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RJS113

Bariatric Surgery

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I was pushing 400 lbs last year, and decided to have bariatric surgery. 

I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life (I turn 34 next week). When I was younger, I’d gain and lose 60 pounds at a time like it was nothing. But the last 8 years or so I just kept gaining. This time last year I was 396 pounds (I’m 6’1”). 

I made the decision to have surgery last June, but my insurance required me to attend 6 months of nutrition classes before approving the surgery. I ended up having my Gastric Bypass on January 29th. 

The surgery went great. No complications, and the pain wasn’t too bad. I was out of the hospital the next day. The toughest part after surgery was just my lack of energy. I was put on a 2 week liquid diet before surgery, and couldn’t start eating solid foods again for another 4 weeks after surgery. 

A few weeks after surgery I did end up with pretty bad gout in my foot. (Which is common after gastric bypass because it increases uric acid levels). I literally couldn’t walk for a week, but once my dr got it under control it hasn’t come back. 

The weight loss has been incredible. I lost 43 pounds prior to surgery (17 of that was during the two week liquid diet leading up to my surgery) and another 133 lbs since surgery (176 lbs total). Today I weigh 220 lbs, and am just 25 lbs away from hitting my goal. 

Weight lost by month:

October - January 15th: 26 lbs

January 15th-29th: 17 lbs

February: 37 lbs

March: 18 lbs

April: 16 lbs

May: 13 lbs

June: 14 lbs

July: 12 lbs

August: 10 lbs

September: 8 lbs

I don’t miss junk food. I actually still eat a lot of my favorite foods. Last night I had 6 cold shrimp with cocktail sauce for dinner. Tonight I’ll probably have steak (4 oz or so). I love sushi, but now I just get sashimi instead (no rice). 

My quality of life has improved dramatically. I can do normal things now that I struggled with before, like tying my shoe laces. I no longer have to ask for a seat belt extension when I fly, and don’t have to shop in the big and tall section anymore. I have so much more energy and feel 20 years younger. My back and knee pain are gone. I recently signed up for Orange Theory, which has me doing the most intense workouts of my life. 

Like I said before, having the surgery was the best decision I’ve ever made. My only regret is not doing it sooner. 

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Congratulations! I lost weight the old fashioned way, going from 202 to 158 in about 16 months. I still like food, but I control what I eat, I avoid processed foods and too much sugar/ starch, my job has me work hard, so I burn a lot of calories as well.

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Awesome job! Sounds like you’ve committed to the lifestyle changes that you needed to make to make it work long term for you. Well done.

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13 minutes ago, Terminalxylem said:

Great job. Any idea how much your caloric intake changed from the 400 lb version of you to currently?

Just guessing, but at my highest I’d say 4000 a day. 1500-2000 just from soda and Gatorade. Now I’d say I average around 900. 

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21 hours ago, RJS113 said:

Just guessing, but at my highest I’d say 4000 a day. 1500-2000 just from soda and Gatorade. Now I’d say I average around 900. 

If you had just stopped drinking soda and Gatorade, sounds like you could have gotten there based on that alone. Did your doctor ever encourage that?

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Congrats, glad it worked out for you. 

OTF is a fun class. 

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You should be commended for taking this step towards a healthier lifestyle. A lot of people just can’t do it on their own. No matter how you got there, you did, and that’s all that matters. 

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Just now, fruity pebbles said:

You should be commended for taking this step towards a healthier lifestyle. A lot of people just can’t do it on their own. No matter how you got there, you did, and that’s all that matters. 

Agree 100% -- awesome stuff, sounds like you have a whole new life.

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42 minutes ago, Otis said:

If you had just stopped drinking soda and Gatorade, sounds like you could have gotten there based on that alone. Did your doctor ever encourage that?

I stopped drinking soda and Gatorade, and stopped eating fast food in June when I decided to have the surgery. Lost a little bit of weight, but not much. 

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Congrats RJS - you’ve added years to your life and as you mention quality to your years.  That’s awesome!

Stop by Otis’ thread for continued support, tips and schtick.

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1 minute ago, AAABatteries said:

Stop by Otis’ thread for continued support, tips and schtick.

:goodposting:

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3 minutes ago, RJS113 said:

I stopped drinking soda and Gatorade, and stopped eating fast food in June when I decided to have the surgery. Lost a little bit of weight, but not much. 

Got it.  Keep staying away from the soda and Gatorade.  That stuff is so awful.  Water, flavored seltzers, etc.!

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Good work.  The trick will be keeping it off and not picking up the bad habits again.  That was the toughest part for me, Xmas cookies, Halloween candy and the crap like that.  Shrimp and lean beef are both awesome ways to get good meals in without gaining a ton of calories.

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6 minutes ago, The Big Guy said:

Good work.  The trick will be keeping it off and not picking up the bad habits again.  That was the toughest part for me, Xmas cookies, Halloween candy and the crap like that.  Shrimp and lean beef are both awesome ways to get good meals in without gaining a ton of calories.

I still like candy and cookies, but I limit myself to one or two, because I remember carrying basically the equivalent of my 4 year old son around before I lost the weight, and I put the cookie down. I will not go back to that life.

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Update: Hit my goal last week. Have lost 203 lbs (I’m down to 193). 

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Amazing. Congrats !  Will you change anything you’re doing now that you’re at goal?

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20 minutes ago, Otis said:

Amazing. Congrats !  Will you change anything you’re doing now that you’re at goal?

