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What to expect, and dealing with food

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Old 01-03-2015, 08:29 PM   #1
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Default What to expect, and dealing with food

Hello all!

I am a newbie and I actually used to be on 3FC a few years ago when I was in college, but lost my user ID, and the email address I used to sign up with was closed.

Anyways, I'm really bummed out because when I was a member, my HW was like 215. Now, it's 260. *sigh*. If only I could go back then! 80 lbs to lose vs 120ish. At that point I had only gained about 50 lbs of college weight (ironically, most of it gained junior, senior, and after years, I didn't gain any weight freshman or sophomore years).

But, a lot has gone on that contributed to gaining weight. Unemployment, thyroid cancer, etc.

So finally, my endocrinologist and I were talking and he suggested WLS for the second time, and I finally took him up on it, and made appointments.

I went to the first "seminar" and information session with the surgeon, and I was nervous because I didn't know what to expect. I saw him about 3 weeks ago, and he said to start tracking my eating and exercising 4 days a week.... which I promptly did not do. I've only started tracking since the 30th of december. Boo. But I signed up for MyFitnessPal and have been tracking and exercising ever since.

The point to my rambling post is, what should I expect during my psych eval and my appt with the nutritionist, as well as recovery, and how much I will lose? I know it's up to me, and I honestly don't have any "emotional" issues with food. I don't do sweets, I do not do regular soda, and will have the occasional diet coke, but I mostly drink flavored seltzer water now. Or Diet Hanson's. I don't eat cake, pie, cookies, or candy. My issue is snacking on chips, cheesy snacks, and salty snacks, but I've been trying to curb and limit it. My issue is not emotional eating, but I eat when I'm bored. And out of habit.

What is it like recovering, and eating? I think it should help that my surgeon and I are leaning towards gastric sleeve. I'm no stranger to surgery, and I had surgery on my abdomen last year to remove a benign tumor from my pelvis.

what's your honest opinion about WLS?
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:30 AM   #2
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First of all, I probably should apologize in advance, as i may come off as being a bit ruder than I really intend to be. But bottom line, darlin, it's time to get serious about surgery or try a different route.

So the surgeon wanted you to start tracking your eating and exercising 3 weeks ago, and you didn't start until almost new year's eve. You therefore don't have any information for one of the biggest eating events of the year. That's important information that YOU and your doc could use.

One of the reasons he's asked you to do this is to see if you can follow directions. And you didn't. And if you're not going to follow directions, how do you plan to maximize your weight loss?

You said that you're not an emotional eater, but you eat when you're bored. boredom is an emotion. So ... you DO have some degree of emotional eating - how far does it go? yet another reason for the food/exercise diary.

Has anyone explained that your tastes will change post-op?

The psych eval generally explores whether you have an adequate support system and whether you truly understand what you're getting yourself into. But just about all of us are surprised by some of the issues that arise as time goes on. The wise ones get professional help.

And why are you asking a group of people who've had WLS what our honest opinion is? obviously, we thought it was the best choice for us at the time. if you poke around this forum [and you SHOULD do that], you'll find three polls at stickied at the top. some interesting findings.

what's bothering you most about the recovery and eating? is the issue concerning the TIME it'll take? or whether the recovery will ever end or if there will be problems or ....?????
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:55 AM   #3
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You therefore don't have any information for one of the biggest eating events of the year.
I don't know what you mean by that. Like, Christmas eve? Or Christmas day? We don't really celebrate it. So no big eating day if that's what you mean.

I really didn't expect to get ripped into. You don't think I don't know that I didn't follow directions? I was just asking some questions and seeking some advice and options. Sheesh. If I can expect other answers like that, then this isn't the place for me.

Quote:
And why are you asking a group of people who've had WLS what our honest opinion is?
Isn't that kind of the point of the group? Some people had bad experiences, some people have good. A doctor can only give his medical opinion on what to expect post-surgery, i was wondering what people actually went through. Pain, discomfort, length of hospital stay, how long you have to wait to exercise for, etc. My doctor can only give general answers.

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if you poke around this forum [and you SHOULD do that]
I did. I didn't think there was harm in creating a new thread.

