Short and Sweet and Low BMI - Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas Bariatric Surgeon
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Hi Realselfers, First, I want to thank all the...

Hi Realselfers,
First, I want to thank all the thousands of people who have posted their stories and share their knowledge. It has been invaluable! It has been feeding my secret obsession for self improvement for years! Hopefully some of you will identify with my story. I'm scheduled for a gastric sleeve in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 30th!!!! I start my pre-op diet tomorrow ????.
TMI about me: I'm soon to be 42 yr old female, 5'1" and CW 181.2 lbs.... One grown child. I was never skinny but always athletic, exercised a lot, short and stocky with very little body fat. I'm Asian and white. I always got the comments..."Wow, you don't look Japanese! I thought maybe Hawaiian or Philipino" because I've always been thick. My legs were always too big and short to sit cross legged :( or have a thigh gap :( .... My natural weight was always around 125-135 lbs which according to BMI chart is on the high end for my height. While I've always thought I was too fat, when I look back at pictures of myself, I looked good but never appreciated it at the time....

The struggles with my weight started about ten years ago... I went through a painful divorce and internalized everything thinking I wasn't pretty enough or thin enough and that's why my marriage was failing. I starved myself down to 98 lbs due to anxiety and sadness! I think this seriously messed up my metabolism! When I finally came to my senses that I was killing myself I started to eat healthy again. I went up to about 120 lbs and kept my weight there for three or four years. This is where I was when I met my current husband.
Then I started to get sick with my thyroid (hypothyroid) which seriously messed up my hormones. I packed on the pounds despite a fighting it EVERY step of the way!! I ballooned up to my current weight in a matter of 3 years :( despite running every day (5 miles at 5 am) and counting my calories on a high protein low carb diet. The running became more and more difficult, the hypothyroid robbed me of energy and the ability for my body to recover. I started to feel hopeless. Why am I putting SO much effort into watching my diet and pushing myself to exercise if I struggle to lose just five or ten pounds and the second I slip I gain it all back and then some?

Things I've tried to lose weight in the past ten years:
Low calorie diet, low fat/high fiber diet, high protein/low carb diet, sugar free, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, blood type diet, gluten free/dairy free, lectin free, weight watchers, Alli, phentermine, cabbage soup diet, master cleanse diet, paleo diet, whole foods/organic, probiotics and enzymes, low glycemic, raspberry ketones with guggle stones, white kidney bean extract, green tea extract, green coffee bean extract, apple cider vinegar, and many more...

Two years ago I successfully lost about 40 lbs and got down to 145 lbs and kept it off for 6 months after doing two rounds of injectable HCG diet. I was so proud of my self that I treated myself to a mommy makeover with TT and BL (no implants). I had some complications after the procedure that made exercise and diet difficult...I slipped up and gained ALL my weight back in one year!!
I want to get the hell off this roller coaster!

Some people may think that I don't need the sleeve but for those that want to judge, you can't know what some is going through until you've walked a mile in their shoes. I've read lots of reviews of people with hypothyroid that lost weight with the sleeve so I have hope again! I'm not going to give up on myself and just settle... I want to be healthy and active again. I want to run again, do yoga, go swimming, go snowboarding, and mountain biking (all things I used to do 5 yrs ago)....I want to prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, wear and tear on my joints, and heart disease. I'm not looking to become a super model but DO want to feel comfortable in my own body.

May God give me the strength to see this through as I am putting my faith in your hands. This is my last attempt for its all I have left in me... Thank you all for listening!

I will continue to updated on my progress so wish me luck and keep me in your prayers! Pictures soon to come!

Here are my pre-VSG pics

As you can see, I was much thinner 5 years ago...

