In March 2012, my husband was diagnosed with stage 3 malignant melanoma. He underwent 3 surgeries and is now undergoing a year of treatment.
In May 2012, we decided to downsize and move. My hubby could no longer maintain the 3 acres we had, and I couldn’t keep up with cleaning the 4,000 sq foot house! So we put the house on the market and in August we moved into a brand new 4 bedroom duplex. Brand new – as in, newly built, no one has ever lived in it before new. It’s only 1,600 sq ft, with a garage and basement storage area. It’s on two levels and perfect for us and the 3 kiddos still at home.
So all that has kept me very busy.
Ok – on to my health update. Earlier this year, I was NOT doing well at all. No energy. Battling major hypoglycemic episodes, extreme fatigue, etc… I knew something was going on – just wasn’t sure what.
So I finally got my doctor to agree to test my thyroid again. My TSH levels had been going up – even if they were within “normal” range, it was inching up to the high end of normal. I’m now on thyroid meds and feeling tons better!!
Downside to thyroid issues, I gained 40 lbs in the past 1.5 years. Ugh! Seriously – it upsets me greatly.
I’ve been tracking my food, and most days, before supper I’ve not even eaten 1,000 calories, so with what I eat for supper – I may get to 1,200 calories. Again, how can someone gain weight eating so little? Not fair.
But the thyroid meds are helping. I finally went back on hormone replacement (HRT) after 7 years of not being on anything. What I’ve learned is that being in total surgically induced menopause (meaning I have no ovaries & no uterus) stresses the body because the hormones are all out of whack. Part of that stress, over time, can cause thyroid problems (who knew!).
So just going on those two meds, in addition to my regular supplements, has helped me 1000 fold! BUT, I still have a few issues – and my doctor thinks I have gluten intolerance/sensitivity. So they want me to go gluten free!
I’ll be honest, the whole gluten free thing is throwing me for a loop. I know this is probably an issue for me, and could very well be part of my life-long weight issues! Two of my older children have been diagnosed with celiac. Since this is something that usually runs in families – they very well could have gotten it from me.
Gluten is hidden in tons of things from food to lotion to lipstick. To wrap my head around that is more than I can deal with at present with my husband’s illness, treatments and moving!
But gluten free living is coming for my family – and soon.
So enough about me – how are YOU? I want to hear how you’re doing in your gastric bypass post-op life?
Okay, I will admit that the way it all played out seemed like she was more interested in monetizing her situation, rather than using her public influence to educate others about diabetes.
But what really baffles me is folks lamblasting her for the food she cooks. Namely, blaming the butter and fried foods for her diabetes.
First, fat does not make you fat. Fats eaten from natural food sources (butter, animal meats, coconut oil, nuts) are good fats and good for you. Our brains need fat to stay healthy and low fat diets have been linked to depression and binge eating. Fat makes us feel satiated so we don’t overeat. Remember: good fats, from good sources are good.
Paula Deen did not necessarily always use good fats. She did use a lot of butter; but also used fake fats like vegetable oil too. It’s the fake fats that have been linked to inflammation and recent studies have shown is the contributing factor to heart disease. So fake fats cause inflammation and inflammation causes heart disease.* It’s not the cholesterol, the butter or fats from meat or other good sources that cause clogged arteries. Our bodies can handle real fat, but do not handle fake fats. Keep it real! *Request my free report above, The TRUTH About Weight Loss Surgery, for more details on fake fats vs. real fats.
But probably the most likely reason for Paula Deen’s type 2 diabetes (aside from any genetic predisposition) is her excessive use of carbs: potatoes, pasta and sugar. These types of high glycemic carbs cause insulin spikes, which over time, stress the pancreas and eventually limit the body’s ability to keep insulin levels stabilized and thus, blood glucose levels remain high and the result is type 2 diabetes.
Cutting carbs is the best approach to managing diabetes with diet*, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are also part of a healthy lifestyle to manage diabetes. *Obviously discuss your specific situation with your doctor.
Actually, eating a low carb diet is probably the best way for most folks to lose weight! Low carb does not mean no carb; our bodies need carbs, but they need to come in the form of non-starchy vegetables. Potatoes and corn are starchy. Spinach, green beans and leafy green salads are not.
We don’t need bread, potatoes and pasta. I’m telling you it’s those types of high glycemic carbs that are packing on those pounds, raising insulin levels and making you feel sluggish. I truly believe we could avoid many undergoing weight loss surgery if these folks would change what they eat, and eat low carb.
