My Favorite Apps For Life After Weight Loss Surgery

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I highly recommend the following 2 apps to track food and water.

Baritastic is great for tracking everything you eat as it tracks not only calories but protein, carbs, etc.


One REALLY important thing to remember when you have bariatric surgery is to chew small bites for 30 seconds, wait 1 minute between bites, wait 30 minutes after eating to drink, and wait 15 minutes after drinking to eat. Baritastic also has a great timer that times all that for you.

Water Drink Reminder– You can set it for any interval you want so I have it set to remind me to drink every 20 minutes IF I’m behind in my water for the day. So if I start the day drinking say 8 oz then it won’t remind me for a while until I should have had more than 8 oz by that time of the day. So it sort of paces me if that makes sense. I had to put a fake weight in it though to get it to track 64 oz of water since that is my daily goal. With my real weight I had to drink more according to the app.

13210907_10153495627451770_2033078546_oSee the bar on top? So the triangle on the bottom moves throughout the day so you know how much you should have had to drink to be on track for the day. You can set your awake hours so it only reminds you and tracks your drinking during those hours. Mine is set to start at 8 and go until 11. And my kids get a kick out of the alarm sound I picked (water being poured).

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

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My Road to Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

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beforeI can’t stand the picture above. It is certainly not flattering and hard to put out there for all to see. But it’s reality. The ugly reality that I’ve become morbidly obese. There, I said it. I’m morbidly obese. But this is a before picture. Things are going to change……

I’ve wanted to get weight loss surgery for several years since nothing else I have tried has worked long term. I was so disappointed to find out 2 years ago that my insurance policy had weight loss surgery as an exclusion. I spent the next 2 years trying to lose weight on my own. Then I got new insurance about 6 months ago and thankfully with my new insurance weight loss surgery is covered.

I went to an informational seminar with a local bariatric surgeon and started the process to get approved for gastric sleeve surgery. I didn’t think the lap band or gastric bypass was right for me. Everyone needs to make their own decision as to which surgery is right for them so talk to your surgeon and do your research. To get a date for surgery I had to do several things- get cleared for surgery with a metal health professional, go for nutritional counseling, and get a letter of medical necessity from my primary doctor who also had to verify that I’ve tried to lose weight with doctor supervision in the past but couldn’t lose enough or keep it off. The letter of medical necessity needed to show that I was not only overweight obese at 222 pounds but also have several co-morbidities such as diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea. Once I got those three things the surgical coordinator contacted my insurance company for approval. It took about a week and a half before my insurance company gave the approval for surgery. I was given April 25th as my surgery date!!! 

At 4 weeks out from surgery I had to get clearances from a pulmologist, endocrinologist (because of the diabetes), cardiologist, and my primary doctor. I was sent for lots of blood tests, stool sample, urine, breath test where you have to drink a special drink and then breath into a special baggie type thing, an EKG, a sonogram of my heart, and a stress test. For the month leading up to my surgery I felt like an 80 year old going to a different doctor every day but I was thankful that all of my body systems were being checked out to make sure I was ready for surgery.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

My BMI wasn’t that high so I didn’t have to go on a liquid diet pre-op like some people do. I just had to eat clean, low fat meals leading up to surgery and lose 10 pounds. The whole point of losing weight before surgery is to shrink your liver a little to give the surgeon easier access to your stomach below. I’ll admit that not every meal I had in that last month was a healthy meal. I had several food funerals for things like pizza, popcorn, tacos, and sushi……all my favorite things. I went on a trip to Los Angeles in the middle of my pre-op month so eating clean was hard that week because many of the meals were either from set menus or hotel food but I just made the best choices I could. But I’ll admit for some reason I had a hard time getting the right mindset and taking the preop diet seriously. I’m not sure why I had such a hard time getting in the right mindset. A week before surgery I put myself on a liquid diet with a small protein (3-4 oz) and veggie dinner and that did the trick. I ended up losing about 10 pounds in the month leading up to my surgery.

