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Posted (edited)

I had gastric sleeve in Dec. 2013 after having reached a weight of about 440-450 and everything went according to plan the first 18 months or so.

Since the spring of 2015 or so, I have been stuck in the 285-305 range (I'm 6'3" and 43 yo) and have been unable to get out of that no matter what I try, to the point where emotionally, I am basically back where I was at my highest weight. I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror, and I'm either a) obsessively counting carbs or calories or b) not caring what I eat and engaging in secret compulsive eating (though on a much, much smaller scale—instead of a dozen donuts, I'm going for one or two and not telling my wife or anyone else).

The latest emotional defeat is this: I've spent the last three weeks doing a keto/Atkins-type thing, which was the only thing that ever worked for me before my surgery. Meticulous tracking, urine sticks showing I'm in ketosis, moderate walking exercise, and—here's the catch—a pretty extreme calorie deficit. Most days less than 2k per day, never more than 2,500, and in one four day period, I basically did the surgery prep diet of only Protein Shakes and broth, at about 800-1200 calories.

After all that, I lost 2 pounds, which, when you're 292 pounds, is nothing.

I'm already planning to eat poorly and secretly tomorrow, and I have absolutely no idea what to do. I feel essentially the same way I did before my surgery, though less intense, in that it seems like there's really nothing I can do.

This is driving my wife crazy, and she's unable to understand or emotionally support me. I'm also trying very hard to not go back to some other addictive patterns.

I know the first thing some are going to say is exercise more. I haven't done that lately, and there are two things holding me back on that point. At various periods in the last 4 years, I have done serious, several weeks-long programs with personal trainers in tandem with calorie deficit, and have had literally no success, other than gaining a little muscle, which resulted in a net weight gain. Also, I have some pretty extreme chronic degenerative disc pain, and it's hard to motivate myself to work past that pain when past results from diet and exercise have yielded little to no tangible benefit after great effort.

One other thing that may be a factor: I had my gallbladder removed in 2017, and it had been basically shot since at least fall of 2015. I also had hiatal hernia repair the same time I had the gallbladder out.

To be honest, I'm not really expecting any useful feedback. This may just be what life is for me now. But I had to say it somehow to someone.

Edited by GSVguy

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Can you go back to your team for help/support?

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Your bariatric surgery team. Mine has follow up, for years, and if I need to talk to a dietician or psych about stress eating or whatever, I can.

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Hello. Don't give up on yourself, the issue isn't food - I know it seems like it's food.

It's using food to numb your consciousness to avoid the pain. When you no longer believe that eating will save your life from anxiety, shame, exhaustion, being overwhelmed, being unlovable or lonely you will stop compulsive eating or other compulsive behaviors. You will stop punishing yourself, you will be kind to yourself. Stay connected to your feelings - sit with them without reaching for food. Breathe, cry, yell.... you are NOT the stories you tell yourself, you are not the stories your third grade teacher told you about yourself.... You are worthy, you are not a failure. Today is what you have. You only have to do today.

There is a very good book called 'mindful eating' by Jan Chosen Bays. It teaches you to trust yourself.

Start slowly with one thing. You have time, don't get distracted, let go of the guilt - yesterday is over, completely over. When you fell off your bicycle as a child - did you let it shame you? No. You just practiced more the next time, it did not define who you are. Hang in there. Keep posting.

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13 hours ago, GSVguy said:

I had gastric sleeve in Dec. 2013 after having reached a weight of about 440-450 and everything went according to plan the first 18 months or so.

Since the spring of 2015 or so, I have been stuck in the 285-305 range (I'm 6'3" and 43 yo) and have been unable to get out of that no matter what I try, to the point where emotionally, I am basically back where I was at my highest weight. I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror, and I'm either a) obsessively counting carbs or calories or b) not caring what I eat and engaging in secret compulsive eating (though on a much, much smaller scale—instead of a dozen donuts, I'm going for one or two and not telling my wife or anyone else).

The latest emotional defeat is this: I've spent the last three weeks doing a keto/Atkins-type thing, which was the only thing that ever worked for me before my surgery. Meticulous tracking, urine sticks showing I'm in ketosis, moderate walking exercise, and—here's the catch—a pretty extreme calorie deficit. Most days less than 2k per day, never more than 2,500, and in one four day period, I basically did the surgery prep diet of only Protein Shakes and broth, at about 800-1200 calories.