Last edited by banditbear : 01-05-2015 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:21 PM   #4
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"First of all, I probably should apologize in advance, as i may come off as being a bit ruder than I really intend to be."
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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 01-08-2015, 06:03 PM   #5
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Hi banditbear,

I am 7 weeks post-op from gastric bypass surgery. It was truly the best decision I've ever made in my 52 years of life. I am off my diabetes meds and my blood sugar is normal, I have significantly less back pain. I've lost 30 lbs in 7 weeks (and 30 lbs prior to surgery which is required by my insurance and surgeon.

Getting in the habit of tracking every single thing you eat is important as you will need to do this post-op too. Getting in the habit of exercising every day is also important.

During the psych eval, they want to make sure you understand that this is permanent, there's no going back. You will have to change your eating habits FOREVER in order to achieve and maintain success. They also want to make sure that if you eat due to boredom or stress or sadness that you have ideas for what you will do post-surgery when you won't be able to eat to pass the time or comfort yourself. I'm finding this challenge big time because I would always eat when I was stressed or sad...and right now, I'm going through a lot of sadness/stress because a very good friend of mine was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. So I'm just trying to get through it the best I can since I can't turn to brownies or ice cream.

They will also ask you if you drink alcohol and be honest. Some people turn to alcohol to cope with life after surgery (even though you really shouldn't because you'll get drunk way too fast and it's just empty calories anyway).

The nutritionist appointments are really helpful. They'll discuss vitamins and the various stages of foods, what you can eat and what to avoid. BTW, anything carbonated (including seltzer water and Diet Hansons) is a big NO NO because carbonation bubbles can cause pain in the smaller stomach.

As for pain post-op...that varies from person to person. For me, it felt like Mike Tyson punched me in the gut for 20 rounds. It wasn't excruciating...just sore. And they give you pain meds (for me it was liquid pain meds that were pretty fast acting). The pain was just for the first 4-5 days and after that, the only time I had pain was if I accidentally ate too fast or too much. I've heard that sleeve patients do have a bit more soreness especially near the bigger incision (where they pull the rest of the stomach out).

So am I bummed that I may never be able to eat desserts as much as I'd like? Absolutely! Am I still happy that I had the surgery? DEFINITELY! I feel SO much better. I'm finally on regular foods and even though I only eat 400-600 calories per day, I'm almost never hungry. I'm able to walk more and faster than I was prior to surgery. I'm just loving this!

BTw, my doctor recommends his patients take 4 weeks off work post surgery. Not because of pain but because of fatigue. I still get fatigued occasionally, and may for another couple months, probably because my body is still adjusting to so few calories.

Oh, one more thing, if your hospital (or any hospital in your area) has bariatric support groups, I totally recommend those. My surgeon recommends Pre-Op patients attend at least one support group meeting per month. I attended one per week, and it was very helpful to hear from other pre-ops and post-ops about the challenges and new life. I got lots of great information and all my questions answered.

If you have any questions, you can private message me or post them here. I'm no expert and don't know much about the specifics of the sleeve, but I'll answer what I can.

Good luck!
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Starting weight: 245
Lap RNY 11/19/2014: 215.5 surgery weight

My Mini Goals:
1) Exercise 6 days per week at least 45 minutes per day
2) Follow the Bariatric surgery eating plan
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for that! I'm leaning towards gastric sleeve, and that's what my doctor is leaning towards too. I think I will ask about the support groups if they don't already set it up.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
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I did not have surgery, did it the old way.

That said, forgive me, and have patience, but this is my opinion.

WLS is a TOOL. And I totally get, why some, choose it.

And I totally understand, why people would choose it.

My but, is, I feel that the medical profession that works with all of these people, still does not understand, all of the dynamics, of who we are, and why we ended up, in their office, making this drastic choice.

On the other side, when you show up, to see this Dr., and you want this surgery, it is a tool, nothing more and nothing less. WLS surgery is not magic, that will make you a model. Lol, I'm not model material.

So, how? How do you figure out the balance? Between your mind and your stomach, and your life and your body, and how weird it can be and life and so on and so forth?