Thanks! Not going to change anything. Not sure what weight I’ll end up settling at, but I’ve lost 10 lbs so far this month, so it’s still coming off pretty quickly. 

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1 hour ago, RJS113 said:

Dude, that is really amazing. Truly. It is.

I know a couple people that have had that surgery, and it’s a lot of work and dedication. They didn’t fare nearly as well as you did. You should be really proud.

I’m really happy for you. You look great.

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14 hours ago, RJS113 said:

Holy crap you look fantastic dude.

No joke if I were guessing your age based on these two pics, it's like you jumped from your 40's to your late 20s.

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14 hours ago, RJS113 said:

Holy crap. That’s amazing!  Can’t be the same person. You must feel like an absolutely new man. Congrats and enjoy!

Edited by Otis

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Just now, ShamrockPride said:

Holy crap you look fantastic dude.

No joke if I were guessing your age based on these two pics, it's like you jumped from your 40's to your late 20s.

Totally agree.  Insane. 

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Alright, let’s talk about what I’m sure everyone asks about. How’s the excess skin? 

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6 hours ago, ShamrockPride said:

Holy crap you look fantastic dude.

No joke if I were guessing your age based on these two pics, it's like you jumped from your 40's to your late 20s.

Thanks! I honestly feel 20 years younger (I’m 34). 

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3 hours ago, kutta said:

Alright, let’s talk about what I’m sure everyone asks about. How’s the excess skin? 

I’m lucky. I have really don’t have any. Very, very little anyway. 

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Congrats!  You look healthy and happy.

Have you had any issues post-surgery?

A relative of mine had this surgery ~20 years ago and has had issues many years post-surgery:

  • No appetite, which led to....
  • Major vitamin deficiencies (potassium and vitamin B being the worst).  In fact, her potassium was so low at one point about 3 years ago that she nearly died.  It affected her liver, etc.
  • SEVERE Acid reflux (almost immediately after the surgery and recovery)
  • Sleeping issues (unsure if related -- but wasn't a problem pre-surgery)

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Dang, nice job!  My wife's niece when thru this about a year ago and had similar results.

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1 hour ago, doowain said:

Congrats!  You look healthy and happy.

Have you had any issues post-surgery?

A relative of mine had this surgery ~20 years ago and has had issues many years post-surgery:

  • No appetite, which led to....
  • Major vitamin deficiencies (potassium and vitamin B being the worst).  In fact, her potassium was so low at one point about 3 years ago that she nearly died.  It affected her liver, etc.
  • SEVERE Acid reflux (almost immediately after the surgery and recovery)
  • Sleeping issues (unsure if related -- but wasn't a problem pre-surgery)

The surgery has changed a lot in the most recent 5 years or so.  They aren't doing as much re-sectioning as in the past, and opting instead for methods they can reverse if it goes in the weeds.   For a period of time the fatality rate was in the 5% range.  That's still less than obesity all causes, but I mean.....  

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1 hour ago, doowain said:

Congrats!  You look healthy and happy.

Have you had any issues post-surgery?

A relative of mine had this surgery ~20 years ago and has had issues many years post-surgery:

  • No appetite, which led to....
  • Major vitamin deficiencies (potassium and vitamin B being the worst).  In fact, her potassium was so low at one point about 3 years ago that she nearly died.  It affected her liver, etc.
  • SEVERE Acid reflux (almost immediately after the surgery and recovery)
  • Sleeping issues (unsure if related -- but wasn't a problem pre-surgery)

Reflux and poor appetite are common post op. Vitamin deficiencies are also common, especially with older bypass procedures, but easily preventable with appropriate supplementation.

Those problems are likely minor compared to the health concerns one would accumulate from 20 more years of morbid obesity.

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6 hours ago, doowain said:

Congrats!  You look healthy and happy.

Have you had any issues post-surgery?

A relative of mine had this surgery ~20 years ago and has had issues many years post-surgery:

  • No appetite, which led to....
  • Major vitamin deficiencies (potassium and vitamin B being the worst).  In fact, her potassium was so low at one point about 3 years ago that she nearly died.  It affected her liver, etc.
  • SEVERE Acid reflux (almost immediately after the surgery and recovery)
  • Sleeping issues (unsure if related -- but wasn't a problem pre-surgery)

I haven’t had any issues. I think acid reflux is common with the sleeve surgery, but not so much was gastric bypass. I do get an appetite, and eat throughout the day, just in small amounts. I take a vitamin daily that’s made specially for Bariatric surgery patients to avoid any deficiencies  

And I don’t have any sleeping issues, especially since I went from having very extreme sleep apnea to being completely off my cpap machine. 

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Wow, what a great turnaround - congrats.

Edited by Nigel

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A lot of people are going to see a Doctor in Mexico named Elias Ortiz.   5K for the entire process sounds like a no brainer.  Had two ladies from my office go and they have done great.  The cost is ridiculous in the US.    

 

 

BTW congrats you don't even look like the same person in that picture.    

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8 hours ago, SHIZNITTTT said:

A lot of people are going to see a Doctor in Mexico named Elias Ortiz.   5K for the entire process sounds like a no brainer.  Had two ladies from my office go and they have done great.  The cost is ridiculous in the US.    

 

 

BTW congrats you don't even look like the same person in that picture.    

Most health insurance plans should cover it, assuming you follow certain steps. I had to go to nutrition classes for 6 months, do a mental health evaluation, etc.

The surgery cost about $35k. My out of pocket cost was $1,800, and my insurance covered the rest. 

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