In November of 2016 I had weight loss surgery. Specifically, Sleeve Gastrectomy. So here's the truth about weight loss surgery.
I have been plus size pretty much my entire life. I think at my smallest I was a size 10 and 5’6” in SEVENTH grade. Fast forward to freshman year of college and I was a size 20 and my current height of 5’7”. Fast forward several more years and I was a size 26 – where I remained most of my adult life.
At age 44 I decided I’d had enough of the ups and downs. I have two children, had two c-sections, and my metabolism was not exactly what it used to be. There was a time when I could switch to Diet Coke and have a few salads with grilled chicken and I’d drop 10 pounds in two weeks. Oh, those were the good old days. At the time of my surgery I was a size 24 (I’d lost nearly 30 pounds on the pre-op diet) and 10 months later I’m a size 16 and 90 pounds lighter than my highest weight.
I would still like to lose at least 10 more pounds, but I went into the surgery with the attitude that if I could come out of it a size 16, I’d be thrilled. So here I am! For anyone considering weight-loss surgery, here is some advice and tips and the truth about weight loss surgery.
1. Be Realistic
While many people lose well over 100 pounds in the year following their surgery and become downright skinny, the more realistic you are about your results, the happier you will be. Know that the ultimate goal is better health. I had Type 2 Diabetes and was taking insulin and pills every day. A month after my surgery, I was off all diabetes medications!
2. Yes, You Will Most Likely Have Extra Saggy Skin
The extra skin is real folks! Unless you are able to workout for hours each day, a person who has been overweight much of their life and has 100 pounds or more to lose is most likely going to have extra skin. Your upper arms, inner thighs and stomach are a few areas where you will have loose skin. You can certainly lessen the effect with regular weight training and many people opt to have it surgically removed, but insurance may not cover it.
So the big question is how is post-surgery sex? Well, in my experience, it’s definitely better. You can just literally do more with your body. Being overweight, there were only so many positions I could comfortably sustain long enough to have sex. Now, I can try new things and don’t get as tired and don’t feel like my poor husband is suffocating under my weight!
4. You Will Be Hungry Again
At first, I wasn’t hungry. The first week after surgery I could barely drink enough water and protein shakes to meet half of my daily goals. But I wanted to eat so badly, not because I was hungry, but because I missed food! When I was able to have soft foods (about two weeks in), scrambled eggs with cheese tasted like the best thing I’d ever put in my mouth! It was better than pizza. Better than Chinese food. Even better than a Reese’s Pieces sundae from Friendly’s. But you know what? I couldn’t even eat one whole egg. Half an egg was all I could handle and it took me five or 10 minutes to eat it! Eventually you can eat more and today I can eat a whole egg with a slice of cheese, a slice of toast, and even a few bites of fruit or home fries. And I do feel hungry.
5. Protein Shakes Are Everything
The pre-op diet consisted of one vegetable and one starch per day, along with Ensure protein shakes. They tasted, well, like Ensure protein shakes. But honestly they were not so bad. Post-surgery, I was able to explore more shake options and I still have one or two a day. My favorite is Premier Protein (30 grams of protein!!) in chocolate, banana, or strawberry cream. I don’t do vanilla. I also really like the Atkins Mocha Latte. It has a bit of real coffee and is a good early morning source of protein.
These are just a few tips from me to you as you consider weight-loss surgery. I have no regrets, but be warned, it’s not easy! It still takes work and I’m not gonna lie, those first few weeks were difficult, but it’s been nearly a year and I’m well on my way to reaching my goals, and you can too!