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The Maintenance Thread



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It is a mental game for sure. I was freaking out in August since I was already at goal and still consistently losing. I felt I had no control and at that rate would be 110 lbs. by October. I increased calories and volume as much as I could and the weight loss eventually slowed but still felt like I didn't have control of it. Sure enough as many of you said it would slow down. I think I have lost 1-2 pounds over the past 6-8 weeks but on some days I have gained a pound back so I guess I am officially maintaining at 126.5-128lbs. I am now at 1500 calories consistently and can sometimes eat 3/4 of a cup of food (if it's soft, or slider type) at a sitting. I can now eat and egg with some veggies, yogurt or RX bar in less than 5 minutes and finish a Protein Shake in 15-20 if i am in a hurry if I haven't eaten in the 1-2 hours before so it has definitely improved.

I have now seen 2 plastic surgeons to discuss arm and tummy skin issues for a spring surgery. Both have said (at 5'2.5 in and 127lb.) that I don't have anymore fat I could lose. They both made comments about how thin I am (that sounds crazy to me because I would NEVER consider myself thin) and both said I am just skin and muscle. I thought I had some fat in the love handle area but the PS said it's just skin.

So now the decision I have is to try and stay at 127lbs. or do I let myself slip down a few more pounds assuming I will have the 10 lb. regain everyone talks about or should I purposely try to gain a few pounds for my ideal weight. If I could set the scale for the future for a consistent weight for the rest of my life I would actually like to be 5-7 lb and maybe even 10 lb. heavier. At that weight a few months ago I felt I looked good and didn't have as much saggy skin. I would anticipate I would be losing 2-3 pounds of skin in the spring for surgery as well so i need to account for that.

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17 hours ago, Healthy_life2 said:

Take what is useful on this site and ignore/block the rest.

I’m not always going to be a light touch when I’m concerned about someone’s health issues. Take it or leave it. My tough love comes from a place of caring.

Fair enough. No hard feelings! 🙂

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9 hours ago, 2Bsmaller18 said:

So now the decision I have is to try and stay at 127lbs. or do I let myself slip down a few more pounds assuming I will have the 10 lb. regain everyone talks about or should I purposely try to gain a few pounds for my ideal weight. If I could set the scale for the future for a consistent weight for the rest of my life I would actually like to be 5-7 lb and maybe even 10 lb. heavier. At that weight a few months ago I felt I looked good and didn't have as much saggy skin. I would anticipate I would be losing 2-3 pounds of skin in the spring for surgery as well so i need to account for that.

I could have written all of this ....

I was planning to let a bounce happen, and float up +10 lbs or so post ps. Like you, I liked my body better when I was a bit heavier. I also figured it might fill out some of the areas not fixed my plastics. But my surgeon was adamant that surgery weight - weight skin removed be your forever weight. Can't say I'm totally comfortable with that.

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9 minutes ago, sillykitty said:

I could have written all of this ....

I was planning to let a bounce happen, and float up +10 lbs or so post ps. Like you, I liked my body better when I was a bit heavier. I also figured it might fill out some of the areas not fixed my plastics. But my surgeon was adamant that surgery weight - weight skin removed be your forever weight. Can't say I'm totally comfortable with that.

He's probably afraid you'll get stretch marks if you put weight back on once everything is tight.

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9 hours ago, 2Bsmaller18 said:

So now the decision I have is to try and stay at 127lbs. or do I let myself slip down a few more pounds assuming I will have the 10 lb. regain everyone talks about or should I purposely try to gain a few pounds for my ideal weight. If I could set the scale for the future for a consistent weight for the rest of my life I would actually like to be 5-7 lb and maybe even 10 lb. heavier. At that weight a few months ago I felt I looked good and didn't have as much saggy skin. I would anticipate I would be losing 2-3 pounds of skin in the spring for surgery as well so i need to account for that.

if you're like most of us, that 10-20 lb rebound is going to happen, whether you do it on purpose or not. I personally would not try to do it as it's very likely to happen on its own. I was totally convinced I was never going to have the rebound weight that most of WLS'ers have because I was so good at monitoring my weight and my food intake, but....ta da....at about three years out, I started slowly gaining. Put on about 15 lbs. I'm not complaining because I was a little too thin before and I look good at my current weight, but I just wanted you to know that rebound does happen to many of us without our even trying.

re: plastic surgery - a lot of plastic surgeons advise people not to gain or lose more than 10 lbs after surgery because you're at risk of it affecting the work if you gain/lose much more than that. That's one of the reasons I wanted it (not the main reason - but one of them). I was hoping it would force me not to gain more than 10 lbs (and I did have plastic surgery after my 15 lb rebound, so I should be OK...)

Edited by catwoman7

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10 hours ago, Sheribear68 said:

and skip through 5 hours of my 8 hour eating window and I literally can’t make it up when I get home. 

