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Weight Loss Surgery If you've had it, or are considering it, share your discussions here

What I wish I had known...

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default What I wish I had known...

So tomorrow I am going to a seminar? about WLS. It's definitely something I am considering. And I won't lie, I'm scared about the whole process.
My husband will be going with me.

So as I begin this journey I am asking you all who have at least stepped part way through this journey...

What did you learn that you wish you had known at the beginning?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:00 PM   #2
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Hmmm. not sure this qualifies, but here goes. I knew that I'd have to make changes in the way I approached food, eating, exercise, living. I wish I'd had a better grip on just what that meant. It actually means that relationships with people change, and perhaps more important, my relationship with myself completely changed. It's not always easy. And now, 12 years later, I'm still dealing with some of these issues. It's not really about the food. It's about how to live.

Let us know how the seminar goes, and what you think. be sure to ask questions - this isn't a time to be shy!
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start: 506 [Sept 2001]
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current weight: 225
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:07 PM   #3
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What Jif said. I knew it was a tool, that I had to work it, and that surgery is not magic. There's a huge difference between knowing it and living it. I'm not sure how you get a better grip on all that though. I don't regret my band at all and it's still working after all these years, but I'm still learning and am far, far from perfect.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:09 AM   #4
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The seminar I attended was great......did it answer all my questions.....yes, but there are more questions as you begin the process or journey. I am fairly new to the band.....(my choice)......but do I regret my decision?......heck no! Is it easy.....heck no! Am I enjoying the adventure....YES!!!! Jiffy is right on spot.....don't be shy.....asks lots of questions and realize you don't have all the questions at this time. Hook up to a great support team and never be afraid to ask questions. Food is not number one.....living and loving is number!
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #5
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I have not had WLS, but I have a whole bunch of friends who have and I will share with you what a couple of them have told me.

Friend #1 had (I will probably spell this wrong) Ruon Y (?) WLS. Initially she said she couldn't believe how bad she felt or how much she threw up. Anything remotely bad for her made her hurt and sick. Certain things, just the smell made her sick. That resolved in a few months and she lost weight fairly well for a time. (She is 5'6" and was nearly 300lbs for reference) She reached a size 16/18 from a 26 and promptly began to gain weight. She never made it out of the obese category, despite the surgery. She is now (2 years out from surgery) struggling to lose weight and is precariously clinging to a size 18/20 at this time. She told me that despite the fact that she knew the surgery wasn't the "easy way" or "quick fix/magic" to lose weight, she KNEW that, but she didn't really believe she would have to work as hard as she is now. She said that she has to work just as hard, and sometimes it feels even harder than it was before the surgery, to lose weight. She doesn't regret it because she is still smaller than she was (several sizes smaller) but she says that she knows now that she really didn't "get" that she was still going to have work hard and eat really healthy in order to get smaller.

Friend #2 had the sleeve thing done. She is probably 5'4" or 5'5" tall, over 330lbs. She recovered really well with not too much at all of the vomiting issues and such. She lost 80lbs fairly quickly and is now just holding despite attempts to lose more. She is approx 100lbs over her goal yet and really having to work hard for each pound. She's happy she had the surgery. However, much like friend #1, she admits she thought it'd be a magic bullet and the weight would just come off, even though she was told otherwise. She still hates many "healthy foods" and struggles with her addiction to carbs and sugar every day yet. She says that in her mind she didn't really think she would have to diet after the surgery, thinking that the amount of food she could eat with the sleeve would be small and would control her weight.

Friend #3 had the band. It did not work out for her and it caused serious issues that resulted in emergency surgery to remove it some time after it was implanted because it cut something off or corroded or some such thing? I didn't get the all the details. She lost a significant amount of weight, but was horribly sick most of the time she had it. After the band was removed she had a different kind of WLS but I don't know which though I think she said it was a regular "bypass" surgery. (Again, sorry but I don't know the details about each method of surgery.) She is happy with the second surgery and despite being overweight still, she is just barely overweight and is really happy and feeling good about things now.
Her daughter had the band done at the same time she did and it worked well for her. She did not get sick from it and lost a fair amount of weight, though like her Ma she is still slightly overweight. She is very happy with her band. They both say that they are happy with the results in the end, and glad they did it (though the Ma regrets the band incident of course) but that it makes eating more of a chore than expected.

