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About Skinnykat

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location


  • Surgeon
    Dr Ariel
  • Hospital
    OCC Tijuana
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve
  1. I lost 22 pounds the month before surgery. Then by month: 16 pounds, 10 pounds, 12 pounds, 10 pounds, 10 pounds; last two months: around 5 pounds in total. I had stalls which stressed me at the time but looking back the trend was ineluctably downwards. I started noticing changes about month 3 - at month 8 everyone notices it. To some extent, in the first year much of the weight loss follows its own momentum. Things to do to help weight loss, based on my experience: i) don't worry about stalls (I am a daily weigher too); you have a magic tool that will get you effortlessly over stalls (but only for the first year or so); ii) build good habits. For me, this was high protein, low carb, intermittent fasting, walking one hour, hydration, vitamins/minerals and dental care; iii) eat really delicious, high quality food (for me, salmon, 85% chocolate, French cheese) and do exercise you love (for me, walking with podcasts) iv) don't make unsustainable changes (I still occasionally eat mouthfuls of cake, drink glass or so of alcohol and sparkling water daily) v) it seems that too much exercise slows weight loss? consider not hitting the gym and walking instead vi) avoid the pitfalls of WLS failure: grazing, slider foods, sodas
  2. I finally took the leap!

    Keratin fibers are a bit expensive ($20+) but a bottle lasts for a long time (months). You shake it on dry hair/scalp and it sticks to the thin areas and looks exactly like hair. Thinning areas or visible parting or scalp showing under hairs completely disappear. I am not sure how it would work on a large bald spot, although there are you tubes which look convincing. Even before WLS I had a tendency to thin hair and I hated that look of scalp showing. I now use keratin fibers once or twice a week. They don't come off with rain or wind or exercise: if I scratch my scalp I do see black under my nails. I only shampoo once a month or so (google no-poo) but apparently they come out with shampoo - I have never seen keratin fibers/black in the shower on on the pillow. My hair looks amazingly thick, thicker than before WLS. I use Toppik but others get good reviews - This really made an enormous difference to my appearance and how I felt about it and I recommend to anyone who is unhappy about thinning hair. Good luck!
  3. Pre-op fitness/post-op fatigue

    I think allowing your body plenty of time to recover from the surgery will help keep cortisol low, sleep sufficient and weight loss high. Based on my experience and reading, gentle walking, swimming and stretching are often helpful, but pushing yourself to exercise hard may be counter-productive. Of course, people vary in their need for, and response to, exercise, but I would say lots of rest helps with post-op fatigue and as much activity as you feel helpful and comfortable with.
  4. I finally took the leap!

    keratin hair fibers have really helped my confidence. they are amazingly good at filling in thinning areas while we wait for the hair to regrow.
  5. Happy camper @ 6 months

    yes, I was also joking/tongue in cheek. There are lots of jokes in the medical field about surgeons not being renowned for their affable personalities. Happy to hear that you also had a good experience. I think people are sometimes "put-off" by the idea of surgery in Mexico, and although it may not be for everyone and not every surgeon is the same, it is certainly possible to have very good experiences. Having options is always good!
  6. Happy camper @ 6 months

    I am not sure that charming is always necessary in a surgeon :), but yes he is a pleasant guy. I wanted a surgeon where they were following good practices, had good reviews, seemed to have systems in place, were thinking about the surgery and trying to optimize results: OCC ticked all the boxes. In my calculations there was no obvious "top surgeon and the rest nowhere" but several who all seemed very adequate and a bit more expensive, and then some more who seemed more cut price and cut corners. My experience was pretty good. Everything was well run. I am from a medical field and I could see where things were not to the same quality or cost as they would be in the UK but they were very adequate, given I was a low risk patient. The team included nutritionist, anesthesiologist, and surgeons: all very competent and professional.
  7. Got to goal in 6 months

    I was losing weight very steadily for the first 6 months and then when I hit around 113 pounds it stopped rather abruptly. I had become a bit more relaxed about eating carbs and the occasional drink but there was really no very huge change in what I ate. So in my case, my weight loss naturally stopped without any effort or choice on my part once I reached a certain weight. Since then I have fluctuated between about 107 and 115 pounds depending on TOM, whether I ate a lot of carbs, whether I missed a meal, what time of day I weigh, if I weigh in clothes etc. Everyone has a different goal weight and maybe a different optimal for health weight too: and healthiest weight depends on frame and muscularity and many factors. Being a little bit overweight may be more healthy than being a little bit underweight. On the other hand, there tends to be a small regain with WLS patients from their lowest weight so perhaps an advantage in having a lowest weight more on the low side than the high side. If I were you, I wouldn't make a big effort to stop losing weight. It seems for every one person who loses too much there are 20 who lost less than they would like. You are in your honeymoon and will never lose weight so effortlessly. Make the most of it! (Of course if you get under normal BMI, you need to take action).
  8. Worried Over Nothing?

