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About Jen581791

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    On the road
  • Age


  • Surgeon
    Dr. Rumbaut
  • Hospital
    Swiss Hospital, Monterrey
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass

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  1. Glad they've figured out the problems, but sounds pretty unpleasant. I hope you're feeling well again very soon. Botox in your pyloric sphincter? Maybe they'll "miss" and some will end up in your crows feet Ah, you're too young to even want that. Rest up!
  2. I hear you on the "concerned" friends. Being a fat person and confronted with someone else's weight loss is hard, so it's not surprising they respond with a push-back, but it sure does make them difficult to listen to. I lost quite a lot of weight about a decade ago and experienced that myself from a few people (...and gained it all back plus a lot, which is why I'm here, of course). It sounds like you have a healthy attitude toward food intake - good for you I tend to obsess over data of all kinds, so I'm a tracker, but may give that a break once I find a routine (early days for me still - want to make sure I'm getting my protein, etc).
  3. @Aussie H It's like thin people think they are subconscious math geniuses, always eating the EXACT amount of calories every day that they need to in order to not gain weight (it should only take an extra 95 calories per day for a year to gain 10 pounds!). Little more complicated than that. I like your response. I'll have to remember that
  4. Glad they're doing thorough tests and your health issues have been picked up and will be addressed! Bummer about delaying, though. I know that when I was ready to go, I wanted it NOW. On the positive side, you've had a lot of time to train yourself with eating habits, etc. Good luck
  5. I had to be at a conference last week, and on the first day, I just didn't do what I needed to (not enough water with me, no snacks in my bag). I was light headed and grouchy by the end of the day, but lesson learned, I guess. Schedule change-ups are hard. I think it'll be a while before it becomes second nature. You're back and you're on track, so all is good
  6. Thanks for your replies. I know it's early days and I haven't settled into a stable pattern of eating yet, but the number of things that taste gross is surprisingly large! I'll keep trying and keep my fingers crossed that things settle down a bit. I think my biggest problem is that my bitter receptors on my tongue are extra sensitive, so anything the least bit bitter tastes terrible. That is apparently a possible side effect of the surgery! - study on changing tastes after WLS.
  7. Great job! I hope I'm doing as well as you when I'm four months out (I'm 6 weeks right now) Thanks for sharing your photos.
  8. Thanks - I spend a lot of time reading up on this stuff, so it was helpful to me to put it all in one place. I hope it may be of help to others when they're making this decision. I have to say that the article on BL was a major push for me - if these people can't do it, how could I??? Super depressing. On the positive side, I'm hoping that my WLS will be the tool that I need to get me where I want to be. So far, so good! And good luck on your surgery - the feeling I got when I finally made the decision to go for it was such a relief. You're in for a ride, but a manageable one
  9. Today is my six weeks week out surgiversary. Happy six weeks to me. Not sure what the traditional gift for that milestone is. Protein shake, probably. I lost no weight at all while away from the scale last week. I've lost only about 2 pounds in the last two weeks. This does not reflect my changing body, however, so I will ignore what the &#*%@ scale says. We are not required to wear our scale numbers on name-tags, after all. My clothes are getting looser and I feel *thinner*. I'm down 37 pounds from my pre-op and 18 pounds from op, which seems glacially slow to me, but it would, of course, seem amazing before surgery. I'm totally on-plan, getting all my protein and water, keeping carbs low, and eating between 500-800 calories a day, so I know I'm not doing anything wrong. Today's topic: How does WLS actually work? WLS does a lot of weird things to your body, and scientists and surgeons only understand a little bit about the mechanisms that go on afterwards, apparently. I like to research this stuff because it's really fascinating how little we know about weight loss/gain, metabolism, nutrition, and how they all come together with WLS. Here's my understanding of the science, through the eyes of an English teacher, not a scientist. I've got some links here, and many are to boring medical study reports. Also, please note that this is a pretty new field of study, and there are many studies whose results don't agree with the below information. Science is pretty messy, and medical/nutritional