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Old 11-19-2014, 02:20 AM   #1
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Getting started on my sleeve journey

Hello!

I have been here at LCF off and on for about 14 years...mostly off. I have had a couple very successful runs with Atkins. The last time I lost 140 pounds, but fell off the wagon 4 years ago and am pretty much back to square one again. I know that low carb is the only way for me to control my hunger and my intense carb cravings, but I just can't seem to be able to flip that switch in my brain and get going again. I think it's because I feel that I will just end up putting any weight back on again, so what is the point? I have lost 100+ pounds 4 times in the last 15 years, yet I always fall back into old habits and regain everything. My profile pic shows me on my last Atkins journey, when I was having great success. I sure wish I was back to the picture on the right, instead of the one on the left. It's very frustrating to see how far I had come, and how far I have fallen backwards. I haven't actually seen this side by side comparison of myself since I last posted on this site over 4 years ago. *SIGH*

Well, I'm here to pick myself up and give it another go. This time, I'm seriously looking at the gastric sleeve surgery. Mostly because of the better shot at long term success. I've had lots of short term success, but I always blow it. I'm nervous I might re-gain even after surgery...it scares me a lot. But, I'm hoping that the restriction will be enough of a tool to really help me stay in control. I have begun my pre-op appointments, and will start my required 3 months of medically supervised weight loss next week. I do have lots of concerns and questions about what life will be like after the sleeve (as it pertains to low carb), if I do go through with it. If any of you would be able to address any of my questions, I'd really appreciate it. And, I know it's sort of a YMMV kind of world, so it won't be the same for everyone...but I'd still love to hear your experiences.

1.] Will I eventually be able to eat most of the things we enjoy on Atkins? Butter, mayo, sour cream, full fat salad dressing? Full fat cheeses? Steak? Salad? BACON?
-The reason I'm asking, is the one person I know who has had the sleeve claims that she can't tolerate anything but chicken or chicken soup. She cannot tolerate red meat, fats of any kind, dairy (cheese), lettuce, bacon, mayo...many of the staples of Atkins. I was under the impression that you could eat low carb after the sleeve, but it sounds like it's very restrictive. Do any of you find this? I'd be depressed if I had to go through the rest of my life eating chicken and chicken soup. I'm scared the surgery will make it impossible to eat anything I actually enjoy, and that will make me really regret having it.

2.] They say that eating low carb and exercising after surgery are non-negotiable, and are the only way to really succeed for the long term. Do any of you feel that you would have had the same results without the surgery IF you had been able to commit to those things for life? And, what about the surgery makes it easier to commit to these things, if you couldn't do it before?

3.] Is there anyone here that regrets having WLS? If so, why?

I'm sure I will have many more questions as I go through the process. I am also reading WLS forums, specifically the VGS areas. I see so many things that give me hope, and so many things that, to be honest, scare the sh*t out of me. I know this is far from the easy way out that so many people seem to think it is. I know it takes a huge amount of effort and commitment, not to mention the enormous mental shift with your relationship with food. I have reached a point in my life where I'm tired of being uncomfortable in my own body. I'm almost 46 years old, and I know that the medical consequences will start showing up more and more if I don't do something very soon. I don't even care if I'm ever "thin"...I just want to feel normal and healthy.

I look forward to getting to know you guys and learning as much as I can from you. I'd appreciate any advice that you might have to offer!

Thanks so much,

Amy
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:30 AM   #2
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I haven't had the surgery, but I wanted to say good luck on your journey.

My BFF had it about 5 years ago and she has done very well. She absolutely exercises at least 5 days per week- she runs, does bootcamp and various videos at home. She says the forced restriction helps her when her willpower lags and like most people says it is just a tool, you have to do the work. As someone who has watched her, I can concur it is not "the easy way out."

Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
Hello!

I have been here at LCF off and on for about 14 years...mostly off. I have had a couple very successful runs with Atkins. The last time I lost 140 pounds, but fell off the wagon 4 years ago and am pretty much back to square one again. I know that low carb is the only way for me to control my hunger and my intense carb cravings, but I just can't seem to be able to flip that switch in my brain and get going again. I think it's because I feel that I will just end up putting any weight back on again, so what is the point? I have lost 100+ pounds 4 times in the last 15 years, yet I always fall back into old habits and regain everything. My profile pic shows me on my last Atkins journey, when I was having great success. I sure wish I was back to the picture on the right, instead of the one on the left. It's very frustrating to see how far I had come, and how far I have fallen backwards. I haven't actually seen this side by side comparison of myself since I last posted on this site over 4 years ago. *SIGH*

