My 1 year update of my last weightloss surgery

This week marks one year since I’ve had my second weight loss surgery so I thought it was a good time to give you an update about my progress, how I have been feeling and any ups and downs through the process.

A quick recap, around this same time 5 years ago I had my first gastric sleeve surgery, I lost 40kg, but after a year I started gaining weight and eventually over the next 2 years I put over half of that back on.  I struggled emotionally and my self confidence was depleted. You can read my story here about why I chose to have a second surgery, revisional gastric sleeve with a Loop Duodenal Switch Procedure (SIPS, a form of mini bypass).

  READ MORE: all my past posts about my weightloss journey here.

This past year I have lost 26kg and have stalled with my weightloss the past 4 months bouncing up and down a kilo.  Funnily, it’s the exact same weight that I stalled at last time so I’m determined to make sure I don’t start putting weight back on.  I don’t have a set goal of how much I wanted to lose, I just wanted to make it into a healthy BMI range, I still have 5-8kg to go to reach the range I was hoping for.

I have had very high cholesterol for as long as I can remember.  A few weeks ago I had a blood test checking all my vitamin levels and also had my cholesterol checked.  I had quite a few vitamin levels that were of concern but for the first time my cholesterol was NORMAL, I did the biggest happy dance!!!!  Quite a few of my vitamin levels were low, Vitamin A (which I am trying to increase with the right food choices), B12 and Vitamin D.  My vitamin D has always been low, I’m not a fan of spending time in the sun (I burn pretty much instantly and had a Melanoma removed a few years ago) and unfortunately the vitamins I’m taking to help increase it haven’t worked so I recently got a Vitamin D infusion.  Before my surgery 12 months ago my iron levels were very low, I was given an iron infusion whilst I was in the hospital shortly after my surgery, thankfully my levels have remained steady since.  My surgeon’s office are getting me in regularly to keep an eye on my vitamin levels and we are working out a plan together to get them to a healthy range.

I am currently a size 14, 4 dress sizes down from my heaviest.  I have never been a fan of shopping.  I have to say I’m still not, however I do feel like I know what looks good on me now, what my style is and I do enjoy walking into any shop knowing that their clothes will fit me!  My winter style is jeans, a plain shirt and a longer cardigan with white lace-up leather sneakers.

  These are the lace-up sneakers I LOVE, visit website here.

I now have a lot of excess skin, floppy tuckshop arms and around my upper thighs and stomach.  If I have the finances, once I reach my healthy weight range and am able to maintain it, I may consider surgery to remove the excess skin. I can live with covering up my arms with what I wear, but I am very very self-conscious about my stomach.  I have an apron fold which appeared after the pregnancy with my twins which became more pronounced with the excess weight over the years.  I cover this up with long shirts, but sometimes shirts shrink slightly or creep up when wearing them and the excess around my stomach is very visible.

One thing that I did very differently from the last surgery is that I didn’t exercise to the same extent.  I feel I overdid it last time, I pushed myself too hard and my back couldn’t keep up (I have arthritis in my lower back). This time I focused more on what I was eating and I didn’t do any exercise for the first few months, then I gradually added in regular walks with Zoe.  That’s it.  I know quite a few ladies that had surgery the same time as me that have done strength and cardio training 5 times a week, they look amazing and have reached their goal weight already.

I have no regrets about having the surgery again.  It was the best decision for me as my health has improved along with my energy levels and overall wellbeing.  You may notice that I have been posting more photos of me lately on Instagram. You may not know it but each time I publish a photo or share an Instagram story with me in it, I celebrate because I’m so shy and this is a really big deal for me. I’m gaining self-confidence again.  This is giving me the encouragement to share more… I would really like to start making video tutorials, which would be awesome!!

I regularly receive quite a few questions about my surgery, I’ve answered some below and I will keep adding to this when I receive questions so it’s a good resource for anyone thinking of having weightloss surgery.

Who was your surgeon, do you recommend him/her?

My surgeon was Dr Jacobus ‘Jorrie’ Jordaan.  He was a very lovely and caring man, answering all my questions and I was particularly impressed that I never felt rushed when I was at my pre-surgery appointments with him he was happy to sit and explain everything to me in great length.  At my pre-op appointment, he sensed that I was confused about my understanding of the SIPS procedure and he wanted to ensure that I was 100% comfortable with this decision and asked me to come back for one last consultation and any final questions.  Dr Jordaan came and checked on me daily while I was recovering in hospital. The care that I have received after the surgery has been exceptional. Although I haven’t seen Dr Jordaan since my surgery, I have seen his nurses, dietician and psychologist who have been very thorough in their care and continuous checkups on my progress.

