Kitson P. Kelly avatar

A recovering 7 foot tall cactus

Gastric Sleeve Update

A while ago, I wrote about my Gastric Sleeve surgery, and figured it was about time to provide an update. So 7 months on, and where am I at?

Weight loss from FEb 2011 to Sep 2011 chart

While I have had a few gaps in my recording of my weight, you can see as I am approach my target of 195 lbs (88.5 kg/13st 13lbs), there has been a general flattening of the weight loss, which hopefully will allow me to stay right around the 195 lbs mark for the rest of my life. For me mentally it is a bit strange, because ever since I “noticed” my weight as a teenager/pre-pubescent, I was trying to loose weight, now I will move into a “maintain weight” mode. That is almost 30 years of trying to lose weight done, mission accomplished.

Some people will wonder “what about the skin?” Well, that is a lot less challenging than I thought it would be. There are certainly some things I am not happy with, but with my clothes on, you can’t really tell. When I see pictures of myself though, I see a slightly oddly shaped part where my belly is hiding. It does move you to think about cosmetic surgery, because you figure you have come this far, might as well get as close to “normal” as current medical options allow.

There is still mental disconnect between how your big you perceive your body and actually how big it really is and sometimes you shock yourself. Lots of times I look at my clothes and think to myself “these can’t be mine, because they are way too small”. Also, I have found out with shopping, I have to try everything on, because I can’t judge my size anymore. Also, I used to drown myself in my clothes, anything form fitting or tight was absolutely a no-go area. Trying on a few shirts that are tight, but looking in the mirror and seeing “wait, I don’t look like some sort of stuffed sausage.”

My diet has stabilised though. I have quite regular food now, mostly nuts for protein though and fish (especially sushi) and then yogurt and cheese. While it might not be ideal, I have plenty of energy and as long as I keep to taking a multi-vitamin, a recent blood test indicates that everything is healthy. For anyone in the middle of the process though, who is worried they might be eating the wrong things, best thing to do is stop worrying. Focus on protein and let everything else take its natural course. I stopped eating anything that said low-calorie or low-fat, including yogurt. I figured I eat so little now that anything that was designed to fill me up, but not give me nourishment, is simply a waste. My doctor has told me that recent studies have shown people with weight loss surgery sometimes stick to the “low-fat” food and then start having problems with not enough fat in their diets.

I recently went on holiday and knew that I would be doing a lot more activity than my typical sedentary work-life allowed and so I didn’t eat what I felt like eating (which is pretty much what I do now) I ate until I was stuffed, 3 times a day. Now me eating with a sleeve until I am stuffed is still only like 1/2 a normal 3-course meal, but I really tried hard. I came back from the holiday, not sure if I had put on weight or loss and lo and behold, I was exactly the same weight I was 2 weeks prior, and then over the next week, returning to my normal eating habits, I shed 6 lbs in 4 days. I suspect it was the increased metabolism coupled back to my small amount of calories.

The only “challenge” long-term is the BM situation. While it continues to get better and more regular, it isn’t the most consistent thing in the world and sometimes I struggle. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, and I suspect if it were a real problem for me, I would try to do more about it. I am almost back to daily activity, so to speak, which is a good sign.