- HEALTH TRACKER
I came back slightly anemic and there was absolutely no reason for it that Dr. O'Brien could see. On a hunch of experience she ordered the copper test and lo and behold that was the reason I was slightly anemic. She put me on 2 mg copper per day for 3 months and retested me. My anemia was resolved, but my copper level was still not quite where it needed to be, so now I take 2 mg and 4 mg per day alternately to get the levels just right. I have to go in for a retest sometime before this month is over!
You speak the truth. If it was not for my scale I would be a fatty once again. I just know it. My scale keeps me honest with my eating practices and if I'm not being too honest with myself, my scale forces me to deal with reality and look at my food intake.
My scale and I have a chat each and every morning, whether I want to or not!
Your message is loud and clear and gets a hearty, "Amen, Sister!" from me.
You are so right about the sleeve not being magic. It's not. It always boils down to what we throw down our gullets, not the receptor! I'm a year and a half out and I KNOW I could eat all kinds of crap, if I let myself. I have yet to have a piece of pizza or a sandwich or any pasta. I still don't eat bread regularly (unless at a restaurant and then only the really good stuff - most of the time I'll skip it) and don't miss it. These are the kinds of foods that played a big role in getting me to FAT, so I stay away from them. So far so good for me. I hope that as long as I stay sort of neurotic about my food (some say vigilant, or OCD, or anal.... those all describe me, too!)I'll be okay.
As for vitamins, I'm on board with you. I do believe there is malabsorption with the VSG. It may not be nearly as profound as with the RNY or DS, but we have had part of our digestive tract removed. We have to supplement with B12 because we don't make enough intrinsic factor to absorb it via the stomach any more. I also ended up with a copper deficiency within a year of VSG. Huh???? Like who knew about that, right? So now I take copper every single day. I am absolutely diligent about my vites. I do take more vites than I am required to by my doc, but I'm absolutely regimented about what I have to take and when.
Glad you are successful once again with your DS. That was a huge step for you to take and I bet you are awfully happy you did it! Congrats and thanks for the great post!
Interesting position on the protein level. I have to go on it from a personal level, though now that I've reached my goal weight.
I rely on the protein to keep me feeling satisfied and full for longer periods of time. When I have too many carbs, whether they are unprocessed, whole foods or more refined, I get hungry more frequently and feel less satisfied after eating.
I also feel better eating a higher protein diet. Don't get me wrong - I eat fruit and vegetables each and everyday, but I'm careful to choose those that are low on the glycemic index. I generally stick to berries for my fruit. Veggies vary each day, but at least 2 servings, if not 3. Overall, I think the carbs do a number on me. I'm probably what some people call carb sensitive. I don't know, but I do know I feel pretty good when I keep my carbs in a range from 60-85 grams per day.
I do think I look good, too. My skin tone is fine. My color is good. Incidentally, all my labs are great! So until my doc tells me to ease up on the protein, I'm just fine with where it is.
I think we all need to choose our paths. That's fine. As long as you get adequate protein to maintain body function and thrive, that's really all that's needed.
I've tried compression garments. They work pretty well, but they do feel weird. I am thinking I may start using one with some regularity, too, because I'm starting to have loose skin issues - very minor but enough to bug me.
Spanx are expensive compared to Under Armour. Under Armour is half the price and works equally as well, and it's made in the USA. Just sayin'......
Things are going well. I'm down to the last 2 1/2 weeks of school and am exhausted! Crap food abounds right now at school, too, so I'm buckling down to stay clean! Love having the support system I have - makes it much easier to stick to plan.
Sorry you're having such a hard time right now. It does get better, honestly. Some folks recover much more rapidly than others. I think it's very individual. (As a comparison, my gall bladder surgery was far worse than VSG - go figure! The gall bladder surgery had me down for a few weeks. VSG maybe a week and I was good to go.)
Anyway, do know it gets better and better. Soon this part will be a faded memory!
The good news is that the pain eventually goes away. I had exactly what you're talking about for a few months and then once I was done losing weight and maintaining for awhile I noticed I no longer had that pain in the ass! Go figure. Must be the redistribution thing people talk about.
Hey, First things first! Good for you for posting and getting back into the game! Yours is a good question and one I'm sure a lot of people want the answer to.
