People ask me ALL the time what I’m “allowed” to eat. The answer is “any damn thing I want!” Then they look confused and usually ask me what kind of diet I’m on. Answer: NONE. Then they still look confused and think I just don’t want to talk about it. Ha! Me? The Queen of Oversharing?? Not even!

So in the vein of TMI, here is the second installment of Things People Ask Me About VSG:

1. What are you allowed to eat?
A: Anything I want, just not much of it.

2. So what kind of diet are you on?
A: NONE. I just eat like a child, portion-wise. I do, however, take very few carbs other than crackers and chips. Carbs fill me up like crazy, so when I eat pasta or rice, I can only eat a couple of ounces. And it’s hard to eat anything else with them. Which is why I don’t drink a lot of beer, it simply fills me up.

3. How much can you eat?

A: I can handle about 8oz of liquids at a time and I can handle 3-5oz of what I call “hard” proteins like chicken, beef, whatever that is not ground. I can eat a little more ground than not, but not much. For instance, I can eat 3, maybe 4 chicken wings at a time. I can eat a small chicken thigh. I can eat about 3oz of steak. I can eat a 3-4oz burger patty. And if I do eat mostly protein, I won’t eat much of a side.

4. How big is your stomach now?
A: The pouch can hold around 6 oz, I’m told. As I’ve described, it depends on what it is. I don’t really know the actual size, but it’s 80-85% less than it was pre-VSG.

5. Wow! You better take vitamins since you don’t eat!
A: Well, YES, all VSG patients should take vitamins! Hell, EVERYONE should take vitamins IMO. But VSG in particular requires that you take a LOT of B12. Why? Because it’s absorbed in the stomach and guess what you just lost 80% of? YOUR STOMACH. I read a study that indicated B12 deficiency may lead to dementia, so yeah, just take the B12. I take a full regimen of vitamins and supplements every day. Details in this post.

6. Do you exercise?
A: Yes I do. I began exercising at the 6 month point. I walk on the treadmill (I’ve just started jogging and I didn’t die!!), I do Kathy Smith DVDs (aerobics + dance + kickboxing) and I started lifting weights – Kathy Smith again, her stuff is great.

7. No, really, what is your diet?
A: Sigh.

I generally get two reactions from folks who’ve not seen me in a while: “Hey! You look amazing!” or no reaction at all. I’ll admit, it does disappoint me when people don’t seem to notice. I mean, really? I’ve only got ONE chin now! You can see my eyes! But I try not to take it personally, I guess some people are just oblivious. Meh. But if you are afraid to say something to a lady that’s lost weight: DO NOT BE AFRAID. Trust me, we WANT to hear about how good we look. It makes it allllll worth it! Anyone who says otherwise is a LIAR.

I’ve just broken a 2 month stall and gotten below 190#. As of the other day I’ve lost 62# since the beginning. I feel great and I’m liking the way I look. I’ve still got about 20# to go to get rid of this stomach, but I’m getting there. With appropriate undergarments I can get everything smoothed down pretty well. I’m in a straight 14 and mostly L sizes, which is fucking amazing.

One other thing that no one asks about, but has been a whole new thing for me is the lack of inflammation. When I went into surgery, I had terrible inflammation in my wrists, hands and shoulders. The day after surgery, those issues disappeared. I’m not joking, the inflammation stopped dead. And it is still gone. THAT has made a HUGE difference in how I feel day to day. I no longer take naproxen every day. I’ve even cut back turmeric to every other day – I don’t think I need it at all now, but I hedge my bets. THIS has been probably the most important benefit of VSG for me. The weight loss is secondary. I kid you not.

This is why I’m keenly interested in the research regarding gut flora. Since my experience with completely rebooting MY gut flora, I strongly believe that we’re going to find out that gut flora is the root of many of our inflammatory diseases: IBD, colitis, Crohn’s, dementia, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, etc. I think it’ll turn out to have something to do with cancers and other diseases that are not exactly inflammation, too. This is the area we should be spending millions to research, IMO.

VSG benefitted both myself and Nick, too. It changed our lives. We took a big leap of faith going to Mexico and getting this done. We thought it was just for me, but turns out, it has been huge for both of us. Nick started diet and exercise and has lost 35#!! It pushed both of us out of our comfort zones and it propelled us into pursuing our side business with gusto as well as being just more fearless in general. This surgery has energized us in ways we never imagined it would. I recommend it to people all the time, but not ONLY for weight loss, but for the surrounding benefits. I firmly believe that sometimes you need to be fearless and just DO SOMETHING. Just PICK a direction and DO IT. It will change your fucking life.

I see SO MANY people who just wallow in their ruts. They are miserable, fat, unhealthy and on a ton of meds. Just like we were. I’m not saying everyone needs to do VSG, but dammit, do SOMETHING.

When I preach the gospel of VSG, what I’m really preaching is doing something different to change your life and get out of your rut.

That is message I’d like to give to EVERYONE: if you want to change your life, sometimes you gotta go big. We did it and we are different people than we were this time last year.

So get out there and DO SOMETHING. I promise you won’t regret it.