Melting Mama: Preach Sister!

As most of you know, I am very disillusioned by my weight loss surgery (WLS). Not only have I not lost the weight I was told I would, but the results of my surgery has left my body broken with chronic pain and essentially homebound. It is my belief that those of us who have had WLS are expected to only tell the good stuff and those of us who are realistic about our experiences are often shushed when we seek support for our broken WLS. Melting Mama had a great post today regarding WLS that those of you in the Polyanna camp really need to hear.

Broken WLS by Melting Mama

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Gastric Bypass Puberty

So, I am well over a year out from my RNY surgery and never had a problem with dumping. However, as of late, I have developed a sensitivity to sugar and have experienced a couple of dumping episodes. Am I a late bloomer? Does this mean I have finally reached gastric bypass puberty?

Word on the street is, “No.” No matter where you are in your gastric bypass journey be you a three month poucher or a seven year poucher, you can still experience dumping. Many times it’s totally random and other times your body has begun to reject a certain food such as someone I know who can’t eat ice cream. For me, it began with a small piece of cake that had some seriously weird buttercream frosting on it that I know was made with shortening and and excess of sugar to cover it up (thanks Target bakery)…okay, that one makes sense. However, I recently experienced a mild dump with some Yoplait Light yogurt. What the heck? I have eaten just about every flavor of this brand of yogurt imaginable and have never had a problem, but this was a new flavor (Black Forest Cake).

So, what happens when you dump? Oh, dumping is so…well…special. For me it began with getting really hot and sweat began rolling off my rolls. Then the heart palpitation began followed by the most extreme nausea EVER! I had “morning sickness” with my kiddo until I was about six months pregnant, but even that roller coaster ride from hell could not have prepared me for the nausea that came along with dumping. I felt and probably looked like this:

I have begun to note what foods cause me to either not feel so great or that make me experience a full on dump. So far it’s completely random. While the cake mentioned above caused me about an hour of hell, the same amount of cake in a mini cupcake was fine. The only difference is that I know the frosting on the mini cupcake was made with butter. Black Forest Cake yogurt = bad, but Red Velvet cake = no problemo. Ah, you just gotta love gastric bypass weirdness from the constipation to the dumping, it’s a wheel o’ fortune I tell ya.

Here is a link on information regarding Dumping Syndrome by a gastric bypass patient: http://ezinearticles.com/?Dumping-Syndrome:-The-Dirty-Secret-Gastric-Bypass-Patients-Keep&id=36837

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories

Has your scale stopped working? Working your ass off, but not seeing a reduction in said ass? On a plateau that has grown so high you are considering jumping off of it? Yeah, I’ve been there. Hell, I’m there right now.

I have been on a weight loss plateau since March 31st of this year. I got weighed prior to my knee surgery and the scale hasn’t moved since. To be honest, I had one month since then where I didn’t eat in the way I was supposed to. However, finding out your mother is battling her third type of cancer in less than a year combined with the financial stress of filing for disability, moving, and mobility issues would get the best of most people. Outside of that time, I’ve been tracking my food, staying within my calorie allotment, moving as much as I can, taking my supplements, getting in my water, and getting at least 80g of protein a day. I keep fighting that damn number on the scale and getting nowhere. I often feel like I have failed my surgery and dread going in to see my surgeon. It’s to the point where I am considering revision surgery (likely the Extended RNY).

Am I a failure? Is anyone experiencing a plateau or experiencing regain a failure? NO! Unless you have been binging and gorging whilst your ass is planted to the couch, you are not a failure. Guess what? Our bodies are all scientific and stuff and there are a lot of factors involved in continued weight loss and keeping it off. All too often we take the easy road and start down the path of self-ridicule and failure talk. You know what I say to that? SHUT UP!

It’s time to stop with the negativity and DO SOMETHING about it. Make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in weight loss (not necessarily a surgeon), a registered dietitian, get a complete metabolic work up, and bring in a truthful assessment of what you have and have not been doing to lose weight or keep your weight off. Our primary care docs typically only have basic knowledge in these areas and in my opinion it’s worth a visit to a specialist to figure out what’s going on with your body.

Now, for your self talk: It’s time to stop kicking yourself in the ass, stop feeling like a failure. to stop ridiculing yourself, etc. and time to get back to taking care of yourself. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to do that is to back away from the scale for a while and follow that up with celebrating non-scale victories. Measure yourself and see how many inches you have lost. If you still have your “fat pants,” dig them out and jump in them to see how far you have come in your overall journey. Did you walk an extra 5 minutes today, good for you! Can you shop at a non-plus size store now? WOOT! Go in to your closet and donate everything that is too big for you. Keep your eyes and mind on the overall journey and stop beating yourself up with the scale!

A fun giveaway from Bonafide Bride

Bonafide Bride is doing a great giveaway! My personal favorite is the Jane Austen collected novels. Here’s the link:
http://bonafidebride.blogspot.com/2010/11/bonafidebrides-favorite-things-giveaway.html

The High Protein Diet Slowdown- Sexy? No, but it’s necessary.

Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) or not, high protein diets will slow you down. I know I’ve touched on this subject before: The Poop Heard ‘Round the World. However, that post was more about the experience than the warning and how to, but this post is more about the how to. Is talking about poop sexy? No, but for those of us on high protein diets, it can become a necessary topic of discussion.

When perusing through many WLS boards, Atkins and South Beach Diet boards, and just about any high protein diet website community you will find entire threads and sometimes entire forums dedicated to poop. Why are high protein diet followers so hyper obsessed with what’s going on post digestion? High protein diets can cause an extreme slow down of one’s post digestion cycle and the results can be painful.

How does one avoid this crappy (pun intended) situation? The first line of defense is making sure you are getting enough fiber, fluids, and fat. Increasing fiber only will not help you. It will only add more bulk and could make things worse. Aim for cereals that have 10 grams of fiber or more per 100 grams of cereal. Eat whole grains instead of white refined flours. Get your five servings of fruit and vegetables per day and be sure to exercise. The combination of increased fiber, exercise and fluids can keep things moving. How much fluid do you need to take in? More than the typical 8 glasses per day…increase it to 12 and that should help. Fat? I thought I was supposed to eliminate fat? Your body needs a certain amount of fat for both your brain and your digestive system to work properly. For the non WLS patient, here is a calculator to determine your recommended daily fat intake: Fat Calculator. For WLS patients, I highly recommend an appointment or phone call to your dietitian.

For some of us, the first line of defense doesn’t always work. This is typical for WLS patients. Many of us take a stool softener (not a laxative) every night. You do not want to rely on laxatives because your body will become dependent on them. Stool softeners help keep things from becoming too hard and impacted. This works for the vast majority of us that have chronic constipation as a result of a high protein diet.

For the few that STILL need more help, there are laxatives. BE CAREFUL with laxatives! Your body could become dependent on them. If you are taking laxatives every week or for some every day or so, GO TO THE DOCTOR! You need to work with your doctor in a case like this. They may refer you to a dietitian to help you increase your fiber and fat intake as well as tweak your diet to ensure things start moving on a regular basis.

So, there ya have it. I really wish I would have had this information prior to surgery from my surgeon’s folder that he provides to his patients. Unfortunately, most don’t provide this info ahead of time and for you non-surgery folk, most high protein diet plans don’t cover this. It ain’t sexy, but it’s necessary.

Well, I’m back due to reader demand

I want to thank those that have sent me messages asking how I’ve been and for those who have asked I continue this. You are right, we need to have a variety of perspectives and experiences with Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) available to those considering WLS. So, since some of you have asked that I continue this blog…I have brought it back. I will try to update at least once a week. I would love to update more, but with schooling my child at home and building up my home business, my time is somewhat limited.

So, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great! I celebrated with my boyfriend, kiddo, Baby Daddy and Baby Daddy’s fiance (yes, we are all friends and get along) as well as a couple of guests that made for a wonderful feast and great company. We ate our healthified (yep, I made that up) dinner and it was delicious. It was probably the best turkey I have ever made and instead of my family’s usual basting recipe of slathering the turkey in a stick of butter and a ton of mayo, I brined it overnight. That turkey was not only beautifully and perfectly browned, but the juiciest turkey we’ve ever had. Baby Daddy did the side dishes and the dressing was great even without all of that butter. The only recipe that didn’t work was the crustless pumpkin pie recipe I got off of Obesity Help. It had the weirdest texture and there just wasn’t enough spice in it for us. It sort of tasted like a quiche without the cheese. So, I will be working on developing a really good healthy pumpkin pie recipe that isn’t bland and doesn’t have such an eggy texture.

On a side note, I weighed myself and still no scale movement. I am glad to not be gaining, but to see no loss is seriously frustrating given my hard work as of late. My medical insurance approval can’t come soon enough. Hopefully my surgeon and doc can help figure out why my weight is so stagnant.

Anyhoo, I’m back and if my journey can help just one person, it’s totally worth it.

Shutting Down This Blog

I have come to a decision that I need to shut this blog down. My surgery hasn’t worked for me despite my struggles to make it work. I haven’t gone over my calorie allotments, I’ve been getting in 80g or more of protein daily, and drinking 3 quarts of water a day. The only thing that hasn’t worked for me is exercise. My body has gone downhill and there are days when I am in so much pain, I can’t even get out of bed. With the surgery, I can’t take many of the medicines that will take away or minimize my pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia. I feel as if I am never going to succeed and I can no longer celebrate my gastric bypass. I lost more weight before surgery in the same time I have lost post surgery- 75 pounds in a year prior to surgery and 30 pounds post surgery in a year. Gastric bypass is the worst thing I have ever done and there is nothing I can do about it. I am stuck in this body that every movement is filled with discomfort and pain. I have stalled and now gained 20 pounds since March and can’t figure out how I can gain that weight when taking in the protein, staying within my calorie allotment, etc. I just want to apologize to you all and hope that you can find the inspiration that you need and deserve.