Well, I'm here to pick myself up and give it another go. This time, I'm seriously looking at the gastric sleeve surgery. Mostly because of the better shot at long term success. I've had lots of short term success, but I always blow it. I'm nervous I might re-gain even after surgery...it scares me a lot. But, I'm hoping that the restriction will be enough of a tool to really help me stay in control. I have begun my pre-op appointments, and will start my required 3 months of medically supervised weight loss next week. I do have lots of concerns and questions about what life will be like after the sleeve (as it pertains to low carb), if I do go through with it. If any of you would be able to address any of my questions, I'd really appreciate it. And, I know it's sort of a YMMV kind of world, so it won't be the same for everyone...but I'd still love to hear your experiences.

1.] Will I eventually be able to eat most of the things we enjoy on Atkins? Butter, mayo, sour cream, full fat salad dressing? Full fat cheeses? Steak? Salad? BACON?
-The reason I'm asking, is the one person I know who has had the sleeve claims that she can't tolerate anything but chicken or chicken soup. She cannot tolerate red meat, fats of any kind, dairy (cheese), lettuce, bacon, mayo...many of the staples of Atkins. I was under the impression that you could eat low carb after the sleeve, but it sounds like it's very restrictive. Do any of you find this? I'd be depressed if I had to go through the rest of my life eating chicken and chicken soup. I'm scared the surgery will make it impossible to eat anything I actually enjoy, and that will make me really regret having it.

2.] They say that eating low carb and exercising after surgery are non-negotiable, and are the only way to really succeed for the long term. Do any of you feel that you would have had the same results without the surgery IF you had been able to commit to those things for life? And, what about the surgery makes it easier to commit to these things, if you couldn't do it before?

3.] Is there anyone here that regrets having WLS? If so, why?

I'm sure I will have many more questions as I go through the process. I am also reading WLS forums, specifically the VGS areas. I see so many things that give me hope, and so many things that, to be honest, scare the sh*t out of me. I know this is far from the easy way out that so many people seem to think it is. I know it takes a huge amount of effort and commitment, not to mention the enormous mental shift with your relationship with food. I have reached a point in my life where I'm tired of being uncomfortable in my own body. I'm almost 46 years old, and I know that the medical consequences will start showing up more and more if I don't do something very soon. I don't even care if I'm ever "thin"...I just want to feel normal and healthy.

I look forward to getting to know you guys and learning as much as I can from you. I'd appreciate any advice that you might have to offer!

Thanks so much,

Amy
1. 2 1/2 years after my surgery I can eat anything except dry chicken breasts and heavy pasta. (If I want pasta I use angel hair noodles, but mostly I am fiiiine without pasta)I took a strange comfort in knowing that most people who have WLS have to work at keeping the weight off. What this told me is that if I found life unbearable without my drug of choice I could go back to my old ways Of course on the other side now, I love my new life!!! But realy, if I couldn't see life is worth living without putting away a dozen cookies at one shot, pretty sure I could still do it. I think I actually enjoy food more now than I did in the obese years. I'm more careful about the quality of what I eat, so I enjoy small portions of really delicious stuff. And I don't have that terrible guilty oh why did I eat so much again feeling to contend with.

2. I could never have had this success without the surgery. never. For many months I lived quite satisfied on 800 calories a day. I could never have sustained that month after month without this tool. And for me, it's more than just restriction, I've had some kind of hormonal reset. I don't eat lowcarb Aitkins style (the only way I could lose pre-surgery) I eat more South Beach style (steel cut oats, yogurt, whole wheat, brown rice) and if I eat cheese etc it is full fat! I eat way, way less processed food and feel great. I exercised a lot at first, now I do some daily exercises like clamshells and squats, but mostly I am just more active.

3. No regrets of any kind. I know some people say they regret they didn't do it sooner, and I don't even feel that way. My surgeon said I was a poor candidate for RNY due to many abdominal adhesions, so had I tried to have surgery sooner than I did, they might have turned me away. When my spirit was open to the idea, I heard about the sleeve, and lo and behold, my insurance began reimbursing it just around the time I decided to pursue it. Thank you higher power! I love, love, love my sleeve, and feel gratitude everyday. Even the tough days of life are easier because I'm not trying to cope while carrying around the extra weight of another person.

