Jump to content
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!

Recommended Posts

It has been 7 months since I had my ESG procedure in March. What a weird ride. I guess I'm just posting this to muse on the situation as a whole. Wall of text time!

Six Weeks of Suck

A six week liquid diet was awful. It went in 2 week chunks and degraded over time. The first two weeks, it was amusing. I got to tell people what was going on! The first entire week I was basically sleeping anyway and took sick days, so it was just me, in bed, playing Pokemon Sword. A weird sort of vacation, really, even if half of it was crippling nausea and whining to my husband. The next two weeks was boring and a bit annoying, but I at least got to sip chicken broth and relish the fact that my food tasted like actual food. (I bought a jar of low fat chicken gravy at the store at one point and sipped it in the car while feeling like some kind of jewel thief having pulled off a heist. It was the best food I have ever eaten.) The last two weeks, I just wanted to strangle the doctors for not letting me eat solid food. Six weeks! People who have literal stomach removal have less time than that! But no, the surgeon said that six weeks was because the sutures are internal, and thus are constantly disturbed, so in a weird twist they take longer to heal than gastric sleeve surgeries.

Did I mention basic recovery sucked for the first few days? When I came out of anesthesia, the doctors said I had been under for a long time, because I was just too sleepy to actually wake after I was technically conscious. They kept me until I could walk, which was way longer than they thought. Even walking down the driveway made me so tired I had to lean on someone. Going to the bathroom and back to bed was enough to take a nap afterwards. I had to rotate constantly to stop feeling nauseous or crampy. I emergency-called the doctors for some more anti-nausea meds because the first ones just didn't work well enough. Then, like magic, around day 7, it all stopped and I could get up and do stuff normally.

Not being able to lift more than 15 pounds or whatever the limit was, was almost a deal-breaker. I work with heavy machinery a lot, but I saw that problem coming. My long-suffering (but kind) coworkers carried things for me. But at home, do you know how many things weigh 20 lbs? Stuff full of liquid is right out. A gallon of Water by itself weighs 9 lbs, heaven help you if you have to carry anything else with it. My husband had to haul our pet food and litter bags, which we buy in 50 pound sacks because we hate having to shop a lot. Even normal grocery shopping bags can approach 15 pounds if you fill them full. When I was still exhausted, I had to get a very confused Target employee to help me carry a single bag out to the car. I'm sure this guy had no idea what was going on, with a 30-something woman shuffling up to him like an old lady and holding out a fairly light bag and asking if he would be wonderful and carry this to her car because she had picked up too much stuff and now her body was saying it was time to sleep right here on the floor if she didn't hand it off.

Did I Cheat on the Diet?

Yes. 100%. I absolutely cheated. I cheated like a soap opera spouse. Honestly, the lesson I learned was that this really caused no harm whatsoever. Probably a bad lesson, but in the end, it made those last two weeks bearable. The doctor said Clear Liquids only, but I added in pureed chunky Soups, Greek yogurt, and scrambled eggs. I chewed for a long time and made sure everything in my mouth was blenderized into pure liquid, and I still ate incredibly small meals. But really, anything to get me off those fake-ass Protein Shakes. I didn't tell my team the extent of the cheating, but I never felt any pain, and I still made my calorie and macro counts. The first day I let myself eat tuna from a can was the day angels sang in my ear. I furtively snatched it up at CVS, a tiny can the size of one of those Fancy Feast cat food tins. I snuck it in the car and dumped the can in a recycle bin before my husband could see it and wag his finger. Oh, it was good.

What I'm getting at is that I was losing my bananas during the last 2 weeks of that dang liquid diet, and I needed something to eat that felt like real food, or I was going to crack. I think this worked out.

Have I Lost Weight?

45 pounds so far. From what I can tell, there is really no way to beat the "1-2 pounds per week" rule. No amount of surgery was going to take my resting metabolic rate of 1800 and somehow get 5 pounds a week out of lowering it to 1000 cal/week. I think all the "omg I lost 10 pounds my first week" is water and glycogen, no matter who you are, unless you're very obese.

Water weight will get you early on. If you gain weight or have not lost weight even 3-4 weeks after the procedure, it's probably still water weight. There's no way your body can retain fat on 1000 calories a day unless you have a disease/disorder.

