on 1/2/18 1:16 pm

Hello all and Happy New Year!

I just got Florida Blue Insurance and now my dream of getting a sleeve can happen! I'll be honest im really nervous about it though. Im a big guy and this will make a dramatic change for me. right now I use a scooter for longer distances and im looking forward to eventually being able to ride my motorcycle to work and not have to have my scooter! the thought of real clothes is exciting. but I have some questions and maybe silly but I still have them;

  1. how fast did you lose weight?
  2. do you miss the food
  3. will I still be able to enjoy hot sauce and spicy foods
  4. what about plastic surgery?
  5. any other thoughts or ideas would be welcome

thanks in advance!


Col. Eric J. Dhabliwala

on 1/2/18 7:16 pm
VSG on 12/28/16

First, welcome! There's lots of good advice here.

  1. Weight loss varies by individual. Starting weight, BMI, age, etc. so it's hard to say. The general rule is that you'll lose 50% of your body weight the first year.
  2. You may miss some food. I feel more in control than ever so it doesn't bother me. And I don't crave most foods the way I used to.
  3. Spicy food depends on your stomach. The first month or so you won't want to or be able to eat it but after that you'll be ok.
  4. Plastic surgery varies too. Some people end up with saggy skin and others don't. I believe that's mostly genetics, plus the length of time you've been overweight and the amount you have to lose. There's a plastic surgery forum if you want to poke around there.

Good luck with your journey and keep reading the forums for advice.

on 1/2/18 8:04 pm
VSG on 05/20/14


Congrats on the insurance and being one step closer to a tool to help earn back your health.

  1. Look at the tickers at the bottom, including older posts. The hard part for me is everyone loses differently and I'm highly competitive.
  2. Surprisingly no, at least not or about 6 months. As I started adding in junk food, sugars, alcohol, carbs I started craving food again. Despite my regain over the past 6 months the sleeve has helped slow my eating, weight gain, and helped me not far further off the track.
  3. My surgeon told me I could and my belief is I could. Offending others who say they have picky sleeves that don't like one random food or can only tolerate a couple of foods, I can eat everything I ate pre-op, just smaller portions. I love spicy food, was adding hot sauce to my food once I moved into scrambled egg stage and regularly load my food with peppers and spices.
  4. I spent to much time thinking about plastic surgery when I needed to be focused on my diet, exercise, an mental health. That being said it was fun to imagine the possibilities and I googled skin removal surgery a few times.
  5. I was so frustrated at how long the process took from initial consult until surgery date. In hindsight I see the value in A) making sure people are committed to the life changes vs making a rash decision to have surgery, B) educate on life post-op, and C) take the time to work on the mental side of the journey. Why are you obese, what are you doing and going to do to address the underlying issues so you don't move to a transfer addiction.

5'10" Male : Consult Weight 428 1/16/14 : Pre-op m1 -3, m2 -12, m3 0, m4 -27 : SW 386 : m1 -25, m2 -22 m3 -15 4 -12: LW 278 CW 320 : Total Loss 108

on 1/2/18 9:27 pm
VSG on 12/14/17

Welcome, Eric! I'm so glad that your insurance is eligible now! How long is your pre-approval process? Finding out now and making a checklist will be helpful, I'm sure! :-)

I want to caution you that I have spoken to many that have had this surgery. I have also attended a group with several women and one man. And everyone's experiences ARE different! Keep that in mind!

  1. I was 373 two weeks before surgery, on November 27th. My preop diet included a high protein, low carb shake for breakfast and 4 oz. Baked turkey or chicken with 1/2 cup steamed veggies for lunch and dinner...5 days before it was 4 shakes a day and 2 days before, clear liquids only. I am almost three weeks post-op and I currently weigh 329. That's a loss of about 44 pounds in 5 weeks, but I'm sure that will slow down now that I'm having solids. I hope to consistently lose about 2-5 pounds a week through keeping my diet to mostly high protein foods (turkey, tofu, chicken, tilapia, eggs, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.) With some lower-carb veggies and occasional grains
  2. Hmm. I had a lot of worries about this, but so far, no. I m feel like I cannot really miss food since I CAN eat it. I suppose I'm lucky. I love yogurt and cottage cheese and baked chicken and fish, etc. I've had some cravings, but I've tried to stay strong. If you're picky, I could see you missing some foods that are bad for you like bread, fatty meats, fried foods...but those won't help you lose weight or be healthy.
  3. There is no way for you to know this. I'm three weeks out, and I've had curried chicken soup and hot sauce on tilapia and chicken. It's still delicious and it doesn't bother me. Again, this will depend and varies person to person.
  4. Well, I won't be thinking about plastic surgery for at least two years. When I hit maintenance, I would like a lower body lift if the skin bothers me unduly. I feel that it will, but I'll see. It's not covered by insurance, so I know I'll need several thousand dollars to get started. Finances alone may prevent it. Several people on this site have had plastics and would be happy to discuss it with you, I'm sure!!
  5. Have a plan even before preop, follow your surgeon's preop plan closely, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Take chapstick to the hospital. The gas pains suck. Walk at least 10 minutes as soon as you can right after surgery. Stay positive! :-)
Connor G.
on 1/3/18 10:47 am - Brooklyn, NY
VSG on 12/20/17

Hi Eric! Congrats on the insurance.