On a low carb diet, you don’t count calories, you count carbs. How many carbs should you eat daily, depends on who you ask. I know some who like to stay around 20 net carbs per day; others 50-100 net carbs. I personally think you should do what works for you, your body and gives you the results you want.
Because carbs directly effect insulin, it makes sense to eat a low carb diet to either manage your diabetes, or lose weight to avoid getting diabetes. It just makes sense.
To Your Health,
What do you think about Paula Deen’s diabetes announcement?]]>
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If you are a weight loss surgery post-op; are you plugged into a support group?
If so, is it an online support group, or a live in-person support group?
If you are not part of a support group, why not?
Are you having trouble finding a group that ‘fits you’?
Have you tried other support groups and found them lacking?
Would you be interested in joining an online support group, for a small fee (to help keep out spammers & keep information private)?
Have you ever been to a live weight loss surgery event?
If yes, what event and where?
If no, would you be interested in attending a live event to meet others, learn about gastric bypass health issues, new supplements, etc..?
Thank you so much for your response! I can’t wait to hear from you.
To YOUR Health,
I know I’ve been remiss about posting here regularly; but do get comments on my older posts – so I know folks are finding this site and still benefiting from previous posts.
Today, I want to give you an update on where I’m at in my post-op journey….
First, if you haven’t already, enter your name and email above to get my free report: The TRUTH About Weight Loss Surgery. It’s eye opening and covers some very important things that could benefit anyone, regardless if they are pre-op, or post-op.
Now for my update.
I’m doing fair. The reactive hypoglycemia is an ongoing issue. I have to eat a little bit of something every 2-3 hours to keep my blood sugar stabilized. My iron levels seem to have stabilized. I changed my iron supplement to carbonyl iron with vitamin C, that I get from Vitalady.com and so far, that seems to be doing a pretty decent job at keeping my iron & ferritin levels up.
Since I have osteoporosis and I take Vitalady Tender Dry Vitamin D3-50 (50,000IU) once a week (also from Vitalady). I also take Vitalady Tender Calcium Citrate Only 300mg(elemental) from Vitalady. I do have hyperparathyroidism, which honestly is the bulk of my current complaints and health issues (click the link to read the list of symptoms – I have nearly every one. Enough said – it’s not fun!). This means I need to increase my calcium even more!
I also take a multivitamin, magnesium citrate, both from Vitalady. I also take extra zinc and a sublingual liquid B vitamin supplement (with B12) that I get from Walmart.
Protein shakes: my favorite is Champion Pure Whey Stack. Not only does this protein taste great, it does NOT contain sucralose (NutraSweet), which I am allergic to. Let me give you a bit of advice about buying protein; get samples first! What I love, you may hate – and protein is not cheap. I like ordering my protein from Vitalady, because she offers samples! So you can try before you buy a larger container. ;)
Overall – I’m fair. The hyperparathyroid symptoms are awful; but with increasing my supplements, I will overcome this and feel better. To say that supplements are important is an understatement. They’re critical.
Are you a weight loss surgery post-op? If so, how far post-op are you and how is your health?]]>
Like most, I sailed through the actual surgical procedure without complications. I had no major issues or problems. I ignored my surgeon’s supplemental advice of 2 Flintstones chewables and Carnation Instant Breakfast as his recommended ‘supplemental’ advice; and began taking bariatric specific supplements as soon as I got home from the hospital.
Imagine my shock when 3 years later I had a mild heart attack due to severally low ferritin and iron levels. The form of iron I was taking, was not what I needed. I also learned that the portion of our small intestines that does the best job absorbing iron – I had removed as part of my bypass surgery.
Then, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and severally low vitamin D and zinc. How could this be? I was taking my supplements.
Apparently taking supplements – even those designed for bariatric post-ops – is no guarantee you’re getting the nutrients you need. Deciphering blood work results is tricky, as not all is always as it appears at face value on test results either. You have to know what to look for, to know how deficient you are and in what nutrients.
Adjusting supplements is an art form. You take more, but how much more. You adjust your dose, wait 3, 4 or 6 months – test again, adjust again. Taking too much of some supplements can be dangerous, and even with malabsorption, apparently this can happen.
If you are one who is a gastric bypass post-op who had a malabsorptive procedure, it is urgent you do three things:
If you are feeling tired, no energy, experiencing symptoms of depression, numbness, tingling, etc…. you need to get to your doctor now. Please. We had this surgery to get healthier, and that’s not always what happens for everyone.
