The low-down on the down low

Jul 28, 2011

So….now I can add blog guilt to the list. (Heck, I’m Catholic, so if there’s a new type of guilt out there, I’m all over it.) Sorry for not updating in the last many weeks.

Life resumed. With all of its busyness and deadlines and sleepy sunshine. Looking amazingly similar to my pre-surgery life, but there are distinct differences.

For instance, there are only so many hours I can go before being reminded about my post-bariatric surgery requirements and restrictions, which is very grounding.

No matter how busy I am, I have to pull back and keep my health as my priority by thinking about how much water I have consumed, what I should be eating next and when, and when I can work in time in my day for exercise.

Pre-surgery, I would get my day going with a traveler mug of coffee and a toasted bagel with some sort of cheese, both usually consumed in the car.

Post-surgery, I have to have a glass of water with some meds first thing when I wake up, because one of them is supposed to be consumed ½ hour before I eat. Then I have to start my day with a protein shake, which gives me 45-50 grams of my minimum 80 grams of protein I have to consume each day. 

(Why so much protein? After bariatric surgery, you must take in sufficient protein every day to speed wound healing, preserve your lean body mass, enhance your fat-burning metabolism and minimize hair loss. For more, read this.)

Bagel? Forget about it – it would take me the entire day to each one. And thankfully, I don’t miss it at all.

Coffee? I had my first one a few days ago – a small Tim Hortons around 9:30am. Not bad. I sure had extra pep for the day. But it’s a slippery slope when it comes to caffeine, so I think I’ll still save it for the occasional use instead of making it a regular habit again.  

(Why is caffeine bad after bariatric surgery? Weight loss surgery patients can hold only small amounts of fluids in their stomach pouches, so we have to sip water frequently throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Since caffeine has a diuretic effect, meaning that it causes water loss through excess urination, we have to be really careful. Dehydration also increases the risk of developing kidney stones after weight loss surgery. For more, read this.)

Exercise is just a difficult to make time for now as it was pre-surgery. The only difference is my motivation. Obviously there are some days I am still a schlump, but most days I am happy to say I have been making the time.

Thank God for the amazing nature trail next to my workplace – I either park at one end in the morning and walk in and back each day, or my husband meets me at lunch and we walk the whole thing together. All told it’s about 2 ½ miles of walking exercise each day – and I am secretly hoping to be able to start jogging/running in a few months.

Socializing is sometimes challenging for me post-surgery. Caught up in the good times being with good friends, occasionally I forget myself and try foods I shouldn’t or eat too fast. Then the good times get interrupted abruptly when I have to excuse myself to go and throw up.

Which is kind of a good thing. Sleevie (my new sleeved stomach) doesn’t brook any funny business. If it’s not good for Sleevie, or it’s too much for Sleevie, Sleevie sends it back. Which is an excellent reminder for me to get back on track tout de suite.

(But to my extreme joy, I have figured out that I can enjoy red wine again – again, moderation being the key, but Sleevie seems okay with it, as long as I balance out possible dehydration issues.)

Okay, now for the good news:

-     I have already shed over 50 pounds and dropped three dress sizes (from 22 to 16).

-     Hardly ANYTHING in my closet fits me anymore.

-     I can handily walk/jog up the three flights of stairs at my work.

-     I can cross my legs again.

-     I can not only wear but also DANCE in high heels again.

-     My blood pressure is excellent and my doctor will be taking me off those meds soon.

-     My lungs and asthma have been in terrific shape in the last few weeks.

-     My back and joint pain is almost non-existent.

-     I look feel as hot as balls.

The challenges I am facing now are mostly with staying grounded and smart.

While I can’t imagine there ever coming a day that I forget that I had bariatric surgery, already there are moments, and that is when the danger occurs. Already I have dropped off journaling everything I eat, so I hope that my brain is calculating my intake properly.

I am relying more now on my instincts and how I am feeling to guide my eating and activity – I don’t know if that is okay, but I suppose the scale will tell the tale.

Today I am 219 pounds. I am still obese, but not morbidly so anymore. My hope is to be “just” overweight, which for me comes about 40 more pounds from now.

I might get there. I might not.

Anything I am is okay from here on out, as long as I am healthy.




About Me
St John's,
Surgery Date
Oct 27, 2010
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