I am NOT disrespecting anyone who chooses WLS, I just wonder, that maybe, the whole thing, has not been researched as well as it should be, and I really don't think that medical treatment is as totally encompassing as it should be.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shcirerf View Post
I did not have surgery, did it the old way.

That said, forgive me, and have patience, but this is my opinion.

WLS is a TOOL. And I totally get, why some, choose it.

And I totally understand, why people would choose it.

My but, is, I feel that the medical profession that works with all of these people, still does not understand, all of the dynamics, of who we are, and why we ended up, in their office, making this drastic choice.

On the other side, when you show up, to see this Dr., and you want this surgery, it is a tool, nothing more and nothing less. WLS surgery is not magic, that will make you a model. Lol, I'm not model material.

So, how? How do you figure out the balance? Between your mind and your stomach, and your life and your body, and how weird it can be and life and so on and so forth?

I am NOT disrespecting anyone who chooses WLS, I just wonder, that maybe, the whole thing, has not been researched as well as it should be, and I really don't think that medical treatment is as totally encompassing as it should be.


I actually decided not to do the surgery. I just couldn't justify it and I thought it was too drastic for me. It's not reversible and I didn't want to regret it. I guess what made me really second guess it is when I saw a GI doctor for minor acid reflux and mentioned it, and she said a majority of her patients she sees because they have so many complications from WLS like ulcers, acid reflux, hernias, etc. And that freaked me out. I should have just canceled the upper GI and the psych evaluation but I didn't and it wasn't until after I saw the psychologist that I decided that it was just not going to happen.

I basically cosign with everything you said.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by banditbear View Post
I actually decided not to do the surgery. I just couldn't justify it and I thought it was too drastic for me. It's not reversible and I didn't want to regret it. I guess what made me really second guess it is when I saw a GI doctor for minor acid reflux and mentioned it, and she said a majority of her patients she sees because they have so many complications from WLS like ulcers, acid reflux, hernias, etc. And that freaked me out. I should have just canceled the upper GI and the psych evaluation but I didn't and it wasn't until after I saw the psychologist that I decided that it was just not going to happen.

I basically cosign with everything you said.


Have patience! That is the key! What works for me, might blow you up! What works for you, might make me take trip with the guys with the straight jacket!

This is not a journey of perfection, but a journey of self discovery, and that takes patience, and tolerance, and the willingness, to be patient, to learn, and be forgiving, of our faults, and to celebrate, our success!
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:07 PM   #10
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Hi there! I'm three weeks post op (well, technically tomorrow) from Roux en Y. I initially went into it, thinking I'd like the gastric sleeve, however due to my BMI (nearly 70), and being over 400 pounds at that initial appointment, my surgeon highly recommended the RNY for me. I would definitely do your own research on each procedure, but listen to your surgeon...they are the experts!

I started seriously looking into weight loss surgery in May/June 2014. I attended a seminar at a local bariatric clinic, and something about their program/facility just didn't "click" with me. So I did some research, and found a Center of Excellence about 3 hours south of me, in Indianapolis, and set up an appointment to meet a surgeon there. Since I was traveling so far, they set up my initial surgical, nutritionist, AND psych evaluation for all in the same day.

For the psych evaluation, just be honest. I was worried that because I have a history of depression/anxiety, etc., that it may hinder me getting approved. But considering all of my depression & anxiety is CAUSED by my obesity, I didn't even need to worry about it. The psychologist was just looking to make sure I could mentally handle surgery, life after surgery, and getting an idea of my support system. It was actually a great session, and I felt more pumped than ever to get the surgery!

That was in July 2014, and they sent me two weeks later to get a full set of pre-op testing. Some people I know didn't have to have testing quite as thorough prior to surgery, but every program is different. My testing was 7 hours of x-rays, blood work, scans of all my internal organs/my belly, etc. Honestly, that day was the worst part of the entire process....INCLUDING the actually surgery! lol.

After my pre-op testing came back, and I was cleared for surgery, I got a surgery date for September, and then I traveled down to Indianapolis again, to attend a 3 hour nutrition class, where they talked everything from protein, to each stage of the diet post op. There were people that came to speak that have had surgery, and kept the weight off 10+ years.

