Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Before and After: 10 Month Post-Surgery Update
Before I get into the before and after portion of this post, I want to be totally transparent. I’ve had some difficulty writing about my weight loss experience after my gastric sleeve surgery on June 1, 2017. I realized this when I discovered a series of unfinished blog post drafts that I started at the three-month, six month and eight-month post surgery mark. I promised you updates and I failed to deliver on that promise. Since the content of my character involves fulfilling promises, I took a few days to ponder why this was different. What was preventing me from sharing my experience?
After a few sleepless nights, a few conversations with friends, and too much self-analysis (it’s the therapist in me), I realized that I have difficulty talking about the good things in my life. I don’t mind talking about myself per se but I never want to come across as being boastful, a bragger, or look at how fabulous I am. I’m sensitive to this subject because I’ve unfollowed bloggers on social media who only want to present a perfection focused life (e.g., look at my amazing husband, my adorable kids, my expensive house, my magazine-worthy decor, and my jet-setting life). If following “perfect bloggers” works for you, there’s nothing wrong with that but I never want to be the blogger who only shares Pinterest-worthy, perfection.
I want to be the blogger who shares her struggle with Multiple Sclerosis, incontinence, and arthritis. I want to be that blogger who shares her truths, her triumphs, and her struggles. I want to be perfectly imperfect and let you have a front-row seat. In other words, I want to be relatable, personable, and honest.
Once I realized that sharing my weight loss journey with you isn’t about bragging, boasting, or seeking attention, I got over myself and the words in this post just flowed. Here’s a peek into my weight loss journey. I hope you find it helpful.
The photos above were taken when I was at my heaviest weight (in 2016): 235 lbs. As you can see, I was apple shaped which meant I had dangerous amounts of fat in my abdominal area covering my organs. This is what I weighed until I started the mandatory pre-op liver shrinking diet.
By August 2017, I’d quickly dropped fifty pounds (50 lbs). Right after surgery, it’s easy to lose weight quickly because your diet is mainly protein shakes and soft foods. Also, most people don’t have much of an appetite because the hunger-producing hormone ghrelin is removed when they cut out a portion of the stomach. I also felt full quicker since my stomach was now the size of an egg.
Once I reached the 70 lb weight loss mark, I started to feel better. My joints didn’t hurt as much and I noticed an increase in my energy level. About the same time, I became more comfortable with my food choices. Things I liked to eat before surgery I could no longer stand the taste of so I found ways to work around this. My main protein sources at this point were protein shakes, protein bars, cottage cheese, yogurt, soups with added protein, beans, and beef. I was still unable to eat chicken or pork without getting sick.
It wasn’t until December that I actually felt and appeared thin (to me). I could see the difference in my face, stomach, hips, and arms. Although I started at a size 16, I was now wearing a size 10. A size 10!!
I’m now losing weight at a rate of 1-2 lbs per week. It feels like slow progress to me but it’s still progress. My bariatric surgeon reassured me that a 1-2 lb a week weight loss is normal and healthy at this stage. I’m now wearing a size 6 or 8 (depending on the cut). The best part? I’m now at a healthy weight for my height and build and no longer considered obese! Woohoo!
Let’s take a look at the before and after:
Can you see the difference? Amazing, right?!
To help you understand the weight loss journey a bit more, here are the answers to frequently asked questions:
What is your goal weight?
Do you still eat junk food?
No, however, I do eat a piece of chocolate every now and then.
Was the surgery painful?
Surprisingly no. My pain came in the form of increased acids in my stomach. This is a common issue after weight loss surgery which is why I take omeprazole daily.
Why can’t you drink soda?
Because the carbonation can deteriorate the surgical line in my stomach.
Did you lose hair after surgery?
Yes! My hair is currently thin but it has finally stopped falling out. Hair loss is common in post-op patients.
Do you have loose skin?
Yes. I’ve lost my ass so I have loose skin back there and some under my chin.
Do you exercise?
Yes. Due to limitations related to Multiple Sclerosis, my exercise consists of walking and modified yoga.
Are you glad you had the surgery?
Heck yes! I wish I hadn’t waited so long to do it.
What’s the hardest adjustment you’ve had to make?
Learning how to eat while dining out. I usually order kid’s meals or ask for a smaller portion.
How much food can you eat at one time?
About 1/2 cup. Gone are the days of stuffing my face with 3-4 slices of pizza.
What made you decide to have weight loss surgery?
Do you still see yourself as fat?
No. I see a skinny person who used to be fat!
What do you do when friends and family tell you that you don’t need to lose any more weight?
Tell them that I’ve consulted with my doctor and he supports my weight loss goal. I also tell them (nicely) that it’s my body and I’ll stop when I’ve reached my goal.
What do you do when people say that weight loss surgery is taking the easy way out?
I tell them that they’re wrong and educate them about metabolic disorders (if they’ll listen). Also, there is nothing easy about having weight loss surgery, at all.
Are there any things you don’t like about being thinner?
Yes. I don’t like the fact that I have loose skin, no ass, and the wrinkles in my face are more prevalent now that my face is thinner.
How many times a day do you eat?
Six to eight.
Are you allowed to drink alcohol?
Not at this point in time.
If you have any questions that I haven’t answered, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me an email.
Either way, let me know what you think about my weight loss!