How I eat at two years post op Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

by Waning Woman
(Dallas, TX)

Also Read: If you are considering going for gastric sleeve surgery, then these gastric sleeve before and after pictures may be helpful during the process of making decision.

At two years post op, I’m VERY happy with the results of my gastric sleeve surgery, and I have reached a point where it just feels like it is part of me. My sleeve no longer feels like an alien entity just like a stomach that hold a LOT less.

Consequently, I can pretty much eat like I have a normal stomach. For the most part, I try not to eat and drink at the same time, but I don’t really hold fast to the rule of waiting to eat AFTER drinking. I still wait to drink after eating.

I do have carbonated drinks, but that works for me. Some post ops experience pain and pressure with carbonated drinks, but that is not an issue for me.

I do not dump because of my food choices and I am able to eat sweets in moderation. I LOVE cake and I would not be a happy camper if I could never eat it. The difference is now my stomach is satisfied with a cupcake instead of a sheet cake.

Here is the truth though, sometimes a cupcake is just a cupcake and sometimes it is a slippery slope. Since my sleeve, it is easier for me to control my urges and I am aware of them when they happen. Today would not be a good day for me to have a cupcake. Tomorrow might be a different story.

I can also enjoy wine and other alcoholic drinks with no ill effects. It only takes one glass of wine now for me to feel it, though. For my spirit based drinks, I only use calorie free mixers.
I’ve reached my goal, so I’m at a point that I can incorporate these things into my lifestyle. If you’re not at goal, try your best to stick to protein based meals because it will help you reach your goal faster.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Bariatric Diet (What you eat)
Bariatric Eating (How you eat)
Bariatric Vitamins
Life After Weight Loss Surgery

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23 months out

by: ALL post-op WLS

All of your comments touch me as I identify with all the issues discussed so far.

I do think it is possible to mend the mind as I have experienced much mental healing over the years. My "I can't" attitude kept me eating foods bad for me that I was addicted to and got me up to 384 lbs. I absolutely had myself convinced that I had no control over what I ate and how much.

I found out I actually had an addiction by committing to 3 weeks of eating no sugar, no refined carbohydrates and no problem foods (problem for me) (this was years pre-op). However the withdrawal symptoms started by day 2 or 3 and included headaches, irritability, nausea, and ravenous cravings. By the end of 3 weeks the cravings had subsided and the other symptoms cleared much sooner. That is addiction.

I am now 270. My goal weight is 215 as I am tall, large framed, post-menopausal and 63. Over the holidays I started eating the sweets again and I haven't yet been able to give them up totally, yet, but I want to and I will.

My lowest weight post VSG was 247 and the gain started as soon as I started trying to control sweets and other binge foods. I've been maintaining at 270 for several months.

I WILL continue to lose weight I am certain of it. I WILL get back on my healthy post-op food plan and stick with it. I've already begun to exercise again with daily walks. I plan to add a weekly yoga class and going to the gym 3x weekly. BUT one thing at a time.

My motivation is the incredibly miraculous changes in myself since eating healthy foods, and losing 130 lbs. My mobility is good again - I can easily walk 2-3 miles at one time now. My asthma is under control. My BP is normal with meds. My digestive problems are nearly nonexistent. My joint and muscle pain is gone most of the time. My depression is lifted. My self-esteem has soared and I am happy much of the time. I've become socially active again with activities and friends.

My anxiety is very much less. My sleep apnea is GONE. I just found that out last week. I no longer need the C-PAP that I used for ten years. My borderline diabetes is completely gone and all of my diet related blood values are normal now. WOW!

The benefits just go on and on. I am very grateful for the VSG for many reasons but especially for how it keeps my overeating in check. But since I gained 15 lbs last year I know I cannot afford to allow myself to gain again over this years holidays like I did last year.

I stay in good contact with the staff at my bariatric clinic even though I've made poor choices and gained some weight. They couldn't be more supportive and reasonable. They never scold me or make me feel badly about myself - goodness they don't have to. I am expert at that. In supporting me to stay on track they ask me what my goals are and then help me break them down so I am working on one "baby step" at a time.

So currently my goal is to walk daily - I am doing it. My next goal is to go back on the pre-op diet for 2 weeks to detox from the sugar and refined carbs and get back on track with the healthy foods - to start June 1. When asked what my goals were I included both of the above plus several other things and I wanted to get them all done NOW - or by yesterday if doable - so my nutritionist and nurse that I saw a few weeks ago were hugely important in helping me make reasonable and doable goals.

I'm anxious about June 1 and the pre-op diet. I tell myself it is because of an extremely limited food budget and the expense of veggies and "healthy foods", I tell myself I'm afraid I can't do it. But I think the truth is my food addict within does not want to give up the sweets and junk foods. So in order to accomplish this I must become gently more loving and accepting of myself and my issues. Being stern with myself is a setup to fail and that is a setup to comfort myself with the "bad-for-me" foods. I need to be kind and loving to me, and also if I make a mistake it is okay. The important thing is moving forward and making changes to the positive one at a time.

