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  1. #1
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
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    Default SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    DISCLAIMER: This is only an "Annie" system; can't say it will work for anyone else.

    I have gone from 240 lbs to 134 lbs (as of this morning). And all my comorbidities are gone, my health is way better than since I was in my 40's, and life is good again.

    Hope it helps someone else or at least makes you laugh this morning! Without this community, I would not have come so far on the journey!
    ---------------------------TWO YEARS OUT FROM SLEEVE:
    Annie Green

    Before surgery: 240 lbs, 17 daily meds, chronic debilitating angina & multiple comorbid issues, major depression. I was only 50.

    Two Years Out: 134 lbs, 4 daily meds, almost no angina ever, no chronic comorbidities, well controlled MDD & GAD. I am 67 now.

    WHAT WORKS FOR ME NOW:

    How to eat: 1) teacup/saucer size plate; 2) bites the size of one nickel; 3) put down the fork & turn loose of it; 4) sit on your hands, lol; 5) Chew x 20 & swallow; 6) wait 30 seconds and ask how my sleeve feels (i.e., pressure, burping, impending feeling of dreaded toad froth). Then it's time for another bite. Yes, it sounds tedious, but it becomes a habit!

    Water: Water is my friend; water provides the ability for brain synapses to fire reliably; water helps my old lady skin to stay smooth and soft; water keeps “the food moving” & my breath sweet. Water costs way less than any other beverage.
    Protein: Rebuilds my tissue, keeps my hair growing, and fuels me for a long time; it does not have to be chicken, fish, seafood or beef. It can be a protein bar (used good judgment here) or it can be a protein shake added into my coffee or something else I'm having. Recheck with your doctor when you have a question about how much you are having in a day.

    Bread/Crackers/Biscuits/Pasta & Other Tasty White Food: Never forbidden, but CAUTION*CAUTION*CAUTION

    The primary purpose of these foods is to transport other food! I've learned a reasonable (1 tsp – 2 tsp) of whatever I was going to “tote” with these foods, may very well satisfy the “head” need to have them.

    Yes, you can use a vegetable like sliced carrot, or cauliflower, etc. I will not eat celery. I find it gross. And high in salt.

    Plan: If you are going to rely on salads, or sliced vegetables as part of your good health plan, prepare them. Invest in good storage containers. Bake several chicken breasts & freeze them in the portions you need. Learn to plan a grocery deli run to be sure you have sliced, sugar-free, low processed things like turkey breast, or chicken breast if you do not like to or have to time to use the toaster oven.

    Sugar: Sugar is NOT my friend anymore. One cookie is a myth in my life. BUT I have had a 5 cookie day. Yes I tracked it. Yes I got “dump syndrome”. Yes I thought I could dance like a Michael Jackson “Thriller” video. And yes I felt “hungover” and crashed. But I will still have a cookie – okay, maybe a bite.

    Alcohol: Never been a huge draw for me, but will sip over 3 hours a glass of wine (spacing in healthy eating) when we are out with friends or family. But usually water is so much better.

    Sleep: I really struggle with enough sleep. I think that's a part of aging, maybe. But I've always been up between 4-6 am, and generally back to bed (at least to read) by 8:30 pm. Unless our family is visiting, or we are visiting them. But they don't mind if I bow out early.

    Tracking: I track my weight daily. I genuinely have accepted that it's going to be a surprising number every day as it perversely goes up and down with water, hormones, salt, sleep (or lack of sleep), as well as the quality & quantity of food. I have a “drop dead” number where I review my calories/habits and then adjust if I am too far down (yeppers that's a thing post-sleeve) or too far over where I'm comfortable.)

    Mediation/Grooming/Attitude: We are all different. Somewhere in my mind existed a mythical “Annie” who just woke up as a natural beauty. As I've aged, my face has shifted to a countenance, which reflects my health, my spiritual life (meditation/attitude), my posture (hmm exercise) and my grooming. No one decides those things for me. Who I present to the world has become more authentic in terms of outward-bound qualities; make up has minimized, and hair will always be a work in process. Posture has become a focus (Sophia Loren says she never walks like an old lady even if she hurts somewhere.)

    SO – Love where I've come, looking forward to where I go from here with each of you!
    Attached Files
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0


  2. Gastric Sleeve Surgery With Weight Loss Agents
  3. #2
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
    Name
    Simonne
    Surgery date
    01/03/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Pablo Enriquez Valens
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Last Activity
    Today 10:09 AM
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    1,451
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    Was Thanked 1,191 Times in 776 Posts
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    8

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    O wow, two years already?
    And you are doing so great!
    Thank you for this posting, as always, it is very clear.
    Your schedule and way of working your sleeve is almost identical with mine, so it really resonates with me.
    I am glad I am not the only one with small plates and small bites, someone got me worried...

