Can you believe we’re entering Thanksgiving week? Where has this year gone? I hope everyone is ready for the holiday and prepared, not only for a stomach full of turkey and stuffing, but with a heart full of thankfulness and praise!
It seems to me we are due for an update on how things are going with the weight loss, especially since the last one was not so cheery. Well, I am truly thankful that we passed over that hump and the offending gained pound has been lost, as well as another pound and a half! That brings the total up to 37 lbs. I had to break my own rule of not buying any NEW new clothes, meaning straight retail as opposed to thrift or consignment, until after Christmas because I just had no pants that would fit and had not been able to find anything in the second hand shops. But, I admit I was pretty excited to be able to, once again, fit into clothes from The Loft, one of my favorite stores from years (and sizes) gone by, where I found these great pants on the clearance rack!
I thought, perhaps, some of you may be interested in knowing some of the life changes that come along with bariatric surgery. Some of these may vary depending on which surgery you have – sleeve, gastric bypass or lap band – and what surgeon/nutritionist you have. I had the sleeve surgery.
First and foremost, the Golden Rule, the Rule of All Rules is PROTEIN! You must eat your daily required amount of protein each day. Your protein goal number will vary from person to person depending on your gender (men need more than women) and your body size. My daily goal is 60 – 75 g. a day. I can go over that, but never under. You’d be amazed at how hard that can be to meet that amount, especially when you’re eating such a low amount of calories. Protein shakes are essential for me or I would probably never get to my goal. I’m also a big fan of Dannon Triple Zero Yogurt – 15 g. of protein per serving.
Probably the second most important rule to follow is taking your vitamin supplements. I take a multi-vitamin with iron twice a day, plus a calcium supplement twice a day. Again, with the low calorie in take, this is essential to remain healthy and not become sluggish. I’ve always taken a supplement, so this was not a problem for me.
Next, water water water! Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows the importance of drinking their water. It is key. But, with the bariatric surgery there are a few extra rules to go along with simply getting the water in your body: 1. stop drinking 15 minutes before any meals or snacks 2. NO drinking during meals or snacks 3. NO drinking for one hour after a meal or a snack. 4. No straws EVER. I’ll admit, this took some getting use to, but now it’s pretty much second nature. Probably the hardest part is still getting all my water in when I have all those times I’m not allowed to drink!
“Super chewing” is another key that they teach you and have you start adjusting to before you even have your surgery. You’re encouraged to chew your food to about the consistency of applesauce. This helps slow down your eating so you realize when you’re full easier, and, also, helps aid with digestion. I understand that people who do the Whole30 program also practice super chewing. Again, once you get in the habit, it becomes second nature.
Does this sound like a lot to remember? It’s really not. It just becomes what you get use to. I’ll try to bullet some of these last “lesser” rules:
- no ibuprofen
- no aspirin
- no caffeine
- no carbonated beverages
- avoid sugar
- no alcoholic beverages for the first year
- meals should be approx. 1 cup of food per meal
- meals should be primarily low carb, eating protein first, then moving on to fruit/vegetable, if still hungry, and eating starchy foods last
So, that’s it in a nutshell – the bariatric life. Oh, and don’t forget exercise! I’m sure Dr. Fishman would kick my butt if I forgot to mention exercise! So, next time you hear someone say that weight loss surgery is taking “the easy way out”, go ahead and kick them in the butt for me! It’s a lifestyle change, just like any other way you choose to change your body. And on this Thanksgiving holiday, I am truly thankful for this opportunity God gave me to change my body and my life. And I’m truly thankful for all of you who’ve chosen to take this journey with me and the support and encouragement you’ve given me! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!