Hello, I am Michele. I had the RNY surgery on August 14 so I am 3 and a half months out. I have lost about 30 pounds since the actual surgery and 30 before the surgery. I know I got to my heaviest at 363 due to my food binges and addiction to food. But the surgery hasn't really helped with that. I do stop when I am full and it is true that I cannot eat like I used to. But I can eat a lot more than they told me I would be able to. I know I pushed the limits and maybe my pouch is stretched? I don't know. As soon as my surgery was over, I felt like my old self. I can't tolerate the tastes of the protein drinks, so I have a hard time getting my protein in. I have lost some of my hair because of this. I do stay away from soda and carbonation. I drink tons of water and green tea. I don't like artificial sweeteners so I have a really hard time with any protein drinks due to the aftertaste even if I can choke down the original taste. Even though I cannot eat as much as I used to, I can eat whatever I choose without getting sick which is what has been my downfall. I can eat fast food. I can eat chips, etc., Nothing makes me sick. I have tried thinking that if something made me sick, I would not keep pushing the limits, but everything I try has been tolerated... except for the one thing I am supposed to be using, which is the protein drinks. Since I have stopped losing, I have cancelled my last two appointments with the surgeon because I don't want to be told what I already know and that is that I am messing this up and putting my life in danger again. Can anyone on here relate? Are there any forums for people who are such failures? My addiction to food is going to kill me and now I have the added problem of worrying that I will burst my pouch if I do not watch out. The only good thing is that I have been off all my medications since the day before my surgery and my blood sugars and blood pressure have remained normal. Also, two weeks after my surgery I was hospitalized for blood clots in my lung and right leg. I got these due to a massively long train ride each way six weeks before my surgery, then two surgeries for kidney stones between the train ride and the RNY surgery. In six weeks time, I was on a train for 28 hours each way, and had three surgeries. Because of the clots, I was not able to start my exercise like I was supposed to. I will not be cleared for routine exercise until next week. I think that frustration has added to my negativity because I believe that if I could be exercising and was getting results that would give me incentive to not over eat. Can someone please relate to me? Offer me any suggestions as to where I can find support, friends, and understanding so that I do not feel so all alone in this? Please help!
11-25-2012, 12:24 PM
ok, Michele - if that's your real name, i'll urge you to change your screen name for your safety. OK. that's done.
now, let me wade in here. my goodness!! you've been through the wringer and back, and it sounds like you're completely bewildered and overwhelmed! I can understand why you think you're failing at this. BUT - and this is really important - YOU CAN CHANGE THAT!
Easy? no. All in one day? oh dear me, no. But every single day you can do something to get yourself back on track.
And first things first. MAKE AND KEEP AN APPT WITH YOUR SURGEON. do you really believe you're the first person he/she has seen who is struggling? I'm sure if he lined up all the people who have issues like yours, the line would be out the door, down the street, and around the corner. Does your surgeon have a support group? if so, consider attending it. and, of course, you'll be here with us. you have to make the effort for yourself. And that's the real message here.
let me write that again - YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE EFFORT FOR YOURSELF.
the other thing i'd suggest is that it sounds like it's time to face your food addiction. Let's face it. None of us ended up at the surgeon's because we had a healthy relationship with food. Pretty much all of us have been in counseling of some sort at one time or another. And i gotta tell you, that even after 10+ years since the surgery, there are still times that issues slap me in the face and leave me wondering what the... just happened?
from your post, it sounds like you realize that you're not coming anywhere near meeting your protein goals, because you don't like protein shakes.
So, let's think about this. How can you go about getting in your protein? some people use carnation instant breakfast with extra dry powdered milk in it. some people add dry powdered milk to a lot of things [soups, coffee, whatever - i'm not one of these people, though]. have you tried making an egg custard? have you thought about ways to sneak protein into your food to help you along?
One person i know LOVED LOVED LOVED vanilla protein powder in her morning coffee. Said it tasted like a latte [just make sure not to mix the protein into boiling liquids- it'll clump terribly].
Are you trying to use protein powders that mix in milk or ones that mix in water? I prefer the Syntrax fruit flavors - lighter than the milk-mixers, but everyone has THE ONE AND ONLY that they like. I suspect you haven't found it yet.
Also, how are you preparing the protein drinks? i COULD NOT do the blender thing. made me absolutely sick. but pouring it over ice worked for me [i needed it to be icy cold]. After awhile, for a change, i'd mix it in plain yogurt. I think there are some unsweetened protein powders as well, but they're a little hard to find.
