Monday, April 30, 2012

Shopping Review

I got some goodies in the mail! And have been trying out some of the stuff I bought over the weekend. Want to hear more? Watch my video! Best, gastricsleeve4me

Telling my Dr.

Man, I was nervous to tell my doctor about surgery in Mexico! Thankfully, she was awesome. And completely supportive of both my decision to get surgery, and to get it in Mexico. Phew! She also ordered blood tests for me. My surgeon in Mexico doesn't require it (he'll do them the day before), but I wanted to have the baseline for myself so I can have something to compare to when I have tests post-surgery. My surgeon in Mexico does ask for blood test follow ups at intervals post-surgery.

You can find a list of the blood tests I had my home doctor order at the Blood Tests page. I received the list from a local bariatric surgery center near where I live. Enjoy the video and, as always, let me know what you think. Best, gastricsleeve4me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Had a chance to do some prep shopping today! My goal was to buy some items that I thought I would need. I went to Target, Vitamin Shoppe, and Sam's Club and spent about $200. You can check out the pre-op shopping page for a generic list of items I'd recommend buying before-hand. Below are the specific items I chose to purchase:

Sam's Club:
Vitamin Shoppe
  • Digital food scale ($29.99): Lots of options out there, but this seemed like a decent price
In the video you'll get to see and hear more about what I bought. Enjoy! Best, gastricsleeve4me

Support Groups

I've started to think a lot about finding a group nearby to support me. I found two local bariatric surgery centers, and both had support groups that are open to anyone. I've put the upcoming dates on my calendar and am excited to connect with folks locally, even though my surgery is in Mexico.

Also, I had a chance to order some protein powders I read about. The links to the things I ordered below, and you may also want to visit my supplements page for more info on protein powders. Here's what I ordered:
  • Chike: I ordered the free sample. They sent about six protein packets of flavors to try. You just have to pay for shipping (about $7)
  • Unjury: I ordered the starter kit. For $21.20 plus tax you'll get two samples of five flavors (that's 10 packets to try!).
    • You'll also get a small Rubbermaid shaker and a basic food thermometer
    • I wasn't sure what the thermometer is for, but it turns out it's to make sure you're not mixing powder in a drink over 130 degrees to avoid clumping
Enjoy the video and look forward to your comments. I really must start putting on makeup and doing my hair before each one!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I really need to stop reading things online. It's starting to make me nervous! I'm starting to think about things like long-term weight gain and addiction transfer. Basically, the possibility of bad habits coming back...or developing entirely new destructive ones. Not a pretty thought. Some of the sources that got me thinking about addition transfer were:

And, where are all the people that have had gastric sleeve for more than a year or two? Struggling to find as much info after the first, seemingly exciting, weight loss year. All things to talk to the therapist I have lined up next week! You can hear more about it in my video. Best, gastricsleeve4me

Friday, April 27, 2012


In my last post I talked about my visit to the nutritionist. I wanted to follow-up on that, and talk about all-important protein. She was clear that 70g of protein a day was what I need. She did provide some useful tips on high-protein foods, which was good for me to start thinking about. I've posted some of that information on the nutrition/protein page.

She also talked to me about hair loss. I'd read some things on biotin and silica, saying that they'd help. But she said it really was going to come down to protein. Just another reason to make sure I've got a plan to get enough.

She also validated for me that getting a blood test wasn't a bad idea. So, I'm definitely going to ask my local doctor when I see her next week to order them for me. I will use the list I got from a local bariatric surgeon, which can be found on the blood tests page. Check out the video and let me know your thoughts! Best, gastricsleeve4me

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nutritionist (1st try)

Visit with my first nutritionist complete! The upside? She was supportive of surgery in Mexico and answered my questions. The downside? She didn't have my bariatric experience, which was disappointing, and makes me think that (a) I should have asked that question beforehand, and (b) she's probably not going to be part of my ongoing team. In my video, I share what she specifically recommended for supplements, which included:
  • Multi-vitamin (duh :)
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
But I'm going to verify her recommendations with my surgeon in Mexico and with a nutritionist that has experience with bariatric patients. Don't want to rely on her assessment too much. You can check out the supplements page for more information.

I did decide that I'm going to get a blood test beforehand through my Doctor, assuming she's supportive. I got a list of tests from a local bariatric center here locally. You can find the list on the blood tests page if you want to try to get the same ones.

Some links to things she did share that I found helpful:
Enjoy the video! Best, gastricsleeve4me

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Assembling my team

Because I'm having surgery in Mexico, I'm concerned about having a support network in place back where I live on the east coast. So, I've been seeking a:
  • Nutritionist/Dietitian
  • Therapist/Psychologist
  • Support groups for bariatric patients
So, I'm off to visit a nutritionist that I found through my local hospital/network that I use. In prep for my appointment, I started to think about supplements and what I need to be focused on. There was certainly a lot of information out there! But a lot of it seemed conflicting. So I want to discuss with her nutrition and supplements. I'm bringing a document I found online through Northwest Obesity with me, which I found really helpful in researching gastric sleeve nutrition. You may also want to check out my nutrition page and I'll continue to post there as I learn.

I also want to ask her about blood tests, and what might make sense for me to check my nutrition levels. I got a hold of a list of blood tests that my local bariatric surgery center requires when you start to think about bariatric surgery, and you can find the information on my blood tests page. I'll let you know how the appointment goes! Best, gastricsleeve4me

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My journey begins

Hey world. It's Jo. I'm 32 years old, 5' 7", and 251 pounds. I've been heavy all my life, though 251 is a new high. I've decided to take a drastic step for myself, for my weight, for my life, for my future children, and for whatever else this life has in store. On May 21 2012, in Mexico, I will have vertical sleeve surgery, also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or VSG.

I love to research and learn, and am looking forward to both when it comes to VSG. My hope is to share what I learn with those of you who are following similar journeys, have traveled the path and have info to share, or who are considering VSG as an option.

I have started a vlog on YouTube (my channel is gastricsleeve4me). You can subscribe to my channel if you're interested in being notified when I post new videos. This blog will serve as a companion to my posts there; primarily to share resources and information - and the occasional random musing if I'm so inclined :)

Hope you find it valuable. I welcome your feedback and comments. Wish me luck on this journey that will last me the rest of my life! Best, gastricsleeve4me