Ok. This is just my experience. I have not had a band, nor a gastric bypass. I had the sleeve gastrectomy, which in short….is a removal of most of the stomach. The stomach works as normal, it is just smaller…and I have no malabsorption…so the calories I eat, I metabolise.
I also have binge eating disorder. So learning to eat differently has been a struggle.
Also, let me say I do not advocate for anyone else to chose what I did. I chose to have my sleeve because I was housebound, mostly immobile, unable to care for myself. I was miserable to the point that I hoped I died on the table to release me from the hell I found myself in. I did NOT hate my body and I did NOT think I was ugly. I chose what I did purely because I did not have a life…at all. I know there are people who are immobile and have the complete opposite experience I did. One size does not fit all.
Also, once one becomes so immobile, they cannot burn off enough calories to lose weight, even when calories are reduced dramatically.
On the day of surgery I was 620lbs. Down 20 from my all time high of 640. I lay on the table as they were putting me down and my thought was, “I’ve had a great life, Thank you” I was fully prepared not to wake up, and that made me happy. BUT I did live, and I’m even happier! I love life!
I am not skinny, lol, I am still well over 500lbs. But I can care for myself! I can go to the drs office, I can fit in a car, my clothes fit again, I am able to walk the 20 feet to the loo without being in terrible pain.
My surgeon recommends eating 800 calories a day. I’m a smart person, and I value my health. I am now about 5.5 months post op and I’m eating 1200-1500 calories a day. Will this lead me to be skinny? FAT CHANCE! But ya know what….If I get down to 400 it will feel like I have won the lottery.
By the time I had WLS, my appetite was out of control. I would diet for 2 or 3 weeks, even as extreme as an all liquid diet…I’d lose 1lb during those two weeks and I went insane with hunger…so I would binge. Like most people with eating disorders, dieting is a HUGE trigger. What the sleeve allows me to do….is to be normal. I eat. Tonight..I had pizza. But instead of the 7 or 8 slices, plus garlic bread, plus chicken wings it used to take me to get full, all I need now is one slice and I feel stuffed and satisfied. So in that way the sleeve has allowed me to control something that I was unable to myself.
After the op, I sought therapy..self pay. I didn’t get anything out of it and was wasting money. I have talked it out with my shrink and she has referred me to an eating disorders place. I am on the waiting list. I still have binge eating disorder. I still find myself at the fridge looking for something to eat. Sometimes I do eat, but most of the time I am satisfied after the first couple of bites.
People around the net will claim you do not feel hunger after a sleeve, but let me tellllll you. I woke up in the recovery room, starving. I do feel hunger still, but it isn’t as bad as it used to be. Before my op, I used to get so hungry I would feel nauseous and HAD to eat then and there. It was a miserable feeling…like my stomach was starting to eat itself. I do get hungry now, but I assume it is the normal gnawing that normal people feel when they need to eat.
I lost a lot of weight in the first month as I was on liquids and recovering and not very hungry. Now that I am able to eat, I do. I am losing around 10lbs a month which is pretty healthy, I think. There are times that I get carried away and think “just one more bite” and I am sick. But it’s not a sick like I thought it would be. It’s just food that won’t fit in your stomach. It hasn’t even reached the stomach yet…it’s just chewed up food.
I hope I answered the question. WLS has given me the tool to control my caloric intake. I do not plan on having the 2nd half of the operation as thinness was never my goal. I plan on being fat, happy and healthy and WLS has enabled me to pursue those goals.
I hope this isn’t seen as cheerleading. I was in a very desperate situation. I wanted to die FFS. I’ve not regretted having the op. Not once. And it has fixed a lot of my problems, but not all of them. It’s not a magical thing.