32 in Los Angeles with Everything Ahead of Me! - Los Angeles, CA

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My weight has defined me my entire life. I...

My weight has defined me my entire life. I remember feeling "fat" in about 3rd grade and at the time it was probably 8lbs above the average girl. And it went up and up and although I always felt regular in size and pretty as a person...I didn't get to be the pretty girl in high school or find a boyfriend until after college. I cringed at pool parties and beaches and hot days. This is no way to live. Emotional psychodrama aside, I haven't been able to enjoy the water-- I don't sail or jet ski or swim or surf. In fact, I have always wanted to be involved in volleyball and horseback riding and tennis and yoga and ballet and all sorts of things that I've held back from almost my entire life because I'm not the right size. I'm just uncomfortable in my body. I do well at a nice dinner or a loud party, but turn it into a barbeque and I'm completely on edge because inevitably there will be girls in bikinis reminding me I am indeed NOT A BIKINI GIRL.

It's actually really sad when I think about how much I've missed out on and how in my head I've been because of my weight. And for whatever reason, deciding to do this surgery was a commitment and a decision to take back control and set myself up for success and take care of myself. I had a gastric sleeve to be nice to me. I want to be healthy and active and free to do things.

At 23, I lost 70 lbs on weight watchers. It took about 1.5 years. I had a tummy tuck at 24 and vowed never to be fat again. Breakup +10, New Stoner Boyfriend +10, Leaving NYC for sedentary LA +15, Breakup+15, +Marijuana Legal...)...needless to say it happened over 8 years...my weight crept up and up until I don't recognize myself. I do in the sense that I see someone struggling, but now I see a girl who just doesn't care about herself and that's BLEAK. So when I saw 240, I hit the panic button. In the past 3 years I've tried exercising like crazy...spin classes, cross fit, a trainer, the odd 5K race...at any weight I am strong and determined once I'm in motion (before that I'm so lazy)...but I couldn't get lower than 215 despite all my efforts.

I did the liquid pre-op diet one week before (worked myself up to it) and only lost 2 lbs. Not sure why but I think all the broth was having me retain water?!
I was 237 on day of surgery. (More on that later.)
Today I am 228 just 1 week post-op.
I feel good. I'm sipping. I'm being nicer to myself and I can tell good things are coming to me.
I recommend it already.

first follow up appt

Well I weighed in at 222 this morning. -15lbs since my surgery 12 days ago. Obviously it won't keep coming off that fast, but I'm impressed. It was kind of awesome to go back to work today (my first day back since surgery) and weigh 15 less pounds. I told them a tale about my hernia and they understand my dietary restrictions for now. Hopefully when I can actually never go back to eating like a normal human they won't notice. It just seems like something personal (ha ha ha i KNOW i'm telling the internet) but i have told only my immediate family and about 4 close friends. I don't have a great network or a support group i've found out here, but I did get the phone number of a girl in the hospital...and a friend of my sister's....and a friend of my mom's...all of whom I've corresponded with a little bit, which is nice.

The shoulder pain/neck pain thing really blows. Other than that I've had almost no nausea and no heartburn or anything. I'm kind of over not eating, but whatever. Only 2 1/2 weeks to go if I play by the book. And I'm going to try to. Not in any pain in my stomach really, just the shoulder off and on.

I don't see Dr.S for another month now. Stitches looked good he said...He's super sweet, brushed off my shoulder pain with a chuckle, told me I was free to go to spin class, and is kind of cute actually but he only spent about 5 minutes with me. That's typical American healthcare system for you there. The average time spent with a doctor (according to the NY Times is 8 minutes). Isn't that horrifying? Anyhow, he encouraged me to start working out, just no lifting over 15 lbs. And he said, "if anything hurts, stop doing it" which reminded me of AA, but okay, yeah buddy. I'M ON IT. I plan to go to spin class this week with a friend and just stay in the saddle (no moving around on the bike) and work my way back to being at the top of the class. Which I was at 237 lbs so certainly at 222 I should be able to step it up a notch once I'm really better! Feeling good about that.

I have my eye on 215 next (mini goals.) because that's the lowest my weight has been in the last 3 year span and it was brief... in December of 1.5 years ago, when I was going to spin and crossfit and then it was the holidays and I went home (!!!!!!food!!!!!!!) and then I went to Paris and next thing you know I was back at 221 and never to get down that way again. Until now. I am already glimpsing how it's going to feel to run into people once I can drop my first 50 lbs. That will be awesome. One time last year I literally hid behind a dumpster in Hollywood when my ex boyfriend walked by. I wish I was kidding. I heard his voice before I saw him (he's so loud, you have no idea) and I froze, crouched and waited. and it smelled! now, of course had I been 50 pounds lighter I may have jumped out from behind that dumpster *also scary if you're the ex boyfriend in this scenario but kinda exciting if you're me* and said "Hey, you, guy who dumped me after 3 years and then didn't even want to be friends because of your new girlfriend!"

That would have been nice. And it will be. I have faith in this tiny stomach. I am literally going to be able to fit in a trampy Halloween costume. And isn't that a nice goal? I can plan on completely objectifying myself in 5 months! I know I should post some pictures...I will soon.


