43 Years Old, 5'1", 215 Lbs. New year= New me! Houston, TX

My journey is just beginning for the second time....

My journey is just beginning for the second time. I will be having a revision from lap band to gastric sleeve. I had my band done 8 years ago. I have had complications with my band, nothing serious, more just a fluke I guess. When I got banded, I was so excited, ready to live my life! My band was put in in May 2007. All was good! 6 months in and I'd lost around 30 lbs. not too bad with the band :). I'd gone in for another fill and doc told me that would be my last because we were officially "full" and my band couldn't hold any more after this. Ok. That's good, I think this will be perfect I thought. Well, that day and even that night, I was great. No problems at all. The next morning, when I tried to drink water, it felt heavy. I thought, ok, this is the tightest it's been, this is going to be good, maybe this will be a big loss month. Well, a couple of days went by and I wasn't able to keep anything down. Even water was hard to keep. I felt like I was starving! I called the doc and they told me I need to come in right away to take out a little fluid because it's not good to be that tight. I went in and he took out .25cc, not very much. I went home and was able to eat a little and felt better. After that though, there felt like there was no restriction at all. After a couple of weeks, I called doc and let him know so he sent me for a swallow test to look at my band and make sure there was no slippage. By band looked great (and still does), no slippage and my pouch is as it should be. Then I went back to the office and he filled it back to capacity again. Still no restriction. Very frustrating! I decided then that I'd been given what I asked for which was a jump start. I could do this! I was determined that I would still lose down to at least the 50 pounds minimum that I wanted to lose. Well, as you can see, that didn't happen. I am happy to say that for about 5 years, I did keep off most (within 5 lbs) of what I'd lost. Then it started to creep on. Almost 2 years ago, I had to have emergency back surgery, followed by some heart issues and have gone all the way back to my starting weight. I do think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I have been afraid to move. I have always been super active. I've said a lot over the years that I may be fat but I am actually pretty fit, it just doesn't look like it. I could walk for miles and I did on lots of occasions! Hiking is one of my favorite things. After my back surgery and not moving at all for about 8 weeks, it was hard to get back to "normal". After a year went by, I was feeling pretty good but started having some heart issues. I have an irregular beat and PVCs. That scares me. I am afraid to exercise because I don't know if my heart will stop. I do know, logically, that it won't. I have had 4 stress tests to prove it but that doesn't take away the fear. So here I am back up to 215lbs and hoping for a fresh start and a new lease on life. So far I am 3 months into this leg of my journey. I've done 3 weight management classed, a nutrition class, weighed in each month, been to the cardiologist, gynecologist, primary doc, been through a battery of tests and we are almost ready to file with insurance! The only thing we are waiting on now is the operative report from my first surgery. The doctors office isn't releasing it. I called and the lady gave me a guilt trip asking why I didn't come back there. That this doc does revisions. I felt bad. After hanging up, I realized that I didn't go back because 7 years ago, he said there was nothing else we could do. He didn't mention that we could do a revision in the future or anything else. Now I am just irritated that they think they can hold my information hostage to keep me from seeing someone else.mi might have to go there to get the report. I don't want to though, I am embarrassed that I have gained back all of my weight. I will though, if I have too!
So, here I am... Ready, hopeful, determined! Thank you all for sharing your stories! I have been on real self for 4 days straight just absorbing everything!

And the wait begins....

Super excited/nervous today. I heard on Tuesday that my doctors office has all of my info together and was ready to file with insurance yesterday! I'm Realizing today that this will be my last thanksgiving before being sleeved! I am always the cook. I have cooked thanksgiving dinner for 12-20 people for the last 15 years. I think more than not being able to eat all that I cook, I am worried that I won't want to cook anymore. Cooking is my therapy. I love to cook and bake and to feed those that I love. That's a part of me that I am scared of losing. Does anyone have anything to share as far as your experiences with still wanting or not wanting to cook anymore?

Still waiting...

