Medical Bracelets

One question I get all the time is about medical ID bracelets.  “Do I get one, do I need one, what do I put on it?”  The answer I always give is:  Save your money.

Medical ID bracelets are for people with life threatening medical conditions, such as diabetes or epilepsy, where they could very easily become unconsious and need the bracelet to alert EMT’s to their condition and how best to treat them.  They also are for people who have certain mental conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, where they may not know who they are or where they live.  Bariatric surgery is not a life threatening medical condition.

I’ve seen so many postings on different support sites where post-op’s advises bariatric patients to quickly get a medical ID bracelet and put on “No NSAID’s”, and “No NG tube”.  Please keep in mind that the only time someone would be reading your medical ID bracelet would be in a life or death situation where you cannot talk and have no one to speak for you.

Why would you need NSAID’s in an emergency situation?  If you were having a heart attack, you would be advised to chew an aspirin.  Honestly, I don’t know about you, but if I’m having a heart attack, I’m chewing that bad boy up ASAP, not worrying “hmmm, will my pouch get an ulcer”.

Why might you need an NG tube?  Some reasons are to aspirate ingested poisons, feed someone who cannot eat, administering medications, or removing excess stomach acids if the patient has a block.  Again, I will take my chances and have the NG tube placed.  It has actually been studied that while there is a small risk of pouch damage with an NG tube in the first 6 weeks after surgery, it is safe to place the tube after those six weeks.  (Read more about that here)

So while it’s a matter of opinion, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to wear a bracelet if that makes you feel more comfortable, that’s up to you.  In my opinion, someone got it in their heads they could sell us ID bracelets and make a pretty penny by convincing us we needed one.

Guest Post from Took Me Long Enough

Today, I want to share a post from a great blog “Took Me Long Enough”.  The author, Heather, is a recent bypass patient and is journaling her experiences.  Here is one of my fav’s from her blog!  Check out the rest of her posts here.

 

One Week Ago…

A week ago tonight I was heading to bed, about to have my life changed forever. Tomorrow will be a week since I’ve had my gastric bypass surgery. I can’t begin to describe how different I feel after one week. Christ, I felt different by the evening of my surgery!! The next day I felt reborn, thrust back into this world with a second chance. I survived the surgery. That was my first fear. That was the main fear that has kept me from getting this sooner. I’ve was thinking about getting the surgery for just about 10 years. Better late than never, right?

I used to think that weight loss surgery was the easy way out. I often talk about Cape May 2005. It was me, Rachel, and Suzanne at the shopping center, standing outside of a store waiting for Rachel’s sister to come out. We were suddenly approached by a woman with a big, friendly smile. “Oh just look at you girls, how pretty you all are,” she said as she came up to us. In my head I thought she was just being nice. But when she asked us if any of us had considered weightloss surgery, she hit a nerve with me. I don’t remember what I said to her but basically I told her to fuck off and that it’s none of her business. At the time I worked at a dental office and I equated her comment with me, going up to someone with bad teeth and handing them my office’s business card. See, the three of us, along with Rachel’s sister, were like the fat version of Sex & The City but mainly it was 3 Charlotte’s and me (a mix of Carrie & Samantha). We’ll get into the dynamics of having fat friends later on. Now, with that lady coming up to us like that, I could never see myself doing that EVER, but looking back now, I know why she did. I can relate now. I’m sorry I gave her attitude. I’m sorry I was in denial. Denial, thinking that I can lose weight on my own without the need of medical intervention. I was so sure of myself back then. Boy did THAT change.

So in this last week, I have noticed changes in me. Changes that I never thought I’d see and feel.

Here’s to another week of changes.

Tomorrow I see my surgeon for my one week post op check. I’m only on week one, but I know I have a lifetime to go on this journey and I thank you for accompanying me!

Goodnight.

Free Resources To Help You Keep The Weight Off After Weight Loss Surgery-Guest post

I’m excited to have Meghan Jensen guest post.  She is a 5 year post op, and has recently started her own blog…go check her out!  All About the Weight Loss

 

On average, weight loss surgery patients see 8% of their old weight come back within 5 years. 8% may not sound like a lot, but when you have worked hard to lose those pounds any amount you gain back can be discouraging.

