Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two months post op

Today marks the two month point.
I had my daughter take a picture of me earlier. I'm not very comfortable publishing it, but I keep trying to remember how far I've come in a short period of time. I have lost a total of 52 pounds, 33 of which I've lost since my surgery. I have also lost 24 inches in my neck, arms, legs, chest, waist and hips. Oh, and I'm wearing clothes three sizes smaller than I did two months ago.

My diet has defintally changed since my surgery. I primarily eat protein, but I am starting to add more variety into my diet. I don't like bread and potatoes much anymore either, but I do like Greek yogurt which I didn't like prior to surgery. I've continued to keep up with my diet and exercise on I only eat around 700 calories a day; obviously I don't eat as large of portions, but I'm sure my calorie intake will increase as I'm able to eat more foods.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Slow and Steady

Let me catch you up. Since my last post I had my three week check up with my surgeon  At that time I had lost 14 pounds. With the Gastric Sleeve you are supposed to lose an average of 3 pounds a week. The first two weeks after surgery I was on a totally liquid diet. Now I am supposed to be eating soft foods.  It has been difficult eating because I have to have 60 to 80 grams of protein so I spend most of my day drinking protein shakes. After that I'm not very hungry. Also, I don't have much of an appetite and when I do eat food just doesn't taste the same. According to my doctor that will improve. Since my surgeon's office is two hours away my husband went with me to my appointment and we went out to eat before going home. This was the first time I had gone out to eat since my surgery. I ordered soup, grilled salmon and a baked potato. I ate a few spoonfuls of soup and almost two ounces of fish so I was impressed with myself, but the waitress kept asking me if anything was wrong. Obviously I took a lot of food home.

I started walking about a week after surgery and returned to yoga after a couple of weeks. The first 3 to 4 weeks I was really tired so I'd get home and take a two hour nap every day. Right after Thanksgiving I spent four days in bed with a cold. That's when I figured I wasn't getting enough vitamins because I never get sick. I was also having a lot of dizziness so I went to see my general practitioner the other day. He took me off of my blood pressure medicine. It's been less than five weeks since my surgery and I am no longer on medication! He also checked my blood count and everything looked really good.

I an continuing to lose weight too. Since my surgery, five weeks ago, I have lost 26 pounds. I'm sure my weight loss will slow down as I add more my food to my diet, but at this point I am only eating about 700 calories a day.

I feel confident that I made the best decision of my life. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I am not even two weeks out and I feel so much better than I did just a couple of days ago. I've been walking, I had a few outings with family and friends, AND I am losing weight! Prior to the surgery, I had lost 19 pounds and it only took me eight months. Yes, I struggled to get every ounce off and keep it off and I did by making healthy food choices and by exercising (yoga or walking) six days a week. So here we are eleven days since my surgery and I've lost and additional 11 pounds. I know that my weight loss will be quicker in the beginning and will eventually level off, but I would like to pat my ego's back and say, "way to go"

I was going back through reading a post I had made last March announcing my decision to have this surgery. I had almost 70 comments, and the majority of them were positive. I did have 2 or 3 people say it wasn't safe or that I could lose the weight without surgery, but the over all theme of those comments was great decision, good luck, and we support you. I don't require the support of others, in fact I have a rebellious streak that makes me want to do whatever it is I feel like needs to be done regardless of people being on my side, but it nice to have friends and family stand behind you when take a leap of faith like this.

One of my biggest supporters, other than my husband, has been a friend of mine who had this surgery almost a year and a half ago. She had done an amazing job losing 90 pounds and now she had made a commitment to work out at a gym. I'm not really sure I would have gone into this venture with as much confidence as I have if it hadn't been for her. She told me what she did that worked, what didn't work, and what she should have done. I am so grateful to her and my other supporters; thank you all.

