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Average weight loss: worth it? Starting to feel discouraged...



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So I've had my first pre-op appointment for a VSG on 11/03 and left there terrified. I learned that the average or expected weight loss is 60% of your excess weight. For me that is only 90 lbs. 90lbs. 90 lbs!!

I've read these these threads and you guys are a fantastic group! I see so many of you with losses well beyond the 3 digit mark (for me I would be ecstatic with a 150 lb loss) and really enjoyed your positivity and willingness to help or just cheer on! I am hoping there is anyone (hopefully a lot of you) who have surpassed the average?

I am actually reconsidering the surgery altogether today. This is going to be a major life change.

All along I've thought, 'no big whoop'! I'll have to change my lifestyle and eating habits to be healthier! New diet=new me! But today I learned about all of the other things. Like no more ibuprofen, forever, sort of things. (Which is something I take on a regular basis for another non weight related issue ) so many things that you cannot do for years if not forever.

And am starting to wonder if a lifetime of thinking about or documenting every morsel of food that enters my mouth, or constant concerns about whether or not I can take this drug or drink that drink, making sure I don't forget all of these daily Vitamins, I am talking (if I am lucky) another 30 years on this earth, for 90 lbs?

Yes I know this is a lot of weight, but I've lost 30 already while going through managed nutrition in the last 6 months.

Should I still go through this irreversible surgery?

Am hoping there are others who have lost more than the average and are willing to share how? I'd like to know that there are some who actually have reached a full weight loss goal and not just 60%of their excess.

~~so confused???? help?

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Lauriep, I hear what you are saying....but the number that they give you is just an average. Individual weight loss depends on the individual. I know people who havent changed their lifestyle habits of eating.......just how much they eat and they don't exercise yet....they lose about that about 75% of their excess weight. Next thing you know....they are whining cuz they didnt lose as much as they wanted. So my question to you is.....how bad do you want it? Are you gonna work your butt off in the gym and follow the nutritionalists advice and guidelines or will you be like the millions who just cant wait to get back on "real solid food" and only have a minimal weight loss?? All I can do is speak for myself......Im paying for this surgery out of my pocket, so I look at it differently. I am gonna stay on the liquid Protein diet take my Vitamins and exercise religiously until i lose the majority of what I wanna lose. Hope this helps. Good luck in your decision and in life!!

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Many sleeved patients lose over 100 and even 200 lbs. Doctors give you conservative numbers or averages. If you realistically think that you can stick to the nutrition plan you are on now and exercise then there is no need to go through surgery. For most of us dieting and exercise without the help of surgery are just not enough. Do you know the stats for keeping the weight off with just dieting and exercise? Under 10%. I never was one of those 10%. Surgery was my only long term option.

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I'm just going to put this out there. Surgery to lose "only" 90lbs could be the difference between living another 20 years versus living another 40 years. Is it worth it if you could extend your life by 20 years?

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@@Lauriep, I hear what you are saying. I had my initial consult and I had several things go through my mind. I had my heart set on the sleeve because the thought of having my insides rewired was scary. I was only choosing between the sleeve and the bypass oh and NOT HAVING SURGERY AT ALL!! And I do take ibuprofen for occasional pain from degenerative arthritis.

The thing that got to me was IF I'm going under a general anesthetic to loose weight and halt some chronic disease processes, I want the procedure with the highest percentage of average weight loss.

The thing about the pain, well at least the arthritic pain, it's an inflammatory process. So, there is a high chance that joint pain would significantly improve with improved diet, exercise and less weight.

I've loss a considerable amount of weight before and maintained it for many years (on my own) and then I lost that control. And I'm here thinking that I could do it on my own but my ability to maintain weight loss is virtually impossible. Some weight loss, especially by big people can be easy (barred serious metabolic issues) but we all have the history of "gaining it all back and then some" that is a common thread in our story.

There is gravity in the decision, but just remember to keep it real and be seethingly honest with yourself. Only you can decide. I don't know what you have gone through for your insurance co., you would definitely have to do all that again down the line.