science seems especially messy - it's full of complicated factors that are difficult to exactly reproduce, and clear answers don't come until studies can be reliably repeated with the same results. We're not there yet. Example: Here's a study laying out two opposing views and the research to back them up *warning: boring medical research paper* Most people think that WLS is all about restriction, i.e. not allowing the body to eat much because of restricted stomach size (and for RNY/DS patients malabsorption, i.e. bypassing some of the intestine where nutrients are absorbed). Makes sense. However, researchers are finding that this only accounts for a small portion of the changes our bodies go through, and some good evidence comes from comparing sleeve and bypass patients with lapband patients: lapband patients don't experience the same metabolic changes as other WLS patients. For the purposes of the rest of this post, when I use "WLS" I'm not referring to lapband because lapband patients don't see these effects. (Sorry, lapband people. I know there are many people who enjoy successful lapband experiences, but they apparently aren't successful for these particular reasons!) Hormonal changes One effect of WLS: a decrease in several key hormones that deal with metabolism: insulin, leptin, ghrelin, and chemerin (well, and like 40 others, but I've found less info on them). Insulin regulates blood sugar and how cells either use or store glucose (sugar) from food we eat. Leptin is secreted by fat cells and is responsible for making you feel full after you eat. Ghrelin is secreted and makes you feel hungry when your stomach is empty, and secretion stops when your stomach is full. Chemerin plays a role in insulin resistance and breakdown of fats. These hormones get thrown out of whack by obesity. Or hormones being out of whack causes obesity. Researchers are not sure. Being out of whack and obesity go hand in hand, anyway. They should be self-regulating: more food makes you feel full, increased body fat makes you want to eat less, etc. However, with "metabolic syndrome" all of this is messed up. Fat people crave more food, not less - not because they're gluttons, but because they are driven to by their out of whack hormones. This is part of why even successful dieters usually gain weight back - their hormones are still messed up and drive them to eat. RNY and sleeve operations seem to fix this, or reverse it, and it's not entirely clear why. This is connected to the reasons that most patients with diabetes go into remission in after surgery - the body just suddenly gets better at dealing with blood sugar regulation because insulin secretion has been changed. This happens before patients actually lose much/any weight - so it's not a result of weight loss, but the surgical changes to the GI tract. This is also connected to why most patients don't feel hungry after surgery (at least initially) - the ghrelin is not being secreted as before (besides that stomach nerves are healing!). Microbiome changes Another effect of weight loss surgery is a change in the gut bacteria in the patients' intestines. This bacteria, known as the "microbiome," may play a large role in weight regulation as well as many other body regulation systems, but the research on this is fairly new. Doctors can "transplant"* microbiome from a healthy person to someone with an unhealthy imbalance (such as a Clostridium difficile infection, which causes horrible diarrhea and colon damage) and the transplanted microbiome will take over and fix the problem. In doing these, doctors noticed that if the "donor" suffered from obesity, the patient receiving the transplant might also begin to suffer from obesity. The different varieties of bacteria in the microbiome can lead to leanness or obesity. Studies of the microbiota of WLS patients show that the varieties of bacteria change after the surgery and the new microbiota show a larger number of varieties. In fact, in lab studies, researchers have been able to take rats who've had gastric bypass surgery (poor little rats!) and transplant their microbiota to obese rats and the obese rats lose weight! *if you are interested in how a transplant might work, and you have a strong stomach, here you go. There are also capsules that have been developed... Resting Metabolic Rate changes A huge problem when undergoing weight loss is that the the patient's metabolism adapts (slows down) as weight is lost. This is because the body wants to preserve the status quo - in evolutionary terms, it's a good idea to respond to famine by hanging onto weight instead of losing it. Unfortunately, we can't tell our bodies that they're not experiencing famine - just trying to lose weight! From the studies that I can find, it seems that WLS patients experience a less severe experience with this, or perhaps their RMR improves. In a study comparing Biggest Loser competitors with RNY patients, the resting metabolic