Oct 02, 2017
"Which surgery should I get?" This question pops up on the forums ALL THE TIME. And it's a big decision to make!
The default answer is: talk to your doctor and consider your medical history. Your surgeon has dealt with thousands of patients and can help make the decision based on his/her experience and your particular health situation.
That said, here are a few considerations about the different surgeries that you may want to think about as you do your homework.
Both surgeries have similar outcomes for total weight loss and possibility of regain. They're both a good tool for losing weight and keeping it off. Which one you choose is ultimately up to you and your doctor.
Sep 19, 2016
One 2oz serving contains roughly 75 cal, 12g protein, 0 carbs.
Sep 08, 2016
Two great articles discussing some of the reasons why we become obese. Hint: it's all because of what we're eating.
Jul 24, 2015
One of my major goals for post-op life was to have a baby, which would be much safer at a healthy weight. 3 weeks after having my IUD removed, I had my wish!
I'm now 25 weeks pregnant with a totally healthy little boy, and hopefully he'll show up around November 5th. Hooray!
My health is great, but it's been a bit of a mindf!ck trying to wrap my head around some things. Transitioning to eating more (1200 cal/day in maintenance, and my OB wanted me to up to about 1800 for pregnancy) was hard, especially with constant nausea in the 1st trimester. I have a very difficult time with meat, and I'm eating LOTS of carbs compared to before. But the logic is that I should eat what I can and "don't be dumb about it" (OB's words), and Little Dude will get what he needs. Thank goodness I'm craving peanut butter sandwiches and not potato chips or ice cream!
I'm up to 169lb, which is scary. I'm on track to gain about 30 - 35lb, which my OB says is right on. Seeing the numbers go higher than my first goal weight (160lb) was frustrating. but I know this is for a good cause. And if I could lose 140lb after surgery, losing 30 afterwards-- including 10+lb of baby and fluid and whatnot-- will be no problem.
I definitely have moments where I look at my body and feel like I'm out of control, or I'm afraid that I'm going to go back to the way things were. But then I remembered that before, I could have eaten two or three PB&J, plus chips, plus a huge glass of milk. Now, I have half a sandwich and I'm done.
This "before" pic, taken with my dad 9 months before I had surgery, really reminds me that things ARE different.
Compare that to now, even at 169 and rocking the maternity pants:
I look different, I feel different, and things are good. How can it not be when there's a junior geek on the way? :)
Mar 01, 2015
I'm 15 months post-op and finally navigating the treacherous waters of "maintenance." Secretly, it's kind of kicking my ass, but if I could lose that much weight in a year then anything else should be manageable, right? I mean, after all, I've pulled off a lot of great things since Surgery Day, and this is just one more thing to go for.
Good things since surgery:
Granted, it's not all happy peachy good times. I'll admit that I'm having some trouble; finding the right balance of what to eat in maintenance is HARD. I eat more carbs than I should, so I'm trying to reign that in. And even though the scale reads what I'd like it to, it bounces around within a 2lb range and that makes me super nervous after watching it so closely for a year and change. I'm happy where I am, and even if I gain a few back I can make peace with it. But it's not magically easy when you hit the finish line!
Overall, though, I feel awesome. I have energy, I can do things I never expected, my bloodwork and stats and whatnot come back in great shape. And I'm SO incredibly glad that I did this. Even though the watching and measuring and mindfulness is never going to end, and sometimes I feel like being smaller (I don't ever think I'll be able to use the word "thin" or "skinny") isn't going to last forever, it's absolutely been worth it.
Sep 02, 2014
Next week marks 9 months since surgery day. Before I went under the knife I wasn't even sure if this would work, but 120lb and 6 (soon to be 7) pants sizes smaller, I guess I've put that one to rest.
I feel like I've got things pretty well figured out, food-wise, but I've had a few days lately when I'm just sick of making what I can and can't eat such a big part of my life. I understand that's what "thin people" do, but all of that obsessing is draining. How much protein, how long until I can drink more water... I just want to feel normal again!
Normal is something I'm still grappling with as I adjust to being smaller. I haven't been this small in my entire adult (or teen, for that matter) life, and it's been a head trip. Example headspace: My thighs are squishy. Are thighs always supposed to be jiggly? Is that something normal people are used to?
I have no idea what normal is or should be at this weight-- or lower. My surgeon doesn't believe in weight goals, which is a good thing, but it's odd to have no clue where I'll end up. 160 is a good "first goal" that I never thought I'd meet. 150 sounds like a nice number in my head that I could totally live with and it would drop me smack-dab at a BMI of "normal" 25. The middle of "normal" would have me at around 130... but I think that would look weird, nobody believes I weigh as much as I do (more than one doctor has joked about my bones being laced with lead) and maybe that would be too small.
I'm almost in a size 6 from Old Navy, where I get all of my jeans, and my size medium tops are a bit baggy. If I lost another 30lb, I wonder if I might run out of sizes, then what?? Heck, I'm so used to buying new clothes a touch on the snug side since I've been shrinking out of them quickly enough, I don't even know how pants are supposed to fit. Do "regular" women have them baggy in spots? What am I supposed to aim for?
Finding a new normal has gotten easier when dealing with food, and way harder with my body. I really didn't have any body issues at 285lb, or perhaps not as many as I could/should(?) have, and I never thought there'd be any weirdness as I got smaller.
But honestly, those are problems I can deal with, since I've put a lot of problems behind me. This weekend, I wanted M&M's (whoo hormones plus changing psych meds!) so I got a package and ate less than half over the span of two hours. Before surgery, I would have picked up a king-size bag, eaten it a handful at a time, and still go looking for another snack an hour later. But a dozen M&M's as a "once in a great while" treat... I never would have imagined that I'd be fine with that, much less LIKE it!
