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Invincible, or not?



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Hi everyone! I had VSG surgery two and a half years ago (Feb 2020)

I'm finding that there are days (most days) when I feel like I am my best, strongest, healthiest self and then sometimes there's a day or two where I'm the most frail, delicate, exhausted, fussiest critter in the world because of my VSG needs. Is this pretty normal, do you think?

Sometimes navigating "new normal" things really frustrate me and make me feel like I am weaker because I have different needs than a "normie" does.

I get to drink all of that Water, again. Not enough water= confusion from dehydration which is REAL.

It seems like it gets hard when the differences post VSG are really obvious: my boss pointed out that I didn't each much at a lunch, because she thought I was nervous- so I disclosed my surgery to her privately and then she understood, or a stranger will comment on how strange it is when I am waiting 30 minutes to drink water before/after a meal. These are usually people that didn't know me when I was obese, so I get it, it's a little out of the ordinary to strangers. But I deal with it. And then I go to an outdoor festival and there is a no outside food policy and I'm left with eating half of a greasy burger patty with my bare hands, no, I don't want the fries or the bun, thanks- but because no forks either, for some reason- but Protein, is protein. These are things that *I* have gotten used to, but sometimes they are still incredibly frustrating. (Venue got an email with some suggestions!)

Anyway, do y'all need some bariatric friends, so we can have safety in numbers? Because I am yet to encounter someone who openly eats like me in the wild. It's not really that disruptive all the time, but there are times when I'm just like...... WTF did I do to myself? (and why didn't I do it sooner?!)

No negativity from me, really. I have no regrets. I just wish I had people to help me navigate!



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I’m brand new to my sleeve but already I’m feeling what you are saying. Most people know I had a hiatal hernia repair, only very limited few know I had a sleeve done at the same time. Most people also know that I have been working with a nutritionist to try to reverse my fatty liver and that I have been eating differently even before the surgery.

Since coming home from the hospital - I keep getting calls like “how are you feeling? When you’re up to I’ll stop by with a Jello cake or cheese cake”. Or some other comfort food I couldn’t have had even if I had not been sleeved. Or even offering to bring me a meal. Which is very sweet … but then I need to explain that I’m on a limited diet for a few weeks while I heal and they understand - but they don’t get.

I’m nervous about going forward. I’ll be back to a normal diet with smaller portions around the holidays… and I’m scared silly how to navigate those gatherings. That aunt that always comments about your eating (too much or not enough). Hopefully I will have lost a noticeable amount of weight by then - to which that same aunt will be over the top about noticing.

I may still be too new to have the “what have I done moment”… I certainly wish I had done it sooner.

I’m not sure how I can help - but I’m here if you need moral support!

Best of luck. I have no doubt that we’ve got this!

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Hi there! It's nice that you have so many people wanting to do such nice things for you! Maybe try and distract them- I don't need food, I'm on a particular post op diet, but you could pick me up the new book by whoever/or the new movie/or stop by and take a little recovery walk with me?

Congrats on being on this side of the surgery!

That first holiday can be a little rough, but knowing it will be different helps you plan for that. My Mom literally sent us a 7 lb. cinnamon roll cake for the first holidays after my surgery. No joke. I was really firm in explaining that I wasn't going to accept these type of gifts from her going forward and we were able to get rid of it. Even knowing that I had the surgery, she still sent this(?!) it helped when my nutritionist pointed out that this kind of thing says more about the gifter than the recipient (truth!)

Half the holiday will be putting food on your plate and moving it around. That's part of the social aspect of the holidays + food. Don't worry about everyone and what they're thinking- just take the food and toss it (or give it to someone else as you can) Put things in your napkin. The good news is that at holiday gatherings, we tend to move around a lot to socialize, so you're not usually at one table with one person, so they don't get the opportunity to super judge your plate. Most people won't notice or care, but you'll wind up with one person who just wants to be extra special about it all. Bring some Snacks and things you CAN eat easily for yourself or to share with everyone else if it's a potluck.

