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Gastric Sleeve - BMI 31



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I am scheduled for gastric sleeve surgery on Aug 21, 2017. I am 5' 1 1/2" and weigh about 167lbs, so my BMI is about 31. I was an over weight teenager and had to lose weight to enter the military. After my first child, I gained a lot of weight and was worried about being discharged from the military so I began dieting and exercising. I was able to lose all the weight and went from a size 8-10 to size 2-4 and stayed that way for many years. I had two more children and both times was able to get back down to a size 2-4. When I turned 35ish, I found it more and more difficult to lose the weight and began to put on about 2-4lbs a year (I'm 44 now). About a year ago, I retired from the military and since I don't have to do unit physical training 3 times a week, I have managed to put on about 20lbs. Obesity runs in my family, and at this rate, I will be morbidly obese in a matter of a few years. I figured it was inevitable that I will need this surgery, so why not get it now while I only have to lose 45-50lbs. My biggest fear is that I will have the surgery and not lose any weight. I would love to hear other peoples experiences, especially from those who had a low BMI. I've read stories about people who've had this surgery and gained all the weight back. My doctor told me those individuals are probably not following a high Protein diet and not exercising. He told me if I eat a high protein diet, control my portions to my new stomach size, and add power walking, I will lose it and keep it off. Your thoughts????

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If you were my family member, I would tell you to eat the same way you would post op. See if you can drop those extra pounds on your own.. and if you make it a permanent dietary change, then you likely won't gain it back. There is no harm in trying it this way.

Surgery really is designed for people that have closer to 100lbs to lose. The complication rate for the surgery is low, but complications can be severe.. so a basically healthy person with only 50lbs to lose.. it just may not be worth it...

Just because you aren't exercising with a unit anymore doesn't mean you can't join a gym on your own (you'll need to post op anyway...)

The thing with surgery is, yes, it knocks off the excess pounds in short order.. but you'll still have to watch what you eat and exercise forever afterwards. So why not just do that now?

Sample menu:

Breakfast: 4oz. cottage cheese and a piece of fruit

Lunch: 2 eggs and 6oz black Beans with salsa (can change type of beans as you prefer)

Dinner: 4oz of meat or fish, unlimited non-starchy veggies

Snack: 2oz salted nuts or seeds

Drink at least 64oz of non/low-caloric fluids.

Low sodium v8 and/or coconut Water will give additional potassium.

Take a Multivitamin, because this diet is lacking sufficient B-vitamins and Calcium.< /b>

My husband (who has not had surgery) started eating this way, and has already lost 23lbs on it, without exercise. It's simple and effective.

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Like you, I have a low BMI. I have read more success stories than failure stories regarding sustained weight loss - especially with low bmi sleevers. As a female who has had children and has had a long history of dieting, success at continued dieting and excercise alone is only going to get more difficult to achieve. (I write this out of personal experience and after reading the book "The Secret Life of Fat: The Science Behind the Body's Least Understood Organ and What it Means for You".)

I am having the surgery next Monday. I have insulin resistance that is going to turn into diabetes and high triglycerides. I hope to nip those problems in the bud, lose weight and keep it off with the same advice your doc gave you.

There are lots of low bmi folks who are thrilled with their surgery - do a search and you"ll find them. Cheers to you!

Edited by Wasntme

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I am scheduled for gastric sleeve surgery on Aug 21, 2017. I am 5' 1 1/2" and weigh about 167lbs, so my BMI is about 31. I was an over weight teenager and had to lose weight to enter the military. After my first child, I gained a lot of weight and was worried about being discharged from the military so I began dieting and exercising. I was able to lose all the weight and went from a size 8-10 to size 2-4 and stayed that way for many years. I had two more children and both times was able to get back down to a size 2-4. When I turned 35ish, I found it more and more difficult to lose the weight and began to put on about 2-4lbs a year (I'm 44 now). About a year ago, I retired from the military and since I don't have to do unit physical training 3 times a week, I have managed to put on about 20lbs. Obesity runs in my family, and at this rate, I will be morbidly obese in a matter of a few years. I figured it was inevitable that I will need this surgery, so why not get it now while I only have to lose 45-50lbs. My biggest fear is that I will have the surgery and not lose any weight. I would love to hear other peoples experiences, especially from those who had a low BMI. I've read stories about people who've had this surgery and gained all the weight back. My doctor told me those individuals are probably not following a high Protein diet and not exercising. He told me if I eat a high protein diet, control my portions to my new stomach size, and add power walking, I will lose it and keep it off. Your thoughts????
[/quote


