Kitson P. Kelly avatar

A recovering 7 foot tall cactus

Gastric Sleeve Two Years On

I am coming up on almost 3 years since I have had my Gastric Sleeve weight loss surgery. Some people might wonder how I am doing and how does the long term look like for someone with the surgery. Well, the news is good. I updated everyone that seven months on, I was approaching my target weight of 195 lbs (13st 13 lbs/88.5 kg), well I met that and then exceeded that by about another two pounds, reaching my lowest point of 193 lbs.

Over the next 18 months or so, I started to slowly creep back up, eventually reaching about 215 lbs (15st 5lbs/97.5 kg). Lot of this was due to my lifestyle at the time, which was pretty sedentary and the “enjoyment” of simply not worrying about how much I ate. This was my new natural weight. But even then it did start to bother me that I was starting to not fit some of my shirts and trousers.

I was lucky, in that I had been working full time in Scotland but in August of this year, relocated back to London for work. The simple fact of being back in London and having to walk around, as well as being back day to day with my partner has let me focus on being more active and eating a little bit better. That has quickly returned me to 195 lbs.

The challenge when I reached 195 lbs before was that I didn’t look healthy. My family in the States, when they saw me around that weight thought I looked “ill”. I think in a lot of ways it was my body getting used to that weight. Two years on, and hitting that milestone again,

My appetite has increased after the surgery, but I am still not able to eat what most people would consider a “normal” sized meal. Although I don’t directly pay attention to what I eat specifically, I find that my subconscious mind goes for the softer foods. Really the only thing that really gives me too much issue are large amounts of dry and fibrous foods. I also struggle sometimes, getting quite hungry now, of my eyes being far larger than my stomach. Again, getting used to not eating everything you are served in a restaurant is something you have to get used to. I am lucky again in that my partner has a very very high metabolism and is a marathon runner, so my leftovers are quickly absorbed. We really enjoy meals like tapas and dim-sum, which allow each of us to eat each at our own pace, share in the meal and have a variety of foods. That more than anything is something I value, the variety. I would rather have a couple bites from several dishes then try to eat one thing.

Being honest, constipation is a bit of a battle for me. I seem to go into bouts where I will get heavily constipated and times where I don’t, though my diet doesn’t change in a way I am aware of, though my bowel movements have never returned to a state before I had the surgery.

The other long term downside that I suspect is related to the surgery is that my face has developed an exceedingly dry skin, which is often flakey and itchy. I take religiously a multi-vitamin and oil supplements as well as wash my face daily with hypoallergenic products and use a moisturiser, but generally, I can’t seem to fully deal with the issue. My partner has said I should really see a doctor, which maybe I should.

Even with the two “downsides”, feeling far more healthy, being more active, and not standing out in society for the wrong reasons make the decision to have the surgery the best decision for myself I have ever made. While a gastric sleeve surgery may not be for everyone, it clearly works for some really well. I couldn’t have expected a better outcome.