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You all are so great, thanks for sharing your tips! I am trying to gather as much information as possible before my surgery, and you all are a wealth of knowledge. Thank You!!!

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Hi Kristina!! A few 'tips' off the top of my head! Protein first and yes, this is a 'new way of life', but what did and what I think is very, VERY important....until you reach goal, treat this as a diet, the most important diet you've ever been on!!!!!! I never, EVER "cheated". After I reached goal, then I started LEARNING to live like a naturally "THIN" person, which is not as easy as you'd think. It's such a mind game. I struggle to get in what I need (1200 calories) to keep from continued weight loss, but now I allow myself to eat normally. I am in control, not food. I am very aware of every single thing I put in my mouth. I am NOT an exercise guru......I've made life changes....I do not deprive myself, I picked a few, and I mean three french fries off my husbands plate at lunch today, but I don't eat junk. I order a hamburger, don't take one bite of the bun and depending on the size, I may only eat maybe half the burger, but I get my Protein, eat three fries and I'm happy as a clam! I have chosen to not eat the bun, I could, and some do, but it is something I don't miss and just don't eat. I do eat bread occasionally, but very little. I also don't hit the gym! That is not how I lost the weight and that is not how I'm keeping it off. I use a weighted ball and a band, I work my arms, and do a little here at the house....but I know me, I know how easily I lose interest, I wanted to make changes I knew I could do forever. I could give up hamburger Buns and chips....you get the picture!! :) This is what has worked for me.....it's been disgustingly easy, FOR ME! Good luck!!!!! We're here for ya!

I was hoping some of the veteran sleevers could share their Tips for Success please, would be so helpful for a newbie like me! Thanks so much!

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I am just one month out and I didn't worry about carbs until I hit the soft foods phase. I and 2 days from moving into no restrictions YeeHaw! My 1st month appt I've lost 37 lbs!!!! Take heart and know you need to heal first and you need nutrition. You will NOT gain. Good luck!

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Ditto to what Shontel said about the first 2 months being the hardest. For me, more mentally than physically. You will have stalls and even gains. The important thing is you get on track and back to basics when you encounter those. Protein intake, exercise and following your diet are key. When you approach goal, you need to be ready for your weight loss to slow to a crawl. The rewards so far outwiegh any negatives. I wish you the best of luck!

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I was hoping some of the veteran sleevers could share their Tips for Success please, would be so helpful for a newbie like me! Thanks so much!

Hey Kristina! Here's what I find keeps me successful:

  • Following your pre and post op diet plans your Surgeon/Nutritionist has given you.
  • Staying focused!!! Don't let outside factors distract you from your task at hand, and that is working your tool.
  • Don't give nay sayers any credence.
  • Be APPRECIATIVE of every pound you lose. They are all worthy of self praise.
  • Be happy for yourself in all your victories, whether it be on the scale or just the little things that remind you, you ARE getting smaller.
  • Take photos of yourself at start and in between. You will sometimes need a little comfort when you are going through a stall...
  • Which brings me to taking your measurements often!
  • ...and keeping one set of your largest clothing. When you're feeling down, pull these out and try them on or put them against you. Your resolve will be renewed.
  • Do not ever beat yourself up, we have all done enough of this in the past. Where has it gotten me personally? No where but up up up, and for me I'm done with that!
  • Start some kind of exercise routine. You don't have to strive to run marathons, but as long as you are doing some type of activity you will lose and your shape will thank you for it. Do what you can, what really matters most is that you are doing something as opposed to nothing.
  • If you have junk food in your house, get rid of it!!!
  • If all else fails, come here to vent or just to read all of the success stories. Whatever it takes to keep you motivated, you should be doing. Everyone here is super supportive and I'm very lucky to be a part of such a dynamic group of folks. We all just want to see ALL OF US COME OUT SUCCESSFUL!!! Believe me, you absolutely will as long as you are working your tool!!
  • Log your food too, especially in the beginning until you get used to your new eating habits and routines.
  • Try not to skip meals, this will hinder your metabolism. Many of us do not feel hunger (physical) anymore so you may need to set yourself reminders when it's time to eat.
  • Get in no less than 60g Protein per day.
  • Do your very best to get in a minimum of 64 oz of Water per day. The more the better!!
  • In the hospital, this is your mantra: Sip, Walk, Rest, Repeat. Don't forget your breathing exercises too! You don't want pneumonia on top of having to recover.
  • And last but not least, please PLEASE have patience with yourself. You are going to undergo and very major surgery. Don't be in a rush to lose 30 Lbs in the first week. Especially don't compare your losses to others. You will be quickly disappointed when you do this. Again, as I mentioned above - be happy for EVERY SINGLE POUND LOST - for those are pounds you will never see again. STAY POSITIVE!!!

