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12 years post-op and I'm lost



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Hi! I'm new to the forum, so nice to meet you all.

I had gastric bypass when I was 22 (12 years ago). When I first had the surgery, I received very little guidance about my new post-op diet. There was no support group, there was no eating plan, there was just...nothing. I dropped from 264 lbs to 160 lbs, but slowly began gaining and am now at 213.

At the time, there was very little information about how to make the best of my gastric bypass, and I almost feel like I was cheated the results I could have had, had I been given the resources that are available today. And granted, I take the blame for much of it, but I'm also just...lost. I'm terrified of the weight I've gained back. I don't know if I can get the weight off, I don't know what to do or how to eat, and I don't know if it's even going to be possible. I exercise a lot and I don't eat terribly, but I don't know where to start. I'm even considering going to Mexico for a gastric bypass revision surgery.

Any advice you could give would be great.

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10 minutes ago, Machinegirl said:

Hi! I'm new to the forum, so nice to meet you all.

I had gastric bypass when I was 22 (12 years ago). When I first had the surgery, I received very little guidance about my new post-op diet. There was no support group, there was no eating plan, there was just...nothing. I dropped from 264 lbs to 160 lbs, but slowly began gaining and am now at 213.

At the time, there was very little information about how to make the best of my gastric bypass, and I almost feel like I was cheated the results I could have had, had I been given the resources that are available today. And granted, I take the blame for much of it, but I'm also just...lost. I'm terrified of the weight I've gained back. I don't know if I can get the weight off, I don't know what to do or how to eat, and I don't know if it's even going to be possible. I exercise a lot and I don't eat terribly, but I don't know where to start. I'm even considering going to Mexico for a gastric bypass revision surgery.

Any advice you could give would be great.

Talk to a Dr.

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The Vets forum might be a better place for you to find others in the same boat - whether it's regain or how long ago (and unguided) your procedure was:

https://www.bariatricpal.com/forum/1205-wls-veterans-forum/

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Are you tracking what you're eating each day on an app such as myfitpal? If so, what is your average daily calorie intake?

Also curious if you're back to drinking liquid calories (soda, sugary drinks, etc.) or still sticking to Water.

Are you exercising? If so, how many days per week and what does your exercise plan look like.

I think if most regainers are honest with themselves, it's not a matter of not knowing what to do, but rather the will power of sticking to doing it long term after the post-surgery "honeymoon" phase. If you cannot commit to changing your lifestyle and habits long-term, the weight will come back.

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Posted (edited)

It is a shame that you were given so little support back then, but that's history and you can't undo the past. There are a lot of support groups now. Is there one in your area? If so, get to a meeting. You'll find other vets there who can share their challenges and successes.

Follow up with a bariatric surgeon in your area, even if it's not the one who performed your surgery. They can help. If you get their pre/post-op eating plan, go on it. Pretend you're doing another surgery, but just follow the plan. Even if you've stretched out your pouch somewhat, it's still nowhere near the size of your original stomach.

You can try intermittent fasting. There is a thread in the forums with a lot of information and some people to talk to. If you search, there are several other threads, as well.

You can regain control, but don't put it off. Now is the time to act. Good luck!

Edited by Orchids&Dragons

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I'm also having some regain and really upset about it AND I know better because I was given the information! That's totally on me but now I need to get back on track.

Someone mentioned the Intermittent Fasting. I'm not really sure about that one but only because I don't know enough about it. There is also the 5 Day Pouch Test to sort of reset. http://www.5daypouchtest.com/plan/days1_2.html

Note that it is meant for only 5 days.

Then get back to basics though it sounds like you don't have the basics.

Let me see if I remember them.

Drink a LOT of Water.

Stop drinking 30 minutes before your meal.

Don't drink anything during your meal.

Start drinking water 30 minutes AFTER your meal.

Your meal should be about 30 minutes. Not longer. Take your time.

Strive for 70-100 grams of Protein per day (1 oz of meat - 7 grams of protein if I remember correctly). I can't seem to open my file right now but there is also a standard for grams of Fat and grams of Carbs per day. I'll repost when I can get to it.

ALWAYS eat protein first. Lean protein is best.

When you eat, cut your food into pea-size bites and chew chew chew.

Put your utensils down between bites.

