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Worrying that your DNA will work against you



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I'm scheduled for VSG in August after having two delays already this year due to covid-19. I know from extensive research on the subject that the rate of loss in the first 6 months is determined, by and large, by genetics (and after that it's all on me for the rest of my life in terms of diet and exercise). Yet as I get closer to the date, I find myself thinking about my genes - something I have no control over... and it's not like there aren't already enough post-surgery things to worry about that I do have control over.

I'm having WLS to lose a lot of weight that I haven't been able to lose and keep off on my own with diet and exercise. I'm already doing everything I can to prepare for life-long healthy psychological and lifestyle changes after surgery, but man, I would be devastated if surgery didn't give me the result I hope it will. I should add that haven't had DNA tests to confirm whether or not I have genetic variables such as the FTO gene that contribute to obesity, just because of the costs involved with the tests.

Just curious if anyone else worried about this, specifically, before surgery. Or am I the only one? Also, if it turned out that you were genetically a slower loser (and by that I mean following instructions to the letter including exercising and keeping fat, carbs, and calories low for 6 months or longer), did you eventually reach your goal weight and if you did, how long did it take? Thanks for your replies.

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29 minutes ago, MotoZen said:

I'm scheduled for VSG in August after having two delays already this year due to covid-19. I know from extensive research on the subject that the rate of loss in the first 6 months is determined, by and large, by genetics (and after that it's all on me for the rest of my life in terms of diet and exercise). Yet as I get closer to the date, I find myself thinking about my genes - something I have no control over... and it's not like there aren't already enough post-surgery things to worry about that I do have control over.

I'm having WLS to lose a lot of weight that I haven't been able to lose and keep off on my own with diet and exercise. I'm already doing everything I can to prepare for life-long healthy psychological and lifestyle changes after surgery, but man, I would be devastated if surgery didn't give me the result I hope it will. I should add that haven't had DNA tests to confirm whether or not I have genetic variables such as the FTO gene that contribute to obesity, just because of the costs involved with the tests.

Just curious if anyone else worried about this, specifically, before surgery. Or am I the only one? Also, if it turned out that you were genetically a slower loser (and by that I mean following instructions to the letter including exercising and keeping fat, carbs, and calories low for 6 months or longer), did you eventually reach your goal weight and if you did, how long did it take? Thanks for your replies.

I guess I'm a slow loser,probably genitics and age. I'm very happy with 60 pounds in 5.5 months. Now, I'm only losing a pound a week. My surgeon told me that losing slowly is best for excess skin. I think he is right. Even at my age, I'm not looking at surgery. A little flabby in tummy, thighs and arms but swimming is helping a lot. I'm still 20 pounds from goal, but feeling good that I'll make my goal.

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Okay I'll start by saying I had the bypass but I've been dealing with obesity for like 20 years I would lose weight then regain it until I got the bypass now it is like I cannot gain weight. I've lost 159lbs in only 8 months

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I wouldn’t call loosing 60lbs in 5.5 months slow @rene50. It’s about the same rate as I did & I was almost 54 when I had the surgery. My doctors, dietician & I were all very happy. It was way faster than any weight I’d lost previously so it was all winning for me.

Remember, the more you have to lose the faster you’ll lose at the beginning so if you compare your rate with others consider their starting weight first.

While genetics will contribute, so too do many other factors including age, gender, metabolism, existing health conditions, etc. While none could be called morbidly obese, I have/had many paternal aunts & cousins who battled with weight & one brother who also struggles (my other brother never has had an issue). I had decided I would always have a weight problem too.

I now understand that keeping the weight off will be a constant battle for me to maintain the lifestyle changes I’ve made to lose the weight.

If you haven’t, you may find it helpful to speak with a therapist @MotoZen. They may be able to offer some strategies & help you work through the concerns you understandably have which could hinder your progress after surgery. The mental work is just as important as the physical changes you’ll make. I hope you find success with your surgery.

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I was a slow loser from the get-go and lost 100% of my excess weight. I never thought I would lose it all because I seemed to be behind the curve throughout my whole journey, but I did it. Success with this has A LOT more to do with your level of commitment to your plan than it does to your rate of weight loss. If you are committed and really work at it, you will be successful.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Arabesque said:

While genetics will contribute, so too do many other factors including age, gender, metabolism, existing health conditions, etc. While none could be called morbidly obese, I have/had many paternal aunts & cousins who battled with weight & one brother who also struggles (my other brother never has had an issue). I had decided I would always have a weight problem too.