HTH :)

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I came across this article a few months ago and it helps a lot to keep things in perspective for long term success.

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes WLS Patients Make

I will also post it here just to make it easier...

-----------------------------------------------------------

While weight loss surgery (WLS) is considered the most successful treatment for morbid obesity, it is just the first step toward a fresh start. Weight regain is a common phenomenon, as is illness when weight loss surgery patients do not follow recommended guidelines.

Breaking old patterns, establishing an effective post-WLS lifestyle, and addressing the emotional issues that often complicate obesity takes more than commitment; it takes support, information, and resources.

The National Association for Weight Loss Surgery (NAWLS) helps WLS patients shape new lives. We teach people what they need to know and help them makes the changes they need to make to achieve long-term WLS success -- physically, mentally, and spiritually.

In a November 2005 poll conducted by NAWLS, the following were identified as the top 10 mistakes WLS patients make:

1st Mistake: Not Taking Vitamins, supplements, or Minerals

Every WLS patient has specific nutritional needs depending on the type of surgery you have had. Not only is it a good idea to ask your surgeon for guidelines, but also consult with an experienced WLS nutritionist. Understand there is not a standard practice that all surgeons and nutritionists follow in guiding WLS patients. So, it is important to do your own research, get your lab tests done regularly, and learn how to read the results.

Some conditions and symptoms that can occur when you are deficient in Vitamins, supplements, or minerals include:

Osteoporosis; pernicious anemia; muscle spasms; high blood pressure; burning tongue; fatigue; loss of appetite; weakness; constipation and diarrhea; numbness and tingling in the hands and feet; being tired, lethargic, or dizzy; forgetfulness, and lowered immune functioning.

Keep in mind, too, that some conditions caused by not taking your vitamins, supplements, or minerals are irreversible. For example, a Vitamin B-1 deficiency can result in permanent neurological deficits, including the loss of the ability to walk.

2nd Mistake: Assuming You Have Been Cured of Your Obesity

A "pink cloud" or honeymoon experience is common following WLS. When you are feeling better than you have in years, and the weight is coming off easily, it's hard to imagine you will ever struggle again. But unfortunately, it is very common for WLS patients to not lose to their goal weight or to regain some of their weight back.

A small weight regain may be normal, but huge gains usually can be avoided with support, education, effort, and careful attention to living a healthy WLS lifestyle. For most WLSers, if you don't change what you've always done, you're going to keep getting what you've always gotten -- even after weight loss surgery.

3rd Mistake: Drinking with Meals

Yes, it's hard for some people to avoid drinking with meals, but the tool of not drinking with meals is a critical key to long-term success. If you drink while you eat, your food washes out of your stomach much more quickly, you can eat more, you get hungry sooner, and you are at more risk for snacking. Being too hungry is much more likely to lead to poor food choices and/or overeating.

4th Mistake: Not Eating Right

Of course everyone should eat right, but in this society eating right is a challenge. You have to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Eat all your meals--don't skip. Don't keep unhealthy food in sight where it will call to you all the time. Try to feed yourself at regular intervals so that you aren't as tempted to make a poor choice.

And consider having a couple of absolutes: for example, avoid fried foods completely, avoid sugary foods, always use low-fat options, or only eat in a restaurant once a week. Choose your "absolutes" based on your trigger foods and your self knowledge about what foods and/or situations are problematic for you.

5th Mistake: Not Drinking Enough Water

Most WLS patients are at risk for dehydration. Drinking a minimum of 64 oz. of Water per day will help you avoid this risk. Adequate water intake will also help you flush out your system as you lose weight and avoid kidney stones. Drinking enough water helps with your weight loss, too.

6th Mistake: Grazing

Many people who have had WLS regret that they ever started grazing, which is nibbling small amounts here and there over the course of the day. It's one thing to eat the three to five small meals you and your doctor agree you need. It's something else altogether when you start to graze, eating any number of unplanned Snacks. Grazing can easily make your weight creep up. Eating enough at meal time, and eating planned Snacks when necessary, will help you resist grazing.