Dr Jordaan is unaware I have this website and sharing my experience, I’m sure he doesn’t mind me sharing his details with you.  I have no hesitation in recommending him and his team.  He is located on the Gold Coast, visit his website here.

What is Loop Duodenal Switch Procedure (SIPS)?

The Loop Duodenal Switch procedure, also known as SIPS, is a bariatric surgery procedure that has evolved in recent years. SIPS stands for ‘Stomach Intestinal Pylorus Sparing Surgery’. Initial studies indicate it provides greater weight loss than a standard gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy without increased complications. Read more about it here.

Do you still eat chocolate and chips and have soft drink?

I’m not going to lie, yes I do eat chocolate and chips. I don’t deprive myself but I eat in moderation and it’s a treat, like once or twice a week, not every day.  I don’t want to undo all the hard work and effort since the surgery.  However, I haven’t had soft drink since my first surgery 5 years ago.  I find it far too sweet, much like fruit juice, so I only drink water and coffee.

Do you worry you you’ll regain the weight?

Yes, I do and whenever I do eat a piece of chocolate I am riddled with guilt – which is a good stopper for me to not overindulge!  I strive very hard to balance out my meals so they are filled with all the protein and vitamins I need.  I’m currently trying to eat more sweet potato and carrots to increase my Vitamin A levels. I always have healthy snacks available to reach for instead of sugary treats.

  READ MORE: 12 Healthy Snacks to boost energy

Do you ever feel hungry?

This is hard to explain.  No I don’t get a hunger feeling or rumbling tummy, but my body does get a feeling when it needs to eat. When I get this feeling I know if I don’t eat something soon I’m going to start to feel lethargic.  As I eat such small portions, regular eating gives me a boost of energy to get me through the day.

How often do you eat?

I eat 6 small meals a day, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack again. I have learnt how much I can eat and know when I have to stop.  If I overeat I end up feeling ill and need to throw up.

I’ve tried everything to lose weight, although I know I am not the best snacker ‘when no one is looking’. Would this surgery be right for me?

It’s hard for me to say if weight loss surgery is the right option for you, as everybody’s health and lifestyle is very different.  However, I recommend if you are considering it to firstly talk to your GP about it, they will talk about the various options you could consider before the drastic choice of weightloss surgery and give you a referral to discuss it more with a surgeon in your area.

I’ve heard you can lose your hair, is this true?

Yes, I lost hair after my last surgery, so much so I cut my hair short.  I didn’t lose as much hair this surgery, although I did feel the need to cut it a few inches shorter because it was looking so fine.  I now have my new hair growing back, so it will be back to its healthy self in no time. The key is to remember to take your multi vitamins regularly.  Once I started getting into the habit of taking them daily I noticed my hair stopped falling out.

I go out with friends and socialise a lot, will this suit my lifestyle?

You will just need to change your habits and ways.  For me, and many react differently to the surgery, I can’t eat and drink at the same time.  I have to drink at least 30 minutes prior to eating or after.  If I drink immediately after eating I feel the need to throw up, like I have overfilled my stomach.  I don’t drink alcohol frequently, but when I do I’m a cheap date, one drink and I’m feeling fuzzy lols.  When I eat out I usually share a meal with a friend or buy entree meals as I rarely eat more than a third of a main meal.

How do I convince my husband for me to have weight-loss surgery?

Again this is hard.  I was embarrassed to approach it with my hubby.  He is skinny and I often think that skinny people don’t understand what it’s like to be and feel overweight.  I did all my research and spoke to my GP before I spoke to him.  He has always been supportive of me and my choices so I didn’t need to ‘convince’ him as such I just explained to him how I felt about my health, being within my body and why I wanted to do the surgery.  He knew I have tried all options and if I felt this was the right choice he’d support me. I hope that your partner can find it within themselves that if you want to do this for the right reasons that they will support you.

How much time off work did you have after your surgery?

Funny question this, as on our local radio station they say it’s keyhole surgery with a few days off work after the surgery.  I don’t agree, I had 3 weeks off work, as I sit at a desk all day and this position wasn’t the most comfortable after my surgery. I felt this was the right amount of time although 2 weeks would be sufficient.

I don’t want to tell my friends I’m getting the surgery, how can I still get support?

As I am open about my surgery quite a few people talk to me about theirs and share that they have kept it private.  This is up to you and you must have your reasons to keep it to yourself.  There are some great support groups on facebook.  I joined the Gastric Sleeve and Bypass Support Australia facebook group.  It’s on here that I found a post for all those having their surgery in July to join a private facebook group.  It’s in this group we have shared privately our journey together which was sooo good, especially in the days leading up to the surgery and post-op that you can talk to someone who is going through the exact same thing as you.

