Tag Archives: mental-health

WLS Chronicles – HELP!!!

28 Feb

There are a ton of resources for weight loss surgery.  The FIRST one you should listen to is of course your medical team.  But once you’re not at the physician’s office – where do you turn?  It was (and is) a combination of things for me, so I thought I’d share.

APPS

  • Baritastic – This is a great food journaling tool.  You can also set reminders here for taking meds, for drinking liquids/proteins, and for taking vitamins.  I hear that some doctor’s will be integrating with it in the future so they can receive your activity and monitor while suggesting/commenting on your habits/choices.  I think that would be WONDERFUL.  Accountability is an amazing tool.
  • Monitor Your Weight – This is a very simple app that tracks your weight.  You enter your starting weight and target weight (height, age, gender) and it provides BMI info.  When you weigh, you log your stats and it calculates your new BMI, pounds left to target, how much you’ve lost…etc.  VERY simple but the graphing and info is probably my favorite of all weight loss apps (and I’ve tried SO MANY!)
  • BariatricPal – This is more of a forum-based app that connects you to others going through the same experiences.  To be honest, I didn’t use this one much as it has SO MANY members and forums that it was overwhelming for me.
  • Lose It – I have used this app for years.  The free version is pretty simple and great for food journaling and weight tracking.  Personally I used this one for a while until I found Baritastic and just found that it served the purposes of tracking protein better for me.

There are tons of other apps but the above are the ones that I found worked for my journey.  In addition, many surgeons have their own app as well with recipes and tips!

 

SUPPORT

  • My number one support was prayer.  Knowing that I was praying for God’s will to be done in my life and my health has helped me more than anything else.  When you are submitting to His will, you are not praying to lose weight or to be approved for the surgery…you are praying for God’s will be to revealed in your life.  You are giving it all to God and, in doing so, knowing that He will equip you for the journey He sets you on.
  • Support also came in from my family in a huge way.  My husband and I talked at length about this and we prayed together too.  My parents and my in-laws all were rooting me on.  My kids were all excited about their Mom feeling better and ready to help however they could.  My closest friends knew I was going to start the process and were with me all along the way.  It has been wonderful to have cheerleaders in this process.  I can’t imagine having someone be negative about this decision (to my face).
  • A very unexpected resource for me was Instagram.  I was up late one night and decided to search “#weightlosssurgery” and “#gastricbypass”.  I was AMAZED!  Other users were sharing what they had eaten on different phases of the pre and post op diets…they were sharing their solutions for pain/pressure/loneliness/protein.  It was ALL just what I needed.  I quickly created a separate account for this purpose and am still very active in it.  (My username is:  rnyftw – follow me to see what I’m eating or how I’m progressing!)
  • A recipe source OF COURSE was Pinterest.  I don’t even think you can say the word “recipe” without thinking of Pinterest anymore!  You can search by the type of surgery or the phase of diet you are on.  I created my own post-surgery board so I could easily pin to it.  It was very helpful.
  • There a zillion blogs on weight loss surgery.  The one I found the most helpful was The World According to Eggface.  She is 11 years out from her surgery and has been amazingly successful.  She offers pics of her “bento box lunches” and recipes galore.  She is the creator of the famous “ricotta bake” that SO many of us enjoyed during the pureed phase of life!  She also includes any tools/appliances that she acquired before or after surgery to make life easier and that helped me so much!  (BUY A MINI FOOD PROCESSOR, TRUST ME!!!)

I hope the above list helps know where to turn if you have questions, need inspiration or need to vent.  The combination of all of them have helped me through this journey more than I can say!

 

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WLS Chronicles – Emotions

26 Feb

Something I think is not talked about enough is the emotional toll that weight loss surgery can take on someone.  The doubts, the stress, the WORK…it is all so much.  I still say (8 weeks out) that it is ALL worth it.  I’m just saying, that there is a lot of “it”.

It starts before you have surgery, when you are deciding.  When you’re evaluating the work, the cost (again, praise God that I was able to benefit from this w/ zero out of pocket), the time, the sacrifices, the changes – all those things that make up this journey – your brain is on overdrive.  You are researching, talking to friends, to people who have had the surgery (and bonus if those two previous sets are the same people), talking to doctors, feeling your family out to see how they would react….you’re talking to YOURSELF, wondering is this the answer?  You doubt.  You worry.  You think people will think “you took the easy way out”.  (Spoiler alert:  Some do.  You start to care less when you realize how WRONG they are!)  You worry it won’t be worth it.  (Another spoiler:  It is.)  You fear the pain, the judgements, the structure…the sacrifice.  You wonder if you can really do it on your own.  These thoughts really haven’t ended for me, specifically.  There are days that I feel on TOP OF THE WORLD…so happy and healthy and have no fear.  There are days that I can barely get out of bed because my tummy is in pain, I can’t even THINK of eating another bite of ANYTHING, and I fear dehydration.  There are days that I get tons of compliments and still go home and cry because I feel fat.  There are days that I post a picture on Facebook…get 100 likes…and notice that one person in particular hasn’t liked it and it makes me self-conscience.

When I say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I’m not exaggerating.  I’m not being dramatic.  Knowing that the eating habits of my past are just that….my past, knowing that sometimes it means I’ll be left out of things…knowing that people are judging me…knowing that my family’s eating habits have had to change…knowing that I can’t rely on food to comfort me (seriously, that’s a thing!)…IT.IS.HARD.  There are so many things that you don’t think about this affecting.  So many ways it changes you.  So many ways it shifts your priorities.

I’ll say it again…….it is so worth it.  My family is worth it.  Growing old(er) with my hubby is worth it.  Saving damage to other organs (from meds for diabetes & high blood pressure) is worth it.  I am worth it!

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