Luckily, we live in a world with exciting new technologies and if you choose to embrace them, you don’t have to go on your weight loss journey alone. Here are 5 free resources you can use to help keep the weight off after your surgery.

 

  1. Baritastic

Baritastic is the number one app for weight loss surgery, and it’s no wonder why! Here are just some of the features you get with Baritastic:

-Nutrition Tracker

-Vitamin and Supplement Reminders

-Forums

-Recipes

-Weekly Motivation

If you need help keeping yourself accountable and on track, this app has everything, and all for free!

 

  1. Model My Diet

It can be incredibly hard to visualize what your body is going to look like after surgery, especially if you’re like me and were overweight your whole life. Model My Diet allows you to enter in your starting and goal weights and see how your body might change. Here is an example of a 5’6” person losing 100 pounds:

 

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Pretty inspiring! I recommend printing yours out and putting it somewhere you will see everyday, like your mirror or on the fridge.

 

  1. Eat Slower

I am pretty sure whoever came up with the idea for this app is a genius. Eat Slower allows you to set a timer that will go off every time you are supposed to take a bite, forcing you to slow down between each one. 30 seconds can feel like forever when you’re staring at a plate of food at first, but overtime you can retrain your eating habits and start enjoying your meals rather than inhaling them.

 

  1. Waterlogged

If you ever have trouble getting your water in, this app is perfect for you. You can set goals for your daily water consumption and see at a glance how you’re doing with handy graphs. My favorite feature is “custom glasses”, which lets you take a picture of your own water glass to make tracking even faster. Currently Waterlogged is only available for iPhone.

 

  1. SleepBot

Yes, a good night’s sleep is an important part of weight loss. Being tired is a little like being drunk. It affects your ability to make decisions and control impulses. Those late night Netflix marathons could be the reason you’re craving comfort food the next day! SleepBot helps not only by automatically turning your phone on airplane mode and silencing music, it also tracks all of your nighttime activity and gives you tips to sleep better.

 

What resources have you had success with? Is there anything missing from this list? Let me know in the comments!

 

About the Author:

 

Meghan Jensen is a stay at home mom of 3 who just moved from sunny San Diego to the rainy streets of Portland. Her own weight loss journey lead her to getting bariatric surgery in 2010. Today she writes about her experiences on her blog, All About That Weight Loss.

Another great product…fiber in a bottle!

Again, I don’t normally do product reviews, but when I find something I really like (or really hate lol), I do like to do a review for it.

This review is for Fiberex, made by LLorens Pharmaceutical.  I have had problems for years getting enough fiber in since my bypass.  I’ve done the fiber gummies, which taste good, but don’t provide a whole lot of fiber.  Same with Benefiber, and others.

Fiberex is a liquid.  2 tablespoons a day is 15g of fiber.  The bottle says it can be mixed with any liquid but I prefer just to take it straight.

It has an almost syrupy consistency, and a light fruity flavor.  I’ve been using it for three weeks now, every day, and it’s helped with digestive issues more than anything else I’ve tried!

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From the manufacturer:

  • Two tablespoons (30mL) provides 15g of dietary fiber with FOS and Natural Prune Concentrate
  • 60% of daily fiber needs
  • 20 calories per serving
  • 3.5 g sugars
  • 15 g fiber

Product review

Here is another product review.  I don’t do these too often, only if I really love a “new” product I’ve tried out.

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These are portion control rings.  They are a set of 6 plastic rings that nest together and range from 1oz to 8oz.  It comes with a nutrition book that has the calorie content of tons of foods.  The rings make it so easy to place on your plate and measure out the proper portions for proteins, carbs, veggies, etc.

I’m 8 years out, and I know for me, after the first 18 months or so, portion control became a bit of a struggle again.  I thought I was good at eyeballing portions, but honestly, after trying these out, I was way off sometimes.  They are worth a shot if you’re like me and need a little “portion help” :)

Beer, wine and mixed drinks, oh my!