rate of the RNY patients was higher - they were burning more calories per day - than the Biggest Loser competitors at one year out, even though the Biggest Loser competitors lost less lean mass or gained more muscle than the RNY patients. (The authors of that study see merit in eating lots of protein and exercising to help out with this) The science is not totally settled on this as studying it is difficult due to many factors that can confuse the results. Anyway, there are probably other mechanisms I haven't read about (reminder: I'm not a scientist!), and there are undoubtedly mechanisms researchers haven't identified yet, but this is a basic overview of the less obvious ways that WLS helps us lose weight. I'm pretty sick of reading the "calories in calories out" stuff that's out there - it's just not a complete way of thinking about how people lose or gain weight. Here are some more "fun" articles (non medical journals) if you're interested: Why You Can't Lose Weight on a Diet (nytimes) After "The Biggest Loser" Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight (nytimes) Bacteria in the Intestines May Help Tip the Bathroom Scale, Studies Show (nytimes) Woman Becomes Overweight After Fecal Transplant from Overweight Donor (iflscience) Most of Us Misunderstand Metabolism. Here are 9 Facts to Clear That Up (vox) When You Lose Weight, Where Does It Go? (Scientific American) - lots of scientific jargon, but short
  10. I'm at almost six weeks out - that's coming on Tuesday. I haven't weighed myself in almost a week, so no idea how things are going there. I'll do that tomorrow. I've been away from my scale for that time, so it doesn't reflect any amazing self-control about not weighing myself. Just no scale access. I've spent the week at the international convention for my profession (job hunting, networking, etc), and this has been an interesting challenge for my the new me. Until this week, my eating has been a purely private affair, among those who know why I'm eating like a picky toddler and not drinking during my meal. During the convention, I ate several meals out and was for the most part very successful. I was also able to bring enough snacks (shakes and string cheese) with me so I could keep up my energy all day. The convention center had just a couple of sandwich places, and staying inside the facility all day was pretty grim anyway, so we decided to venture out into the city to eat at lunch each day. I was with my husband (we're in the same profession) and my BFF who flew in for the convention, and who I told about my surgery right away. She was actually very supportive and non-judgmental about it, and as an avid exercise/nutrition freak, was very interested to hear about all the physiological stuff. Anyway, they were both OK with choosing restaurants based on whether I felt I could choose something good there. One day I had a Mexican bowl thingy with black beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and olives (no rice) and it was easy to eat and tasted good. I ate only a teeny bit because the beans were pretty heavy feeling, but it all went down well. Nothing really new here, just new to eat it in a restaurant. Another day I tried Indian food. I had already had some palak paneer (spinach and cheese) from a ready-made foil pouch, so I was pretty sure it would go OK. The restaurant stuff was of course much better tasting, and I ate a fair bit of it, but not so much that my stomach was uncomfortable. As a table, we ordered palak paneer, malai kofta (cheese curd balls in cashew gravy - sounds awful in the description, but this is one of my favorite Indian dishes), and dal maharani (spicy lentils), plus naan (bread) for my two dining partners. The dal was disgusting because it was pretty oniony, and onions taste like poison to me now, as does garlic. The two other dishes were delicious and went down very well. They were pretty spicy, which was a little bit uncomfortable, maybe because it was just a new sensation, but not too bad. These dishes are mostly of a soft, pureed texture, so very easy to eat. I wasn't bothered by not eating the naan, even though I used to LOOOOOOOVE naan. I just sort of felt like, "This is not for me," and that was it. I drank a bunch of water before the food came, and then not during or after eating, which was a little weird, particularly since the food was spicy, but I managed just fine. Another day I had Thai food, specifically red Thai curry with tofu. This sounds easy because I've had home versions of it previously, but unfortunately, this version had deep fried tofu instead of just cubes of plain tofu. Oops. I figured I'd try it just to see, but regretted it all afternoon. It just felt not good in my stomach to the point where I will definitely not try this again any time soon. I had to sit through several sessions with a very uncomfortable feeling. For breakfasts, I ate little rolled up snacks of sliced Tofurkey (fake