So as you know everyone's experience is different, and my journey is far from done. But even if I gained all the weight back tomorrow (don't worry, I won't!), I would always be grateful for all the amazing experiences I've had these last two years, unencumbered by all that excess weight. I hope your journey is as rewarding
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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Oh and today I had a steak salad: leftover steak, blue cheese crumbles, snappeas, shredded carrot, mixed spring greens, grape tomatos, cucumbers, crumbled bacon and full fat cesear dressing Now granted, the salad wasn't a large serving (put together the salad fixings part from a salad bar at my grocery store, total cost $2.29 not counting the steak I added ) but it was definately tasty and quite satisfying. Later I had an afternoon snack of Chobani Pinneapple Yogurt (2% fat). For dinner I had some rotisserie chicken from Costco, a little baked sweet potato and a few bites of green beans. I'll have a sf chai latte later, and another snack if I need it. (Possibly 2 saltine crackers with a dip from Trader Joe's made from roasted red peppers and eggplant, only 15 calories per 2 tbs. but packs quite a flavor punch!) Hardly a life of deprivation
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GME View Post
I haven't had the surgery, but I wanted to say good luck on your journey.

My BFF had it about 5 years ago and she has done very well. She absolutely exercises at least 5 days per week- she runs, does bootcamp and various videos at home. She says the forced restriction helps her when her willpower lags and like most people says it is just a tool, you have to do the work. As someone who has watched her, I can concur it is not "the easy way out."

Good luck!
Thank you so much!
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:56 AM   #6
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Jesse...I can't tell you how much I appreciate your input and advice! Especially the answer you gave to my question #2...I have been beating myself up over not being able to do this on my own. So, to hear you say that you feel that you would have never been able to be this successful without the surgery is so helpful.

I will be going to my first support group next week, so I'm looking forward to meeting and talking to others that are going through this process. I have so much to learn!

Thank you for your help...I hope to be just like you someday!
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
2.] They say that eating low carb and exercising after surgery are non-negotiable, and are the only way to really succeed for the long term. Do any of you feel that you would have had the same results without the surgery IF you had been able to commit to those things for life? And, what about the surgery makes it easier to commit to these things, if you couldn't do it before?
Exercise IS nonnegotiable and no I don't think I would have been able to do so on my own. When you have 150+ pounds to lose it's a lot easier to get disheartened with your progress and give up. And I did. A lot. MAINTAINING at a lower weight is MUCH easier than LOSING from almost 300!

I can tell you, when I've been injured and not able to exercise - I regain.

Eating low carb is dependent. I need carbs for running fuel. Without them my performance really suffers. However I don't need to eat as much of it as I do. I haven't had a sleeve, I've had a RNY and eating the things you mentioned would make me sicker than a dog. Not fun.

It will be a long time before you are able to return to a more "normal" way of eating - but I have to ask you to think about it - the reason you are having the surgery is to lose weight. You use the time the surgery is working it's "magic" to learn a new lifestyle way of eating. IF you return to what you did before, even at a reduced capacity, are you really taking what you need from the experience? I cannot eat like I did before, even in reduced quantities, because now my body is used to running on so little and every calorie really does count. I'm working on 20 pounds from my lowest that I'd like to get off. I'm 4 years and 8 months post op.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
Jesse...I can't tell you how much I appreciate your input and advice! Especially the answer you gave to my question #2...I have been beating myself up over not being able to do this on my own. So, to hear you say that you feel that you would have never been able to be this successful without the surgery is so helpful.

I will be going to my first support group next week, so I'm looking forward to meeting and talking to others that are going through this process. I have so much to learn!

Thank you for your help...I hope to be just like you someday!
I have never maintained any significant weight loss, never made it all the way to a goal before the regain started. Until now. And why did I beat myself up over this? Statistically, only a very few can lose and maintain their loss. WLS can't offer a guarantee that I will never regain, but statistically, it's my best chance for success. I am proud that I was brave enough to take that chance. I am proud of everyone here who is strong and brave enough to dare to dream, to hope, to change. It's really pretty amazing when you think about it.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
Hello!

I have been here at LCF off and on for about 14 years...mostly off. I have had a couple very successful runs with Atkins. The last time I lost 140 pounds, but fell off the wagon 4 years ago and am pretty much back to square one again. I know that low carb is the only way for me to control my hunger and my intense carb cravings, but I just can't seem to be able to flip that switch in my brain and get going again. I think it's because I feel that I will just end up putting any weight back on again, so what is the point? I have lost 100+ pounds 4 times in the last 15 years, yet I always fall back into old habits and regain everything. My profile pic shows me on my last Atkins journey, when I was having great success. I sure wish I was back to the picture on the right, instead of the one on the left. It's very frustrating to see how far I had come, and how far I have fallen backwards. I haven't actually seen this side by side comparison of myself since I last posted on this site over 4 years ago. *SIGH*

