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About msmarymac

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    Senior Member

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  • Height (ft-in)
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  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

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  1. Hello and welcome! Going on 5 years post sleeve and I am thankful everyday that I had the opportunity to do this! It hasn't always been easy but it has been oh, so worth it! In fact, it has completely changed my life! I went into it believing it was my last hope for long-term success, having lost and regained over 100 pounds 2 times (plus smaller amounts multiple times) already through diet and exercise. I believed (and thankfully was correct!) that this could be the tool that helped me lose and then keep it off long term. You have the advantage of doing this a couple of decades sooner than I did so you'll get to reap the benefits much longer! In the U.S. there are so many people "doing" weird diets that no one really pays all that much attention when you start eating differently, except that when they see it working they all want to know "what plan" you're on, or what pill you're taking. Everyone wants the quick fix, but as we know that does not exist. There is no easy way out and those that claim that's what surgery is don't have a clue and their opinion doesn't count. As to which surgery, you and your surgeon are really the only opinions that count. Most people are thrilled with whichever surgery they had. There are a few situations to be aware of, which of course your surgeon will know. If you have GERD, likely they will not go for a sleeve, which can make that issue worse. Diabetics go into remission nearly immediately with bypass, and more slowly with sleeve. Vitamins and meds are not absorbed as efficiently with bypass so that may a consideration for you as well. People sometimes are afraid of sleeve because it's not reversible, they actually remove most of your stomach. I said great, I don't want it reversed, ever. No going back. And, in reality it's not that easy to reverse bypass either so I'm not sure that really should be *the* determining factor. What I liked about the sleeve was that the normal function remained intact. I believe that I would have been just fine and equally successful with either surgery, and I do have to take meds for heartburn. Although to be fair, I discovered I have developed a hiatal hernia that was not present at the time of my sleeve surgery so that's likely at least contributing to that issue. Don't agonize too much over which surgery to have. Just get ready to move on to your new gloriously healthy life!
  2. Lisa, one of the things that can happen when you lose weight is that estrogens stored in fat cells is suddenly released so that could be a cause. For me, it actually stopped my hot flashes which was awesome! They came back, but it was nice while it lasted. Many women have heavy and/or irregular periods also. It is temporary, and something you probably won't even remember by this time next year when you're busy enjoying your new gloriously healthy life!
  3. It gets better, I promise! You're going to love your gloriously healthy new life so much you're not even going to care (much) about those old eating habits. Here's the thing; you did this because you wanted to be healthy, right? Being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight REQUIRES that you make life long, permanent changes. That's why diets never worked gained it all back when you started eating "normal" again. Guess don't need that crap! And eventually you won't even miss it because you'll be too busy out shopping for your new wardrobe or out dancing up a storm. Right now is the worst part because you're "eating" weird stuff. Purees, liquids...none of that is fun. But this is temporary and is because your sleeve/pouch is healing. Soon you will add in small cautious amounts of real food and eventually you will learn what works for you. Protein and veggies will be your new best friends. Many of us have used food for so much more than it was ever intended to be, which is fuel. We've used it for comfort, for celebration, for stress relief and (emotional) pain control. One really important task ahead of you is to find other, healthier coping strategies, because bad and crazy things still happen and we have to figure out a way to navigate life without using food as our crutch. Here are a few that I have used and/or continue to use: Journaling, music, walking in nature, singing, yard work/gardening, meditation. There are many others and you'll find ones that work for you. Get through this tough phase and then get on to the good stuff! It's gonna be great!
  4. msmarymac

    Two months

    Most of us who have had trouble with carbs previously cannot do "a little bit" of carbs, at least not the highly refined and processed kind. Best to just decide now that when you add in carbs you'll stick with those less likely to trigger you. You don't really need pasta...spaghetti squash and spiralized zucchini are amazing substitutes. I like sweet potatoes better than white potatoes anyway so have stuck with those if I desire such things. Easy for me to live without rice as well. I have tried "riced cauliflower" as a substitute but I didn't care for it. I like cauliflower but it's flavor is too distinctive to replace something as bland as rice for me. I'd rather just have roasted cauliflower in all it's glory lol. I think you'll find also that after your protein and veggies there just isn't room for much else. After your introductory classes are done, if you are not loving this exercise class, don't continue it. It is so important to find something you like doing. For those of us that are not natural exercisers, if we "force" ourselves to go to classes we hate or even tolerate it becomes very easy to start making reasons (excuses) not to go. Trust me on this At this stage, walking may be the very best thing for you, and building up your fitness will make those classes easier later after you've lost weight. Try different things until you find something you can see yourself doing for the long haul. I am coming up on 5 years from my sleeve and I can honestly say it's the best thing I ever did for myself. I wish you continued success on your journey to a new healthy you!
  5. msmarymac

