Gail Engebretson

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About Gail Engebretson

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  • Birthday 11/04/1951

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  • Surgeon
    Michael Garren
  • Hospital
    UW Meriter
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  1. Clayton - welcome to this amazing journey! You are doing great! You're showing the determination and "go get 'em" that it takes to be successful at this long term. Keep your eye on that long term goal, not just losing the weight. In some ways losing the weight is the easier part - setting new habits and keeping that determination fired up no matter what will get you to realizing your goals years down the road. I'm 8 years out and still keep my eyes on the long term. Use this community for support and help and ideas. Good luck!
  2. I don't keep track of numbers anymore on the protein intake. But I'm in the habit of making sure I have protein at every meal. But my protein isn't all animal protein - in fact my consumption of animal protein has decreased over time. I try to get more plant protein like beans, tofu, broccoli, spinach, and nuts and seeds. My focus has been on overall health and more and more there's research about how too much animal protein is harmful to our bodies. So yes, my overall protein intake is fairly high, but not in animal protein.
  3. I had some of those same issues the first couple of years. It doesn't seem to make sense. One thing I did find is that if I had leftovers I was much more prone to having trouble with my stomach rejecting the same food I had fresh the night before. And the older it got the more prone I was to having problems with it. I heard from a nutritionist once that leftover food can have 2 things happen to it - it can dry out when not fresh or it can start to grow little microbes that our v. sensitive stomachs reject. All I know it that now that I'm 8 years out I rarely have trouble.
  4. Dante is on the right track here. It is so important to build muscle as you lose weight. You will lose muscle as you lose weight - esp. when it's raped weight loss - it's just part of the process. But you can minimize the muscle loss by doing a consistent weight training program. This is SO important since muscle burns more calories and you don't want to lose muscle. That's why older people have trouble keeping weight off - esp. older women. Just as part of the natural aging process we start losing muscle already in our 20's and 30's and it continues. If we don't continue to build muscle we put weight on easier and easier and take it off slower and slower. So be sure to put strength training in your routine - it also helps increase your metabolism. I'm 8 years out and have been doing weight training since I was 4 month out of the surgery. I feel that metabolism is better than its ever been in my life.
  5. I couldn't do beef or eggs when I started and the chicken and fish had to be in v. small amounts and v. v. moist. Sometimes it depends on how you fix it and then make sure you only eat extremely small amounts - maybe only 1 TB. I ended up doing a lot of mashed beans - like non-fat refried beans - yum. I also did a little v. soft oatmeal with protein powder added or 1/2 raw egg mixed in and then cooked. I also added protein powder to puddings and anything else soft. You'll get there, just don't push your stomach, it needs time to heal and adjust. I'm 8 years out and can tolerate pretty much anything - but of course that doesn't mean I eat just anything! Just don't go back to the old habits!
  6. Congratulations to both of you!! This is an amazing time - the beginning of your journey. You'll have your ups and downs but it's going to be the ride of your life! Don't forget to keep your eye on the long term goals - to keep the weight off for the rest of your life. The decisions you make now and how you approach the next couple of months will help you achieve those long term goals. I started this ride 8 years ago and have never regretted it. My life has changed immeasurably for the better. There have been struggles but there have been such highs that it's truly magic. Stay informed and connected to the community - even when you're 8 years out!
  7. Hi Sheryl, I don't know of anyone who wasn't at least a little bit nervous, and many who were doubting their decision big time right up to the moment of the surgery. How badly do you want this? How much is this going to mean to your life? Do you have confidence in your surgeons? If you do, then leave that part to them - they're probably amazingly competent and you can trust them completely. As for the rest, it's up to you. You know just how determined and strong you are and how much you want a quality of life that you don't have now. Of course you're going to be nervous, don't fight it, just accept that it's there and part of this whole journey that is the start of the rest of your life. I went thru this 8 years ago and have never regretted my decision for one moment.