Well, I'm here to pick myself up and give it another go. This time, I'm seriously looking at the gastric sleeve surgery. Mostly because of the better shot at long term success. I've had lots of short term success, but I always blow it. I'm nervous I might re-gain even after surgery...it scares me a lot. But, I'm hoping that the restriction will be enough of a tool to really help me stay in control. I have begun my pre-op appointments, and will start my required 3 months of medically supervised weight loss next week. I do have lots of concerns and questions about what life will be like after the sleeve (as it pertains to low carb), if I do go through with it. If any of you would be able to address any of my questions, I'd really appreciate it. And, I know it's sort of a YMMV kind of world, so it won't be the same for everyone...but I'd still love to hear your experiences.

1.] Will I eventually be able to eat most of the things we enjoy on Atkins? Butter, mayo, sour cream, full fat salad dressing? Full fat cheeses? Steak? Salad? BACON?
-The reason I'm asking, is the one person I know who has had the sleeve claims that she can't tolerate anything but chicken or chicken soup. She cannot tolerate red meat, fats of any kind, dairy (cheese), lettuce, bacon, mayo...many of the staples of Atkins. I was under the impression that you could eat low carb after the sleeve, but it sounds like it's very restrictive. Do any of you find this? I'd be depressed if I had to go through the rest of my life eating chicken and chicken soup. I'm scared the surgery will make it impossible to eat anything I actually enjoy, and that will make me really regret having it.

2.] They say that eating low carb and exercising after surgery are non-negotiable, and are the only way to really succeed for the long term. Do any of you feel that you would have had the same results without the surgery IF you had been able to commit to those things for life? And, what about the surgery makes it easier to commit to these things, if you couldn't do it before?

3.] Is there anyone here that regrets having WLS? If so, why?

I'm sure I will have many more questions as I go through the process. I am also reading WLS forums, specifically the VGS areas. I see so many things that give me hope, and so many things that, to be honest, scare the sh*t out of me. I know this is far from the easy way out that so many people seem to think it is. I know it takes a huge amount of effort and commitment, not to mention the enormous mental shift with your relationship with food. I have reached a point in my life where I'm tired of being uncomfortable in my own body. I'm almost 46 years old, and I know that the medical consequences will start showing up more and more if I don't do something very soon. I don't even care if I'm ever "thin"...I just want to feel normal and healthy.

I look forward to getting to know you guys and learning as much as I can from you. I'd appreciate any advice that you might have to offer!

Thanks so much,

Amy
Hi Amy!

I'm 5 months out from surgery and 50 pounds down (as of today!), and I haven't found anything yet that I cannot tolerate, although, after I had some coconut bark for the first time in about a year, it seemed to just run right through me So I've learned to eat much less than of that than I use to. Pasta is ok. Most meats go down a little hard, but if I take the time to chew them well, and not eat too fast, they're fine. And wouldn't you know it: junk food (i.e.: chips, candy bars, cookies) go down very well!

As for exercise, for a couple months after surgery I was not able to do much walking, as I had surgery on my foot about 6 weeks out. Since then, it's been a combination of no motivation and/or too little time to walk, but I'm still losing, and I still tell myself EVERY DAY that I need to exercise! I just bough a Wii Zumba disc and hope to try that out this weekend.

Regrets? NONE, other than the fact that my EYES are often much hungrier than my stomach can handle. Where once I could eat 3 or even 4 slices of pizza, I can now barely finish 1, and since that was my favorite food, I almost get MAD that I can't eat more, LOL! (just kidding, I don't get mad, but I'm sure others know what I mean).

I'm going to see my brothers in about 5 weeks. They know I've had the surgery, but none of that have seen me since last Christmas, and none of them saw me at my highest weight, but I'm sure I'll be at least 30 pounds lighter than when they last saw me, and I'm hoping it's enough of a difference to get my brother more interested in the surgery. He is morbidly obese, and has expressed a "desire" to get it done, but hasn't gone forward with anything yet, as far as I know.

Oh, one other thing...I started losing hair at about 3 months out, but i think it's it now coming to a halt, and I'm even getting some new growth in. So, you'll probably hear stories of massive hair loss...but it comes back! So don't let it scare you!
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
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Ah yes the hair. I lost hair starting at three months. I used some volumizing products to help get me through that stage. when I would pull it back to work out, the ponytail felt so sad and sparse. My hair is back to normal now. For awhile I couldn't style it with a bun, or ponytail because there were all sorts of hairs in a variety of lengths sticking out or sliding out. It's all grown back in
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