    Two months

    Sometimes dieticians look at things through the lens of what is a person most likely to stick with over the long haul. Eating plans with balance are typically easier to stick with long-term than those that severely limit entire food groups. I believe that's why so many give those sort of recommendations. And, it's likely good advice for someone who's looking to lose 50 pounds or less and keep it off. It is not going to work however for us. Dieticians who specialize in Bariatrics rarely will give that type of advice for several reasons. First, as you mentioned, the carb cravings and binges it triggers for many of us. Second, we just don't have that much room in our sleeves/pouches and it needs to be reserved for proteins and good carbs (veggies, eventually fruit). There is really not a lot of nutritional value in rice, pasta, mashed potato and the blood sugar spikes they can cause can be counter-productive. So, congrats on your good instincts and for starting to develop good eating and exercise habits. Most of weight loss comes from what we eat (or don't eat) but maintenance and good health is dependent on some type of movement. Great job!
  6. Beautiful, glowing, happy, healthy!! Great job!
  7. Being in "Judgement City" is why many of us chose not to be public about our WLS journey. However the longer I am in maintenance the more I don't care if people know how I got here. It's your journey and you get to decide who comes along for the ride. Congrats on starting that journey, the one that will lead you to a gloriously healthy life!
  8. There is a whole newer Eating Disorder term for this called Orthorexia. It's been around since the late 90's but I think it has really exploded with all the "information" on the internet. People who obsess over "Healthy Eating" to the point where they cut out entire food groups or label certain foods as "good" and "bad", not only for themselves but proclaim the whole world should eat that way. This is extreme obsession to the extent that they don't travel anywhere without packing their own food because they are greatly distressed if they are somewhere that might not have something suitable for them to eat. This isn't because of a specific medical reason, like an actual allergy, but a self-determined course of action. It is not specifically identified in the DSM yet but is talked about some in ED circles. It often is overlooked because it usually doesn't come with the extreme body dysmorphia that some others do, and the person may just be perceived as odd. Sometimes they are even looked up to for their dedication to their health, which of course fuels their obsession. It's interesting, and likely a form of OCD. When does it cross the line? When the need to eat certain foods and to "eat healthy" takes over the whole life...days spent reading food blogs, preparing foods, etc instead of interacting with other humans and there is no other life. When it creates so much anxiety that functioning outside of the controlled environment becomes next to impossible. As to the original topic (sorry I drifted off a little there), I have not seen any scholarly works on this but then I haven't looked for them either. I (like summerset) am highly skeptical of anything's worth being based on testimonials alone, but a little strength training is good for all of us, whether the eating disorder premise is accurate or not. We certainly know there are other benefits.
  9. Many people have taste and smell aversions in the early post-op stage. It's interesting to me that you mention avocado because that was one of my aversions and it broke my heart! I so had my heart set on some refried beans and mashed avocado when I could advance to mushy food. I fantasized about it through those long weeks of liquids and was set to enjoy my whopping 2 tablespoons. To my shock, the avocado made me gag!! I was crushed and sure I'd never be able to eat guac again. Happily I can and do now eat avocado regularly. I don't know what causes the aversion and I suppose it doesn't really matter because it's beyond our control. I just know that it happens and I know that it doesn't last forever. What I would suggest right now is to stick with foods that you don't have to cook and that don't have strong flavors or smells. Things like cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, deli meat slices, maybe refried beans? Probably the crackers aren't the greatest choice at this stage but there are lots of other things to try. Try several things and if you find a couple of things that you can tolerate stick with those for a couple of weeks and then try a few different things to see if your aversions are getting better. It won't last forever and you can be more adventurous as you move from being repulsed by foods to just being indifferent and finally to finding foods you truly love and enjoy. I'm with @BurgundyBoy, I really enjoy food more now. For me it's because I eat slower and savor each bite. I also don't eat junk anymore, mindlessly without even tasting it. And I don't mind spending more for the best quality because I don't eat enough for it to really be expensive. Your little baby sleeve is still healing so it doesn't really matter if you eat the same thing every day or even if you enjoy it for that matter. Right now it is about healing and fuel. Protein and fluid. The rest will come and it will be awesome!
