Kmartz19

So glad to be a new member!

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Hi everyone! I am so glad I stumbled upon this site! I am 10 years post op from RNY gastric bypass, and have had a tough time finding support groups both online and in my community. 

To introduce myself, my name is Kristen, I am 43, married with a 15yr old son and 19 yr old stepson. I work as a full time nanny and spend my days caring for 2 cuties aged 3yrs and 9mos. 

I live in the tiny state of CT, and while I like where I live, it is a very small area and therefore a smaller population. I will admit that I currently do not have many friends nearby, and the friends I had have gone their own way. None of my friends are post WLS, and have never understood my issues with eating and medical conditions I have.

I am hoping to connect with you all, and hoping that I will find support, get ideas, and share my experience as well. 

Did I mention I tend to talk and therefore write too much? Lol..

Thank you much,

Kristen 

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Welcome, Kristin!

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A big welcome to Thinner Times from me too Kristin!

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Welcome to TTF from another New Englander!  

Can you tell us how the last ten years have gone for you with respect to living with your gastric bypass?

We are here to support you.  :)

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Welcome Kristin! 

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Hi thanks all for your replies and for the warm welcome! 

I am 10 years out( gastric bypass 7/2009) and while I lost over 60lbs the first 2 months post op, once I was able to eat more foods, I went right back to my old ways. I am not a good example really as I have been a bad patient. My bad habits include: eating WAY too much sugar as in chocolates( huge addiction to organic Justin's dark choc pb cups!), flavored coffee drinks, gatorade, entemanns coffee cake, jelly beans. I eat large portions of food, just very very slowly. I drink right after I eat as well. I do exercise each day walking my pit bull for 30 mins to an hour each early morning. And I have always taken vitamins and supplements as advised. My labs have never come back with any concerns. I do get dumping syndrome and if I am say resting on the couch and I eat too much, I will pass out.

Unfortunately the surgeon I had has since been booted by the hospital and I have found out that his method was to leave the opening leading into the pouch a bit wider in order to prevent complications. I haven't had any, but this also means there is less restriction and I have never vomitted or felt very ill from eating. 

I am an emotional eater, and while I see a therapist and take many meds, it hasn't helped. 

Sorry this is quite long, I just wanted to respond to the question of how I have been coping for the last 10 years. I wish I had more positive things to report.

Thanks all,

Kristen 

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Kristen,

You may want to consider having a revision surgery that gives you more restriction.  @GAviv recently had such a surgery.

Bad eating habits are the reason that so many people fail long term after weight loss surgery.  You need to get the bad food out of your house and get back to healthy eating.

Have you considered the 5 day pouch test? - many people here have found it to be very helpful to getting them back on the right diet path.

http://www.5daypouchtest.com/plan/days1_2.html

We are here to support you.

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Hi Res Ipsa, thanks for the suggestions. I just had a f/u with the surgeon who took over my care. He is concerned that without taking daily Protonix med, I experience continued acid reflux after all these years. So I had a barium swallow test( inconclusive due to the contrast luquid passing through too quickly to be measured), and an upper endoscopy. The endoscopy showed a normal sized pouch and the only abnormality was a small hernia. So to look into this further he wants to check my gallbladder with a HIDA scan. He discussed revision but said he didn't feel it was worth the risk at this point. 

The 5DPT sounds like a solid idea, but I just joined WW's today, trying to see if it will work for me as it helped some pre op. My concern with test also is there is talk of carb withdrawl and that is expected etc but what about sugar withdrawl? I consume a huge amount of dark chocolate and sugar in general. Just cutting it out cold turkey..yikes!

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Hi @Kmartz19

Good luck with WW - hope they can provide you some additional support. Sounds like you know what the challenges are that you face. Your circumstances reinforce the point that long-term success is 90% in the head, not the weight loss surgery plumbing that you have done. 

For what it is worth, there is a lot of neuroscience stuff now that suggests that carbs - alas, sugar in particular - trigger brain pleasure chemicals (such as dopamine) the same way cocaine and other pleasurable substances do. ... there is a lot of chatter about how that can contribute to a persistent intake and recurrent hunger. You should be wary of any one person's views, but must note that when I eat more than just moderate amounts of carbos, I get recurrent hunger. I have interpreted that to mean that my blood sugars fluctuate more after carbos - up then down - and that and the insulin response may be leading to hunger. 

This past weekend had dinner with some friends - they have not had weight loss surgery - but both of them, and their son, have each lost > 30 lbs over the past year by cutting out the carbs (yes including sugar, and yikes wine!!) - their son adhering strictly to a keto diet (he has lost more). If you do end up reducing the carbos including sugar, can expect to feel a bit low for 4-5 days (the "keto flu") and then feel lots of energy, clear-headedness, and balance. @Rob_VSG is a big proponent not only of being keto, but also intermittent fasting - may have a few suggestions for you along that line. Intermittent fasting has been in the news again recently because there is human data that it can improve human health - people became interested in that originally because of the observation that rats on a restricted calorie diet lived twice as long as rats that ate whatever they wanted. (It was fun having them over as I made them fresh lemon curd made with lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and Swerve instead of sugar - and dotted with fresh berries. It was shockingly good and had almost no carbs, despite being quite sweet tasting. ). 