One question that comes up all the time is “when can I drink again…wait, can I drink again?”  The answer is yes…and no.  You can’t drink the way you could maybe have in the past.  Just like you can’t eat the way you could have in the past.  Everyone of course is different, but there are some pieces of advice that are normally the same from all medical professionals.  I’ll share those here with you.

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  • Wait a minimum of 6 months after surgery
  • Do not drink alcohol on a regular basis after surgery; it increases the risk of ulcers
  • Don’t overdue it…with many patients, you can become intoxicated after just one drink
  • Take care, as some patients have “transfer addictions” and drinking can become a problem as food may have been in the past

Personally, I have noticed that just one drink goes straight to my head.  I drink very, very rarely (think weddings and holidays).  So, if I do decide to have a drink I make sure to have two glasses of water afterwards.  I’ve noticed for me, personally, I feel dehydrated way faster than I did pre-op.  I also make sure I never drive after even one drink.  If you decide to indulge this holiday season, just make sure to keep safe…cheers!

Nutritional Deficiencies

Hair loss seems to be one of the biggest topics asked about after gastric bypass.  Right on the heels of this seems to be lots of comments about how “I get enough protein in with food alone” from people who had their surgeries like two minutes ago.  

Let’s get real here.  You CANNOT get enough protein from food alone right after your gastric bypass surgery.  It is PHYSICALLY impossible!  Even if by some miracle you are able to eat enough food, your bypassed small intestine are not absorbing all the protein out of the foods you eat.  Same goes for vitamins, and why we need vitamin supplements also.  

Hair loss is only one complication of lack of protein and vitamin deficiencies.  Anemia, bone disease, eye problems, and skin rashes are just some of the other problems that can occur.  A dietician I worked with at one of my local hospitals said they have seen numerous patients coming into the ER with medical problems due to being non-compliant.  

Please, follow your doctors advice, and supplement with protein and vitamins after your surgery.  It’s not just a scheme you’re being told to do this; it’s for your own health and your own good.  Supplementing doesn’t just have to be vanilla protein powder in a blender either!  There are soooo many tasty supplements out there.  Proti Diet is one of my favorites, and comes in everything from soups to pancakes to chocolate cake!  If you like fruity flavors that will mix right into your Crystal Light, Nectar is a good choice.  

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For further reading:

http://www.obesityaction.org/educational-resources/resource-articles-2/weight-loss-surgery/protein-supplements-weight-loss-surgery

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809195_8

Connie’s Story

I became friends with a wonderful woman, Connie, during my journey, and she has been kind enough to share her story with me, and all of us.  Her Facebook group she speaks about is full of fantastic, supportive people, and she has been kid enough to let me be part of that with her (the link is always right here, under “Online Support”).  Please read her story and share with others as it can help many people on their journey! 

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My name is Connie, from BariatricHELP & Fitness .

You can visit my Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/BariatricHELP

You can also visit my Facebook group: “BariatricHELP Forum” at http://www.facebook.com/groups/451021918324460/?refid=17
This group is for pre-op and post-op followers. This page is designed for those wanting/needing support, advice, tips, motivation and inspiration. It is a “closed” group. “Closed” – means only the people in the group can see your posts.

I am hoping this book will help others in their weight loss/maintenance journeys. I am not a medical professional. This is based on my journey as a post-op weight loss surgery patient. Please seek medical advice from your physician/bariatric team. Please follow your physician’s advice. This is about my journey and what has worked for ME. Each individual has different needs and each journey is different but this book is written to help and provide ideas. Sometimes just knowing what others have done and knowing you are not alone is important and that is why I am sharing my experience with you.

I have been over weight since I can remember. As a baby, my mom tells me that people would stop her in the store because they had to touch me. I was a cute chunky baby, haha.

