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Considering surgery, BMI 34, age 48 F



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Hello!

Im in the “considering” phase for WLS. Not sure if I am a good candidate or if I am giving up on my own sheer determination too soon.

I have a child who is about a year out of sleeve surgery at age 22 and doing great. It’s inspiring, and I long for similar success. I have battled my weight my whole life.

A little background:

According to height and weight charts, I have never ever been within healthy range. At age 14, I weighed 181. As an active teen I averaged 165, and I have not seen that weight since. As an adult, I usually hovered between 195-270 and everything in between as I had children and went through the decades of my life. (Highest weight was 270 from 1999-2003)

In the last 10 years, I have felt pretty good and seemed to settle into the 185-210 range, always fluctuating. I am 5’9” so I carry my weight well. This last two years I have gained 37 lbs pushing me from 193 to 230. (20 if it is definitely covid stress related)

I had gestational diabetes with all three pregnancies, requiring insulin. My father was a diabetic and had every complication of it (stroke, blindness, foot infections) including kidney failure which ultimately contributed to his death. Other than genetics, my current health issues are heart palpitations, knee pain, back pain.

My BMI is currently 34.5. Even if I struggle to lose 30 lbs, at 199 I will still be around 29 BMI. Even maintaining “overweight” status is a constant uphill battle for me and has gotten worse in my 40’s. I am tired of this being so difficult. I live in fear of inheriting my fathers health problems.

Sorry so long. Wondering if I’m giving up my willpower too soon. The constant flip flopping from “I can do this on my own” and “it’s time to take this to another level before it’s too late” is giving me terrible anxiety.

Any thoughts, experience, or advice is welcome.

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I was much heavier than you (low 200s from college until about age 30 - with a short stint of being 150-ish, which I wasn't able to maintain for very long), and then a gradual increase after age 30 until I was over 300 lbs. On the other hand, I was like you in that I could never maintain a loss. I'm in my 60s - and for YEARS I basically gained and lost the same 50 lbs. I could never keep it off for more than a few months before it headed back up. And I had 200 lbs to lose - no way was I going to do that on my own if I couldn't even keep 50 off. So I finally just leveled with myself and admitted I couldn't do it on my own.

you are much lighter than I was, so your experience might be different. Ultimately, only you can answer that question. It's very tough to lose and maintain weight - even with WLS it's no walk in the park. But no way could I have lost mine - and maintained it all this time - without that extra boost that WLS gave me.

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I was 62 when I had surgery and it was the best decision I've ever made. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner and avoid the arthritis and joint deterioration. I ended up having a knee replacement and may need another one down the road. 5 decades of abuse and the joints just can't take it any more. Don't wait that long.

Please read "The Obesity Code" by Dr, Jason Fung. He explains it all so well, and relieves you of the guilt and lack of will power. There is no will power when biology is calling the shots.

BTW, one of the best predictors of successful weight loss surgery is having a first degree relative (parent, child, or sibling) who had a successful surgery.

I LOVE my reclaimed life. I can do anything I want - hiking, long distance biking, and even completed a triathlon within a year of my surgery! I have maintained my weight and am actually under my goal weight right now. I have been gluten free for years, but am now also following a whole food plant based diet. I've never felt better or stronger, and I eat an enormous amount of food, am never hungry, and basically eat whatever I want within the WFPB guidelines. I'm not saying you should do this, but surgery gave me the jump start. Once I reached goal, I felt free to explore other options without the cravings and over eating that would sabotage every other effort. WLS has given tremendous freedom over food. For the first time in my life, I feel like I control the food instead of the food controlling me. :)

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Thank you!! I think about my knees all the time, and how ouch better they will feel when I’m a grandparent if I could get 80lb off of them!

What is WFPB guidelines??

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2 minutes ago, MeTooToo said:

Thank you!! I think about my knees all the time, and how ouch better they will feel when I’m a grandparent if I could get 80lb off of them!

What is WFPB guidelines??

