving all the time, even though I also felt full and couldn't consume much. This went away completely once I moved on to real food and started to get enough protein in, and also because the swelling went down and it was easier to even do things like drink my water.
  9. rjan

    I HATE broth!!!

    It was the 2nd week after surgery, when I was on the full liquids diet.
  10. rjan

    I HATE broth!!!

    The liquid stage is HORRIBLE. No matter what you do, it's going to be a slog. But in the grand scheme of things, it's over pretty quickly. Just keep telling yourself it will be over soon (even if it seems like forever). When I was on full liquids, I started whisking an egg into my broth. Basically, this is what egg drop soup is. I was also making protein pudding with sugar free pudding and protein powder. Things like this have enough substance to them that they feel just a little bit more like real food.
  11. Oh, you had ESG, sorry! So no, you don't have an incision. But there's still a big line of sutures and they can absolutely still swell. Everyone swells when they are healing, even if you don't normally get it during your period. That's crazy that your doc has you on liquids for 45 days! When I looked at ESG as a possibility, it seems that most surgeons recommended a diet similar to a normal sleeve - about 2 weeks on liquids. Different doctors recommend very different things on diet though, even when they are doing the exact same procedure. People always recommend you do what your doctor says, though, because your doctor knows how to take care of you best when you are following their recommendations. If you get desperate, you can beg them to let you move to purees/soft foods. I can absolutely see why you're having trouble. I had a lot of trouble on the liquid stage - I was absolutely starving. I'd still recommend eating pretty much as much as you want, though. If you're hungry, eat something. Just make sure it's protein rich foods that are on your approved list. There's no way that you're going to not lose because you add 150 calories and 20 g of protein to your daily routine. The weight WILL come off with time. But a little extra food may help you feel a lot more satisfied, and make you more likely to stick to the diet in the long term.
  12. rjan

    Need help dropping asap

    Pre-surgery, the only way I could reliably drop weight is low carb. That's essentially what you'd be doing if you went full liquid - with protein shakes and broth, you're not going to be getting much carbs. But it's rough on a full sized stomach. So you might as well use lots of veggies and plenty of protein to fill in the corners. Don't get me wrong, you'll still be starving for about 3-4 days. Every time you're hungry, eat some veggies. If you're strict and keep your carbs under 30 g a day, the hunger will fade.
  13. There's several reasons I've heard for not losing right after surgery. One is that you lost beforehand - but sounds like that isn't you. Another is water retention. If you're only two weeks out, there could still be an awful lot of swelling in your abdomen. The incisions you can see are probably small, but there's a huge incision on your stomach! In fact, part of the reason your stomach is so, so small at the beginning (only 1/4 cup for some people) and gains capacity over time (more like a cup after 6 months) is because it starts out very, very swollen. You're going to lose. Trust me. Physics does work. I'd actually suggest something that may sound counterintuitive - eat more - but make sure that what you add is mostly protein. If you want to eat a piece of chicken, eat a gd piece of chicken! Keep in mind that your body is healing now, and protein is one of the things it needs to build all that scar tissue. Your body is telling you that it needs something. We are so used to not being able to trust our bodies, but the surgery really does rebalance things so that we can start to trust its signals more and more over time. Not everyone is like this, but my experience is that I was hungry right after surgery until my protein intake increased. That's when I relaxed into a groove, with easy to control hunger and pretty regular weight loss (though with stalls, of course, because everyone has stalls.) My calories were actually pretty variable after surgery. Some weeks I was more like 600, other weeks I was up to 1200. I still lost just fine over time. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  14. It kind of sounds to me like you aren't getting enough protein. You haven't exactly listed out everything you eat in a day, but let's say you're having a protein drink and a couple of servings of meat and/or nuts a day. That's probably about 40 g of protein. You should be getting at least 60, and as much as 80 if you're a big exerciser. If you're particularly carb sensitive, then sure, cutting down on the fruit and nixing the bread and oatmeal will help too. But try and focus more on upping your protein first. In fact, if you're eating enough protein early on, it should be difficult for you to fit much of that carb-y food in your tiny stomach. Don't starve yourself! If you're hungry, then eat. Just choose protein rich foods. It's tempting to keep cutting and cutting when you're in the middle of a stall (and stalls happen to everyone, particularly a few weeks out from surgery, despite what your doctor may say.) But if your body is lacking nutrients, it's going to hang on to every ounce for dear life. If you're hungry, then your body is telling you it needs something. Most likely, that's protein.
  15. Accidental double post
  16. I was absolutely hungry for the first week or two after the surgery - during the clear liquid/full liquid/puree stage. After I moved to the soft foods stage and could get plenty of protein from eggs and cottage cheese, the hunger pretty much went away. I had pretty much perfect hunger control after that. I'm sure I was hungry at first because I wasn't getting enough protein. It's nearly impossible to get enough protein right after surgery. I think a lot of people experience hunger when they don't get enough protein.
  17. How much did you lose before the procedure?
  18. My anniversary was last Thursday. I've lost 63 pounds - from 208 lbs to 145 lbs. I've passed my goal of a normal BMI, but am still losing about half a pound a week. Not sure yet where I will end up. I've been pleasantly surprised that my skin has bounced back more than I thought it would. Don't get me wrong - I still feel a bit like a sharpei - everything is just a little bit loose. But I don't have an apron on my stomach when I stand up at all!
  19. rjan

    Protein Pancakes

    I second the cottage cheese version! Here's a link to a recipe: https://www.thekitchn.com/cottage-cheese-pancakes-263223
  20. rjan

    Should I?

