Turning 50 and Want To Be FIT!!!! - Mexico, MX

Hi all, My surgery is scheduled for March 26,...

Hi all,

My surgery is scheduled for March 26, 2016 in Tijuana, Mexico. I do not have a supportive family so I am doing this journey alone. That's a big part of why I joined this on-line support group. ;) I have done tons of research and the one thing I can conclude is that everyone responds differently to the sleeve with regard to pain and recovery time so I'm doing my best not to get too worked up about it. I have stocked up on the things I think I need pre, during and post-surgery. I already have part of my suitcase packed. Ha Ha. What can I say. I'm keen to get this procedure done. I've tried every possible diet, exercise, some pills (bad way to go) and I'm at my wits end. Now with the surgery scheduled, I'm hoping and praying for the best.

A big thank you to everyone on here for sharing your experiences as it has truly helped me to prepare for what I will need while I am away getting surgery and what supplies I should already have at home upon my return.

Best of luck to everyone getting their surgery. May our journeys to a healthier place begin today!

Getting sleeved in Mexico in 24 days! Can't wait.

It seems like its been a long journey to get to this place but now I'm only 24 days away from starting my new journey. I chose Mexico because I'm paying for the surgery myself. I did months of research before choosing my surgeon and am I ever glad I did. There are some dodgy ones out there but I've heard and read nothing but good things about my surgeon and his team. Praying for everything to fall into place from the flights to the surgery to even the weather. Lol

So freakin full!

So, even though my surgery is not until March 26 I decided to try to start doing protein shakes now to mentally prepare for the Real liquid diet. I have to say I had 1/2 a coffee this morning, and one protein shake made with Vega one plant protein and almond milk for breakfast. Then as we were on the road I had two premier protein shakes throughout the day. For dinner I made Caesar salad and sloppy Joes for everyone. These were made out of lab ground turkey and I didn't have any bread. Now, I'm absolutely bursting. I don't know if it's because I ate quickly (I'm a fast eater) or if I'm really actually full. I'm really hoping this new trend can continue up to and beyond my surgery. ????

Needed REAL FOOD for my REAL SELF TODAY!

So, my surgery is coming up fast. I have been trying to do the protein shakes now along with some regular food and here is what I found:

Day 1 - three protein shakes and one meal had me feeling full but also very gassy. Blech!
Day 2 - two protein shakes and smaller meals/snacks was better for sure.
Day 3 - no caffeine equals massive headaches - back on caffeine and will wean off it slowly.
Day 4 - no real energy but had to work anyway so suck it up - 1 protein shake and small meals
Day 5 - got sick....really really sick through the night. No real food today - sipped G2, and tea
Day 6 - feel much better - needed REAL FOOD today. Marinated grilled deboned, deskinned chicken thighs with sliced tomato with sea salt and cracked black pepper. YUUUUMMMM! Also, one coffee which ironically is not going down that well so I am switching to Chai Teas. The vanilla chai tea is Delish!

Two weeks until my surgery. My pre-op diet is supposed to be 3 days but I'm soooo glad I started integrating protein shakes now and reducing carbs and coffee NOW or I'd be a complete mess in a couple weeks.

I highly recommend this slower introduction to the pre-op diet not only for physical reasons but for mental and emotional as well. The mental preparation I think is a HUGE part of this process, at least for me.

How do you fix a bad protein shake?

I've been drinking the chocolate premier protein shakes lately along with small meals to build up to the full liquid diet. The chocolate are soooo yummy I decided to try the vanilla as well. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

Any suggestions on how I can improve the taste of the vanilla shakes as I have a case of 18 (minus one) and I really don't want to waste them as they are kind of pricey.

Vitamins and Minerals and Shakes, Oh My!

So, just like I started integrating the protein shakes into my diet to mentally, emotionally and physically prepare for the full liquid pre and post on diet, I am now doing the same with vitamins and minerals. I'm really hoping this will prevent, or at least lessen, the possibility of hair loss and osteoporosis.

I've also purchased these face and body firming creams. I've joined a hiking group and I'm going to my first zumba class tonight. I figured the more I can prepare myself BEFORE the surgery, the more natural it will seem after the surgery and with exercise and firming lotions perhaps I can eliminate or at least reduce saggy skin.