  8. Lori - welcome to the site. I'm new here too but NOT new to weight loss surgery. I'm 8 years out and I can tell you that it was the best decision I ever made! You'll get lots of support and understanding here and any questions you have will have lots of answers. My best advice is to go into this well informed and keep your eye on the long term, not just losing the weight but changing your lifestyle to keep the weight off. Good luck!
  9. Welcome Jen! The first couple weeks or so are the hardest - it does get easier as you go. Do all you can to take advantage of these first several of months, they are the most important!!!
  10. This question actually has several components to any answer. First of all, you're not going to lose as fast as you did right after surgery for several reasons mentioned above - but also your body was much bigger than and burned more calories just by existing. The smaller your body the few calories it burns at rest. However - if you have continued to exercise and keep your body toned there's a good chance you've increased your metabolism. Plus, hopefully your eating healthier foods that your body can metabolize and use for fuel easier and quicker. So you can lose EASIER if you've really changed your lifestyle. Personally, I can lose pretty easily now when I need to - lots easier than in my before life - because my body is toned, I know I've increased my metabolism and I continue to stay very active. Those are key elements. If you're not in that kind of shape it will be just as hard and just as slow to lose the weight now as it ever was.
  11. I was DDD or more for most of my life. After losing 175 lbs they looked like 2 long tube socks with sand in the bottom. Definitely needed some work! So I had the reduction and went to a well defined C and loved it! And so did my boyfriend of the time. At one point a couple years later I gained 10 lbs over one of the typically long snowy Wisconsin winters. I went up to a D and later when I lost the 10 lbs again I stayed a D. So I am absolutely tickled all around.
  12. Thanks for the welcome ladies. Flooter - so thrilled to hear you've read my book and found it helpful!
  13. Hi Heather, I'm 8 years out of gastric bypass. You have some great friends here. Listen to them! They've all said it quite well and given you a kick in the butt to emphasize it. Good for them!! Sugar is for most of us a real enemy. It's like an alcoholic saying they're going to just have a little drink every day and that's all - they've got it under control. Like alcoholics, we can't think like that. When I have a little slip with the sugar - which I still do occasionally, I spend a day or 2 with protein only in order to clear my system of the sugar and the cravings it brings. This is a common practice among WLS patients who are further out and successful - but it can work at any point. Advice to all: don't test on whether you're going to dump or not - why play with fire? Just go on the assumption that you will.
  14. This is a very tough question! How do we make any of our unwanted thoughts go away? All I can do is relate my experience from right before my surgery 8 years ago. I was feeling a little anxious and stressed and wanted my comfort foods the couple days before the surgery. I focused on 2 things. #1 I had a stern talk with myself. I thought, okay, if I can't follow these rules for just a couple days left here, what am I going to do after? This decision to do this surgery is monumental and affects the rest of my life! I have rules to follow after the surgery - this is my test to see if I can follow all the rules starting now cuz I am going to do this and do it right!! #2 I spent as much time as I could - esp. the times when I wanted to eat - and thought about all the things I was going to be able to do after I lost all the weight. I visioned myself, as much as I could having nothing to go on, as a thinner me. I pumped myself up and got the excitement of the moment going. It's only a couple days - as soon as you have the surgery you will not want to eat! You can do it! You've got the rest of your life ahead of you - and a really incredible life as a thin person!
  15. Hi everyone! I am 8+ years out of my gastric bypass surgery. I belonged to several forums when I was a "newbie" but got involved in the rest of my life as time went by. But I've continued to be part of the bariatric community through my book, Fat No More, and now my new website and blog. I've always felt that it's important for the "old timers" to contribute back to the bariatric community. I know how inspirational it was for me to hear from those much further out than I was. I happened upon this forum the other day when BugDocMom reviewed my book and I was very grateful for her kind words. I'd like to pop in here from time to time and see if I can participate in some discussions. I also invite you to check out my new website when you get a chance. In the meantime, maybe you have a question or two for me here. Thanks Gail Engebretson