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Well, it was not cute anymore once I started kindergarten. I remember going to school and being made fun of because I was overweight. My Tata (grandfather) use to drive me to school, he knew I did not like going to school because of kids making fun of me. One day we drove up to the school and he seen the kids that were making fun of me. He got out of the car and stood straight up-my Tata was a huge/tall man (over 6 feet tall), he did not even have to say anything (he just showed his presence) but I remember no one made fun of me anymore. Then, later I switched schools for other reasons.   When I switched schools the picking and bullying began once again. I had to ride the bus to school. My Nana (grandmother) had to walk me to the bus every. I would attempt to wait at the bus stop without her but I hated the feeling of getting made fun of. Although I was bigger in size, I felt belittled – I felt small and ashamed. 

At a young age my doctor placed me on a diet. He had me complete food logs and I had to show him my logs and progress at each visit.  I remember starting off good by trying to eat better and walking, then I would slack off and by the time of by next visit to the doctor, I had not done so well. I would take “water-pills” the night before my appointment just so that I could lose a few pounds and not be scolded by the doctor.

The following are screen shots of my food logs from back in 1987, I was born in 1977, therefore, I was 10 years old, struggling with my weight and already logging my foods.

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My weight was something I thought about every single day of my life and still do. In junior high school I had lost weight and participated in volleyball and track/ I enjoyed running-I loved the feeling.  It was a yo-yo affect with my weight all through high school and college. I have always tried to diet and exercise but eventually would fall off the wagon and gain my weight back plus more.

In 1998, I married my best friend and after 2 children (and dieting in between) I finally said enough of this and began focusing on eating better and working out. Fortunately, my employer offers us a free full sized gym and classes onsite. I took full advantage and used the gym, each morning before work. My heaviest weight was 309 lbs. I got down to 242 lbs and it seemed like no matter what I did the scale would not budge.  Of course, I would get frustrate and eventually gained some of the weight back.

I admit, I would get frustrated and start to give up. I was at a point where I told myself, this is me, I have always been overweight –this is who I am and realized I may not get to the weight that I wished and wanted to be at.

After several discussions with my husband, he told me that he wanted to look into the gastric bypass for himself. He knew I was against it as I had my feelings about it. I had heard of all the risks and heard of stories in which others had put their weight back on. To support him, I went to classes with him. I wanted to get educated and learn about what changes were coming his way, I wanted to know how I could help him through his journey and learn about the foods that he was going to be able to eat.

After several classes, I realized I could do this, this is for me too. We went to classes together and we went through the process of getting educated and approved for this surgery. My husband decided at this time it was not for him, but he continued to cheer me on and he is my #1 supporter. On August 20, 2012, I had my surgery-the RNY gastric bypass. I told myself and continue to tell myself that, if I was going to have this procedure there was no way I was going to go backwards or back to my old ways. This was a time to change – not only the outside (physical appearance) but most importantly –the inner me (mentally and emotionally).

Luckily, I have been successful on my new journey. This does not mean that it is not hard or difficult.  I have had to overcome a lot mentally and emotionally. I have learned a lot about myself. After approximately 5-6 months post-op I joined a challenge group on Facebook in which I met people from all over-through this group we supported and motivated each other and my coach kept me on track with this group. I decided to change up my workout, I was doing Tae-bo, using the stability ball, squats, planks, walking, etc.  I ordered Insanity (a Beachbody workout) -I was nervous because its known to be “insane” but I told myself I can do it and I will do it. I immediately fell in love with it. I was excited each morning to get up and dig deep. I could feel my body toning. I lost lots of inches. While being a part of the challenge group my coach suggested being a coach as I love supporting and motivating people -I wanted to help others. After, taking some time to think about it, I jumped all in. I was so excited about what Beachbody had to offer not only me, but everyone who wants to get healthy. 

After coaching for several months I decided to stop coaching as I was focusing on everyone else’s goal and not mine.  I absolutely love helping others but it was my time in my life to put focus on me.  I did not go through all this to lose focus on me and therefore I made my health a priority. The RNY gastric bypass was a “tool” in my journey to becoming healthy. The rest is up to me.

Now that I have shared information about me, I want to share information that I have come across during my journey with you. 