Liquid pre-op diet day 3

Ugh.... Now on day three of liquid pre-op diet.... Down 2 lbs! Woo hoo! It's been challenging and I'm STARVING! Luckily my doctor will allow a small piece of protein and a green veggie for dinner... I was reading comments from another poster and she compared the liquid diet to asking a crack head to quit crack "cold turkey" BEFORE going to rehab! Lol....I mean isn't this why we are having surgery in the first place?! Anyways.... For those of you struggling with hunger, I highly suggest this additive to your shakes! It's called PGX and it's a konjac root extract with no carbs, fat or sugar, and very few calories. It helps you stay fuller longer and thickens up your shake.

Week 1 pre-op diet done!

I'm officially day 7 into my two week pre-op liquid diet and I've dropped 7 lbs!!! I'm down to 174.6 YES!! It's been Soooo hard, I'm not gonna lie.....
Two days ago, my company had potluck Thanksgiving at the office and there was sooooo much yummy food...????. I spent half a day baking a brown butter sage and butternut squash lasagna from scratch to bring and I couldn't eat ANY of it????????????....
I stayed STRONG and pathetically sipped my protein shake ????????????????. It was super hard but I have my eyes on the prize!! One week from today and I will be sleeved!!!!

It's REALLY Happening!!!

OMG, I could NOT sleep last night! Today I'm getting on an airplane to Las Vegas for my VSG surgery scheduled for Wed. 11/30!

I made it through Thanksgiving with out cheating on my preop diet ; ) ....(patting myself on the back).... It's been Sooooo hard... For some reason I haven't lost more than 7 lbs ??, but I'll take it! 7 lbs is 7 lbs.
Also TMI but it's that time of the month and I gain an average of 5-7 lbs typically...Also I seem to get a horrendous stomach ache (feels like gall stone pain) ?? From the protein shakes I've been using. I don't like them because they are WAY too sweet... I got Dymatize brand ISO whey isolate in Vanilla and Chocolate...not my fave ????. I also purchased Syntrax Nectar's "fuzzy navel" which tastes much better and didn't seem to give me the same stomach ache.
Has any one else had their gall bladder removed at the same time as their VSG? I'd love to hear about it....

Today is "THE" Day!

It's been a whirlwind of stuff the past few days! I arrived here in Vegas on Saturday 11/26 a few days before surgery so I could have a little fun before hand. I went through a company called Belightweight.com to make my arrangements. They give you discounts on surgery and hotels etc. I booked a week stay at a hotel that they are affiliated with and got a few hundred dollars discount!

I've been shopping (probably shouldn't have done), seeing shows, being a tourist in Vegas, and enjoying myself a bit. Monday, I went to Blossom Bariatrics to meet Dr. Umbach and staff. They have a nice clinic and their staff was very kind and helpful. It's was bustling with people just like me! They have pictures covering most of the walls of professionally taken and framed photos of HUNDREDS of before and after WLS! Pretty amazing! They have this down to a science at that office and work like a well oiled machine! Most of the staff working there has had WLS and an tell you first hand about their personal experience.

I came in and they were organized and ready for me. There was a small group of about 10 of us ( young, old, male, female, and various BMI) that were brought into a conference room as a group for pre-op teaching. I met a woman 5 days post op in the waiting room and she looked great and was flying back to her home state that day after her post op. She said she was out shopping two days after surgery!! During the pre-op class, we were individually called back to meet Dr. Umbach in his office to discuss any special concerns. We then watched about 90 minute video about peri-op nutrition, expectations, troubleshooting, etc. which was very informative. Then one of the medical assistants came in and talked about the "day of surgery" and the surgical process, what to expect, the do's and don'ts, and post-op expectations. They were very thorough and gave us each a binder with all the info. covered.

I felt much better about the whole process after going through that class. I also met several people who were low BMI and private pay like me, or that were also having hiatal hernia repair. Dr. Umbach runs a thorough and organized process which is always a good sign in a Doctor. He also gave me the okay to eat a "last meal" of what ever I wanted last night!!! Soooooo yummy after 2 weeks of protein shakes and meat/greens dinner!!!