I got a call from my doctors office today. Insurance is still reviewing my case but my patient rep is staying on top of them to try to hurry them along.
I am hoping that this is the right decision for me. After reading all that I have, I am afriad that this will fail like my band did because let's face it, it is still just restrictive just not adjustable. What if I fall back into old bad habits? What if it feels like there is no restriction like my band does? What if it doesn't work? What if I don't lose anything, or worse, only a few pounds? What if I wind up with bad reflux like some cases I've heard? I have so many fears and questions. The closer I get to setting a date, the more I feel like I am trying to talk myself out of it. I think maybe I need to start going to a support group beforehand to see about getting these burning questions answered. I am just venting here hoping for some reassurance while trying to keep my thoughts positive and not let fear control me. It really is the fear of the unknown....
So many people were super prepared and so well stocked up only to find out that they can't tolerate the stuff they used to before surgery and have to start over. I tried Isopure, fruit punch flavor, for the first time on Wednesday. That was interesting. When it first hits your tongue you think, hey, this is pretty good. Then all of a sudden, you think eww, not so much. Then you swallow and the aftertaste is terrible! I did drink almost the whole bottle and to my amazement, I wasn't really hungry for dinner. I also bought some unflavored protein powder thinking I can add it to my broth. I would never have guessed that broth only has 4 grams of protein in the whole can! I don't want to stock up too much yet I case I don't like anything right away. I found a pretty cool website where they will send you samples (of course, you have to pay for them) of any kind of protein powder they have. I am thinking I will order several flavors and brands for after surgery so I will be able to figure out what I like with my new taste buds :)
Is it just crazy to be so afraid of something but want it so bad all at the same time? I just want to run, to breathe easier, to cross my legs at the knee, to shop for non plus sized clothes, to not be embarrassed or judged by the way I look. I want to be healthy and eat to live not live to eat!

Feeling more positive today!

Today I called my surgeons office to ask about support groups and their schedules. It turns out that they meet on the first Thursday of each month. I guess I won't be able to get to one until after the first of the new year. On the bright side, the girls at the office are amazing! I felt so blessed to talk to Geanise today. She was able to listen and had answers to every question I asked. It was like a counseling session just for me. I feel so much better after talking to her. She reassured me that anytime I have questions or just need to talk it out I can call or email her. She made me feel like I have truly made the right decision and that I will be really well taken care of.
Still waiting for insurance approval to set the date. I need it to be close to the end of the year but I really would like it to be before the year is over! Haha, I'm not picky or anything. The Drs office did call insurance again today but it is still pending. Hopefully we will know by Friday.

I'm Approved!!

Eek! I am so excited! Surgeons office just called and said they received approval for surgery! Wow! It's going to happen! I am beyond ready. Now for the prep. I still have to get my date, I'm waiting for that call now. I did find out that the psychic so cost will be $395. Not too bad, but I don't know yet what the hospital charges will be.

Surgery scheduled!!

I am scheduled! Tuesday, December 29, 2015! Pre-op appointment is scheduled for this Friday. I start my pre-op diet on the 15th, just in time for Christmas ????????... I can do this!! I know I can!!

Pre-op visit done!

I went for my pre-op visit yesterday. I had so many questions but I feel like they were all answered :) I start my diet on Tuesday, im kind of excited about getting going on my new journey. I'm afraid though that the "new" will wear off fast. I'm not worried about after surgery, but I really am about before. The carb withdraw is what I'm scared of. I just have to remember to be strong :)

Third day of my pre-op diet!

So far so good, except surprisingly I am not getting on enough calories. I have been drinking 3 shakes per day and broth with 1 sf jello. I am getting 389-420 calories per day and 54-102g protein. Between 25-35g carbs. I'm really not hungry. Wondering if I need to add a shake even if I don't feel like I want it.

Day 6 pre-op

I am starting to worry. I called the hospital to find out what my financial responsibility is and they say I'm not on the schedule for the 29th. I called the doctors office and they say I am and will call the hospital to get things straight there. Well, that was Friday and I haven't heard anything yet. I hope I am still on there. I have worked so hard to get here and planned so much, I am trying not to get discouraged. The docs office doesn't seem to be concerned so I'll take that a a good thing.
On my 14 day liquid: So far, so good still. I have been to 2 holiday parties and have really figured out my triggers! I like snacks! I love snacks! All the little treats set out around the tables, that's what I like. The chips and dips, the sweets, all of the bite sized yummies. I struggled a little at the first party. I kept looking at the deviled eggs thinking, I could have 1, it's all protein, it won't mess up my diet. I am so proud of me, I didn't have one! I did have a tiny (maybe 1/2 tsp) bite of pork tenderloin from hubby but that's all. The second party was harder. This was my family Christmas. I made most of the food and loved seeing everyone enjoy it. I did have about 1/2 of a slice of pork loin and omgsh, it was amazing! And 1 tiny bite of a rice Krispy treat :( but truly, that was it! When I woke up this morning, I was down another 1.5 lb. yay! I didn't mess it up! So far I have lost about four pounds. I want to eat something most of the day most days but my will power seems to be keeping me in check. I am praying for my life back. I want to feel good about me again. I want hubby to be proud to be with me again. I can do this, i know I can.

