In the last newsletter I ran an
email from Joy who was having a terrible time eating 6 months after
her surgery. She was discouraged and wishing that she never had
weight loss surgery. She felt alone and wondered if there were any
others who felt like she did.
I asked the question of you, the readers, if you
had problems with eating, how the problems were resolved and if you
felt sorry for having had surgery. I received some wonderful,
thoughtful and sensitive responses full of good advice. I want to
share them with you.
Please pass on my message to Joy about my lack of tolerance for most
foods. I had my RNY surgery in May 2008 and I had a complication that
made me have to have additional surgery just as I was able to eat my
tablespoon of egg. I chewed, chewed, chewed and threw up. I had a
blocked bowel and got it fixed but I hated everything. I could only
tolerate ice chips and very cold water in super small sips. If the
bottle was out of the fridge for more than 5 minutes I put it back in
to get cold. All my favorite non carbonated beverages tasted horrible
to me (Crystal Light in all flavors was the most awful thing) and once
I was able to eat more foods I found that most of them made me sick.
I ate more teeny, tiny meals of shrimp slathered
in cocktail sauce and crab legs dripping with butter than I want to
remember because these were the only things I could tolerate and not
foam and feel super nauseated. I could only drink peach and papaya
diet white tea from Lipton and the first time I tasted it I thought it
tasted like perfume.
The good news is that in December, 7 months post
surgery I gradually began to not feel ill any longer and started to be
able to eat more variety of foods. I am no longer nauseated all the
time. My endurance levels have increased and I am now happy that I had
the surgery and would and do recommend it to others.
Of course this in turn means that my weight loss
has slowed considerably. I hope Joy keeps trying different foods and
remembers that her body is healing from a major surgery and isn't
getting very much nutrition to help with the healing process. I
recommend that she try to use salsa and other lower calorie options to
add liquid to meals. She may want to stay away from salad at this
point all together, because there is no nutritional value there. I
hope she enjoys her friends for the company and doesn't worry about
the food. I hope she takes her weight loss and lack of appetite and
taste and runs with it because it doesn't last forever.
Good Luck and best wishes.
297(that is 300 in my book) down to 180 at this time and working on
losing about 20 - 30 more pounds.
Maybe I can help Joy with my story. My name is Jean and I had weight
surgery in August 2003. At that point I was 351 lbs. I lost very
quickly and could tolerate very little. I was very stubborn and
didn’t understand I had to eat very small amounts. Because of this I
caused myself to be ill constantly. Then I
ended up in the hospital for 4 days with dehydration. Eight months
after surgery they discovered I had
Chron’s disease, which made my choices of things to eat even smaller.
I kept asking myself, “What on earth have I
done? Why in the heck did I do this? “
My husband kept
reminding me that I did it for him, our children and grandchildren! I
had congestive heart failure and was an insulin dependent
diabetic with high blood pressure. If I
hadn’t made the choice to have the surgery I might not be alive today.
I weigh 148 lbs now and have not
gained one pound, in that I have been fortunate, I am also lactose
intolerant, and have to be careful about protein rich drinks.
I have and continue to drink at least a
gallon of water a day, without fail.
Would I do it again?
No, I don’t think I would. My appetite has still not come back and I
do not enjoy food any longer, no cravings at
all, which I suppose could be a good thing.
I, like you Barbara, lived on cocktail shrimp for the first year or so
and scrambled eggs. I never liked fish before but I sure do now. I
lived on sweets before the surgery and apparently was killing myself.
I don’t enjoy cakes, pies or baked
goods at all anymore; that is also not a bad thing. But you know what?
I’m very healthy, no more heart problems, no
high blood pressure, and no more diabetes so
I don’t have to give myself shots anymore.
Just remember your
health is the most important thing
you have, so we have to take care of it. I am now 61 years old and
have a better figure and am in better health than when I was
in my 30’s. Remember we are alive because of
the surgery. In all reality, when you look at the big picture, food is
not important at all!
Barbara, it was because
of you and reading your book that convinced me to have the surgery in
2003. I was operated on in the Henry
Ford Hospital, downtown Detroit. We live 50 miles north of there in a
small community called Waterford, MI, but my family traveled
every day to visit me for the 4 days that I
was a patient. I have had enormous support from my family and friends
here at work. Even with all of that,
I’m still not 100% sure I did the right thing, what I would give for a
hot fudge sundae!!! I have tried and after 5 or 6 bites
I get sick.
So I understand Joy;
but in order to stay alive I had to do it. Everyone is right, every
day it will get better, and you will learn
to accept your limits and not miss the food
all the time. I’ll be thinking of you and please let us all know how
you are doing.
I don’t know how to send pictures to you on
the computer, but believe me, you would be shocked!!! Thanks for
listening to me and caring about all
of us through the years, Barbara. I still refer back to your book “The
Thin Person Hiding Inside of You”
whenever I have any kind of issue or
question. Bless you for being so candid in the book. It really pulled
me through a lot of things. Hang in there Joy!!! Food is not life.
I do enjoy your newsletters - they always address something I might be
having a problem with or teach me something new. Thank you for giving
of yourself to the weight loss surgery community as you do.
I had gastric bypass surgery in May 2007, so I'm almost 2 years out.
My, has it been that long?!
I read Joy's query and your answer to her eating difficulty at 6
months out. I too lived on shrimp as chicken and I didn't talk to
each other for almost 6 months - just wouldn't go down.
Concerning protein shakes/drinks, I too became lactose intolerant
following surgery and after several wrong choices, we finally found
Lactaid. I continue the shakes twice a day with no ill effects using
Isopure and flavorings from VitaLady. On weekends I have different
proteins for a change up - Control Bars, new from Bariatric Advantage
or Profect or ProteinX. The last two taste horrible but go down
quickly! I know that they give me what my body needs, so I tolerate
the yuck for the several seconds it take to pass down my throat.
Joy needs to speak up at meetings so others can help her out. She
probably has several sources in that circle who might have experienced
the same or similar problems and be able to help her with their
suggestions and support. That's what she needs to understand, the
support group is for support in whatever way we need - for affirmation
in our up times and for helping us along in our down times. I
confessed to eating a couple of large bags of M&Ms last year and got
the support and motivation I needed!
Hope some of this may be of use to her. Thanks again.
Bless you for your wonderful books and your monthly newsletter! Even
now, 4 years out, I still refer back many times to your books and look forward to my
As for Joy and her problems with food, boy does
that ever sound familiar! It was like that for me and lasted about 5
to 6 months after surgery. Nothing tasted good - either it was "funny"
tasting or totally unappealing. Just the thought of certain foods made
me want to gag let alone smell them. Like you, I found things that I
could tolerate protein-wise and ate them over and over again. In my
case it was chicken wings, crab legs and cottage cheese! Go figure!
Nothing else was appealing, but I did manage whey protein shakes.
After that 5-6 month spell of this strange diet it all changed and
then the thought of eating crab, chicken wings and cottage cheese
filled me with revulsion, but I found I could eat and enjoy lots of
"normal" protein filled foods. Now only very few foods make me queasy
- especially things with aspartame and tons of preservatives.
Unfortunately, I'm one of the unlucky ones who never dumped on
Please tell Joy to hang in there because it WILL
get better and she will probably be very happy that she made the life
choice of weight loss surgery. I would also suggest some sort of
physical activity that she enjoys doing. It does wonders for
self-esteem and helps to rev up the metabolism. I started with pushing
a cart around Wal-Mart without stopping for 1 hour and now I'm working
out daily with weights, aerobics or yoga. She can get through this! I
wish I could send her an email hug!
Thank you again for your hard work on behalf of
all of us WLSers!