I found that Trader Joe's carries a lot of low carb snacks such as kale chips, broccoli "chips", chick pea snacks etc. I also found some good low carb websites that sell all kinds of low carb chips and snacks. It will be a while before I can eat anything but I ordered somethings to try out when I'm ready. I stocked up on unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a variety of protein powders as well as broths. I'm allowed to have sugar free jello, SF Popsicles, SF puddings, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and of course...protein shakes in the first week post-op.

I've been up since 5 AM because I can't sleep!!! I go to the surgery center at 11:30 AM today....I know I've lost some more weight because my clothes feel looser but I don't have a scale here at the hotel. I hope I can make good progress but won't be too surprised if I lose slower than most because of my low BMI.

Wish me good luck and hopefully some of you guys are reading this and will say some prayers for me!! I will update again from the sleeved side ????. Thank you all for your support!

Fun in Vegas

Shopping, shows, and tours

6 Days Post Gastric Sleeve!!!

Sorry I haven't updated in a bit! It's been an interesting and busy couple of days!

Day of surgery Wt. 176.6: I got to surgery center (outpatient) and met all the staff that would be assisting me. They were kind, thorough, and prepped me. I had hiatal hernia repair with VSG. I was there for a total of 4 hours and surgery itself took about 1 hour. I was able to walk shortly after waking and my pain was tolerable but I felt epigastric pain and a bit weak. I went back to the hotel and tried to sleep more but as the evening progressed I felt more and more pressure building in my upper stomach. I tried walking about every 15 min. but couldn't pass gas or burp... I had a terrible night! I was up every 15-30 min. Walking and feeling super nauseous! I threw up and dry heaved about 6-7 times into the next morning. I didn't have any bright red blood in my vomit but knew it was bad to throw up so much due to dehydration! I took the prescribed zofran that was given to me that evening after surgery as instructed but it didn't help because I just threw it up. I also could not take any of the pain medication given to me because I could not hold it down...Was a TERRIBLE night :(

Day 1 post VSG: Wt. 173.6! Dr. Umbach's office has his patients come in to the clinic the next morning for IV therapy. I was still throwing up the morning I went into the clinic :(. There were several other patients in the infusion room with me and I over heard one person say that they were able to "walk a mile that morning and got in about 40 Grms of protein"! I know I'm prone to nausea and once I start vomiting it's had for me to stop... The IV hydration did WONDERS for me! The nurse added antinausea medication as well as pain medication to my vitamins in the IV. I felt well enough to drink some protein shake that the nurse gave me in about 20 min. Before I left, I requested a prescription for sublingual Zofran in case I get nauseous again, which they gave me. I went back to the hotel feeling MUCH better!! I was able to do some light shopping and walking and keep my water and protein down ever since. I did have to use the sublingual Zofran for a few days after.

Day 2-4 Post VSG: The rest of my time in Vegas went smoothly. I was sore and tired but able to drink and move around. I did some sightseeing and walking as I could tolerate in between resting. If I walked around too much my stomach got a bit swollen and sore and I'd rest. The gas pains were mostly gone by day 3 post op. One of the worst pain was my upper back/neck/shoulders on the front and back of me. I felt like I was in a car accident and has terrible whiplash! My jaw and face were sore from the tube they put down your throat and my throat was very sore as well. I had a lot of mucus drainage in my throat as well. I had surgery on Wednesday 11/30 and flew back home to California on Saturday 12/3. My trip home went with out issues. The biggest challenge was trying to get down enough water and protein since you can't bring those things through security and cannot purchase protein shakes in the airport.

