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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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About brightly

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    musician, writer, teacher
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  1. brightly

    3 Month Update

    I'm one moth out and have only lost 10 lbs. I'm told this is normal. I find it a bit discouraging, but going forward is the only way anyhow! I hope it gradually comes off.
  2. brightly

    Not Losing

    I feel you. I had surgery a month ago and have only lost 10 lbs. I'm sticking to the diet with no problems, I walk briskly at least 1 hour a day and I'm getting 60-70 g protein. In a few days, I'll be cleared to lift weights, which may help. My calories are between 600-800. That said, my preop (not the preop diet, but just my usual eating habits) were to use My Fitness Pal (used it for years!) and hit btw 1100-1200 calories a day. Well I didn't lose weight on that-- no problem following it. The dietician at the weight loss center told me I could eat 1800 calories a day and still lose weight. I laughed. Not true. I'd tried everything. I can only conclude from my own and others' experience that the solution to these metabolic issues doesn't have that much to do with calorie restriction. I suspect t has more to do with hormones and carbohydrate metabolism. My surgeon tells me that I will lose the weight. She is not worried I've only lost 10 lbs, for what that's worth. The only thing that has helped me lose in the past was actual, hardcore weight lifting. Heavy weight: deadlifts, etc. ! I was not skinny, and I spent 1 hour in the gym 6 days a week. I worked very hard to be a still overweight person. I never had a problem with carbo loading or junk food. All of this tells me that our metabolisms are complex. Perhaps it is the metabolism that drives eating disorders and not the eating driving the weight gain. The science needs to do better. Until then, I've found that eating protein like crazy, lifting weights (more than cardio), hydrating, and just eating like a normal person (healthy meals) is the only way to lose weight, and I never lose much. Perhaps that will change, but for now, I really really feel your frustration. In my own case, my post op is not too different from my preop diet. Both healthy- both protein and non-strachy vegetable rich. Both pretty low in calories. But I have experienced the serios weight lifting to help some-- and I feel better when i do it-- just be protective of your pelvic floor!
  3. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    Pho broth is a brilliant idea, thank you!
  4. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    I hope you are all feeling better and doing great post-surgery. And @AmandaFilm, please tell us what's been going on with your recovery. I hope you feel better too!
  5. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    RANCH DRESSING SEASONING: Never knew about it before. Now I sprinkle it on my 2 cups vegetables per day. Lifesaver. Thought anyone who agrees would dig this video:
  6. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    Straight up!!! Unless someone tells me I can't eat the comparable amount to a shake in nutrients of cottage cheese on this diet (the carb/fat content is lower than the shakes and the protein is equal ---Good Culture lowfat cottage cheese---) I'm starting this tomorrow. Got almost no help from the dietician. I was also told to keep my diet to 1000 calories a day, which is normally not a problem for me, but with super low carbs and fat it is. I have been at around 800-900 cals on this diet and lost one lb this past week. I will stop eating any cottage cheese or egg white 3 days before the surgery, but my preferred choices seem to be healthier than my dietician's! I so hear you on the non-dairy, and I like dairy! My brother is vegan, so I could perhaps give you suggestions if you like; DM me. This is for post-surgery: I love a pureed red lentil soup with lemon and herbs, and you could incorporate protein powder and broth, for example. I've also been doing Brodo bone broth. It has more protein and helps with hunger. Mine is a major university bariatric center as well and they seem stuck in 1985 with respect to diet! Prior to the VSG project, when I thought I could "eat less and exercise more" (ha ha) I was put on an 1100-1200 calorie diet (high protein, low fat, low carb) for months and months and didn't lose weight. It was not that hard to implement, as I already pretty much ate that way. I measured and weighed every single pea I ate. Their dietician told me I could eat up to 1800 calories a day without gaining weight, so I'd lose weight at 1600. I told her that I'm not even losing at 1100! (I laughed, but inside my own head because that was such a load of hooey) She shrugged and had no idea why (she clearly thought I was lying to her, which I was not- again, infantilizing when I needed actual help.) . So: disappointing, but not that surprising. And now, Im losing a single lb in a week on this horrible preop diet. Does it still de-fat your liver if you don't lose weight? I'm