Week 5

Friday, December 11, 2015

Okay, so at official weigh-in day on Monday, my weight had gone back down to what it was the week before. So, the week before last was a gain, but this week was a wash. No gain. No loss.

Did I call my doctor? Nope. My doctor would tell me to stop worrying so much and just do what was right. I was also afraid, like every other doctor on the planet, he wouldn’t believe that I was sticking to his plan and still gaining weight. It’s stupid, but 30+ years of training… medical professionals aren’t always my friend.

Did I call the nutritionist? Nope. Same fear.

Did I go to support group? HA! Funny thing about that. Don’t get sleeved around the holidays. The support group meets the first Thursday of every month. That means they met the Thursday of the same week I had surgery in November. Couldn’t attend that one! I automatically assumed I would just go to the December meeting. Silly girl! They don’t meet in December. *sigh* That means the very first support group meeting I will be able to attend isn’t until January. So, no…support group was out.

So what did I do? I took to the internet. More importantly, I took to YouTube. And I learned there is such a thing called “the three week stall”. Apparently it happens to nearly everyone who has surgery. The first few weeks you’re flushing liquids and gas from surgery. You’re losing weight rapidly. All is good. Then week three hits and your body asks, “What the hell did you just do to me and why aren’t we eating more than this?!” And it freaks out and you either have a week of stall or even a gain. It generally lasts for most people for 2 weeks, and then it breaks and all is well.

I also reached out to a woman on MFP who had sleeve over a year ago and who lost a LOT of weight from it. She wasn’t too far off my starting stats, so I thought she’d be a good person to befriend. She basically wrote me a long message (in reply to my freak out message) saying, “You’re fine. Everyone goes through this. You are NOT broken. There is NO WAY this will NOT work. Just keep doing what you’re doing and ignore the scale.”
That word – broken. She said it to me because I had voiced that I felt that way…but on a YouTube video someone I didn’t know who knew nothing about how I was feeling, who recorded this video months ago, used the exact same words. And, for some reason, THAT made me feel okay. Not only was I not alone in this “three week stall” thing, but I wasn’t alone in feeling broken. And last night I heard it again from a YouTuber that’s 2 years out. She had expected the stall. Someone told her about it. No one told me and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
It has to work. It just has to.

So, I won’t know my weight until Monday, because I promised my entire family I wouldn’t weigh in at all this week until my actual weigh-in day. But I can give you other updates:
I’m on regular food now. Well, kinda. The doc wants me to avoid bread, pastas, popcorn and rice for the first year. While your stomach heals, these things take up space that you desperately need for protein consumption in order to heal. The goal is to eat high protein food sources that are low in sugar and carbs. When eating a meal, I need to eat protein first, then veggies and fruit, if there is room. Bread and other carbs are last.

I don’t ALWAYS follow those rules. I do about 95% of the time. But if I really want a bite of something (usually a fruit or veggie), I’ll have it. And then be done with it. I’m still avoiding most breads, pastas and rice, though, especially white versions. (Except a tiny bit of stuffing at the Christmas party at work yesterday...but I ate some turkey FIRST! *lol*)

Things I’ve tried and been fine with:
- Steak
- Chicken
- Lamb
- Turkey
- Salad (again, this was a “cheat” yesterday, but OMG how I have missed salad! It was lovely!)

Things I still can’t tolerate:
- Smoothies
- Coffee
- Chocolate Milk (low carb/sugar)
- Cappuccino (again, low sugar)
- Protein Shakes

For some reason, anything heavy like this is impossible for me to get down right now. It’s CRAZY considering I used to CHOOSE a smoothie for breakfast every morning. Juicing was my jam! I was in love with chocolate milk and coffee! They say your tastes change after surgery, and I honestly didn’t put that much stock in that, but the fact that I haven’t been able to get down my beloved COFFEE and haven’t even craved Starbucks…and the fact that I’m craving ORANGES (I have hated all citrus fruit pretty much my whole life, except pineapples which I finally started eating a few years ago)….it’s true.