So, here's mine: a sleeve revision is very dangerous from what I understand. The staples left in your stomach present a huge obstacle for a revision to a smaller sleeve without causing a leak or other major complication. A sleeve can be made tighter via a plication (sewing the sleeve tighter) by experienced surgeons. A less experience surgeon, I think, might encourage you to convert to a bypass. You will have to consult several surgeons to find out what your options are.
Now, that said.....
You are only a month behind me on VSG date. I was sleeved in December of 2011. You were a month later. My restriction is still very good, but I sure do know how to eat around my sleeve and get all sorts of crap food down my gullet! So my big question for you is this: Are you absolutely certain you have ruined your sleeve? Or is it that you can eat tons and tons of crap food?
See, I can eat carbs until there's no tomorrow. I could easily eat cookie after cookie. I can eat chip after chip. I can eat popcorn by the handful, I'm sure. I have never tested my limits with these items, but I know without a doubt that I have little to no restriction with these types of foods. They also trigger me in a way that only one of us can really understand. Thank goodness I have not had pizza or pasta since August 2011 because I'm sure I could pack that crap in, too!
So, are you willing to start eating a VSG friendly diet? If so, you can still lose weight. No problems there. It won't come off like when you were first sleeved and only eating 400-500 calories a day. You're not there anymore, so the weight loss won't be either. But you could easily continue to lose 2 pounds per week, IF you eat according to plan and are willing to commit to changing how you eat.
There is no reason to be ashamed. We all are here because we have issues with food. In that you are not alone. We all get it. Me, I'd look into getting some therapy to deal with what is triggering you to eat "out of control" like you said. And, yes, I'd wait on the plastic surgery for now. I think you have more important things to deal with and why not wait until you've lost all the weight you want? You look all that much better for waiting!
You can do this. Good luck. Let us know how you're doing.
Glad the veggies are working. As for the headache and withdrawal, damn right they are real! Push the water - I mean really pu**** It'll help the detox go faster and it will keep you feeling full, too. A little Tylenol or Advil with help with the headache, if it gets bad enough and you feel comfortable taking it. Remember keep plenty of protein coming and if needed, add some healthy fats to keep you feeling sated!
Very proud of you for going past the ice cream! That must have been hard today! You are going through a true and honest substance withdrawal. Keep up the good fight. We are all behind you.
Thinking good thought for you!!!!! Good luck - though I know you have this.
First, I'm proud of you for disagreeing and you bet, you can beat his odds. No question there!
Hmmm..... I'd still be obese/overweight, if his theory held true. Somehow, his news never got to me. I guess I messed up. I lost all my extra weight. I should have paid better attention. LOL!
Seriously, my surgeon never gave me a goal weight, but instead encouraged me to lose as much as possible and get as healthy as possible and gave me the tools with which to do it. He didn't want me hung up by a number. He said the number would come later, and it did. I picked it and it was the RIGHT number and weight for me.
I think crappy food plans and a lack of understanding on how a bariatric patients needs to eat are the main reasons that most WLS patients don't get to goal. I read of people eating some pretty outlandish things early out and those foods are actually one their food plans, so it's not as if they are eating off plan. I think it's sad that there are plans out there that actually set it up so that patients only lose 50-60% of their extra weight.
Having been at goal for almost a year now, I have some thoughts on this set point thing. I don't really buy it anymore, but what I do buy is that it takes far fewer calories to maintain a lower weight than it did my obese weight - even with all the exercise I do. I think that is what many, many people just don't really grasp once they hit maintenance. I know I did not at first. It took me some time to really get that fact to sink in. Those for whom this never sinks in, I think, are bound to gain some weight or maybe not even ever get to goal. Thus, they start gaining weight and go back to that imagined "set point". I think it's because those people are eating too much all over again and their caloric intake is just too damn high to maintain their current body weight.
For me, this is very true. If I begin to eat off plan and allow treats and carbs back in I am suddenly a few pounds higher by the end of the week and then I have to detox, decarb, and lose the weight all over again. I decided I just didn't like this ritual and that it wasn't worth it to me, so I've made some changes in my eating and lo and behold my weight is stable.
Go figure. Eat like we're supposed to, get regular exercise and the weight stays stable within a two or three pound range. That I can live with!
You have done amazing.....
You look amazing......
You will continue to be amazing.....
Congratulations. You did everything it took to get where you are today, including changing surgeons mid stream and getting exactly what you wanted! You deserve your success. You worked hard for it!
All the best.
Man you must have used a lot of high quality TP!