I sssooooooo want to learn how to comfort myself and love myself and reward myself with things other than food. It has been quite the challenge to find something that makes me feel as comforted as sweets (and that comfort is brief anyway because it soon turns to misery).

I know one thing that is wonderful for me to receive in my life is physical affection and as a single woman that hasn't been easy to figure out. But friends give wonderful hugs, and so do loving family members, as do 12 steppers when I get to meetings. And I've just become a dog-companion again to a sweet little rescue poodle, whose owner died - after 3 yrs of being without a pet.

Yoga often feels that positive and comforting - after the practice. One other thing that does is relaxation with uplifting music in a meditative state.

I'd love to hear what works for others. My quest is things that make me feel comforted and happy as I used to think sweets did.

Anonymous in Maine

Comments

3 years out starting and I can't stop eating sweets

by: Anonymous

My biggest struggle is sweets. I can't stop eating sweets. I eat candy, cookies, cake and ice cream. I eat a small portion one scoop, bit size candy or one cookie. Does anyone outer have the same sweet issues and what are you doing to control it?> Editor's note: this full post about sweets and answers to it has been moved to its own Struggling with Sweets After Weight Loss Surgery page (click here to access)

disappointed at my lack of control

by: meme

I am 2 years post op... I initially lost 110 lbs. I have gained 15 back. I am so disappointed in myself.... The OREO THINS. I love them!

I no longer buy them because I have no ability to refrain from the golden cookies with the filling. I cannot eat just one. I am very active and eat right, I just eat more than I should. Who can refuse a salad with hot grilled chicken? I always seem to be hungry. I know that part of it is mental and part of its stress.... Stressful occupation and a 16-year-old boy (Trying to keep the grades acceptable for college admission!)

Ok... I just re-read what I wrote.... that is pathetic. I spent the time and money to become a healthier person and I am sabotaging myself.... GET A GRIP!

Thanks for a place for catharsis!

drinking after have gvs 2 years ago

by: Anonymous

I agree with the sales person about drinking. I drink at home alone, after third drink I usually don't remember anything, I wake up in my bed and feel dehydrated, I have to drink a liter of water before showering or calling in sick.

I drink Vodka and water, very low in sweets. I started drinking at 6, ends at 9, drink half a liter I do not drink during the day or if out, just at home alone. I know AA is the answer but seems so scary to go. I went to an alcohol class with a friend and found out with one beer, wine, or shot my blood alcohol lever is .08. This makes it so I don't eat and I am sore all the time.

I am surprised not more of us are not drinkers. I have gone from 430 lbs to 250lbs. I just never knew how easy it would be to be additive, I hope I helped in some way.

Best to all.

Eating after surgery

by: Anonymous

Hello, I had my sleeve 8 years ago and was absolutely happy with results.

About two years ago I began eating things that I shouldn't have been like coke instead of water. I started snacking bc I lost the wt and didn't feel in my mind I would gain from going off the diet at times.

Unfortunately, for me the every now and then cake or ice cream eventually became more than occasional and now I have put back on weight and can't seem to get back on the protein diet and to the gym. So please get a handle on the things u should not eat. I don't feel like I have sleeve anymore unless I overeat and vomit. Please please don't think by sometimes eating that cake or a sip of that coke won't affect all the work you put into being healthy.

Good luck,
Brenda

Sweet cravings

by: Anonymous

Congrats...I'm a year and a half post op I've lost 116 lbs. I haven't lost anymore pounds but I'm coming down in inches. I have no regrets! Regarding the sweet eaters...I too love sweets & only treat myself on the weekends. I buy treats from Costco (mini brownies etc) & freeze them so I only take one or two. I find during the week if I want sweets I eat a granola bar smeared with peanut butter..or have a 1/2 bowl of honeynut cheerios with half a banana.

Also I find drinking a protein drink or eating a protein bar helps curb the sweet desire. I wish you and everyone else continued success!

Weight regained

by: Anonymous

I had gastric bypass surgery about 4 years ago.

I weighed over 300 lbs when I started the surgery process. My lowest weight after surgery was around 160. Then I started working nights at a restaurant. There was no particularly healthy food available to me at work, and I never knew if I was going to get a break, or how long it would last if I got one. I would eat whatever I could find at work, usually carbs, then eat again when I got home. I started eating sweets occasionally, and because I didn't get home until midnight or later, I slept late, and couldn't find the time to exercise.

I now weigh around 190, and I'm terrified. I can't stop eating unhealthy foods. I don't want to gain any more weight, and I hate the way I look. Most of all, I really don't want to go back to the surgeon for my next post-op appointment, I'm afraid of being judged.