Find a support system to help you, keep you on track with your diet, exercise and what you’re experiencing. This will help you.
To your health,
P.S. Reply below and let me know if you have experienced any gastric bypass complications since having your surgery. What issues are you having? What type of surgery did you have? How far post-op are you?]]>
Ok – so today I had an epiphany on the why we (and that’s the collective we, that includes me, and anyone else who has struggled with their weight) struggle with losing belly fat and body fat in general. We have tried exercise, diets and nothing really works. It’s a ton of work, often a ton of money – and the results are, at best, slow to see results and usually short term. Once we go back to eating normal portions and we aren’t exercising every day for an hour – the weight piles back on. Frustrating!… and confusing.
So today I found some excellent information about why we struggle with our weight and why dieting and aerobics will not fix the problem.
Watch the video to learn what I found out. I bet you already know this information; yet were not actually doing it.
So, were you like me and shocked that you knew this and really hadn’t been doing this simple thing? Comment below and let me know.
Learning that your focus and efforts were going in the wrong direction is a huge light bulb moment for me.
To YOUR Health,
P.S. Seriously, check out Fat Loss Quickie Home Office Workout, as Scott’s workouts are designed around doing the key thing we need to permanently lose weight! So my finding this information today, only confirmed that Scott’s program is exactly what I need to be doing!!
P.P.S. Here’s a link to the audio when Scott Tousignant interviewed me about my weight loss surgery experience.]]>
Not the answer you were expecting?
Hate to tell you, but weight loss surgery is definitely not an easy way out, nor a quick fix for all that ails you. Quite the contrary, I see more and more folks like myself who have essentially traded type II diabetes, hypertension and all the other ailments of pre-op life; for a now a post-op life of osteoporosis, low energy levels, iron infusions and battles to stay well nourished!
If it were only as simple as taking a few vitamins and that’s it – the struggle would not be there. But unfortunately, finding supplements in the proper forms that we can absorb, and equally as important, in the correct amounts to keep our blood work where it needs to be to keep us healthy, is practically a full-time job! I posted on the topic of gastric bypass post-op supplementation two years ago.
Recently I was interviewed by Scott Tousignant, also known as ‘The Fat Loss Quickie’, about my life after weight loss surgery. He asks me if, knowing what I know now – based on the issues I’ve had, would I have the surgery again. My answer is no, I wouldn’t.
My mission is to give an honest post-op life view as I am living it, and how I’m seeing other longer term post-ops are doing overall. If someone has not had the surgery, I’m not going to recommend weight loss surgery as an option, until I give them the honest truth on what life is like. I also want to help those who have already had gastric bypass surgery and are finding they need answers and help. Someone who understands their struggles.
I realize that not every single post-op struggles with post-op nutrition like I do, but a good majority of them do. I’m not referring to those that didn’t follow their surgeon’s post-op supplementation schedule, because to be honest – if we all did that, we’d be in worse shape!
Surgeons are trained to do surgery – they are not trained nutritionists, and even nutritionists are basing their information on a normal digestive system. The gastric bypass digestive system is far from normal – malabsorption is not easily dealt with to keep us healthy. The fact that every person is unique in how their body responds after weight loss surgery is what makes getting help and keeping YOU healthy so difficult.
There are some awesome online support groups with very knowledgeable folks willing to help. Michelle Curran, aka: The VitaLady, is one such person. Michelle and her husband Don both had weight loss surgery; Michelle in October 1994 and Don in October 1995. Michelle is brutally honest about the supplements we need to take, and does not gloss over the importance of taking all that we need and that it is a struggle that can only be won by regular blood work to monitor how you’re doing and adjusting your supplementation schedule based on your labs.
Staying Positive & Staying Focused
Believe it or not, getting your guts rearranged is not a permanent solution to keeping the weight off, if you do not change your eating and exercise habits. The further post-op you get, the more you are able to eat foods that you weren’t immediately post-op. The fact that you’re willing to try to eat foods you know you shouldn’t is clue #1 that you’re veering off track. If this is you, and perhaps a few pounds have crept back on: STOP! Right this very second stop the destructive behavior. There is no more lifelines. No more excuses as to why you’re gaining weight again.YOU are responsible for the food that you eat, and the supplements you take.
