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1.5 year Update -with pics.



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Edited by bellabloom

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Thank you for sharing your journey. You have done a service by sharing the warnings. Do you believe that emotionally you were ready for the surgery? Because of the eating disorder? This is not meant as a criticism, but an honest question. Do you think you would have had a more positive experience if you had gotten more therapy for your eating disorder before the surgery? Again, I know, hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps your thoughts will give hope and pause to someone else who is battling an eating disorder like you are/were. As one of my support group friends likes to remind us, "this isn't brain surgery!" That part has to be dealt with separately. I am still working my way down to my goal weight, but have seen some of those old habits sneak in from time to time. Frozen pizza and corn tortilla chips have been my arch enemy so far. They have been my continued comfort food, although now that I am aware of how I was using them, they are a bit easier to resist.

I think sometimes that although we give lip service to our surgery being a tool, we do expect some amount of miracle cure. I say I prepared for the worst and hoped for the best, but the best is miracle cure! And that hope for a miracle sure can be dangerous for your expectations. Its valuable for newbies that we point out that there are people who struggle, and struggle mightily, after the surgery, and that this isn't a miracle cure. It may fix it quickly and for a time, but it is also work. The thing I believe is that it becomes the same work that NORMAL people tend to do, unless you have an eating disorder, and that adds another layer of complexity because your relationship with food and body image are so intertwined and hurting.

What I mean about normal people is that, if you observe people who are "normal" sized generally, they have to work to stay that way. They workout, they try to eat healthy, they make choices that are either positive or negative to their health. To me, this surgery has helped me "start" from normal instead of having to spend years to get back to normal and on the way to normal, I get to learn/practice as much as I can about "being normal". I can see how eating healthy and small amounts can make a difference, instead of feeling like no matter what I eat I just keep getting bigger. I can see that a reasonable amount of exercise can make me stronger and healthier, instead of feeling like we can't do enough to be able to see results. I think that for people without eating disorders, that is how this whole process can work, but having watched and supported my best friend from college as she faced down her eating disorder, I know that for you and others with eating disorders your process and mindset will be vastly different and I don't think we give nearly enough attention to those differences and how they affect this whole process.

None of what I said it meant to lessen your experience in the least and I am a year behind you so my attitude and thinking could change as I move further on. I am so impressed that you have been willing to share your struggles. I know you don't know me from Adam, but if there is anyway I can be of support to you, please let me know.

Best wishes as you continue on your journey,

pam

PS sorry that got long and perhaps a bit preachy.

Edited by mngreeneyes

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Thank you Pam. Yes I do wish I had addressed my eating disorder before surgery but I was in remission at the time. I had addressed it five years before with a partial hospitalization program where I stayed for a month and had intensive therapy. I had been in remission for five years although looking back I was still binge and emotionally eating which is the most common issue for us obese eating disorder people.

If I had chosen to go back into therapy before surgery I doubt I would have had surgery at all. I would have chosen to love and accept my body for what it was and embraced healthier eating habits that I believe would have allowed me to gradually lose weight until

I was at least not longer obese.

But that's not what I did.

I wrote this post because I hope to encourage more people to go this route before having surgery because this surgery is incredibly difficult, risky, and only a short term solution.

I am currently in eating disorder therapy again and there are two other patients in my group that have also had weight loss surgery.

This survey does not fix an underlying disorder and if you have an eating disorder it will worsen it.

This surgery is a temporary fix only and yes it will give you a shove in the weight loss direction but it is only temporary!!

There are some people who are overweight who do not have eating disorders. But the vast majority do have some sort of disordered eating mentality that takes them to an obese BMI. I strongly encourage you to ask yourself if surgery alone will be enough once your hunger returns and why you are overeating in the first place.

Our bodies do not like to be deprived from food and when we restrict our calories and underfeed ourselves, no matter our weight, our bodies fight back.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

Edited by bellabloom

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The following is my own personal testimony based on my WLS journey.

I was sleeved 21 months ago, have lost 100 pounds and have maintained at or below my weight goal for over a year. I now weigh 135 pounds.

I agree with Bella that:

* WLS is not a magical solution for obesity, much less eating disorders.

* Patients with eating disorders should not expect that WLS will solve their eating disorders or resolve any underlying or coincident issues related to those disorders.

* Not everyone who becomes obese has an eating disorder.

* Most people who are recovering from obesity will benefit enormously from therapy.

* Maintaining one's weight after WLS is challenging. It doesn't happen automatically. One person's successful maintenance strategies may not be the same as another person's, ,but maintaining your weight loss is do-able. Still, it's about a 50/50 proposition as to whether WLS patients will maintain the majority of their excess weight lost or gain most or even all of it back. Patients who don't acknowledge this difficulty are fooling themselves.

Prior to WLS I didn't have an eating disorder and still don't. Nonetheless, I have been in therapy since two months prior to WLS. There are lots of lifestyle, psychological and emotional changes after WLS, which I've navigated pretty well. But life's stresses have not lessened for me (I'll just leave it at that).

But even with all that I'm so much healthier now than I was 3 years ago and am managing much better in life than before. For me (thus far), my sleeve has been a wonderful tool. I've mastered so many other tools too that were necessary to become healthier. I could not recommend it more highly to those seeking to conquer their obesity. But everyone needs to make the most informed decision about WLS they can.

Bella, I hope you can find recovery and peace.

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I am also about 1.5 years out.. Gastric bypass in 11/03/14 . I was 282 pre op and now weigh 175 I am still considered overweight and it's an everyday struggle, I find that I'm hungry all the time..

