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One month with Reshape Balloon



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And trusting @ ItME that things are still going well for you in March 2019.

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yes @Frustr8 thank you for asking! Just very busy. I've recently started taking some classes (two nights a week plus saturdays) and my job has been very hectic, so I've cut my social media usage a fair bit. But I'm still around and still doing well!

Currently I'm at 52lb lost in about 4.5 months, which makes me very happy. My balloon will come out in about 6 weeks but I feel fairly well equipped for the next stage!

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So we're just past the 5-month mark and I just got the notification of removal date, which will be April 19th. My husband's removal is April 29th so end-to-end he'll have his balloon in for about 2 weeks more than I have mine.

As of today I've lost about 60lb, I say "about" because I had a different scale when I first started, but if it's 58lb or 62lb, either way, I'm pretty happy with that. I will probably end up right around 65lb lost, and my husband has been doing great- he will probably end up in the 70-75lb loss range. I am not looking forward to the actual removal, as I have to do 3 days of liquid diet (which can include smoothies, yogurt, etc) and 1 of Clear Liquids only. I've started taking some night classes so I'm worried about my ability to concentrate while on a diet like this, as well as the logistics of that last "clear liquids only" day since that's a work-then-school day but I assume I'll survive, so I'll stop complaining (for now).

I have to admit, while I'm definitely happy with my progress, I'm also a little disappointed; I'd had daydreams of losing 80lb or more during the 6-month balloon period, and I think that is one of the lessons I really need to learn: be proud of what I've done so far, and stop feeling like it's somehow not good enough. It's plenty good.

I also need to learn to give myself credit for what I've done (and my husband needs to do this as well), because losing weight is hard work. The gastric balloon isn't some magical short-cut; if anything, it's harder than doing it on your own because those first couple of weeks suuuuuuuuuuuuck. We're taught as kids that it's bad to be boastful, but honestly there are some things that we just have to boast about, and this is one of them.

Going forward... I don't really expect any major changes to our lifestyle once the balloons come out. We're still eating around 1000 calories/day and exercising 30 minutes 5-6 times a week, and there's no reason we can't sustain this. I don't think the portions we are consuming to get those 1000 calories are so small that we'll feel hungry without the balloons. We certainly don't feel deprived-- in my previous career, I was a chef, so I can *cook* and my husband is no slouch either-- and we've managed to have the occasional night out (and yes, even dessert and beer). So this is perfectly sustainable. We just need to sustain it.

Big lesson for now: this never ends. We don't reach our goals then revert back to our unhealthy habits. This is the new normal, and that's a big realization, but I'm totally okay with it.

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So I had my removal on Friday.

During the week leading up to the removal, I spent 2 days eating only soft foods, then 2 days of an all-liquids diet (including pureed Soups, egg drop Soup, and commercial Protein shakes). The day before the procedure was clear liquids, milk, and smooth yogurt only. I was also told to drink the occasional fizzy beverage (coke zero, mineral Water, etc) as that apparently helps remove food particles from the surface of the balloon. Conceptually they want your stomach as empty as possible so that you don't cough anything up during the procedure. Nothing to drink after 7pm the night before. So on the morning of the procedure, I was a little grouchy and very thirsty.

I spent about an hour doing all the pre-checks, then they knocked me out and did their thing. It seems to have taken them longer to wake me up this time around (I think they may have been a little worried) but I seem to have survived haha here I am. After another hour or so in the recovery room, they sent me home.

Apart from a WICKED sore throat and a big bruise where they put the IV in, I actually wasn't feeling too bad. No nausea, a little cramping but not anything I needed even a tylenol for. The worst side effect was probably the gas; they do puff you up while you're under the anesthesia, and all that gas finds its way out eventually. So it's probably best to clear your social calendar for 3 days or so, unless you want to fart up your blind date or your high school reunion.

Like others mentioned, I was wickedly hungry once I got home, but that's no surprise; I'd had a whopping 400 calories the day before (really hard to rack up the calories on diet soda, broth and yogurt) and hadn't chewed in almost a week. Outside the single day, though, I've not noticed any real difference in my appetite, so this is good; it means my portions are enough to keep my body happy and comfortable without giving myself extra calories.

So really the removal is fairly unremarkable compared to the misery of the insertion. I'm pretty much back to normal although my throat is a bit scratchy still.

Would I recommend the balloon to someone? I would, but only in conjunction with an actual support program that included access to a dietitian/nutritionist, a behaviorist/counselor and a doctor. I believe it's an excellent tool to help reshape your eating behaviors, but that you need other tools as well, and your weight loss program has got to help you get those tools.

Oh and the final totals... I lost 65 lb in the 5 months and 3 weeks that I had the balloon, which I think is pretty darned good. More importantly, I think I am in a place where i can continue to lose now that the balloon is gone. I've also lowered my resting heart rate by ~25 beats per minute, lowered my blood pressure from the "needs medication" range to the high end of normal range, and lowered my blood sugars from pre-diabetic to the high end of normal range. Good stuff :)

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Well let us know how things are going now that you are de-ballooned, did your hubby have his removed and how is he doing?

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1 hour ago, Frustr8 said:

Well let us know how things are going now that you are de-ballooned, did your hubby have his removed and how is he doing?

so far so good post-balloon... hubby gets his out on Monday (we are on slightly different timelines because even though we are in the same overall program, we had the insertion/removal at different medical centers). He's lost about 70lb and he looks awesome!!

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And I bet you're pretty awesome yourself, glad it worked out for YOU!

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Hey there!
I almost opted for the balloon too, but ultimately ended getting the sleeve done (being it was a permanent solution to my weight loss difficulties, my surgeons told me that it wasn’t a permanent fix and covered under my insurance.)

So I guess I’m curious, what happens to your stomach during the time with the balloon in? Does it shrink in size? So that when they remove the balloon you’re not tempted to want to go back to eating as much as before? I never really understood the balloon thing? I guess to me what I’m thinking, is that you have this balloon taking up all this space in your stomach but once they remove it, now you have all that empty space back to re-indulge. Does that make sense? I’m just curious about the long term solution, not that I can go back now lol

Thanks and congrats on your amazing weight loss journey!

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53 minutes ago, Jon_gets_skinny said:



So I guess I’m curious, what happens to your stomach during the time with the balloon in? Does it shrink in size? So that when they remove the balloon you’re not tempted to want to go back to eating as much as before? I never really understood the balloon thing? I guess to me what I’m thinking, is that you have this balloon taking up all this space in your stomach but once they remove it, now you have all that empty space back to re-indulge.

Your stomach doesn't really change shape or shrink while you have the balloon in, so there's nothing stopping you from reverting to all your previous habits and re-indulging and putting all the weight back on. Nothing except yourself, that is. But 6 months is enough time to re-learn portion control; I have a much better idea now what my body actually needs to live, and what a reasonable serving size is. If I maintain these good habits (exercise, calorie moderation) then I'll do well and continue to lose, and if I backslide, I won't do well.

But this is true of any weight loss procedure, as you can have even a traditional gastric bypass and gain weight if you aren't making smart, conscious decisions about what you eat, so I don't feel that I'm at that big of a disadvantage now that the training wheels have come off.

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FWIW I am 2 weeks post-removal now and I haven't had any raging appetite changes. I'm still satisfied with the portions I was eating while I had the balloon and I've been maintaining the same eating and exercise habits I had before. I've lost about 4 more pounds, for a total of 69 lb.

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