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My Life as a Loser. A Never-Ending Battle to Lose Weight–Chapter Twenty–The First Six Months

The first day was a real joy, I was up every damn hour walking up and down the damn hotel hallway. I was a delight to be around because I burped and farted the whole time I walked. You know what it worked, my pain levels were minimal. Later on that first evening, an RN came to my room and hooked me up to a bag of intravenous fluid. They know that I would not be able to tolerate much oral intake, so they gave me a liter bag that night and one more in the morning before I was discharged. These two liters of fluid got me through the rough time immediately after surgery. After the first twenty-four hours maintaining an adequate fluid intake was not much of a problem.

I walk every day for thirty minutes, which is equal to about two miles. My surgeon said that I would be able to resume more aggressive exercises after three months. He also said that I would be able to return back to work five weeks after my post-op date. That means I was out of work six weeks. Since I am new at my job, I only had one week of PTO or paid time off built up. Thank God, I was able to pick up some overtime at work before my surgery. It gave me just enough money to get through my leave of absence.

As I stated previously, the first two weeks post-op consists of a no chew regimen. This means that you are now drinking three protein shakes a day. After the first week, I wanted to shoot myself. My poor wife tried everything to make these shakes taste better. By day thirteen, I said “hell no”. No more damn shakes. I have yet to drink a shake.

My weight loss goal is 108 pounds which will leave me at 200 pounds. The surgeon seems to think that this is a very attainable goal. To accomplish this I have to loss on average of 15 pounds a month. I have lost 50 pounds so far.

I want to take a little aside here and talk about medicine and doctors. If you are on prescription meds for diabetes and hypertension to name a few make sure you see your primary doctor since you may be able to reduce or even discontinue some of these meds as you lose weight. My surgeon requested that I have labs drawn at the six-month and one-year marks, so he can see how well my body is tolerating my new diet.

Since my stomach is small my dietary portions are likewise small. You are not supposed to drink while you eat. So you need to bear this in mind when you choose the types of food you eat. I try to eat food that has at least some moisture content, so that I don’t choke when I am eating. You will need to eat slowly, so that you don’t throw up. You need to stop when you start feeling full. I get a kind of gas pain when I get full. Don’t force that last bite. It is not worth it.

When you go home they not only give you pain pills, but also ASA and a stool softener. I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so I did not need to take the stool softener every day to stay regular. All I need to do is eat a salad two to three times a week and I am good.

There are many foods that I miss…french fries is one and hamburgers with actual buns. I have found pizza that uses cauliflower to make the crust. It is actually quite tasty. You are allowed some carbs, so you do have some options. I checked out the Keto Bread, it has 11g per slice. This is about as good as it gets. Trust me, you will get sick of iceburg lettuce and romaine lettuce wraps for your sandwiches. So maybe you can occasionally splurge and fold the slice over for your sandwich. According to the literature, you will need to follow this diet the rest of your life, though after you hit your goal weight you will be able to cheat once in a while.

For a healthy snack, celery sticks are great, they have virtualy no carbs.

When I started writing this book, I planned on finishing the final chapters in real time or when I reached my weight goal. I have decided not to do this. I am going to wrap this chapter and the final chapter with the assumption that my goal has been reached in a timely manner. I am doing this because I believe that the information in this book is time sensitive. I also can’t see that the book would benefit from the delay.

I am at the 1.5 month post-op date now, and I have experienced some sluggish weight losses as well. My doctor says this is normal and as long as I am meeting my monthly goals, I am good. You can trick your body to lose weight again if you go back to the pre-surgery diet for a week or so. The biggest thing is not to starve yourself. If your body thinks you are doing that it will go into a starvation mode where it will conserve everything and your weight loss will virtually come to a standstill. Make sure you get the 60 grams of protein, this is over twice the daily suggested amount. The excess protein helps force your body to burn off its stores of fat, thus generating a weight loss.

There is one plus that came from the surgery, that may not be immediately apparent and that is you will save money in restaurants. My wife usually takes home a to-go box, because she can never finish her meal. Now I am in the same position. So we have decided now to get just one meal with two plates. Some places charge a little extra for the second plate, but this is inconswquential when compared to the price of a full meal. Now we don’t have to deal with the left-overs that neither of us ends eating anyway.

