One Year After Gastric Bypass My Reality
It’s been one year since I had my gastric bypass and it has been roller coaster of a ride. This time last year I recall seeing all the Easter eggs on the shelves and thinking, I’ll never be able to eat chocolate again! I was grieving and saying goodbye to certain foods I was told I would never tolerate again.
One year later I can honestly say chocolate is still my enemy. I can eat chocolate. It is not a food that makes me unwell. I don’t get dumping syndrome and in a way that’s pretty cool but in another way I have to work just as hard as any other person on a healthy eating plan to make sure I eat healthy and don’t give in to temptation.
Gastric bypass is no easy way out and for me it has been far from what I expected.
I attended a program for one year before my weight loss surgery and learnt so much. I was told what I could and could not do after the operation, what my new stomach would and would not allow but each person is different and once my body had healed at around the six month mark, pretty much none of what I’d be taught applied.
I lost weight super fast at the start. From March to August I steadily lost weight. I couldn’t eat much due to swelling and healing. I had to follow the liquid diet, then move to mashed foods and then move to solids.
I told the surgeon from the beginning that I was constantly hungry and never felt full. I honestly don’t think my stomach is as small as it should be. It can’t possibly be… otherwise I would not always feel so hungry.
Once my stomach was completely healed and I could tolerate normal foods, I continued to eat the “plan” I was given. Low fat and low sugar foods. However I did not lose anymore weight. Was I disappointed? Heck yeah! I had been told I’d lose up to 75% of my excess body weight. I was told I’d most likely reach 13 stone, but here I am stuck at 15.10 and I’ve been stuck here for 7 months.
I don’t think it’s right to starve myself to lose weight. I need to get good nutrition and make sure my vitamin levels are right. I eat healthy and I follow the rules in regards to high fat and high sugar foods- I avoid them and that keeps me from regaining the weight I lost. I do have the odd treat now and again but in moderation and not in a way I would gain weight from it.
So my gastric bypass helped me to lose around 3 stone in the first 5 months but since then nothing. I spoke to a dietician who said to be happy. She reminded me that I take steroids and other medications on a daily basis and that this could be a factor in why I have not been as successful as expected.
The harsh reality is, I am back to square one. I have to continue to do exactly what anyone else with weight issues does. I have no advantage and if I want to stay at this weight I have to work hard to eat good foods. I eat mainly proteins and veg but I do not lose weight.
I don’t know what to say. Was my operation a success or a failure? I guess it was successful in that It helped me lose some weight but a failure in that this is no long term solution. That’s how I feel. The operation does not benefit me long term. How can it when it does not make any difference to me?
I question if it would have been better to have gone on an extreme diet for six months and lost the 3 stone another way. Then at least I wouldn’t have the vitamin and mineral absorption issues I will suffer the rest of my life. Yes that is something that I have issues with but I at the time I was willing to sacrifice this for the long term weight loss.
Do I feel my operation was worth it? Yes and no. I am so glad I am 3 stone lighter than the day I had the procedure. I am glad I feel healthier for it and that I fit size 18 clothes. But would i do it again? No! I would not. Maybe it works for others but it did not work for me in the way I’d hoped. If I was offered a revision would I take it? I don’t know. If I was offered a reversal would I take it? No because of the pain. I could not put myself through that pain again.
I know this may not be what people expected to read. I certainly did not think I’d be saying this one year out. I did not think I’d be feeling negative about my experience one year out and I genuinely expected to be weighing much less like many of the other gastric bypass patients I’ve seen.
I must add that the team that did my operation lost their contract and therefore I’ve not had any support or follow ups since I was 5 months out and maybe this also has something to do with why I feel so rubbish about the situation.
However this is my reality and I’m not going to sugar coat and hide the truth about how I feel one year out. From here on out I have to work hard to just eat healthy and do as everyone else does. Albeit the fact I am not well for exercise and my medication works against me. I will keep trying and not give up.