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Having a hell of a time lately



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I’ve been participating in my medically supervised weight loss program for 5 months. I’ve lost over 60 lbs and got a surgery date last week (March 11). I felt like I was cruising along.

The past week, however, has been incredibly hard for me. My cravings have been really intense and it’s been so tough to consistently make the right decisions. I’ve definitely deviated from my plan more in this past week than I have in the 5 months before. I feel guilty and I’m angry with myself.

Honestly I feel like this is a pattern that’s always happened in the past when I’ve lost weight. Around this point, several months in and down a lot of weight, it’s become increasingly hard for me to maintain my progress and stay on track. What sucks this time is that I’ve handled things differently-I’m participating in the program, I’m taking a medication (phentermine), and I’ve gotten support from this forum. It just sucks that in spite of all that I’m still having a hard time.

I feel like it’s probably a combination of factors—my set point fighting harder against my weight loss, the fact that I actually have a surgery date and on some level I’m justifying my indiscriminate eating by saying to myself “well you’re not going to be able to eat like this in a few weeks so you might as well get it in now,” and some (minor) injuries I’ve sustained recently that have made participating in my usual gym routine more difficult. Not making excuses, just trying to understand myself.

Anyway, I’m not really sure of my point but felt I needed to get all this out somewhere. I’m pissed at myself but I hope I can forgive myself and just get back on track.

Any of you WLS veterans struggle like this once you got your surgery date?

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There is a lot of data out there, which basically flows your own, showing that it is virtually impossible (but not entirely impossible) to lose a ton of weight and keep it off, without surgery.

For reason yet known, the metabolic reset of your weight set point and also the reduction of comorbidities only seem to occur after WLS, not with conventional dieting.

Add to that the new science that "pre surgery" weight loss diets are potentially unhealthy and at the least serve no purpose.

my opinion is you e done a great job with this stage of the process, and you should just fight it out and be proud of your progress. Not many people bring their BMI down that significantly on their own.

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I didn't in the months leading up to WLS, but all of my weight loss attempts before surgery ended up like this. I'd cruise along for a few weeks or months, drop 20-30-40-50 even 60 lbs, hit a brick wall, and then the weight would come back. Happened a zillion times. Which is why I decided to have WLS.

I think diet fatigue sets in after awhile, and also, yes, you're fighting biology (like your set point). Your body wants to get back to where it was before. WLS resets the biology part to a decent extent - but you do still have to watch for diet fatigue and letting old habits back in after you have WLS.

less exercise could be part of it, but gaining/losing weight is supposedly 80% diet and 20% activity, so the effect of that is probably minimal. I think it's the eating. Just white knuckle it and keep on going. You don't want to have to re-lose the weight you worked so hard to take off. Once you have surgery, you're likely to lose your hunger for awhile, so things will get easier.

cravings can be tough to deal with - maybe add a little more fat to your diet (but not enough that you're eating out of calorie range) - or maybe more Fiber. Sometimes when I'm feeling like an eating machine, I'll eat a big bowl of bran to stop it. Or something with (healthy) fat in it. Both of those things can be pretty filling... But watch those calories - again, you want to keep them within range so you're not putting on weight.

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39 minutes ago, Fatboyslim1 said:

There is a lot of data out there, which basically flows your own, showing that it is virtually impossible (but not entirely impossible) to lose a ton of weight and keep it off, without surgery.

For reason yet known, the metabolic reset of your weight set point and also the reduction of comorbidities only seem to occur after WLS, not with conventional dieting.

Add to that the new science that "pre surgery" weight loss diets are potentially unhealthy and at the least serve no purpose.

my opinion is you e done a great job with this stage of the process, and you should just fight it out and be proud of your progress. Not many people bring their BMI down that significantly on their own.

Thanks for the kind words. I hadn't heard about the presurgery weight loss programs serving no purpose or even being counterproductive. Where have you seen that? I'm curious and I'd like to learn more. It sucks to think that I'd have done all this work for nothing!

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39 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

I didn't in the months leading up to WLS, but all of my weight loss attempts before surgery ended up like this. I'd cruise along for a few weeks or months, drop 20-30-40-50 even 60 lbs, hit a brick wall, and then the weight would come back. Happened a zillion times. Which is why I decided to have WLS.