Tomorrow is the day!

Omgsh... I am excited, scared, nervous, happy, worried ... Tomorrow is the day of surgery. I feel like I have waited forever. I have to be there at 4:30pm and surgery is at 6. I don't like being the last patient of the day but I figure my doc wouldn't schedule more than he feels comfortable doing...right?! I have everything except vitamins planned out, I just hope my plans go according. Please everyone say a prayer for me tomorrow and for the rest of my journey in becoming a healthier happier me.


I'm here, waiting to be called back to pre-op!! I am scared today. Was almost rethinking my decision on the way here. But, I'm in! I am doing this! Wish me luck , say a little prayer for me (I may have sung that a little ;) ) see y'all on the sleeved side!!

I'm sleeved!!!

I did it! I can't say that I didn't almost chicken out... But I didn't! So far, so good. I do believe there is a giant learning curve and I am afraid of anything besides broth and flavored water. I could only finish half of a Popsicle at the hospital this morning! It was sooo sweet! Ha! Never thought I'd hear myself say that! Now that I'm home, I'm still pretty tired but I am steady trying to get in my fluids.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, I do believe that a big part of what got me through!!

Before pics, day of surgery

HW: 218
DOS: 208
Current: 209

Day 3 post-op

Happy new year y'all! Yesterday I was feeling anxious, I don't sit still well, so I had sweet hubby take my out for a bit. We went to lowes to exchange some things then to the grocery to get premier protein which is thinnest I think. I was still on all clear liquid yesterday. Today I start full liquids. I'm still a little fearful because of the jello the day of surgery but I have to try these things again. As I write, I am sipping a premier vanilla shake and it seems to be going down ok. I have really struggled to get in my fluids. I am taking in about 30 oz each day. That's still no food, only clear. Not sure how to manage getting more, I sip sip sip allllll day. I think maybe how much I can swallow at a time may increase? Not sure... Some exciting news:
HW: 218
DOS: 208
CW: 204
Total lost: 14

Day 4 post

Ok, today I'm not feeling so hot. I'm afraid I may be one of those that develops lactose intolerance :( that makes me a little sad. When I drink the premier pre made shakes, I feel really bad. Bloated, gassy, and just all over yucky. I'm not sure that what it is, just thinking it might be. I have a protein called nectar that hasn't affected me that way (that's one of my reasons for suspecting). I am going to try no dairy for a couple of days and see how that goes.
I am feeling more comfortable where my incisions are and that's a plus! We took down all of our Christmas decorations today and that could be part of the yucky feeling. I may have overdone it a little.
HW: 218
DOS: 208
CW: 201
GW: 130

day 5

So, I'm not sure how to make the date have the extra part that says how many days out I am :( oh well. So today I am up a pound. I know it's just a pause and body is adjusting but it's still sad. There was one day that I woke up at 1 weight and was different by the afternoon! I know, I know, stay off the scale! I should just weigh once a week. I can't help myself....lol
Yesterday was a pretty rough day. I began to worry about my breathing because it really hurt in the shoulders and neck. I thought the gas can't last this long, I can't take a deep breath without lifting my arms and I am really hurting. I had hubby massage my shoulders and neck with sports cream. That didn't help. We went to a couple of stores and when we got home I got out my spirometer from the hospital and did it 10 times like they told me too. I didn't feel better but I did know at that point it's not my lungs. Still the gas!! I took some children's Tylenol (ugh! Gross! How did I ever give that stuff to my kids?!) and Omgsh! I forgot about my shoulders for a few minutes! I swear I could feel my whole staple line in my tummy! It burned! I started sipping as much water as quickly as I could to flush it out of there. Wow! That didn't feel good at all. It didn't last too long but, I'm thinking I'll suffer through whatever pain I have till I can swallow pills from now on. Then the shoulder/neck pain came back... So I used 2 gas-x strips and I really felt better. Yay! I'm telling you, I can handle the incisions and the soreness in the abdomen but the gas is bad. Anyone who is headed for surgery, make sure you get the gas-x strips! My doc said I wouldn't need them that walking would take care of it all. Well, I'm here to tell you, I've walked a lot but i needed the strips and they worked for me. Ok, enough with that! When I woke up this morning, I feel so much better!
I did better yesterday getting in protein. I was at 53g. Yay me! And I managed 32 oz of water! I feel like things are adjusting and that sure makes me happy.
I hope y'all have a blessed day!