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The only thing that limits you to only losing 60% of your excess weight is you. I've lost over 100% and am maintaining easily. I eat whatever I want whenever I'm hungry....protein first, then veggies, fruit and whole grains. But I also eat ice cream, desert, bread, alcohol, cake, etc.... just everything in moderation. I do not excercise and I've never tracked or counted or measured my food. I didn't have surgery just to be on a diet the rest of my life. I do make sure I drink at least 64oz of Fluid and I do take my Vitamins (but I've always taken Vitamins, so this is no change)

Other than making much healthier food choices, my life isn't a whole lot different than preop. Unless you count Having a normal BMI, shopping in regular stores for clothes, not being in pain everyday, spending a lot less money on groceries, and being able to hike, climb stairs, etc without getting out of breath, Perhaps I am an anomaly, but I just wanted to let you know that there is more than one way to be successful and postop life does not have to be all that complicated.

Edited by Kindle

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It was worth it for me. I lost around 95% of my excess weight, but even 60% would have been a huge improvement. However, those are statistics they give you. Some people lose 100%, and some lose almost none, or lose it and gain it all back. It does help you lose and maintain, but in the end, it's up to you. I have to work hard to lose and maintain, and I do have to track every bite I eat. I know that I'm one of those people who could gain it all back. We each are unique, and have to find our own way to success. This is only worth it if you are willing to do the work.

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"This is only worth it if you are willing to do the work"

Exactly. Well said.

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Wow, great stuff. I guess I wouldn't be here at all if I thought I really could do it on my own. Just like the rest of us, it's been a constant struggle with losses and regaining. Even this last month, my last NUT visit was over a month ago and in mental preparation for the surgery I've been having too many food funerals and have actually set myself back to where I was at the beginning of August. So yea, I mean no, I obviously can't do it on my own! Yesterday's appointment had me shaking in my shoes, I've slept on it and let a lot of it sink in and am feeling a little better today.

Thank you so much for your candor! You guys hit a lot of nails right in the head for me. Reminded me why I started down this path to begin with.

One of my goals is to be able to shop in a specific store I haven't set foot in in many many years, so shopping is right up there with no diabetes and no double knee replacements before I'm 50!

It's soooo good to hear that there are some who have exceeded those averages! I know this whole process isn't going to be easy, and am glad to hear that putting in the effort will show better results than I had heard. I'm not afraid of hard work at all, actually started today looking into a personal trainer at my gym so that I still have some accountability when I'm tired. I'm not a lazy person at all, but I am sure the time will come when I just don't want to! I am also infamous for just finding something 'more important' to do every day vs. going to the gym.

I was really hoping that the lower end of that average was reported by those who expected surgery to be the panacea, and just didn't put in any effort. I just couldn't imagine that anyone would go through this process and not appreciate it and take advantage of the opportunity, so was having a hard time wrapping my head around the 60% of your excess number! I thought that was mighty low. And would have been really concerned if the responses to this thread confirmed that fear.

Would live to hear your steps to successes?

I have a great eating plan and a great NUT who gave me a great place to start, but struggle with the right exercises, and am actually getting tired already of the Protein shakes (I've only tried 2). I'm not a real foodie so will be fine with missing most things for awhile just need to find creative things with the shakes.< /p>

What were your favorites?

What obstacles did you overcome and how?

Was there one (or a few) thing(s) specifically that you could say were the secrets to your abilities to get passed the 60%

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For me, it's follow the "rules". All day, every day. It's what we do over the long haul that will make the difference.

I'm human, I slip up once in a while. I'm human, so I decide to "go off the rails" (read eat what I know I shouldn't, and too much of it). However, I don't let that get out of hand. It's usually not more than for a meal, and never more than a day. I can do a lot of damage in a short time. And probably the number one thing for me is to be honest with myself. I track every bite, even when I'm off the rails. I log it all, and face it. Usually that's enough to reign me in. A key ingredient to my success has been to look at the big picture, and just keep on doing what we know we need to do, day in, day out. It's why I always failed before - I couldn't sustain the change.

One other thing I forgot to mention earlier - I do take ibuprofen every day, and have since I was about 2 months post op. That was one of the primary reasons I chose this surgery. My doc says RNY patients are predisposed to ulcers, but sleeve patients are not. It's one reason I chose the sleeve. I do know there are differing thoughts about that, but I also know that many sleeve patients take NSAIDS without difficulty.

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wow it's funny that you mention that about ibuprofen, I was literally told the opposite this week. I still have one more visit with my surgeon next week, I think I have a lot of questions for her, I may have been given mis-information about a few things, a lot of my fears may be resolved at that appointment.