Renewing of the Mind

by: ASmith

I'm a 287lbs 50yr old woman who for many years have watched what I ate to only lose a max of 30 lbs on every diet known to man. One day I prayed for a solution and eating "lifestyle" that I can live with til eternity.

A family member introduced me to juicing which led me to consider a vegetarian/vegan (plant based) lifestyle. I viewed Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives on Netflix to educate myself on food, the makeup of food, how it reacts in the body, how my body reacts to certain food and what the FDA allows to be put in food to make up fat from the beginning. These EDUCATIONAL video completely renewed my mind. I've lost a few pounds (I don't really look at lbs), several inches and 2 dress sizes!

So with that said, I am now considering VSG, not for vanity reasons but for skeletal reasons. I've had meniscus surgery in both knees and have 2 bulging discs in my back. This is not allowing me to exercise to the level I use to, to loose the weight I need. I hear patients say they regain the weight but I also see the foods that they are eating.

During this process we have to RENEW OUR MINDS! We have to view food in a different light. Food is for nutrition not for entertainment or comfort. I think for me to be successful AFTER the procedure, it started 9 months ago when I changed the way I viewed food and the way I ate. I continue to eat vegetarian, limited amounts of refined sugar, I completely eliminated artificial sweeteners (my migraines when completely away), and I drink tons of water. But we have to renew our minds when it comes to eating.

Start educating yourself on food and the effects it has on your body. Try Netflix's Forks over Knives, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Hungry for Change (GREAT ONE), and Food Inc. to start. We can do this! But it starts with how we think. Food is not an enemy, its our thinking.

Now I can be at dinner with friends and when they order a big burger or fried chicken and mashed potatoes it does not effect me. I don't have the yearning for that type of food. I now get just excited about my salad or my baked potato or my whole wheat pasta with marinara topped with grilled peppers, onions, and mushrooms as they do about their burger!

I hope this helps someone.

Eating plans

by: Anonymous

I found an Instagram account with detailed breakdowns on what she is eating everyday post surgery, and have found it immensely helpful.

Some days I just copy what she ate to take the pain out of planning.

Maybe you would find it as helpful as I have!

https://instagram.com/sleevedin2015/

Alcohol Consumption (above)

by: Anonymous in ME

Today is my 64th birthday and I am incredibly grateful to still be here to celebrate.

Also for the VSG.

Even though I did not yet lose all my weight - at 2 yrs post-op - still have 50 lbs to reach goal - my smaller stomach keeps me from eating more and thus I am able to maintain my 130 lb weight loss.

NO I will not be having a birthday cake or booze and it is FINE with me - truly - because having regained my mobility and now enjoying life again is ENOUGH! I never thought abstaining from sweets would be doable or okay with me but it truly is.

RE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: Alcohol is very high in sugar AND calories and you can probably drink a lot more calories than you can eat at one time - I could. Alcoholics used to be told to eat candy for alcohol cravings - it is the sugar they actually crave. Many of us so obese are addicted to sugar but didn't know it - I am.

It is sad to hear you have switched addictions. But for finding AA first I likely would have done same. I celebrated 29 years sobriety in May. But sugar is my primary addiction so it took me many more years to be willing to give that up for my health. Please do all you can to find healing and wellness. It is so worth it.

My suggestion? if you don't know of any AA meetings in your area - call the 800 AA hotline - can get number from directory assistance - and ask a member to pick you up and take you to a meeting.

Anonymous In Maine

6 months out

by: Anonymous

I was 392, 6"5' tall male. Lost 34 lbs pre op and 40 post op. I have been at 320 for 2 months now. My own fault, I switched addictions to alcohol. I have always been a drinker but now I am addicted.

The only waffle is to abstain from alcohol. One drink leads to more and I do not tolerate alcohol like I used to. I get buzzed on two drinks and then they slide down. This is dangerous as I have to entertain clients at times. I do not drink then or I would lose my job. But when I get back to my hotel room there is usually a bottle chilling in the freezer.

I need to get help. Anyone else having this experience?

Can't mend your mind.

by: Anonymous

I'm 5 months post gastric sleeve, I got fat by making bad eating choices. I'm convinced it happened to me because of some kind of mental problem, I knew I was making bad choices and hated what it did to me but I still ate badly.

I have lost about 100 lbs since my op. I hate eating the right foods and consequently, I still eat the wrong food. Today I decided to try a diet soda drink because I want one. So far so good.

I know I sound like an idiot but if I was able to make the right choices I would have never got obese. They've helped me to lose some Weight but they can not mend my mind. (So far).

What am I doing wrong?

by: Anonymous

I am 2 years out and only lost about 60 lbs total, I recently put on about 10 lbs over the holidays and winter months.