After all that, I lost 2 pounds, which, when you're 292 pounds, is nothing.

I'm already planning to eat poorly and secretly tomorrow, and I have absolutely no idea what to do. I feel essentially the same way I did before my surgery, though less intense, in that it seems like there's really nothing I can do.

This is driving my wife crazy, and she's unable to understand or emotionally support me. I'm also trying very hard to not go back to some other addictive patterns.

I know the first thing some are going to say is exercise more. I haven't done that lately, and there are two things holding me back on that point. At various periods in the last 4 years, I have done serious, several weeks-long programs with personal trainers in tandem with calorie deficit, and have had literally no success, other than gaining a little muscle, which resulted in a net weight gain. Also, I have some pretty extreme chronic degenerative disc pain, and it's hard to motivate myself to work past that pain when past results from diet and exercise have yielded little to no tangible benefit after great effort.

One other thing that may be a factor: I had my gallbladder removed in 2017, and it had been basically shot since at least fall of 2015. I also had hiatal hernia repair the same time I had the gallbladder out.

To be honest, I'm not really expecting any useful feedback. This may just be what life is for me now. But I had to say it somehow to someone.

I’m sorry that you are frustrated. No one can walk in your shoes and fully understand how you are feeling. Even if you don’t get useful feedback. Its still good to vent what your experiencing.

I am five years out. I wish I could say surgery takes away old behaviors, addictive patterns and mental battles with weight loss. For me obesity is a lifelong issue I work on.

If you are cycling between being too strict (causing diet burn out) compulsive eating, eating in secret. Make taking care of your head space a priority. How you do that is your choice. Self-help books, counseling, or therapist that specialize with eating issues.

There are many people here that have mobility issues that cannot exercise. You are not alone in your situation. If your weight is stalled out due to medical reasons, I would get a medical professional’s advice. Call your team or hire a dietician that has your medical history.

Give yourself credit for all the weight you have lost.

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Posted (edited)

My surgery team is no longer an option. Price of surgery included one year of checkups. They were great, but what they provided was a surgically re-sized stomach—not sure what else I could expect.

I will probably go back to a doctor to rule out other problems, but I'm certain they won't find anything. Test after test even at my highest weight showed I was perfectly healthy in every way except for the weight.

What could a dietitian tell me that I've not already tried? Plus, throughout my years of dealing with this dietitians have been the most clueless, least inquisitive people—they just hand you a one-size-fits-all print out of some government food plate diagram.

And I am well aware that this is all emotional. I have been in therapy for years and years and years. I understand exactly why I have the addictions I have, and I have been in a 12-step program for one of the more damaging ones for almost five years, with pretty decent success. But closing off that avenue means that food is the thing I can turn to with the least damaging short-term consequence.

I try really hard to remind myself of the weight loss success I've had—but then there's the mirror and I see the same person I've always seen.

I don't see the upside of pushing through the physical pain to exercise and going through the emotional turmoil to eat right when the tangible physical benefits are small to non-existent and there's no emotional benefit at all.

This most recent emotional crisis comes after a round of consultations with a neurosurgeon with my back. After trying different types of pain injections, physical therapy, etc. that had no effect other than to aggravate my pain, the last thing he said to me was, "You just need to lose weight, that's really the only thing that will help."

Edited by GSVguy

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And did you help him up off the floor once you Decked Him? Another weight- deprecator, can't swing a dustcloth without hitting one. I want to tell them Walk in MY shoes and also When you become Perfect we may speak again!

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I'm not upset at him for pointing out the obvious. He did a good job exploring and sending me for other treatments. Gravity is a thing, and a lifetime of being morbidly obese has left its mark on my body.

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You can't get rid of the emotional pain with food, you aren't supposed to get rid of the pain and this isn't embracing 'inner child' crap or the past. It's learning to stay in today, none of us have anything but today. You don't trust yourself, it's too scary.

More change will come, let it happen. It's okay to be on the other side of it. You are brave and it shows even if you don't quite believe it yet - I know you can act 'as-if' - so start there. Maybe get a new sponsor that can do some physical workouts with you or hot yoga, anything different.

