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ADVICE FROM A 10 YEAR VETERAN



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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone...I'm back. Most of you don't know me because I haven't been on the forum for about 5 years, but I was on it almost every day from the time I had the sleeve in October 2011 at 57 years old. First, having the surgery was a dream come true because I had been heavy all my life. I lost 88 lbs in the first year (I wrote a weekly blog which I turned into a book and interestingly, I reached my goal at EXACTLY one year). At 135 I FELT SO FREE!!!! Yes, I looked a lot better, and Yes, I was healthier and Yes, I was happier. But the freedom of it was the best part. I felt like a normal person and not the fattest person in the room (or worse, in Amsterdam where I had moved....trust me, there are no fat people here!). I felt free from food. I don't think I have to explain that hold that food has on us to most of us....

My look, my health, my happiness and the freedom lasted for 5 fantastic years. I couldn't believe I was living the most extraordinary life in my late 50's and 60's. I had a breast reduction in 2013 and it was THE BEST!!! (I have 22 year old boobs instead of sag wagons) ..love them!) Then in April 2016 I had a Tummy Tuck and it all started going wrong. First, I couldn't exercise for 2-3 months, after faithfully exercising for years. So a few lbs went on. Then, over the next 4 years, a few lbs went on every year. My clothes still fit but they were getting tighter. I tried to get the weight off but I didn't try hard enough and I started making bad choices again. Now I have that dreaded section in my closet called 'WHEN I LOSE 10LBS I CAN WEAR THESE AGAIN....)

So, do the math....3-4 lbs a year for 5 years and here I am now 20 lbs overweight and MISERABLE. In fact, it's so interesting that I feel more uncomfortable now, heavier now, more self-conscious now, than I did at 223 lbs.

So here is my advice:

  • If you are in your first year, ENJOY that honeymoon period where your restriction is still there....learn good habits and stick with them.
  • Stop drinking soda. Seriously. It's so bad for you. I drank it for 40 years and gave it up. I took a sip a few years ago and gagged. Why drink your calories anyway?
  • Weigh yourself regularly. If the scale starts to go up a lb, 2 lbs, then do what you need to do to get it off before it becomes 4-5 lbs. Oh how I wish I would have done that 4 years ago.
  • Because I was relatively early with the sleeve, and because I was in Europe and traveling for a year, I had no post surgery support; but if you have that, stick with it or come back here because it really does help.
  • If you have major surgery that keeps you from moving, talk to your doctor about what you can do and when. I really think that was the start of my downfall.

    Having said that, please don't let me scare any of you that are considering this surgery....it was hands down the best decision of my life. And just so you know, I'm not happy with my weight gain but I'm not beating myself up either. Be kind to yourself. This is hard.

    I would really be interested in hearing advice from other veterans and particularly interested in connecting with any European veterans.

    Queen of Crop

    IMG_5698.thumb.jpg.6eb0e8d81018a53d63e90cc9c0a92cf8.jpg

Edited by Queen of Crop
typo

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actually, a 10-20 lb gain after hitting your lowest weight is VERY common, especially in year 2 or 3 - so you were lucky you held out for so long. Your gain is pretty minimal for being 10 years out - a lot of people fail to get a handle on that 10-20 lb bounce back and it starts to get really out of control.

Losing 10-20 lbs is tough but do-able - way easier than the 50+ that some people gain (and unfortunately, some people end up gaining most (or all) of their weight back if they're not careful).

I gained 10 lbs in year 3 and have gained another 10 this year (thanks to COVID). I don't want to get back down to my lowest weight as it was too low for me, but I'd love to get rid of the 10 pounds I put on this year. Although it's been tough. It doesn't seem to want to budge much. Although for normal weight or slightly overweight people, losing weight is really hard, even for those who've never been obese. I remember being at Weight Watchers meetings years ago and rolling my eyes at these slightly overweight women who'd groan and complain about how hard it was to lose 10 lbs. Yea right (I'd think...) - try lose 100+ lbs! But now I totally get it!!

all you can really do is either cut calories or bump up your exercise - or both - and know that it's going to be tough slog since you're at a normal (or maybe slightly above?) a normal BMI. But....some people do manage to do it!

Congrats on your loss and on your ability to keep it off for so long. And be grateful that you've only put on 20 lbs in 10 years. That'd still be considered a very successful result - and it's manageable - with some hard work, you should be able to get rid of that (that is, if you want to!)

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Thanks so much the reply. I really appreciate all the information and support. If I didn't feel so horrible I could live with it. But I honestly feel worse now than I did at 223 lbs. I feel super heavy, bloated, and its messing with me emotionally in a different way than it did when I was morbidly obese. I think getting back to 135 may not be doable, but I know I would just feel better if I could lose 10 lbs. And I did the same thing as you when slightly overweight people would complain...I had zero compassion. Now I know.

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Weigh yourself regularly. If the scale starts to go up a lb, 2 lbs, then do what you need to do to get it off before it becomes 4-5 lbs. Oh how I wish I would have done that 4 years ago.