Doing my best one day at a time. Full liquid diet starts this Saturday. Surgery the following Saturday in Mexico. Hoping for lots of healing, relaxing sunshine too. The natural vitamin D. ;))))

7 Day Pre-Op Starts Tomorrow - last glass of wine tonight! ;)

OKAY, so I've been really really good about starting to integrate the protein shakes and the vitamins earlier then was required of me. And I cut back dramatically on my caffeine intake (5 cups a day down to 1 a day) and I went completely off wine a few weeks ago. But, in the last couple of days....here's what happened - My septic system backed up, my dog who had already been to the vet had to go back for an emergency visit, my crawl space flooded, the main switch on my electrical panel went, I have a massive toothache and the quickest emergency dental appointment I could get was this Monday coming up, and when I went to pick up one of my boys from Driving Lessons, the "malfunction" light went on in my dashboard. So, suffice it to say.....I am having not one but two glasses of wine tonight!!!! Cheers to me and the new me in a week!! Praying for everything to go smoothly with my flights (on time), weather, all travel (car, plane, car), and of course the surgery and recovery in Mexico. I'm too exhausted at this point to be nervous. I guess that's the bonus of being a single Mum with three dogs and running my own business. No time for fear!! LOL

4 Days To Go...But Who's Counting! ;))

My flight leaves at 6 am Friday morning. My surgery is Saturday. I think the only things I have left to buy are unflavored protein powder, clear protein drinks, and silicone strips and gel. I should be really nervous but I've had so much to do before I go I'm just really tired. lol Oh, and a little gassy from the liquid/protein diet.

Can anyone tell me why I have to take a laxative two days before my surgery? I'm anticipating that won't be pretty on the plane ride the following day. 8-O

So grateful for all you on here who have been so encouraging and shared your journey and so many great tips. I'm sure the reality of what I'm doing will hit me the day before I go and I'll be a big balling baby, but for now I'm holding it together because all anyone knows at this point is I'm going to California for a wee holiday. Sad to have to keep it so quiet but I just couldn't handle all the negativity and criticism. So, Californ-I-A, here I come!!! ;)

The REAL TRUTH about my REAL SELF

THE REGULAR REAL SELF
So, I've been pottering along doing all my research, getting everything ready for my surgery which includes having EVERYTHING sorted here before I go. This includes getting the septic system fixed, the crawl space dried up, the electrical panel fixed, my tooth fixed, my dog feeling better, my boys packed and off to family for the week, my dog sitters sorted on the dogs needs while they are here for the week, money exchanged, yada yada yada.

THE CORE REAL SELF
So, here is the part I have not shared yet but has clearly being weighing on my mind and is making me rather emotional today. I am 5'4" and 190 lbs. Most people would say I should be able to lose the weight myself and believe me I have tried. But here's the kicker....literally! I turn 50 this year and not one female member of my family on my mother's side has made it past their 60's. They were all overweight to the point of being obese (according to the BMI factor) but still active and living what they thought was a "decent enough" life. Heart disease, diabetes and cancer run rampant in my family (including on the male side) and these diseases have taken all our female family members at such a young age.

So here is my Reason for Surgery Statement: I don't want to die in my 60's!!! I want to beat our family odds and this to me is my best chance at doing that. I am tearful writing this because I think it is the first time I have admitted the true reasons for wanting and needing this surgery. I am completely on my own in this journey. I am a single parent and have not told the boys or any of my family members. Even though they know the family history there would still be judgement and ridicule and that is just too much to bear. I run my own business and look after everything including my house, my boys and our dogs, who by the way have been my BIGGEST emotional support (gotta love canine cuddles and unconditional love)!! LOL!

Anyway, I think I just needed to put that out into the universe, to admit it to myself, and to let it go emotionally before I go for my surgery in 3 days! I thank ALL of you for being my supporters, my confidantes, my therapists (lol) and my friends through this journey. I don't think I would have made it this far without all of you sleevers out there!! :))) HATS OFF to all of YOU!

Please Pray for everything to go smoothly.... from the weather (big storms forecast here for the day I leave), to my car journey, to all plane travel being on time and smooth flights, to the surgery and recovery, and to my peace of mind. I would be ever so grateful for any and all prayers. God Bless You All!!