In saying this…. initially I was going to keep my first surgery a secret, but I opened up as a friend was asking me about my sudden weight loss.  It was once I opened up I found it easier to explain why I wasn’t eating so much when out with friends and supported friends who were considering it.  For me it made my journey easier.

I want to do the surgery but a few friends have expressed about others getting it done and it’s the cheats way out, do you think it’s cheating?

Weight loss surgery is certainly a helpful tool to regain your health and understandably it’s not for everyone.  It’s certainly not the easy way out because it’s not easy – it’s a difficult emotional path. It is a drastic surgery. The surgery is not pain-free. You are making permanent physical changes to your body. There are possible consequences from the procedure. You have to eat healthy to make it work.  You have to regularly exercise to help maintain it.  For the rest of your life have to eat a small portion of food.  For the rest of my life I can’t eat and drink at the same time. So no, I don’t think its cheating!

Please leave any questions you have in the comments and I’ll strive to answer them and add to this post

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28 comments

Nicky July 11, 2018 - 7:27 AM

What was recovery like this time around and were the costs greater?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 11, 2018 - 9:57 AM

price and recovery was the same as the last. However, in regards to the pain I knew what I went through last time so knew what to anticipate, which played a good and a bad role. I found it mentally hard, I was super tired, but knew I had to give myself time to recover and be patient and sip sip sip.

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Rachel July 11, 2018 - 7:35 AM

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Katrina. Surgery is something I’m aiming for when I can afford it, and it’s great to have honest and detailed stories from as many people as possible. You’ve done so well and look fantastic!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 11, 2018 - 10:12 AM

Thank you lovely, I know when I was considering the surgery I really enjoyed reading other peoples stories, and their progress journey so I’ve tried to do the same and give what I wanted to read about when I was considering it.

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Carolyn Smith July 11, 2018 - 7:36 AM

Thank you so much for the update on your story. I commented last update that I was about to have the gastric sleeve surgery. Now 9 months later, I have lost 45 kgs, alot of my hair and have the excess skin – I found your FAQ section very accurate! Although I didn’t tell many family or friends before the surgery (I felt like I was cheating) and not even everyone knows now, those that do have been very supportive. One of the more interesting challenges has been going out to restaurants and leaving often a substantial part of the meal behind. I have even had chefs come to me to ask what was wrong with the food! The biggest success factor for me has been welcoming my new fur baby in to my life in December as my puppy keeps me active and social. Thank you for sharing your story and keep up the great work!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 11, 2018 - 10:34 AM

Congratulations Carolyn 45kg loss is amazing!! Your hair will grow back, I am seeing an inch of new hair coming back, sometimes when in the sun I look like I’ve touched static it sticks up LOL. Yes, I too feel bad when I leave a lot on the plate, when I can I take a doggy bag home or ask those around me if they want my left overs, but I often wonder if the chefs feel offended.

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Michelle July 11, 2018 - 7:36 AM

Thank you for sharing your journey. You are right people who don’t have weight issues don’t understand unless they gain weight. You might remember me sharing that I had lost 50 lbs on a low sodium diet. It is now 7 years later and I have gained 5 back since January of this year. My husband passed away in January and I wasn’t eating as well and getting enough exercise. I am trying to get back on track. I think I am old enough to be your mother but you can still lose weight in your 60’s and 70’s. You might try cutting back on sodium and see if that helps a bit with your weight.

You look marvelous keep up the good work! It just takes perseverance and time.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 11, 2018 - 4:36 PM

Hi Michelle, You must have been through so much this year, thinking of you lovely. Absolutely I imagine no matter what your age there is always wrinkle room with diet to put a few kg on and off. LOL…. how do you know… I like salt a bit too much I think and I should cut back a little for sure 🙂 Thank you for your kind words x

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Sarah July 11, 2018 - 7:45 AM

Hi kat, thankyou for sharing your story. In the last 16months ive lost 45kgs with saxenda medication. In the last 3 months ive stalled,( i still have 7-10kgs to go) and then i say stalled i really mean ive gone up and down a couple of kgs but have managed to stay around the same number in the end. Its hard. We’ve come so far and done so much yet there is still just a bit more to go! At the start of this week i had a good chat with myself, made a plan and im going to get these last kgs off. I kept trying the same thing to get back on track but if we do the same thing over and over its no wonder we get the same results 🙂 i always remember a quote you posted once – i didnt come this far to just come this far! Best of luck with the rest of your journey.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 11, 2018 - 4:38 PM

Ooh Sarah thank you so much for reminding me of this quote and your right, the smallest of changes can actually make such a big difference. Congratulations on a 45kg loss, that is simply amazing, you must feel so much better in yourself!!