...have you considered extending your eating window (or shifting it forward/backward as needed) on those days that you get too busy to eat?

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I've been thinking a lot about BMR, and why I maintain on higher cals, while others maintain on so much less. There is nothing special about me that I should be such an outlier. I'm not particularly muscular, barley active at all. I got to be MO not by any extreme type of binge eating, just your typical eating too much & too poorly.

Just an idea ... but those that maintain on sub 1500 cals, do you think it is possible you could maintain at higher cals? Is your body just at a set point, and it's staying stable because you don't have much more fat to lose? Have anyone flexed their cals up, gotten past an initial bounce, and then seen the scale go back down?

This is a small, self selecting subsection here on BP. In general we are here because we are more dedicated, and compliant than your average WLS patient, IMO. Is there a whole other world out there of WLS patients not tracking and eating freely, and maintaining at whatever weight they are comfortable with? Or even some on BP who don't post about their diet because their experience is different than most everything they read here?

Also, this is considered metabolic surgery, right? Part of the science behind it is it is a positive metabolic affect.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/well/why-weight-loss-surgery-works-when-diets-dont.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920787/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326142209.htm

http://clinchem.aaccjnls.org/content/64/1/72

https://www.nature.com/news/weight-loss-surgery-a-gut-wrenching-question-1.15560

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/12/7/16587316/bariatric-surgery-weight-loss-lap-band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rPoeYfOm8I

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5485884/

So .. I'm not sure what to make of all this, just that I can't be all alone .... right??

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47 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

re: plastic surgery - a lot of plastic surgeons advise people not to gain or lose more than 10 lbs after surgery because you're at risk of it affecting the work if you gain/lose much more than that.

Here's another surgeon opinion:

My guy is more concerned about weight loss rather than weight gain after plastics. He said a 15 lb weight gain would make a negligible visual difference, but 5-10 lb loss would/could likely result in skin folding along the scar incision.

At the time of my consult, I was 127 lbs and he was not concerned about more weight loss because he said "You don't really have anything left to lose". Well surprise! I've gone down 13+ lbs since I saw him last. We'll see what he has to say next week at the pre-op appt.

P.S. A small part of me (a VERY small part) is low-key considering postponing the surgery to give me more time to be at specific weight for a longer period of time. This coupled with the fact that as time goes on, I don't seem to be bothered as much with the state of my skin as I was before. I'm totally walking around naked and don't mind it one bit (Mr. is pleased). ALSO, my plastics priorities are changing. Now I want a butt lift, I think! I guess this is why (some) people say to wait a while after reaching goal to go down the plastics path...

Edited by ms.sss

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2 minutes ago, ms.sss said:

P.S. A small part of me (a VERY small part) is low-key considering postponing the surgery to give me more time to be at specific weight for a longer period of time. This coupled with the fact that as time goes on, I don't seem to be bothered as much with the state of my skin as I did before. I'm totally walking around naked and don't mind it one bit (Mr. is pleased). ALSO, my plastics priorities are changing. Now I want a butt lift, I think! I guess this is why (some) people say to wait a while after reaching goal to go down the plastics path...

yes - some people do experience things shifting around a bit after being at a stable weight for awhile. I looked better a few months after hitting my lowest weight (before my rebound) because of shifting - I didn't look quite so gaunt. My face filled out a bit, for one thing...

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17 minutes ago, sillykitty said:

I've been thinking a lot about BMR, and why I maintain on higher cals, while others maintain on so much less. There is nothing special about me that I should be such an outlier. I'm not particularly muscular, barley active at all. I got to be MO not by any extreme type of binge eating, just your typical eating too much & too poorly.

Just an idea ... but those that maintain on sub 1500 cals, do you think it is possible you could maintain at higher cals? Is your body just at a set point, and it's staying stable because you don't have much more fat to lose? Have anyone flexed their cals up, gotten past an initial bounce, and then seen the scale go back down?

I would gain weight I’m positive. I had to work HARD to lose weight even after surgery! I tried Weight Watchers prior to surgery, and lost maybe 2 pounds a month. I just have to suck it up and accept this is how I am now.

Edited by Cheeseburgh

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1 hour ago, sillykitty said:

Have anyone flexed their cals up, gotten past an initial bounce, and then seen the scale go back down?

Ok, first, you just gave me a lot of reading to do!! Guess I know what I'll be doing for next little while.

Second, I'm not sure if this applies, but here goes:

I was maintaining around 115-118 with daily exercise and about 1600-2000 cals a day.

Went on vacay, and was probably doing 3000+ cals a day with no dedicated exercise (but I definitely walked a lot more than usual). Did this for 2+ weeks.

Came home, and after a couple days of weight-loss eating to bring me back to pre-vacay weight, I continued to lose despite going back to 1900-2000 cals and daily exercise.

