I got asked so many GREAT questions regarding surgery, maintenance, weight loss, stalls you name it….I got it!! I will post all the questions and my responses in no special order.
Thank you to all of you who asked questions, I appreciate you wanting to hear what I have to say, and I appreciate you taking the time to reach out for answers.
Happy Surgiversary to all of us!!!
Please feel free to PM me questions or post them on the board.
I wish you all............even better success than I have had on my journey. It is not over for me yet...........now it is about living!!
1. How long until I reached goal? I reached my surgeons goal at 8 months. My BMI was 22 at that point. I set a personal goal to get my BMI to 21 and I accomplished that yesterday. my highest weight was 249, I started at 223 day of surgery and yesterday was 135.
2. How many stalls did I have? How long did they last? I really did not have many stalls. I followed my surgeons guidelines very closely, and he has a statement in there that if you are stalling to re-evaluate your food immediately. I did have 2 or 3 stalls that occurred after 6 months out when I started to eat a more regular diet. They lasted about 2 weeks.
3. How is the transition from Weight Loss mode to Maintenance mode? Actually, it isn’t really any different. What I notice is that I am not as“tight” about what I eat anymore. When I was really focused on loosing I watched and counted just about everything that went in my mouth. Now, I watch……….but if I want a bite of the kids hotdog, then I have it.
4. How did I stay motivated? My kids. I have Diabetes (Type 1) and I KNOW that if I didn’t get my health in check I would not be around to see the kids grow up. I WANT to see the kids grow up, so they and my husband are my motivation. When I would get frustrated I would mentally slap myself in the head and say, “get over it”.
5. Do I enjoy working out? Heck no!! I am not actively working out now on my own. I do LOVE working out with my trainer. She is awesome, if I had enough money I would pay to work out with her every day. I get lots of exercise with the kids. I try to go to the park daily and run around with them. I try to get them to the beach once a week and swim with them. I count all those things as exercise.
6. Is it easier once you reach goal? The whole journey has not been easy. One of my pet peeves is folks that really jump into this blindly. It is easier in the sense that I am not as obsessed with all the little things, like how many bites did I eat? Protein first, low low carb. Those little things are easier…..the harder part now is making sure that I have the reasons why I got fat in the first place under control. So, now it is fixing my head! That is not easy.
7. Did I go through emotional changes? Absolutely!!! I highly recommend finding a therapist before surgery to start to work on the emotional side. The emotions are hard, you lose a friend in food, you lose a comfort in food, you lose a numbing device in food…..and you have to replace those things to stay healthy.
8. Do I think that WLS changed who I am on the inside? Yes, I do think it changed how I feel about myself. I am the same Jeni that I was at 249, however I do not tolerate abusing myself anymore.
9. Was I anxious that I would not reach goal? Yup, after years of dieting and regaining I was worried that I would be “the One” that surgery wouldn’t help. I think that is a pretty normal feeling/fear.
10. How much can I eat? Meat? Cottage Cheese? Overall, I can eat about 2-5 oz at one sitting. If it is meat/chicken I can eat about 2-3 oz. but that leaves little room for anything else. Cottage Cheese is closer to 4-5 oz….The main thing is still protein first.
11. Am I still reliant on full signals (like runny nose or hiccups)? I wouldn’t say reliant on the signals. I just eat. If I feel full in my throat, then I stop. If I hiccup, I stop. If I have a runny nose, then I lay down cause I know I pushed too hard. I don’t think that is reliant on them...like I am not eating and waiting for the hiccups.
12. How much work is it to maintain? So far it has not been a lot of work. I am sure as I talk with other “old timers” it will require some checking in. My proactive plan is to check in with my eating once a month. Make sure I am not getting off track. I will also watch the scale if it goes out of my buffer zone of 5 lbs. then I will have tighter control. meaning I will go back to basics, protien/water/low carb.
13. Do I think there will be a lot of revisions in the future from VSG? No I really don’t. I think the surgery is top notch. I think some will get the full DS if they have quite a bit of weight to lose.
14. Is it easy to stretch the stomach? I don’t think so. My surgeon uses a 32 bougie. His research shows that the stomach does not stretch much at all.
15. What coping mechanisms did I use to deal with cravings? I use distraction. It is much easier to get a craving for a food and then go for a walk, read a book, go sit down. It is a million times easier to distract myself after surgery than before. If I really have tried everything and still can’t fight it…then I have some. I didn’t get the surgery to live a life of denying foods. Use your best judgment on this one. One craving for a small piece of chocolate and eating it isn’t going to kill ya, but giving in to hourly cravings for chocolate will definitely affect your weight loss.
16. At some point does the journey get easy? Easy is a relative term. This whole journey has been fairly easy for me. I don’t mind tracking foods, being cautious, following rules and so on. But, then again yeah there was definitely a time about 6-8 months out when I wasn’t as obsessive about everything.
17. How much exercise do I do? And What kids of exercise? I answered this one above, but I wanted to add that exercise is one part of the weight loss. I have really found that weight training with my trainer is key to my success. It is helping me not lose too much muscle and it is helping to keep the sagging skin to a smaller amount. I play with the kids as my exercise. When they get a bit bigger I am sure that I will add in some form of daily routine like walking or running.
18. When does it become “normal” to eat low-carb/high protein, low sugar? For me this hasn’t been hard. Since I am the cook all the meals are a protein, veggie, and starch. So I just start with the protein. I usually will have a bite or two of the veggie and rarely do I have room for a bite of rice. If you start with your protein you tend to not miss the rest. I didn’t want to have my eating be different from my families. I have a young daughter and son and did not want them to see mommy doing things different. So, I eat what they eat.
19. My top three differences in quality of life now. (I love this question!) 1. My diabetes is in control. My HA1C’s are 7% or below. 2. I have lots more energy. 3. I have more confidence in me.
20. If I could only post one piece of advice to a new VSGer what would it be? My advice is…….make sure you research/read everything! Make an informed choice. This is “not a quick cure” for obesity. It is hard. It is for life. Make sure you have a support network set up of doctor, surgeon, therapist, and family and so on. You will need all the help you can get along the way. Once you are ready………….DON’T LOOK BACK, look forward to your new life!!! J