following every dietary restriction I was given except that the diet comes from pre-packaged shakes. I'm making my own now with Isopure, low fat/low carb nut milk and a LOT less artificial sweetness or none at all—had a great espresso one today. And yet: the weight is not coming off me. But this is why I'm having this surgery. Makes me worry I'll not lose any weight at all afterward, but my surgeon thinks I will. I do not have cravings for anything except really any real food when I'm hungry. Now Im stomach-growling hungry for huge parts of the day, exhausted, peeing constantly, and not losing any weight. This sucks. I'm saying this because I know there are other just like me out there, and I'm saying, "Guys, it's really ok to not be positive and cheerful all the time. Truth is really healthy." I'll also add that if this diet makes you pissed off and tired and unable to work properly, that seems normal to me. And I don't think it means that you won't be committed to your health or your diet afterward. I also don't think adults need training wheels or to be lied to about numbers to incorporate that most people cheat. I'd prefer to be told the actual truth about what is medically necessary and why.
  7. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    The thing that cracks me up about this process, is that these programs seem to all assume/are designed as though all overweight people have become that way because they/we all love eating Cheetos dipped in melted chocolate and drinking Big Gulps full of queso-topped Coke Slurpees with fluffernutter chasers. Some of us—perhaps even many of us—eat normal savory, natural foods like chicken and vegetables, don't eat out, and don't love drinking melted ice cream on the sly, and try to avoid chemicals in their foods. I do wish there was some kind of accommodation for these eating patterns. We can be fat people too! Unless I have it all wrong, and we are meant to train ourselves to crave a good melted ice cream chug and a handful of s'more dip as we learn "better eating habits" after surgery. I just find it funny.
  8. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    I did the exact same thing! (I'm not "allowed" to do it on my diet- but I'm allowed some fat free dressing- so I figured this qualified) But it really helps, and I never used Ranch seasoning before. I'm mostly just not eating at all now. I can't keep the shakes down, so I'm drinking a lot of water and coffee and broth. I'm awaiting word from my dietician on my Forager Cashew Milk/Isopure recipe for a homemade protein shake I can stomach with no sugar. I did try the Owyn shakes she recommended. They are truly, truly deeply vile. I thought I could deal after one mixed with three cups of coffee, but I really can't.
  9. Would it help to eat before you feel desperately hungry? I find it hard when I wait too long to eat. I have not had surgery yet, but if I wait too long, it seems like it reduces my sensation of feeling satisfied. Hope that helps. Sounds difficult.
  10. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    PREOP LIQUID DIET UPDATE: So I spent all day on this issue. I found some solutions on my own. The problems were: 1. I can't tolerate the Premiere Protein shakes (or any other shakes) because the calcium is too high and I have high calcium already (probably hyperparathyroidism- still having labs). 2. I don't have much of a sweet tooth so shakes all day isn't fun for me—its a bit barfy. 3. I want to control how sweet the protein liquid is, so maybe I can keep it down. 4. I want it to taste real, like something healthy, not like junk food or candy. I want a savory option also. Ok. So here is what I found, but it involves a DIY approach. I'm going to try Forager cashew milk (I've had it- it tastes like cashews and is not sweet- it tastes healthy in a good way) plus Isopure Protein Powder (zero carbs, zero sugar), plus a sugar free Monin syrup, because I can use just a small amount so it is gently sweet, not vomitaciously so. (like all prepared shakes, for some reason). This accomplishes the protein in a prepared shake with lower carbs and fat and much much lower calcium, and will taste natural. I'll try this when it comes in the mail tomorrow. I'm going to use 1.25 scoops of powder, probably a tbsp of Monin Almond Syrup, and 4 oz. of Forager Cashew Milk, unsweetened with a ton of ice in the blender. I may throw in some nutmeg and a pinch of salt. It will be 150 calories 31g protein 2g fat 2g carbs 8% calcium 0% vitamin C For now, I will grind up my multivitamin and put it in there until I have to stop taking vitamins 10 days before surgery. My surgery is on the 28th, so very soon. I've also been trying Brodo bone broths for savory protein and liquids- they are great, but too expensive. Good to know about though. I've also sprinked a bit of Ranch powder on some celery and asperagus (I'm allowed 2 cups veggies and 2 tbsp fat free dressing a day-- so I'm doing that-- it's pretty good, and I'm not even a Ranch person) I'll try this smoothie recipe tomorrow. I hope it helps someone else who might have hyperparathyroidism. Obviously, check with your surgeon on this before doing it.
  11. brightly

