Unintended Consequences Since Surgery

June 24, 2017


3 months to the day have passed since I had my vertical gastric sleeve surgery. I have succeeded in what I set out to do and I feel so much better.  Off all my obesity medications. That was my MAIN reason for going through this drastic-gastric surgery. To become a better “me” and enter my 60th birthday later this fall as a healthier person.  I had forgotten what it is like to be able to wear regular size clothing and shop in the regular clothing section instead of the WOMENS PLUS department.  What’s  been an added bonus is watching the dress sizes go down, down, down.

There are still a few unintended consequences that I have to work out: As in not being able to sleep through the night, even though I take melatonin before trying to sleep. And diligently trying to consume enough water into me that I am required to drink daily (64 – 90 oz.), not to mention consuming enough calories to provide fuel with fuel that I need to get by.

But the B-I-G-G-E-S-T  ordeal I am facing right now is in my head. In my brain. Reality check time. The weight loss was the easy part; realizing and seeing the new me and the instructions for the new me on how to eat, has been a daily struggle.  I am so fearful that I am going to wake up and ALL the fat will be back… clinging to my waist, hips, neck, face… like grim death.   I find that when I wake up at 2 a.m.  I instantly take my hand and run it  down the sides of my waist and hips to make sure that I can still feel my bones underneath the skin (something I haven’t felt in a very long time.)  I walk by a mirror and have to do a double take because I don’t see that ‘trailer’ being pulled behind my rear end any longer.  I know it’s all mental anguish and I tell myself that I can’t physically eat more than a 1/2 cup of anything at this point in time anyway, so CHILL OUT LORI!  What I DO eat is protein, and these are the foods I need to eat – and I like to eat. I stay away from sweets (I have tasted  ice cream recently – took a tiny piece out of the container with my fingertip… my all time favorite dessert- and the taste just makes me ill.) Just the other day I  ‘almost‘ came close to eating one slice of whole wheat toast  (with ALMOST being the opportune word here) and it was OK, but nothing to write home about.  I may occasionally try a half slice or slice (but I can live without the extra carbs in all honesty).

I weigh myself every morning like I had been advised of doing, to be held accountable, and I log everything I eat into a database to tell me the exact number of carbs, fat, protein, sodium, sugar and CALORIES I eat per day, and I am doing spectacular (if I do say so myself). I haven’t gained anything. I have lost 84 pounds and lost over 36 inches.   I am in a stall now and have come to the realization that I need to EAT a little more calories per day.  (Eating more protein and drinking  a lot of water per day causes weight loss).   My brain had been programmed to ONLY eat 2 ounces of protein per meal for the 3 months I had to follow on my pre op diet. I did it without hesitation. After surgery, I couldn’t eat anything close to normal until a month ago and I was still trying for 2 ounces per meal, with NO luck. If I could manage 1/8 – 1/4 cup at any time I was pushing it. I have graduated to 1/4 – 1/2 cup now and depending upon the food, I have no issue with getting it down.  This phase I am in now is where I need to increase my caloric intake and it sounds easy-peasy. Right? Not so easy. My new sleeve is very restricted and if I have one too many mouthfuls of my tuna or chicken (which is maybe 4 or 5 bites– bites the size of a peanut), I get SICK instantly. This is where my problems lie. I am limited in what I can eat. I don’t eat junk food or starchy food or foods high in carbs, yet I see myself as a fat ass again if I eat that one last morsel of chicken.  I have been talking myself through my meals now that “You can do this. One more bite“, because I start feeling like I am going to bust open, along with a sharp pain. Is it real pain, or all in my head? (It sure feels like real pain.)

I know I am not a shrink- and do not want to go visit one-  and I know what the issues are (everything I mentioned above). I have to work on them one item at a time. It’s going to take some time for me to realize I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish (even though I still want to drop another 11 pounds or so) and have to take it day by day. The weight came off  SO fast. I knew there would be mental adjustments, but I didn’t think I could possibly develop an eating disorder. I’m not sure if I could call this an eating disorder, but I am cognitively aware that I am headed down that path if I don’t get another 100-200 calories in me each day. I have to learn to increase my portion sizes a smidge every meal until I am comfortable, and to drink more water often.  To STOP worrying that the Fat-Fairy is visiting me overnight and that I will wake up in the morning looking like a bison. And to get  restful sleep at night… even if it means going back on my pills I took every night for 25 years for sleep (I stopped taking them two days before surgery because I couldn’t swallow pills after surgery…. even cut up, as these are the size of a Volkswagen!)

When I look back at ALL the photos I have taken throughout my weight loss journey and weight loss surgery, I can’t believe 1) I was as fat as I was, and 2) That this is me now.

It’s a really dramatic eye opener and I see a slideshow in the near future.  For now I am going to just take it one day at a time and work on my daily goals of eating a tad more; drinking more water, and to just stop worrying about turning into a giant watermelon with arms and legs  once again.




**Below**    January 21, 2107       —- 5 months later—–         **Below**   June 8, 2017