    I had mine at Hospital Angeles, which I researched the hell out of. I felt like I got better care there than many hospitals in the US! Make sure you do you research and check that doctors are board certified in the US, and check reviews on many different sites. Don't just take one person's word for it.
  21. That's actually rather similar to me - At 6 weeks out I had lost 23 lbs total. I'm 40, starting BMI 35. Now, 9 months out my BMI is 26 - almost to goal. It will keep coming off, don't worry! (And don't take the point of view that the weight you lost before surgery doesn't "count". People who lose more before surgery will lose a bit slower afterwards because they already lost all their water weight and their metabolism has already started adjusting to the new reality.) The main point of the surgery isn't those big losses - only some people get those, and those people are more likely to be men, tall, young, or have a larger starting weight. The main point is that the weight will keep coming off reliably for months and months and months!!! (In contrast, with a typical diet, people will usually stop losing after a month or two.)
  22. I love this! And what a great reminder that in the long term, your eating can get back to mostly normal - just with smaller portions and some tweaks to up protein and reduce carbs.
  23. I'm 9 months out, and I am very, very happy with where I am at. I had my surgery March 11, 2020. I've lost a total of 52 pounds since I started - 48 pounds since the surgery date. SW: 208 CW:156 GW:149 and I'm 5'5". This means I lost about 90% of my excess weight, which studies show is a very typical result for a patient like me who started out with a relatively low BMI (35). Of course I would still like to lose those last few pounds and officially make it to a normal BMI, but I am very happy with where I am now and would still consider it a resounding success if I can maintain at this weight. I am big boned, and people tell me that I look like a completely normal thin person when I am clothed. You can certainly tell I have lost a lot of weight when I am naked. Even at my heaviest, I never had big breasts or thighs, so most of my lose skin is on my arms and belly. I am very happy not to have saggy breasts. The belly skin makes it so pants that fit great when I am standing feel uncomfortable when I sit, but that's a minor annoyance. I was very strict with my diet for the first 3.5 months. At that point, I had to have another surgery and was feeling bad for quite a while, so I was not so careful and more carbs and some sugar crept into my diet. However, I continued to lose well through that time. At this stage, it feels like I am learning how to maintain, although I am still losing a pound here or there. It is true that your appetite comes back at some point, and sugar definitely increases my appetite a lot. However, I had been having really bad problems with hunger and sugar before my surgery - I was about to get diabetes, and that is basically why I got the surgery. Right now, the techniques I was using before surgery to try and keep my hunger under control actually work. I eat pretty strictly during the week, and get about half my protein from my wonderful morning protein powder latte. I still eat a lot of eggs and cottage cheese - luckily I have always like them. During weekends, I eat more freely and allow myself to have some sugar. I don't count calories anymore since month 4, but I still weigh a couple times a week. I plan to keep this routine up for the rest of my life, and I think it is very doable. I kept a detailed weight chart. I did not record every up and down - I only recorded a weight if I had lost from the previous recorded weight. For the first two months, I lost about 3-4 pounds a week. Then I had a 1 month long stall, which was really nerve wracking because it was right at my lowest adult weight, where I'd gotten stuck with weight loss before. There were lots of ups and downs during this period that are not recorded on this chart, but still freaked me out. After I finally broke through the stall, I lost at a 1.5-2 pound per week rate during months 4 and 5. Since then, I've sort of slowly slid into maintenance with a total 7 lb loss over months 6-9. Before - my 40th birthday Dec. 2019 After - Nov. 2020 After Oct. 2020 (I'm on the left) Thank you so much to BariatricPal and all the amazing posters here, especially for the long term members who provide a great outlook for how things will change as time goes on!!!!
  24. It's so hard to give advice on specific things to say to specific family members because you know much better than anyone else what story he's likely to "buy" and how convincing you are at telling stories. Saying you are sick is certainly one way to go. But for me, since I am not that great of a liar, I find it's best to come up with a story that is actually true, but leave out certain key details. So I would say something like you are on a strict medically supervised diet. Just leave out the surgery part.
  25. I was never sipping every 5 minutes like that, and I had no problem getting my water in. (I'm a naturally thirsty person, so I've never had trouble with drinking enough water.) For about two months after surgery, I definitely had to take much smaller swallows than normal. But I could still down a cup of water in 5-10 minutes pretty soon after surgery. I think at two weeks out, you'll be just fine with water breaks every hour or two.