In Mexico - surgery tomorrow

Well, I'm here. I can hardly believe it in one sense and yet it took a long day of frustrating travel and 3 flights to get here. lol I got a little time in the pool, the hot tub and the sun. I find the warm sun and balmy breeze extremely healing and I've not even had surgery yet. lol I got a little time with my nutritionist and some of the other ladies getting sleeved tomorrow. I also got a whole lot of paperwork to go through tonight and sign. I got 2 bottles of water, 2 bowls of chicken broth and a popsicle for dinner, all included in the deal. I had to add some of my own chicken broth cubes as it was a little watery for me but still delicious. As I am the only one here on my own, the nutritionist is scheduling my surgery first so I'm not sitting around getting nervous all day. Bless her!
Now, I'm off to bed. It's been a very long day. See you all on the other side of the sleeve. ;)

Sleeved! Day 1 post-op!

I gotta be honest. it's been a brutal 24 hours. Between throwing up blood repeatedly and being in extreme pain and having my IV needing switched and people coming in and out of the room every half hour I couldn't get any sleep. And when I don't get sleep I find it harder to cope.

However, today is better. I haven't thrown up blood since 4 am this morning and the pain is subsiding. Ironically my pain wasn't from gas but from the single incision. I am starting to slowly take in liquids and all but one staff member have been truly fabulous! Plus, I'm sure I have the best suite in the hospital. :)) I have made good friends here in the other sleevers. They all knew I was here by myself so they've taken good care of me.

Day 3 post-op: TOOK A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!

Wow! What a difference 48 how can make. Got back to the hotel yesterday around noon. Rested for a bit, walked to Walmart and walked around for a bit (BTW there is a GNC shop right beside the Walmart in this wonderful beautiful building filled with shops and restaurants. Took it easy last night. Slept a solid 6 hours. Woohoo! Showered today, changed the dressings, took a taxi to revolution, the main tourist shopping strip, walked around for an hour. Took a taxi to Playa Tijuana - best decision ever. Put my feet in the ocean, walked the boardwalk, watched kids and dogs playing on the beach, relaxed in the sun and had the BEST lime Popsicle I've ever had in my life. Then took a taxi back and relaxed in the sun by the pool. Just had some broth and having an early night tonight. I already feel this decision was worth it. Couple points I think are key to my recovery - Gas X and my unbelievably life saving heading pad, both in the hospital and now. Still in pain a bit and learning to "sip" fluids is a bit of a challenge but again it was easier and better today.

Leaving here tomorrow night and can't wait to get home.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! SO SO GRATEFUL.

THANK YOU GOD FOR PROVIDING FOR ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY THROUGH THIS JOURNEY SO FAR. I'M SO BLESSED!!!!!

Day 5 post op - Home at last

Ahhh, the delights of sleeping in your own bed. Well, I can't tell you much about my weight yet as I don't have a proper scale here (buying one tomorrow). But I can tell you I was 190 a month prior to surgery. As I said in earlier posts I started incorporating the protein shakes earlier then required and that brought me down to 184 the week before my Full liquid pre-op diet. On the day of surgery I was 176 (80 kilos). The day after surgery I was back up to 185 lbs again. They really inject you to no end with fluids. On the day after surgery my blood pressure went thru the roof so they were literally checking me every 20-30 minutes through the night. Sometime early morning they gave me a pill to take to lower it. I guess it worked because they released me Monday morning to the hotel as planned. They inject you with an ongoing solution of half glucose and half something else. Then they also regularly inject pain meds, antibiotics and anti nausea meds. A TIP FOR NEW SLEEVERS: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO POLITELY SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF. They were injecting huge needles full of pain and nausea meds thru the main drup line but because so much was hitting me so fast it had the reverse effect and actually made me nauseous and throw up. I told them I didn't want the two needles anymore, only the pain med. They said I needed to have both and I said they would need to find another way then because this wasn't working. They agreed and decided to alternate one needle of pain med with one slow drip of anti nausea meds, then one needle anti nausea and one slow drip of pain meds. They did the same with the antibiotic, all the while bearing in mind you are constantly hooked up still to the main IV of the glucose solution. That's a lot of fluids being pumped into your body in a 48 hour time frame. I'm grateful they were getting all the necessary fluids in me that I needed but I'm even more grateful they were open to looking at alternate ways of getting those fluids into me. :) That's my post tonight. Tomorrow I will post incision pics and give proper weight changes once I get the scale.
Goodnight all and thank you for your prayers and support. So happy to be in my own bed tonight. Sweet dreams all! :)))