20160424_174558The night before my surgery I was told that I could have a normal dinner. I just had to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. So my last meal was sushi. I just made sure to not have soy sauce because I didn’t want to be too thirsty the day of my surgery knowing I couldn’t drink. My surgery was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. so I was so afraid I’d be thirsty or hungry the whole day and couldn’t do anything about it. I ended up drinking A TON of water the day before surgery so I was well hydrated even though I couldn’t drink all day. I highly recommend drinking as much as you can the day before surgery so you are well hydrated. I really wasn’t thirsty at all on my surgery day thankfully. I went to bed that night thinking about what my new life would be like.

Read about my Gastric Sleeve surgery day.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.







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My Gastric Sleeve Surgery Experience

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preopApril 25th, 2016- The First Day of My New Life

We got to the hospital at 12:30 and had to wait a bit. Finally they took me back to a room and asked me a ton of questions. They I had to get in a hospital gown and they put in an IV. My husband was then able to come in the room with me while we waited for my surgical time. The surgeon came in at 2:30 and said he was running late and was just going to start the surgery before mine. UGH! So my surgery was pushed to 4:00. I wasn’t happy about waiting even longer, especially since I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since midnight but I think the nerves and excitement took over and got me through the wait.

Eventually the nurse had me give my glasses to my husband, give him a kiss, and they wheeled me into the operating room. I remember them having me scoot from the bed I was on in the  initial preop room to the operating table. They must have given me a sedative right after that because I don’t remember anything else from the operating room. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room with 80% less of my stomach.

I don’t remember much from being in the recovery room and I’m not sure how long I slept. Unfortunately there were no beds available on the surgical floor when I came out of surgery so I had to wait in a recovery room until after 9 pm. I remember wanting to see my kids but they weren’t allowed in the recovery area and by the time I was in my own room it was past their bedtime and my sister had already taken them home. I got to talk to them on the phone to say goodnight but not seeing them was a little hard. Our original plan was for me to have my surgery at 2:30 and have the kids go out to dinner and then come visit me after but with my surgery pushed later and the lack of available beds, our plans changed. At the time I was devastated but looking back it really wasn’t a big deal.

20160424_211053 (1)I had my girls each draw a heart on my wrist with Sharpie marker so at least I had a little bit of them with me for surgery.

20160425_224110Once I was in my room I was allowed ice chips but no water yet. I was on a morphine pump as need and I used it mainly when I wanted to get some rest. I tried not to over use it but I also wasn’t trying to be a hero and not use it if I needed it. I never really had the gas pain in the shoulder like many people mention. My gas pain and pain in general was in my abdomen which is no surprise since my stomach now had 5 freshly stitched up holes in it. I took GasX for the gas. I had brought my own GasX strips but they gave me chewables in the hospital so I saved the strips for when I got home. I was determined to get up and walk as soon as they allowed me to so once I was settled into my room I had the nurse help me up to walk the halls. I had to drag my IV stand and catheter bag with me, fun fun, NOT! But it was good to get up and walk. The more I walked over the next few days the better I felt. Sure I was still in pain (much less than I had from my 2 c-sections) but when I sat for too long I stiffened up so walked was the best for me. When I was in the bed my legs were attached to pressure cuffs (not sure the exact name for them). They are like blood pressure cuffs but for your legs to prevent blood clots. They alternate inflating on each leg. Normally I had things on my feet, hate socks in bed, etc. but thankfully they didn’t bother me.

April 26th, 2016- Post Op Day 1

Around 6 a.m. they removed my catheter which was a blessing and a curse. It was much easier to walk around and get comfortable without the catheter but without it, every time I had to pee I had to unhook the pressure cuffs from the bed, unplug the IV pump from the wall, and go into the bathroom to pee into a collection bowl that was in the toilet aka a hat as the nurses called it. Then I’d have to call the nurse to come empty the hat. I felt like I was peeing often and constantly having to get the nursed to empty it. After a while I almost missed how easy it was when I had the catheter and didn’t have to go through the whole production to go to the bathroom. Same thing for walking around the hospital floor. I tried to walk every few hours and each time I had to go through the whole unhooking process with the cuffs, IV pump, etc. but I was happy to be up and walking.

I was now allowed room temperature water in addition to the ice chips. I was only able to have a sip at a time and each time I took a sip I would get a sharp pain in my stomach a few seconds later that would last a few seconds. My stomach did a lot of gurgling all day. I was afraid to get constipated like I did when I had my 2 c-sections so I had the nurse give me a stool softener. I wish I could say the stool softener helped but I had to take stronger meds later in the week to get things moving if you know what I mean. I spent the whole day resting, walking the halls, and playing around on my phone. The pain level was better than the night before but I was still using my morphine pump as needed. It was more intense discomfort than unbearable pain. Nothing I couldn’t handle fortunately.