Congrats @@MichiganChic on your success! and @@Kindle also!

@@Packerfan61964 and @JakeLancaster I wish you the best, if I read right you guys are having surgery this month?

@@*Lexie* I see you are right about where I am, but 2 months out, am interested to know how you are doing?

@@MisforMimi are you post or pre surgery?

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Laurier, don't get distracted by the statistics. They are just that, statistics! If you focus on your goal, follow the rules of the sleeve, your doctor, medical team and nutritionist you should be fine. My story is this and I hope it encourages you to hang I there. I had VSG surgery on 2-12-14 and have lost a total of 163 lbs! Thankfully all has gone well so far and I feel great. I no longer have sleep apnea and I am off all of my blood pressure meds. You can do this! Please keep in touch and keep us posted.

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wow! that is awesome @@lilkim305!

What do you think is the secret for you? I mean what did you do that put you at the top of the average in such a short period of time?

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Hi Lauriep,

Everyone's process and journey will be different as we are all unique individuals, so I will share with you some of the things I did that I believe really helped me achieve above average weight loss results.

For me, I just got my head prepared as much as I could beforehand. I had to come clean with myself and stop being in denial about how much I relied on food for more than just nourishment.I went back over the situations trigger me to eat, what are the foods that I have no control over and tried to come up with non-food solutions. I also leaned on my faith by praying and seeking the guidance of God to help me with this journey. I tried to have an open mind about what to expect with the surgery and also, one of the things that was important for me was to get rid of my all or nothing mentality. That mindset used to totally derail my weight loss efforts in the past. I read and read and read my surgeon's pre- surgery instructions and followed that same pattern with the instructions from my nutritionist. I made a list of the items I would need prior to surgery. I reviewed the forums here regarding what would be helpful for you to buy and have ready prior to surgery so that was a huge help. I remember taking my folder of instructions with me everywhere I went for the first few weeks in case I needed to review it while in the supermarket or pharmacy. I followed the rules exactly as I was supposed to and do those same things now, such as weigh and measure my portions, plan my meals ahead of time, have back-up Protein Bars in my handbag and desk at work. I always carry my water bottle and make sure to stay hydrated. One of the most vital things that I think has helped me lose weight so rapidly and also over 70 inches total, exercise. Once my doctor gave me full clearance to do full workouts, I got myself into the gym. In the beginning, right after surgery I was walking, but I knew I needed to do something more than walk. So, I went to my local YMCA which I had gone to for two years prior to my surgery and started with boot camp. Then I took the schedule of classes home and sat with my family's schedule and figured out what days would work best based on our activities. This area of making the gym and exercise a part of my life was huge because that is the one thing I would always make excuses about as to why I was not able to exercise. I would always say I didn't have time. I made a promise to myself that I would do this process and journey honestly and not try to make excuses or try to justify not following the rules, etc. So basically, for me, it has been about making a commitment to myself and give myself a chance to succeed. Its really many things put together to create a solid plan of action which helps you stay focused and have a successful journey. One other point that is something worth mentioning is the fact that this is not a diet. I don't feel like I am on a diet and I don't feel deprived even though I currently do not eat many things that I used to eat. I recognize that I am learning an entirely new way of eating and that black cloud of the DIET is not hanging over my head which for me is such a feeling of freedom that I truly cannot express adequately with words. I hope this helps you and hope it makes sense. If you have any more questions, pleas ask and I will answer you from what I have experienced. Best wishes to you.

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Ultimately, this is WLS patients' last chance to resolve their lifelong overweight / health issues.

If you can't wrap your mind around the fact that this is not just another diet (which we have all failed at before) but radical surgery that gives you one last chance to explore and reset the emotional and behavioral issues that kept you from being healthy, then you haven't understood the most important part about this surgery:

The surgery will be on your stomach, not your brain (and, if you're so inclined, your spirit or soul) -- where all of the changes you need to be successful long-term must occur.

While you're losing weight, you've got to learn to live very differently than you have lived up to now. Those food funerals ... hmmmm ... not a good sign.

Your potential resources to change how you think / feel / problem-solve / plan / execute are:

* nutritional education

* psychological education

* a positive attitude

* healthy support from others

* environmental controls

* psychological therapy / counseling

* spiritual counseling

* relaxation techniques

* learning how to live in this moment (not the past or the future)

Very best to you.

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