I think diet fatigue sets in after awhile, and also, yes, you're fighting biology (like your set point). Your body wants to get back to where it was before. WLS resets the biology part to a decent extent - but you do still have to watch for diet fatigue and letting old habits back in after you have WLS.

less exercise could be part of it, but gaining/losing weight is supposedly 80% diet and 20% activity, so the effect of that is probably minimal. I think it's the eating. Just white knuckle it and keep on going. You don't want to have to re-lose the weight you worked so hard to take off. Once you have surgery, you're likely to lose your hunger for awhile, so things will get easier.

cravings can be tough to deal with - maybe add a little more fat to your diet (but not enough that you're eating out of calorie range) - or maybe more Fiber. Sometimes when I'm feeling like an eating machine, I'll eat a big bowl of bran to stop it. Or something with (healthy) fat in it. Both of those things can be pretty filling... But watch those calories - again, you want to keep them within range so you're not putting on weight.

Thanks fort the tips. I agree about the diet fatigue. Perhaps some of my problem is that over the past few weeks, I had been increasingly strict with my eating, basically limiting myself to about 1000 calories a day. My rationale was to try to prepare for life after surgery as much as possible ahead of time--I've been measuring things, eating very specific amounts, and in a quite regimented way. Honestly, it's felt good and on a day-to-day basis, it's felt totally fine. My energy level has been great even with a high exercise volume. But I think in the past week it's just caught up with me. Your suggestions to help cravings are helpful.

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4 minutes ago, MaineDoc said:

Thanks for the kind words. I hadn't heard about the presurgery weight loss programs serving no purpose or even being counterproductive. Where have you seen that? I'm curious and I'd like to learn more. It sucks to think that I'd have done all this work for nothing!

I found it productive in that it eased me into the way I'd be eating post-surgery. But then, I wasn't eating 1000 calories a day - I was eating 2300 (given that I was averaging around 3000/day before that, even 2300 meant a significant drop in calories). My dietitian had me gradually increasing my Protein, gradually decreasing my carbs, weaning myself off caffeine & carbonation, making healthier choices, and exercising more. I think I would have really burned out if I was restricted to 1000 calories, though. I could easily do that after surgery, but before - not sure I could have sustained that for long.

anyway, by gradually transitioning my eating habits into what they would be like post-surgery made the change seem a lot less radical, I think.

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I don't think you'll find anyone on the forum who not only struggles to make good choices consistently, but also to accept that you can make a bad choice, forgive yourself and move on. This is the nature of the beast. It is really difficult to try to stay on very low calorie intake before your surgery. I'd focus more on high-quality choices, maybe trying out high-protein recipes, getting in more Water, etc. Instill those habits now. The drop in calories will happen naturally after the surgery. One warning - do NOT get in the habit of Protein Shakes now or you will be sooooo burned out by the time you actually need them! Best of luck to you!

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7 hours ago, MaineDoc said:

I’ve been participating in my medically supervised weight loss program for 5 months. I’ve lost over 60 lbs and got a surgery date last week (March 11). I felt like I was cruising along.

The past week, however, has been incredibly hard for me. My cravings have been really intense and it’s been so tough to consistently make the right decisions. I’ve definitely deviated from my plan more in this past week than I have in the 5 months before. I feel guilty and I’m angry with myself.

Honestly I feel like this is a pattern that’s always happened in the past when I’ve lost weight. Around this point, several months in and down a lot of weight, it’s become increasingly hard for me to maintain my progress and stay on track. What sucks this time is that I’ve handled things differently-I’m participating in the program, I’m taking a medication (phentermine), and I’ve gotten support from this forum. It just sucks that in spite of all that I’m still having a hard time.

I feel like it’s probably a combination of factors—my set point fighting harder against my weight loss, the fact that I actually have a surgery date and on some level I’m justifying my indiscriminate eating by saying to myself “well you’re not going to be able to eat like this in a few weeks so you might as well get it in now,” and some (minor) injuries I’ve sustained recently that have made participating in my usual gym routine more difficult. Not making excuses, just trying to understand myself.

Anyway, I’m not really sure of my point but felt I needed to get all this out somewhere. I’m pissed at myself but I hope I can forgive myself and just get back on track.

Any of you WLS veterans struggle like this once you got your surgery date?

What you are experiencing is something called "Self Licensing." It's where you justify misbehavior after being "good." People do it all the time. We really know how to do it with food, for sure. "I deserve it," "Just a bite won't hurt." "I've been good all week (or day) so I deserve a treat." We sabotage our forward progress with this self defeating mind set. Some of it might be based in fear - a fear of success or a fear of change. Anyway, it goes hand in hand with the "What the heck" mindset, which says, "Well I've already blown it today, so I might as well eat the whole thing. I can start fresh tomorrow." I don't know exactly how to "cure" these negative mindsets, but I do know that recognizing them and naming them is very helpful. If you find yourself starting to self license, take a second to identify and name what you are doing. Naming the behavior tends to objectify it and take it out of the emotional response realm and put it more into the thinking/rationale realm. Also see if you can identify the "What the heck" mindset. Again, naming it helps me a lot.

