7.5 months out with pics!!

Disclaimer: this is a really long post, but I'm going to be VERY, uncomfortably (perhaps) honest about my journey. I hope it will be helpful to anyone just starting out. Pre-surgery and my first few months out, I was very active on these boards. In the past few months, I haven't been, so there are many of you now whom I haven't met. I hope to talk to all of you soon! To recap, I started my VSG journey back in April of 2014 at the age of 26, and my highest recorded weight was 287.6. I didn't actually have many comorbidities considering my size - just high cholesterol, which runs rampant in my family. After 6 months of a medically supervised weight loss plan with Beaumont here in metro Detroit, I was approved in November of 2014 and scheduled for surgery with Dr. Kevin Krause on January 30, 2015. The morning of surgery I weighed 274.4 lbs. I'm 5'7" and at that point I was a 22/24, 2X/3X. My waist circumference was 56" (yes, I was literally as wide as I was tall at 26 years old, talk about a self-esteem killer).

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Surgery was hard for me - I had never been put under before and it turns out that anesthesia and I don't really get along. It took the anesthesiologist over 2 hours to fully wake me up, and he later admitted that he had been worried. It also took them the better part of the day to get my nausea under control, so I was vomiting blood for a few hours. About 6 weeks out, I started to get bad stomach pain and was having problems eating and drinking. I went to the doctor and they told me to go to the ER, where they called my surgeon and he decided to admit me. It took 5 days and a lot of tests, but he ruled out leaks and other serious complications. My official diagnosis was gastritis, and once they started to treat me for it, I felt much better and was allowed to go home. Here's a side-by-side comparison picture of January, 1 month out (22lbs gone), and 2 months out (35lbs gone).

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My weight loss was fairly quick, probably because I'm so young, but also because I work 12 hour shifts on my feet as a bartender. I'm literally always moving. Recently, I've plateaued a bit, but I only have about 30-40 lbs to go, so that was to be expected. Now I'm 197lbs and wearing size 10/12 pants. My waist is 35", a total loss of almost 2 feet. I wish I had measured everything else, but I never did.

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I do have extra skin, on my arms especially. Some on my stomach as well, but surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. I did cut my hair short and lighten it because I lost a LOT, but it seems to be done shedding now. Yes I used rogaine and took biotin and was very gentle with it, and no, nothing helped. For the first 5 months, sticking to a healthy diet was easy. Eating was almost uncomfortable and I basically lost interest in it. I also experienced dumping syndrome with frozen yogurt, which was terrifying and made me stay away from sweets altogether. The past two months have been harder, though, because I can eat more, and sensitivities to most foods are gone. Making good food choices never stops being hard, which is a major reason I've come back to this community.

Finally, I mentioned that I'm a bartender. I was before surgery, and so I remained after. I was never a big drinker before. But let me tell you all something: post-bariatric alcoholism is VERY real. Working in the restaurant industry significantly upped my risk, and I thought that I was ready for it, but I wasn't. Since I wasn't really a drinker before, I didn't understand how I could become one after. Drinking became more fun, since I would always get a buzz immediately, and was an easy replacement for eating since it was less uncomfortable. Thankfully, I realized what was happening and talked to my therapist and doctors about it. I ended up switching jobs (this time into restaurant management), and I keep a very close eye on my lifestyle.

This journey has not been easy or glamorous. I encountered problems that I never thought I'd have. But it's still the best thing I've ever done for myself. I apologize for the length of this post, but I hope those of you starting out or that anyone having the problems I've had has gotten something out of it.

Replies

  • joysie1970
    joysie1970 Posts: 415 Member
    First you look fantastic! Your hard work has paid off and kudos to you for your honesty not just with all of us but mostly with yourself and for your self love, you are definitely a success story...BE PROUD <3 at just five months I am so thankful for posts like yours and others, it helps us know what to look for, what we might expect and how to cope...thank you!
  • DJRonnieLINY
    DJRonnieLINY Posts: 475 Member
    Congratulations on some very good results. Keep positive and keep going forward.
  • TN_Tinker
    TN_Tinker Posts: 143 Member
    You look amazing. Good for you on catching things early. I had problems before the surgery so I know better lol
  • Stephaniev51697
    Stephaniev51697 Posts: 163 Member
    You look fantastic!
  • Sammers48220
    Sammers48220 Posts: 50 Member
    joysie1970 wrote: »
    First you look fantastic! Your hard work has paid off and kudos to you for your honesty not just with all of us but mostly with yourself and for your self love, you are definitely a success story...BE PROUD <3 at just five months I am so thankful for posts like yours and others, it helps us know what to look for, what we might expect and how to cope...thank you!

    Thank you! Surgery is such a process, and I've come to discover that self-awareness and self-love are so important. I'm glad that you got something out of this post and congrats to you on 5 months!
  • Sammers48220
    Sammers48220 Posts: 50 Member
    Congratulations on some very good results. Keep positive and keep going forward.

    Thank you! It's not always easy to stay positive but the encouragement from the community here really helps.
    TN_Tinker wrote: »
    You look amazing. Good for you on catching things early. I had problems before the surgery so I know better lol

    I'd heard it was a problem for a lot of people but always had that "it'll never happen to me" mindset... boy was that dangerous. Luckily the resources available here and otherwise were very helpful.
    You look fantastic!
    Thanks! So do you!
  • JreedyJanelle
    JreedyJanelle Posts: 645 Member
    You look amazing. Glad you did this at a young age.
  • 5BeautifulDays
    5BeautifulDays Posts: 683 Member
    Your transformation is beautiful. I'm so glad that you're taking care of yourself in every way, too.
  • Babygi6003
    Babygi6003 Posts: 356 Member
    You look amazing :)
  • lorilbuckner1
    lorilbuckner1 Posts: 172 Member
    You are awesome! I am now 7 months out and totally understand the struggle with being able to eat more in volume and variety! I definitely think it is harder now to make good food choices than during the first 5 months. When your body limits your choices its so much easier than when YOU have to be responsible! I have wondered away from the forums and been lax in my logging too. Crazy thing is I am here every day!! I always log in, I just don't take the time I once did to participate... Time to change that!! Keep on keeping on! You are doing great!
  • akindofmagick
    akindofmagick Posts: 143 Member
    Thank you for sharing your inspirational story!! Kudos to you for recognizing the danger of addiction transfer and taking proactive action early on to reduce the risk. I'm just over 12 weeks out, and it's stories like yours that make coming to the forums rewarding and motivating and instructional/cautionary. You have a wise head for your age - well done!!!
  • seaghdha1072
    seaghdha1072 Posts: 89 Member
    You look stunning! Wondered what you'd been up to hadn't seen you on boards for awhile. I've heard stories of ppl switching addictions from food to booze or gambling or shopping etc. Glad you recognized the problem and are doing better! Thanks for sharing your story.