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I figured I'd dip a toe in here because this is really the only ESG community I've seen. Hi, everyone. I'm a week out from ESG on March 23. I got it at Brigham and Women's. The surgical team was all very kind and good to me. I started at 5'4" and around 250 lbs, though I am not tracking weight, I'm tracking stuff like appearance and clothing size (because weight will screw up my brain really bad). Doctors can measure weight on their own and do that stuff.

I feel like my recovery to basic life took ages. The internet and doctors said 1-3 days, and it took me 6 days to not be so exhausted and nauseous and cramped and dizzy that I could stay awake and focused for more than 2 hours at a time. I'm glad my work is extremely patient. Has anyone else had it that bad? Apparently it took me forever to bring out of anesthesia and get coherent enough for them to say I could go home. They wanted me to walk around at home, but the best I could do was get up, go pee, and sleep for 3 more hours at home. I slept in 1.5 hour intervals or so because every time my sleep cycle would get light (which is how sleep works), I'd feel pain or nausea and wake up, then have to slowly adjust into a comfortable position. I also only sleep on my chest at night. That made it rough.

As of Sunday, I was able to do basic stuff like stay awake for long enough to talk to my husband for a while without being loopy as heck. I went back to work yesterday, and so far it's...a thing. I have a few questions.

  • People say they lose weight during their first week. I feel like my body is the same as it was. I don't feel like the most recent slight changes (and I'm pretty obsessive and would notice) have undone, though people online say things like "I lost 10 pounds my first week." 10 is actually a lot for me and does result in something I can feel. Am I doing it wrong? Did the procedure fail?
  • Protein Shakes are so boring, and I would do anything to be able to have the sensory experience of eating. I'm only 2 days into feeling okay and I'm already wanting to break people in half for having a burrito within smelling distance. My work social time revolves around lunch, and it's making me feel lonely and awful. (They're all foodies. Like, they try a new kind of cuisine every week. There's adventure to it, and fun. I now can't do *any* of that flavor exploration.) Is there any way I can count Soup as a clear Fluid without it just being chicken broth out of a bottle? Anything with some mouthfeel to it? Like IDK, cream of chicken soup with some isolate Protein to pump it up in the protein count?
  • Is there a way to wring more than the 20% expected results out of this procedure? I can't afford (in time, money, or workplace presence lost) to do any more strenuous procedure. Not at all. So this is it -- this is the most intense thing I can do to lose weight. How can I get above 20% weight lost? Frustratingly, while I'm finding food boring, doctors are demanding I eat like 1000 calories a day, when I know I could get away with like 300 in pure protein and nothing else. I feel like that'd drop the most at once, but I'm trying to stick to what they tell me.
  • I'm confused about the massive anti-fat-in-food bias I'm seeing around. I get that deep-frying everything is not healthy, of course. But the whole "don't use anything with a trace amount of fat as a condiment" -- didn't we prove over the past 10-15 years that low-fat diets are crap and that high protein diets with real fats are the way to go? That if you're going to use mayo, use a tiny bit of full fat instead of that light crap, and egg whites are silly, just eat the yolk dangit? I keep seeing recipes for after liquid phase of like "grilled chicken" and admonishments to never eat butter again. Grilled chicken is the most boring food known to man, no matter how much stuff you sprinkle on it to try to jazz it up. Am I going to have to argue with dieticians to be able to enjoy any kind of food again?

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Hello! What city are you in? I and 5 days post op. I have had a rough time as well, but doing a little better each day. Everyone is different. Don’t judge your progress based on others. There is an amazing Facebook group you should join. Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty Support Group USA. They are very supportive and give great advice and information.

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I'm not an ESG patient, but I can address a couple of these things

first, most people don't lose 10 lbs the first week because they pump you up with so much Fluid in the hospital. People usually gain weight from that - and some people gain 10 or more lbs from that. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to that whole first week to lose the IV fluid. Some people probably DO lose 10 lbs the first week, but I don't think they're in the majority because of the IV fluid issue

secondly, I don't hear much anti-fat talk - at least on these boards. It seems to be mostly anti-carb talk. Maybe the anti-fat trend is coming back? I don't know - I guess I haven't been paying enough attention. I'm not really a fan of either one - I like balance.

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I didn't have the exact same surgery, but I am right there with you, having a difficult time with my diet currently.

I have also noticed that I tire very easily. I feel good; little to no soreness at this point (my sleeve surgery was also on 3/23), when I'm walking around from one room to another on the 2nd floor. But walking up the stairs? Taking a shower and getting dressed? It will literally take me down for the count. My energy depletes with a snap of the fingers. But I also feel like I am consuming something like 200-300 calories a day, which is nothing.

I just wanted to let you know that I feel you...stand with you in the difficulty of it all.

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I had the ESG procedure in June 2020 in Cary, NC.

First, I too felt like sh*t more than 1 to 3 days. I struggled with dehydration for the first 3-4 days since every clear liquid I tried was like drinking battery acid. Not that I have drank battery acid before. My doc gave the ok to drink milk and boy was it a game changer. I did lose about 7 pounds the first week due to dehydration and actually gained 2 pounds during week 2.

I personally like Protein Shakes (Fairlife and Premier Protein). I still drink them at 10 months out. Once I got the ok to have liquids (not just clear) I blended a lot of different things. I was told as long as it didn't contain any chunks or "fibrous" fruit or vegetables, it was ok. If it was too thick I just thinned it with milk.

Yes it is possible to lose more than the predicted 17-20% of total body weight. In 10 months, I have lost 30% (194sw, 60 lost, 135 cw/goal).

The diet is very restrictive during the weight loss phase. I started transitioning to "maintenance" when I was within 10 pounds of my goal. I won't lie, it took 4 months to lose the last 10 pounds but they did come off be it very slowly. I don't have a forbidden food list. I eat anything I want but one has to be careful not to let old habits rule your life again. Have there been "bad" days, yes but tomorrow is a new day and I move on. I feel my "maintenance" is something I can do long term and when it comes time to lose a few pounds (and it will) I can go back to a more restrictive way of eating. I have come to accept that I will lose/gain the same 5 pounds over and over again but losing 5 pounds is a lot easier than 50.

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Thanks, KM. This is the kind of perspective I was looking for.

What do you mean by the "weight loss phase"? The liquid phase?

So if you spent the last 4 months on 10 pounds, that means that it took you 6 months for the other 50. I'm not sure how this translates to someone heavier, but that's a solid rate. I'm hoping for 250 -> 180, which would be 30%.

I don't mind Protein Shakes on their own, but my issue is that I am used to living a very carnivorous life and am missing the flavors of meat and associated stuff. The faux-sugar flavor is great for feeling like I've had a snack, but I miss chicken thighs and steak. I'm wondering what can fill that desire.

Have you done any research into your metabolic rate? Obviously at some points beforehand you were eating above maintenance, but did your BMR go down dramatically?

Edited by Miratia

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The weight loss phase refers to the period that you are actively trying to lose weight. It last from the time of surgery until you reach goal or your body just doesn't want to lose anymore and then you are in "maintenance". It is much easier to lose weight in the beginning (some call it the honeymoon period). To satisfy my need for meat, I blended various campbell's chunky Soups until smooth. It looked gross! As for BMR, I don't know but I can tell I did lose some muscle along the way. Hopefully with some strength training and time, I will gain some back without seeing a uptick on the scale.

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