lunch meat) and swiss cheese. This is my new go-to thing. It tastes good, goes down well, and fills me up. One little roll of one slice of cheese and two little slices of Tofurkey are enough to really fill me up. In the evenings, we of course had to go out because that's what you do at conferences, so we ended up at a lot of brew-pubs (it was in Seattle). I used to really love a good microbrew, but it just tastes awful to me now. The bitter part of it is the only thing I can taste, and it's terrible. I drank ice water with lemon or bloody mary mix (no booze) instead. This was not difficult. I didn't miss the beer. I did have to explain to an old friend that I'd quit drinking as he paid for a round, but I think I played it off casually enough. He didn't ask any follow up questions, anyway. I suppose he's imagining AA or something. It really says something about my fear of acknowledging my issues with my weight that having someone think I have a drinking problem seems preferable to admitting to WLS... On evening outings, food was a little more difficult since we were in pubs, but one night they had pizza (awesome amazing pizza, apparently, if my companions are to be believed), but I skipped it because I've determined that pizza (or the toppings, anyway) doesn't sit that well with me. Another night the pub we were at had a cheese plate appetizer with several nice varieties of fancy cheese, plus crackers (ate one to try it - it was OK), apple slices (delicious - I was worried it might not settle well, but it was fine), and cranberry chutney (I dunked my cheese in it a few times). This was about the perfect pub meal, and I'll have to look for places that do this in the future. I can sit and fiddle with my food for as long as I like because it's a fiddly sort of dish, plus anyone can have some of mine because it's an appetizer, anyway. All in all, it wasn't terribly difficult to eat out as long as I did some preliminary menu research online before going. It felt like the waiters were a little weirded out by how little I was eating, but whatever, they're not paid to judge my food consumption. I'm really glad that I've already started this journey and lost around 40 pounds since pre-op. This made me feel a lot more confident in the job interviews that I had, which I'm sure is a quality that works to my advantage in hiring decisions. I'm hoping one of the places I interviewed with offers me a job - I've got another place I applied to online but haven't interviewed with yet that I'm really well qualified for and that I really hope I get an offer from. I know I'm counting my chickens, but if I get those two offers, I'll be really pleased.
  11. So glad to hear you're almost there! I've been at a professional conference all week, so I've been busy, but I'll update this weekend. Plenty to say as I approach 6 weeks out! I wish you the best of luck in your surgery (so scary the day before and day of, but didn't seem like too big a deal as soon as I was up and around afterwards).
  12. Wow, focusing so much on food/body, as we have to after WLS, has got to be difficult for a person with a history of serious eating disorders. I'm glad you have a friend to talk to about these issues, as well as a therapist. I hope you can find some peace through this process. I've heard (read?) a few people mentioning that although they'd never experienced appetite loss because of stress/sorrow/anxiety before, that was their new response to these emotions. It seemed counterintuitive to me before surgery, but I can see how it would happen now. Sub-200: coming soon! Great job and may it arrive soon.
  13. I'm five weeks out, and I just really don't like the taste of anything now. Everything tastes different from before surgery - I had read that this would happen, but I didn't think that everything would taste gross. Many things taste like nothing at all, no flavor, really: I used to love cottage cheese and greek yogurt, and they don't taste like anything anymore. Other things taste awful, bitter or chemically: protein shakes, anything artificially sweetened, coffee (I haven't drunk it, just smelled it, gag), some kinds of soup. Some things taste rotten: cheese, some kinds of fruit, eggs (taste like sulphur! Ew!). Nothing really tastes GOOD. I know that this is probably a good thing to keep me away from trying things I shouldn't and help me form new habits, but it's pretty depressing. I feel like I might as well be fueling up a car. It's 8am, insert protein. It's noon, insert protein. I'm eating enough, I think. I just force stuff down, regardless of taste, so my protein numbers are good every day (70 - 85 or so). Is this normal? Will I regain a sense of taste that makes me glad to eat? If I don't, will I get used to this? End of rant. Thanks for being patient.
  14. Thanks, @LisaAPD. I appreciate your kind words. I guess as long as the trend line is toward losing, we're better off than staying the same or gaining!