Day 5-6: I weighed myself at home yesterday and I am at 168.2!! Down almost 17 lbs since before my pre-op diet!!! Woohoo!!! I'm feeling a bit better and better everyday ????. I tried some applesauce on day 3 which went down without problems and day 4 I tried some puréed soup with chicken and vegetables. All went smoothly! I have not tried anything more solid than that.... On day 5 I still had not had a BM so decided I should probably take some stool softener as well as milk of magnesia before I went to bed as was recommended by the clinic. BIG mistake! The milk of mag. Caused me tremendous upper abdominal pain that left me rolling around in bed holding my tummy for about an hour or two ??. I felt nauseous as well. Eventually it passed... I still didn't feel like I could go in the morning. I finally decided I would try a bit of coffee ( I Know it's forbidden, but I never planned to live with out it!). I few sips later and I got the results I was looking for! And I didn't have any problems drinking it ???? Yay!!! I have been working on getting in my 8 glasses of H20 and 60-80 Grms of protein a day but it's a full time job. So far I've been averaging about 40-50 Grms of protein and 32 oz of H20. I feel well enough to go for moderate walks and go back to work on day 6. Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers ???? So far I'm feeling great and light! I will post some pictures soon!

My incisions

Five very small holes. Very little pain and all looks good 2 days post

1 week post op!

Hi all,

I'm officially one week post op VSG today and feeling great! I'm not weighing in every day because I don't want to "stress" over the numbers... My results so far are amazing though! I thought things would be moving more slowly since I have a lower BMI to begin with but so far so good ????. My clothes are getting baggy and thank GOD my boobs are shrinking!! I can fit into a size 14 now and I've gone from a DD bra to D... I don't have any regrets so far and I'm healing well. No issues so far thank god! I'm still on mostly liquids and can eat some well puréed soups and applesauce. I have some hunger pains sometimes but 3-4 sips of protein and I'm good! No fatigue, I'm going number 2 with out issues. I have NO abdominal pain unless I drink too much too fast. My incisions are so tiny I don't even feel them. I tried to go for a bike ride a few days ago and that was a bit too much so I will try again after another week and I still can't do anything too strenuous requiring ab muscles. The best part of all is that I am down about 18 or 19 lbs so far since I started this journey! I'm amazed and happy ????. I promise I will take some pictures ASAP.

Here are my stats... I'm 5'1"

Starting weight on 11/16/16: 185.0 lbs
After 2 week pre-op diet 11/29/16: 176.6 lbs (day before surgery)
Day after surgery 12/1/16: 173.6 lbs
12/4/16: 168.2 lbs
12/6/16: 166.8 lbs

Face looks thinner

I don't know if you can tell but I think my face looks thinner ????

11 Days Post VSG

Hi all,

Things are going well :) I've noticed my weight loss is starting to slow down a bit....

I weighed yesterday and I am at 165.0 which is exactly 20 lbs down from my starting weight! Yay! I am fitting into at size 12 pants (with a belt). And went down a bra size! Yessss! My boobs are WAY too big for my frame.... I must have got them from my white side because my mom is like a negative A cup...lol!

I am also able to eat more puréed foods and handle more than 3 sips of water/food. The swelling has gone way down. Things have been relatively easy so far but I know I will have to start putting in some work! I haven't really exercised yet so I will start making that effort. Yesterday was tough because there was a family birthday and we all went out to eat and then there was an amazing chocolate/raspberry cake as well as wine all around me.... Very hard to resist!! Not because I was hungry but because I love the tastes :( but I stayed strong :) as:
NOTHING TASTES BATTER THAN SKINNY!

2 weeks post op!

Hi all,

Sorry it's been a while since I updated. It's been a busy holiday season, work, and unrelated health issues have sucked my time away! Plus I hit a bit of a stall for almost a week and fluctuating between 167-165. I had a day when I had an allergic reaction to some medication and gained 2 lbs overnight :(. Then I had to have surgery and filled with IV fluids.... I'm on the mend now and finally broke my stall! Woohoo! Down to 164-163 lbs! I'm slowing down with my weight loss but things are moving in the right direction with very little work on my end...
I'm still on soft/puréed foods and working on protein and water. I also have not been able to exercise due to this other health issue :( so I'm please with my progress so far! I'm able to fit into some clothes that I haven't been able to wear in quite some time! Physically I'm having NO issues and everything is healing really well!

