2 Month Post Op Gastric Sleeve Update Including What I’m Eating Now

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13502005_10153593058546770_7245326217828475999_nThis picture is a few weeks old from when I was 8 weeks post op.

Sorry I’ve been a total slacker updating about my progress since my gastric sleeve surgery. (Check out my other posts about my gastric sleeve surgery.) My surgery was April 25, 2016. I am now almost 10 weeks post op. This was supposed to be my 2 month/8 week update so it’s a little late. My girls are home with me all summer and keeping them busy and active has taken priority over posting so please forgive me.

I am down 27 pounds since the surgery and a total of 37 pounds overall since I started the preop diet. It is slow weight loss compared to many who get the sleeve BUT I’m 42 years old, I’ve probably killed my metabolism with so many diets over the years, and I have PCOS so that makes losing weight even harder. That being said, at least I am losing even if it is slow. I am more than half way to my goal of 150. Just 35 more pounds to go. Ultimately I’d like to be closer to 135 but 150 is my goal for now. I will admit that I have been busy with my girls being home and I haven’t exercised like I should be. (I wasn’t losing any faster when I was exercising the first month though.) I am exhausted all the time from my fibromyalgia and so I’m having a hard time getting motivated. Have any tips on getting motivated to go to the gym or exercise? Please share them. One day I’d love to actually love working out. Right now, not so much sadly. I’m just being honest. But even when I’m not losing pounds, I can tell I am losing inches. I am really beginning to see the difference from the before and after pictures.

TIP- Someone told me this tip and it’s a good one. Take pictures of yourself every month in the same door frame. It’s easier to see weight loss when you’re within the same “frame”. It helps keep perspective.

The best news is that I went to my endocrinologist and………..MY A1C IS NORMAL WITHOUT MEDS!!!! My diabetes is in remission!!! If nothing else I am totally thankful for this surgery for that news!!!

There is a little bad news to report though. I’ve mentioned before that everything I eat gets stuck by the 3rd bite no matter how tiny my bite is and how much I chew. I went for an Upper GI test a few weeks ago and it was determined that I have reflux and a hiatal hernia that I didn’t have before surgery. It might have happened from the few times I vomited after surgery or when I got hiccups a few times. I have tried everything else my doctor suggested- chewing slow, chewing smaller bites, going back to liquids for a few days, etc. and nothing has helped SOOOOO I’m having the hernia repaired in a few weeks. I’m not happy to have surgery again but I want relief and I can’t live like this with food getting stuck at every meal. It is uncomfortable and no way to live forever. I’ll update on the surgery when I finally get a date but the surgeon said it is laparoscopic and only requires one night in the hospital. I’m hoping the pain is minimal like the sleeve surgery was for me.

The middle image below is a good depiction of what is happening with my sleeve. Just picture the right side of the stomach gone like my stomach is. The top part of my new stomach is sliding up above my diaphragm because of the hernia. When I eat anything it sits above my diaphragm and gets stuck because the stomach isn’t where it should be. My stomach should be all below my diaphragm instead of part of it up above my diaphragm where my esophagus should be. It makes total sense why food is getting stuck. I just hope the surgery fixes it and I can begin my “new normal” life.

hiatal herniaPhoto Credit- Proactive Therapy MB

2 months post op gastric sleeveHere are some foods that I’ve been having lately. I met with a nutritionist and she said to stick with proteins for now. When I lose another 10 pounds she said I can add one starch and one fruit per day on the days I exercise. I am still trying to drink at least 64 oz of liquids per day (mostly water). I stay away from caffeine since it is a diuretic. The doctor said for every cup of caffeine I have I need to drink 2 cups to counteract the effects. It’s hard enough to get 64 ounces in to begin with so I just avoid caffeine. I only have protein drinks on days when I am really low on protein for the day so only a day or two a week.

I start every day with Fairlife Milk. It is high in protein and low in carbs. I take my meds (Ursodiol and Omeprazole) with the milk as well as my vitamins (multi, B Complex, iron, D, B12 (every other day since it was high when I was tested a few weeks ago), and Hair, Skin, and Nails Vitamins. I haven’t started losing my hair yet but they say it usually starts at 3 months so it’s probably going to happen soon. With the biotin in the Hair, Skin, and Nails Vitamins and the PURA D’OR organic shampoo and PURA D’OR organic conditioner I use to prevent hair loss, I’m hoping my hairloss is minimal. Two hours after I take my iron I take 2 calcium chewables.