I now understand that keeping the weight off will be a constant battle for me to maintain the lifestyle changes I’ve made to lose the weight.

If you haven’t, you may find it helpful to speak with a therapist @MotoZen. They may be able to offer some strategies & help you work through the concerns you understandably have which could hinder your progress after surgery. The mental work is just as important as the physical changes you’ll make. I hope you find success with your surgery.

Age, sex (not gender), metabolism, health conditions, etc. are all genetics (biology). If I had parents or siblings who had undergone WLS surgery, I'd know exactly where I stand since first-degree relatives are 100% predictive in terms of results... but obviously I wouldn't be asking this question if I did.

Yes, anyone who's undergone WLS will need to put in more effort to stay slim than someone who's never been obese and therefore doesn't battle the complex factors involved in maintaining a surgically-induced lower defended weight.

Interesting that you've suggested mental health assistance. It takes more than a few sentences to make a determination like that, though I appreciate your concern.

Edited by MotoZen

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19 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

I was a slow loser from the get-go and lost 100% of my excess weight. I never thought I would lose it all because I seemed to be behind the curve throughout my whole journey, but I did it. Success with this has A LOT more to do with your level of commitment to your plan than it does to your rate of weight loss. If you are committed and really work at it, you will be successful.

Congratulations, that's an excellent result!

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Genetics are one of the reasons my weight loss goal is 180 and not lower. My family is genetically predispositioned to being overweight. I literally have TWO adult family members who are not overweight. TWO (my uncle and my cousin)! I even did one of those DNA tests a few years back and it to no surprise said I was genetically predisposed to weigh more. I think 180 is realistic. If I can lose more than that I'll be pleasantly surprised, but as long as I get to the 180 goal I'll be happy! More would just be a plus, in my mind.

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19 hours ago, MotoZen said:

Interesting that you've suggested mental health assistance. It takes more than a few sentences to make a determination like that, though I appreciate your concern.

Oh, I didn’t intend to offend. I only meant that sometimes talking it out with someone can be helpful. Therapy, or counselling, is a prerequisite for many before WLS which is why I raised it as an option if you were interested. This journey isn’t always easy & our mind can mess with our thinking at times.

Good luck.

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I came across this article while researching if menopause would still screw me after WLS that you might find interesting. Weight loss impacts our genes.

https://www.mymenopausemag.com/stay-well/bariatric-surgery-telomeres/

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Posted (edited)

Being genetically pre-disposed to obesity will make it “harder” for one to lose the weight and eventually maintain, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. If you are fully committed to a lifestyle change, I believe it is achievable. You’ll just have to work harder and longer than the person who isn’t pre-disposed.

My mother and sister are both obese today. My mom was just overweight when she was in her twenties, but my sister has been overweight to obese since puberty. My father was normal weight up until his 40’s, and then slowly entered into obese territory as well.

I was normal weight up until my twenties, like my mom, and got MO by the time I was 40.

I had dieted and lost weight a few times (50+ lbs each time), but always managed to gain it back plus a quite a few more within a year.

I am now 1 yr, 2 mnths since reaching goal (1 yr, 9 mnths since actual surgery), and I am 17 lbs less than when I decided to stop losing weight. So I think (hope!) that I broke my own personal curse of the 1-year-weight-loss-weight-gain cycle.

Based on what I’ve read, I was/am a normal to faster loser (but I lost at the same rate even before surgery). The main difference between now and then (besides my physically smaller stomach, of course) is my attitude. I have done a total 180 in regards to eating habits, exercise, and probably more importantly, in temperament. Could I have done this without the surgery? Maybe. All I know is that I have a ridiculous amount of confidence now that I didn’t before, and this self-belief thing started the day I decided to go through with WLS (I had changed my mind twice about going through with it over a 2-year period). And it only got stronger as time went on. So I get where @Arabesque is coming from about the therapy thing. The mind is a very powerful thing when used to your benefit.

So, did I worry that biology would hinder me? No. I just figured I would do what I need to do to get what I want.

P.S. I know I am not one of the wls lottery winners. I exercise a crap ton more than others on here who manage to maintain a weight similar to mine without a lick of exercise and who even eat Pasta (the horror! Lol.). Luckily I like exercise now vs dreading it (well, except maybe for strengh training, which I still sorta hate, but it’s slowly growing on me...)

P.P.S. Sorry this was sooooo long.

Edited by ms.sss

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