3 weeks post op

The scale is moving VERY slowly.... Im at 162.4 this AM!!! I'm not surprised! I can't exercise due to some other health issues at the moment, but I'm sticking to my diet and pushing on through!! I'm still on puréed/soft foods which is going fine...sure can't wait to eat solid food! Hope the rest of you guys are doing well and getting ready for the holidays :) This is the best Xmas present I could've gotten :)

Best Birthday Present Ever!!

I woke up this morning and I am 2 more lbs down!!! Woohoo!!! Now at 160.2 lbs.... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel :) so glad the scale is moving again! Whew! It's been surprisingly easy so far...

Still can't work out but sticking to my diet ????. I can't wait to be in the 150's!! So weird to hear myself say that because 10 years ago I would've been horrified to weigh that much...lol. What did I know?!

I'm just so glad the scale is moving again ???? I feel great and this is the best thing I could've done for myself! Happy 42nd Birthday to me ????!

Hope everyone else out there is doing well on their journeys! Keep pushing forward and don't forget to pay yourselves on the back for all your hard work! I will post pics soon!

Merry Christmas to me :)

Hi all,
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! I'm down to 159.8 lbs as of yesterday!! Woot!woot! Things are going very well :) so far the scale continues moving in the right direction albeit slowly...
I'm fitting into clothes I haven't been able to wear in two years! I feel great and have not had any problems other than will power to make good choices over the holidays... Very difficult to be surrounded by so much yummy food!
I am able to eat some solid food as long as I chew it very very well and find that I get full MUCH faster and stay full longer with like 3 bites of chicken! The last of my steri strips came off yesterday and my incisions look good!
Hope you all enjoy the holidays as much as I am and look forward to a new year with new beginnings:) and best wishes to you all!

Stall Number Two... 4 weeks post op

I'm officially 4 weeks post op ???? And feeling great!! I did a bit of shopping and am fitting into size 12 pants! Yassss! I've started on my second stall though...boo????
I'm starting to be able to eat whole foods if I chew them really well. I need to focus on getting in my water and protein as I've found that to be challenging! Solid food is way more filling!!
Physically I feel sooooo good???? And people are definitely noticing.... Especially my husband ????. So far I haven't had any issues with getting sick to my stomach even though I've tried cheese, been drinking coffee every morning since week 1, and had some solid foods.
Stay strong all you VSGers and keep moving forward! The surgery doesn't help with will power... Thank you all for so much support because it helps to keep me on the straight and narrow! I will post pictures soon ????. Happy New Year's all!!

Checking in

Hi all you RS beauties!
Sorry it's been so long since the last update... Not much to report here. My weight stalled at 159.0 lbs for about 2 weeks.... Ugh!
It's been challenging to break old habits :( I have not been meeting my own goals. I have had a few bites of carbs in the past two weeks (2 votes of pizza, 1 alcoholic beverage ???? on New Year's Eve, and a table spoon of rice). I also tend to eat soup for dinner every night because it's so easy and sometimes it has some rice or pasta in it.... How many of you refrain from carbs post VSG and for how long? I have been pretty good at avoiding sugar and gluten, but hard to cut out all carbs completely. I'm trying to stay under 30 grams per day which isn't really a problem since I can only have a few bites.

I'm finally able to start exercising again and went for a mountain bike ride yesterday ????. I felt awesome! My endurance was better and I was able to ride 2 gears higher (because I weigh less and it's easier to pull my own weight)!! Yay!
Progress has been slow but I'm determined to get my act together! The scale is still moving in the right direction and I'm down to 157.2 lbs as of this morning ????????????. I can fit into size 10 jeans and medium/large tops. I'm finally able to wear cute bras too ????. I know things are moving slowly but I'll take it! I still have trouble getting in 64 oz of H20... I average about 32-40 oz a day :(. I have a 40 oz bottle that I sip on all day but still can't finish the whole thing...Any suggestions?
Anyways, I hope the rest of you are having a successful and happy new year!! Thank you for your support!!

