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About msmarymac

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    Senior Member

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  • Age


  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

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  1. That's exciting, congratulations! I never imagined how much different I would feel once that hanging skin was gone. It allowed me to feel normal and for clothes to fit better. And the X-Ray scanner at the airport quit flagging my for having something tucked under my clothes which was mortifying. Nope, just my leftover skin... Hoping the time flies by and all goes smoothly.
  2. I too experienced some Covid weight gain. I think most of America did. Stuck at home 24/7, working remotely, so not even up and moving at work like usual, more time to go search for snacks, and more of the things that make you (well me anyway) want to mindlessly graze...boredom, stress, ordering groceries online, trying new recipes. I had an added new husband who travels for work, suddenly wasn't and his sweet tooth meant more trigger foods in the house. Which meant dessert every evening. I've kind of snapped out of it lol. Walking more which helps the stress, increased work in the clinic to 2 days/week instead of 1, husband back on the road (that's a whole new stress), more veggies, stopped that dreadful dessert habit. I'm trying to give myself some grace and just be thankful I nipped it in the bud before it was too far out of control. My little garden has gifted me some lovely zucchini and some tomatoes plus some outdoor time all of which has helped me get it together. I do sometimes long for those early months after surgery where a few tiny bites were enough. That's not the current reality though, so I work with what I've got. Honestly most of my issue is usually more about my head than my stomach. No surgery for that...
  3. My sleeve surgery has been absolutely life changing for me in ways I hadn't even considered. However, it's not a "cure" for what is causing you to be overweight or obese. It is one tool to help successfully manage what most understand to be a chronic issue (obesity). You have to commit to changing eating and activity habits. And, how you cope with stress sound like it would be a huge one for you. Many of us spend years with food as our best friend, our quick fix to feel better. Life continues to throw things at us that are tough to manage so unless we develop replacement ways to deal with them, there's a real risk of turning back to our old friend food for comfort and regaining it all. Or, some have an issue with addiction transfer and turn to alcohol or other substances for their source of comfort when the food isn't there anymore. Good luck with your decision, it sounds like you have a lot to think about.
  4. So sorry to hear of your loss. The stories of people losing loved ones and not being able to be with them to say goodbye are the heartbreakers, and you're living it. Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family.
  5. Hope all continue to be healthy and safe in your homes. It is the strangest time. In the center of the country, things are just getting bad. The meat packing industry is getting hit hard and the plant in my town is one that is hurting. My husband normally travels for work, and is home on weekends, but has now been working from home for 3 weeks. With his newly diagnosed heart problems (February) this is a relief for me to have him stop that. Although on his last flight home he was the only person in first class so all in all it may have been relatively safe lol. We have been married 2 1/2 years now and this is the longest we have spent together. I remind him I did not sign up for a full-time husband...just a weekend one. I have transitioned to working partially at home and partially in the clinic so we really are together. So far, all in our circle have stayed healthy. My almost 80 year old mother is busy sewing masks; she lives on 80 acres in the middle of nowhere so the social distancing thing comes naturally to her. As long as I make an occasional swing by and swap her some groceries for masks, she's good. We have missed seeing grandkids of course, like everyone else. The youngest has learned to walk since we last got to hold him, and now will say hello and bye when we face-time. We have another grandson due September 3 and missed helping this family move into their new home. But all these things and more are OK, because we will get through this and have a grand celebration on the other side of this beast. Be well everyone!
  6. Hi Celine, Sleever here 5+ years out very happy with sleeve, maintaining weight loss. I did have to start taking a ppi (Nexium)at bedtime to control GERD about 2 years ago. Had an EGD and discovered a hiatal hernia I didn't have at the time of my sleeve. So, I could have it repaired surgically, which would probably fix the GERD. What if it didn't and I someday had to have a 3rd surgery and convert to bypass? Can't decide so since it's controlled with meds, I'm doing none of the above. I am leery of converting to bypass because I'm not sure I can handle a future without NSAIDS. I have some disk issues in my neck that sometimes just need ibuprofen. Once in awhile it flares up enough to need steroids. Sure can't do that with bypass. Since I didn't have any erosion of the esophagus , surgeon felt comfortable with conservative approach.