The flowers are from my friends at Ahimsa Yoga

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Ugly Truth

After having gastric surgery just over a week ago my stomach can't digest whole foods. In fact, for the first two weeks I can only have liquids. That in itself isn't that bad, but what you need to know is that I need to be getting 60 to 80 grams of protein every day.
After nine days, I have yet to drink anywhere near enough protein. One day I did drink 50 grams of protein, but that was only one day. From the moment I wake up until I go to sleep, I am drinking, drinking, drinking.
I've worn myself out drinking Total Lean Protein, my protein drink of choice. There are 25 grams of protein in a 14 ounce bottle of Total Lean Protein. That's not bad compared to other protein drinks.
Now if I could guzzle down a bottle, then drinking 3 or 4 bottles a day wouldn't be so bad, but my stomach only hold about 2 ounces at this point. So I drink 2 ounces every 30 minutes or so and then I feel like I'm floating. Of course I can't drink all protein all day. I have to change it up with some Vitamin Water, low fat chicken broth, or a sugar free popsicle every now and then.
Do you know how many hours it takes to drink one bottle, 25 grams of protein? Three or more, but at least three hours. So if I drank that blasted protein drink & nothing else every thirty minutes it would take me nine hours to drink 75 grams, the minimum I need, of protein.
Oh, and did I mention what the consequences are of not getting enough protein? No, I didn't, but I'm sure you can imagine some of them. Let me share the one consequence that drives me to drink this crap all day, it's hair loss. Many people experience a significant loss of hair 3 to 4 months after weight loss surgery.
Guess what folks? I am not going to be one of those people. So yes, the ugly truth of recovering from gastric surgery, for me, is to drink protein until I can't stand it because I WILL NOT LOSE MY HAIR!
Thank you for letting me share

Friday, November 2, 2012

Things Change


Last week at this time I was in an operating room. 
Guess what I did today?



I couldn't have won a marathon, but I did go out and walk today. I know this is a small accomplishment, but it is an accomplishment non-the-less. I loved walking before my surgery and I am sure I will love walking again. I didn't love it today. My bra kept rubbing on one of my scars  and I felt like I had to hold my belly the whole time or my intestines were going to fall out on the ground. Okay it wasn't that bad, but I did feel a little uneasy.  I walked at a fairly slow pace and only walked about a half a mile, but I WALKED!!!!  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Soups On

After having surgery my stomach is only able to hold about 2 ounces. Eventually I will be abe to eat 4 ounces, but my new stomach needs time to heal which will take about eight weeks. So every 30 minutes I try and sip 2 ounce of Totally Lean protein, eat a sugar-free popsicle, eat 2 ounces of chicken broth, or even some warm tea.

The first couple of weeks I am sticking with clear liquids. Then from weeks three through five I'll get to start eating semi-solids. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Right now I am having to take tiny sips just to tolerate anything. I've been using a baby spoon to remind myself that I can't gulp.
Some of the benefits of the gastric sleeve surgery are that my hungers sensations are reduced and I will feel full faster. I don't have to worry about malabsorption or dumping syndrome which are issues bypass patients suffer. Also, there is no medical device implanted into my body so I don't have to have periodic adjustments, as with gastric banding. If you are considering any type of gastric surgery I stand by my decision to have this surgery.

Monday, October 29, 2012

There Are No Quick Fixes

I did it; I had gastric surgery on Friday October 26!

If you're thinking that doing something like this is a breeze and that you won't have to worry about what you eat, then you are mistaken. First of all, surgery, no matter how small, holds risk. Secondly, there is a process. You can't just walk in off the street and say, "make my stomach smaller."  I had to attend a seminar, participate in six months of a monitored weight loss program with an exercise physiologist and a nutritionist, have a psychological evaluation and a physical work up. I also had to changed my eating habits and increased my exercise routine well before I was approved for this surgery.

I am aware that even though I will lose weight, my body will continue to think I need to be this size and will try and figure out ways to keep me from losing the weight or from keeping it off. This is not the solution; it's a tool for me to use. 

Admittedly I was nervous going into the hospital. I used some deep breathing techniques to stay calm. I don't remember anything after entering the operating room. That is until I woke up to Nurse Rached in the recovery room who refused to give me any pain medication. Trust me I started crying like a baby which apparently worked because the next thing I remembered was waking up in my room. I was awake off and on during the day Friday. I even got up and walked several times. My doctor checked on my Saturday morning and I was cleared to go home.  

I am still sore and have had a lot of cramping today, but I just have to keep moving through the pain. 

I found this video on Youtube about how the surgery is done:

It has been very difficult to get in enough liquids. I did better today. I wrote everything down and focused on constantly drinking. I was able to drink an entire 14 ounces of Total Lean protein and about six ounces of Vitamin water. That is not near enough. I'm supposed to drink 4 ounces every hour. My surgeon recommends that I have 64 ounces of fluid a day. So I'm going to try harder tomorrow. 

After the first two weeks I can start adding protein-rich semi-solids in addition to what I have to drink. I should be consuming 60-80 grams of proteins a day. I will have to consume that much protein and take vitamins and minerals for the rest of my life. So,if you are thinking about having gastric surgery, you really do need to do your research. There are no quick fixes.