I had my surgery on 7/10. When I started this I was 190 at 5ft 2 inches and I am 62 yrs old. My BMI was 34.5 by the time of surgery I was 180. I am a extreme foodie & gourmet cook as is my entire family!
I have always been athletic and able to drop 25 lbs very quickly & easily. I eat healthy foods except larger portions. But I could not sustain it and always gained back more than I lost. I had early menopause at 46 and they have had me on hormones for 15 yrs. I stared developing commorbidities such as severe sleep apnea, pre-diabetic, asthma and every joint in my body was aching!! I felt as if I was going to become old quickly & a invalid. I got married 2 years ago and no way did I want this to happen to me. I am normally a very active person but all that was stopped. My husband totally supports me in this.
My 2 grown children felt I didn't need the surgery because when I put my mind to it in the past I always could lose but with that I spent every night in the gym for 2-3 hours exhausting myself, with a trainer and serious dieting. My husband & I were like ships passing in the night. This was not how I wanted to live in my new marriage. I need balance and I want to enjoy the next 30+yrs!! So I say if you are ready to be committed to your change in lifestyle from now on and have done your research go for it!!! I make no judgements based on people's BMI. It's the first day of week 3 and I am extremely happy to be on this new lifetime journey. Ps... I have gotten off sleep medications(15yrs), hormones (15 yrs) and am feeling good!


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I just wanted to point out that, although you want to lose 45-50lbs, you are only 33lbs away from a healthy bmi.

Most of us lose around 15lbs on the preop diet, so you seriously want to risk life and limb over a measly 18lbs?

Please visit the complications forum before making your final decision. Everyone really should do that.

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I was BMI 30-31 when I signed up for surgery, and 29 on Day of Surgery.

3 months later I'm down 35 lbs and feeling great. 20lbs or so to goal.

From my perspective your doc is right - high Protein, low carb, no sugar, small portions of quality diverse nutritious food (weigh and track all your meals) and some exercise and the weight should fall off.

I feel that this was the right decision for me and so far..would not discourage other Low BMIers... though to be honest, the proof will lie in my ability to get to goal and to stay there. I'm optimistic because this has really changed my relationship with food. I used to be all about the huge portions, now I am satisfied with much less. That was my main motivation to do this - I needed help with Portion Control. That is much harder to do without the surgery without being hungry all the time.

Definitely experienced some judgment from those with higher BMIs in the hospital and on forums (i didn't tell anyone else except mother and partner) - but we must each walk our own paths. In fact, at the hospital, the doctor who performed the surgery on me said to me afterward that my stomach was surprisingly large - the same size as someone much bigger than I actually was at the time - and so he was not surprised that I had extreme trouble keeping my weight down. I did feel a little vindicated at that.

The first month was rough, I cannot lie. Really hard. Be prepared.

Now though, I feel great.

The only physical side effects have been an increase in GERD symptoms like acid reflux and heartburn, which is a little annoying as I did not have these problems before. Mentally I was very emotional for the first few months. All in all its been worth it for me so far, but check in again a few years out to see if I am still saying that ;) Maintainance is probably more challenging than losing!

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Interesting I was also told my stomach very large. Portion Control was extremely hard. The other thing is I watched my mother and aunt go from trim active women to obsese women with arthritis, joint replacements swollen legs , ankles and feet once they hit their 60's. I realized I was heading in the same direction and I have the same body type, my husband also noticed it. My family all have thyroid issues. It was the final reason I looked into this surgery as my family trait was moving down to me and also my brother.

I am totally confident that I made the right choice for myself.

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Regarding pre-surgery diet: if you have less to lose, you probably won't be losing 15 pounds in 2 weeks. I only have to do the pre-surgery diet for one week, and I'll be lucky to lose 4 pounds.

Surgery is a risk.

https://asmbs.org/resources/bariatric-surgery-in-class-i-obesity

The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery's paper above is a good read. (Of course this means more "business" for them if they expand their client base!)

Edited by Wasntme

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Thank you everyone for the information. It helps me to feel better when I hear from people going thru the same thing. Wasntme...hope everything goes smoothly and you recover quickly. Mem1 & NightPilgrim...so glad to hear that even people with low BMI's do really lose the weight. I know this seems like a drastic measure, but I'm uncomfortable in my skin right now, and I know it will just get worse. I spent many years on the yo-yo dieting and it just gets harder and harder as I get older...not to mention my will power continues to get weaker and weaker. I do believe I probably have an extremely large stomach because I feel like I am always hungry...I will update you on my stomach size after surgery. But, my doctor explained that after this surgery, a lot less of the hunger hormone is produced and therefore I would be more likely to be able to resist temptations and stay on track with a healthy diet. And I know after I lose at least 20lbs, I should be able to start running again, but its too uncomfortable to do with this much extra weight. With the smaller portions and power walking, I hopefully will get the first 20lbs off quick. As for pre-op diet, my doctor is only having me on a 5 day high protein/extremely low carb diet prior to surgery because my liver is not as enlarged as someone who would have more weight to lose. Again, thank you for your input and I would love to hear more from others in the same situation.