I did lose one friend to the surgery, she had internal complications. One other acquaintance had WLS, lost a ton of weight and then gain it all back and then some in 3 years. I think she had the one that makes an egg size pouch? I don't know what she would say about the surgery as we don't talk much any more.


So, what I have taken away from these people in my life about WLS is this: People who think it's an easy way to lose weight are nuts! I watched these people recover from surgery and then continue to struggle to lose weight just like everyone else does. I think for a lot of people it's a good tool, but it's only that, one tool that is not enough on it's own to result in permanent weight loss. You still have to watch what you eat just like everyone else does, which is still hard. My mother is considering the surgery, and I hope that if she decides to do it, it works for her and she doesn't have any severe complications. But right now I'm not sure she's in a mental place that would be good for the surgery as I think she still clings to the "easy weight loss/magic bullet" idea secretly.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:50 AM   #6
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I liked what folks have had to say. I guess the thing I am really grateful for with my surgery is that I waited so long to have it. I spent 8 years in treatment for an eating disorder, before finally having the surgery. I was ready!! I am not recommending my approach but know it was the right one for me.

I highly recommend, if you are considering surgery. that you take advantage of all the psychology, doctor, and dietician appointments that you can and then some. Give yourself time to mentally and physically prepare for what lies ahead. For me, food was not the problem, it was an ineffective solution for all of my other problems.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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For me, food was not the problem, it was an ineffective solution for all of my other problems.

the best words of wisdom of the year!!!!!
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Start your day with a smile, and get it over with.
Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

Posts by members, moderators and admins are not medical advice. See your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:31 PM   #8
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Oh there is some really good advice here. Thank you all. So my husband I went today. And I think after confirming with my insurance I am going to move forward with it.
They only the gastric sleeve and I think I am a very good candidate for it. But they did really stress that you really had to work on changing your lifestyle before the surgery if you really wanted success. And I think I'm in a good place for this. I have a an appointment with a counselor next week. And I'm lucky, I already know this counselor. I went to her for grief counseling when a good friend committed suicide. I like her style and she calls me on my stuff. I'm already doing weight watchers and I think I am going to have get more serious about it, because I think I need the help.

I have looked at the intuitive eating and I think there is something in that, but the reality is that I don't trust my body to tell me when I'm hungry, because I am always hungry. Okay I'm not always hungry, but I will feel actual physical hunger even after I've eaten a meal. Not always but enough to not trust my body. Anyway, that's where I am right now.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seana View Post

I have looked at the intuitive eating and I think there is something in that, but the reality is that I don't trust my body to tell me when I'm hungry, because I am always hungry. Okay I'm not always hungry, but I will feel actual physical hunger even after I've eaten a meal. Not always but enough to not trust my body. Anyway, that's where I am right now.

I had my gastric sleeve done on June 10th and this was one of my bigger fears. But, since surgery, I know to the bite when I'm done. While I know things might change with time, its beyond simple to tell now when I'm done. So if you're worried about your body telling you to be done, its not as hard as you might be worried about.

What is harder is convincing myself that is ok. I can't keep food down if I over-eat (as in one bite too many), so I'm not actually tempted to overeat. But, especially if I'm enjoying a meal or company, its harder to just feel ok with ending the meal, because I'm not used to 2 ounces truly being enough. Its more head-hunger than anything else.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
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my experience: intuitive eating doesn't work after surgery. As ducky pointed out, there are signs that we've had enough [which is the purpose of the surgery!], but there's little that tells us that we're hungry!!! and if there are signals, they are very very different than the signals that we might have felt before the surgery.

No matter which form of surgery we've had, none of us usually feels hunger in the usual way
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Start your day with a smile, and get it over with.
Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

Posts by members, moderators and admins are not medical advice. See your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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