You will gain weight abruptly when you start putting food back in your body. I'm shocked at how much food in various parts of digestion weigh. That said, according to the mayo Clinic, food takes about 36-48 hours from entering, to exit your body. Think about how much you eat in 48 hours. Let's say, for round numbers, you eat a meal weighing 3/4 lb, 3x/day. So that's 2.25 lbs a day. 48 hours is 4 days. Before the meal on day 1 exits on day 4, you've put a total of 9 pounds of stuff into your body. 9 pounds! That's like 4 weeks of weight loss, supposedly gone immediately! But it's not. If, like me, your last weight reference was right before the surgery, you fully blasted those 6 or so pounds of food out of your system with the absolutely awful colonoscopy cleanse they made you drink. You know how much you ate at each meal before surgery, at least ballpark. Add those "phantom" pounds to your hospital weight, and you have your "actual" weight. So my actual weight was really around 260, not 251, because it was 251 with my entire intestinal tract scrubbed to a bile-yellow liquid shine. (Ew.)

Basically, expect water weight to cover up early weight loss and food weight to cover up weight loss about 1-2 months in, depending on when you're allowed to eat solids.

Frustrating Points

I am still not particularly lower in my dress size. I have absolutely lost some inches, but it seems to be coming off relatively evenly, so I'm still a 16-18 in a dress. I'm frustrated, because part of the point of this was to fit into my old college clothes, but I expected to lose a couple of dress sizes in 45 lbs of weight loss. I still have a bunch of clothes sitting around waiting for me to be able to fit them. That said, women's clothing sizes are stupid, and I really don't know what my dress size was when starting. I thought it was 18, but I gained weight over the pandemic, so I have no clue anymore.

Awesome Points

I can eat what I want. Seriously. The physical size of my stomach limits me from eating a lot, but I can eat single meals, and usually they last me the entire day. I routinely take home leftovers now. But in the end, the food I want isn't fast food and pizza -- though to be fair, I still do eat pizza. I just eat way less of it. I don't have to optimize now, and my body seems to actually obey calorie counts now without getting hungry. I still eat pizza every so often. I still have dessert. I had candy on Halloween. I still don't eat salad. In the end, I feel like this was what I wanted: the ability to eat the food I actually like, socially, while having my body go in a direction I don't hate. I have actual hunger cues now, and I'm not constantly thinking about food.

Would I Recommend ESG?

I will tout ESG from the tops of mountains now. Some suck early on for a feeling of actual control over my body and a sense that I finally obey physics as I know it? Yes. Yes, please. I should have gotten this years ago. When my parents offered to cover weight loss surgery when I was like 23, I should have said "YES NOW" instead of "ugh why would you offer that?".

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had sleeve almost 8 weeks ago and I travel for work. I worked from home the first 4 weeks and started back to traveling the 5th week. OMG... I travel light, but I can barely lift my suitcase into the overhead compartment now because I've lost so much upper body strength. I was so careful about lifting during my 4 week restriction - I would ask the grocery store to just put a few things in each bag or I'd bag things myself. I asked for help carrying EVERYTHING. And now I'm weak as an overcooked noodle.

Glad you're doing so well!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Trending Products

  • Trending Topics

  • Recent Status Updates

    • Sunshine Princess

      I just had a teaspoon of hummus with a teaspoon of avocado topped with a teaspoon of greek yogurt and it. was. GLORIOUS. I'm four days out and my surgeon gave me the greenlight to work in small amounts of pureed food. 
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • lizardskelter

      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • heyitsdilly

      I've officially surpassed 80lbs of weight loss! Working on that 100lbs!
      · 1 reply
      1. acopas

        Way to go!

    • Songbyrd420

      Kind of nervous, as expected. One month out from surgery!
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • lauren.g

      😫 Hi, I’m new to bariatricpal! I am 8 days post op VSG. I am struggling very badly. I’ve been so emotional because I feel like I’m doing wrong. I’m afraid I’ll eat or drink to fast or eat the wrong thing. I’ve been on Pinterest and YouTube constantly for help. I have followed all of my surgeons and dieticians instructions. I just don’t know if my body is getting enough. Today, I am weak, sore, and just exhausted. 
      · 2 replies
      1. Tara A

        It passes!! Everyone goes though it! It is a short term emotion! I'm almost five years post op! You made the right decision! Don't focus on the change right now. Try to entertain your mind. What your feeling only last about a week. It's related to your body adjusting and you mind adjusting. You got this!!

      2. SleeverSk

        I agree with Tara it's hard right now but it gets better do t forget your hormones will be all over the place you may even feel depressed. Be kind to yourself reach out and talk to people how you are feeling .

  • Recent Topics

  • Hot Products

  • Sign Up For
    Our Newsletter

    Follow us for the latest news
    and special product offers!
  • Together, we have lost...

    PatchAid Vitamin Patches