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6-Month Post Op

Thursday I went to the doctor for my 6-month post surgery check in. Time to see how the doctor thinks I'm doing.
The good news:
  • I've lost 125 lbs since my first visit in Jan. 2013.
  • My blood work showed no problems
    • Everything seems to be smack dab in the middle of the range it should be for "normal" people.
    • He was surprised by how high my protein was measuring.
The bad news:
  • I'm not losing weight as fast as he wants.
Unfortunately, there was no fix offered along with the bad news.

I've been putting off writing anything about this for a few days while everything sank in. My weight pretty much plateaued for a month which would slow down any observed loss. Since my 3-month check-up, I've lost about 20 pounds. Between surgery day and the 3-month point I had lost roughly 70 lbs. I feel a lot better, and feel better every day. Why would my weight loss slow down so much? I went back and looked at the recipet the scales of doom print out.

01.31.2013 09.24.2013 01.17.2014 04.17.2014
Weight 439.2 410.8 380.4 315.4
Fat Mass 258.6 249.8 218.0 119.0
Fat Free Mass 180.6 161.0 162.4 196.4
Total Body Water 132.2 117.8 118.8 143.8
Fat Mass = How much fat I'm lugging around.
Fat Free Mass = Bones, Muscle, & Water. Me without the fat.
Total Body Water = How much water is in my body, at least that's how I understand it.

Taking in not just the past 6 months, but the past year+, a couple of things jumped out at me.

1. I lost 39 pounds before surgery (Jan 2013 - Sept 2013). In that time, my Fat Mass went from 258.6 to 249.8 (9 lbs) while my Fat Free Mass went from 180.6 to 161 (19 lbs). Most of what I loss was muscle.

2. Since Sept, my Fat Mass went from 249.8 to 119 (130 lbs). My Fat Free Mass increased from 161 to 196.4. I've gained 35 lbs of muscle. Muscle! Muscle and water, but muscle is the way I'm looking at it.

3. Everyone else I've talked to after they go in for their 6-month check-up is told to increase their vitamins or their protein intake. Evidently 3 Calcium, 2 Multi-vitamins, 2 Iron, 1 B-12, and 110gm of protein per day is what I need to be in the normal range.

4. I've yet to have any negative side effect from surgery. I haven't thrown up. No nausea when eating (or after). No hair loss, which was the one thing I was really worried about (and the big reason I down 2 Iron vitamins per day along with all of that protein). I don't have folds of flappy skin from rapid weight loss, although I do have a jiggly belly no one sees when I bend over.

5. The biggest side effect the doctor seems to worry about is gallstones developing from rapid weight loss, as he tells me what to look for as symptoms each time I go. I think I'm not losing weight fast enough to worry about this, and in my mind that's a plus.

6. Although not a measurement on his scales, I now wear jeans that have a 12" smaller waist than I did when that first weight was taken. My waist is a foot smaller. Another 8" and I'll have the same size waist as I did in high school.

7. Gina and I now walk 5 times per week. Our walks are usually a little over an hour, and we walk roughly 3 miles. My knees still can't handle the pounding of a jog, and the limiting factor on our speed is not me trying to catch my breath, but the burn in my leg muscles (see those 35 pounds of muscle I've gained?) or general soreness in my knees. By the end of our walk I'm a little tired but breathing normally. I still remember being out of breath trying to cross the parking lot at work a year ago.

With all of this, I've decided that if I'm not losing weight fast enough that it's ok. I'm still losing. My quality of life has shot through the roof. Everybody is still supportive and proud of what I'm doing, which has made more of a difference than I originally thought.

I have another check-up in 3 more months. No blood work is required this time, so I won't get an update on my vitamins and protein. We'll see if my progress speeds up any by then. If not, and I'm still feeling like I do now, everything will still be good.

In the words of Matthew McConaughey, I'm feeling "Awright Awright Awright!"
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Tags: diet   gastric sleeve   
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