So what kind of weight loss can I expect from the upcoming Gastric Sleeve surgery that I have elected to undergo?
It’s got to be more than that, surely?
Well, if the NHS height-weight chart is anything to go by, then we should expect to see an eventual total weight loss of 83kg. But that will never happen because that is more than half of my maximum weight, only by several kilograms but it’s still too much.
The NHS chart states a typical weight for my height is 76kg. At my heaviest of 159kg (approximately 350lbs or 25 stone) in February 2014 it would be recommending the 83kg (approximately 183lbs or 13 stone) loss, leaving me at the recommended 76kg (approximately 168lbs or 12 stone)
However, after my expected 12 month pre surgery weight loss of 19kg/42lbs (I am currently 143kg and expect to be 140kg when I hit the operating table so 64kg, 140lbs or 10 stone overweight) all of my calculations will now come from this new figure of 140kg (approximately 308lbs or 22 stone)
The reason we will never see the 83kg/64kg loss is simple. Apart from having lost an initial chunk of it prior to the surgery, I am compositely much to heavy for that to happen. By this I mean the actual dense mass of my body construction without the fat. I think I said in a previous post that I was never a fat child and when I left school at 16 years of age to start my apprenticeship, I was heavier than the recommended weight for a grown man of my current height and there was absolutely no fat on me then. I was the picture of health and I very much hope to return to that although not that small.
By all accounts losing weight after surgery is not as simple as it sounds. The operation has to be viewed as a tool and is there simply to help lose weight. As I have said many times before, I am the one who has to do the hard work and make the healthy choices. I am the one who has to go to the gym and get my heart rate pumping. I am also the one that needs to burn the calories whilst walking the dog. So if anyone has any idea of my simply sitting at home and allowing the operation to do the work for me, I would say if I were to do that, I would end up a fairly wibbly wobbly 102kg (approximately 224lbs or 16 stone) This would be because my body would have reduced in size at the rate dictated by my resting metabolic rate versus the amount of calories I could consume. Yes I would be a good deal healthier not having all that fat on my body but I would still be cardiovascularly challenged because it will still be living like I was when I was a sedentary 159kg and I would still be viewed as obese. No I need to get this whip cracking as soon as I leave the hospital and am given the okay to join a gym again so I can attend classes and involve myself in regular exercise.
In the first year after the surgery I can expect a great deal to change, I can also expect to see the bulk of my weight loss in this initial 12 months. In the second year I am expected to lose half as much as the first and then in the third year, half of that amount again (so a quarter of my initial 12 month weight loss) This is a rough estimate at how the weight comes off but as you slim down the dramatic first year weight loss is unsustainable so has to reduce.
It is believed that gastric surgery helps to lose 60% of the patients excess weight which is by no means a small amount, but depending on their starting point can leave them with a healthy covering of fat that still needs to be addressed. This means a simple calculation will dictate how much will be lost in the coming years.
If we apply it to my example:
I am 140lbs, 64kg or 10 stone overweight.
60% of this is 84lbs, 38kg or 6 stone.
If we divide up the three years worth of weight loss as a fraction using the rules stipulated in the earlier paragraph, it becomes 4/7 in the first year, 2/7 in the second year and 1/7 in the third year. This would expect me to lose 48lbs, 21.5kgs or 3.4 stone in the first year, 24lbs, 10.75kgs or 1.7 stone in the second year and 12lbs, 5.375kgs or 0.85 stone in the third year.
All really bloody boring stuff I am sure you will agree with me. However, the title is statistics so I need a graph of some description that can be referred to in years to come and either proven or disproven by comparison to my actual results.
I have mapped out both the recommended and what I would consider to be my expected weight loss. There actually is not much difference between the two when drawn over a 36 month period but the final figure difference of just under 10 kilos is what matters most of all. This is the difference between being regarded as obese or overweight; and I am damned sure after all of the effort I have expended getting to the point where I can go under the knife, I will accept still being regarded as obese, even if it is a step down from MORBID!
I am told to keep in mind that 60% is an average. There are some who lose much more and some who lose much less. I hope that the work I plan to put in will have me losing much more. Ultimately, the success from my gastric sleeve procedure will come from the setting of achievable goals and then exceeding them; and deciding to change my habits and actually doing just that.
If you are surprised that my expected numbers appear lower than you had thought, you will not be alone. People are always surprised to find that the patient will not drop from 350lbs down to 200lbs from surgery alone but it is just simple proof that no single weight loss procedure is a magic pill, but surgery will get my weight down to something more manageable. Once my weight drops, it will become easier to exercise, easier to remain active, easier to eat smaller portions and allow me to enjoy life whilst I hopefully continue to lose more weight as the years roll by..
The hardest part is preparing for the surgery and going on to losing the first 50 lbs of weight although amazingly enough for me, I will have hopefully reached 42lbs of that before my post surgery adventure commences. Plus, let’s be honest, once I start losing weight and notice even better results that I currently feel on a day-to-day basis, I will be motivated to lose more, continue to eat healthier, become more confident and enjoy it all so much that it is no longer a chore at all.
Stay out of the fridge.