7 days post-op quick update

Hi all, it's been a busy couple days so i haven't been able to update. So, this is my first full week post-op and I'm actually allowed protein shakes and pureed foods now. yay. So, i had jello for breakfast, protein shake between 10:30 and 1:00 (took me that long to drink it) and pureed butter nut squash and red pepper soup. Yummy. That took me from 2pm - 6pm to finish it and I enjoyed every slow spoonful. ;)
Stats:
weight 1 month pre-surgery 190
weight 1 week pre-surgery 184 (incorporated protein shakes early)
weight day of surgery 176
weight day after surgery 185 (fluids)
weight today 7 days post-op 170.2

So, in one week after surgery I've lost almost 6 lbs and overall I've lost almost 20 lbs in 5 weeks. I'm pretty happy with those numbers. We'll see what week 2 brings as the stomach swelling decreases and I increase my exercise.

P.S. Anyone feeling bad about needing lots of sleep and rest post-op? DON'T!!
Your body soooo needs it. I went to watch a movie today and crashed about 5 minutes into it. lol! I could NEVER nap in the middle of the day before but right now I am totally appreciating it!

Have a great day everyone! :)

Mindful versus Mindless Eating!

Good morning everyone! I am now 13 days post-op. This past week I was allowed to eat creamed soups (strained), sugar free pudding, skim milk or unsweetened almond milk, and a few other things. Well, the creamed soups made me vomit as did the sugar free pudding. So, I changed out my soups to be just pureed vegetable soups like Winter squash and sweet red pepper soup and Butter nut squash and carrot. Those went down a whole lot easier.

Now the tough part. I am by nature a very fast eater. I am really having to put steps in place to do Mindful eating instead of Mindless Eating. So, I am training myself to put my spoon down after every spoonful of soup. I am training my mind to calculate 10 seconds between spoonfuls. This week I will be able to eat cottage cheese and eggs and I will flip my fork over and stick my food on the fork instead of using my fork as a shovel. If I don't do this, then I will try to gulp down several spoonfuls of soup or several forkfuls of egg at once. While that would cause me some discomfort in the moment, I need to learn to break my fast eating habit without having pain to remind me. This process is slow but steady.

HW - 190
SW - 176
CW - 167.4

So in less than 2 weeks I've lost nearly 10 lbs. This week was less than 3 lbs but I'm good with that. I don't want the weight loss to be crazy rapid or I may have to get my gall bladder removed. Also, I've been doing barely any exercise because I've been trying to get my liquids in without vomiting and it's been a tiring week. Don't get me wrong, I feel good and am happy I made this decision. I'm just allowing my body to dictate my progress at the moment. Listen to your body. It knows what you need. Also, I'm taking multivitamins daily and walking some but resting as much as I need to as well. On that note, I'm going to eat one of my lovely unsweetened peach/mango apple sauces. Have a great day everyone! :))

1day, 5 day and 19 day post-op scars

Hi all, I promised to post these a while back and forgot. This morning my little steri strips that they put over your incisions fell off. You are supposed to leave them on and let them fall off naturally. Seeing as that happened today I thought I would post my 1 day, 5 day and today's post-op incision scars. As you will see, the biggest one is from the drain. I hope this helps those considering the single incision sleeve. I am very very happy and I haven't even started using the silicone strips yet.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

20 Days Post Sleeve Surgery

Good morning all, I'm loving this gorgeous spring morning we are having here. Well, I posted my surgery pics yesterday. I had the single incision sleeve and as you can see from those pics you can barely see my main incision in my belly button and I'm sure the drain incision will start healing really well too so it will be barely noticeable.