I was very fortunate that my Bariatric Team at the Mayo Clinic of Arizona offered bariatric patients a jump start program. I was scheduled for a full day of appointments-all in 1 day. I met with my surgeon, the nutritionist, endocrinologist, psychologist, psychiatrist and bariatric nurse. I then began taking classes which was a 8 week program.  We discussed preparing for surgery, reading food labels, documenting food logs, identifying hunger signals, mindful eating, etc…  I followed up with my bariatric team throughout the process with follow up appointments. I was required to attend a support group and reading the book “mindful eating” by Jan Chozen Bays, M.D.    

If you are going the process of preparing or learning about weight loss surgery here are my suggestions:

Do not rush the process, learn as much as possible. Sometimes what you learn or what you are told sounds like common sense or sound redundant but IT WILL HELP YOU, especially post-op.  Take all required classes that your Bariatric Team suggest/recommend.  Attend support groups. Talk to your bariatric team/doctors. Most importantly, ask questions!

I hope you join me on my journey and/or follow me by liking my Facebook page/group! 

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Exciting New Dating Site Just for People Who Have Had Weight Loss Surgery

What a fantastic idea:  A dating site JUST for bariatric patients!  This new site will be going live next week!  Here is a guest post from Bariatricdate.net about their new site.  

 

Entering the dating world following any type of bariatric surgery is challenging. How soon should you mention your surgery? How do you explain your odd eating habits? What if the other person can’t understand why you made the decision to have surgery? It doesn’t have to be like this.

An all-new dating website is now open to all people who have undergone weight loss surgery. You don’t have to be looking for a date or romantic relationship to join, either. BariatricDate.net goes live July 15, 2014, and is open to bariatric patients looking for friendships, pen-pals, a love interest, and much more.

Join a network of folks just like you, in all stages of the weight loss process. Are you trying to decide if surgery is right for you? Have you just had your surgery and need a support system? Are you one of the fantastic success stories of people who are living healthier, more fun-filled, energetic lives after weight loss surgery?

Join BariatricDate.net to meet people in all stages of meeting their goals.

Happy dating, losers!

http://bariatricdate.net/

Every Little Change Counts

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If you’re starting on your weight loss journey, or you want to get back on track, just remember, every choice we make counts.  We went out to dinner tonight, and it occurred to me that every choice we make, even small ones, add up to the bigger picture.  Yes, I know ever dieting magazine article says this, but there is a reason for that:  IT’S TRUE!  

Think about small changes throughout the day that we make/could make, that would add up to big calories saved or burned, that would lead to healthier bodies.  The dinner choice I made tonight, to sub a tomato-based sauce instead of the heavier cream-based sauce on my chicken, made me think back to the rest of the day.  Did I make good choices that added up or did I let opportunities slide to keep myself in check?  For the most part, most days, I do make healthy swaps.  I normally walk the 1.5 miles (round trip) to the post office instead of driving.  I usually opt for fruit instead of chips or fries.  Most of the time, I resist eating anything off my kids plates.  

But how many opportunities am I missing?  I caught myself today cruising around the Walmart parking lot a million times looking for a closer spot (and it was a gorgeous day, so no excuse!)  When I took my vitamins this morning, it was with a quick sip of water…why didn’t I use that chance to get in an extra full glass of water? This afternoon, I took my little guy out back to play; why didn’t I walk to the park down the street instead to get some extra steps in?

All of these are little, seem trivial, and individually they are.  But day after day, week after week, these little shortcuts or missed opportunities add up to extra health benefits we all pass up every day.  So my new goal is to pay closer attention to the little opportunities to make a healthier choice.  Always keep in the back of my mind that they will add up to something bigger!  

 

Cleanses Not Supported by Science

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Google the word “cleanses” and you’ll come up with about 2 million results.  Needless to say, I’ve been hearing a LOT about cleanses, including pills, teas, drinks, fasts, and 5 day “clean eating” plans.  So, I decided to do a little research on the topic.  Here’s what I found about detox diets and cleanses.

Colon cleanses claim to remove toxins from the GI tract, which, supposedly, can help all sorts of ailments from asthma to arthritis.   There is little to no scientific evidence to support this however.  The body is designed to remove toxins and waste all by itself, and doesn’t need to be flushed.  In fact, you run the risk of dehydration, infection, bowl perforation, electrolyte imbalance, and more by doing such cleanses!  Bottom line, no need to cleanse unless you’re on your way in for a colonoscopy!