Resources

womenshealth.org, “10 Best Low-Sugar Fruits That Won’t Mess With Your Blood Sugar.” By Marissa Miller;

Addendum

10 Best Low-Sugar Fruits That Won’t Mess With Your Blood Sugar

Look: We need sugar to survive, both physically and emotionally (hi, pints on pints of Ben & Jerry’s). But even with fruits, you can inadvertently have too much of a good thing.

That said, you shouldn’t just cut out fruits altogether when trying to limit sugar intake. Fruits contain important nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants—and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce your cancer and mortality risk.

Instead, reach for fruits that are lower in sugar per serving. While Sarah Hortman, R.D., says there aren’t any official guidelines as to what constitutes a “low-sugar” fruit, she says that “fruits containing higher fiber and water content dilute the amount of sugar or carbohydrate in a fruit.”

1. Avocado

Yes, the reason millennials can’t afford to buy real estate is also a solid source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber. Avocados are so tasty and low in sugar that they make the perfect dessert substitute, says Hortman. Just swap your typical sweetener for some pureed avocado in your favorite milkshake, mousse, and cake recipes.

Per 1/3 fruit: 80 cal, 7 g fat (1 g sat), 4 g carbs, 0.3 g sugar, 4 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.

2. Watermelon

Watermelon might be your next favorite workout recovery snack. In a small study from the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, researchers found that the amino acids in the fruit juice helped athletes recover faster (and feel less sore) after working out. Watermelon is also high in the antioxidant lycopene.

Per 1-cup serving46 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 12 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.


3. Apples

Apples are the perfect mid-day snack because of their high soluble fiber content, which “absorbs water to become thick like the viscous texture of cooked oatmeal,” says Hortman. They’ve also been shown to lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Per small apple77 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 21 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 0 g protein.


4. Strawberries

The fruit (which, despite its name, isn’t technically a berry!) is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, has a decent amount of fiber, and can help reduce inflammation.

Per 1-cup serving49 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 12 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.


5. Grapefruit

This citrus fruit ranks low on the sugar scale, with a bitter tartness to match. You also get half of your daily recommended value of vitamin C by eating just half of a fruit. But talk to your doc if you’re taking meds—the FDA warns that grapefruit (and grapefruit juice) can have bad interactions with several types of drugs, including statins for cholesterol and even some types of antihistamines.

Per 1/2 medium grapefruit: 41 cal, 0.2 g fat (0 g sat), 10 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 0.8 g protein.


6. Lime

Limes are another great low-sugar fruit: only one gram of sugar in the entire fruit. You’ll also get nearly a third of your daily vitamin C dose per fruit. So don’t be afraid to use it to flavor salad dressings and fish tacos, or garnish your seltzer water when you’re feeling fancy.

Per medium lime: 20 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 7 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 0.5 g protein.


7. Olives

The Mediterranean diet has long been touted as the pathway to longevity, and thankfully, olives (which yes, are a fruit) are a staple. A small study from the American Journal of Hypertension found that polyphenol-rich olive oil is linked to decreased blood pressure in women who have high blood pressure or hypertension. While low in sugar, olives are often sold in cans and jars high in sodium, so keep an eye on portion sizes.

Per 2-tbsp serving20 cal, 2 g fat (0.5 g sat), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 124 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.


8. Cucumbers

As a green-juice ingredient, we typically think of cukes as spa-friendly veggies. Surprise: They’re actually a fruit. Hortman says you can safely eat up to three and a half cups of cucumbers as a serving (since they’re basically all water), making them great for mindless munching.

Per 1/2-cup serving8 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 2 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.


9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a rich source of the carotenoid lycopene, which can help protect the skin against ultraviolet rays (but nope, it can’t replace SPF), strengthen bones, and even prevent asthma. And the low-sugar fruit is low in carbohydrates, too.

Per 1-cup serving32 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 7 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 9 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.


10. Squash

While squash has a rep for being starchy, it offers way more benefits than other starchy carbs like bread and potatoes. Technically a fruit, according to Hortman, squash’s fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels while slowing down digestion—keeping the intestinal tract healthy and keeping you full for longer.

Per 1-cup serving63 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 16 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 6 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1.5 g protein.

11. Celery sticks

Celery sticks are a low calorie, low carb food that a person can eat while following a keto diet.

According to the USDATrusted Source, 110 g of celery — or about nine celery sticks — contains around 3 g of carbs.

Celery sticks are excellent choices for dipping in nut butters, such as unsweetened peanut or almond butter.

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