For the most part, I try to make healthy choices, I don't drink soda or use refined sugar, I stopped drinking wine and alcoholic beverages, carbs are my nemesis, but I try to avoid them as much as possible and go to the gym at least 2-3 times a week, and I walk everywhere I can, but no matter what I do I cannot seem to pass the 210 mark on the scale.

My pre-op weight was 271, my goal is 185-190. At this point, I almost feel like that is an impossible dream! I feel hungry all the time and I also noticed I can eat a lot more now and that scares me! I used to be able to only eat a cup of food at a sitting, if that, now I can eat 2-3 cups and not still feel full. I used to be able to only eat once slice of pizza, sans crust, now I can eat two whole slices and about an hour later, I can eat 2 more. This is why I can no longer order a whole pizza!

Even healthy options like salad, I find I can eat an entire large bowl of salad and still not feel like I over ate. It's getting really frustrating! I know the stomach stretches eventually, but I feel like I can almost eat as much as I was able to before the surgery. I was told my stomach would never stretch to the size it was, but I'm having my doubts about that.

The Struggle is Real

by: Anonymous

I am 27 months out. My highest weight was 300 lbs. I am 5'9" (female) and I have a large frame. I wasn't always that large. I have always had to watch what I eat though.

Around the age of 20, I began gaining weight. I wasn't playing sports anymore and I stopped clubbing. After 2 kids and 8 years, I was a whopping 300 lbs. My husband has always had to watch his weight as well. I had the VSG because my Dr. thought it was the best choice for me. He wanted my goal weight to be 143 lbs. It took 1 year to have the surgery. In that year I lost about 30 lbs. On the say of my VSG I weighed 268lbs and 5 months out, I weighed 190 lbs.

I ate what I wanted at that point because I was very active. I got down to 180 lbs and my Dr. decided that with my frame I didn't need to lose much more. I began drinking more and more soda and starbucks. I do like sweets but prefer soda and salty carbs. My husband lost weight on his own. He went from 320 to 230. He looked amazing! He is a big guy and is solid.

Well...at 18 months out, I stopped being as active. My daughter didn't want to go to her usual summer program, so on my days off from work, she was tied to my hip. I love my kids but my oldest always wants to stay at home. I like going to the pool and tanning. I also stopped smoking. So..no active lifestyle and no smoking = snacking. My husband started bringing home sweet tea, soda, junk food etc. When it isn't in the house, I don't want it.

I think I finally got through to him today. He gained a lot back too and wants to get healthy again. I now weigh 210 lbs. My personal goal is 160 lbs. I hate myself for gaining the weight. I have to start grocery shopping myself and not let my hubby. I need to pack my lunch and prepare dinners ahead of time. I am VERY busy. I can eat more than I used to be able to. That scares me. I also hate how expensive healthier food is compared to fast food. I do feel hunger but maybe it is just in my head?

When I am really busy I don't think about it but as soon as I smell food...and realize I haven't had lunch yet...I immediately feel hungry. I guess I will suck it up, spend a crazy amount of $$ on protein drinks and bars.

That's the price I have to pay to be sexy.

Gastric by pass

by: Ohio

I am 21 mos. post GBP, my start wt. was 260lb my final wt. is 132lb. I eat 3.5-4 oz.x3 daily.

Anything over this is painful. I do not experience dumping. I do experience low blood sugars. I can tolerate sugar in moderation. Instead of a candy bar I have a kiss when needed.

Unfortunately, I sabotaged myself to stop wt. loss. I started eating chocolate when it tastes very bad to me. Now I have started to like it again. I still don't feel hunger ever. I know I will loose more wt. if I don't do this. My co-workers tell me I look sickly and to not loose anymore wt.

I feel great but weak and tired at the same time. I know if I'm not careful I can easily cross the line.

In need of support

by: Kerrie

I have gone from 213.4kgs (470lbs) to 123kgs (270lbs) two years post op.

I have a real problem with sweets. I am addicted to them. I am just about to try an experiment suggested by another person with the same issues and that is to have just one naughty day a week where I can have my sweets. It means every other day is very regimented with food and exercise except that one day.

I want to lose another 40kgs (88lbs) before I have some sin reduction surgery. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

My email address is as follows: kerrieorourke@hotmail.com

Cheers,
Kerrie

same boat with me.

by: margaret

I have been 3 yrs post-op.

I am trying to control myself. Its funny, I started with muffins.

I have gained 15 lbs post op. I always try to control. I no longer take the muffins or a BCN and egg sandwich. That is good, but my husband brings temptations around me and I lose control. But he is the first one to point out my stomach.

I really want to get back because everything is tight to wear. I need support.

I am menopausal also almost. So I have the estrogen roll. I am hungry but really don't eat a lot. So part of the weight gain is menopausal.

