Choosing Weight Loss Surgery
It’s been close to nine months since I went under the knife for weightless surgery. I get a lot of questions about what made me choose to go the route of having surgery versus trying to live healthy and eat healthy. The answer is a bit complicated. So I’ll try to make it simple. I gained weight I couldn’t drop no matter who much I worked out or ate and lived a cleaner life. I cut out fried foods, limited chocolate consumption, went soda free years before my surgery. I also limited alcohol intake once I began taking beta blockers for SvT. Still I continued to gain weight. My body index was extremely high but I did work out, worked my tail off as much as I could while singing to myself or talking while exercising to keep track of exertion.
I checked out and researched the procedures for two and a half years before going in for a consult in 2013, and then waited another seven months before beginning the process. The main reason was after meeting with my surgeon, he gave me insight into why I wasn’t losing, how my metabolism couldn’t re regulate or reset due to my BMI at 40, saying I’d have to work out around the clock to get it down. We spent two hours going over my questions, and I had many…before I was satisfied and My fiancé was satisfied. He also didn’t understand why I couldn’t just exercise and lose it. Picture timeline of weightless so far at the bottom.
I chose the Gastric Sleeve. Click on the link to read if you like.
From that point on, I began planning, put in notice at my job so there’d be coverage, ate cleaner and waited for my date. The day of the surgery I was a hot mess. I was scared of course, anxious and thinking up til we got there…do I want to do this? I gave myself a pep talk saying to just do it. At the rate of weight gain I was looking at least ten more pounds a year at the age of 38, I really wanted to be able to live long enough to see my kids get married, have grandkids and keep up with them. I wanted to be able to paint my own toes, and cross my leg without it being sidewise. Little things that when you’re obese you can no longer do. I digress…
In the lobby, I signed in. Ten minutes later a nurse came out with a zanex for me, thank god since I was terribly anxious! Then I was wheeled off to anesthesia. Hours later I woke up and the surgery was complete.
Morphine is not my friend. I don’t like any drug that makes me feel out of control so I didn’t use the pump but once and asked for tordol instead. I was up walking that night and went home the next day. My stomach was extremely bloated and super sore. My daughter helped me shower and dress for a week. I couldn’t bend over or get too wet due to all the dressings and staples in me.
I lived on water, broth and protein shakes for a week. Then moved on to soft foods and protein shakes. I walked around the house every four hours for five minutes and gave myself blood thinner shots in my stomach for a week.
With 2/3 of my stomach removed. The hormone Ghrelin is no longer produced in my body. While I don’t ever feel hungry. My body alerts me to eat when needed. I have to remind myself to drink enough though and if I don’t I feel it the next morning. Since that hormone is non existent, the urge for cravings is also pretty much absent. I can smell food and not want it, watch others eat junk and not want it, that is the nice part of having the sleeve procedure done.
A week later, I began walking more around the house and eventually walked an hour a day up the hill and down for an hour.
The next phase of eating was still protein shakes, deli meat, tuna, canned chicken, broth water, string chicken, canned green beans, canned carrots, beans, frozen sugar-free Popsicle and applesauce. I used trivia to sweeten everything.
I quickly learned how much I could stomach or what new foods I attempted I couldn’t tolerate. I still can’t eat eggs or lettuce. Egg substitutes work though but red meat is painful.
Slowly along the way in month three and four, I added fresh veggies and fresh fruit, turkey and chicken chili with beans and cheese shavings on top, greek yogurt with 9 to 12 grams of sugar, cheese popcorn, humus and pretzel chips or pita bread, and sweet freedom ice-cream.
Month five and six. I added Oscar protein packs, quest protein bars, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, low-fat salad dressing, pineapple and cheddar bacon brats minus the bun, bbq meat finely chopped, chicken salad, burritos, and finding restaurants to eat at. Also decaf sugar-free mocha fraps at Starbucks as a treat.
Chicken Quesadillas,macaroni and cheese, spinach and artichoke pizza with olive oil as the sauce, turkey meatballs, turkey patties vs hamburger patties. At Mexican restaurants. I get my entrée with sauce on the side and eat the meat and cheese but not the wrapping.
My taste buds… have changed. I cannot tolerate anything super sweet. As soon as it hits my tongue (apple crisp I tried during thanksgiving) I immediately spit it back out.
Sugar substitutes have an odd effect on me…
Sorbital makes me drool. Like I’m feigning over a hot guy lol. I mean I drool to the point of it’s disgusting.
Malitol makes me want to consume two full glasses of water and gives me cramps
Equal gives me a splitting headache
Splenda is okay in moderation but makes me nauseated if it’s too much and has a weird aftertaste sometimes.
I’ve lost 97 pounds since March 24th.
Being close to sugar-free or limiting processed sugar has improved my mood, my immune system. (sugar is detrimental to the immune system)
I’ve stopped taking all meds except my heart pills and the occasional allergy pill.
I take bariatric vitamins and a calcium supplement no different from taking vitamins like one a day for other folks.
My trainers have changed my work out regime from cardio four times a week (which I love) 😦 to twice a week with weight training on Tuesdays and Fridays, or at least three days apart.
Like any woman lol I still wear spanks mainly to help with my skin to avoid having it too loose. I lotion up probably three times a day too to help maintain and hydrate my body along with 50 oz of water or fluids a day.
Clothing myself has been a PITA. I took me awhile to figure out how to conserve money. I have been in a lot of leggings and boots with long sweaters and now some cute dresses. Jeans and Slacks cost too much with how quick I’m dropping weight still. I am around 12 pounds every six weeks or so. Plato’s Closet, and a few thrift stores I love are godsends. Walmart has great fashion tights and Old Navy had some great sales I was able to get some things on. In the meantime every time I downgrade a size lower, I take my bigger clothes to the donation closet at the weightless center.
A lot to take in isn’t it?
It was worth every painstaking second of it. And the surgery…like childbirth I really don’t remember it. The roughest part was getting used to food again and what I could tolerate or not. I’m still a work in progress. I have scars on my stomach that will never go away. Those I don’t mind. What I do mind oddly is the fact that I miss having big boobs and a fat hiney. Squats help the butt but nothing but implants will give me boobage back and I’m not into those so….win some lose some. I’ve also lost a lot of hair but was warned that would happen. What I wasn’t ready for when that time came was to be in the shower and feel handfuls come out. I added a hair vitamin recently and protein packs to strengthen. It’s doing much better. No one would ever know since I’ve been wiggin’ it up for years.
To read more check out this interview I had with a good friend and author Adriana Kraft.
Interview on Lifestyle Changes here!
Before Surgery Pics
Right After Surgery on March 25th
Two weeks later beginning of April
July three months out