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I was sleeved with a BMI of 32.5. The 70 pounds I slowly gained in the last 15 years was really taking a toll on my quality of life and was affecting me in many aspects. I used to be a muscular 130 pounds and Had ballooned to 202. The yoyo dieting was taking its toll on my metabolism and I was slowing slipping into a depression where I didn't want to leave the house or interact with people. It was even affecting my marriage because I felt physically and emotionally horrible. Based on my history I knew I was on the road to morbid obesity and I made the decision that enough was enough and I was going to get help. Don't let anyone tell you that this is a tool reserved only for the morbidly obese. I was sleeved on 7/6/17 and I'm feeling great and estactic with my progress. Life is so damn short... follow your gut. 20 years from now you'll regret the things that you DIDN'T do rather than the things you did.

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Carmellax....so it's been nearly 3 weeks since your surgery....do you mind if I ask how you're feeling? Have you go back to work yet? Have you started to eat any solid food and if so, how is your digestive system feeling? And thank you for the encouragement. I've told everyone at work and my family/friends....I get 50/50 response. I have a few friends who've had the band and they say that they were talked into the band due to their lower BMI....and that if they had it all to do over again, they would have done the sleeve (my banded friends either didn't lose the weight, or regained most all of it back).

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8 minutes ago, carcan73 said:

Carmellax....so it's been nearly 3 weeks since your surgery....do you mind if I ask how you're feeling? Have you go back to work yet? Have you started to eat any solid food and if so, how is your digestive system feeling? And thank you for the encouragement. I've told everyone at work and my family/friends....I get 50/50 response. I have a few friends who've had the band and they say that they were talked into the band due to their lower BMI....and that if they had it all to do over again, they would have done the sleeve (my banded friends either didn't lose the weight, or regained most all of it back).

I'm on full liquids to puree. I'm following my surgeons post op diet instructions to the letter so I won't be on full unrestricted solids until week 9. I'm back working but it's a desk job in my office. I feel good and have no pain. I do get tired easily and sometimes get a foggy brain. It's all normal due to the caloric restrictions. My digestion is good as long as I stick to my diet. Spicy foods are a big no no and I have not dared to challenge my sleeve by eating something I'm not supposed to or eating to much. Right now I can eat about a tablespoon of purée foods in a sitting. Fluids are going down pretty well. About 4 ozs every 20-30 minutes. I'm down 22 pounds. 🎉

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29 minutes ago, CarmellaX said:

I'm on full liquids to puree. I'm following my surgeons post op diet instructions to the letter so I won't be on full unrestricted solids until week 9. I'm back working but it's a desk job in my office. I feel good and have no pain. I do get tired easily and sometimes get a foggy brain. It's all normal due to the caloric restrictions. My digestion is good as long as I stick to my diet. Spicy foods are a big no no and I have not dared to challenge my sleeve by eating something I'm not supposed to or eating to much. Right now I can eat about a tablespoon of purée foods in a sitting. Fluids are going down pretty well. About 4 ozs every 20-30 minutes. I'm down 22 pounds. 🎉

I'm so glad to hear that. I pray my recovery goes as well as yours has. I have a desk job and I'm hoping to go back to work after 1-week. 22lbs in less than a month is amazing. I bet your excited and feeling so much better. I am looking forward to losing enough weight to comfortably/easily cross my legs, walk up stairs without feeling like an 80 yr old woman who needs an oxygen tank, and fitting into clothing without being self conscious of how they fit and look...oh and of course looking foward to my inner thighs not rubbing anymore...yuck. A lady at work made a sarcastic comment to everyone in our meeting that I just wanted to be model stick skinny (insinuating I was vain)....but that's not the case. I just want to be comfortable. My body frame will never be model skinny...and I that's not what I want. Its just that right now I dread waking up and facing the day knowing how uncomfortable I am in my body and I just want to lose the excess weight so I can look forward to each day with more energy and excitement.

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I am in a very similar situation, BMI of 32 and I'm going to get sleeved on 9/2. I need this tool. I've never been successful on my own. I want to be healthy. I want to reset my relationship with food. I'm ready (but scared, as with all major surgeries). Maybe more so because I'm going to Tijuana to have it done.


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