Detox diets claim they get rid of toxins, from foods we eat and the environment, through a special diet done for a certain amount of time. They are also used to “jump start” weight loss.  There are tons of different detox diets out there, but most consist of eating of lots of fruits, veggies, seeds, beans and nuts, and cutting out caffeine, dairy, wheat, meat, and alcohol.  While some people do lose weight and reduce bloating, common sense tells us anytime we reduce calories and cut out any and all processed foods we’d have the same results!  You don’t need to pay for a fancy program to do that!  

With the detox diets and colon cleanses, as soon as you go back to “real life” eating, any weight you lost will come back.  Unless you can stick to “clean eating” for life (and if you can, way to go!), don’t think it’ll be a long term fix.  There is also no scientific evidence that detox diets “clean out” any toxins, or even that our bodies need help cleaning out.  That’s kind of why we come equipped with a liver and kidneys.  

My reading up on the topics of cleanses leaves me with the same opinion I had before:  It’s really just another weight loss gimmick that’s popular at the moment.  No need to buy special pills, enemas, laxatives, diet programs, special juicers, etc.  It’s all good old fashioned stick to fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains if you want to eat cleaner.  Leave the “cleanses” to the celebrities!   

 

For more reading:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/detox-diets-procedures-generally-dont-promote-health

http://www.mayoclinic.org

http://www.bidmc.org

 

Putting New Baribowl to Use!

The new Baribowl’s came in yesterday, and of course I’m always the first customer LOL!  My son immediately begged to have his lunch packed in ours, and I was dying to try it out anyway, so we got him all packed up for the morning.  So far, it’s a hit!  He hates his food to touch, so the dividers are perfect for him!  I’m already dreaming of loading it up with a selection of veggies and some humus.  It has built in portion control which is important for me.  

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It comes with a spork and a knife, and all the parts are top-rack dishwasher safe.  They are made by BariWare, and renamed “Portion8” so it doesn’t have anything about bariatric on it anymore.  It’s a great addition to our “to go” containers! 

WLS is an expense for life!

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Okay, I’ll have people who hate me for this post, but I have to say it anyway:  WLS is a lifelong commitment, not only in diet but financially too!  I’ve been seeing it more and more “Supplements are too expensive”, “How can I get insurance pay for vitamins”, “where can I get free vitamins”.  Bottom line is you need to plan for the financial aspect of the surgery and it will be for life.  Insurance isn’t going to cover it, and anyone claiming you can get it for free is lying.  The sad thing is, this is something I don’t think enough surgeon’s bother to stress to their patients. 

So many of us focus on the cost of the actual surgery, but kind of put the lifelong cost in the back of our minds.  Vitamins are a life- long expense.  For the first few months, if not longer, you WILL have to supplement with protein, and yes protein supplements are not cheap!  Buying the cheapest crap you can at Walmart really isn’t the way to go either.  You need to stick to the requirements your doctor gave.  Using the wrong stuff might save a few bucks, but it’s your health that will suffer in the end.  

I totally understand finances being tight.  Trust me, my own are nothing to brag about.  But if it comes to buying decent supplements or just picking up the cheapest thing you can find, you need to put your health first.  I’ve found tons of ways to cut corners on other things (example, I wear drugstore makeup, get my hair trimmed at the $15 walk-in place, do my own nails, etc).  I know I’m sounding harsh, but the bottom line is, if you’re going to have bariatric surgery, you need to work it into your budget to get vitamins, and protein supplements.  Please plan on it accordingly that it will be a “bill” that will always be there, like car insurance, or the electric bill.  No one wants to pay it, but it will always be there.  

Stash Snacks To Avoid Fast Food Traps

Let me start off by saying I love to cook and I love wholesome REAL food.  I think when we can get our nutrients from real foods and home cooked meals, we should. That being said, healthy “to-go” snack foods will always have a place in my post-op life.  There’s a reason for this:  When hunger strikes hard, or I have a low blood sugar attack, I need something NOW!  And unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen at a convenient time when I’m home and can prepare a healthy snack or meal.