The Turtle wins right?

Omg...sorry no recent updates... things are moving like molasses.... but I'll take every pound I can get!! I'm at 156.4 lbs this morning and fitting into size 10 pants and medium/large tops! Yes! ????
I feel great and have not had any issues eating anything (a blessing and a curse). I'm able to eat anything with out upsetting my stomach including alcohol, but only in small amounts... Makes it hard to make good choices ????.
I'm back to riding my mountain bike a few days a week and really considering some other form of more regular exercise. I'm feeling good enough to maybe start running again if I can get up early in the morning like I used to!
I've started using retin-A in an effort to tighten up the skin on my face... as I lose weight I've noticed a lot of laxity and more pronounced wrinkles ??. My body looks good though! I weigh slightly less than I did on the day of my Mommy makeover two years ago and things are still tight ????!
I will see if my hubby can take some pics of me so I can post!
Love you all and thank you for all your kind words of encouragement! Wishing all of you the best on your own weight loss journeys ????

I promised a picture

Here I am today at 156.4 lbs. sorry it's not a body shot!

I'm such a loser!

Hi all,

Just checking in :) it's been a while! It's been about 3 months since my VSG surgery. I'm still going in the right direction (very very slowly)! Current weight is 150.0 lbs and I'm feeling awesome ????. I'm wearing size 10 pants and medium tops!!
I probably could've lost more weight if I was a but stricter with my carbs. It in keeping up on my protein and water. I've started exercising at least 3 days a week and find I can run and bike so much better!! I have way more energy and don't get the same aching feet/hips/back ????.

I am sooo happy I did this for myself (and So is my husband ????). Hope all of you in this journey are as happy as I am and having success in your endeavors!!

Trying on clothes

Size 10 at Ann Taylor ????

Things slowly moving...

I'm finally in the 140's! Yay ???? Barely ???? But I'll take it! 149.0 lbs, medium tops and size 8/10 bottoms! Hope all you other realselfers are doing well!

Thinnest I've been in 10 years!

OMG! I'm down to 147.2 lbs this morning!! Wow! This has been an unbelievable journey so far.... I feel a bit guilty that this has all happened so easily for me after sooooo many years of struggling, suffering, humiliating, and torturing myself!

I bought some size 10 pants for work 2 weeks ago since all my other pants were falling off and I'm finding them loose already! Try not to buys clothes even if it's fun ????. The positive is that you will save money on food and have more to spend on clothes ????!

so far I've done very little exercise and been trying to stick to a high protein low carb diet but have not been very good about either of those things. I do however, avoid almost all sugar... I've had some small amounts of rice, beans, tortillas, and occasional bread/pasta, and alcohol.

I can tell that I'm able to drink and eat more in one sitting than before but I'm starting really hard to NOT stretch my pouch out! I stop eating/drinking as soon as I feel full!.

I will say that perhaps if I were more strict with my exercise and diet I might be down to my goal weight by now but in some ways I think losing slowly is better for my body and skin in the long run. I'm so happy that I made the decision to have WLS and have been very fortunate to not have any set backs or adverse events!

I hope all of you lovely people out there are having success on your journeys to self improvement and loving yourselves! Just keep on moving forward one small step at a time and you will see your dreams come true!
Las Vegas Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Umbach and his staff were professional, courteous, and have a long excellent history of performing Bariatric surgery. I'm extremely please with my experience there and traveling for my surgery didn't complicate anything. Belightweight.com was also an integral part of placing me with his office. I was leary of traveling to Mexico for surgery but didn't think I could find a surgeon in the states that would be as affordable. With the help of belight weight and Dr. Umbach's staff, my dream was made possible. I have not had any complications post surgery and this is the best decision I could've made for myself!! Dr. Umbach and his staff have this down to a science and they work like a well oiled machine to get you taken care of!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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