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weightloss history

Gastric Bypass: Day 1608

FEBRUARY 09, 2016 | PAULA WRAY

It's been awhile since I reported on my weight situation. As you can see by the graph above, I had leveled out quite nicely for several years, content to languish in the 220s with little thought or effort. I had the food monkey off my back, and was not seeing a dietitian or weight-loss specialist, or going to support group. I was happy to be plump but not circus material, yet secretly fearful that any interference with my lackadaisical lifestyle would rock my boat.

And then it happened! My PCP sent me to the weight-loss specialist who expressed concern that I was going to end up right back where I started. (NO! DON'T PUT THAT IN MY HEAD!) She recommended some perfectly reasonable modifications to my teenage-boy-fast-food diet. How about having a glass of water every-other drink, eating light English muffins instead of white bread, and swapping your candy bar for a protein bar. But most adamantly she advised, I had to STOP DRINKING CARBONATED BEVERAGES altogether!

I was going to have to start thinking about food again. As always, I started off with good intentions, shopping for nutritious food and actually packing my lunch which requires a level of foresight I don't normally demonstrate. I kept up the food recommendations for about two weeks, but I only lasted three days without my soda. The MountainDew-deprivation had made me totally obsessed with it and hence the dominoes started to topple.

As you can see, my weight line took a decidedly upward turn at that point. Don't get me wrong; she's a terrific doctor, but when it was time for a return visit, I couldn't do it for several reasons - my high-deductible, the embarrassment of failure, but mostly the fear that my weight would continue sloping skyward each time she gave me direction.

What about exercise? I find that I mind the cold, dark, rain, and snow more than I did in my younger years. Hence I've slacked off walking a bit. But thank heavens for a dog that frets and fusses until he gets his walk in the evening. We're getting back on the straight and narrow, venturing out in most any kind of weather and using a flashlight in the dark. I might not be going quite as far on these bitterly cold nights, but I'm moving.

Is the gastric bypass still working it's magic? I can definitely eat more at a meal than those early days post-surgery. The pouch becomes more elastic as you stretch it with too much food and especially the carbonation. But I still eat smaller meals than my pre-surgery days. I'll always have the benefit of a shorter intestine to impede absorption. But the way you can really screw up the weight-loss surgery benefit is by grazing all day.

What are the other lasting repercussions of gastric bypass surgery? I'll always need vitamin supplements, calcium, iron, B12 injections. There were a few miserable bouts of food stuck in my stomach pouch, finally relieved by time and sipping hot tea. But the worst ongoing issue is dumping which I'll leave you to figure out for yourself. Suffice it to say it makes for a miserable commute, and the Sheetz store is often my friend. I'm sure this problem would be alleviated by sticking religiously to the gastric bypass recommended diet - particularly avoiding fat and sugar.

Well, there you have it, and I hope to give you a better report next time. Wish me luck.

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