People didn't really notice the weight loss on me until I got to the 40+ lbs. mark. Then the comments started (but so did the compliments!) As I got further along, I felt braver (I originally planned to tell no one except immediate in my home family) and was able to tell extended family, a few friends (lost a few, but whatever- again, it's a reflection of THEM) and a few strangers like neighbors who got really needle-y about what was wrong with me/how I was doing it.
The first time I was in a restaurant and said "xyz.......because I'm a bariatric patient." I thought my poor hubby was going to fall over!

Let me know if you need anything!

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I just got back from a work function where we were fed several meals buffet style. Someone made a comment each time "you aren't eating very much". I just said, "not that hungry" LOL

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On 08/18/2022 at 16:15, smund said:



Hi there! It's nice that you have so many people wanting to do such nice things for you! Maybe try and distract them- I don't need food, I'm on a particular post op diet, but you could pick me up the new book by whoever/or the new movie/or stop by and take a little recovery walk with me?




Congrats on being on this side of the surgery!




That first holiday can be a little rough, but knowing it will be different helps you plan for that. My Mom literally sent us a 7 lb. cinnamon roll cake for the first holidays after my surgery. No joke. I was really firm in explaining that I wasn't going to accept these type of gifts from her going forward and we were able to get rid of it. Even knowing that I had the surgery, she still sent this(?!) it helped when my nutritionist pointed out that this kind of thing says more about the gifter than the recipient (truth!)



Half the holiday will be putting food on your plate and moving it around. That's part of the social aspect of the holidays + food. Don't worry about everyone and what they're thinking- just take the food and toss it (or give it to someone else as you can) Put things in your napkin. The good news is that at holiday gatherings, we tend to move around a lot to socialize, so you're not usually at one table with one person, so they don't get the opportunity to super judge your plate. Most people won't notice or care, but you'll wind up with one person who just wants to be extra special about it all. Bring some Snacks and things you CAN eat easily for yourself or to share with everyone else if it's a potluck.




People didn't really notice the weight loss on me until I got to the 40+ lbs. mark. Then the comments started (but so did the compliments!) As I got further along, I felt braver (I originally planned to tell no one except immediate in my home family) and was able to tell extended family, a few friends (lost a few, but whatever- again, it's a reflection of THEM) and a few strangers like neighbors who got really needle-y about what was wrong with me/how I was doing it.

The first time I was in a restaurant and said "xyz.......because I'm a bariatric patient." I thought my poor hubby was going to fall over!





Let me know if you need anything!


Thank you - those were very helpful suggestions and advice. I know that people mean well (usually) when they offer comfort food. If the show up unannounced I graciously accept and put it in the fridge for later “when I’m feeling up to it” and then share with family or neighbors. I thank them and tell them how delicious it was (based on whoever ate it’s comments) and let them know how much I appreciate it.

I’m just rather private and don’t share personal things well… I probably wouldn’t have told many people if I were getting my tonsils out or something equally as benign … so need to know on this seemed natural.

It’s not until you aren’t eating as much that you realize how much of life seems to revolve around food!

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I just got back from a work function where we were fed several meals buffet style. Someone made a comment each time "you aren't eating very much". I just said, "not that hungry" LOL
Exactly. I come from an all naturally thin family (except for me) and it is normal to say "I am not hungry right now" or "maybe later". My boss who is super thin ordered a huge plate, ate a few bites, began talking about work, and didn't want it anymore. She didn't even bag it. That is how thin people are. They will not eat when they are not hungry, and while I ate, my friends would just play on their phone, for example. My husband is like that too. He has no qualms saying "no thanks, I am not hungry. " at a buffet.

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Yes, there are odd things that I have to manage with my sleeve but there were things I had to manage with what I ate before surgery. I had a dodgy digestive system with sensitivities & intolerances. Still dodgy with a couple of other considerations now. Some of the changes I made to what I eat can limit my options but generally I can find a few options I can eat or can eat around. I’m also much more aware of my body’s response & reactions to various foods & situations then ever before. I look at it as being a good thing & part of eating mindfully.