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Rebecca Hawkins July 11, 2018 - 9:10 AM

Thanks for sharing Kat. I’m glad it is working out well for you. Fat or thin, you are beautiful, and we would love to see some video tutorials!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 11, 2018 - 4:38 PM

Thank you lovely, I think I’d like to do video’s too!! Now it’s just finding the time and learn how to do it!!

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Jessica Broadbent July 11, 2018 - 3:13 PM

Great read. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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Narelle July 11, 2018 - 5:21 PM

Hi I had the sleeve surgery 11 months ago and have lost 50 kg I’m currently on a stall it’s driving me nuts doesn’t matter what I do I don’t seem to be able get it going again. I’m scared my weight loss will stop all together . Any tips you can give me would be great

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Katie Berry July 12, 2018 - 12:37 AM

No questions from me. I just wanted to say that you’re looking wonderful and, more importantly, I’m glad you feel better!

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Inga Young July 13, 2018 - 9:50 PM

Congratulations Katrina! All of your hard work is paying off, enjoy your success.

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Susie July 16, 2018 - 1:23 AM

First of all, you look amazing!! Well done on your surgeries and lifestyle change, that can not have been an easy thing to do!
I noticed your comment about your hubby being skinny and skinny people not understanding. Some people wouldn’t understand, but being skinny myself (48kg at 167cm), I often find myself relating to weight loss stories as I have had the opposite problem, but with similar feelings.
At my lowest weight I was 39kg (I have cystic fibrosis and have had a double lung transplant) and was so embarrassed to leave the house and have people commenting on my weight. I would go out to eat and feel obliged to finish everything on my plate so people wouldn’t think I was anorexic, and not go to the toilet too soon after, worrying that people would think I was bulimic! When trying to exercise, people would constantly tell me I shouldn’t, even though the hospital had stressed how important exercise is to recovery.
Many people felt, and still feel the need to comment on my weight and just tell me to ‘eat a cheeseburger!!’, not realising it’s just not that simple.
I am learning to brush these comments off now, and you realise how much everyone gets judged on their weight and looks.
I love your blog; the colours, the ideas, the positive vibe and the range of topics etc., but I don’t know you personally. That being said you seem like a beautiful person – not because of the weight you are, but the happiness, warmth and positivity which radiates through on each of your posts. X

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Anna July 21, 2018 - 7:50 PM

I love your honesty. I had a sleeve nearly five years ago but told very few people. For those considering it, as a 30 year old I went from 135kg to about 69kg. My aim was to get pregnant as we were having difficulties and that I did! After having my first baby I put on about ten kilos after stopping breastfeeding. I’m now nearly back at where I was after the birth of my 2nd. I told very few people when I had surgery – it’s only recently I’m happy to own it. It’s not the easy way out, it’s just a tool.

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Jennifer Wilson July 30, 2018 - 8:29 PM

Hi Katrina, I must say….You are looking so beautiful…. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, journey.

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Isabella August 7, 2018 - 7:19 PM

Thank you so much for sharing such a valuable experience with us, Katrina. My mom is looking for the surgery and i am glad that you shared honest and detailed stories with us.

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Tammy October 2, 2018 - 6:29 PM

I had the same surgery 2 weeks ago with Dr Jordaan, he is amazing. Well done to you ?

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Tammy October 2, 2018 - 6:31 PM

It should be a smiley face, not a ?

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Liz Carr October 3, 2018 - 5:18 PM

Thanks for your weight loss surgery, why do u think you gained weight with the sleeve?

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Kirsten February 13, 2019 - 11:17 AM

Thanks so much for sharing, It was really helpful to read this today. You look amazing and happy in your photos. Well done.

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Pookyl September 22, 2020 - 7:30 PM

Thanks so much for sharing your story. How are you doing now? I’m going to be sleeved next week.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 28, 2020 - 2:54 PM

I feel really good, and I’m so glad that my story was able to help you. All the best with your procedure! Kat x

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Paula October 28, 2020 - 10:44 PM

Thank you for sharing your story Katrina, I am considering this for myself and your story, and all the stories of the people who have commented, has helped me have a more rounded understanding of what I’m considering. it may sound strange but i have worked really hard emotionally and mentally to be kind to myself about my larger size and I feel somewhat like I am betraying my body positive/anti fat phobic state of mind to be considering this. My desire is not to be thin, I just want to be well and healthy, and not feel so exhausted from minor life related activity. My Dr thinks this will help me achieve that. I like the fact that Exercise and eating healthy food is still so important. How do you find keeping up your water intake? I aim for between 2 and 3 litres a day for the health benefits, is that still possible? Thanks again, by the way, you are a terrific writer, it was very enjoyable to read your story.

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jan levine January 8, 2021 - 11:54 AM

My daughter has lipedema, diagnosed last yr. age 30. Do you think you might have it?

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