I eat no fast food. Or ever drink soda. Maybe I eat out of fear, trying to control too much.

Slippery Slope

by: Anonymous in Maine

Congratulations, Waning Woman, TX, on your success after VSG.

I am 16 months post-op VSG. I lost 70 lbs in 5-6 months after the surgery and 60 lbs pre-surgery for a total of 130 lost, down to 250 from 384. I am very pleased with my success as well.

I do have an addiction to sugar and wheat and know I must abstain from them lifelong to be successful with recovery from my overeating. However a few months ago I decided it would probably be okay for me to have a "healthy" muffin, and it was. But I started doing it more frequently and eventually the addiction cravings kicked in.

I am now finding myself overeating to the point of fullness, also eating sweets daily. I've gained about 4 pounds as well, it is ironic that small amounts of refined carbohydrates will cause the weight gain whereas no amount of healthy foods will.

I must get myself motivated and determined to sit through the withdrawal and cravings again so I can get back on track.

My new found health means too much to me to just let it go. However an addiction being an addiction I am finding it extremely difficult to get back on track. Also I am fearful that this repeated full stomach may cause me some problems even this far post-op.

I am hopeful you or others may have just the right words to share with me to help me get motivated again.

Sincerely,
Anonymous in Maine

trying it again

by: Anonymous

I had my sleeve Fed 2012. I did really good, I was 239lbs at 5"2 which was big for a short person and no one in my family circle or friends told me I was that big... and had high BP, pre-diabetic, leg pains, high cholesterol, low self-esteem, I couldn't run or play with my kids or grandkids or even walk up the stairs without huffing and puffing, it was awful... but I got the sleeve 2/9/12....... for the pre-op diet I lost 20lbs on the liquid diet then after my surgery I went down to 127lbs. From 239 to 127lbs, everyone said I looked great and that I lost another person. I was doing great then my husband had the surgery too.

It was a tough journey but I made it..... but I have been slowly gaining weight, it started with 2lbs, then 4 more and more I have gained a total of 20lbs.... I am scared of becoming the person I was before.... I can eat more and I do get hungry more then before, I know they say your stomach can stretch and I believe it.

I am going to try to eat right and I don't drink any soda at all..... its only water or skim milk for me. I am going to start minding what I eat and how much I do eat and try to exercise more cause I think that is part of my down fall cause I have stopped.

To look at me, I still look OK, but I am feeling bad about myself again and I am not happy with myself. I want to feel good about me again....... and advise would be helpful...

2 yrs post op

by: discouraged in Texas

I am so happy to see that I am not alone.

I started off doing really well after surgery and had reached my realistic goal of 170 lbs. but it seems that now I can eat more and more frequently. I have never been a big fan of physical fitness so I do little if any walking outside of what I do at work. I think that is what has contributed to my weight gain.

I am so afraid to get on the scale, I dont know how much I have gained but the fear is overwhelming.

How can I get back on track?

Eating for comfort

by: Jenna

I am two years postop. My greatest challenge has been that when I eat, I get full so quickly, that my brain is not satisfied with the "Eating experience".

I very quickly found that I can eat cheese doodles for the same length of time as I did before the surgery. This is because processed foods do not fill us up as quickly as healthy protein filled foods. I stop craving sweets because of the surgery and I still do not crave any kind of cookie, cake, pie, or ice cream. My only craving is salty snacks and they have done their damage as far as regaining some weight.

I think the problem for many of us is that we need to stop using food to comfort and soothe us and only to nourish us. This is My goal: to destress and be happy without using food to do it.

Day 3 post operation

by: Simon

Thanks for all these comments. I'm at the start of my journey. 6ft and 300lb start weight!

ONE YEAR OUT

by: KATHY

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm pleased that I'm pretty much on course with yours. Through much trial and error I've realized that just because something tastes really great I MUST stop eating the proper amount or, up it comes!

I just put it away and if it's something that I can have later, I eat it at another meal. I can eat 6 potato chips, not the whole bag, 1 or 2 cookies, not the box, etc.

I now eat to live and life is soooooo much better. I do eat LOTS of protein and if I can't eat, I keep my protein drinks on hand.

Happy with my weight, might lose 10 more lbs, but I'm really ok with today!
Good luck to all those out there, my surgery anniversary is 9/10/15 and I've lost a total of 143 lbs. Hate the flappy "bat wings" but I keloid terribly and that surgery is out of the question. Besides, if that's all I have to think about, I'm blessed (plus, Spanx has a product that fits over upper arms to wear under blouses, etc. I can do that!) Thanks for hearing and listening.