So here's what I can tell you about my journey so far. I was supposed to be able to eat chunky soups and soups with shredded chicken, cottage cheese, yogurt, porridge, etc. It seemed that most of this did not agree with me this week. No matter how much I chewed and took my time it was like painful rocks in my stomach. The good news is I've been in constant contact with my nutritionist in Mexico and she has been wonderful in guiding me. So, this past week has still mostly been liquid and liquid protein for me. However, this morning I made a scrambled egg and it is slowly making its way into my stomach without any major pain which makes me happy. Who knew chewing could be such a thrill. lol! The shocker for me was getting my head around making only 1 scrambled egg instead of 3. I was feeling quite hungry this morning and at first I naturally brought out 3 eggs and some cheese to make an omlette. Only when I stared at them on the counter did it dawn on me "I'm not going to be able to eat all of this! " so I put 2 eggs and the cheese back. I'm still working through eating that one egg. lol

Other than that, I'm taking all my vitamins and supplements, and I'm exercising. I mentioned to my nutritionist that I am going for a 4 hour slow paced hike this weekend and she asked me to cut it in half because she is worried I well get dehydrated. She's really wonderful and caring.

I'll finish this post off with my stats:
HW - 190
Weight 1 week before surgery from starting protein shakes a month early - 184
SW - 176
CW - 164.2

So, I've lost just over 3 pounds this week and again I'm happy with that. I'm assuming I haven't hit "the stall" yet because my diet hasn't really changed over from liquids to something more solid yet so I'm anticipating the stall will happen once I start eating real food again. I am loving how my clothes are all loose now and I tried on a couple dresses I haven't got into in years that actual fit. They'll look better when I'm toned but I'm so excited they fit.

On that happy note, have a wonderful weekend everyone. See you next week. ;)

27 Days post-op

Good morning all,
So I'm now 27 Days post-op and here's the low down. I still can't eat, chicken, beans, fish, oatmeal, cream of wheat, or much else that is solid even though the "feeding schedule" says I should be by now. Well, the schedule is only a guideline. I figure as long as I'm getting my protein and liquids I'm good. So, I have 2 protein shakes a day still, along with a G2 Gatorade and herbal tea. In between I try to eat a little scrambled egg, a little cottage cheese and a little yogurt. I had a "no sugar added" ice cream treat last night and almost threw up. My yogurt has less than 6 grams sugar, my cottage cheese is 1%. I add spaghetti sauce to it to liven it up sometimes, again low in sugar sauce. I'm taking my vitamins although they made me nauseous this morning.

My body continues to adjust and adapt on a daily basis and I'm not fretting about where I "should be" according to the schedule or how others are doing. I'm going with the flow and ensuring I get what I need and continue to try to eat other foods when I can.

My high weight was 190
My weight a week before surgery 184 (started shakes a month early)
My surgery weight 176
Last week's weight 163.2
Current weight 161.2

My weight loss is showing down and I'm sure I'll hit "the wall" soon before I start dropping again. My clothes, however, feel so loose. I love it! And I've had comments on my loss so far which tells me it's noticeable. But most important, I feel lighter, happier and already healthier. There are days I'm running around and feel starving and when I get home I put a bunch of food on my plate out of habit. The bites later I'm full. It's an odd concept to get your head around I must admit but I'm enjoying NOT having to stuff my face now to feel full!

On that note, I hope you all have a blessed week and a wonderful weekend. :))