Bottom line, Michele - here's what I've learned through the years:
attitude is everything. If you think you're going to fail, well, then, you will. But if you think you're going to succeed, then you'll figure out how to make it work.
take the 'food events' [it's hard to call them 'meals' 3 months after surgery!] one at a time, as they come up. don't look farther ahead than making sure that you have what you need for the next event on hand.
eat MINDFULLY. keep track of how you're feeling when you're eating. and if you're eating something that's not the best choice for you, ask yourself WHY - try to figure out what the need is that you're trying to fix. It took me a long time to understand that i used food in my mouth to sort of ground myself and connect my mind with my body. I switched to using tea for that. Not that the habit is completely gone, but at least I'm drinking 0-calorie liquids instead of chocolate!
track your protein, water, and carbs EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR MOUTH. it's important to keep yourself aware of what you're doing.
i'm sure this is way too much information - and i apologize. but i hope that it helps you understand that you're not alone, that we've all been in your situation. I'm really impressed that you're panicking so early in the process, rather than in 2 years!!!
you can change the path. i promise
11-25-2012, 06:31 PM
Michelle, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time right now. I agree with everything Jiffy stated- you are not a failure and you can start over.
The surgery was just a tool to help us make better choices. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work we are required to do. I'm almost 15 months out and my daily choices are as hard today as they were pre-surgery. I knew this going into the surgery, but I was hoping I'd have some dumping issues or other reactions to make choices easier. Not the case with me either, so I understand your frustration. Moving forward...
Think of protein as a medicine-it really is non-negotiable. As I'm sure you know, if your body doesn't get enough protein from food, it will take from your muscles, including your heart. There is a reason anorexics die from heart failure...they weren't feeding their body enough protein. From what you are describing, you should have no problems eating enough protein from food so you don't have to rely on supplements. Plus, if you eat protein forward, it will help satisfy you so you won't be able to consume as many carbs.
Are you grazing all day? Eating large meals? A lot of RNY folks eat small meals 6 times a day. For example: egg for breakfast, cheese stick snack, chicken/veggies for lunch, almond snack, beef for dinner, yogurt snack. This keeps their metabolism going, their hunger diminished, and their meal sizes small.
Have you tried protein bars? I'm a fan of Atkins and Quest bars. Quest bars in particular are immensely filling. I can barely eat one bar...they are definitely a meal replacement.
It is doubtful you have stretched your pouch, although the possibility does exist that you could have stretched your stoma. You should definitely see your surgeon again. He can do a scope to see if anything has been stretched at this point. If not, you'll know your tool is still viable and you can begin again.
Three months out is still really early for weight loss. You can definitely take advantage of your honeymoon period still.
I wish you much luck. The journey is not as easy as people think it is.
11-25-2012, 06:43 PM
I've not had wls, but I do have a protein powder suggestion that may help - try to find an unflavored, undenatured whey protein. It dissolves much better, has a milder, better flavor, and none of the weird aftertaste than other whey proteins. I believe Syntrax medical, unflavored is an undenatured when protein. You can then put it in fluids that you do like, such as skim milk, or even tomato soup. I put it in oatmeal, soups, Crystal Light, sugar free jello, yogurt.
Undenatured whey protein is made at lower temperatures than standard whey, and it dissolves very easily into any cold or warm liquid (you don't want to cook it though as that will denature the proteins and they will clump. So for example if you make tomato soup, add the whey protein AFTER you pour some soup into your bowl.
11-25-2012, 08:24 PM
Thank you all so much! I already feel better just knowing that I am not alone. Jiffypop, thank you for all of your suggestions. I will try to change my screen name as soon as I finish up here. I just wasn't sure what to put when registering. I do keep a daily journal, I check off when I take my vitamins, write down all my liquids, protein grams, and calories. I have a place for my weight when I do my weigh ins and I take my blood pressure and blood sugar. The thing is that even when I have a White Castle (it is a fast food burger, but one that fits my smaller appetite), something I know I shouldn't do, I write it down, but no one sees it. I do get enough water and green tea. I do fall short on my protein grams most days. I did just start using Detour protein bars. They have 30 grams. I guess if I look at it as something I need like medicine, then it would be better for me to try to do it. I have spent so much money trying different kinds and the only ones that are even close that I can tolerate are: Syntrax chocolate, About Time peanut butter, and one of the Nectar blends. I have to mix all of these with three servings of powered milk to stomach the taste. Then with all the milk, it makes me all gassy. But I know I need it, my hair loss has not slowed yet! You all three gave me great info and I will process it as much as possible tonight. I just know that I worked over a year to be able to have the surgery, all the tests and diets, etc., and I do not want to mess it up. Thank you all again. You are the best!