One more thing. You MUST take a great vitimin supplement. Our bodies need to rebuild and this keeps us level. I have liquid B12 taken under the tongue plus a multi vitamin that disolves in water. Makes a huge difference in energy level and feeling well. My eyesight has improved considerably, lovely side effect and quite unexpected, but very welcome.

Kathy

Behavior Modification

by: LINDA

Has anyone thought about hypnosis? I am 5 weeks out of gastric sleeve surgery and have lost 20 pounds. I find that, even though I can't eat much at one sitting, I am eating multiple times a day. No more weight is coming off.

As a child, I was sometimes without food, and I think that childhood situation started a lifetime of overeating habit as an adult. I am going to try, through hypnotherapy, to get to the root of what's 'eating' me so that I can get a hold on this feeling that I might not have another chance to eat, etc.

Has anyone had hypnotherapy or any other similar modalities to help modify eating behavior?

Sweet

by: Meka

Hello everyone,

I am 4 months post-op and down 38 pounds, which seems to be low on the losing side but I will take it. I too am addicted to sweets!

Those oreo thins are the devil because they should not be sooo very good! I thought the VSG would take away my desires for sweets, but nope. I will make my tool work for me by just avoiding sweets at all costs.

Anticipating Gastric Sleeve Procedure

by: Maria

I anticipate having the gastric sleeve procedure which is why I decided to read the comments posted here.

I certainly can relate to those who are dealing with the sweets cravings. I've been reading about the affect ceylon cinnamon has on decreasing sweet cravings. I purchased a bottle in capsule form but have yet to try them.

Freshly post-op, realizing how much is psychological

by: Anonymous

I have found the comments on this article very telling, in light of the experiences I'm having post-op. I'm only two weeks out from a VSG, but I find that I'm really mourning over food and eating. Some of it may be the fact that I've been doing nothing but drinking and eating fluids for four weeks now, but I know that most of it is just because for my entire life food has been a reliable and non-judgmental friend.

Stress, boredom, worry, you name it...food soothed it. Eating made me happy. Not long-term, of course but in the moment it helped. The enjoyment of it, the freedom of eating whatever I felt like having, it's all a tough thing to let go of. I know I have to, and I am - my stomach will enforce that, to a large degree. At least for most of the year to come.

The comments here of people who have struggled mentally/emotionally and regained really inform me of how important it is that I overcome these mental hurdles, while I'm working on the physical ones. Otherwise, I'll never be in the kind of shape I want to be in, and I may end up regaining my weight, making the entire ordeal a waste. I can't let that happen.

I'm mourning food and I'm preoccupied with it, but I need to let it go. I've had a lot of years with it, and it hasn't done me any favors. Time to let it go.

Re: Freshly post-op, realizing how much is psychological

by: Tiny Stomach

Dear Anonymous,

I feel like I could have written your comment. I'm almost three weeks post sleeve op and week two was very dark.

I faced my food addiction; realized all of the things you said -- it's so psychological.

This week I'm feeling better. AND I can see a difference in my face. I think once I feel and look different (not just numbers on a scale), I'll feel more positive about the food sacrifices.

Thank goodness for communities like these.

I only know one person who's gone through the surgery and am surrounded by very fit young people at work. I don't have anyone else at home to tempt me with 'bad' food, but I also don't have a cheerleader with me in the evenings...when I REALLY want to order a cheese pizza! ; )

So I just keep drinking water and fitting in the protein and trusting that the scales will balance for my mind to be at peace with my new relationship with food.

Thank you for posting.

Thinking of getting sleeved... need advice!

by: Dixie

I have read through all your stories and I'm so grateful for the REAL stories. Everywhere I turn I only get the fluffy, everything is beautiful stories and I want to make sure I'm really aware and fully informed before embarking on this journey.

I really need advice about the dos and don'ts before I start this journey. I will be spending a TON of money on this and I want to make sure that I am a success story.

I feel like the recurring theme is the addiction to sweets and I definitely feel like that is my story as well. Sweets also include alcohol. I'm having a bit of sadness over giving up alcohol... I'm nowhere near and alcoholic but I do have a few drinks every weekend, it's always been like a reward for me.... I just need advice!

Anything you can throw at me I will be eternally grateful! Thanks in advance! :)

What does the future hold?

by: Conflicted

I have been through the steps and made it right to setting the surgery date and backed out because of the financial part of it. I now have insurance that will cover and I started the program again. I just got the approval yesterday. I made my weight and now its the waiting game prior to surgery.

This morning my husband told me he really wished I wouldn't do this. That he is just worried something will go wrong or that I'll suffer for the rest of my life because I can only have a tiny amount of food. I understand his fears and to help explain them, I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor. Lumpectomy the first time, double mastectomy with reconstruction the second. Only my reconstruction didn't happen. 6 surgeries and 3 infections causing those, my plastic surgeon dropped me. My chest is a mess and my choice was either the VGS or finding another plastic surgeon. I figured I need the weight off before I need new boobies.

