In my last post, almost two months ago, I mentioned I had abdominal surgery. To be more specific, I had bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery). To be even more specific I had the vertical gastric sleeve ("sleeve") procedure. Approximately 85% of my stomach was removed, but unlike with a gastric bypass, my intestines were not affected.
I have no intention of turning this blog into a weight loss or "sleeve" related blog. Today's post is purely to update those of you who still read this since I did mention it in my last post. While I may occasionally update on how I am doing, especially when it comes to the emotional aspects of weight loss surgery (WLS), at this point I don't plan on sharing specific details of my weight loss.
However, since I have had many family members and friends ask, especially via Facebook, I will go into more detail right now.
As far as how I feel - I feel good! I'm fully recovered from the surgery and have lost a nice amount of weight for me. I'm able to eat pretty much anything now, but I'm careful about the choices I make. I have to focus on getting enough protein in and staying hydrated. Since the "sleeve" is a purely restrictive procedure the weight loss after the first couple months is about making the right choices and not slipping back into bad habits.
I can only eat small amounts of food, but I need to make sure they are the right foods. I found over the holidays that Christmas cookies go down very easily and while I couldn't eat as many as I would have in the past, I could still eat enough to blow my calorie count for the day in one sitting. I'm very happy the holidays are over and that there will be less food temptations in the house.
The initial diet after the surgery includes a week of only liquids, then a progression to pureed foods, then soft foods, and eventually to "normal" foods. I have had no problems progressing to normal foods. In fact, I think I moved along faster than most. Many people that I have spoken with that have had this procedure took several months to get to a point where they could eat meat. I've also heard it is not unusual to take one bite to much and end up vomiting for 20 to 30 minutes because you overfilled your stomach. I have had none of those problems. I almost wish I did, because the physical limitations initially are a big reason that people lose large amounts of weight in the first couple months after surgery.
I've lost a moderate amount of weight and overall I'm okay with it, although I admit I wish it was coming off faster. Most important though is that I'm feeling better than I have in a couple years. My blood sugar levels are normalizing and I would guess that my blood pressure is too. Another week or two and I'm going to be forced to go shopping for some clothes because the last two pair of jeans I have that don't fall off me, are getting close.
I'm actually not looking forward to shopping for new clothes, which surprises me. In part its because I don't want to spend a bunch of money on clothes that I hopefully won't be able to wear for very long.
As far as sharing how much weight I've lost I've decided not to share that publicly. Maybe as time passes I will change my mind about that, but for right now I am choosing to keep that private. For me, talking about the numbers stresses me out. I'm actually finding it a bit uncomfortable just being asked how I am doing. I'm not completely sure why, but I think some of it is my fear of failing in this, as I have with every other weight loss journey I have taken. I also don't want this to become what is the most identifiable thing about me. I don't want to be the mom, woman, employee, etc. that had weight loss surgery. I know I will continue to feel better physically as I progress, but losing weight isn't going to change the person that I have always been.
I had the surgery because I want to be around to see my children grow up. They way I was going there was a good chance that wasn't going to happen. I want to have more energy and enjoy doing things with my family. I'm proud of myself for changing my path. The esthetic effects of losing weight are a bonus.
Right now I need to work harder on getting enough exercise. There is no time or money in the budget right now to join a gym, so I'm doing what I can at home. Actually, that's not true. I'm not doing what I can at home, I'm doing less. I need to do more. I'm really struggling getting my butt off the couch. It sucks that crochet and reading aren't considered exercise. I'm hoping to get back in to karate at some point. I'd like to get my black belt, especially since I was so close to getting it a couple years ago. I might look into fencing since I've wanted to learn to sword fight for years. I need to have some useful skill when the zombie apocalypse hits, right?
If you have specific questions about the procedure or how I'm feeling feel free to email me (mommyneedstherapy at gmail dot com) or private message me on Facebook. I'm very glad I did this!