My Overall Review of My Surgery Process in Tijuana, Mexico

Surgery: Single Incision
Surgeon: Dr Fernando Garcia

I'm very glad I made the decision to get sleeved. In one short month it has already changed my life. I'm not only down in weight by almost 30 pounds but my clothes are so loose and I feel happier and more confident than I have in ages.
The pros and cons of my experience with Dr. Fernando Garcia and his health care team.
Pros:
My coordinator, Karen Peon? was exceptional! She answered so many of my questions without making me feel rushed or judged. I sent repeated emails with lists of questions and she patiently answered them all. She was amazing!
Ricardo the organizer of transport was not so responsive at first but came through no problem when I arrived in San Diego. I had tried to call him 48 hours in advance of my departure like I was asked to do. He said he would call back shortly bit never did. It panicked me a little but when I emailed my coordinator saying the driver had not called me back, she was on it and then I did get a call from him. At the airport, I called him to let him know I landed as my flight was delayed and he had a driver there for me within 20 minutes. I didn't mind waiting as I stood in the warm sun and just allowed myself to breath and relax.
Atallia, the patient care coordinator is very busy. I arrived at the Marriott and got checked in. As I had been up and travelling for almost 24 hours I wanted to go for a swim and lay in the sun. I came downstairs in my swim gear and she was in the lobby and said she would be at the hotel until 7pm (it was 4:30 pm) and we could meet up later. I came back to the lobby shortly after 6 and she had met with everyone else as a group that was having surgery the next day like me. I wasn't told there was a specific meeting time or I would've been there. Anyway, she ran me through the basics of what would happen. Also, because she knew I was there on my own and I was nervous she asked to have me be first on the list for surgery the next morning. I was very grateful. We were given a lot of paperwork to review and sign that evening. One version was in English and one in Spanish and you had to sign both. Mine was missing a page so I didn't sign it all until we arrived at the hospital.
We stayed one night at the hotel and we checked out the next morning and were on our way to the hospital by 6:45 am. At the hospital things happened fairly quickly. By 8am I was in my room and in a gown, having blood drawn, blood pressure checked, and the nurses and anesthesiologist asking me a bunch of questions about allergies, etc. They all asked the same questions which seemed redundant but I'd rather then double and triple check then be careless. Then Dr Fernando Garcia came into my room to introduce himself. I asked him if he is a man of God and if i could pray before the surgery. He said he is and he came and stood beside my bed while i prayed for him, all his surgical staff, his care team and the other patients in the hospital with me that day. I was blessed that he stayed while i prayed.

Then I was wheeled down to the surgery room via elevator and within minutes I was out like a light. I have no idea how long my surgery took. I only remember waking up in my hospital room again. I won't lie. The next 24 hours were brutal for me. Between throwing up blood, having issues with my blood pressure shooting through the roof, being hooked up to an IV and large needles of other meds being shot in my veins every hour or so, and dealing with one very disgruntled, miserable nurse, it was not fun. What did make it bearable were the rest of the nursing staff. I have to say ALL but one nursing staff were amazing. They would try to come in quietly at night when they had to give me more meds or check my blood pressure, they would apologize for waking me, they would tell me what they were shooting into my veins, and they would introduce themselves when they switched shifts and were new to me. They were kind, thoughtful and helpful when I buzzed them so many times that first 24 hours from throwing up so much and over the next 24 hours as my blood pressure shot through the roof and needed constant monitoring. They were truly wonderful. My only constructive criticism would be to say "Nurse or Nurse Assistant Lillian, you need to find a different line of work. Patient care is not for you."
I never saw Dr Garcia again and I know that bothered some people but it didn't bother me. If there was something really seriously wrong I'm sure I would've seen him again but there wasn't anything really wrong. The symptoms I experienced post surgery ate normal for some patients while others have minimal symptoms. I'm just grateful he is soooo good at his job because my incisions are small and once healed will be barely noticeable. I paid extra for the single incision and Dr Garcia did a phenomenal job. His surgical competence and expertise were what I needed and I got that in spades! I'm very happy with my decision to go with him.

After 48 hours at the hospital we were sent to an x-ray clinic where we drank awful liquid and had an x-ray taken as our final leak test. You can pay $25 USD to get a print out or when you get back to the hospital you can just ask to see a copy of the scan and take a photo of it then.

We were then driven back to the Marriott and checked back in to stay another two nights. While at the hotel (before and after surgery) you are given 3 bowls of chicken or beef broth, 2 bottles of water and 3 Popsicles per day. The soup you get in your room is much different than what you get in the restaurant (which you can sit in if you prefer that over room service). But I recommend sticking with the "clinic" broth which is much lighter as the other richer broth will have you in the bathroom non stop. While at the hotel the first day there I walked up to Walmart and walked around for almost 2 hours. It felt good to be out and get fresh air. Back at the hotel I was then very happy to relax and have an early night sleep. The staff at the hotel are exceptional. They are so friendly and hospitable. The hotel needs a little maintenance in the rooms but the staff went above and beyond and I give them a 10/10. The second day a few of us went shopping at revolution street and went to the beach later in the day. it was beautiful. The last day I checked out and Atallia was to meet me at the hotel to take my staples out but she was stuck at the hospital so they sent the driver, Angel, to take me to the hospital where Atallia removed my staples. That woman is busy busy. Then off to the airport I went. I had 8 hours before my flight left so I toured the waterfront at San Diego. Again, so worth doing. I would also like to say an extra special thank you to Angel who was welling to drive me to the waterfront at San Diego but I got stuck a lot longer trying to check in and he had to pick up new patients at arrivals. You were wonderful, Angel. :)))

