Wonderful TOOL- Not a Cure!! WORTH IT - Seattle, WA

Height: 5'9 Highest weight: 297 Surgery...

Height: 5'9
Highest weight: 297
Surgery weight: 263
Current weight: 165

I had my VSG in January 2010 at age 25. I didn't want gastric bypass or RNY because I didn't want to deal with malabsorption issues such as vitamin deficiencies, dumping, and osteoporosis. My surgeon didn't recommend the lap band because many people have problems with it and he wasn't even putting them in anymore, only removing them.

I lost about 60 pounds in the 4 months following surgery. I stalled out at 200lb for a couple of months and then had to really start working hard again to lose the rest of the weight. I am holding steady at 165 but that is because I watch my diet very carefully and I exercise. As time goes by the reduced stomach stretches out some more and you find ways to eat around it, by drinking liquids with your meals (which washes the food down and allows you to eat more and more frequently) or even by eating a lot of junk foods that pass through the stomach (milkshakes, pudding).

So really, it is not a cure. I know people who lost all of their excess weight and then gained it all back because they didn't deal with their food addiction. It is still a lot of hard work. I could gain it all back if I stopped working. The same is true with gastric bypass or any of the other weight loss surgeries.

Recovery was tough, I had zero energy for about 2 months. I felt like a zombie, my stomach was healing, and I wasn't getting many calories in. When you lose weight that rapidly your body freaks out. I lost half my hair, was getting my period twice a month, and had hot flashes. Fat stores a lot of hormones so as you burn through the fat those hormones are released back into the body. Things eventually leveled out. Not all of my hair has returned, I have very thin hair now. But I can wear it up and people don't notice. Alcohol is absorbed much more rapidly and I get very drunk very quickly, so I need to watch that. I limit myself to 1 drink only. On the plus side, I'm a super cheap date ;)

It was completely worth it. I had never been on a single date before the surgery, because I was so introverted and self-conscious. Now I actually have a romantic life, I date, I flirt with guys, I get numbers. I can shop at any clothing store I want. I was a size 24 at Lane Bryant before, now I'm at size 8/10. People treat me a lot differently. I get a lot more eye contact, from everyone. Salespeople are friendlier. It really upset me a lot when I first noticed it, but now I realize it's just one of those biases that is pervasive throughout society. I didn't like to look at myself before, so how could I expect other people to like looking at me? Sad, but true.

I've had 4 plastic surgery procedures to contour my body. I didn't even think of plastic surgeries when I had the weight loss surgery. It's definitely something to consider and save for.

I have a completely different life now, and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

1 Comments

Hey Sheracat,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us and congratulations on yoru weight loss! That is an awesome achievement. You're totally right about it being a tool, it's so easy to go back to how you ate pre-op if you don't conquer your food demons.

Do you have any before/after pics of your weight loss? Would love to see them if you don't mind sharing.

Kirsty

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Dr Joseph Chebli

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