Once you know that it is actually a known human behavior that has a name, I think it is easier to deal with it. The key is to get back on track immediately. Don't blow the whole day just because of one bite. Get out and take a walk!!! I am glad you are dealing with this now, because believe me, you will deal with it after surgery, as well. Yes, the early days are easier when you have no appetite, but learning some tools to handle this kind of thing now will help you so much down the road when the appetite returns, the restriction is less, and you have no limitations as to what kind of food you eat. Turn this challenge into a learning experience and it really can be a good thing!

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6 hours ago, AZhiker said:

What you are experiencing is something called "Self Licensing." It's where you justify misbehavior after being "good." People do it all the time. We really know how to do it with food, for sure. "I deserve it," "Just a bite won't hurt." "I've been good all week (or day) so I deserve a treat." We sabotage our forward progress with this self defeating mind set. Some of it might be based in fear - a fear of success or a fear of change. Anyway, it goes hand in hand with the "What the heck" mindset, which says, "Well I've already blown it today, so I might as well eat the whole thing. I can start fresh tomorrow." I don't know exactly how to "cure" these negative mindsets, but I do know that recognizing them and naming them is very helpful. If you find yourself starting to self license, take a second to identify and name what you are doing. Naming the behavior tends to objectify it and take it out of the emotional response realm and put it more into the thinking/rationale realm. Also see if you can identify the "What the heck" mindset. Again, naming it helps me a lot.

Once you know that it is actually a known human behavior that has a name, I think it is easier to deal with it. The key is to get back on track immediately. Don't blow the whole day just because of one bite. Get out and take a walk!!! I am glad you are dealing with this now, because believe me, you will deal with it after surgery, as well. Yes, the early days are easier when you have no appetite, but learning some tools to handle this kind of thing now will help you so much down the road when the appetite returns, the restriction is less, and you have no limitations as to what kind of food you eat. Turn this challenge into a learning experience and it really can be a good thing!

Thank you, this is great and helpful! I'd just add, that the "fear," at least from my perspective, is a Fear of Missing Out--it's that voice that says to you, "if you don't eat this (yummy whatever) right this instant, then you may not ever get to again! you don't want to miss that, do you?" it's similar to the other fears you mentioned and I think what you said about simply labeling these reactions as being really important makes a lot of sense, but I just wanted to add this to the discussion.

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I think that many of us experience this. I called it “food funerals”

Just get back on track as quickly as possible and you will do just fine.

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19 hours ago, MaineDoc said:

I’ve been participating in my medically supervised weight loss program for 5 months. I’ve lost over 60 lbs and got a surgery date last week (March 11). I felt like I was cruising along.

The past week, however, has been incredibly hard for me. My cravings have been really intense and it’s been so tough to consistently make the right decisions. I’ve definitely deviated from my plan more in this past week than I have in the 5 months before. I feel guilty and I’m angry with myself.

Honestly I feel like this is a pattern that’s always happened in the past when I’ve lost weight. Around this point, several months in and down a lot of weight, it’s become increasingly hard for me to maintain my progress and stay on track. What sucks this time is that I’ve handled things differently-I’m participating in the program, I’m taking a medication (phentermine), and I’ve gotten support from this forum. It just sucks that in spite of all that I’m still having a hard time.

I feel like it’s probably a combination of factors—my set point fighting harder against my weight loss, the fact that I actually have a surgery date and on some level I’m justifying my indiscriminate eating by saying to myself “well you’re not going to be able to eat like this in a few weeks so you might as well get it in now,” and some (minor) injuries I’ve sustained recently that have made participating in my usual gym routine more difficult. Not making excuses, just trying to understand myself.

Anyway, I’m not really sure of my point but felt I needed to get all this out somewhere. I’m pissed at myself but I hope I can forgive myself and just get back on track.

Any of you WLS veterans struggle like this once you got your surgery date?

I hope you're getting bypass that's really the best surgery to change your metabolism and your set point plus the gut biome.

Okay I went from eating so much junk all day everyday probably as much as 5000cal a day now 3 months post RNY I'll eat max 750cal and rarely even hungry I'm like a new person; I'm definitely not going into the fridge every hour like I used to..

You've done well to lose 60lbs and your surgery is coming up quick so you'll be fine.

My honest experience is if I'm hungry I'll have high Protein Shake and that will fix my hunger but it's the bad carbs that cause insulin spike and hunger...

I may be an anomaly but I lost 66lbs before my RNY and I've lost 66lbs since :D

And I'm like 10lbs from my end goal too

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