It is hard work to lose weight, for me it is a constant struggle for the mind, body and soul. As a few of you may remember I had gastric sleeve surgery four years ago. I managed to lose 40kg within the first year, which I was very pleased with. Along with the surgery I worked really hard via healthy eating and exercising with a personal trainer 3 times a week, which was super fun. I was in a really good mindset to reach my goal. However, as much as I was trying my absolute best 18 months after my surgery the weight started creeping back on.
Two years after the surgery I visited my surgeon to enquire why I had started putting on weight and ideas on what I could do to kickstart the weight loss again. I was extremely disappointed and upset when he accused me of eating the wrong foods and a few other things I don’t care to repeat. I was not, I was focused on being the healthiest version of me I could. He told me that only one of his patients had ever put on weight. I left his surgery in tears, with the receptionist trying to console me. No support and or guidance were given. I was so disappointed.
I went home feeling like a failure, I stopped focusing on my exercise, I had so much self doubt, shame and embarrassment running through me. I did some research about how to kickstart my weightloss but to no avail, I continued to gain just over 20kg. My health physically and mentally went downhill, a place I never want to see myself in again.
After this weight gain, I was not a healthy BMI, I didn’t feel comfortable and still could only eat very small meal portions (as you do when you’ve had gastric sleeve surgery).
A few months ago, a friend told me she was considering getting bypass weightloss surgery and that she had visited a local bariatric surgeon who she found to be very friendly and easy to talk to. I looked up his website and researched her surgery as this was new compared to the options I had. I was surprised to come across information on this surgeons site about putting on weight after weightloss surgery. I was so intrigued. From reading the articles I learnt that it’s very common and he gave the option to have revisional surgery…. wWhaaaat… was I reading this right? For the past 2 years since seeing my surgeon about putting on weight and feeling like I was one of very few people to fail this surgery, that it is common! Right then and there, I booked an appointment to go see this surgeon.
He spent two and a half hours with me to explain why this happened and how he could help. He has to be one of the most considerate surgeons I have been to. Firstly he helped me understand that each individual is different. Basically, based on my initial BMI and my family history of obesity (which the other surgeon didn’t ask about), in his opinion Gastric Sleeve surgery was not the right option for me and that it is common for many to put on weight after this surgery. He explained that there was an option to have revisional surgery if I was interested. YES, very.
So, 8 weeks ago, I had revisional gastric sleeve surgery and SIPS (a form of mini bypass). Which in an easy way to explain, I have 1/4 the size of a normal stomach and they looped 3m of my small intestine so that food only travels through 3 of the 6 meters of small intestine which reduces calorie absorption. With these two procedures together and healthy eating, I should see positive results.
The choice to have gastric sleeve surgery four years ago was a huge decision and one not made lightly. To have revisional and additional surgery was an extremely hard choice, but as I mentioned above, I felt like a big contradiction. I know so many readers in my community who have had gastric sleeve surgery and have asked for my advice. Here I am wanting to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Weightloss surgery is a tool to help you lose weight, but there is so much more involved in the mindset, eating the right foods and being disciplined to exercise.
I have lost 14kg in the past two months, this time the weight loss is slower than the last, but this is expected due to the additional SIPS surgery which is a slower weight loss solution. I am completely happy with this, I am not after a quick fix, I just want to be and feel healthy.
Now I have been to two surgeons I am comparing the service and feel that I didn’t get the same education from the initial surgeon and can see some of the things I didn’t do right. A few things I am doing differently this time:
- remember to have my vitamins EVERY SINGLE DAY, to help prevent my hair falling out.
- eat the right portion of protein with every meal. I didn’t realise how important this was, I always ensured I ate a good amount of vegetables and fitted in whatever meat I could, this was wrong, big time wrong. It’s meant to be to eat a good amount of protein first then the rest in vegetables.
- not to exercise so hard, walking is ok.
- remember to eat every two hours, I could easily go through a day forgetting to snack as I didn’t feel hungry. Now I have a fitbit with a silent alarm reminding me to eat.
- be kind to myself…. I am not a failure.
- periodically see a dietician to ensure I stay on track.
The recovery was emotional and a little more painful this time than the last because I had the additional surgery. But I am now feeling well and can see my energy bouncing back.
Here I am sailing with Sam, from School Mum.
As every individual is different, please speak to your Doctor about your specific circumstances.