April 27th, 2016- Post Op Day 2

20160427_091441Early in the morning on post op day 2 I was taken off the morphine pump and switched to pain pills. I was so excited when I was brought my first meal tray with broth, jello, warm tea, and room temperature water. Again I had sharp pains a few seconds after I took a sip when it would hit my stomach but it only lasted a few seconds. The broth was warm, soothing, and delicious after not having anything besides water in the last 2 days. There was still a lot of gurgling going on in my stomach but the nurses said that is normal. I was sore and tired but excited when I was finally released from the hospital around 1 pm. The rest of the day I sipped room temperature water, warm broth, and warm tea. I continued to take the GasX and pain pills as needed.

Check Out What I Ate and Drank Week 1 Post Op

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.



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The Cat Is Out of the Bag- I Had Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

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gastric sleeve surgeryI wasn’t sure if I was going to tell my friends that I had Gastric Sleeve surgery but then I realized that I’d rather put myself out there and be open with everyone so I can help and educate others. If I help even one person on their weight loss journey then it will be worth it. Here’s what I wrote on facebook when I “came out” to my friends:

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this post. I was worried about the backlash and negative comments I would get because I got crap the last time I posted anything about this. But I’ve always been a pretty open person if it means someone else hearing my story would learn from it, gain from it, take comfort in it. That’s probably one of the reasons I became a blogger. So if anyone has anything negative to say, please just go ahead and unfriend me now. Obviously you don’t belong in my life.

So here it is. Monday I had Gastric Sleeve surgery. (This is TOTALLY different than gastric bypass surgery.) I can tell you this- It isn’t the “easy way out” by any stretch of the imagination as some people think. Heck I thought it was the easy way out at one point in my life. But it isn’t. It’s a tool to help me lose weight so I can be healthier and happier for myself and my family, especially my girls. I still have lots of work to do. Life will never be the same. They removed about 85% of my stomach to create my new stomach sleeve. My stomach (once it is healed) will only hold a few ounces. I won’t be able to eat large portions ever again. I won’t be able to drink with my meals (gastric sleeve patients have to stop drinking 15 minutes before meals and can’t drink for 30 minutes after meals). My first year will consist mainly of proteins and then vegetables. Eventually I will be able to add back a few complex carbs but protein will always be my priority.

Right now until the swelling goes down my stomach is about the diameter of a pen. It is very hard to get anything down. I am on liquids and pureed foods right now and each meal is literally only a few bites if I can get that down. Breakfast today was one scrambled egg. I ate about 1/4 of it and was done.

This isn’t the easy way out. This is a challenge. This is work. I know it will all be worth it in the end when I am healthier, but it is hard. I am in pain. My incisions hurt. It hurts when each sip hits the bottom of my new stomach. It hurts when each bite hits bottom. But it is all worth it.

I’ve been told that this surgery wasn’t for someone like me. That it was for people over 500 pounds who really needed it and we on death’s door. I’ve been asked why I couldn’t just lose weight on my own. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. I just haven’t been able to maintain it over the years. With PCOS, fibromyalgia, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, and several other issues, it’s been difficult to say the least. I’m not getting any younger and neither are my girls. I want to be the best mommy I can be for them and that includes having the energy to play with them. I know that the surgery won’t cure my fibro and I will probably still always be tired and in pain but I am hopeful that it will help make things less painful and give me some more energy. That’s all I can do is hope and work towards my goal. So here I go….

(ETA- I saw my surgeon over 2 years ago but at the time it wasn’t covered my my insurance so I had been looking into this for a while and educated myself on it as much as I could. I suggest anyone thinking about getting this or any bariatric surgery to do their homework. get all the info, and make the best choice for themselves. If anyone wants to talk about my journey and their own privately I’m happy do chat, be a resource, etc.)

Read more about my weight loss surgery here and here.

InstaSize_2016_1 _ 229406Me with one of my reasons for having weight loss surgery. To be a healthier, stronger mommy!

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

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