  15. Tuesday was my one month post-op, and I'm happy to say that my stall is over. Also, when I actually look at the numbers on the app that I use to track my weight, it's not really much of a stall. It just messed with my head to have only lost 10 pounds after 2, then 3 weeks out. Now I'm at -18 post-op, and -37 total, since the beginning of January. It's starting to feel like things are happening, although it looks to be happening a bit more slowly than for many others. My face looks thinner, my body feels thinner, and my clothes are fitting a lot better. When I move around, whether walking, climbing stairs, shaving legs in the shower, etc., I feel like I can do it more easily. It's great! The eating situation is really strange. I'm not hungry at all. When it's time to eat, food sounds kind of good in theory, but isn't very exciting once I'm faced with it. I can eat about 1/4 cup of food at a time, more if it's soup/applesauce/something squishy like that. Some things taste terrible to me now: garlic and onions taste like metallic chemicals, eggs taste like sulphur, some kinds of cheese taste rotten. Fruits and vegetables taste amazing, but since I can only have a bite or two after eating my protein, I'm not getting much of them. I've been having red Thai curry tofu and vegetables the last few days for dinner (one batch makes enough for like two weeks, lol), and it's really delicious. The fat from the coconut milk went through me a bit fast the first day, but I guess my system has gotten used to it now, so it sits well with me. I'm still relying on protein shakes for most of my protein. Can't wait until I don't have to! Energy levels are pretty good. I feel a bit tired in the afternoon, but not terrible, and since I'm not working at the moment, it's not affecting me much. I need to get out for more regular walks, though. The big road trip I was on came to an end on Tuesday, as well. After seven months on the road all over the US, we arrived back where we started (there's a metaphor here, I just know it): my MIL's house I was really really really nervous about telling her about the WLS, since she's a tad judgmental of my decisions normally, and is also a crazy worrywart. However, perhaps because she has spent her whole life yoyo dieting, she actually seemed to think it was a good idea, and is really curious and enthusiastic about the whole thing (at least to my face, which is good enough for me!). She's also afraid to eat in front of me, which is kind of funny, because I couldn't care less. Sadly, I find myself judging her food choices in my head, which is not kind. She has had the most success in her life doing 80s old school dieting, and relies on 80s nutritional science to this day. Diet = low fat, high carb food. With fat free cheese on top. Hold the protein. Iceberg salads with fat free (sugar filled) thousand island on top. Jelly beans for a treat because fat free! Coke is OK because it's fat free! It makes me sad because I know how hungry that kind of diet can make a person. And how ineffective that kind of dieting can be. I'm really holding my tongue, though. Over the years, I've definitely bought into the sugar and refined carbs = evil school of thought, but it would be a complete change of worldview for her, and she's not one to change philosophies on a dime. Smile and tell her she's doing great. It's better for our relationship, I promise. One weird thing that happened this week was that I had a strange reaction to new calcium chews I had bought. I got gummy ones and figured they had some sugar, like my multivitamins, but when I was chewing the first two I noticed that they were really sweet! I checked the package info (why did I not do this when I bought them? I'm usually so careful about these things), I saw that they have 7g of sugar per two chews, and you're supposed to have 4 chews per day! What!? Then, about an hour later, I got HUNGRY. That stomach growling, empty, craving sort of hungry that I would maybe get after having something really sweet like pancakes and syrup. And this is after a month of not having anything like hunger at all. Stupid calcium chews!!! Goodbye forever. I'm buying some liquid calcium that is sugar free. I've been cruising the ThinnerTimesForum boards, so I have a good idea of what to look for this time. Thanks to those who've done this research and shared it! Next week comes with new challenges: I'm going to a big international conference for my profession to look for a job for the next school year, so I'll have to manage getting all of my food/liquid while at a conference all day. I'll also be meeting up with a friend who I would normally be having quite a lot of beer and pizza with - I'm going to tell her about the WLS since she's a really good friend, but as someone who's never had real problems with her weight, I'm pretty sure she won't understand. We'll see. Wishing I had done the surgery a couple of months earlier so I feel more confident in job interviews. When I was last thin-ish, I remember sitting in on a conversation with a group of people who were in charge of hiring for my department - they were all bad-mouthing a heavy person who had interviewed. The toxic language was awful. They really couldn't see hiring a fat person because obviously fat people had no self control and didn't try to take care of themselves at all. "I mean, just put the burger down and go to the gym." The closeted fat person in me was just cringing and pitying the guy. The world is kinder to people of socially acceptable size, and cruel indeed to those of us who are not.