Day 7 post

Wow! I am feeling like myself the last 2 days! Yesterday, I walked 13,159 steps! I am so proud of myself! I went for 2 walks, 2 miles each. This has been a really good experience for me. I am so glad my band is gone! I wonder if this seems less of a change for me because I've done it (kind of) before but fell back into bad habits with a defective band. I am truly happy that I had the surgery. This is my time to be healthy and proud of me. Thank you all for your support, kind words, sharing of knowledge and journeys! I don't think I would have had the confidence to go through with everything if it weren't for everyone here.
As of today,
HW: 218
SW: 208
CW: 200.8
GW: 135

Im sad...

So, I'm 11 days out and I've already hit a stall... I haven't lost anything this week, at all. In fact the scale goes up and down with 1 lb. 200.7, 200.9, 201.5, 201.1, 200.3... Etc. I am following my diet, and have gone for a 2+ mile walk 3 times this week.
I did start eating yogurt this week. I think maybe this is what is contributing to it. I eat 1 container of fat free Greek whipped. Yogurt didn't do well for me when dieting in the past, I always gained when I ate it. Starting yesterday, no more yogurt for this girl. We will see if that helps.
Any advice? Any thoughts? I am feeling super discouraged today....
HW: 218
SW: 208
CW: 201
GW: 130


So, today I went to my last nutrition class. It's for after surgery and its called "first bite". I knew so much of the info we went over today but I did learn some things I'd like to share because I think it's a pretty cool way to look at some things.
Stalls. When our weight loss stalls, it is actually a metabolic reset. The way she explained it was: here we are at our highest weight. Our metabolism is essentially broken. When we (before surgery) lose weight, our body it always trying hard to get back to that place we were at our highest weight because our metabolism is sluggish and broken. That's why we tend to gain it back (and then some). It is super hard to get to that place without surgery to stay there, disappointed and hungry, to let the reset happen. Well, after surgery, when we lose and hit a stall, that's when the reset happens. The longer the stall, the more likely that is our new "highest weight". Then, we continue to do what we are supposed too, get in protein, water and low carbs, keep active then pretty soon, we begin to lose again till the next stall. Where we "reset" again! So, over the first 6 months, we will lose pretty fast but we have 18 months to get to that last reset. At that point, it becomes harder to lose as that final weight becomes the happy place for our new "thinner person" metabolism. Our metabolism is fixed back to being that fast working machine and burning the fuel we put in.
I hope I explained it all as well as she did today. It really turned me around to this stall business. Not that I want to stall for long, but I'm liking the part where it means my metabolism is revving up and getting stronger.