Also, I had a hysterectomy in 2008 and had that mesh used on my bladder and all. That went real bad but I am most certainly not alone in that area. Millions of women suffered from that. So I pointed that out to him this morning. Maybe it has to do with the foreign object in my body that causes the issues. With the reconstruction I had expanders (basically heavy duty water balloons) placed under the chest muscle and I'm not positive that my surgeon didn't have some to do with the infections. I have never had that issue in my life. Even after the hysterectomy I didn't get infected. It just caused other problems.

So, now I am here at a crossroads. He said he will support me either way but he is just worried. My question is after the initial diet after surgery, how large of meals and what kind of foods can you have? I know none of it should be in excess but will I be able to go to Olive Garden with him? And does anyone know what the numbers are like on post-surgery complications?

Any help would be fantastic.

Wine

by: I love wine

Does anyone drink wine post op?

20 Months Post Op

by: Christina

I am 20 months post op...I eat what I want and I drink what I want. I just engage in smaller portions. When we go out to eat, I order an appetizer instead of a meal and I will pick off my husband's plate. I was given a card by my doctor stating "I had the gastric sleeve" and many restaurants will allow me to order a child's meal or do one trip to the buffet when I present it to the server. I drink wine and mixed drinks and sometimes beer but the carbonation does get to me so when I have pop it is always diet and very often "flat".

Since having the sleeve, I have had to have my esophagus and part of my stomach stretched, my gallbladder removed, and a hysterectomy done. The hysterectomy was not due to the sleeve but as a result of the sleeve, the healing process was slower than it would have been otherwise.

I was never able to find a shake that did not make me sick, I take a handful of vitamins daily and I still take a chewy multivitamin. I have days when I eat and days when food has no appeal and makes me nauseous. The enzymes or hormones that tell my brain I am hungry were removed when I had the gastric sleeve done so I never really know if I am hungry or not so on good days I graze (eating a little food at a time all day long).

I went from 289 lbs to 155 lbs and I am happy with the weight loss and do not regret having the surgery at all. It was a transition for me because I did not realize how much of my life and social activities revolved around food until after I had the sleeve done.

Two Days Pre-Op

by: bkjol0691

I have a huge weakness for pastries. Add that to a certain amount of constant stress and you can be overweight very easily. I feel like I have my food habits under control. I am male, just under 6 ft tall, my highest weight was about 325 (can't say for sure, my old scale would only go up to 305) and I'm down to 277 just two days prior to Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. This was done with simple changes to my diet and paying attention to what/when I was eating.

I would like to get down to about 180 if I can (my lowest weight ever was 160) and I'm hoping the procedure can get me there. Need to lose 98 lbs to make it.

Thank you all for posting here, it reminds me that the procedure is just one tool, not a magical answer.

Best of luck everyone

The struggle is real

by: Di

I am 18 months out from surgery and had a big hurdle with low B12 about a year out which caused me to feel depressed and unmotivated, I quit my gym and started eating all the bad foods again, Cheetos and chocolate on the couch. I finally got sorted and am getting B12 injections regularly now and things are looking up again. I'm back at the gym 6 days a week and working on strength training, not just cardio and I feel in a much better place mentally.

I read nasty comments sometimes from people saying that surgery is an easy way out and they have no idea how hard it is to get over the food habits. The emotional eating and the changes you have to make to have this work. I was reading the comments and am going to make a poster for home from it "food is for nutrition, not entertainment or comfort" this is honestly the most simple and beautiful statement.

So thank you and I will use it as a daily reminder that I eat to give my body fuel not to comfort myself or because I'm bored.

I still have a long way to go, but I will get there, best wishes to everyone and know that we can do this!

1 year & 3 months post gastric sleeve surgery.

by: Isaac Washington

I eat pretty much what I want, just not nearly as much as I used to.

I'm more active than i used to & even have my sweets every now and again. Periodically when I weigh myself I find I'm still losing weight.

I've gone from almost 350lbs to 206lbs. I feel great in the skin that I'm in.

Pre op

by: Joe

Im going through the process for my gastric sleeve surgery. I've read a lot more pros than cons but I cant help being apprehensive.

Of course the complications scare me. There seems to be some extreme cases of severe and life changing complications, and not for the better. Any input would be appreciated.

!.5 years out

by: Jeff

I am happy to say I've reached my goal weight!!! I started at 350 lbs down to 172 whoo hoo! It's possible!

Food still sucks in some ways. Anything fast food related will come back up about 5 minutes after eating. It's a lesson and I refuse to learn I guess. I've tried taco bell 3x post op and every time its ended up dumping out of me almost instantly.

