Diabetes Free at last !!!

Diabetes Free at last !!!

Today I had my final (hopefully ever) trip to my Endocrinologist and have been declared “Diabetes Free” at last …

HbA1c

I have not been taking ANY diabetes medication since my surgery (35 weeks ago), an now (as per my HbA1c stats below) I am finally in the “non-diabetic” range

HbA1c is a blood test that is used to help diagnose and monitor people with diabetes. It is also sometimes called a haemoglobin A1c, glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin.  It shows the average level blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

The graph above shows my HbA1c stats for the last 6 years or so – since I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  Soon after I was first diagnosed, I was able to control it pretty well with diet and exercise, but in 2015 it shot up and I started medication.  Over the subsequent years, despite increased medication it was never really well controlled… Since late 2017 it has gradually improved, but this was primarily as a result of increase medication (mainly mutliple daily insulin injections).  However, since my Gastric Bypass operation (35 weeks ago) I have been completely off all diabetes medication… and my blood sugar is finally back to “non-diabetic” levels.

This does not mean that I am “cured” – the underlying problems still exist, and I will need to keep an eye on it in years to come (diabetes has a tendency to worsen naturally with age)… but I am no longer conside4red “diabetic” and will not (as long as I stay diabetes free) be impacted by the many life shortening outcomes caused by diabetes.

In fact… not only is my HbA1c looking good, my cholesterol (which surprisingly was never that high) is down and everything else is looking great… except for slightly low Iron levels… sounds like a great excuse to eat a nice juicy eye fillet to me 🙂

Muscle is Denser than Fat … Apparently …

Muscle is Denser than Fat … Apparently …

As per my last post (Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit)… I started back at the Gym after reaching my 100 Kg Milestone… Without thinking too much about it, I had anticipated that this would give my weight loss a bit of a boost… I was WRONG !!!

In fact, rather than losing weight (I had pretty much consistently lost 1Kg per week since surgery), I actually started to put it on… and 2 weeks after joining the gym I was up by 1.5Kg…

Muscle vs Fat

I remember people saying “Muscle Weighs more than Fat“, so thought I’d do some research.

Of course 1Kg of Muscle weights exactly the same as 1Kg of fat… but Muscle is actually denser than fat, which means muscle occupies less space (volume) compared to fat.

Muscle has a leaner appearance due to its high density whereas fat occupies more space (volume) in the body. Two people could weight the same but could look very different depending on their body composition – a person with high body-fat percentage versus a person with high lean muscle percentage will probably be in two different sizes of clothes and health risk.

Muscles are made of long fibers tightly woven together. Fat, on the other hand, is composed of different sized droplets and some are more full than others. These droplets stick to each other but leave some empty space in between.

In the image above, one kg of muscle takes up less space than one kg of fat. This is why you might notice a slimmer waistline but no drastic change on the scale as you begin a new workout or meal plan regime – your body is burning light fat, but building heavier muscles.

Weight Loss Graph

Here is my weight loss graph since surgery… for the 1st 4 weeks at the gym (3 or 4 times a week – moderate intensity), I still had a net gain in weight of approx 1.5kgs… however, since then, my body seems to have figured out what’s going on, and my weight is (again) on a downwards path… In the last couple of weeks I have increased number of gym visits and intensity and seen a 3kg drop in just 2 weeks 🙂

Note: Even though I wasn’t actually losing “weight” during the 1st 4 weeks of gym, there was a noticeable change in body shape and toning.

5 Months after Surgery – Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit

5 Months after Surgery – Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit

5 Months now since my Gastric Bypass Operation and I have reached another Milestone.

I am finally down to 100Kg …
Losing now more than 30Kg

I have not been down to this weight since 2003 – more than 15 years ago !!!!

Time to hit the Gym….

I have been increasing daily exercise for a while… mostly walking… but I promised myself that once I had reached 100Kg I would join a gym and start building up my exercise regime.

I decided that I’d like to focus on boxing type exercises… but had visited a couple of local boxing gyms and they were pretty hard core… I was not that interested in actually hitting anyone (or getting hit for that matter), but I did like the types of exercises involved.

I wanted to primarily do some upper body toning and body core workouts… and thought that boxing/skipping exercises would be a good start.