2 weeks 2 days post

Hi my RS family! I wanted to give a quick update on my progress. I went to the doctor for my 2 week follow up on Tuesday. He is happy with where I am so far. I am down 21 lbs since 2 weeks before surgery and 11 since. I am feeling really good. I do get pretty tired in the evenings. I have figured out that if I am going to exercise it has to be first thing in the morning because I just don't want to after work.
I am still struggling to get in my protein as I can only eat about 1/4 cup of anything that's not liquid and I feel full for a long time. Yesterday I finally got in all my water!!! Yay me!!! I was very proud of that. On the flip side, I didn't get in near enough protein. Boo...
On Monday I ordered some MORE protein powder, a new one for me called genepro. I've heard the it's only like a tablespoon and mixes light and clear like benefiber. I am super excited to try it, I should have it when I get home today. The worst part is that there aren't any stores that sell it, you have to order from Amazon. I'll let ya know how it is. I have spent a small fortune on protein that I will never use :( Thankfully though, my kids like smoothies and I can add it to them. And 2 of the ones I have I can bake with. I have a peanut butter powder shake by quest that I loved before surgery. Now I just can't even get it close to my face, yuck! But, on the bright side, I can see some awesome peanut butter cookies coming right up! Won't my babies (11,11,14) love those for breakfast!
All in all, I am supposed to be on purée but doc said if it's really soft it's ok. I have been doing scrambled egg. I can only eat most of 1 egg. Cottage cheese, yogurt, and soup. I had oatmeal that was pretty soupy last night but that didn't sit very well. It just made me feel bad, at least it didn't come back up. So far, I've been so so so lucky, nothing has come back up yet. well, except right after surgery with the jello :(
Thank you again to all of you who've shared your stories with us here, all of the knowledge and advice has been invaluable in my experience. I am still learning so much, I am still reading so many of our post sleevers stories, always looking for something else to help me along in my journey.
HW: 218
SW: 208
CW: 197
GW: 135 (I think this fluctuates between 130 and 135 depending on the day)

Still trying to be positive :)

Well, it's been 23 days since surgery, I am still stalled. I am really trying to not let myself get too down about it, thinking that a positive attitude goes a lot further than a negative one. I will do this, I just didn't expect it to be this hard. I am so guilty of thinking that because I had the band before and it failed that I would know just what to do with the sleeve. I would know automatically how to eat as far as how big my bites are, how much I can hold at a time, etc.. I thought that that knowledge would help me have an easier time learning the extra things that I am not yet familiar with, like how my tastes would change and that the drinking would be so much harder than I thought. I felt like I saw everyone do so well, losing so much so quickly, I really believed that it would be that easy for me too. I thought I would just now be hitting that dreaded 3rd week stall. I try to make myself feel better by saying, hey wait your stall did start at 3 weeks... In all reality, it started 3 weeks after I began losing weight with my pre-op diet. I lost 10 lbs. in 14 days on the pre-op liquid diet! I was so proud of me. After surgery though, in 23 days, I've lost between 8 and 9 lbs. depending on the day. I am getting in my 60g protein and around 50-60oz water each day. I am staying under 50g carbs per day as well. And exercise! I am doing that too, at least 3 days per week.
Ok, my rant/whining is over. I am going to breathe in and out now, make myself focus on the fact that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and know in my heart that this stall IS temporary. That this life changing surgery wasn't for nothing. I will succeed! I know I will. Everyone's body is different and mine wont respond like anyone else's. I am me. I am proud of me!


Soooo, today when I woke up and weighed, guess what?!?! The scale says 196.9!! It finally moved more than a pound. I am so excited. I may be dancing with joy too soon, every time I do that, it seems to come back and bite me but just to see the difference makes me so happy :) that makes 22 lbs since the start of my journey and 12 lbs since surgery.

5 weeks!

Tuesday was 5 weeks since surgery. So far, I've lost 12.5 inches! 26 lbs gone forever! I lost 10 lbs before surgery on the liquid diet and have lost 16 lbs in the last 5 weeks. I am feeling so much better. The pounds are coming off super slow. I have to say that 3 pounds per week is 3 pounds per week more than I was losing before so I am happy, I just wanted to work hard and see more sooner I guess. I'm eating every couple of hours and very small amounts. I am still only getting in 40-60 oz of fluid per day. I'm just not thirsty like I used to be. I am consuming around 600-800 calories per day. I'm still trying to figure out how to get protein without dairy. Dairy isn't my friend still :( Yesterday, I ate all carbs. I had a stomach bug and I was feeling rotten all day. I ate crackers and half of an English muffin, that's more carbs than I've had in 7 weeks! I just didn't feel good or want anything else. Today I feel better though so I am back on track!
HW: 218
DOS: 208
CW: 192
GW: 135

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday y'all!
Just a friendly reminder as I leave the gym: sweat is fat crying as it dies!!

