Just Starting my Journey

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I had gastric bypass surgery one month ago. Having...

I had gastric bypass surgery one month ago. Having made the commitment to have gastic bypass surgery, I started my protein shake diet the day after consulting my surgeon even thought my surgery date was 5 weeks out. My weight started at 326. After 5 weeks on 4 protein shakes a day, I was down to 288 on the day of surgery. Today, one month after surgery, I am 268. I am 6'2" tall. My goal is 190.

I had no complications with the surgery but it wasn't a breeze to recover from as others have suggested. Not many people talk about nausea after the surgery but I had it really badly. It would have been a reaction to the pain medication but it continued for me, pretty badly, for about 2 weeks after the surgery date. There is also a lot of pain and discomfort especially for the first two weeks after surgery. I really wasn't able to sleep comfortably until the third week post-op. Now I'm fine and I've created a daily diet and exercise routine that hopefully will help me achieve my goal weight. I've been walking for 30 minutes a day for the past two weeks and next week I'm heading back to the gym 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes of aerobic exercise.

I have a few observations from my experience to share.

• First, it is true that you are less hungry after the surgery than before it but hunger hasn't completely disappeared for me. My appetite has definitely returned, especially the past week or so. I was hoping it would have disappeared completely (as so many others have suggested) but I still have a healthy appetite. Oh well. I’ll keep it in check.

• Second, I've read so many posts that say "after two or three bites of food, I'm full". Maybe it's because I'm still only eating modest amounts of eggs, soups, yoghurt and some fish but I feel I could eat more after eating what’s recommended. To be honest, I already find myself putting away the crackers after eating 3-4 of them with my soup because I don't though because I don't want create any stress on my new stomach. It's also probably good discipline for me to stop before I'm full anyway but I was expecting a few bites would suffice for me as it has for others. Not true yet in my case.

• Third, the sensation of being "full" (one the one or two occasions that I have experienced it) is completely different than it was before the surgery. Today, full feels like uncomfortable pressure in the center of my abdomen whereas before it felt like satisfaction in the lower part of my abdomen. It's probably not a big difference to most people but the sensation of being full today isn't satisfying like it was before the surgery. Perhaps that the whole point but I just wasn't expecting the sensation to be so different.

• Finally, while the surgery is a good back-stop to prevent overeating and to enforce discipline I didn't have before (like not eating sweets), I find that the more significant benefit of weight-loss surgery is that my mindset had changed. Because surgery is such a big commitment, having the surgery increases your commitment to weight loss in other ways as well. For example, I could never have stayed on protein shakes 5 weeks before the surgery if I hadn't committed to the weight loss surgery to begin with. Since the surgery, I'm motivated to make healthier choices and, as the saying goes, nothing breeds success like success. I'm down 58 pounds in only 9 weeks and my goal seems more obtainable now than it ever has.

I highly recommend weight loss surgery to anyone thinking about it mainly because it will change your mindset and truly motivate you to lose weight. The physical changes to your body from the surgery are really only "insurance" to make sure you don't slip back into old habits. The real success, I find, comes from the brain and not just a smaller stomach. I wish you all success and a healthier, happier, and longer life.

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