I will successfully eat a chili cheese burrito again dammit! I will! Most days I start with 2 eggs and 2 piece of bacon or diced ham. Sometimes cottage cheese, nuts and fruit are great options too. Lunches are pretty easy, I either make a wrap at home and take it to work or buy from a vendor but always grease free proteins and avoid bread products or rice.

Dinners are tricky, its hard to cook with this procedure. It feels so wasteful making a complete recipe because of the limited capacity I can hold. Often, I end up stacking containers with leftovers - forced to endure the same meal for about a week. That's a bit dull.

I think my relationship to food has dulled severely, I no longer seek out flavor. I eat because of what time it is. I often eat with no actual hunger at all.

My biggest concern is trying to stay hydrated while trying to build muscle now that the fat is gone the goal is to add size in a different form and I'm finding that its very hard to get enough protein in my system to build on. I'm very happy with my results and am now seeking options to reduce some of the excess skin, as i kind of look like a flying squirrel if it was shaved down now lol.

I'm happy that so many other people have had similar experiences in this thread and am sorry for those that haven't reached their goals and hope they find ways to make it happen for themselves. I know that the food was only a portion of it and my greatest successes were found in the gym.

What works for one may not for the next I got lucky and found Jiu jitsu and it has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I thank the surgery for the kickstart but owe the results to the blood sweat and tears lost on the mats. Stay strong my fellow sleeves and figure out what works for you and do it until you cant do anymore.

by: Patrick Furlong

Congrats on your weight loss and that's awesome you found jiu jitsu!

Congratulations

by: bkjol0691

Am I seeing that right, 350 down to 172 in 6 months? That's outstanding. Congratulations on your success.

Protein

by: Liane

Can you ever eat to much protein ?

Inspiration

by: Tiffany

I just want to say that you all inspire me.

I'm 4 years post op VSG. I went from 256 to 139. Now I'm back up to 170 and here I am searching the internet for an answer as to why I can't stop gaining.

It's me. It's us. We're still human, and sometimes it's easy to forget that after going through such a fantastic superhuman transformation. I don't want to say that I'm glad you are all struggling - but I'm glad that I'm not the only one.

Just know that the fact that you are all here, worrying over this, is proof that you are still in this game - still superhuman. We got this...we got this then and we got this now.

Best of luck!
xoxo

Are you truly an addict ?

by: Fran

I am almost 2 years post VGS and have gained about 15-20 lbs just in the last 6 months. It’s amazing to me that I went through the surgery and months of recovery and can still not do what I’m supposed to do regarding eating !!!! l I did well until I allowed myself to have that first piece of bread !!

I believe that I am truly a food addict ! For lack of a better word, I also believe that I have an “allergy” to flour and sugar.

When I have eliminated the sugar and flour my addictive eating is gone. I also feel that my food needs to be simple....nutritious but simple. Plain veggies, meat etc... I need to do it day by day and be WILLING to stay within my parameters.

I just started going to Food Addicts Annonymous. I need the support of people like me and need to be reminded that I am a food addict.

I'm in your shoes

by: Sheila

Reading this was almost like you are writing all about me but I am only 7 months out and still have more weight to go. I just keep making bad food choices.

2.5 yrs post op sleeve

by: Sonja

I am about 2 and a half yrs post op best life change ever.

My disc issues have not disappeared but the pain has from fibromyalgia also I am at the gym 5to7 days a week I feel life is good.

Plateau from Hell....

by: Kathleen W.

I had gastric sleeve surgery on 10/14/15. I was 360 lbs. on the day of my surgery (377 was my highest weight, several months before surgery). I got to 250 in about 11 months, and blam! Stuck there ever since. I've stopped eating some foods; no change. I've upped my activity; no change. Short of becoming a gym rat and going back to the liquid phase, what can I do to lose the last 80-100 pounds I have to lose? I'm beyond frustrated..... I do NOT want my pouch to stretch out or expand or whatever.

ANY suggestions would be really helpful. My doctor (and his nutritionist) have offered very little in terms of suggestions other than to say to "exercise an hour a day every day." Do all of you do that? Who has time to do that?!

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Questions

by: Jmp

On third week post op and wonder what I can eat safely? I don’t like protein shakes and don’t drink them. I am always so tired. Stomach seems to hurt after I drink soup. Having trouble with depression. Any ideas and will it get better? Thank you all

9 Days Post OP

by: Casra

And I'm starving, all the time. I am following the diet and the water, I've lost 32 lbs since start of pre-op diet to today... but it seems I'm constantly hungry. Eating is a miserable experience still.

I honestly do not know what I will do.

Start weight was 361 6'1"

I am craving Wheaties (of all things) right now, I'd kill for a bowl of it. I just feel I made a huge mistake.

May 2016 sleeve surgery

by: Fran

I have been holding my own before surgery was 232 I am now 149... I find myself hungry at night any recommendations

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