Post-Op Week 20 Progress Report


This week’s loss was crazy good.  Six more pounds gone.  I’m starting to notice a pattern with my weight loss–I’ll have weeks where I lose 1-2 pounds, followed by a couple of weeks where I lose 5+ pounds.  Consequently, my weight loss pattern looks a bit like a gently descending hillside.  See?


I love me some data…it’s the scientist in me.

I’m on target to hit my personal weight loss goal for December much earlier than anticipated, and I’m slowly encroaching on my surgeon’s goal.  I’m hopeful that by the time I have my six-month follow-up in January that I will have gotten within 40 pounds of his goal for me.  I think I can get pretty close.  We’ll see how much activity I am able to get in now that winter seems to have hit us early and hard–it is sleeting here today which is unusual for November around these parts.

I am also wearing shorts that are two sizes smaller than the shorts I’ve been wearing in my other progress pictures.  I ordered them from Old Navy, since they were the only place I could find plus-sized shorts that didn’t have an elastic waist of some kind.  I HATE ELASTIC WAIST PANTS (with the exception of my workout pants, they’re sweatpants so that’s different) WITH A PASSION.  Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I can’t wear a pair of pants with a regular waist!

When I have a loss of any size, I always hesitate to say “those pounds are gone FOREVER!!!!” like so many folks tend to say.  I know those pounds can come right back just as fast as I lost them if I’m not vigilant about my eating and physical activity.

This is not to say I’m perfect at following my doctor’s plan.  Because I’m not.  So now you’re thinking:

What?  Then how have you lost so much weight so quickly?  Certainly you follow the 600 calorie-a-day, 60-80 grams of protein, less than 20 grams of carbs and 64 ounces of water daily diet?

Hell no I don’t.  I tried that for a couple of weeks.  I stopped for a few good reasons:

  • My weight loss was actually really slow when I was eating like that.
  • My doctor’s PA told me I’d lose faster by increasing my calorie intake to a minimum of 800 calories daily.
  • I was exhausted all the time.
  • I was getting little to NO plant material at all.  Eating plants daily is important to me.  I love my veggies, but not enough to be vegetarian.
  • I wasn’t drinking enough fluid.  Dehydration is a bitch.

So how is it that I’ve lost 120 pounds in about 5 months (including pre-op dieting)?  I’ll tell you.  I’m not secretive about it.

I try to make good choices about eating and activity 90% of the week.  I leave myself a little wiggle room, so long as I meet my protein goal for the day.  This allows me to follow a path that I feel is sustainable for me.  And what works for me may not work for you, or for anyone else.  So here’s what I do daily:

  • I eat between 800-1000 calories daily, usually around 900.  I try to split the difference most days.  Some days I’m over, some days I’m under, but most days I’m in my target zone.
  • I track Every. Single. Thing. I. Eat and Drink.  I use MyFitnessPal.  It’s free, it plays well with my Fitbit, and I can track on the go.
  • I eat between 80-100 grams of protein each day, all from food sources.  I don’t use protein supplements unless absolutely necessary.
  • I try to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs most days, unless I know I’m going to work out, and then I bump up my carb intake, but I keep it under 100 grams on those days.
  • I drink no fewer than 14 cups of water most days.  Some days I get more than a gallon of water.  This requires timing, and I generally wait a minimum of 45 minutes after eating to drink anything.  The 30-minute no drinking after meals guideline does not work for me as 30 minutes after I eat, I am still fairly full.
  • I take a multivitamin formulated for bariatric patients twice daily, an iron supplement each night, calcium supplements twice daily, and a sublingual B12 supplement three to four times a week.
  • I get between 6-7 hours of sleep each night.  This is something I feel that doctors don’t emphasize enough–the importance of a good night’s sleep–even though there is an abundance of evidence and research that states that prolonged periods of sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain.
  • I aim to get at least 7500 steps’ worth of walking daily.  I hit this goal most days.  Some days I go over, and am usually under one day a week (Sunday; I rest, ha!).  I am currently working toward a goal of 3 hours of cardio activity in the gym each week.  I will add strength training next month.  One thing at a time.

I don’t take a stool softener or laxatives as many sleeve patients do, because I drink so much water that I don’t have constipation issues (thank goodness).  The way I’m doing things is a blend of what my doctor’s plan says (calorie guidelines, sleep, vitamin regimen), what my dietician recommended (portion sizes), things I learned from my support group (behavioral changes and accountability) and things I knew from having been down the diet and exercise road before (drinking lots of water, getting lots of protein, moving my body).

I try not to worry that I’m not “doing it right” or that I’m not doing what everyone else who has a sleeve does.  I do what works for me, what has provided me with success, and what I feel will be sustainable in the long run.  This is what has worked for me so far.  And until it stops working, I’ll keep forging ahead on the path I’m on until I get to my goal, or it stops working, whichever comes first.


Click the photo to see the progress!

Today’s nutrition was pretty good.  I got in 104 grams of protein, 45 g of carbs and 40 g fat.  I also cooked a big pot of chili this afternoon that hubby and I will be eating off of this week, and that I will freeze part of for later on when the end of the semester comes and there is little time to cook.   As long as the roads aren’t icy tomorrow, the plan is to go to the gym and spend quality time with the treadmill like I did yesterday.


Today’s food choices, from upper right: scrambled egg, Canadian bacon slices, whole wheat toast slice, hash browns (only ate 1/4 cup); multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, B12 and iron supplements; Central Market house roasted seasoned roast beef and Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese; roast turkey and pot pie sample at Trader Joe’s (didn’t eat all the pot pie, it was YUCKY!); leftover shrimp and a tablespoon of rice; Kung Pao veggies with chicken I added to it since I ate all the chicken out of the original dish yesterday, haha.

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