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@@bellabloom Thank you for telling us all of this. I have just started the WLS process and have taken advantage of counseling pre-surgery. I don't feel as though I have an eating disorder but I sure can benefit from therapy regarding emotional or mindless eating (I think most could). I wish all Bariatric Programs required pre-surgery counseling. I hope you are soon in a good "place" physically and emotionally. Stay strong!

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It is a hard question for me. Do I regret surgery? No. Would I do it again. I really don't know. Probably.

Number one thing to take away from my post: do as VSG Anne has done. Put yourself into therapy from day one.

This is a major life decision. Weigh not just yourself- but all your options.

I would never recommend doing this if you are currently healthy and only mildly over weight. I do not believe BMI 40 is overweight enough for this drastic measure to be taken.

There is a very good chance you will not lose much weight, or that you will regain if you go into this with the wrong mindset.

Here are some pluses and minuses for me:

Plus:

I am able to walk and run without difficulty. I have a very physical job that I am now capable of doing much more easily. I can squat and jump etc which I could not do before.

I do not sweat profusely like I used to.

I look quite attractive and can wear almost any clothing I wish.

Some people treat me differently (better) due to my appearance.

I don't have to worry about binge eating huge amounts -my surgery stops me.

If I eat I have very good energy.

Cons:

I'm uncomfortable eating 80% of foods. If I am not very careful I will vomit.

I dump at least 3-4 times a week which involves excessive nausea and urination, drop in blood pressure, heart palpitations, sweating and flushing. It is brought on by foods high in both fat and sugar and is very hard to predict when it will Happen.

I still have bad back pain.

I still am hungry if I do not eat 1800 or more calories.

I am very tired either from dumping, vomiting, or simply not eating enough.

Eating causes a great deal of stress for me. If I eat too fast or don't chew enough I throw up and it is difficult for me to eat around people for this reason. I always become very stressed with family meals. I try but I still end up having to vomit at least 2-4 times a week.

My eating disorder is triggered by all this. I have huge anxiety around eating and weight gain. I still don't feel thin enough.

I have body dysmorphia from being overweight and I still feel overweight much of the time.

I have bradycardia (low heart rate).

I have lost half my hair.

I am freezing cold all the time. I have to sleep with a heat pad.

Some people treat me worse or differently when they don't know my history. They assume I am naturally thin.

My dating life sucks because when men discover my baggage they don't want to deal with it, or they are freaked out when I don't eat enough. Or they become obsessed with me and fixate on my looks.

I spend too much money on clothes lol.

Just grains of salt for you all to think about.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

Edited by bellabloom

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@@bellabloom - I am so sorry you are dealing with this and my response is a bit off topic, but I wanted to mention something. Have you ever been tested for autoimmune diseases? The reason I ask is that many of your symptoms sound like what I had when they discovered I had Graves disease (and likely Hashimotos but long story on that). Graves is when your immune system attacks your thyroid and you become Hyperthyroid (not hypo which is what you hear most people have). it was discovered when I was 44 and still at 320 pounds. The thing is, I had massive hot flashes, sweating, sudden weight loss, tremors, heart palpitations, etc. With Hashimotos, your thyroid will swing wildly back and forth between hyper and hypo and some of your symptoms sound hypo (hair loss, cold, low heart rate). (I too swung back and forth which is why I think mine was also Hashimotos but they had already destroyed my thyroid before testing for Hashis.)

Anyway, all to say, is it at all possible there is something else going on in your body? A good rheumatologist can run a lot of tests but if it is thyroid related, they will refer you to endocrinologist. Might be worth checking out....

Best wishes on your recovery.

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@@bellabloom - I am so sorry you are dealing with this and my response is a bit off topic, but I wanted to mention something. Have you ever been tested for autoimmune diseases? The reason I ask is that many of your symptoms sound like what I had when they discovered I had Graves disease (and likely Hashimotos but long story on that). Graves is when your immune system attacks your thyroid and you become Hyperthyroid (not hypo which is what you hear most people have). it was discovered when I was 44 and still at 320 pounds. The thing is, I had massive hot flashes, sweating, sudden weight loss, tremors, heart palpitations, etc. With Hashimotos, your thyroid will swing wildly back and forth between hyper and hypo and some of your symptoms sound hypo (hair loss, cold, low heart rate). (I too swung back and forth which is why I think mine was also Hashimotos but they had already destroyed my thyroid before testing for Hashis.)

Anyway, all to say, is it at all possible there is something else going on in your body? A good rheumatologist can run a lot of tests but if it is thyroid related, they will refer you to endocrinologist. Might be worth checking out....

Best wishes on your recovery.

:)

That's a nice thought and thank you for your care but no. My symptoms are starvation related.

Sweating and hot flashes was from being overweight.

I'm constantly cold now because I'm not eating enough to warm my body. When you reduce calories for this long your metabolism slows down conserve energy and your body temperature is lower. Your heart also slows down resulting in poor circulation. I also have very low body fat!

Racing heart is a symptom of dumping.

Hair loss, cold, low heart rate, weight loss : anorexia. Also my legs went numb from the knees down last year but that went away thank goodness.

Last year I only ate 100-500 calories per day. Now I'm eating 1000-2000. It varies a lot.

As you can see I'm quite thin. No body fat left at this point.

post-235696-14635433171883_thumb.jpg

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Just wondering I'm in the beginning stages of having this surgery and I weigh 270 I'm so afraid of loose skin and my insurance not covering it in 36 years old did u have this issue if not how do u stay away front the issue or did ur insurance company cover skin surgery

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