I'm two weeks out from surgery now, about to start purees tomorrow.

  • I've lost about 40 lbs since I started the pre-op liquid diet on December 6th.
  • Yes. Specifically, I have cravings for my favorites (pizza, Chinese food). But I'm not actually hungry, so it's easier for me, for the first time in my life, to see these as psychological desires rather than physical ones.
  • Can't comment on this yet, as I'm still on liquids.
  • Not something worth thinking about until about two years after the procedure, because your body takes time to 'settle'.
  • I spent a lot of time worrying about whether I'd regret it, and I think the best thing you can do is move forward. If you're considering this seriously, it's because your life has become untenable at your current weight. Focus on that, and stop worrying about whether you'll be happy after the surgery -- are you happy now? I wasn't.

Best of luck!

VSG with Dr. George Fielding on 12/20/17.

Peak Weight: 348 | Surgery Weight: 327 | Goal Weight: 200

Sparklekitty, Hag of Science
on 1/3/18 1:13 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

Hello and welcome to the forums!

To address your questions, more or less in order:

1: Everybody is different, so it's hard to compare journeys. Your starting BMI, how long you've been obese, how closely you follow your plan, and your unique health situation all impact what your progress could look like. That said, most people lose a fair amount of weight in the first month (~20lb, sometimes more, sometimes less) and then it's a slow and steady 1 - 2lb per week. Of the folks here *****ach goal, most seem to do it within a year.

2: You can still eat a lot of foods, but your relationship with it absolutely changes. Some people need professional help, like therapy, to help negotiate that change; surgery fixes your stomach, not your head. Healthy habits did not lead to morbid obesity, so most of us have a lot of work to do. That said, I can totally eat a variety of foods that I love that are good for me.

3: Some people have trouble with spicy food early on, but I never have. The hotter, the better!

4: Plastics are a very individual choice. For many/most of us, insurance won't cover it, so it's self-pay or nothing. Some people have lots of loose skin, others have less. Some choose to get rid of it, others (myself included) can live with it. Personally, I'd much rather have some tummy jiggle than all of the health problems that came with my obesity.

5: Other thoughts-- Read the forums thoroughly and know what to expect. Check out the menu threads to see what post-op eating looks like. See how many people panic at the "three week stall." Read up on the dangers of alcohol after WLS and the risks of transfer addiction.

Welcome, and good luck!

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Tucson Roller Derby

Gwen M.
on 1/3/18 1:38 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

Hello and welcome! Questions are never silly and it's good that you're asking!

1. Never as fast as I wanted to :)

2. Sometimes I miss eating a HUGE serving of something, but that's rare. I can eat anything I want to. However, just because I can doesn't mean I should. So there's really nothing to miss - if I really feel I NEED something that's not in my way of eating, I know I can eat it.

3. Probably. Eating hot and spicy foods is a little different now since you can't temper the heat with water or a carb like bread or rice. So I have to be a little more careful about chancing something being too spicy and then not being able to do anything about it until after I've eaten it!

4. What about plastic surgery? What, specifically, do you want to know about it? Some people need it, some people want it, some people get it, some people don't. It's rarely covered by insurance, it's expensive, and it's important to find a surgeon who specializes in reconstruction after massive weight loss because our skin is different. For me, the excess skin was annoying during exercise and preventing me from doing some of the things I wanted to do.

5. Read everything. I spent my pre-op time reading through all the old forum posts here and that was super useful. There are a lot of frequently asked questions and, thanks to all the reading, I didn't need to ask them myself. Losing weight is strangely expensive - shopping at thrift stores can be a good way to save money! Find a therapist you click with and start working with them - even now when you're pre-op. Surgery is on the stomach, not the brain, and the brain is the one that will ensure longterm success. You can also start working on getting in the habit of weighing and tracking all the food you consume with something like MyFitnessPal. This will help to build awareness of food in addition to awareness of your calories and protein intake. Work to cut out the liquids you currently drink that have calories in them and to make a habit of drinking at least 64 ounces of calorie-free liquid a day. You can also start working on not drinking with meals and waiting 30 minutes after you finish eating to start drinking again. Lots of good habit work can be done now, even before you have surgery :)

Most of all? WLS is awesome and there's never a single day that I regret making the choice to have the VSG.

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Surgeries with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL & brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL & mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 41 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)