The Emotional Roller Coaster // 3 Weeks post

I have updated this review a million times in my head, but here goes :)

Physically, I am fine so I don't want to scare anyone off. My incisions are basically gone, which is awesome. I have experienced barely any nausea and no cramping, stomach pain is all gone. Even the neck/shoulder pain is infrequent and seemingly tied to eating/drinking (which I think puts pressure on my diaphragm where the hernia repair was and then the 'referred pain' is in the left shoulder.)

My SW was 237 and I'm 216 now. That's 21lbs in about 21 days, which is ridiculous when you think about it!! I have had stall days for sure and those are the worst because the weight loss makes the uncomfortableness of not being able to do the things I want (i.e. eat something! anything! or handle spin class or not worry about when I'll ever go to the bathroom..) much easier.

I tried spin class and made it 40 of the 45 minutes and then had to bounce, I was so faded. I also went out one night and danced for hours at a concert and came home soooooo tired. So I'm not who I was, yet, that's for sure. This week I went to this cool sauna that I love and had a ginger shot after and was sure I was on my way to California style health improvement and then I started getting headaches...they got worse over the next two days and I finally called the doctor. I am dehydrated he says. So, I took down 3 popsicles yesterday, some broth, and about 4 protein waters and a a little gatorade. My mood has been all over the place. I'm normally sensitive, but when I burst into tears while talking with the customer service lady from the Gap...I knew I was in trouble! I've been pouting and shuffling around my apartment feeling quite sorry for myself. I know the truth is..I should be seeing a therapist during this. What a big change! Also, I used food to comfort myself. Even if it was granola and a yogurt or an egg white omelet with spinach. And my ability to nourish and comfort myself, peanut butter cup forgotten, is gone for now. I have to stick to these drinks.

Last but not least, I have always been impatient and impulsive. So this entire process from getting approved to the pre-op to the post-op has been a learning curve. This is a long adjustment. I'm very black and white, so this feels like BLACKNESS for sure, when really I'm probably right on track for how you feel after all this happens to your body. Going to try and focus on being grateful for having had a smooth surgery and recovery and having lost over 20 lbs. 215 is my lowest weight in the past 3 years, so this next pound is meaningful. And I haven't seen my best friend since 3 days after so it will be cool to see him next weekend and be down like 25 lbs!

Which reminds me. The clothes thing. I have some smaller stuff, but this is a real hassle. Not a bad problem to have, but nothing looks right and I'm not PMSing here...NOTHING looks right. I think I'm making monthly trips to H+M until this settles down.

i'm so miniature

I'm down 100-102 lbs depending on the day :)

And it all happened in under one year! I can't reco the sleeve enough actually. I wish I had done it sooner, that's all i can say. They say that the sleeve helps you lose 40% of your excess weight and the rest is up to you. That is true. But after getting down to 180 or so, I finally became the athlete I always wanted to be. I love spin class and climber class and yoga. I enjoy being active and like the endorphins. I love pilates! These were things I kind of liked before or knew about, but they didn't produce the results i wanted or I couldn't do them as well as everyone around me...but now I'm average at all this stuff, but I enjoy it.

Also, of note, I eat mainly vegan. Post sleeve, the type of foods that can be digested and won't get stuck are all about texture. Meat is dense, chicken is dense, think about it. But fruit and vegetables are like water. I can eat a giant salad! And with a tiny tummy, it's nice to EAT. I also went down a rabbit hole of documentaries on Netflix (Fed Up, Forks Over Knives, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Veg Out, etc) and I cannot UN-KNOW what I know about the processed food in our country that is causing the obesity that is the reason WHY we need the gastric sleeve in the first place. That stuff in a obx or plastic wrap is not food. Fast food is not food. It looks like food, but it's all hydrogenated crap made in labs and of corn syrup. Corn is everything and is subsidized by the government, as is sugar and all the big companies that make cereal and candy and frozen pizza and poisoned vegetables, etc) Not to mention the treatment of the billions of animals that they basically harvest to slaughter, and they're filled with antibiotics and steriods and all of it...makes us fat. So I switched to eating vegan for the purposes of my new tummy...and I'm down 103 lbs in 11 months, so, you do the math on that one. Also, I love what I eat now. And sometimes I treat myself to other stuff, but "bad" food isn't how I reward me anymore. I buy size 2 pants and take myself on trips and have a generally better, happier life because I am healthy and active and finally feel like a real person and not like I'm blocking a doorway or ruining a party by showing up at 200lbs. The sleeve kinda saved me! And I just had plastic surgery and will wear my first bikini this summer. Have you ever?! From the 240lb woman...to a 137 lbs girl. And I mean girl. I look younger than I ever have! I get carded for cigarettes....okay, I just quit smoking. I know, I know. But I did quit!

I hope this review helps you all. I'm so so so happy I did what I did! :)

So far, so good. I'm hoping to spend more time with them now that the surgery is over. They are a team and have a great vibe. On my EGD day I remember Shabatian was so nice to me! He could tell I was flipping out. And they both were cool on surgery day, just hope it continues as smoothly from here on out.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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