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To keep myself in check, I have protein bars stashed all over the place.  They keep me from splurging on a nutritional nightmare at a fast food place, or the candy bar isle of a store.  I’ve heard some other post-op’s putting down the practice of eating bars or shakes, and here is why I disagree. 

Say your at a doctor appointment, and it ends up taking two hours, bringing you way past lunch time.  You come out of the office and your ravenous.  There’s a fast food joint right next across the street.  You’re 1/2 hour from home.  Do you have the willpower to fight off your appetite for another 1/2 hour?  This was me last week BTW.  Thankfully I had a protein bar stashed in my purse which I gobbled down the second I got out to the car.  Had I not had it, I wouldn’t have trusted myself to wait until I got home…I was that hungry.  Or say you’re wandering around Target, and you get a low blood sugar attack (yup, me again).  That protein bar can save you from picking up a Snickers in the candy isle and snarfing it down. 

I do not think anyone should live off of bars and shakes; I’m not saying that at all.  I’m saying that they have a place in our new post-op lives and that no one should feel “guilty” for using them to keep from temptation.  Quite frankly, using protein bars has “saved” me from myself numerous times, and is a big contributor to how I’ve maintained my weight loss for almost 8 years now!  So if you choose to continue to supplement far after your surgery date, don’t let anyone make you feel bad that you’re not only eating “real” food!  This was a lifestyle change and if you need to use protein supplements as a self control tool, go for it!  I do, and will, for the rest of my life because for me, it WORKS! 

 

How Better Bariatric Was Born

I’d like to thank Jessica from Bariatric Beginnings for allowing me to guest post on her blog!  Here is a copy of the post.

 

Tonight’s post is a guest post from my friend Kate, an over 7 year post-op, who is the owner of Better Bariatric and writes the blog Eating After Gastric Bypass. I asked her to write a little bit about why she started her business. Kate is who I turn to when I need to buy bariatric friendly items for my journey. She also runs plenty of giveaways on her Facebook so make sure to follow her at http://www.facebook.com/BetterBariatric.net. She’s got one going on right now! 

Over seven years ago, I was morbidly obese and had numerous health issues so I went under the knife and had gastric bypass surgery to save my life.  As a new post-op, I had trouble finding protein shakes, bars and other foods and vitamins that were suitable for my new pouch.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, lots of supplements are loaded with sugars, or very high in calories because they are aimed at weight lifters.

I was tired of having to read all the nutrition labels all the time.  I found some brands over the years that had great options for us bariatric folks, and thought it would be great to open up a site where people like myself wouldn’t have to read the labels, because I already did the work for them.  I also wanted a company where people could buy supplements without going broke, because let’s face it, protein powders aren’t cheap!  So, my business Better Bariatric was born.

I like to have a wide variety of bars, shakes and snacks on my site; I am always on the lookout for new products to offer, and new brands.  One of my newest I started carrying is Proti Diet, which is one of the best tasting proteins I have ever tried, with very few calories per serving!  I’m also starting to carry more gluten free products, for those that are gluten sensitive, or like to stay away from it.  I make sure that all of my stock has a variety of different sweeteners too, so there really is something for everyone.

The part of the business I love most is talking to customers through not just my website but my Facebook page as well.  I found it so helpful as a new post op to have a few “mentors” to ask questions…all the little things that come up that you don’t quite need to call the doctor for, but don’t want to be on your own with either.  Now it’s my turn to be that mentor and I love it!  I love helping people find products that they will like.  I love being able to keep prices as low as possible, and give people samples to “try before they buy”.  I also have many recipes that I’ve developed or tweaked throughout the years that I post on my site.

This really hasn’t turned out to be a money making business, but it has opened up the door for me to help other post-ops and meet many, many people who have shared the same struggle as I have, so in that way, I am one satisfied customer!  Thanks for listening to my story, and I’d love to hear yours!  Join me on my blog at eatingaftergastricbypass.net and if you’re looking for products, stop by my store at www.betterbariatric.net. 

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