If you have not been exercising, then I’ve got a program that will help. I’ve been doing Scott’s awesome Home Office Workout, which is broken down into two 10 minute workout sessions per day. Because I have been struggling with low energy, my stamina and ability to do long workouts is not possible; but 10 minutes I can do (and you can too!) and I love Scott’s workout videos!
Exercise as a post-op should be part of our new lifestyle changes. It helps keep you focused on health. So instead of slipping back into bouts of depression and a sedentary lifestyle, we need to stay focused good, healthy habits and a positive attitude.
To YOUR Health,
P.S. If you are a post-op, how is your health? If you’re considering weight loss surgery, do you have any questions? I’m here to help.]]>
What Causes Obesity?
The simple reason: calories in – calories out. If one eats more calories than they burn off, then the extra is stored as excess weight.
What is not so simple, is why an obese person has more calories than they are burning off. This is where the true cause of obesity lies.
Before I give you those reasons, I want to qualify those reasons with this: There are no always or nevers. Meaning one can not say this is always the reason, or this is never the reason. There are going to be exceptions in all things; but my focus is on the common broad-reaching reasons that are true for a large majority of the obese population.
Reasons for excess calories that lead to obesity:
Now the above two reasons are contributing factors, but they’re huge. When I hear someone, referring to the obese, say ‘Why don’t they just stop eating?’ or ‘Why don’t they go on a diet?; it irks me. It’s an ignorant (i.e. uneducated) statement and a broad generalizing prejudiced statement at that.
I would bet that nearly every single obese person has dieted more than the average size person; and in fact, the dieting is one of the contributing causes of obesity! “Dieting” usually involves deprivation; starvation methods of weight loss, that involve too few calories that throw the metabolism into starvation mode where it won’t let go of fat. And if you happen to be one of the unfortunate ones who has a genetically slower metabolism, and you try the deprivation/starvation dieting method – you truly screw up your metabolism to the point where you can gain weight eating very few calories per day. I know – as I was one of those unfortunate few.
I know for a fact that every single person who has had gastric bypass has been on a diet, and most on a supervised diet. This is one of the requirements one must meet before having gastric bypass. So gastric bypass is not the easy way out, or quick fix. It’s the last resort when all other attempts to lose weight have failed. Undergoing major surgery to dissect your stomach down to the size of an egg and remove 5 feet of small intestine and redirect what’s left is most definitely not the ‘easy way out’. It’s painful, costly and has lasting long-term potential for side-effects, if one is not careful and diligent in taking their protein and supplements.
Then you have the ghrelin hormone issue; where you feel like you’re starving – ravenous even – and going without food is nearly impossible. This goes beyond having will power; as your body is literally working against you. This goes beyond normal hunger; this is a hormonal imbalance triggering the ravenous appetite and the need to eat.
Gastric Bypass resolves the ghrelin hormone issue as the part of the stomach that produces the ghrelin is removed during the gastric bypass procedure – for those surgery types that are both restrictive and malabsorptive; such as Roux-en-Y (RNY), the ghrelin issue is resolve immediately when the surgery is done.
However, gastric bypass also helps for those with slow metabolism as it reduces the food intake, and the calories/fat absorption via the malabsorptive component, to bring the caloric intake in line with the body’s metabolic energy needs. Not to mention that by losing the weight, one is then better able to exercise to boost the metabolism even further; where as while obese, exercise is often very difficult to impossible.
Obese people are not lazy, they have a metabolic condition that contributes their obesity. Is every single obese person suffering from one or both of these reasons? No. There are some who just choose to eat too much and not exercise. Like I said, there are no always or nevers and there will exceptions to every rule; but the majority of obese people dieted themselves into obesity. They have a body that’s working against them and they are frustrated, embarassed and often fighting depression and stereotypical prejudices.
It is my hope that this article enlightened those of you who did not know these facts, encouraged those of you struggling with obesity to know it’s not all your fault and I encourage you to see a doctor for help in overcoming your obesity. Gastric bypass may not be the answer for you, but remember: if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Another day doing nothing to seek help for your obesity is another day without progress toward overcoming it. If you are a gastric bypass post-op, I encourage you to reach out and help others – either those in the obese community with questions, the new post-ops that need mentoring or helping to educate those who do not understand obesity.
Give back and pay it forward.
¹ The Hunger Hormone, Controlling Ghrelin
² A Matter of Fat; Ghrelin Hormone Promotes Storage of Energy as Fat]]>
Now there’s a suggested link to gastric bypass surgery and cancer prevention! The 20/20 show video provides more details.]]>