6.5 weeks post

Feeling great today!! I am a little sore from working out my arms and inner thighs at the gym this week but believe it or not, the pain feels good! Lol! I can tell I am smaller when I'm in the bath tub, I look a little less like a turtle... My clothes must have been beyond tight as they are STILL not falling off and I don't need to buy anything new yet. But wow, I have so much more energy! What a great feeling. I was off on Tuesday and wanted to sit and veg all day, you know, like I used too. Ha! I couldn't sit still. I dusted, cleaned my bathroom and went grocery shopping (not as fun as before though). Came home put it all away cooked dinner THEN went to the gym! I am down 29 pounds today and 17.25 inches. I am losing so much slower than some but so much faster than I have lost before. I am proud of myself. One day at a time, at my body's pace. That's how we are going to do this!!
Have an awesome Thursday y'all!

7 week update

Good morning my RS friends!
Well, for the first time since surgery, I had a real hate time with "head hunger" yesterday. I had one of those days where nothing satisfies me. I even ate a Reese's peanut butter cup that had been looking at me since before Valentine's Day. I can say it wasn't very good, not like I remember at all. I don't know why but I didn't like anything yesterday. Today will be better! I got myself some new foods to try and I will be back on track!
I am grateful for my tool! If I hadn't had the sleeve, yesterday would have been so different. Without it, I would have eaten a lot of things trying to find what I was looking for. Yesterday, even though I had a Reese's and some triscuit crackers, that's really all I had that was bad. I was better by dinner time. I was still around 750 calories. My carbs were just too high. I know for certain that on a day like yesterday in my past it would have been a 2000 calorie day. Today, again, I am grateful for my tool.

8.5 weeks post

Good morning y'all! Just wanted to give a quick update.
HW 218
SW 208
CW 184
GW 135
Loss to date 34 lbs!
So far I've been pretty good. Feeling like I'm still losing slower than most. After talking to a friend who also did a revision band to sleeve she helped me make sense of how my body is working. After having had the band, my body already had the shock weight loss. I've been eating smaller portions and mostly the "right" things for years now. (i.e.: almost no bread or soda for 9 years) Now, obviously, I wasn't eating right, really. My portions had grown and I was eating a lot of junk just because I liked it. I'd also started drinking sodas on occasion. I wasn't moving at all, I was just too tired because I was way too heavy and that made me sad. I lost 35 lbs before, gained that plus another 5-7 lbs. back. It will come off when it comes off. I am doing what I am supposed too. I am living for the first time in a long time! My friend really gives me inspiration as she is at her goal weight and maintaining. I average losing about 2 lbs per week. I love that!!! Better down than up at any rate, right??
Well, I'm off to the gym now! Happy Friday my RS family!

70 pounds GONE!!

Hey y'all! It's been a long long time since I've been here but I wanted to drop in and give a quick update for anyone who may be reading my story and trying to decide of surgery is right for them.
I am 9 months out today and I'm down 70 lbs!! I am so very proud of myself.
My stats to date are:
HW: 218
SW: 207
CW: 148 (it feels very surreal to say that)
GW: 135 (yes! 9 months out and I am 13 pounds from GOAL!)
All of that said, I've been really really good! I do struggle, a lot, with the "slider foods". Crackers are my downfall for sure. I don't eat too many, and when I do eat them, I try to add some protein like ham or turkey. I've found that for me, when I don't eat carbs at all, I am tired and pretty grumpy. When I work out, I need more calories and carbs. I try to use those days for my "cheat" days when I allow myself the crackers.
I have really been tired lately. Probably the last 4/5 weeks. I'm not sure what's going on with me. I can't tell if it's depression or my vitamins. I did my 9 month blood work in September and everything looks really good. My triglycerides are the only thing that high. Yay me! So, I posted on my Facebook support group what I just told you and they recommended upping my calories/protein. I've had an extra protein shake every day for 4 days now and WOW! I really do feel better!
Now, I won't tell you that I ever "forget" to eat or that I'm never hungry, I am hungry, I don't forget to eat. That said, I am conscious of what I eat and that because I eat so little, what I put into my body has to count. But I'm still figuring out this new lifestyle. This is no easy road but it is definitely rewarding. The hard work put in really does show results! I love my new found freedom.

Will try for a full body pic later today :)

Sherman Yu

The staff at TLC in Houston are simply amazing! The support they offer before you ever walk in the door is part of what made me love this center. After meeting Dr. Yu, I knew for certain that this is where I was supposed to be. I can't say enough good things about my journey so far.

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