Sleeve Veterans: What makes you successful long term?

First I want to say that at 2 year currently I don’t consider myself a success because, losing weight is easy, maintaining is the hard part. I really hope that some people that have maintain for some years post here.

Most of the posts from long term WLS patients are about their failures, regain and trying to “get back on the wagon”. We need more positive posts for people that are doing well and enjoying their post-op life.

Hopefully this can be a resource for other people.

  • I followed my post-op plan to the letter almost for the first 6 months. I did not heavily experiment, I did not push limits. I did not advance my food stages. This provided a mental reset that completely changed my outlook and relationship with food. The mental reset from following the food stages and changing my relationship with food in the first 6 months was the most valuable experience.
  • I do not feel deprived. I found a way of eating that does not feel like a diet. I can eat food that I enjoy and I still really love and enjoy eating food. Food enriches my life, it doesn’t control my life.
  • Weighing my Food
  • Tracking my Food
  • Weigh myself every morning, record it once a week
  • Staying calorie aware and spending my daily calories like currency
  • Planning for eating out. If I am going to eat out for dinner, I allot extra calories for dinner and cut back on my food earlier in the day. If I eat lunch out then I cut back on dinner.
  • I exceed my initial goal for myself pretty rapidly (250) and I have gone further in my weight loss than I ever dreamed I could when I started this. All the benefits from being so close to a normal BMI motivate me to defend my weight loss diligently. I know the difference between being morbidly obese and just being overweight and being overweight is far more comfortable.

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Posted (edited)

I don't consider myself a long term success case. Like OutsideMatchInside, I was sleeved a little more than two years ago. But since this forum considers people who are at least one year out 'veterans,' I'll respond.

I maintain a somewhat low body weight of 118 to 120 pounds by incorporating flexibility into my food choices and lifestyle. I "never say never" because that rigid line of thinking got me into trouble prior to WLS.

I don't deprive myself. I consume in the 2000 to 2300 calorie-per-day range in maintenance. I run 20+ miles per week, lift heavy weights 3 times weekly, and cross-train with other aerobic exercises such as the stationary bike, elliptical machine and stair mill at the gym.

I don't avoid entire food categories such as carbs and fat. Since my activity levels are high, I tolerate carbs well. When I lived a more sedentary lifestyle, my carb tolerance was piss-poor.

An astute doctor who specializes in obesity medicine said, "If you didn't like the way you lost your weight, you won't like the way you'll need to maintain your weight, so you'll regain."

Essentially, the good doctor is saying that the habits we adopted to lose weight will mostly be the ones we use to maintain our weight loss. If we did unlikable, unsustainable things to lose weight (e.g. cabbage Soup diet, 2 hours of daily exercise, constant deprivation, HCG shots, expensive foods, NutriSystem, very low calorie plans), we tend to abandon these ventures after a while and the weight often returns.

In essence, I currently enjoy the foods I eat to maintain my weight. I currently enjoy the 60 minutes of daily exercise I obtain to maintain my weight. Since I liked what I did to lose the weight this time around, I am now liking the daily tasks needed to maintain my weight loss.

I don't know what life will look like for me at 10 years out. However, I am both cautious and optimistic about the future. I live and learn from those who succumbed to pitfalls that led to regain.

Good luck to everyone. :)

Edited by Introversion

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On 7/19/2017 at 0:34 PM, OutsideMatchInside said:

maintaining is the hard part.

hi all

i am proudly telling you that i'm 5 .5 year PO

4.5 years GOAL with my sleeve!!

It's a wonderful feeling:rolleyes: i continue to use

the information i learned as a NEWBIE

especially drinking Water - and protein

i still "usually" use small utensils, small plate

eat slowly, and chew a little at a time.

don't like to go to restaurants any more -

but when i do, i also don't deprive myself.

i ALWAYS ask waiter/waitress for a take

home container when she brings my

food out. immediately put 1/2 away before

i eat. i continue to follow my plan "most" of the

time. i'm not perfect - then again:unsure:

one thing that keeps me at GOAL (2-3) lb

fluctuate - is remembering my past weight,

how unhappy i was,. never will go back

there again!! keep up the good work

you are doing great - i know you will be

a continued success:rolleyes:

congrats and good luck


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I'm 7 years out. I'm 116 pounds. My body picked my goal weight for me and really likes it here, so maintaining is easier than it could be. But I do have rules I live by.

I weigh at least weekly. I do not worry about tiny fluctuations but nip anything out of my maintenance window immediately. Complacency leads to larger regain. I don't avoid food groups, but I do put Protein first. I will usually choose a protein snack. I indulge when I want, because I believe forbidden foods lead to binges. I don't want the yo-yo. It works for me. I never graze. I either portion food out and eat it, or I don't, but no mindless or emotional eating.

I still have a ton of restriction, so maybe that's made my journey easier. And my tastes changed a lot. I don't care for potatoes, or sweets. I can't have milk or eat ice cream due to lactose intolerance. But just being mindful is what keeps me successful. I think before I eat. I don't have to track anymore, it's just second nature. The scale is my tracker. And it hardly moves.

I think this is the ideal. I'm happy, can't complain.


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I'm three years post surgery and ave maintained a 100 pound weight loss for two years, with a 1- Pound fluctuation either way of the100 pound mark. 3-5ponds up in the winter3-5 pounds down in the summer.
I continue to weigh and measure my food.
I eat a moderate amount of carbs .under 150
60-80 grams of protein
And between 1100-1300/1400 calories.

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I've been at goal for 3.5 years. I think the key issue for me is continuing to measure and log food and exercise. It keeps me in check. If I go over one day I try to compensate the next day.

When calculating net calories, I can almost predict what my weight will be the next morning.

My plan is to measure and log forever...

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Great topic. I'm an oldie lap band. 10 years post wls. Some of us are still around
It is still work I am here to tell you. But life is way easier with a 90 lb loss.
If I'm unmindful.... I can inch up the scale. Then like Kathy said.....It is back to Water and walking and light eating.
I am still so thankful for my tool, But I am arguing with 10 lbs right now. Oh well. Life is still good!!

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I'm 3 yrs out, down 130 lbs and maintaining!!

I lost 40 pre op on my own. I think this was key for me. As it helped prove to myself that I was ready and could do this long term.

Like most above, I followed the program to the letter for probably a solid year. That really helped me totally changed my eating habits and it's "just how I eat now" so I don't think I'm on a diet.

I exercised as soon as possible. Walking shot distances at first and adding distance and speed gradually. Now I do 8-10 miles a day 5-6x weekly at a pretty fast pace. Exercise too is just now part of my life. I need it to maintain and feel good.

I still track everything, Eat Protein first, drink all my Water, alcohol only on rare occasions and then one is plenty, and I'm still and hopefully permanently off pop.

I also control the food that enters my house. So I don't keep junk food in the house. I know that isn't realistic for all. But really nobody living in your house is gonna die without junk food. The result, if I need a snack or mental's still a healthy choice.

I don't deprive or avoid any food group or type. If I want pizza I get it, I make sure it's my favorite (no point eating bad anything) I have a small piece or two and move on. The great thing is a small amount always satisfies me so I don't have to feel guilty. And guilt free pizza tastes soooo much better.

I always say.... the second bit doesn't taste any better than first. (Really think about that) So often one bit of something "bad" takes care of my craving.

I hope this helps a newbie if I can do it anyone can!!!!

Best wishes all

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