My first lot of FAQs was done at 3 weeks after my surgery, I’m now 8 weeks out and quite a bit has changed – so here is a second version of the FAQs (rather than an update).
Frequently Asked questions:
How much weight have you lost?
Always the first question I get asked, and if you get a sleeve done (and people know) it will be the first question you get asked too.
I lost 4.4 kilos on the pre-surgery shake diet and since my surgery day I have lost 13.1 kilos, so a total of 17.5 kilos so far – that is 35% of what I want to lose. I have yet to start exercising (I said I would at 8 weeks, so I am starting this week with some longer walks – I will be easing my way in to it), and I have not been particularly calorie conscious.
What dress size did you start at, what are you now, and what are you hoping to get to?
I started somewhere between a 22 and a 24, depending on the cut/brand etc. Eight weeks out, I am still a size 22, but things are definitely loose. Thankfully I wear a lot of dresses, so I just look baggy and wear a belt occasionally.
My end goal, weight wise, is around 65-70kilos – so I’d say for my height that would be a size 10 or a 12. I don’t want to be skinny. I actually don’t think I have the genes or the bone structure to ever be considered skinny. I’d just like to be able to shop at normal dress stores and find something in my size. I promised myself at goal weight I’d go in to a skanky shop, like Supre and buy something cheap and nasty, just because I can.
What does your stomach look like now?
It’s flatter! I have lost around my stomach, and I can really feel it there more than anywhere.
As for the scars, they’re still there and occasionally they feel bumpy – but they’re definitely less red and the stitches have subsided.
How much can you eat?
I am eating about half a bread plate worth of food usually – somewhere around ½ – ¾ a cup. But to be honest, it seems to depend on WHAT I am eating. For example, I can eat about half a chicken thigh, or I can eat half a sandwich…but I can eat half a block of chocolate too.
The chocolate thing quite surprised me. I thought I’d get a block and have a few squares, but then next thing you know I’d eaten half the block and I didn’t feel full. This was my first experience with slider foods – foods that slip right through the stomach. My dietician had mentioned that I should stay away from mushy foods, as I will be able to eat more of those in one sitting. The other slider food I have encountered is potato chips – I figured I’d have a handful, but ended up eating a full 90g bag over a two hour movie. I have since rid my house of all chocolate.
What can you eat?
I seem to be able to eat everything now. I don’t have any reactions to anything in particular, except deep fried food, and I believe that is due to the fat content, not my stomach.
Do you feel hungry at all?
No. Never. But I’ve found that doesn’t really make any difference. There are afternoons where I am bored and I will eat out of habit, more than hunger – this is something I am trying to work on. In the meantime, though, I am trying to snack on things like half an apple or a small handful of nuts.
Do you feel full after you’ve eaten?
I eat so slowly that it takes a while for me to get full. More than anything, I get indigestion and that’s how I usually know I’ve had my fill.
What happens if you eat too fast?
Same as above, I get indigestion. I can feel the reflux in my throat, but after about 30/45 minutes it passes. I’ve found drinking tea with honey has helped with the indigestion.
Has it been hard to make the right food choices, or are you told what to eat?
I must admit that I have become lazier since making it to solid foods. I do concentrate on my protein intake quite a lot still – I’ll cook up chicken and vegies but only finish the chicken. I do need to work out the portion sizes better.
There are mornings when I don’t feel like breakfast and don’t eat it, but this means I am missing the opportunity to get in those nutrients.
Are your bad eating habits gone, and were they easy to break?
No, my habits aren’t gone. I still find myself snacking out of boredom, even though I am not hungry. This is something I am currently trying to work on.
What’s your concentration span like?
Fine. I’ve not noticed any difference, if anything it’s better! I’m no longer in a sugar/fat haze, and because I spend less time thinking (daydreaming) about food, I have more brain space.
Do you have more/less energy than before?
Some days are better than others. This past week or so I have been quite tired, but I have also been quite slack with my protein shakes and vitamin intake – there’s definitely a correlation there.
Has there been any effect on your sleep?
I’ve been sleeping well, and a lot. I sleep better than I did before, I don’t wake up in the middle of the night as much.
What other changes have you noticed?
I’m cold all the time. I bought my first ever jacket!!!
I’m feeling a lot more confident about myself and my future – I put up an online dating profile, I booked in for a course I have wanted to do for years and I dyed my hair blonde!
I am not so food-social focused. I am happier to cook at home than I used to be, and I am more likely to eat leftovers.
What has been the hardest thing?
Still the hardest thing for me is that it is impossible to get in enough protein and fibre, while still getting the recommended water intake – however at eight weeks the reason is different. I’ve actually lost my appetite. There are days where I’ll stare at my lunch and just screw up my nose – no matter how delicious it is. I constantly take a bottle of water with me, but I have no desire to drink anything.