Please keep posting.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, GSVguy said:

This most recent emotional crisis comes after a round of consultations with a neurosurgeon with my back. After trying different types of pain injections, physical therapy, etc. that had no effect other than to aggravate my pain, the last thing he said to me was, "You just need to lose weight, that's really the only thing that will help."

I'm sorry you are struggling. It sounds like you are pretty in touch with where everything is coming from...so I only want to address this:

There are GREAT benefits to losing weight beyond the number on the scale. It WILL help physically (if not now, then definitely in the future--cuz realistically MO people do not die "perfectly healthy but MO". They die cuz of complications from MO in most cases) and it DOES help emotionally as well as spiritually. But the part I will address cuz I experienced it is the reduction (dramatic) in pain level from my weight of 287 and 325lbs compared to my pain level at 137lbs, right this minute.

At 287 and 325lbs I was basically bed ridden. I had so much pain I could not stand for 10 minutes, could not walk for 5 minutes, had to change positions every 30 minutes to an hour. Couldn't sleep longer than an hour or two cuz of waking from pain. Couldn't clean myself (poopin) or shower without sitting down on a shower chair. I couldn't exercise or travel. I was a mass of degenerative disc and joint disease and so much more I won't bore you with. I got cortisone injections into my back and hips every 6-9 months and lived on daily pain meds (opiods) and drank to control the extra pain. I was a terrible hot mess. Every morning I woke in a 5-7 pain level and by evening every day I was at minimum an 8 1/2-10. I cried from the pain most days.

Today at 137lbs I ran this morning for 35minutes strait without stopping at 3.5mph pace (slow but moving). It's a personal best. I wake in a 2-4 pain level and it stays pretty consistent. Some days it goes up to a 5, but that isn't every day. I sleep 3-6 hours at a stretch. I exercise every day (either walking, jogging, or core strengthening exercises). I am active, care for myself, the house, cook, and sleep. I don't sit down to shower. My balance is improving...I feel like I'm getting my life back.

I don't drink for pain (and rarely drink now). I don't take any pain meds at all. Oh and I no longer cry daily from pain.

I have such a great RD. She is part of my care team. I also have several psychs who are helping me. I just wish anyone who needed help could get the kind of help I've had cuz it's been phenomenal and a blessing.

Edited by FluffyChix

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45 minutes ago, GSVguy said:

My surgery team is no longer an option. Price of surgery included one year of checkups. They were

I will probably go back to a doctor to rule out other problems, but I'm certain they won't find anything.

What could a dietitian tell me that I've not already tried? Plus, throughout my years of dealing with this dietitians have been the most clueless, least inquisitive people—they just hand you a one-size-fits-all print out of some government food plate diagram.

And I am well aware that this is all emotional. I have been in therapy for years and years and years. I understand exactly why I have the addictions I have, and I have been in a 12-step program for one of the more damaging ones for almost five years, with pretty decent success. But closing off that avenue means that food is the thing I can turn to with the least damaging short-term consequence.

I try really hard to Celebrate the weight loss success I've had—but then there's the mirror and I see the same person I've always seen.

I don't see the upside of pushing through the physical pain to exercise and going through the emotional turmoil to eat right when the tangible physical benefits are small to non-existent and there's no emotional benefit at all.

This most recent emotional crisis comes after a round of consultations with a neurosurgeon with my back. After trying different types of pain injections, physical therapy, etc. that had no effect other than to aggravate my pain, the last thing he said to me was, "You just need to lose weight, that's really the only thing that will help."

Glad you have therapy to help with all the things you’re dealing with. I’m sorry you’re not getting your back issues/pain resolved. The Dr’s statement “You just need to lose weight, that's really the only thing that will help." was unnecessary, ignorant and less than helpful. We all know things are not that simple.

Food may be the lesser of the evils now, but you also know its just as damaging to keep in this cycle of food to cope. I don’t have answers. I know how dark of a place that has been for me in the past. My heart goes out to you.

You’re not alone in not exercising. It’s your situation. Some bariatric patients are in wheelchairs. Many exclude exercise due to mobility issues/pain. What is your physical ability currently?