I think much of the portion size issue is really about people’s inaccurate perception of what is an appropriate portion size. We are confronted with what are jumbo size portions that are 2, 3 or more what is a recommended size & we think they are normal. Take note of how much & what other slimmer people eat & you’ll realise you are much like them. The reality is the portion we eat is about what everyone should be eating. It only looks small because of the excessive portion sizes.

Sure, I have days when my energy is lower. Some is because of my low blood pressure. But when I stop & reflect before surgery I had days when my energy was low too but then it was because of my weight. Generally though I’m certainly fitter & stronger than I was before & that outweighs (pun) the odd day I feel weak or need a nap.

Most of my family & friends are aware of my food preferences & portion needs. They make allowances for them much the same way as they would with someone with a food allergy or who was vegetarian or vegan, etc.

It just all takes time. From you understanding your body, needs & changes to others understanding the changes you’ve made. You don’t have to explain your surgery if you don’t want to. Sometimes just saying I’m not hungry or I’m seeing a dietician or I’m trying a new way of eating is more than enough if you feel you need to explain. Ultimately what you choose to put in your mouth is nobody’s business but yours.

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I always feel bad for my waiter when I go out to eat because they will usually come over and ask me if there is anything wrong with my meal. I just tell them that I had a stomach surgery and don't feel like eating and then I take my meal to go. When I am out with people outside of my family, I usually order something small and cut it up and use my fork to mix everything on the plate together and move it around to try to make it look like I ate more than I actually did. (This is a technique that small children often use to try to convince Mom that they have eaten enough dinner. I have often wondered how many other bariatric surgery patients have done this in an effort to not offend a host. ) You can also just box up half of your meal before you even start eating and just say that you are trying new eating habits if anyone asks. Buffets are just a no go for me unless they have to go options (pay by weight of meal). Even though I am several years out from surgery, after my doctor started me on Ozempic last year (for diabetes, not weight loss), I have been unable to eat more than a few bites of food at a time. My stomach literally feels just like it did a few weeks after surgery. Consequently, I have lost more weight which is great but I have to say that the daily nausea is getting old at this point.

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5 months post op: No one has really ever say anything about how little I eat. Maybe because I have only really sat down at the table for a "real" meal with people who know I had surgery. As far as cookouts and group settings, etc. You kind of just eat randomly and maybe stand around or sit where ever with your plate so no one is really paying attention.

I haven't had any Holidays yet, we have a huge family Christmas eve dinner every year and only 1 person in my family knows I had surgery. So, I do wonder how that will go. My entire family is obese, and everything revolves around food. But, I have lost 100+ lbs multiple times, so I think it will be easy to shrug off as "just be trying to loose weight again". The flip side, I will likely be pretty close to my goal weight by then. (I hope anyway) So at that point, they will probably be more focused on how much weight I have loss and I can easily explain eating less in result of a strict diet for so long.

When I went out for surgery, I told work I was having a haital hernia fixed (which was true and mine was very bad). So I was on a strict diet for that with liquids and graduating back thru stages to normal foods. I kinda played it as well since I couldn't eat for a month it kick started my weight loss so I am just sticking with it and following through to keep loosing weight. So, they just think I am on a diet. They also know I have lost 100+ lbs in the past, so just stated trying to do it again and keep it off this time.

As far as restaurants, I never had a server as if everything was ok. My wife and I share a meal a lot, so most of it gets eaten anyway. And so many people are obsessed with these "fad" diets, that I don't think most people even blink an eye anymore to strange requests. Like "no bun" or "no sauce" etc.

I went to a sub shop because I was dying for my favorite turkey sub. I said "I am sorry to be so weird but can you dig most of the bread out of the roll before making it" She replied, that's not weird at all tons of people ask us to do that. Then I even took the bottom of the roll off and cut the top in half and added the meat and toppings to the half of a hollow roll to fit my needs. PS, still couldn't eat more than a few bites of the bread but it DEFINITELY satisfied my sub craving.

I am allowed all foods, while focusing on Proteins first. I eat very balanced, so I don't need to make many requests or have much of a different plate than everyone else. I just have smaller portions and/or eat less of the food on my plate and make the healthier of choices in front of me.

Sorry for the long winded response!

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