11-25-2012, 10:21 PM
Michele - glad we were able to help a little today. here's another thing: READ ALL THE LABELS to help you make choices. my rule of thumb early on: there had to be more protein than either carbs or fat for me to eat it.
First of all, it's more important to choose your food by what has the most protein, least carbs, and is relatively low in fat. Choosing food because it fits your appetite isn't really the best way to go, because, well, the WC thing.
None of us wants to waste food - but we don't want to eat 'junk.' Most of us have incorporated the 'planned leftovers' approach. A small chicken breast - 1/2 for dinner, the other half on a salad the next day. A decent burger - 1/2 for dinner, the other half added to some refried beans or chili.
If you're feeding others in your family, it's actually easier. you can figure that you'll have 1/2 portion [a child size meal], and the rest of them will eat whatever ... and if you're lucky, they'll dig into the leftovers as well. I'm not married and have no children, so I have other issues -and it's hard to manage my food without wasting it.
BTW did anyone tell you that the first three months are the hardest? well, they are!!!
11-26-2012, 11:40 AM
Thanks, Jiffypop! I do stay away from some foods because of the leftover thing. My daughter and I live in a duplex with my parents in the other half and she eats with them. So if I fix anything large for me, I have to either waste it or find a way to use it in different ways. Oh, I tried to change my user name, but couldn't figure it out. Any suggestions?
11-26-2012, 12:01 PM
HI Michelle - After i posted my last note, i realized that one of my big ways to cope with the waste is to share food! I have a friend with a full time job, a part time job, a husband, and 5 children [4 of whom are still at home]. So, I'll make some lentil soup or pot roast or something, and keep what i'll eat [including freezer stash] and give them the rest. thank goodness for friends!!!!
As for the name change, I think it has to be done by an Admin [and I'm just a lowly moderator].
What name do you want? I'll send out a message to an admin and we can get this taken care of. Thanks!
11-27-2012, 10:29 AM
Michelle.. I have to tell you something I didn't have weight loss surgery and I struggle with the same exact thing.. I just wanted to wish you well on your journey.....
11-27-2012, 07:34 PM
Thanks, Jiffypop. I think I got it taken care of. The admin. messaged me. And thanks for the suggestions for the extra food. Crazyone, Thank you for your well wishes. I wish you success too. It never ceases to amaze me how our minds work... at least how mine does. I was not looking at the surgery as a miracle cure and I knew I would struggle, but I guess I wanted to be more sick so that I could basically recondition myself! I hate to throw up, so if I could associate getting sick with eating the wrong foods, I really think that may work for me. But I was one of the patients who has a higher tolerance for most foods even post surgery. I know it sounds crazy to want to get sick, but I need all of the reinforcements I can get to change my negative behaviors! I have been adjusting and I had a great healthy day yesterday and a not too bad one today. It is getting better.:carrot:
11-27-2012, 08:53 PM
great news!!! one day at a time, darlin! and actually, you might not be immune to throwing up or to dumping. the rule of thumb is 15 grams of carbs at one time is usually safe. But, if you eat the carbs alone, without protein, the risk of dumping is higher. same thing if you eat carbs + fat without protein.
so, my suggestion is to NOT PUSH IT!!!!! the surgery is NOT a punishment for your eating habits. and while it's really important and helpful to know your limits, setting out to actually FIND them so that you can be miserable - ummmmm - why go looking for trouble when you don't have to?
about changing negative behaviors - can you imagine changing them out of love for yourself instead of out of punishment? yeah. novel thought. I still struggle with this. there's nothing wrong with loving ourselves. We are worth taking care of. We are worth the effort. There's enough pain in just living, why do we feel that we need to add more to it? think about what being kind to yourself would look like [and i don't mean what 'treating yourself' would look like, but really, being kind as in 'making sure that you get what you need for peace, health, happiness']. Work in progress here!
SO GLAD today was a better day for you ...
[and i DO MEAN THAT about treating yourself - i want a cupcake as a reward for a GREAT grade on a paper i handed in, and there's no reason for that. being KIND to myself right now would mean tea and heating up some dinner. but i'm still wanting the damn cupcake!]