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Too true, too true, but we will do with what tools we have. I just felt bad you weren't given credit for all you have done already. Rather like " If you still think I'm too large, you should have seen where I came from!" GSVguy, I look at my pre surgery pictures,I cry because I didn't realize the size of me I was presenting to the world🌎! And I thought I was looking good, really I did. But out of that train wreck I built and am still building a NEW ME! I am still legally obese at 31.1, almost ready to drop into Overweight, but I started at 52, that is Abundantly Morbid Obesity, probably within death in a couple years if a ❤attack , stroke or cancer didn't carry me off first! That is a very Scary Larry circumstance, Bariatric Surgery was my best hope and almost my last hope, so even on my discouraged days , I might bad-mouth myself but not my surgery! It gave me back hope, I just got to stay the course until I can take a VICTORY Lap. If you have read my past postings you'll notice I haven't always had sunshine , flowers and bluebird singing in the trees. But I will still prevail, I HAVE COME TOO FAR TO JUST COME THIS FAR! I am not a quitter, I am Red-headed, stubborn, and I'm gonna hang around till the finish. If I die in process, so be it, but I WILL HAVE TRIED. And the Gold Ring may still be mine!

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20 hours ago, GSVguy said:

I had gastric sleeve in Dec. 2013 after having reached a weight of about 440-450 and everything went according to plan the first 18 months or so.

Since the spring of 2015 or so, I have been stuck in the 285-305 range (I'm 6'3" and 43 yo) and have been unable to get out of that no matter what I try, to the point where emotionally, I am basically back where I was at my highest weight. I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror, and I'm either a) obsessively counting carbs or calories or b) not caring what I eat and engaging in secret compulsive eating (though on a much, much smaller scale—instead of a dozen donuts, I'm going for one or two and not telling my wife or anyone else).

The latest emotional defeat is this: I've spent the last three weeks doing a keto/Atkins-type thing, which was the only thing that ever worked for me before my surgery. Meticulous tracking, urine sticks showing I'm in ketosis, moderate walking exercise, and—here's the catch—a pretty extreme calorie deficit. Most days less than 2k per day, never more than 2,500, and in one four day period, I basically did the surgery prep diet of only Protein Shakes and broth, at about 800-1200 calories.

After all that, I lost 2 pounds, which, when you're 292 pounds, is nothing.

I'm already planning to eat poorly and secretly tomorrow, and I have absolutely no idea what to do. I feel essentially the same way I did before my surgery, though less intense, in that it seems like there's really nothing I can do.

This is driving my wife crazy, and she's unable to understand or emotionally support me. I'm also trying very hard to not go back to some other addictive patterns.

I know the first thing some are going to say is exercise more. I haven't done that lately, and there are two things holding me back on that point. At various periods in the last 4 years, I have done serious, several weeks-long programs with personal trainers in tandem with calorie deficit, and have had literally no success, other than gaining a little muscle, which resulted in a net weight gain. Also, I have some pretty extreme chronic degenerative disc pain, and it's hard to motivate myself to work past that pain when past results from diet and exercise have yielded little to no tangible benefit after great effort.

One other thing that may be a factor: I had my gallbladder removed in 2017, and it had been basically shot since at least fall of 2015. I also had hiatal hernia repair the same time I had the gallbladder out.

To be honest, I'm not really expecting any useful feedback. This may just be what life is for me now. But I had to say it somehow to someone.

You don't have to starve yourself, deprive yourself or excersize to loose weight. The "clean eating" diet plan doesn't work for everyone and sets some individuals up for thinking they're a failure if they don't. We all don't fit into the same box. Maybe a diet plan like IIFYM that allows you to have treats like a doughnut without feeling guilty would be best for you.

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Thanks for all the responses. I haven't checked back in for about three weeks just because I was so overwhelmed.

Didn't think about trying to eat right since then and didn't really do any bingeing or anything really bad, but weighed myself today to see I had gained 5 pounds, which is expected but devastating.

I killed myself emotionally for the previous month to lose 2 pounds—it's just not worth the effort. I can't do it.

Meanwhile, I've been doing my back exercises pretty faithfully and getting zero relief. Again, why bother?

There's got a be something I can do, but every time I go looking for it, I spend hours and hours looking at diets, eating plans, etc. online and end up concluding that they're all basically the same, variations on what I've already tried and failed at, so why bother?

I'm afraid to try anything, knowing I will fail and fearing what yet another disappointment will do to me.

The one thing that did work—surgery—is not repeatable.

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