    Looking back after 6 months I realize I stressed out too much over minor stalls along the way. I think this was a learned habit from years of dieting where too often stalls signaled the end of the diet and regain of all I lost and then some. I tracked my weight loss carefully and over the long term minor fluctuations were pretty irrelevant. I lost consistently month by month but not day by day. At the same time, studies show many WLS patients don't meet "normal BMI" and my own reading and experience suggests carbs is one of the major reasons for this. For me, and some other people, once you start increasing carbs it is very, very hard to stop. If this sounds true for you, you may consider really trying to keep the carbs low while you are still in the honeymoon period. I did, and had great losses even though I started out at not very high weight. Good luck!
  9. "Support" from spouse

    some people will genuinely never get it. My DH never really got my being overweight. He wasn't hostile or horrible but I knew that: he was lucky enough to have genes and metabolism that allowed him to keep effortlessly thin; he had a rational, systemizer cognitive style which meant he could not instinctively empathize with my situation. This was upsetting - but there are other things I love about his thinking and personality and would not exchange for someone much more in touch with their feminine side. Because we liked each other so much we got along, but he never really came to terms with me being obese or understood why I was. Then I solved my problem and his by getting VSG and losing 85 pounds. At some times, I wished I could have a DH who "loved me just the way I am" and fully empathized/sympathised with me at every weight: at other times, I am grateful my DH has low tolerance for having an obese partner as this was an additional factor in motivating me to have surgery. I am so much happier with myself - feel so much better and am so much more active and healthier. You are still in the early stages of weight loss, so I suggest give it 3-6 months and see where you are.
  10. From my reading, the issue of dental health after WLS is under-researched and under-recognized. There isn't a strong consensus on the causes - acid reflux, frequent eating of small meals, insufficient water intake, decreased saliva, protein/mineral/vitamin deficiencies, vomiting/regurgitation and changes in diet have all been implicated. In my reading, it seems higher in bypass patients but that is an impression and I could be wrong. Acid reflux is definitely a sleeve more than a bypass issue but vomiting, diet change and nutritional deficiencies tend to be more bypass than sleeve issues. As you say, awareness and reduction of risks is essential.
  11. I should add, that I had a sleeve not a gastric bypass, but I think that some of the issues around restriction and fullness are similar. It seems vomiting/regurgitation and poor dental health may be even greater problems after a bypass, so more care is needed. It is still early days so hopefully things are continuing to improve rapidly for you.
  12. It took me several weeks or even months to recognize when I was l full. Several times I ate to a point that made me later feel really, unpleasantly full; I even brought up food on 6 or 7 occasions (TMI but it was not vomiting, rather regurgitation of undigested food, which brought immediate relief). At 6 months I am getting good at recognizing when I have had enough and stopping before I get to the "too much" stage that will make me feel bad later. And because losing teeth after WLS appears to be a major, but under-recognized problem so I am incredibly careful and worried about not vomiting or bringing up food (as well as other aspects of tooth health). They say one bad experience is worth ten good ones, and after those unpleasant occasions it is easier to stop now when I have had enough (but not all I can eat) in order to avoid the discomfort I know eating too much will bring. For me, a full egg is too much but 3/4 of an egg is fine; a full hamburger (without the bun) is too much but 1/2 a hamburger is fine. Of course, I could eat a pound of chocolate, ice cream, crackers or other slider foods: which is why I avoid them :).
  13. Alcohol habit and band surgery - please help

    I only told my husband who was supportive. I am a private person (introvert) and didn't feel comfortable telling many people. Also, if you tell one person (apart from close family and people you trust completely) you tell everyone! With a sleeve, you lose more slowly so it is not startlingly obvious that something major has happened. I tell people I lost weight through diet and exercise, which is the truth, though not the whole truth. I think people who are comfortable with sharing that they had WLS do a great public service and help others. It is also a way to get "real life" support. But I know for me, the added stress of going public would just have added to all the stresses of the operation and got in the way of a recovery, so I decided, on balance, not to tell. If I told friends and family, they would be worrying about me which would stress both them and me; if I told co-workers and acquaintances, they would be curious and maybe judgmental which would stress me. Because I did not tell people (apart from my husband), I was limited in time off work. I was in Washington for work and I flew to San Diego and then by road to Mexico on a Thursday. I had the operation on a Friday, flew back to Washington the next Tuesday, and was back at work Wednesday. So 4 days leave (Thursday, Friday, Monday & Tuesday) and 2 days where I really could not function in any way normally (Saturday & Sunday). Ideally I would have taken a week off. My work is meetings and computers and if it was a more physical job or one requiring a lot of interaction with people, I think i would not have been able to return to work so quickly.
  14. Alcohol habit and band surgery - please help

    Hi Chessboard, Just sharing my experience as my situation sounds similar to yours. I am a professional woman with a stressful job involving a lot of travel and was in the habit of unwinding every day with 2-3 glasses of wine (plus cheese or chocolate). Since VSG six months ago, my intake of alcohol has greatly decreased - after 2 months I started having an occasional glass of wine or spirits with low calorie mixer for special events etc. Interestingly, I would say I was less in control of my alcohol consumption before the surgery - I don't think I was addicted but it had become a strong habit. For example, if I had a glass of wine I would always finish it: now it is quite common to just drink half a glass and leave the rest. Part of the problem was being tired from being overweight and inactive and using alcohol as self-medication for stress reduction. I feel better about myself and healthier now and so don't need that crutch. I found a paper showing that, among people going into WLS who drink more than they would like, around half have no change after surgery and for the other half the problem goes away. I seem to fall in the second category. On the other hand, many studies show around 5-10% of people who never had a problem with drinking, develop it after WLS. Extract below: Wee et al. conducted annual interviews in 541 bariatric surgery patients. Around 20% had high risk drinking behavior at baseline. Although 7% of patients reported new high-risk alcohol use 1 year after bariatric surgery, more than half who reported high-risk alcohol use before surgery discontinued high-risk drinking.
  15. Happy camper @ 6 months

    Hallo, I had a VSG 6 months ago and am very happy so far, with a few issues along the way. I had the surgery in Mexico and so wanted to join for information, accountability and support. It seems people on forums do better than average on weight loss and maintenance :). I have been lurking for a while. happy losses everyone!