Breathe.

Exercise.

Those are the things i can think of for now.

Best of luck and I hope to join you on trying to get it all back!

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Posted (edited)

One immediate thing you can do is clean. Clean your pantry, refrigerator, closet, bedroom and lifestyle in general.

Figure out what is causing you to eat not terribly, but also not amazingly.

Switch up the quality, organizing, prepping, cooking, and storage of your food and guaranteed some auxiliary weight will fall off.

Also motivational challenges boost your resolve to get back in the game. Then reset and try intermittent fasting also

You can join this challenge if you're interested !!!

Edited by GreenTealael

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Good Luck on your new Journey!

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11 hours ago, BlueCrush said:

Are you tracking what you're eating each day on an app such as myfitpal? If so, what is your average daily calorie intake?

Also curious if you're back to drinking liquid calories (soda, sugary drinks, etc.) or still sticking to Water.

Are you exercising? If so, how many days per week and what does your exercise plan look like.

I think if most regainers are honest with themselves, it's not a matter of not knowing what to do, but rather the will power of sticking to doing it long term after the post-surgery "honeymoon" phase. If you cannot commit to changing your lifestyle and habits long-term, the weight will come back.

I'm not tracking, but my average daily calorie intake is definitely too high. However, I don't drink sugary drinks: I have Earl Grey tea in the morning with Stevia and some cream. I do heavy lifting 3x/week and do cardio and yoga the other days.

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5 hours ago, Orchids&Dragons said:

It is a shame that you were given so little support back then, but that's history and you can't undo the past. There are a lot of support groups now. Is there one in your area? If so, get to a meeting. You'll find other vets there who can share their challenges and successes.

Follow up with a bariatric surgeon in your area, even if it's not the one who performed your surgery. They can help. If you get their pre/post-op eating plan, go on it. Pretend you're doing another surgery, but just follow the plan. Even if you've stretched out your pouch somewhat, it's still nowhere near the size of your original stomach.

You can try intermittent fasting. There is a thread in the forums with a lot of information and some people to talk to. If you search, there are several other threads, as well.

You can regain control, but don't put it off. Now is the time to act. Good luck!

I haven't looked up support groups in my area, but that's a good idea. I plan on doing the pouch reset, but intermittent fasting seems super intimidating. I'll look into it though! Thank you!

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3 hours ago, esskay77 said:

I'm also having some regain and really upset about it AND I know better because I was given the information! That's totally on me but now I need to get back on track.

Someone mentioned the Intermittent Fasting. I'm not really sure about that one but only because I don't know enough about it. There is also the 5 Day Pouch Test to sort of reset. http://www.5daypouchtest.com/plan/days1_2.html

Note that it is meant for only 5 days.

Then get back to basics though it sounds like you don't have the basics.

Let me see if I remember them.

Drink a LOT of Water.

Stop drinking 30 minutes before your meal.

Don't drink anything during your meal.

Start drinking Water 30 minutes AFTER your meal.

Your meal should be about 30 minutes. Not longer. Take your time.

Strive for 70-100 grams of Protein per day (1 oz of meat - 7 grams of Protein if I remember correctly). I can't seem to open my file right now but there is also a standard for grams of Fat and grams of Carbs per day. I'll repost when I can get to it.

ALWAYS eat protein first. Lean protein is best.

When you eat, cut your food into pea-size bites and chew chew chew.

Put your utensils down between bites.

Breathe.

Exercise.

Those are the things i can think of for now.

Best of luck and I hope to join you on trying to get it all back!

Thank you! I definitely need to start eating protein first and getting more of it in per day; I'm not doing a good job at it at all.

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23 minutes ago, Machinegirl said:

I haven't looked up support groups in my area, but that's a good idea. I plan on doing the pouch reset, but intermittent fasting seems super intimidating. I'll look into it though! Thank you!

Just call the local hospitals. Someone can put you in contact. At least in my area, you can go to any support group. It doesn't matter where you had your surgery. I go to two different ones. Best wishes!

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22 hours ago, Machinegirl said:

but intermittent fasting seems super intimidating. I'll look into it though! Thank you!

Honestly, IF is the easiest "diet" I have ever been on. And the great thing is the more I follow it, the easier it gets. So much easier than carb restriction, etc., IME!

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