  7. Hi there, It's discouraging to start gaining weight, but you're doing the right thing, which is to take control and get back on track. I've used the 5 day pouch test as a "reset" before. You can google the plan. The first 2 days are pretty rough; it's just liquids. By the 5th day though, your carb cravings are gone and more importantly your mind is reset. At least that has been my experience. Then it's back to eating what I was successful on in the beginning. Lean protein and veggies. Fruit for a sweet tooth, some dairy like greek yogurt and string cheese for snacks. Limit carbs like bread and pasta until you have lost the weight you want to. That's usually a smarter approach than following someone else's plan. We tried that for years, remember? All those diets that worked while you followed them only to gain back all the weight when you stopped? You need to decide what you are going to eat so that you will stick to it and like it. This can't be another diet or it will fail. As far as exercise goes, there is nothing better for your overall health (physical and emotional) than walking, preferably outside. You can start slow and work your way up, and it really helps with maintenance. You can do this! Come here often to check in; lots of good support here from people who have been right where you're at.
  8. I think bypass has more issues with absorption of alcohol post-op, so be careful. I'm a sleever, but I still tried it out at home the first time. Even 5 years out I don't like beer, there's just too much carbonation to be comfortable in my little sleeve. I love red wine, but sometimes it flares up some heartburn which is a sleever's nightmare issue. I do like the hard selzers, or making my own with flavored vodka and LaCroix (DeepEddy Cranberry Vodka and Orange LaCroix is a fav). You do have to keep in mind the empty calories in alcohol; I don't think I had any until I was almost at goal because I wanted to maximize my weight loss during my "honeymoon phase". Also, addiction transfer can be a real problem for some who replace food with alcohol as a coping mechanism. Occasional, mindful use is definitely a possibility for most. Wait to have fun until the pandemic is over?!? Heck no! My girlfriends and I decided to use the power of zoom for good last weekend and had a 3 1/2 hour "ladies night", each from the comfort of our own home. We had a couple of glasses of wine (or whatever the "bartender" was serving) and some laughs and are going to do it again in a couple of weeks. I think you will find that whatever it is that you were doing and considering fun preop you will either enjoy more as a thin person or will replace with something else that you couldn't do as an obese person. This new healthy life you're going to have is amazing!
  9. Yay you!! First, give yourself some grace here. You have done incredible things, from the tremendous weight loss, to surviving cancer, and now navigating the apocalypse and the over-eater's worst nightmare...being stuck at home!! And here you are doing the correct thing; addressing the issue before it gets way out of hand...great job! So, I see that there are likely 2 main issues; the physical stuff (diet and activity) and the emotional stuff (anxiety, boredom, etc). When I have gotten off track it has helped me to do a radical restart like the 5 day pouch test. It really helps reset your mind and helps kick the carb cravings. Speaking of carbs, stop buying those lovely things that make you feel better about the end of the world lol. Hey, we all do it. I let my husband talk me into a nightly sweet treat...until the scale started creeping up. Nope, no more brownie mix mister! He used to travel for business and was only home on weekends; now I have a full-time 24/7 full-time. If those things are in the house, you will eat them, I guarantee it. So, if you are like me, where it just triggers a cascade of unhealthy behaviors, just keep that stuff out of the house. Then, it's back to basics; lean protein first then veggies to satiety (not full). Walking is great! It helps not only with metabolic stuff, but wow does it ever help with the mental outlook as well. Now is a great time to find some other coping skills to deal with stress and anxiety and there are lots of resources online right now. Hey, everything is online now! I highly recommend a gratitude journal; I use an app on my phone called "Presently" but there are many different ones. I have a brief zoom meeting with my staff every morning to kick off the day and the last part of the meeting is to have each person tell one thing they are thankful for and one self care thing they will do that day. At first there was some eye rolling, like "this is so dumb, why is she making me do this" but by now everyone seems like they are giving genuine, well thought out responses. Which is exactly why I do it. Humans are notoriously bad at taking care of themselves. We have to make it a priority and that's what writing things down, planning, scheduling, etc does. You can do this; every challenge you've faced you have mastered and you will master this one too. Best to you!
  10. And we got the dreaded cancellation call today... He is medically stable and working from home. He does medical IT work so it's not a difficult thing to do from home. He's just depressed to have to put it off and not be able to get back to the active life he loves. Some things are beyond our control though, so we'll make the best of the situation and get on with life.