It’s a learning experience for sure. You have to learn what “hungry” feels like. (For me, it’s a pain in my upper stomach area and a headache.) You have to learn what your body will accept and what it won’t. I used to think people who refused to choke down protein shakes were just wimps….I feel sorry for that now. I literally CANNOT get it down.

So, I’m not getting all the protein I should. Most of my protein comes from food sources. I’m struggling to get half of what I need. I’m trying to get myself to get back to my Isopure, but that’s difficult now too. I bought some other protein powder that’s supposed to be good in coffee, but considering I can’t drink that either. They say you can put it in soup too, but it’s hard to find a good soup right now with protein (my go to soups are tomato and vegetarian vegetable). So, yeah, it’s been a bit of a struggle. But I’m still trying. And I’ll keep trying.

I’ll keep making healthy choices. I’ll keep listening to my body when it says I’m full. I have to keep stopping myself from serving myself too much. (I’m getting MUCH better at that, thankfully.) I’m finding things that work and things that don’t and realizing I am still buying way too much food for what we need now. The one thing that I buy in excess, and my husband doesn’t even give me crap about? Drinking options! *lol* I’m constantly thirty…which is good because the goals for post-op are:

(1) Liquids
(2) Protein

So in addition to ice cold water (SO glad I still love that!), I’ve found:
- Vitamin Water Zero
- Powerade Zero
- Hubert’s Diet Lemonade
- Diet/Unsweetened Tea with a bit of Splenda

I continue to hunt for other options that are low in sugar and quench my thirst, because I’m apparently really picky now about what I want to drink. If it’s something I want, I drink more and feel better. If I’m trying to force it down…yea, that doesn’t work anymore. Plus, EVERYTHING has to be ice cold. So we spend time putting my drinks back in the fridge and taking them back out. Hubs knows that if he sees a half-empty bottle next to the bed, if he touches it and it isn’t cold anymore, it’s time to just put it back and bring out another because I will NOT drink it warm. (Hey, if this is my worst habit, I can live with that.)

Things I’m looking forward to:

- Next week is week 6! That means I’m finally cleared for the gym! And I intend to be there at least 3 times next week. I’m ready to get that habit started up again. I’m ready to feel more in control of what’s happening to me. Not having control has been the WORST part of surgery for me.

- Trying new things! As I lose weight (look, the scale may not agree, but my jeans don’t fit anymore…so…) I can try new things and do new things. I’ve been through this losing process before and I’m starting to see the signs. My lovely divots, for one. I wrote a blog about this a million years ago it seems…when my body loses fat, there are little divots that form where fat once was in my tummy, legs, etc, but now there’s nothing left. Each divot is an accomplishment.

- Understanding myself! One other thing that a YouTube VSGer said – the hormones situation isn’t just me either. Not only am I dealing with post-surgery rapid weight loss, which is said to release a ton of hormones that fat cells carry as the fat cells are broken down, but I’m also at the point where I SHOULD be experiencing that time of the month. For those that don’t know/remember, I’ve been on Depo for 3 years. In anticipation of surgery, we took me off it so there would be nothing to hinder my weight loss. I had my last shot in July. To continue my treatment, I would have gone back in October for another shot. I didn’t go. Now, I could have had a period as early as November (but not likely), but surgery really screws up your monthly cycle. Now it’s December, and while I am experiencing some cramping and headaches (tell-tale signs), I haven’t had any spotting yet. So hormonally, I’m all screwed up right now! I’ll be happy when things finally level out and I can be myself again. (Of course, I’m hearing it’s likely not going to be level until 1 year post-op.)

Lots to look forward to. Lots still to do. I’m staying the course and keeping my head up.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ERIN1128
    So glad you found some support! Hang in there, it's going to get better!
    2018 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3406028
    Continue to stay positive! Try not to stress too much about what's happening to your body, just hang in there :)
    2018 days ago
    Just a quick comment to your Depo and period issues - after being on Depo for as long as you were (over a year), it can take 6 months to a year before you get a regular period, not counting for what surgery might have thrown off. So don't freak if you don't get one for awhile.....
    2018 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10795864
    Good developments!
    2018 days ago
    Loved your story. I know you will do great!
    2018 days ago
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