    But you rock Annie!
    keep it up.
    English is not my first language, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



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  5. #3
    Gastric Sleeve Member kenson's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    01/13/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Karl Strom
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Last Activity
    09-19-2019 10:05 AM
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    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Annie,
    This is great! So many things you've said is how I'm rocking my sleeve as well.
    Sugar is definitely the devil. Cookies are my crack. I just can't have anything that resembles a cookie in my life.
    I now weigh myself every single day. I know that may be detrimental to some, but like you said, I'm finding that it is keeping me "mindful" of where I am.
    You've been rocking your sleeve from the beginning. I can't believe two years have gone by already!



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  7. #4
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    10/07/2013
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Activity
    09-19-2019 08:49 PM
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    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    That is one amazing transformation! I don't think I'd ever seen your before picture. You look decades younger. I need to follow your example by eating less. Only meat or fish fill me up. Right now I'm scarfing down 2 eggs, no problem.



  8. #5
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
    Name
    Simonne
    Surgery date
    01/03/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Pablo Enriquez Valens
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Last Activity
    Today 10:09 AM
    Posts
    1,451
    Said "Thanks" 1,157 Times
    Was Thanked 1,191 Times in 776 Posts
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    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    I still can't eat eggs.
    I tried to eat a cheese omelet yesterday and it wanted to climb right out again.
    I think I'm giving up on eggs.
    English is not my first language, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



  9. Gastric Sleeve Surgery With Weight Loss Agents
  10. #6
    Gastric Sleeve Member
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    04/29/2019
    Surgeon
    Dr. Foreman
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Last Activity
    Today 09:23 AM
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    What an awesome post Annie. If anyone has questions about the VGS procedure, this sure answers so many of them. You've done a fantastic job and I'm sure you feel 1000x healthier.

    It really is a journey, and sure doesn't stop after the surgery. For me it has just begun with navigating through all of the circumstances of daily living, both good and bad. My relationship with food has changed so much, but I still have a long way to go. It's nice to read about all of you that have years of experience under your belt. It's an inspiration, thanks for sharing.



  11. #7
    Gastric Sleeve Member kenson's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    01/13/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Karl Strom
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Last Activity
    09-19-2019 10:05 AM
    Posts
    1,040
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    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 51 Times
    Blog Entries
    27

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie View Post
    I still can't eat eggs.
    I tried to eat a cheese omelet yesterday and it wanted to climb right out again.
    I think I'm giving up on eggs.
    I was never much of an egg eater and now for some reason just the thought turns me green Chicken, I can only tolerate slightly.



  12. #8
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,263
    Said "Thanks" 3,019 Times
    Was Thanked 987 Times in 642 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 194 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie View Post
    O wow, two years already?
    And you are doing so great!
    Thank you for this posting, as always, it is very clear.
    Your schedule and way of working your sleeve is almost identical with mine, so it really resonates with me.
    I am glad I am not the only one with small plates and small bites, someone got me worried...

    But you rock Annie!
    keep it up.
    Thank you, Dutchie! I sometimes fall right into the thinking that I must do it the way "everyone" does. I think realizing we are not "everyone", but unique and valuable through our individualness. Thinking for me, that' s the heart of aging well. <3 You are one of my touchstones on the journey.
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

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  14. #9
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,263
    Said "Thanks" 3,019 Times
    Was Thanked 987 Times in 642 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 194 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by kenson View Post
    Annie,
    This is great! So many things you've said is how I'm rocking my sleeve as well.
    Sugar is definitely the devil. Cookies are my crack. I just can't have anything that resembles a cookie in my life.
    I now weigh myself every single day. I know that may be detrimental to some, but like you said, I'm finding that it is keeping me "mindful" of where I am.
    You've been rocking your sleeve from the beginning. I can't believe two years have gone by already!
    Kenson, the issue with cookies it comes in a "single serving" container for me - regardless of there are two cookies, or 2 lbs of cookies. And I never met a cookie & didn't like!! Aren't we amazing to figure out we are not safe with them? THanks for all your help & support. And for reiterating that the actual lb number isn't as important as being mindful of your process.
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

  15. #10
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,263
    Said "Thanks" 3,019 Times
    Was Thanked 987 Times in 642 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 194 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by sraebaer View Post
    That is one amazing transformation! I don't think I'd ever seen your before picture. You look decades younger. I need to follow your example by eating less. Only meat or fish fill me up. Right now I'm scarfing down 2 eggs, no problem.
    Sharon considering most of my exercise includes the rocking chair and crocheting, and just regular walking, I do feel very fortunate to have had such success with the food part. Truly, going back to the gym is a goal but other health issues have just kept both Jim & I on the sidelines. Hoping that resolves.

