I am now 4 months, 3 dress sizes smaller and 28kg lighter post Gastric Sleeve weight loss surgery. You can read more here about why I chose to have the surgery.
Thank you to everybody for your wonderful support after my initial post I shared about my surgery. The response was overwhelming and truly touched my heart, you are such an amazing community, thank you. I also received many personal emails from people who are considering the surgery as well, so today I wanted to share with you how I feel now living post Gastric Sleeve surgery.
The first month was the hardest as gastric sleeve surgery is removing two-thirds of your stomach, so you need to look after it and learn the new volumes of food and fluid that your body can now intake. In the beginning it is very little amounts and they tell you to sip your drinks very slowly. As the stomach is tolerating its new size after the surgery I could only drink fluid for the first week, soups and I preferred watered Gatorade to plain water. Over the period of a 6 weeks food can be eaten in pureed form, then mashed, then soft, then normal. During this time the food is rather boring, but I had no desire to want to eat anything else. Whist it was hard, it was very much worth it.
Many lap band surgery patients throw up when eating, but it’s very different for sleevers (sleevers is what Gastric Sleeve patients call themselves) as we can feel when we are full. This feeling takes a while to understand, for me I feel it just below my chest, when I am full I don’t have the desire or want to eat more. I have only thrown up twice, first time I am sure was because I ate too fast and the 2nd was because I sculled a glass of water, forgetting that I couldn’t. I can drink normally now (just no sculling), but can’t drink 1/2 hour before or after I eat, this will more than likely be my normal for the rest of my life. The reason why sleevers can’t drink before a meal if because we don’t want to fill up your stomach with water, rather we need to fill the stomach up with nutritious food. Then 1/2 hour after because the stomach will be full of food and no room for water.
In the beginning I could only eat a few tablespoons of puree, now 4 months later I am eating approximately 1 cup of dinner. Initially I was eating food from the kids Ikea snack bowls. As an adult eating meals from these bowls isn’t exactly appealing, so I purchased some small china bowls from Myer (can’t find link sorry) that fit perfectly in the size of my hand, big enough for a few scoops of yoghurt. I also eat my dinner from a side plate, the large plates are too big for the little amount of food that I eat.
Here is a few of our dinners recently, hubby’s on the left, mine of the right.
One typical day of eating for me:
Breakfast: 1 weetbix with small amount of trim milk
Snack: Coffee with fruit
Lunch: Turkey sandwich on 12 seed wholemeal bread with crusts removed (crusts fill me up too easily) or 1 1/2 cruskits with 1/2 tin salmon
Snack: Coffee, 3 crackers and hommus
Dinner: small portion normal healthy meal
Snack: 1/2 tub yogurt
I have only had one side effect from the surgery and that is hair loss. I was told about the possibility of hair loss prior to surgery and that taking vitamins and eating protein should avoid it. Despite following these instructions I am losing a lot of hair each day. It falls out when I wash my hair and also when I comb it. I experience hair loss after my pregnancies, but never to this extent. I am actually balding in some areas(you can see in the picture below that I don’t have much hair around my ears). The hair loss is because my body is in shock from the drastic change in my diet, not eating the same amount of nutrients as I was before. I am eating very healthily, only drink water, coffee and the occasional juice, so hopefully it will improve soon. I cut my hair a few weeks ago, because it was starting to look straggly and my hairdresser agreed for its health it needed to be shorter. I cried because I was trying to grow my hair but I actually have grown to really like it. Losing my hair has been very hard emotionally, it is becoming so thin, a girls hair means a lot, I have always looked after my hair, made sure it’s neat and presentable. I’m not sure how I will feel if it doesn’t ease soon.
I take vitamins each day, Womens Multivitamin, Hair Skin and Nails, Fish Oil and Vitamin D.
Now I have tried to be very honest with you above with the symptoms and how I have felt, but despite all that I have absolutely no regrets about the surgery, I am now 28kg lighter and I feel amazing. I can now cross my legs when I sit, I can comfortably paint my toe nails, I can run, I can walk the length of the shopping centre and not be out of breath. I absolutely know I have made the right decision. It is a complete lifestyle change, but it was the best decision I have ever made.