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Lately, I have had a few people send me PM's with this question and it is an oft posted thread to which I usually reply with a summarized version of this, but this has been my basic plan over the last 3 years, so I thought I would post a recent reply to a PM here:

As far as the few days after surgery, I'm not going to lie to you. It is tough. The whole first month. You are drinking your meals for the first couple weeks and then soft foods after. I often whined to my wife, "I just want something with texture in my mouth!!!" About a month out, like so many others, I questioned, "What the HELL have I done to myself!!??" But, for me, the bottom line was to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing. These feelings subsided as the scale began to move and I adopted a new method of eating.

As far as what I have done since then ... well ... that is a huge question with a very lengthy response. If you are viewing from a web browser, you can hover over my name and a pop up will show. From there, you can select My Content and read the hundreds of threads I have responded on. But in a nutshell, I followed the guidelines closely. Those are:

Don't drink just before, during or immediately after eating (it is difficult at first, but you get used to it)

Take smaller bites

Chew ridiculously well

Put the utensil down in between bites

Evaluate how that bite felt. How does my stomach feel? Stop eating one bite before you are full. You are going to learn a new definition of what being full means, so you need to take the time to figure this out.

Exercise. Find something which will get your heart pumping up in your target heart range for weight loss. If you are going to take the time to exercise, then make it worth your while.

Only weigh once a month. If you can't do that, then no more than once a week. DO NOT WEIGHT DAILY!!! This only leads to disappointment as there is no way to lose everyday. You will have stalls. This is a normal way your body is going to react to the drastic reduction in caloric intake. So many folks get discouraged and cry over a tub of ice cream. Self sabotage is our killer.

Don't eat processed foods. Take the time to learn how to prepare nutritionally balanced meals. Only eat things which are nutritionally relevant. Use a food tracking software (MyFitnessPal) and track everything that goes into your mouth until you find your groove.

Understand your motivation for everything you put into your mouth. Why am I eating right now? Is it because I am hungry or am I eating for some other reason? Bored ... tired ... angry ... lonely? Try to only eat when your body need nutrition.

Get the sleep your body needs. If is so much easier to make the next right move when our bodies are well rested.

Stay active in a support group, whether here on BariatricPal or a local WLS support group. It is easy to forget where we came from once things start going well and we may fall back into old habits.

Remember that you are important. Give yourself permission to make yourself a priority in your life. Sometimes, at the minor cost of someone else. Don't make things more difficult by not setting yourself up for success.

Do I do all of this perfectly? No, but these are my guidelines to which I strive for. I've been maintaining for over 2 years now and this has been a lifestyle I feel I can maintain.

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well said!

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PDXMan, that is a great post. I will share my "lessons from the other side" -2.5 years post op as well when I have a bit more time. What I will say is that it isn't "one size" fits all but there is a great deal to be learned from people who have been successful. When I was pre-op I studied the most successful people on this forum, listened to my NUT and surgeon and exercise advice.... and I really believe that being open to their wisdom and advice is how I have been able to maintain a loss of over 160# - weighed 140 this morning...woohoo (and I do disagree about the weighing monthly only,one of those individual things, but more on that later!!!)

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Remember that you are important. Give yourself permission to make yourself a priority in your life. Sometimes, at the minor cost of someone else. Don't make things more difficult by not setting yourself up for success.

Your entire post was well-done!!! However, the above quote resonated with me so much!! Thank you for this!

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Thanks,

This has been my recipe for success. MY RECIPE. Some of it may resonate with someone else, or perhaps not. The scale thing is a big question and, as you know, one of the top 5 threads on here. I just know that I can let the scale beat me up beyond measure. It is my own issue with self doubt and self sabotage which has repeated itself throughout my life. My solution was to stay away from it as I found myself obsessing over the number it presented versus how I was feeling and how my clothes were fitting. As I always say, my scale measures weight, not fat, and I was looking to lose fat. I knew that if I kept following these guidelines, no matter what, I would lose fat. And I did. I didn't need the scale to tell me this.

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I think it is great advice that if the scale drives you bonkers, only weigh monthly or weekly. In my case, a bounce here and there does not create emotional response but is rather an easy barometer for me. I weigh nearly daily and pay attention to trends rather than a single day. food tracking is an excellent idea for most people, but I did it for a FREAKING LIFETIME pre WLS and got fat doing it. My NUT recognized that for me, food tracking created emotional triggers, feelings of deprivation and stress over if I am doing it right etc, so my weight loss actually accelerated when i stopped tracking. I mentally count Protein and carbs (loosely) instead. I realize this is really not a good idea for many people and most should track to maximize their losses. AS you say, it is the recipe that works for us as individuals.

I do think that it is great value to share the story with people just starting out or struggling though - so they can get some ideas on the best road to success!

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@@PdxMan thank you so much for your post! It's so important to hear long term success stories like this!

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@@PdxMan I'd love your thoughts on long distance running/endurance sports post VSG. I have done triathlons and races up to a 1/2 marathon pre-surgery and am working my way back to them with a goal of a 10K in October and a 1/2 in February. My NUT and doctor haven't been super helpful in figuring out nutrition and hydration for long races. Do you have any good tips?

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