  11. My husband has a recently diagnosed heart issue and has an appointment March 30 for a procedure to relieve the 100% blocked artery. We wait in dread of the cancellation.
  12. I'm sorry, I know that is disappointing to say the least. However, I am not at all surprised. I'm not sure where you're at but it's getting very serious in much of the world and hospitals just have to focus on doing the right thing from a public health standpoint. First, it's not wise to bring in non-ill patients for elective procedures to places where very ill people are or could be. Second, hospitals just have to focus all resources on fighting this thing. I attended a county resources meeting today and our local hospital is nearly out of supplies. They are talking of enlisting the local ladies quilting guild to make some "procedure masks" out of surgical drapes for them to use on sick patients until their next allocation comes in April 1. It's serious people. We have to get through this awful thing that is happening. Hopefully life will be normal again someday and then you will be back on track. I feel the same sorrow for you as I feel for our students who won't have a graduation or a prom...our athletes who worked so hard only to have the opportunity to prove themselves whisked away by a microscopic devil. My greatest sorrow is reserved for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, that must seem just so senseless. It's all so surreal.
  13. Wow, you've had some grand adventures! The loss of a marriage is sad but it sounds like the two of you have been able to work through things positively. Way to stay strong and live your best life! Good to see you pop back on here...I remember your name from awhile back. I don't spend as much time here as I did in the early post-op period but it does seem to help me stay on track.
  14. Oh Kim, I'm so sorry to hear you're having so much trouble. Revision is supposed to fix GERD, that's not fair! I understand "medical system fatigue" but I really think that might be worth pursuing. It's obvious something isn't right and things will continue to get worse if you can't get adequate nutrition. I hope you'll follow up with your surgeon, and even more, I hope you'll get some answers for which there is a solution. If your nutrition continues to be an issue, you may even need TPN or a feeding tube. You are literally starving You certainly are overdue for some good news, I hope you catch a break soon and get some relief. You deserve it!
  15. Sleever here and can confirm that whole fruit fills you up and keeps you feeling full far longer than liquids. Which of course is the reason we are discouraged from drinking our calories. Really not just "us" though, it's good advice for everyone. You can consume a lot of calories very quickly gulping down a fancy coffee, soda, milkshake, smoothie, etc. I'll admit though, I have been having a small smoothie occasionally here lately. My husband, who works out and isn't overweight, had a heart scare recently. He has been on an ultra-high protein kick for about 5 years and even though his cholesterol rose only slightly it's believed that's behind his 95% blockage in one artery and 100% blockage in another. The fact that he is in good shape saved him from having a heart attack, well that and an attentive wife lol. He now is a believer in a need for a more plant-based, lean protein diet (funny how chest pain will do that) so I have been working on ways to sneak veggies in without him minding. Smoothies are one way that works. I made one with spinach, beets, mushrooms, a bit of avocado, plus frozen blueberries and a very ripe banana. I added greek yogurt for creaminess and some of my Premier protein shake for the liquid. He loved it! I have to remember, though, that his dietary goals are not the same as mine. For him it's about the fiber and phytonutrients. Yes, those things are good for me, but I also need the satiety and decreased calories. So, he gets a giant cup and I get a "taster" cup. For sure, you should avoid such things until you are on maintenance and actually have been successfully maintaining for a while. Otherwise it can really derail your efforts. That first year post-op is the best year to maximize your weight loss...follow all the rules during this "honeymoon" period when weight loss is the easiest. You can still lose weight past the honeymoon period but it gets harder. Many of us start getting hunger signals back, our old demons come calling, and the temptations to fall back into old habits are all too great. It takes dedication to maintain long term. I say this as a 5 year post-op sleever who has maintained successfully, though not easily. It is so worth it though!! This is hands down, the best thing I have ever done for myself. Saved my life I'm sure. Indirectly saved my husband's life too most likely, because I don't know that I would have ever had the confidence to start dating again (I'd been widowed for several years before I had surgery) and thus I wouldn't have been there to get him to the Dr. or to make him eat his veggies Life as a healthy, normal weight person is just so glorious! It is far better than any smoothie you could ever concoct!