I can actually get down on the floor now and GET UP BY MYSELF! This is still quite amazing to me. There is a ton of information about WFPB eating online. Go to You Tube and watch "The Game Changers" and "Forks over Knives." That will give you a good idea. Basically it is WHOLE, unprocessed food. That means food as close to its natural state as possible. Whole grains, not refined grains, for example. No processed sugars, no animal products (that includes dairy and eggs), no processed oils (you use avocados, nuts and seeds and nut butters instead.) LOTS and LOTS of veggies and fruit, plenty of starchy veggies, lots of legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, no alcohol, no soda or artificial colors/flavors/chemicals, decreased salt. Many WFPB folks also avoid gluten (wheat, rye, barley) and I am highly sensitive to it, so have already avoided that for years.

I get more than enough Protein, tons of fibers and phytonutrients, eat all I want, am never hungry, have tons of energy, and am NEVER sore after workouts. Amazingly, my cholesterol always hovered around 225-235, even after losing over 100 pounds. Once I went WFPB, my cholesterol dropped like a rock to 152 (80 points!!!). My triglycerides and LDL also plummeted. Even with the low total cholesterol, my HDL went up to 80. For me, it is a lifestyle that I will maintain for life. It is change, for sure, but not actually hard to do. Most of my family is making the switch as well. You don't have to go 100%, either. When you look at the areas of the world (the blue zones) where people live to be over 100 and have virtually no cardiac disease, osteoporosis, dementia, cancer, or diabetes, these are all plant based societies. Does this mean they won't eat some fish or cassowary eggs if they find them? No. But animal protein is the exception or reserved for celebrations. They don't eat meat 3 times a day like most of the western world does. I will occasionally eat an egg (my own backyard chickens) or a little wild game meat. (The more I learn about commercially raised cattle, hogs, chickens, turkeys and dairy cows, the more I cannot bring myself to eat these products.)

So there you go - probably more info than you wanted. I started this about 6 months after my surgery as I learned about it and once I was able to eat the volume that is required. I had to rely a bit more on the grains and nuts to keep my calories up so I wouldn't keep losing weight. I used pea Protein Powder as needed to keep my protein up. I don't need that now, with the increased legumes, tofu, tempeh, and soy/oat milk and yogurt. Now I eat a lot more of the veggies and legumes, and control my weight very easily with decreasing/increasing the grains and nuts. I did gain 8 pounds of COVID weight, but have lost all of it and some extra, just by cutting back a bit on the nuts and grains. It really couldn't be easier! :)

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10 hours ago, MeTooToo said:

Wondering if I’m giving up my willpower too soon. The constant flip flopping from “I can do this on my own” and “it’s time to take this to another level before it’s too late” is giving me terrible anxiety.

Oh, believe me, you will need all your will power if you go down the wls path & want to be successful. Plus you’ll do a lot of work to recognise & come to terms with why you eat & then reprogram your brain & thinking. The surgery doesn’t get rid of the cravings, the things that drew you to eat, etc. That’s the work you have to do. It’s a lot of hard work & you’ll have to continue to put in the effort even after you hit your goal.

I was almost 54 when I had my surgery & had just made the BMI 35 minimum thanks to Christmas, a holiday & an inability to shift the 5kgs. The surgery hadn’t been something I’d even considered. I had a friend who’d been successful & one day I decided I’d had enough & made an appointment to speak with my GP. Five weeks later I was in surgery. The surgery has been the best thing I did but I still have to work at it every day.

It’s wonderful you’re daughter has been so successful on her journey. She’ll be a great support for you if you decide to go down this path but don’t be surprised if you have different experiences if you have surgery.

Good luck with whichever path you choose.

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A lifetime of struggling with our weight is real for most of us here. You saw that your child had good success with it. There's no reason you can't too. It's never too late.

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I struggle with the same feelings. However, as I watch my weight creep up and up despite dieting and exercising, I realize that I need another tool - the WLS - to help me lose weight and live a healthier life.

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