Some of my other go to products:
chicken breasts

Easy frozen chicken breasts that are individually portioned. Just throw it in the oven frozen and viola!

chicken burgers

Again easy single serving frozen chicken burgers.

dole dippers

Great for a sweet fix. I only have one or two pieces in a package and give the rest to my kids. I don’t get the banana version because it has too much sugar/carbs for me.

fairlife milk

Fat Free Ultra-Filtered Fairlife Milk is high in protein and low in carbs. It tastes great. I take my pills with 8 oz every morning to jumpstart my protein intake for the day.

fried eggs

Don’t let the picture confuse you. I’m only eating one egg for breakfast at this point but at least one of my girls requests one when I’m making mine. This Microwave Egg Cooker Stoneware from Pampered Chef makes fried, scrambled, and poached eggs so easily. I love it and because it’s stoneware, clean up is a breeze. I also keep hard boiled eggs on hand for protein snack.

griled nuggetsMy favorite “fast food” is Chick-fil-a grilled chicken nuggets. They are the perfect size for me. I usually get the 8 piece and have left overs. YUM!

protein chipsI recently found these Protein Chips at Walmart. They are high protein chips that are low in carbs and give me a much needed crunch. They do have an aftertaste and aren’t yummy like regular chips but they do help with cravings so I keep them on hand for those times when I really want chips.
ready snack goEasy on the go protein lunch or snack. I also always have low sodium Boar’s Head deli in the house to my my own deli rollups but these are easy to take and go. Just watch the sodium. It adds up.

cheese crackers

Cheese “Crackers” made from Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese Slices. Cut each slice into 4s, place on parchment paper, and cook in the oven for 35 minutes at 250 degrees. They are soooo good!

sugar free jelloMy favorite snack- sugar free jello. I like these brands because they are more “solid” than the Jello brand and I like my jello to be more like jigglers than too soft. Bonus, I count the jello as part of my water count for the day since it’s made with water. 😉

tyson chickenI saved my favorite for last. These Tyson Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Strips are the bomb! They are low in carbs (7 carbs in a 3 oz serving) so I can have them for lunch or dinner and get 16 grams of protein. They taste homemade. My husband thought I had breaded my own chicken the first time I made them. They are great to dip in G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (I should have taken a picture of that, too. It tastes like regular BBQ sauce and is SOOOOO good!) and also great to make into chicken parm. YUM! Make sure to get the ones pictured. They are precooked. They also sell them raw. The precooked ones are easier because you can microwave them.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.
















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4 Weeks Post Op Gastric Sleeve Surgery- The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful

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4 weeks post op gastric sleeve surgery

I’m 4 weeks post op from gastric sleeve surgery. Physically I am feeling great as far as the surgery is concerned. The recovery was a lot easier than I had thought. I was in pain the first few days but it wasn’t intolerable. Once I was released from the hospital 2 days post op, I only needed the pain meds to sleep the first 2 nights home and that was it. My incision sites were tender for the first 3 weeks but I’m amazed how well I’ve healed. My incisions look great and I’m sure with time they’ll fade even more and be hardly noticeable.

My daughter had a field trip with school to Walt Disney World last week and I wanted to chaperone but didn’t think I would have been up to all that walking. Now I wish I had signed up to go because I totally would have been fine going aside from having to figure out what foods in the park I would have been able to eat. I’ll get more into my eating struggles in a bit. Let’s keep this part the positive section.

I am eating between 500 and 800 calories per day. That includes between 60 and 80 grams of protein and between 5 and 25 carbs. My meals are 2-3 oz and are mostly protein. I’m eating things like eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, salmon, tuna, chicken, ground beef, and steak strips. I was cleared to eat soft, low starch veggies but I’m not really getting to eat the veggies because I’m trying to eat enough protein first.

I have been losing inches all over my body and my clothes are starting to get looser. My jean shorts can be pulled on and off without buttoning them and I had to buy a belt yesterday to keep them up until I buy new clothes. I’m starting to see changes in the mirror and other people are starting to notice, too.

I began to obsess over my weight loss, how many pounds I was losing, etc. so I stopped weighing myself daily and made myself a promise to only weigh myself once a week. I didn’t want to get rid of my scale altogether as I wanted to make sure that what I was eating was keeping me on track. So I’m happy to report that I hit 2 important goals this week. As of today I am down 25 pounds (that is from the preop diet and also the sleeve surgery). With losing 25 pounds I reached the coveted “Onederland”. For those of you who have never been over 200 pounds, “Onederland” is when you get below 200 pounds and in the one hundreds. I am now at 197 pounds. YAY!!!

I am trying to walk 4-5 times a week. I still don’t love it. It’s not a habit yet. I’m not addicted to working out yet. I’m hoping that with time I will enjoy it more. I did great last week and even walked over 4 miles one day. Another good benefit of me walking more is that my daughter has been walking with me and it is helping her be more active and get fit because she is also overweight. But this week my daughter has been home sick and I’ve been tired and achy from my fibromyalgia so we haven’t walked much. Next week will be better.