  10. I'm so sorry to hear of your continuing troubles; it seems you just can't catch a break. Lots of good thoughts and prayers coming your way. Take care and please keep us updated.
  11. That's awesome, it's completely the opposite for me. I thought I would try that with y Nexium since it's pricey. At the pharmacy it was something ridiculous like $134 for the same thing I was paying less than $40 for OTC. Turns out my insurance doesn't cover anything that is available OTC (plus I have a high deductible HSA plan). And, OTC's are generally cheap here. I paid less than $10 for 130 tabs of 150mg Ranitidine at Walmart. I sure wish my insurance plan covered OTC's at the pharmacy because right now I have my out of pocket max paid because of my shoulder surgery and a mishap at PT. So everything is paid 100% for the rest of the year!! I would stock up for sure. On everything! That's probably why they don't lol.
  12. Nope, it's OTC. And pretty inexpensive so that's a plus over the ppi's as well
  13. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, which is just acid coming up into the esophagus instead of staying in the stomach. The coming out the mouth and nose is a difference (lessening) of severity, meaning the acid is not just coming up into the esophagus, it's shooting clear up into the mouth and nose. Yikes, glad that is lessened for you! That is no fun! Yes I take a ppi, Nexium 20mg daily. I also added Zantac 150mg at night and sleep with the head of my bed elevated (I have an adjustable bed) after a particularly bad run of the acid coming out the mouth and nose. That actually happened while I was on a medical mission trip to Haiti and I forgot my Nexium. We only had Zantac with us in our supplies for our clinic and it just wasn't doing the trick. I went to my surgeon when I got home, had an EGD and Upper GI which determined I have a hiatal hernia which apparently was not there when I had my sleeve almost 5 years ago. That is the main reason mine has gotten so much worse. I have the choice of just fixing the hernia or fixing the hernia and revising to RNY. My shoulder surgery was already scheduled (rotator cuff and bicep tendon repair) so I have put this decision off for awhile. While any of the choices (long-term ppi use, long-term h2 antagonist use, long-term acid) carry some risk, it is likely that having acid issues every day is the most risky. So, I am staying on this regimen until I decide which direction to go. I "should" do the surgery before the end of the year while my out-of-pocket maximum is paid up but I really don't want to. After 8 weeks in the shoulder brace and ongoing Physical Therapy, I am just tired of being a patient. Oh, and I fell right in front of the PT door about a month after my shoulder surgery, landing on my head which resulted in a lovely laceration and black eye. I feel like I have been through enough for one year lol. Since your reflux seems to have decreased in severity you may be able to do OK with an h2 antagonist. My surgeon recommended the chewable Pepcid but I feel like I get better results with ranitidine (generic zantac). You can either take one big dose at night (like 300mg) or 150mg twice a day depending on the typical pattern of your symptoms. Hope you find something that works, I know it can be miserable.
  14. Have you tried one of the h2 antagonists? Pepcid, zantac, etc? The feeling of heartburn is actually caused by acid reflux so I'm not sure what you mean when you say that you're not having reflux, just heartburn? Just not as severe? Or that the acid isn't coming clear up? Anyway, if it's not as severe you may be able to get by with the OTC h2 antagonists which seem to not have the same risk as being on ppi's long term. Although they are not without risk long term either. Having acid reflux/heartburn long term is risky as well so you have to figure out which is the least risk and go with that. I sometimes feel like with my luck I'll probably get hit by a bus or struck by lightening and all my worry about long-term risk will be for nothing lol.
  15. Oh my how they have grown, I still think of Eli as a baby! Glad you're taking the steps to get back on track. When we're skinny it's so easy to forget that obesity is a chronic disease and our surgery is not a cure but a tool. It is oh so easy to let a few bad habits and a few pounds sneak back in. You're a TTF rock star Greer and what's important is that you have recognized the issue and taken back control. No need for embarrassment. We all have the same disease here. Wishing you the best with your revision!