Make a plan for what you will do when you crave food, but are not truly hungry. For example, take up a hobby to keep your hands busy or call on someone in your support group for encouragement.

7th Mistake: Not Exercising Regularly

Exercise is one of the best weapons a WLS patient has to fight weight regain. Not only does exercise boost your spirits, it is a great way to keep your metabolism running strong. When you exercise, you build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even at rest!

8th Mistake: Eating the Wrong Carbs (or Eating Too Much)

Let's face it, refined carbohydrates are addictive. If you eat refined carbohydrates they will make you crave more refined carbohydrates. There are plenty of complex carbohydrates to choose from, which have beneficial vitamins. For example, if you can handle pastas, try whole grain Kamut pasta--in moderation, of course. (Kamut Pasta doesn't have the flavor some people find unpleasant in the whole wheat pastas.) Try using your complex carbohydrates as "condiments," rather than as the center point of your meal. Try sprinkling a tablespoon of brown rice on your stir-fried meat and veggies.

9th Mistake: Going Back to Drinking Soda

Drinking soda is controversial in WLS circles. Some people claim soda stretches your stomach or pouch. What we know it does is keep you from getting the hydration your body requires after WLS--because when you're drinking soda, you're not drinking water! In addition, diet soda has been connected to weight gain in the general population. The best thing you can do is find other, healthier drinks to fall in love with. They are out there.

10th Mistake: Drinking Alcohol

If you drank alcohol before surgery, you are likely to want to resume drinking alcohol following surgery. Most surgeons recommend waiting one year after surgery. And it is in your best interest to understand the consequences of drinking alcohol before you do it.

Alcohol is connected with weight regain, because alcohol has 7 calories per gram, while Protein and vegetables have 4 calories per gram. Also, some people develop an addiction to alcohol after WLS, so be very cautious. Depending on your type of WLS, you may get drunker, quicker after surgery, which can cause health problems and put you in dangerous situations.

If you think you have a drinking problem, get help right away. Putting off stopping drinking doesn't make it any easier, and could make you a lot sicker.

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Christie - Fabulous link!!! Thanks, I am bookmarking it, plus I have several friends from my "hometown" back in Texas that I'm forwarding it to. They've all had RNY, but of course it applies to all of us!!! Have a great day!!

I came across this article a few months ago and it helps a lot to keep things in perspective for long term success.

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes WLS Patients Make

I will also post it here just to make it easier...

-----------------------------------------------------------

While weight loss surgery (WLS) is considered the most successful treatment for morbid obesity, it is just the first step toward a fresh start. Weight regain is a common phenomenon, as is illness when weight loss surgery patients do not follow recommended guidelines.

Breaking old patterns, establishing an effective post-WLS lifestyle, and addressing the emotional issues that often complicate obesity takes more than commitment; it takes support, information, and resources.

The National Association for Weight Loss Surgery (NAWLS) helps WLS patients shape new lives. We teach people what they need to know and help them makes the changes they need to make to achieve long-term WLS success -- physically, mentally, and spiritually.

In a November 2005 poll conducted by NAWLS, the following were identified as the top 10 mistakes WLS patients make:

1st Mistake: Not Taking Vitamins, supplements, or Minerals

Every WLS patient has specific nutritional needs depending on the type of surgery you have had. Not only is it a good idea to ask your surgeon for guidelines, but also consult with an experienced WLS nutritionist. Understand there is not a standard practice that all surgeons and nutritionists follow in guiding WLS patients. So, it is important to do your own research, get your lab tests done regularly, and learn how to read the results.

Some conditions and symptoms that can occur when you are deficient in Vitamins, supplements, or minerals include:

Osteoporosis; pernicious anemia; muscle spasms; high blood pressure; burning tongue; fatigue; loss of appetite; weakness; constipation and diarrhea; numbness and tingling in the hands and feet; being tired, lethargic, or dizzy; forgetfulness, and lowered immune functioning.

Keep in mind, too, that some conditions caused by not taking your vitamins, supplements, or minerals are irreversible. For example, a Vitamin B-1 deficiency can result in permanent neurological deficits, including the loss of the ability to walk.