---That's great advice! I think most of us have been in that situation where it just starts out as a few pounds, and we ignore what's happening instead of doing something about it which won't fix the problem. It's important not to torture ourselves and focus on the positives in our lives. Most of us probably wouldn't talk to our worst enemies the way we beat ourselves up.

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I was 234 at heaviest 118 at lightest and am now (4 and a quarter years post op) 149.

Yes - lockdown but more than that it’s sugar addiction. At 114 I had no bum or tits or shape and people said I looked gaunt and old but I LOVED being skinny. I’m now a size 8-10 uk - up from a low 6 and definitely not fat or even really overweight. My bmi is maybe a tad over but I’ve always been solid - short legs long back- great build for a hod carrier an ex once told me!!!

so I need to deal but it’s sugar I need to deal with. I go in and off IF and Keto but constantly relapse with sugar. I’m weaning off just now and am going to aim for IF on work days (my tummy is v hair trigger so that helps avoid leaving a classroom mid lesson.

the struggle is real. I’m a recovering alcoholic and sugar hits the same button. I’m depressed, sedentary, lonely but I’m not giving up.

It’s great to hear from people who’ve kept weight off and I’d like too to hear how you get it off again befor it’s all back...

on a positive note I have boobs and a bum again!

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What works for me, is this.......if I go up five pounds, I need to see the bariatric therapist.

It's the deal I've made with myself, and it works.

I very very seldom go up five pounds, but each time I do... I schedule an appointment, have a good talk about the triggers I'm dealing with....and get things straightened out before it gets worse. I cannot say enough positive things about using the bariatric therapist as another good tool.

Best wishes to all.

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I full expect to have up's and down's. As I'm early into this process, I'm very much enjoying the "honeymoon phase" but I'm also a realist. A suggestion I heard was to try the liquid only (pre-op) diet for a week or 2 to kick start things. I'm interested in the long game just like everyone else. It's the small everyday habits that are going to make us all healthier long term. At least that's the story I'm telling myself at this point. Thank you for your story.

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1 hour ago, Creekimp13 said:

What works for me, is this.......if I go up five pounds, I need to see the bariatric therapist.

It's the deal I've made with myself, and it works.

I very very seldom go up five pounds, but each time I do... I schedule an appointment, have a good talk about the triggers I'm dealing with....and get things straightened out before it gets worse. I cannot say enough positive things about using the bariatric therapist as another good tool.

Best wishes to all.

I paid privately for my op in the uk: there was post op support but no therapist. There was a group but it was weird times and I kept missing it!
when I had petersens hernias (potentially life threatening complication) I was past a year post op so couldn’t see surgeon. Went to nhs a&e and told was private so needed to go back to him, he’d sent me there. Attitude to me was really shitty because I’d paid for treatment from a surgeon who actually had been consultant at the nhs place I went to! Like I got into debt and saved the tax payer from comorbidity effects and they’re mad at me?!!

point is the aftercare is needed psychologically and it’s hard when it’s not there.

Glad you have it though x

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@Queen of Crop Have you looked into body dysmorphia at all? At 155, you really should feel miserable and worse than you did at 223.

I am now 20 lbs overweight and MISERABLE. In fact, it's so interesting that I feel more uncomfortable now, heavier now, more self-conscious now, than I did at 223 lbs.

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On 4/7/2021 at 10:58 PM, Creekimp13 said:

What works for me, is this.......if I go up five pounds, I need to see the bariatric therapist.

It's the deal I've made with myself, and it works.

I very very seldom go up five pounds, but each time I do... I schedule an appointment, have a good talk about the triggers I'm dealing with....and get things straightened out before it gets worse. I cannot say enough positive things about using the bariatric therapist as another good tool.

Best wishes to all.

I love this idea. Am about to sign ups for a year of counseling along with medication at an Obesity Clinic here in Amsterdam. I think that is a good deal to have with yourself. Thanks for that idea.

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On 4/8/2021 at 4:20 AM, sillykitty said:

@Queen of Crop Have you looked into body dysmorphia at all? At 155, you really should feel miserable and worse than you did at 223.

I am now 20 lbs overweight and MISERABLE. In fact, it's so interesting that I feel more uncomfortable now, heavier now, more self-conscious now, than I did at 223 lbs.

Had never heard of that so thank you. Looked it up and I can tell you I am absolutely NOT a candidate for this. The fact is, I was heavy ALL MY LIFE until I had surgery. Now that I know how good it feels (really, how healthy it feels) to be a certain weight, I now recognize how my weight was such a albatross around my neck. Sometimes you don't see things clearly until you are on the outside looking in. Also, I have another issue I didn't bring up...been a problem for 2 years; in addition to the weight gain I feel like I am carrying a 5 lb fanny pack around my abdomen and that it is hanging there. Have tried everything, gone to many drs. Yesterday I went to a surgeon and they think I have a tear in my muscle from the Tummy Tuck. That, in addition to my weight gain has left me feeling miserable. So I will keep trying to do whatever it is I can to feel healthy and free again.

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