So even though the scale has slowed way down-- like it usually does, like it's supposed to-- and maybe I haven't lost as quickly as others (and I know comparing is bad), but I think I'm doing a damned good job so far.
Apr 04, 2014
I had a check-in with the surgeon yesterday, and he says I'm doing great! My blood tests came back fabulously, though my good cholesterol is low-- not a surprise because I've been SO exhausted that I can't do more than walk about a mile a couple of times a week.
Sadly, he didn't have any good solutions for why I've been absolutely exhausted lately. I was the last appointment of the day, and they were running late so I was in at a bit after 5, and I almost fell asleep in the waiting room! Fortunately my iron, B12, and whatnot aren't low, so those aren't the cause. I'm supposed to up my protein and water, which makes sense since I fight to get 60g protein most days, and see if that makes a difference, otherwise we'll get my thyroid tested to rule that out, too.
Overall, though, he's really pleased with my progress. I'm down by 63 pounds between surgery day and my office weigh-in, which is "right on track," even though my loss has slowed way down lately. (Probably due to low protein and not a whole lot of exercise). So I'm supposed to "keep doing what [I'm] doing," and come back in 3 months. The next visit is when he does the standard apnea and blood-pressure evaluation, so apparently I'll do a home sleep study and maybe go back to the cardiologist to see if I can go off the CPAP and/or the blood pressure meds, which would be AWESOME.
So even though I feel really weak and woozy today (I actually had to stay home from work, ugh, trying to rest up and push the fluids and protein this weekend) I think the results from yesterday are reason to smile. Hooray! :)
Mar 23, 2014
103 days since surgery, and I'm feeling pretty darn good if you ask me. As of yesterday, I am officially 60lb below my morning-of-surgery weight... holy crap, how did that happen??? I started out in a 20W pants, 44C bra, XXL top, and I'm down to pants in a 14, 42/40C bra, and shirts in size L. My husband got this pic of me the other night (wanted to send my Iowa State pride to my folks... Go Cyclones!), and even though it's at an odd angle-- he's taller than me but at least it makes me look busty-- it does show some progress!
(Bonus points for some corgi love, that's my buddy Lloyd!)
Overall? I'm definitely glad I had surgery, and I know I've made a lot of progress. There's a long way to go, both physically and in my head-space, but I feel pretty good about the journey so far. And honestly, I can't ask for more than that.
Jan 15, 2014
Nov 30, 2013
I am deliberately open about health-related stuff, particularly my bipolar disorder. I think that it's important to show that I, and others, can live a (mostly) normal life despite the hand that genetics/etc. has dealt us, and that by publicly saying, "Hey, I have this diagnosis, but I'm not crazy/scary/violent/etc. or fit any of those other stereotypes," I might help fight some of the stigma against mental illness, and maybe even help others seek help when they're hesitant.
Despite all that, I'm finding myself VERY hesitant about opening up about surgery. I've mentioned it to my coworkers, since I'll be out for a few weeks and I've already had to deal with CPAP stuff and such in the past. I work in a healthcare-related field, and the workplace is very wellness-oriented, so I'm not concerned at all. But for some reason, Facebook is a whole different jungle, even though everyone on there is always friendly and supportive.
What on earth am I afraid of? It's not as though I'm doing this for vanity's sake; I'm absolutely doing this because I want to get healthy and because it's my best chance at doing so. I know that nobody I'm friends with would judge me for that. So what else? Is it fear? Shame? Embarrassment? I've gotten over that with my mental health, but I guess I'm still working through it with my weight.
I'm ashamed that I can't just accept my body as it is. Does not embracing my fat make me a bad feminist? I know that's not the case because I actually have a pretty good body image; the only exception is when I see photos of myself, and if anything, that's because I'm embarrassed about ruining other people's pictures with my appearance (like family photos for my brother's wedding this summer). I'm not doing this for vanity, I'm doing this for health, but the shame is still there, though it's sort of silly.
I'm embarrassed that I couldn't do this the "old fashioned way." I've certainly tried, and I wouldn't be doing this unless I felt that there wasn't any other long-term option. But could I have tried harder? Will people judge me for that?
I feel awful that I've gotten to a state where I NEED to have this surgery. Yeah, I don't eat as well as I should and I could stand to get a LOT more exercise, trust me. But the big factor, oddly enough, is my bipolar. Psych meds are notorious for weight gain, and every time I switch pills-- starting from the first time I started medication at 17-- I gain weight. Sometimes a little, other times as much as 50lb. And when I stop taking one pill, the weight doesn't go anywhere, fight as I may. For a long time, I told myself (and my doctors agreed) "sane first, skinny later." But that can only last for so long when the weight affects other parts of my health.
In the end, I'm having this surgery because I want to take care of myself, and statistically speaking, it's the best way to lose weight, keep it off, and handle these long-term health issues. It's my body, my choice, and if anybody else has a problem with it, that's too damn bad. And maybe sharing a quick update on FB will come down to that, since I'll probably mention something about surgery or recovery offhand while I'm healing up.
"So just in case I post something about crazy medical issues this month, I'm going to be in the hospital for bariatric surgery next week. It's been a big decision with a lot of research and careful thought, and I think it's going to be a good thing for my health in the long run. I'm very hopeful, a little nervous, and secretly a teeny bit embarrassed (but working on it). Good thoughts appreciated!"
Yeah, I think that will work.