2nd Mistake: Assuming You Have Been Cured of Your Obesity

A "pink cloud" or honeymoon experience is common following WLS. When you are feeling better than you have in years, and the weight is coming off easily, it's hard to imagine you will ever struggle again. But unfortunately, it is very common for WLS patients to not lose to their goal weight or to regain some of their weight back.

A small weight regain may be normal, but huge gains usually can be avoided with support, education, effort, and careful attention to living a healthy WLS lifestyle. For most WLSers, if you don't change what you've always done, you're going to keep getting what you've always gotten -- even after weight loss surgery.

3rd Mistake: Drinking with Meals

Yes, it's hard for some people to avoid drinking with meals, but the tool of not drinking with meals is a critical key to long-term success. If you drink while you eat, your food washes out of your stomach much more quickly, you can eat more, you get hungry sooner, and you are at more risk for snacking. Being too hungry is much more likely to lead to poor food choices and/or overeating.

4th Mistake: Not Eating Right

Of course everyone should eat right, but in this society eating right is a challenge. You have to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Eat all your meals--don't skip. Don't keep unhealthy food in sight where it will call to you all the time. Try to feed yourself at regular intervals so that you aren't as tempted to make a poor choice.

And consider having a couple of absolutes: for example, avoid fried foods completely, avoid sugary foods, always use low-fat options, or only eat in a restaurant once a week. Choose your "absolutes" based on your trigger foods and your self knowledge about what foods and/or situations are problematic for you.

5th Mistake: Not Drinking Enough Water

Most WLS patients are at risk for dehydration. Drinking a minimum of 64 oz. of Water per day will help you avoid this risk. Adequate water intake will also help you flush out your system as you lose weight and avoid kidney stones. Drinking enough water helps with your weight loss, too.

6th Mistake: Grazing

Many people who have had WLS regret that they ever started grazing, which is nibbling small amounts here and there over the course of the day. It's one thing to eat the three to five small meals you and your doctor agree you need. It's something else altogether when you start to graze, eating any number of unplanned Snacks. Grazing can easily make your weight creep up. Eating enough at meal time, and eating planned Snacks when necessary, will help you resist grazing.

Make a plan for what you will do when you crave food, but are not truly hungry. For example, take up a hobby to keep your hands busy or call on someone in your support group for encouragement.

7th Mistake: Not Exercising Regularly

Exercise is one of the best weapons a WLS patient has to fight weight regain. Not only does exercise boost your spirits, it is a great way to keep your metabolism running strong. When you exercise, you build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even at rest!

8th Mistake: Eating the Wrong Carbs (or Eating Too Much)

Let's face it, refined carbohydrates are addictive. If you eat refined carbohydrates they will make you crave more refined carbohydrates. There are plenty of complex carbohydrates to choose from, which have beneficial vitamins. For example, if you can handle pastas, try whole grain Kamut pasta--in moderation, of course. (Kamut Pasta doesn't have the flavor some people find unpleasant in the whole wheat pastas.) Try using your complex carbohydrates as "condiments," rather than as the center point of your meal. Try sprinkling a tablespoon of brown rice on your stir-fried meat and veggies.

9th Mistake: Going Back to Drinking Soda

Drinking soda is controversial in WLS circles. Some people claim soda stretches your stomach or pouch. What we know it does is keep you from getting the hydration your body requires after WLS--because when you're drinking soda, you're not drinking water! In addition, diet soda has been connected to weight gain in the general population. The best thing you can do is find other, healthier drinks to fall in love with. They are out there.

10th Mistake: Drinking Alcohol

If you drank alcohol before surgery, you are likely to want to resume drinking alcohol following surgery. Most surgeons recommend waiting one year after surgery. And it is in your best interest to understand the consequences of drinking alcohol before you do it.

Alcohol is connected with weight regain, because alcohol has 7 calories per gram, while Protein and vegetables have 4 calories per gram. Also, some people develop an addiction to alcohol after WLS, so be very cautious. Depending on your type of WLS, you may get drunker, quicker after surgery, which can cause health problems and put you in dangerous situations.

If you think you have a drinking problem, get help right away. Putting off stopping drinking doesn't make it any easier, and could make you a lot sicker.

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The most simple advice of everything I have read and learned came from my Nutritional Counselor:

Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.

I keep this in the back of my mind because for me, they are words to live by. We still CHOOSE the TYPE , AMOUNT, and WHEN in regards to food and drink.

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Oh and I also have a blog if you want to check it out, the link is in my signature line.

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