Getting back to your thread - found the bestseller book "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg really informative, and helped me to understand my (many and various) bad habits. In the book he discusses not only the pleasure of indulging in habits, but also the pleasure of anticipation of the the reward. One insight I had was that I had a powerful habit of snacking in the evening - I could eat the equivalent of another whole meal via snacking after dinner - and so I replaced the high calorie, high carbo foods I might eat after dinner with healthier things - and it worked! My habit of snacking was so powerful I could not break it completely, so I followed Duhigg's advice and replaced the (bad) reward with an alternative, and better, reward. Mention this excellent book only because you have so much insight into yourself and your challenges, it might be of interest to you. 

Best wishes!

 

 

 

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Welcome aboard Kristen!

@BurgundyBoy  Always has sage advice.  I have become somewhat of a low carb/intermittent fasting convert/evangelist so happy to answer questions about that stuff for anyone who asks.  I even get PMéd questions.

I too have an evening snacking habit I can't break and also substituted with healthier/low carb alternatives.  Additionally, since I use a compressed eating time window, I only have a limited amount of tummy space for snacks in that time period so weight has still been under control.  I'm only about 16 months out and still working hard to build and maintain healthy habits for the long term.

I'm glad you found these forums!

Rob

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Hi Kristen @Kmartz19  Hope you get connected to people in CT - 

This article by Jane Broday was in today's newspaper - an article about health effects of sugar in contemporary USA - lots of sugar (fructose as well as glucose) added to prepared foods:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/22/well/eat/the-downside-of-having-a-sweet-tooth.html

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Sugar - both in its sweet form and it's savory (potato chip!) form - has always been my problem.  If I eat carbs, I will eat more carbs - end of story.  I usually find that if i can get a solid day of low carb/keto eating under my belt, the second day is easier, and the third even easier than that.  From there it's smooth sailing (until the next time I fall off the sugar wagon).

The funny thing is, when I'm not eating sugar, I'm eating things I actually really like.  I drink a lot of coffee with milk or cream, eat a lot of yogurt (my current favorite is the less-sugar chobani brand), eat a lot of veggies, a lot of berries, and a LOT of drumsticks and chicken thighs.  It's not like my diet is lacking in favorites when I'm keto-ing well.  And the stuff I eat when I'm NOT keto-ing well is actually kind of viscerally disgusting to me -- too sweet, too greasy, too rich, too everything.  So why do I do it?  Bodies are WEIRD.

My trick to getting in that first good day is this:  I eat as much as I want that day.  I will literally binge on anything I want as long as it's not carbs.  Granted, since surgery, my "binge" amount is vastly reduced from what it once ways.  But I do feel like that getting-back-on-the-wagon day is basically nothing but eating.  On the other hand, it's eating healthy, good for me foods, so I don't stress about it, and at the end of the day I have progress to risk - why waste a day of hard work by breaking my streak?!  Just not worth it.

Exercise does the same thing - it puts me back in the game.  It's all too easy to say no to the treadmill when I already said no yesterday.  It's got to be a habit for me, or it's not useful.

Kristen, I think you've got a great handle on what's going on with your mental and physical status, and being here will only help with that.  Yet another thing I've learned - it's a lot easier to disappoint myself than it is to disappoint @CheeringCJ, @BurgundyBoy, @Res Ipsa, @cinwa, @Cheesehead, and the rest of the ThinnerTimes fam!  As long as I stick close to this forum, I have those voices in my head cheering me on.  :) 

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4 hours ago, Kio said:

....

Kristen, I think you've got a great handle on what's going on with your mental and physical status, and being here will only help with that.  Yet another thing I've learned - it's a lot easier to disappoint myself than it is to disappoint @CheeringCJ, @BurgundyBoy, @Res Ipsa, @cinwa, @Cheesehead, and the rest of the ThinnerTimes fam!  As long as I stick close to this forum, I have those voices in my head cheering me on.  :) 

That, dear Kio, sums things well! So often we beat ourselves up more than is necessary... I mean, eating too many carbs is not the equivalent of a moral failure. It is a dietary lapse. 

@Kmartz19 If you find yourself liking the taste of sugar .... try these ultra-low carb lemon meringue cookies:

4 egg whites (no yolk, please)

1/2 cup of Swerve; 1 teaspoon (5 mLs) lemon juice; zest of one lemon or lime. 

Beat the egg white until they stiffen. Slowly add the Swerve and the lemon to the eggs while you continue to beat (an electric beater is easier than by hand, but the latter works well). When the proto-meringue is stiff, drop ~ teaspoon sized blobs onto parchment paper and cook for ~ 90 minutes at 205 F. (Can't cook meringue at higher temperatures, and these need 60-120 minutes to make sure the interior is dry).

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