Unfortunately, due to health problems that would interfere with anesthesia, my surgery was post-poned, and I had my RNY just this month on January 6th.

As for post op life....I'm fresh still, so I'm on pureed foods for another 5 weeks. I'm eating mostly applesauce, yogurt, cream based soups (broccoli cheese is my favorite!), ricotta cheese (great protein source), etc. I'm supposed to get 75-90g of protein every day, and since I can only have 3 meals of 2 oz. each day, I'm supplementing with 3 protein shakes a day.

As for what I drink....I drink water, crystal light, sobe life water zero, powerade zero, propel. I find that now, I have to have my liquids ice cold. Before, it never mattered to me what temperature they were!

My recovery has been wonderful. I was on Percocet for the 4 days following surgery, but after that I was pain free. I didn't even need Tylenol or anything. I experienced discomfort in the abdominal area for about a week, and then even that ceased. In the hospital, I was up walking every two hours...ended up doing nearly 3 miles while I was there. I just felt GREAT! My incisions are healing up really nicely, no issues with that.

I went from being hardly able to move out of my recliner, due to being in so much pain constantly....at 28 years old, I had knee pain, joint pain, foot pain, and now I can walk, and I have so much energy. I've lost 48 pounds (22 since surgery).

As for how much you'll lose, every body is different. My surgeon said a good rule of thumb is that you'll lose 80% of your excess weight in the first 18 months.

I have absolutely ZERO regrets, and I know this is the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Sorry this is so long, but figured I'd give you an idea of how the process was for me. If you have ANY questions, be sure to ask!


-------------------------------------------
EDIT

Just saw you decided not to have surgery. Keeping this up here in case it can help anyone else out. Good luck with your journey!
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:48 AM   #11
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Hi!

I had WLS in 2008 (lapband). I, unfortunately was one of the .05% who ended up with complications and 2 weeks later I was in emergency surgery due to a bad infection around the lapband in my stomach. They had to remove the band and told me the only WLS option for me would be a full out gastric bypass.

Needless to say I was bummed out. Both my mom and my sister had the lapband surgery and both lost tremendous amounts of weight with it. But now, looking back on it from 6 years later, I stayed the same weight, they both lost weight, but ended up gaining it all back. My mom went back in and got a sleeve and lost it all again 2 years ago.

Now I am on a full meal replacement program, which I did once in high school and had good success with losing weight and kept it off for a few years. Really looking at the meal replacement vs a WLS, the weight loss rate is the same, the idea behind it is the same (restricted calories), but there is no surgery involved, and no actual physical restriction on my stomach. But then again there is no complications from surgery either!

If you would like to lose the weight at the same rate as WLS would produce, look into a vlcd (very low calorie diet). The one I am on through my doctor has me at 800 a day and I am on special shakes/soups that provide all the nutrients/protein i need for the day. This is really the first time I have taken a step back and felt in control by not eating. I have eaten EVERYTHING for the past 38 years, I can live without eating everything for 6-10months to get my body down to where it needs to be!

(PS Also my doctor uses the same meal replacement diet to diagnose and treat acid reflux causes and remedy it, even if you don't need to lose weight. So if you have issues with that, it might help double to look into something like the program I am on for weight loss and acid reflux)
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:05 PM   #12
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Hey JC, are you on HMR? I'm asking because I am and it sounds exactly the same - VLCD at 800/day with doctor supervision.

Anyway, I went to HMR instead of WLS and am so happy I did. I wound up getting to goal, but am now dealing with 30 lbs regain, so I'm back in the program.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:01 PM   #13
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One thing to remember about weight-loss surgery is that most clinics require the patients to go through a counseling process to help us figure out why we are obese in the first place.

The psychologist who worked with me dug into my past, searched out my emotional reasons for over eating, and helped me face and deal with stumbling blocks. This process was once a month for six months, and has definitely helped alleviate my unhealthy issues with food.

In other words, I had to have my head fixed before they would fix my stomach.
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