Does anyone regret the surgery?
Not one bit!
Do you miss the way you used to eat before? Not really. It did take a while to get used to eating the new way, but once I got into the groove of it, I've been fine. What was a bit hard was very early out eating so little and getting full so quickly. It took a month or two for my eyes to match my stomach capacity.
Have your meals/surgery dominated your family? No. I have a very supportive partner and he eats the way I do, but eats normal sized portions.
Do you know of any way to prevent relationship issues? From what I have seen and experienced it goes like this: relationships that were strong stay strong or get stronger. Those relationships that had trouble (hidden or open) seem to come to a head sometime after VSG. Not sure why this happens, but I have seen it several times over the past 18 months.
What's the most difficult part of going through this? Truly understanding that the VSG is only one tool in an arsenal of tools to battle obesity. You can't rely on just the VSG to keep you at goal weight. There's a lot that goes into maintaining weight. You really have to commit to a complete lifestyle change (at least in the food department).
How did this affect your children? N/A - no kids. Just dogs.
What foods do you miss the most? There is nothing I really miss. I figure now that I've reached goal weight there is really nothing I CAN'T have. Luckily, what I want to have has changed a great deal. For example, I have not had pizza, pasta or a sandwich in 18 months. I dont' miss those things either. I figure I can have them whenever I want. I just don't really want. I'd much rather splurge on something in the dessert department (but that' off limits for me right now, so....)
What can you eat that you thought you wouldn't? Good or bad, I can eat anything. I have yet to find the one thing that doesn't sit well in my sleeve! I always say I have the sleeve of steel!
Hopefully, you will find some of my answers helpful. Just want you to know that I would do my sleeve over in a heartbeat. One of the best things I've ever done for myself. Honesty!
I'm glad everything is going so well for you!
You truly are an awesome person. Such a great attitude, outlook and spirit. I really enjoy reading your posts and get such joy out of your achievements. It is a privilege to get to be on this journey with the likes of you!
You are inspiration!
My work is very much the same - a crap food trap!
I have made a contract with myself to not eat any food that can be construed as a "baked good" until after June 10th. That gets me to summer vacation when the food temptations will be much less. I have told my partner, friends on OH, my dad and brother, and two of my best supports at school (work). This strategy is making it very much easier for me to hold to my contract and stay away from those triggering carbs.
Just a thought for you, if you think it might help.
I so admire you for sharing your near "foibles" and your inner thoughts with us. It helps -
helps me know I am not a freak in how I have to deal with my own food life.
helps me know that I must maintain my vigilance
helps to know that I am in extraordinary company
helps to know that even someone whom I respect and admire still has the same pulls to food that I have
helps me know I am not alone on this journey
Thanks so much for sharing.
Wow! I am so impressed by what you have been able to accomplish. You have taken this healthy lifestyle to the highest level in such a short time. Hell, I am proud for you! Your post made me smile from ear to ear. You really do inspire me to be the best that i can be. Congratulations Tom! You are on a podium taking Gold in my mind!
Perhaps you misunderstand me. I stated that I still have trouble with these items, so I do get it. But I also understand that for me it boils down to choice. It is ultimately my choice what I put in my mouth. I have been at this long enough to know what the consequences are should I choose to eat a cookie, brownie, bear claw, whatever it may be.
I didn't understand the profundity of my issue with carb/sugar/fat combos until post VSG and once at goal. And yes, I deal with mental cravings, too. However, once I detox (for me it's about a 2 day deal) I can much more easily deal with cravings or unforeseen situations as they arise. The lack of those types of carbs in my system does make it easier for me.
I also am using the strategies that I have learned along the way and from VSG vets to help me deal with my food issues. So, putting a fail safe plan in place does make it easy for me. I do rely on my supporters to help me and for me that does take some of the burden off of me. I figure I only have so much will power and when I am accountable to not just myself but my closest and dearest supporters it takes much less effort on my part to be successful.
So, I'm not suggesting that it is "easy". It takes work. But doing the work makes it a whole lot easier - for me, anyway.
And it just gets better and better! Wait and see!!!!!!
I'm almost 18 months out. I eat 3 oz of protein per meal. That's plenty! Just out the gate, get used to the idea of half a scrambled egg being more than enough. About an ounce of deli turkey was all I could handle, too, early out.
Hopefully, you will love eating that little and feeling satisfied. I sure did!