And the best news…….My endocrinologist had me test my blood sugar a few weeks ago now that I had the surgery and I haven’t had any diabetes meds since before my surgery. I am happy to report that ALL of my blood sugar readings have been in the normal range!!! I am hoping that when I see my endocrinologist next month he will say that I no longer have diabetes. Fingers crossed.


Most people who have gastric sleeve surgery are no longer hungery post op. With so much of the stomach removed much of the hunger hormones are also removed. Unfortunately for me I am still hungry….ALL THE FREAKING TIME! The nutritionist said I’m just “one of the lucky ones”. SIGH! It’s frustrating to say the least.

I am getting in my required 64+ oz of water daily but it’s a slow process. I’m not allowed to drink with a straw ever again (it will cause me to swallow too much air) nor am I allowed carbonated beverages ever again because it can make my sleeve get bigger. Water tastes gross to me now as do many flavors of drink mix so I am still working on finding flavors I can tolerate. But I can only drink 4-5 swallows of any beverage at a time or I get nauseous. So drinking 64 oz is a full time job and I need to make sure I’m drinking all day. I us a free app called Drink Water Reminder that reminds me all day to drink my water and it really helps me stay on track and make sure I get all my fluids in.

I am allowed decaf tea and decaf coffee- I love coffee and tea so I was excited to hear this. BUT post op my tastes have changed (which I have heard is common) and now coffee tastes sour to me. I was a BIG iced coffee drinker preop so it makes me incredibly sad that I no longer enjoy iced coffee. Drinking iced coffee was almost part of my identity so this is a big change to me. I am hoping that my tastes will change back and I will once again be able to enjoy a cup of iced coffee but only time will tell.

Coffee isn’t the only thing that no longer tastes good to me. I used to really enjoy sushi. I can’t have the rice anymore but I can have the fish. I ordered seared ahi tuna last week while out to lunch and it was just blah. No longer enjoying some of my favorite foods because my tastes have changed is another thing I need to get used to. I’m hoping that as time goes by I will be able to enjoy my old favorites or at least find new ones. I want to get to a point where food isn’t ruling my life but I can still enjoy it. I’m not there yet.

I’m follow the doctor’s orders and only taking tiny pinky nail sized bites, chewing 30 seconds per bite, and then putting down my fork for a minute in between each bite. But everything is still getting stuck by the 3rd or 4th bite. It is really frustrating because then I have to wait a few minutes in between each bite to wait for things to go down. It hurts right below my throat near my breastbone. After speaking with my surgeon last night at a support group meeting he is sending me to do a swallow test to make sure everything is ok. He said that I could just be swollen still and things could still be tight but better safe than sorry. Even with my external scars almost healed it still takes 3-6 months for the internal scars to heal so I have a long way to go with that.

I could deal with everything above but what is frustrating me the most is the slow weight loss. Most people with the gastric sleeve lose weight faster than I am. I know in my head that slow weight loss will probably make me more likely to keep the weight off and more likely for my skin to shrink, too, as I lose weight but it’s still frustrating. I have only lost 15 pounds the first month post op since the first 10 were on the preop diet. Many people lose 15 pounds the first WEEK or two so losing it in a month is frustrating. I know that any weight loss is great and I am moving in the right direction but I’m being honest here. I wish I was losing faster. It would make all the other problems “worth it” in a way.

So far my energy is still low from my fibromyalgia. I was hoping that with the surgery, diet change, etc. I would get more energy and less brain fog but that hasn’t happened YET. I’m hopeful that as I lose weight I will eventually get some more energy.


Overall I don’t regret my choice to have gastric sleeve surgery. Even with slower weight loss I keep reminding myself that with the 25 pound weight loss I am more than 25% towards my goal. I would like to get down to 150 at least but ideally 135. That means to get to 135 I needed to lose 87 pounds total. Since I’ve gone from 222 to 197 and lost 25 pounds that means I’ve lost 29% of my goal. I have 62 more pounds to lose so even if I only lose 2 pounds per week I should reach my 135 pound goal in the next 8 months. I got this!

PhotoGrid_1464311451327What a difference a month makes! I wasn’t sure how noticeable my weight loss is until I took 1 month post op pictures in the same shirt that I took my preop pictures in. My stomach is so much smaller and I can see that my face is slimmer, too. I am looking forward to the future and excited to share my journey with you. If anyone has any questions, comments, or just wants to leave me some encouraging words below I would really appreciate it.

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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