12 Rounds Fitness

I checked around and discovered that my sister had (for months) been going to a gym called 12 Rounds Fitness. This is based around circuit training, with 12 different “stations” setup, each with 2 different exercises.

You arrive at whatever time you like, start at an available station of your choice, and spend 3 minutes exercise at each station, before moving onto the next. The types of exercises at each station change daily, and you are able to push it as hard as you like, or “tweak” the exercises to cater for specific exercise targets (or injuries).

I found that during the first session a pre-existing back injury flared up again, so I have been able to focus on low impact and upper body exercises… and my back seems to be improving…

Interestingly, despite (or perhaps because of) significantly increasing my exercise program (and as far as I am aware not changing my food intake much), instead of losing additional weight, in the 2 weeks since I started I have actually gained 1.2 Kg.

Blood Sugar & Diabetes

I also recently re-visited my endocrinologist – hopefully for the very last time… The previous visit my hbA1c reading (which measures the average blood sugar over a three month period) was just a smidgen above 6.0 (6.1 actually)… and I was hoping that this time it would be below 6.0 and in the “normal” range… However, it was back up to 6.4 – despite the fact that I had lost another 6Kg 🙁 …

So it seems that diabetes is still lurking around, so I still need to keep a close eye on it…

I suspect that despite eating much less than I used to (I reckon it is about 1/3rd) I am being less careful about the types of things I am eating. Although I am eating significantly less Carbs, I need to focus a bit better on less sugary foods (i.e. cut out soft drink and Fruit drinks, which I now realise I had started having more of)…

3 Months after Surgery – All Systems Go!!

3 Months after Surgery – All Systems Go!!

3 months since my Gastric Bypass Surgery and all system go !!!

I have just had my 3 month follow up with the Dietitian and Surgeon and 
have now lost almost 15Kg since surgery 3 months ago – which is apparently a little more than the surgeon expected. 🙂

ALL my blood results are looking fantastic (better than hoped in fact).. with Protein, Vitamins and Blood Sugar levels all doing very well. I am still off all Diabetes and Hypertension medications, and have even stopped precautionary meds for Gastric Reflux… so the only medications  I am taking are Vitamin and Calcium supplements 🙂

Must Eat Breakfast….

I have fallen into the (bad) habit of not eating breakfast (I rarely feel like eating at all until after midday), but the Dietitian suggested that I start trying to eat a small serving of Muesli/Yogurt for breakfast… and I did have some Bircher Muesli today… which was Yum !!

Weight Loss Plateau ??

I was a little concerned that my weight loss seems to be slowing down, however both the Dietitian and Surgeon assured me that I will continue to lose weight for the next 9-12 months, and that plateauing is normal at 3 months.

After about 12-18 months I can expect my weight loss to slow down and eventually stop… and then (which is normal) I am likely to put on another 10%.. so if I get down to 80Kg , then I can expect to put on another 8Kgs before it stabilises….

Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery – The Video

Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery – The Video

I have finally got my hands on the video of my Gastric Bypass Operation.

Despite researching Gastric Bypass a lot, I had never seen any video footage of the procedure, so I found this fascinating – particularly as it is my own surgery 🙂

It is much “cleaner” in there than I had thought it might be, and the video is not as gory or confronting as I thought it might be.

Saying that, if you are a bit squeemish, you may choose not to watch this :).  This video just shows the “highlights” – it runs for just over 6 minutes and the total procedure took closer to an hour.

Here are some timestamps and brief descriptions of what is going on :
(note these annotations are my own and not necessarily medically accurate)

  • 00:00  – fighting through abdominal fat to get to my stomach
  • 00:20 – removing fat from where stomach meets upper intestine
  • 00:52 – separating and stictching stomach to form new “mini” stomach
  • 01:37 – my new stomach
  • 01:46 – hauling in my intestine to find a suitable new “connect” point
  • 02:10 – attaching new stomach to lower intestine
  • 02:20 – cutting opening in new stomach
  • 02:40 – cutting new opening in intestine.
  • 03:00 – stitching up stomach/intestine join
  • 04:38 – final stitches
  • 05:42 – check stitchwork by inflating
  • 05:55 – cauterise
  • 06:05 – final rinse