    Preop and divorce

    It's good that he will be there for you anyway. For many of us, the health problems (heart attack, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, inability to exercise, knee/hip replacement, asthma issues and more) associated with being overweight long-term are so much more extreme than the only medical solution proven to help us get to and stay at a healthy weight. I thought it was a little humorous that he said he could not imagine having 20% of his stomach. I thought—well, he won't have to imagine—he can ask you how it feels, and you will tell him. Also- no one seems to be interested in how it feels health-wise to be overweight. (Perhaps your husband is the positive exception here, but in my experience, most people are quick to talk about the surgery and how horrific the idea is, but not how horrific it is to have a heart attack at a young age, or any other obesity-related health problem. ) Literally no one would say, "Gee, don't you think quadruple bypass surgery is extreme? I can't imagine having my heart surgically altered". But weight loss surgery is a medical necessity for some and a hope of prevention for others. It can be truly life-saving. Not that you need to hear that, because you already know it. But he should probably hear it. It sounds like he might come around in the end, and I wish you both the best. I'm mostly writing this for others whose spouses may need some help understanding the medical nature of the procedure.
  12. brightly

    Preop and divorce

    Here are some articles that might help him understand the science, including the fact that it isn't fully understood yet and is multifactorial. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/unexpected-clues-emerge-about-why-diets-fail/ https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/12/7/16587316/bariatric-surgery-weight-loss-lap-band ... let me know if you need more articles. There is the other thing : people in societal groups that are favored (dudes, thin people, youth, the wealthy, the physically well etc...without getting too far into the politics of this) don't have to see things from a non-favored person's perspective (women, overweight people, people over 40, poor people, the infirm, etc...) because they are the recipients of most of society's advantages. In short, they are not forced to understand the other side. We are forced to, so we end up seeing things from both perspectives—the dominat, favored one because it is forced in our faces every day and our own because it is our reality in the face of that. Thin/fit people who love us need to aspire to a true medical understanding of the issue. (it would be great if dudes would likewise attempt to form a more educated understanding of women's historical struggle but let's not get too ambitious) Granted, this seems difficult, even for some of our own physicians, but we must reach for it, or we will never see it realized. Thin people also have to understand that obesity is a medical issue that has causes that are genetic, metabolic, hormonal, environmental. So perhaps giving him some articles to read might help. If they don't-- his resistance is not really about that. Good luck with this and keep us posted. We are with you!
  13. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    PREOP DIET: THE WHYS I did some extensive reading last night, and discovered that the preop diet is mainly intended to help patients lose weight and de-glycogen their liver to make it more pliable in surgery. That's basically it. In order to do this, one needs to be on a low carb, low fat, high protein diet. They call it a "Very Low Calorie Diet" or VLCD. Some of us have been on this kind of diet in the past. In fact, I lost 50lbs on a VLCD—twice! And of course I gained all the weight back and more, as soon as I allowed myself 1200 calories of healthy food—both times! It slowed my metabolism down to a crawl and didn't allow me energy to exercise. One time I did it sans drugs and had no energy to do anything in my life—it was impossible, but I stuck to these horrible shakes only, and I did this for months. The other time, I just reduced the calories in my daily diet and used Phentermine (so much easier!). Both times I was put on an 800 calorie a day diet. About the fact that it's a liquid diet: this seems not to matter until close to the surgery (last few days?) because they want no particles of poorly chewed food in your stomach's staple line. There could be other reasons for requiring