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Eat Anything You Want & Still Lose Weight!

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My brother is a highly intelligent man. This was proven decades ago, when IQ tests (performed while his teachers and parents tried to figure out why he was a miserable little bugger) showed a genius level IQ. I know that sentence sounds unsympathetic to my brother, but we were all miserable - our parents, his teachers, me, and my brother.

The decades that have passed since then haven't given him any more common sense or made him any less miserable. A good example of that is his reaction when I first talked with him about my weight loss surgery. This highly intelligent and (by then) well-read man said, "Wow! So, you have the surgery, and then you eat anything you want and you still lose weight!"

Well, no, I told him. Not really. In fact, nothing like that.

During the 6 years of my weight loss surgery journey, I have (over and over and over again) witnessed bariatric patients who came out of the operating room after surgically successful procedures still wondering why they couldn't eat anything want and still lose weight. Their disappointing weight loss was and is a perpetual puzzle to them because somehow they had not grasped that behavioral change is required for weight loss success.

It's easy to label those patients as stupid or ignorant or deluded, or to blame their bariatric team for failure to properly educate those patients about what would be required of them both pre- and post-op. All of those things could be a factor.

In March 2012 I attended 2 sessions of a required pre-op nutrition and education class. My BMI then made me obese, but not morbidly so. I had gained weight after a complete unfill and was preparing to say goodbye to my beloved band due to medical problems aggravated by my band, planning to revise to vertical sleeve gastrectomy in the same procedure.

The dietitian leading the class was a perky, pretty 20-something girl, adorably pregnant, who had clearly never struggled with her weight before. Her slightly condescending attitude was hard to take, but about halfway through the class I thought I could understand her attitude. She had just named a long list of foods we should not eat after surgery (including fried foods, candy, baked goodies, soda, alcohol, salty snacks, etc.) when I heard a woman nearby say bitterly, "I don't know. That seems like an awful lot to give up."

Since I had known the before and after of WLS, I was strongly tempted to respond to her, but I held my tongue (wisely, for once).

I don't know just why so many people think that WLS is magic, that you can eat anything you want and still lose weight; that you don't have to give up a single food or behavior or attitude in order to succeed. Maybe we can blame that kind of thinking on the media, or maybe we can blame it on the deeply-entrenched denial that tends to go along with obesity. But the fact is, you can't eat anything and still lose weight unless you're dying of cancer or AIDs or some other fatal disease, and probably don't want to eat a single bite of anything anyway. And I'd trade dying of cancer for WLS sacrifices and success any old day, wouldn't you?



God love you, Jean. You are such a wise and helpful person. We are, usually, not going to be able to eat whatever we want. I guess certain folks, such as your lady dietitian can, but most of us are here because we can't. Most of us have tried every diet known to man/woman. I still struggle, and have recently gained weight back to obese. I am tracking back to overweight, but it is a struggle because I made the mistake of being just a smidgeon to tight! I can't control my desire for ice cream. Recently, my hubby and I decided to cut out dairy, as we are both allergic. So, I have to, now, control my ice cream and frozen yogurt etc, munchies. It is a battle, even with the lapband!!!Thanks for an excellent post. Karen

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God love you, Jean. You are such a wise and helpful person. We are, usually, not going to be able to eat whatever we want. I guess certain folks, such as your lady dietitian can, but most of us are here because we can't. Most of us have tried every diet known to man/woman. I still struggle, and have recently gained weight back to obese. I am tracking back to overweight, but it is a struggle because I made the mistake of being just a smidgeon to tight! I can't control my desire for ice cream. Recently, my hubby and I decided to cut out dairy, as we are both allergic. So, I have to, now, control my ice cream and frozen yogurt etc, munchies. It is a battle, even with the lapband!!!Thanks for an excellent post. Karen

Yeah, tighter isn't always better (did you read my recent article about that? http://www.lapbandtalk.com/page/index.html/_/support/post-op-support/tighter-isnt-always-better-r118 Ice cream is a problem for me, too. Tastes wonderful, goes down all too easily!

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yes, I did read that article, too, Jean! I fight the desire everyday to drive to Starbucks for their Carmel frappachinno, or McDonald's for their carmel frape! I love them both, so does my body!!!They definitely are habit forming and pound forming, too! They are just as bad to me and for me as ice cream!

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yes, I did read that article, too, Jean! I fight the desire everyday to drive to Starbucks for their Carmel frappachinno, or McDonald's for their carmel frape! I love them both, so does my body!!!They definitely are habit forming and pound forming, too! They are just as bad to me and for me as ice cream!

My husband has a coworker who's addicted to Baskin Robbins Cappuccino Blasts. This guy confessed that last weekend, he made a 30-mile round trip drive to get the jumbo size...FOUR TIMES!

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Great article Jean... It seems so hard to understand. I fear the lack of understanding will bring the end to lap band surgery. Too much non-compliance.

Sad when it could do so many people a great health service!

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I went to one of my Wife's mandatory preop band class last week and a young lady walked in with one of those Starbuck lattes and I was just sitting there amazed. Just sucking down the high calorie sugar drink in a support class. I really wanted to walk over there look at her and point at it and say 'REALLY??'

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I went to one of my Wife's mandatory preop band class last week and a young lady walked in with one of those Starbuck lattes and I was just sitting there amazed. Just sucking down the high calorie sugar drink in a support class. I really wanted to walk over there look at her and point at it and say 'REALLY??'

That young lady may be suffering Last Meal Syndrome or I'll Start My Diet on Monday Syndrome - she's planning to eat and drink anything she wants right up until she gets wheeled into the OR. Then wake up and make dozens of lifestyle changes overnight.

Also, it does seem like some folks believe that liquid calories don't "count".

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I personally think this is cultural, when I used to watch TV, I would get in shouting matches with the weight loss gimmicks that were being advertised. I couldn't believe that people were stupid enough to believe that if I take this pill I really will "LOSE WEIGHT WHILE I SLEEP"! But based on the annual spend in this country, they not only were that stupid, but still are. We live in an instant culture, where the idea of sacrifice has been lost. A pill for everything.

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Can we all say Instant Gratification? I think all patients that go through with weight loss surgery, would benefit from therapy during their journeys. It just makes sense that it would get to the underlying issues that many obese people have with food, and be yet another tool to help succeed and reach their goals. Best Wishes Everyone. :)

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Loved this article. Gives me more insight into how to overcome my wants and desires. I can have self control and beat this. It takes knowledge and will power to be successful and I'm ready for the challenge! 9 days to go and I couldn't be more excited!

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I guess in a way my birth defect has given me a running start to weight loss. Being that I was unable to eat these foods without pain before I had the LapBand. I would never wish the stomach issues I had on anyone, but there is a silver lining at the end of it all. I thank you for writing this post. I look forward to reading many more.

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I have just noticed that Slimband in Toronto are now advertising on TV. Part of the sales pitch that they mentioned as part of this advertisement is that you can eat whatever you want only in smaller portions Then they have pictures of burgers, pizza etc. etc. I would say this is kind of misleading what do you think??

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