34 Days post-op - bring on the Real Food

Good morning all,

Well, tomorrow I start my 6th week post-op diet where Real Food options are in the guidelines. However, today was the first day I managed to eat half a fried egg without any issues. So, I'm hazarding a guess I'm a while away from lots of Real Food. I can happily manage yogurt, cottage cheese, vegetable soups, my protein shakes and protein waters, soft cheeses, soft crab meat (yummy) and apple sauces unsweetened. So, I'm pretty happy that I'm slowly making my way up the food chain. Chicken is still not my friend but I continue to try as I'm sure some day it will be again. Dark may only is what I try as white meat is definitely too difficult to digest.

Here is the odd part for me. I LOVE coffee. I have MISSED coffee. Yesterday I tried six different ways to make myself a decaf coffee and I didn't like any of them. Then I tried caffeine coffee out of desperation and still didn't like it. So, I guess coffee and I are done....at least for now. Ironically, after trying it I also got some bad acid reflux so I guess I'm pretty lucky I don't enjoy the taste anymore.

Update on stats:
HW - 190
Weight a week before surgery - 184
(protein shakes started a month early)
SW - 176
Cw - 158.4

So, I lost a little under 3 pounds this month. Slow but steady wins the race. My vitamins have become much more normal to take. I found a fabulous liquid calcium after trying to others and a chewable calcium. I'm not exercising daily but I'm walking some during the week and doing slow paced hikes on the weekends. That's my summary so far. I hope all you sleevers are doing well. For those still to be sleeved, you'll do great!

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

A Momentous Monday Moment!

Hi All,
So, I've been struggling with real food for 5 weeks now. However, tonight I was able to eat 4 shrimp cooked in extra virgin olive oil, garlic and dill along with a table spoonful of rice and 3 bites of cooked zucchini. I chewed and chewed the shrimp. I am definitely full and slightly uncomfortable but it was yummy and it seems to be staying down. I guess shrimp is easier than dark meat chicken to digest at this stage. Yaaaay! I'm hoping things continue this way. Just wanted to share that amazing breakthrough. We are all on our own personal journey and some are able to eat real food faster than others. This was truly delightful for me to finally get to that stage. And I love that I enjoyed the flavors AND it took so little to fill me.

Have a lovely evening everyone! ;)

End of 6th Week Post-op. Anything Goes!

Ha ha! Ya, so I'd like to believe that anything goes and I can eat whatever I like now that I'm at the official end of the 6 weeks post-op diet, but that is not the case. My body and my mind are now in charge of what I eat and my body still says one day at a time. Try new things slowly. If they don't settle then leave them for a few weeks. Carbs, other than tiny hard crunchy crackers chewed very thoroughly, are off limits. Even the tiny crackers hit a limit of three AND I'm talking three tiny Crackers that equal the size of one saltine crackers.

HW - 190
Weight 1 week before surgery 184
(incorporated protein shakes 1 month early)
Weight 1 week before surgery - 176
Weight last week - 158.2
Current weight - 155.6

So it seems 3 is my lucky number. Each week I have lost either a little over 3 pounds or a little under 3 pounds but always around the 3 pound mark. That works for me.

I'm going to try shrimp again tonight. They seem to go down fairly well....all four of them. lol! Wow! Gone are the days of not only binge eating but what I considered "normal eating" where I could sit down and eat a about a dozen shrimp with pasta and salad and wine. Now, I'm pretty happy with four shrimp. I love that I can eat them still bit I love even more that I get full so quickly on four rather than what I used to eat.