Now it looks like I'm maintaining around between 112-115 (with the occasional outlay due to whatever reason).

So yeah, not sure if this is even relevant, just something I noticed in my own experience.

EDITED to correct: oopsies I orginally put 1900-2000 cals pre-vacay, it should have read 1600-2000...just corrected it.

Edited by ms.sss

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1 hour ago, ms.sss said:

My guy is more concerned about weight loss rather than weight gain after plastics. He said a 15 lb weight gain would make a negligible visual difference, but 5-10 lb loss would/could likely result in skin folding along the scar incision.

Shhhh. Don't tell me that! Thinking that I can't gain more than 10 lbs after having plastic surgery without screwing up the work is one factor that is helping me stay where I am!! (actually, my plastic surgeon didn't say anything at all about gaining or losing weight. But I've read others' postings on this and/or other bariatric forums that their plastic surgeons advised them not to gain or lose more than 10 lbs or it'd affect the work. Since my PCP told me that 140-160 is a good weight range for me, and I had plastic surgery at 150 lbs, that fit in absolutely perfectly!)

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3 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

Shhhh. Don't tell me that! Thinking that I can't gain more than 10 lbs after having plastic surgery without screwing up the work is one factor that is helping me stay where I am!! (actually, my plastic surgeon didn't say anything at all about gaining or losing weight. But I've read others' postings on this and/or other bariatric forums that their plastic surgeons advised them not to gain or lose more than 10 lbs or it'd affect the work. Since my PCP told me that 140-160 is a good weight range for me, and I had plastic surgery at 150 lbs, that fit in absolutely perfectly!)

*in best Jedi-mind-trick voice*

"This was not the message you were looking for"

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2 hours ago, sillykitty said:

Just an idea ... but those that maintain on sub 1500 cals, do you think it is possible you could maintain at higher cals? Is your body just at a set point, and it's staying stable because you don't have much more fat to lose? Have anyone flexed their cals up, gotten past an initial bounce, and then seen the scale go back down?

I honestly think it's too soon to tell for me. For the last 9 months really, I was certain of these things:

1. Was certain I'd stopped losing around 140-145 lbs. The scale was neither going up nor down no matter too much of what I did. I'd eat bad choices with about 2000cals (food/booze) and gain like a champ. So quickly. But then would go back to WLM eating and it would eventually return to my baseline 140-145lbs. Then for no reason, I drop into a new half decade.

2. Was certain I'd stopped losing around 135-140 lbs. See above. Was CERTAIN I'd never hit 130lbs. Remember? I even asked y'alls permission to change my goal to 135lbs so I could call Goal and get the stress off of me. Then I dropped.

3. Now lately I've been defending 130-135 lbs. This time, it's really about eating maintenance cals of average 1100-1200 ish average per day over a week. I'm eating in maintenance cals (or so I think since I gain very easily if I eat and drink freely). But one day last week, I saw 129lbs which leads me to believe I may still be dropping.

I truly believe that the RNY surgery helped me metabolically defend new lower set points without upping my hunger hormones or other fat storage hormones. I think that's the only way I'm losing now.

But I also honestly don't know how many more cals I need in order to maintain. Cuz truly, it's not maintenance for me, it's simply gaining and losing the same 5 lbs ad-nauseum. Some days I feel like Sysiphus (sp?). LOL Or GHDWL (Ground Hog Day Weight Loss=gaining and losing the same lbs all over again world without end amen.)

Here's my weight loss graph to illustrate this.

image.png.023e31cd2c1b904c9a4ed629684a1c6e.png

I purposely try to eat more each weekend in order to test your theory that upping the cals then ups the metabolism or keeps my body guessing.

Edited by FluffyChix

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@FluffyChix Your post about maintaining at slightly higher cals than you had anticipated is part of what got me thinking about this.

I agree with almost everything you said. I'd be curious to see what your upper limit to maintain is. I honestly don't know mine. I've had no gains that stuck even with when I have consumed way over my 2Kish average, even for a sustained amount of time, like @ms.sss

This though ....it's not maintenance for me, it's simply gaining and losing the same 5 lbs ... that is maintenance. I don't think it is physically possible to stay at a static weight

I mean most people don't weigh themselves everyday. Only crazy people like us 🤣 A gain or loss of 5 lbs is completely invisible to me, I can't feel it in my clothes or see if in the mirror. So I imagine that's true of most people, if not even more so because we are hyper aware around here.

Below is my chart for the last 6 months. I fluctuate within 5 lbs. As long as I don't go over my "line in the sand" (130) for more than a day then it is business as usual for me. So maybe you are fighting a battle that doesn't need to be fought?

IMG_7758.jpg.fd42ca161fa100249b2b5951c5d14f6c.jpg

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