Every day since surgery, I’ve dealt with challenges. Usually the challenges are related to my body and the things that I can eat. Lately, it’s been a much more difficult battle mentally.

My body has changed a lot over the last 4 months. I’ve been through major surgery, I’ve dropped a lot of weight, I’ve likely had some nutritional deficiencies, and  all these changes take a toll.

Before surgery, I was given “the Bible” from my surgeon’s office. It’s a comprehensive binder full of information with food lists, side effects, warning signs, and facts about the different post-op stages. I read portions of the book daily for the first few weeks, but hadn’t picked it up for a while.

There is a phenomena called “hibernation syndrome” that is really common with gastric bypass patients. Patients are going through so many changes, and the body is getting used to far less food intake, and it causes fatigue and depression. People don’t feel like going out of the home or interacting with other people as much. It usually hits patients within the first few weeks after surgery, and gets better after about the 6 week mark. I didn’t really notice it at that point in time, but the last 3 weeks I’ve felt a lot different. I feel exhausted all the time, have been sleeping more, exercising less, and don’t feel like doing much. I don’t know if it’s directly surgery-related, or just due to other stress in my life.

I am going through a transition phase currently. I ended one job, started a new job, and I’m preparing to move.  So far I really like my new job – I think it’s a great fit, and I like the work that I’ll be doing. But there is always some anxiety about starting a new job and being “the new person”. I’m also a bit stressed because one of the perks of the job is a well-stocked fridge of drinks and a cupboard of treats and snacks. There are some “good” things that I can have, but there’s a lot of stuff I have to avoid. It will take a lot of will-power to avoid the foods that I know I shouldn’t have, but tempt me just because they are THERE. I’ve stocked my desk with some “safe” items that should satisfy me when the office treats are calling my name.

As for moving, we’re getting ready to move from our apartment in the Salt Lake valley into my parents’ basement in Lehi. It will be closer to work, which will be nice, but further from the city and airport (where I usually am at some point each week). It will be an adjustment to living in such close proximity to my parents and brother. However, it will help us tremendously financially. We’ve on a bunch of payment plans for my medical bills, in addition to all of our other monthly expenses and student loans. We’ll be able to position ourselves much better financially, but it will be a difficult loss of independence.

In happy news, I hit the 70 pound loss mark. I’m at 302.5, which is the least I’ve weighed since I lived in Atlanta in 2009. At that point in time, it was the most I’d ever weighed. I went on a pretty intense weight loss plan that didn’t yield a lot of weight loss, but instead threw my metabolism off for months. Pretty soon I’ll be to my “Michigan weight,” then my “California weight” and then to the weight I was when I married Taylor. Today he told me that when I get below 200, he’s taking me to Hawaii. Sounds like a great deal to me!

Forgive me if my posts are less frequent then usual, it’s been really hard for me to even turn on the computer. Once I’m off work, the last thing I want to do lately is get back on the computer. It’s a tough trade-off since most of my biggest supporters are online.

Hopefully this fatigue “hibernation” slump will be temporary. I’m going to make an appointment to see my surgeon and get my lab work done. If I can feel better just by figuring out if I’m deficient in a nutrient or two, it might explain why I’ve been so darn tired lately.



  1. Nicole!! I went through the same thing. I was SO depressed I didnt want to see anyone. And at the time I have a 1 year old son and 3 year old daughter to take care of. NO FUN! This too shall pass. I know it sounds cliche, but it is true. When I would lose 10 pounds, I ALWAYS rewarded myself with something. A new shirt, dress, shorts etc etc……. and I would put money away, so when I hit the 100 lb mark, I had a lot of money so I could buy a bunch of new clothes. Now I am saving up for plastic surgery. It is so so so hard to be fully happy until you can look in the mirror and LOVE how you look. You can love how you feel but the weight loss journey is far from over until you feel comfy in your own skin. You look GREAT and you will one smokin hot mama soon enough. SO proud of you!!

  2. Susan S. says:

    First, I want to say congrats on the weight loss and the new job! Second, it takes a brave person to admit when they are feeling depressed. I think if my husband promised me I could have a trip to Hawaii I would lose more weight than I have. I am so proud of you for losing the weight! It isn’t easy!

  3. If it helps any, I’ve been nothing but tired for months and I haven’t had surgery. Good for you for recognizing it so you’re at least aware and might be able to mentally talk yourself out of stuff. You’re going through a LOT of stress with job changing, moving, and finances… that takes a toll on us mentally. Hope you get answers/relief soon!

  4. Tripacerchick says:

    I’m with you, Nicole. Although I haven’t had surgery, I am going through my own food-induced depression. I have no desire to talk to anyone on the phone, I don’t want to go out, going to work is a chore… It doesn’t help when co-workers bring decadent carrot cake with rich cream cheese frosting when they know you can’t eat wheat (and you LOVE carrot cake)… Food depresses me so much that all I want to eat is Honey Nut Chex (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner)… I’m hoping it will pass as I find and introduce more GF items into my diet, but it hasn’t happened yet. Good luck on your new move and your new job!

    • Sorry you’re struggling too, Jen. When I was struggling with my major depressive episode in 2009, I lived off Honey Nut Chex too! I swear that has some good brain feel-good chemicals in it, because it’s so tasty. Good luck finding new GF things to eat…it’s hard to have the gluten restriction!

  5. I know I don’t post often, but I’ve been following your progress. I’ve got my own (brain) things to deal with, but every time I read a post from you, a hug goes out to you from me. I wish you the best on this journey!

    • Thanks Misty. You most certainly have “brain” things to deal with. I had been following along with things around your surgery time, but how are you doing now?

  6. Nicole, I’m so happy for your weight loss success, you can be really proud of yourself. As for moving back in with your parents, hopefully there’s mutual respect for everyone’s privacy along with patience and understanding that this will be a challenge for you and your husband. I’ve been experiencing my own bout of increased depression and anxiety since my sleeve surgery, and can certainly acknowledge what a pain in the butt it’s become. Be kind and patient with yourself. In time, hopefully this too shall pass.

  7. Yeah. Depression and fatigue. The hallmarks of RNY. Bleck.
    We’re so starved for nutrients for the first few months that our bodies just start to shut down and fatigue ensues. It does get better, but those months are really hard, ugh. And fat cells store estrogen which gets released as we burn off the fat, so our hormones are totally out of whack for a while. Not fun. Hang in there.

  8. Oh man, I can’t even imagine being that controlled and precise. I hope you get over “hibernation” soon!

  9. Just checking in to see how you are doing…good luck with the move and the new job. Changes are really hard. I moved from Sandy to South Jordan in March, and went from a single-parent situation to a family living situation. It has been great but it has also been really hard, getting used to a slightly longer commute and less free time!!! The older we get, I think the harder change gets for us for some reason. Hugs!!! I know that everything will be great.

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