Today's post is fairly short because I'm going to go enjoy my weekend hiking and wandering through sidewalk sales and enjoying the lovely weather.

Have Great weekend everyone!! ;)

10 weeks out

Hey all, been a while since I've been on here. I'm 10 weeks post-op and I've lost over 40 pounds. Woohoo! :)))))

I've been able to increase the variety of what I can eat but still in very very small portions. I am walking 5 miles every day, sometimes more. My body shape has changed a lot and I'm so happy as I continue to see the weight drop. I've started weight lifting and will start doing stomach crunches tomorrow. My weight loss has slowed quite a bit but not stopped. I don't eat anything fatty but because I am actually eating more real food and exercising and building muscle the weight loss is slower. Again, I'm happy with that.

The tough part is remembering to eat every 3 hours. Even if I'm not hungry I have to eat something. Otherwise, if I wait too long I'm really really hungry and try and eat too fast which actually makes me throw up.

That's it for now. I hope all you sleevers are doing well. :)

Past my 3 month surgeversary

So, I haven't been on here lately but I recently received an email from my surgeons office congratulating me on my 3 month "surgeversary". So here's my stats:

HW - 190 lbs
Weight 1 week before surgery - 184
(started part of pre-op diet early)
Weight day of surgery - 176
CW at 3 month surgeversary - 138 lbs

So, in three months I've lost 52 pounds. I find that staggering and yet I'm ecstatic. I've followed the doctors diet, I've exercised and increased my exercise everyday. I'm now incorporating free weights and sit-ups. I'm now 13 pounds away from my final goal of 125 lbs. I'm so excited. I've kept up my vitamins as recommended which I think has helped a lot. My skin looks great. I've lost very little hair and I think a BIG part of that is the specific vitamins I am taking daily. I will keep them up for life as they are working wonders.

I hope this finds you all well. :))))

5 months out

So, here's my deal. I got the single incision and i have to say life has been great. For anyone that has followed me you will know the first 24 hours after surgery was brutal for me. Coughing up blood every hour, high blood pressure, problems with the fluids going into my body, etc etc.

BUT, I am happy to say since that 24 hours I've had no problems. I am 5 months out and still have my protein shake every morning along with my essential vitamins. I eat lots of protein and vegetables throughout the day. i should be months away, and I mean months away, from my ideal weight, but because I've been a stickler with my surgeons recommended diet I am 5 pounds away from my goal weight.....in 5 months.

Let me repeat that...in 5 months I am 5lbs away from my goal weight. That's huge for me! And by huge I mean amazing.

So, here's my three tips I can possibly give you:

1) STICK WITH YOUR SURGEON'S DIET!
Many people have strayed and after the first 6 weeks I did a little too but when I saw the scale not moving, I got right back in the diet and the scale continued to drop! If you stray from the diet before the 6 weeks is up, you put yourself in jeopardy. Arrogance and food obsession are our weakest links.

2) The sleeve is ONLY a tool. While your stomach is much smaller now and you could eat crap like pizza, cake, ice cream, and in the moment you will continue to lose weight so you think is okay. Trust me, it's not! The point of the sleeve isn't to allow us to continue eating crap food. It's a tool to help us lose weight and find healthier alternatives to continue to lose weight, to exercise and to be healthy.

3) TAKE YOUR VITAMINS! Yes, they duck taking them daily but find ones that work for you. I have liquids and gummies because pills are hard to swallow. BUT HERE'S WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW: Because I followed the surgeon's diet and because I still drink protein shakes and because I take all my required vitamins daily, I not only continue to lose weight BUT I DON'T HAVE HAIR LOSS! ????

Seriously, if you want to screw with hair loss and other deficiencies than continue to eat junk food. And don't get me wrong, there are others out there who do EVERYTHING right and still have issues, but at least lower your chances of this happening by STICKING TO THE DOCTORS PLAN! There's a reason they know what they're talking about.....ya know!?!

That's my advice! Take it or leave it! The surgeons have your back and they know what they're talking about.

We can easily question them or judge them or be arrogant and think we know better.....trust me....we don't!

And just to clarify, I'm talking about my experience with Dr. Fernando Garcia in Mexico. His team does not mess around. They know their stuff.
Dr Fernando Garcia

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