    Eggs have been literally "touch and 'go'". At first they were just "go". Now I can do 2, if I eat them slowly & not like a ravenous wolf-girl.

    I've enjoyed learning to adapt family favorites (like etouffee and Polish dishes), so that we all eat healthier without sacrificing flavor. And you've helped me really see that the food is not as important as the communality of the meal and activity. Hugs, adventurer!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

  16. #11
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,263
    Said "Thanks" 3,019 Times
    Was Thanked 987 Times in 642 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 194 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by kenson View Post
    I was never much of an egg eater and now for some reason, just the thought turns me green Chicken, I can only tolerate slightly.
    I was an egg eater (we get homemade eggs from the neighbors) but I just returned them to my diet with any regularity this past few weeks. And then I must exercise great caution. Chicken -- only the way I fix it, not out. And the same with fish. I do love to cook and adapt the favs we have into something we can freeze. But fortunately, no ONE food is best for any of us, all the time.

    We are truly rocking this so far!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

  17. #12
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,263
    Said "Thanks" 3,019 Times
    Was Thanked 987 Times in 642 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 194 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by coopersmom View Post
    What an awesome post Annie. If anyone has questions about the VGS procedure, this sure answers so many of them. You've done a fantastic job and I'm sure you feel 1000x healthier.

    It really is a journey, and sure doesn't stop after the surgery. For me, it has just begun with navigating through all of the circumstances of daily living, both good and bad. My relationship with food has changed so much, but I still have a long way to go. It's nice to read about all of you that have years of experience under your belt. It's an inspiration, thanks for sharing.
    COOPERSMOM, I do still have some good/bad ideas in my head. And the days I am spot on with all my goals, I've had to learn are not "good", they just are. And the days I'm off, I'm not bad.

    My weird relationship with food is extremely traceable, as I 've journaled through the past two years. My mother, who was very slim (like June Cleaver house dress slim) harped constantly on my weight as well as my sisters' weights. We are respectively, 5'4, 5'6, 5'9. None of us weighed more than 120 ever. And in photos, we can "see" we are on a very small size of the world. My oldest sister was so tiny (like a ring size 3) and uber attractive. She spent her life thinking her appearance was her value. My middle sister chose to drink rather than eat. Since both were bipolar & self-medicating, I don't think being given a tool of shame helped them at all.

    I stayed a "normal" weight all through 5 pregnancies. I am not bipolar but have Severe Depressive Disorder & Aggravating Anxiety Disorder. I have never self-medicated with food or alcohol, since watching my sisters struggles saved me that direction. Following a particularly violent sexual assault, I think I felt safest in living heavy. And not leaving the house, and eating as a way to stuff down the fear. Each of us here has our own reasons we are who we are, and why we traveled our path.

    We are truly blessed to have the support of others on the board, a safe place to share our issues, our progress, and our successes!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

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  19. #13
    Gastric Sleeve Member Kristen NZ's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    07/22/2019
    Surgeon
    Mark Smith
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Last Activity
    09-11-2019 09:57 PM
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17
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    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Thanks Annie - fabulous pearls of wisdom there and great to have your tried and tested methods outlined. All really useful for me at the beginning of my journey. What an incredible change in your life- pre and post surgery - you are an amazing inspiration!



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  21. #14
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 05:18 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,263
    Said "Thanks" 3,019 Times
    Was Thanked 987 Times in 642 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 194 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristen NZ View Post
    Thanks Annie - fabulous pearls of wisdom there and great to have your tried and tested methods outlined. All really useful for me at the beginning of my journey. What an incredible change in your life- pre and post surgery - you are an amazing inspiration!
    Talk about inspiration! Your loss so far is amazing! Well done!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

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  23. #15
    Gastric Sleeve Member Christie13's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Christie
    Surgery date
    11/03/2016
    Surgeon
    Dr. Wright
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Last Activity
    09-12-2019 04:13 PM
    Posts
    5,169
    Said "Thanks" 978 Times
    Was Thanked 2,937 Times in 2,191 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 1,465 Times
    Blog Entries
    97

    Default Re: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT LIFE AT ALMOST 2 YEARS OUT (11 mo & 20 DAYS)

    Happy surgiversary Annie!! Great advice and big hugs!



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