it to be liquid that I have not yet read about, and I'm still looking. Anyone who knows--please jump in. The other bit about it, unfortunately, is the usual infantilizing of overweight people thing: "to get you used to how you will have to eat post-surgery!". I don't know about anyone else, but I don't need to "get used to" drinking artificial shakes. The less I have to be on a shakes diet, the more committed I'll be to the necessary time I have to do it. After surgery, no one even wants to eat a bowl full of broccoli rabe or a fistfull of spikey toast and sharp pieces of metal, or so I've heard. It seems that drinking water is a challenge at first, and that most are not interested in eating for a while. I'd prefer to go the math/science route and be told exactly what the breakdown of the diet is and why, so I can customize according to my own body's medical needs. But preop, it seems that patients should be armed with what will help them succeed at the objectives. If the dietician can't offer true individualized help, and can only communicate in condescending 3-word emails, then they need to print out the diet's actual parameters in the $350 packet of 6 sheets they hand you when you have the all-important "dietician consult". Mine was a joke. The dietician read the packet to me basically. I'm serious. Is this worth $350? I can read. I'm not sure why the parameters need to be so mysterious. Maybe to justify paying a dietician in the first place? An insurance thing like the psych consult? (also a hoop jump for insurance only) The other thing that I hope changes: the condescension towards fat people from some in the medical profession. Overweight people are just people. They aren't somehow deficient, un-smart people, or inherently lacking in discipline or agency because they struggle with their weight/metabolism. This issue isn't about simple "willpower" and anyone who claims it is has not done research or has simply ignored any research that doesn't confirm their own bias against those who are overweight. I know we all—or hopefully many of us—know this and can name a never-ending list of accomplished thinkers, scientists, artists, directors, lawyers, athletes, comedians and yes---doctors! who struggle with their weight for a variety of reasons. In fact, just like in the general non-overweight population, there are intelligent people who are successful at other things in their life in the fat population. So it really bothers me when we are infantilized en masse. Perhaps some people on the preop diet like the authoritarian approach, and that's ok! Not all of us want to be treated like that, and we should be accommodated and armed with science and math on this diet to minimize our own suffering and maximize our chance of success on the diet. Some seem to think we deserve some more suffering for being overweight, and if we balk at this, it's a sign we should think more about our commitment to health before undergoing surgery. That ethos is part of some kind of seriously retrograde, patriarchal justified-by-labor nonsense that has nothing to do with this problem. I'm still working on the research, guys. Meanwhile, I'm trying the lower-calcium Owyn shakes today (that got horrible reviews for taste- yum!) because my dietician was able to suggest those when pushed for a lower calcium option.
  14. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    Hey Shopgirl, Totally strange, right? I really want to know if it matters that something is a liquid... this seems not to make sense, because chewed up food and water== puree or liquid, right? You are right, I will call my doctor. I feel like the nutritionist should have put a little effort into the response, in that she gets paid separately—and a lot for just handing me a stapled packet of sheets. I'm already on PPis for GERD and Linzess for constipation, but I do think you are right, but I dread bothering a surgeon about this.It makes me feel like I'm asking a lot and I should just deal with it—but why? if I don't have to? This process is hard enough. Thanks for the reply. 😄
  15. brightly

    July 2021 Surgery People!

    Yeah, I'm sorry you had to hear this. It is not helpful at all. After surgery, you will not have the same stomach and thus will not feel like it is empty on 500 calories. You will also not feel like eating anything abrasive, for sure. I hope that person who wrote that takes it a little bit easy on themselves going forward from here.

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