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I need a pep talk (rant to follow)



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Posted (edited)

I'm wondering what in the world makes me think I can do this. What makes me think I can keep to the diet post op? I'm so lazy when it comes to cooking. I don't have a lot of spoons where that is concerned. I don't have room in my kitchen. I am not a good cook and I hate making anything vaguely complicated. I was ordering takeout two times a week until recently because I don't like cooking. Now I have to learn this whole new way of cooking and the mere thought stresses me out. I need cookbooks for idiots with no cooking skills, and I need more spoons. I hate cooking. I'm going to hate trying new recipes even more.

I know, I know. If I think I can't, then I can't. But I'm really torturing myself over this right now. I don't want to fail. I don't want to mess it up, but let's face it. I have failed every diet lifestyle change I have ever embarked on, even though I told myself that the change HAD to be forever. I don't know what the hell my problem is, and why I can't do it, but I haven't been able to do it in 41 years, and I don't know what makes me think that this time will be different. I read about people experiencing regain and it scares me. I have been fat my entire life. I started dieting when I was eight. I'm particularly miserable right now on this liver shrink diet, and I don't know what to do about it.

I know my diet won't consist of the same thing every single freaking day the way it does right now, nor will it be two shakes a day which leave me hungry or a salad that leaves me hungry. But it's reminiscent of every diet I've ever done, where I was hungry all the time, and eventually cracked. The smaller stomach will help with that.

I am, however, worried about my own proclivities. Just a small cheat here, just another cheat there, and the next thing I know I've undone any good I've done with the surgery and gained some or all of it back. I need someone to lie to me and tell me I can do this. That I'm not going to be a huge failure at this the way I've been for my entire life with dieting lifestyle changes. You're not a failure until you give up, bla bla bla. Maybe it's time to give up. Just keep in my tiny world of work and home until I die young because that's what I deserve.

I mean, why would I change the way I'm eating permanently? Eating garbage almost works. It almost fills that void, and if you have something that almost works, and maybe next time will be the time it works, why would you stop for something completely unknown?

I'm utterly miserable on this diet every day come dinner time and for the rest of the evening. I don't want to be utterly miserable on the new way of eating forever, nor do I want to do the inevitable thing of falling off the wagon and regaining some or all of the weight.

Maybe I'm just not meant to be a normal weight. I haven't been my entire life, what makes me think I can start now?

I know, I'm feeling awfully sorry for myself at the moment. Not sure what to do about it. Or if anything can or should be done about it? Am I going through all of this and spending all of this money for nothing? Should I even bother? I'm not just down about it. I'm in a panic about failing. So yeah. Lie to me. Tell me everything is going to be ok, and I'm not a perpetual eff-up.

Edited by hauntedhideaway

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Whoa this is a tough one…. Truthfully many (most? All?) of us have failed at every diet. We’ve all probably sat in bed falling asleep and promising ourselves that tomorrow will be the day I take this seriously. We’ve all failed over and over again otherwise we wouldn’t be here in this forum talking about having (or having had) surgery to help us achieve what we want but have yet been able to achieve. You’re not alone, you’re not even in the minority here. You’re all of us and we are all you. Some of us are just in different parts of the same journey.
Since you know it would be disingenuous for us to tell you “yeah you’ll do great” I’ll spare you the line. We can’t know how you or any other one person will do on this path. We can tell you that for many many many of us it has worked when everything else failed. It can be life altering in the best of ways.
The pre op diet sucks. It seriously sucked for me, I had all the same thoughts you did. But I got through it, I did cheat but recovered. Once the stomach was gone it got drastically easier for me. I was you. I had doubts, I thought I would be the rare exception and fail. I’m not far enough out to say regain can never happen…. But I’m saying it will never happen. I was you. And you will - statistically speaking - very likely end up being me. I know you’re not happy the way you are, or you would have failures in your past and you wouldn’t be here. So I ask… why not? The way I feel today? Despite the fears and doubts it was worth it, 100000 times over.
I don’t cook either. Neither does my wife. My meals don’t look anything like the meals in the “food before and after” thread. Not one bit. I lived off cottage cheese and cucumbers and tomatoes until I moved back into meats. My lunches are a couple pieces of deli meat and some cheese and I’ll squirt some off brand mayo in the middle and roll it up. Last week I bought a burrito from chipotle and ate most of it over four days (two meals a day). I still enjoy food, flavors haven’t changed, what I liked before I like today. I can eat anything I want, but I never want much at all. Shockingly so compared to the amount I used to eat. Some people have to be very careful and strict, some people are able to not be so careful. It depends on so many factors, but I will say for the first few months be super careful and stick to the plan. You’ll figure out your hang ups, you’ll know if being near food is a trigger, and you’ll know what risks you can take. And if you can’t figure it out, we are here for you to help. Therapy might be a great option for you as well. I didn’t need one for my plan, and I don’t really think it would have been helpful for me anyway, but that’s just me. Self reflect and don’t be afraid to say to yourself “I need someone professional to help me work through this.” If you need it.
I wish you success, I hope you become like the new me, because I feel like I’m talking to the old me right now. You CAN do this.

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I rarely cook these days. I cooked a lot when my Dad was living with me, but now that it's just me, it seems like a lot of effort to cook for just one person. Plus, since surgery, I rarely sit down and eat a full meal. I eat mini-meals throughout the day. I'll buy a rotisserie chicken or baked chicken breast from the grocery store a couple of slices at some point in the morning and a couple more at some point in the evening. I'll eat a fried or boiled egg. I'll eat a yogurt. I like to munch on baby carrots. I start the day with a low-carb latte. Now that I am in maintenance, I eat fruit. I'll eat a cheese stick (or two). So the post-op diet can be done without a lot of cooking if you wish.

I will say it's easier post-surgery because my appetite is about 65% of what it was before surgery. Right after surgery, I had no appetite at all, and it returned slowly. But never to the same level as before. And post-op I rarely have a strong craving for anything. Everyone doesn't have that experience, but that's how it's been for me, so far.

Like you, I had not been a normal weight since childhood, so my new body is still somewhat surreal to me. I've lost all my excess weight, but some degree of regain is pretty common. You only have to review the forum to see that. And a lot of us know that person who had weight loss surgery, lost an incredible amount of weight and gained almost all of it back. I'm about 2 and 1/2 years out from surgery, and I've only been in maintenance for about eight months of that. So I'm not an expert on maintenance by any means. But I'm trying to keep myself accountable as best I can. For me, that means that I track my food, I weigh regularly, if I see my weight creep up 5 pounds, I immediately cut back and try to get it back down. I have an occasional treat (like cake or pie or something) but normally I stick to my maintenance plan.

I don't plan to regain, but I know it can happen. I don't know what I will weigh in 5 years (shoot, I don't know if I'll be ALIVE in 5 years, LOL). But while I'm here I will keep fighting the good fight! It would have been a losing fight without the surgery but I feel like I have a shot at keeping the weight off now.

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I am still pre-op (two weeks and a bit away), so I am just here to say I understand exactly where you are coming from.

But here's a story. Tonight I had to buy dinner. I've been on the pre-op diet I put myself on for a week now. I went in and ordered my usual, a chicken shawarma plate with rice and salad. Normally I'd put that away with two giant pita breads and a couple pieces of maamoul or baklawa to boot.

I couldn't even eat the bread. It stuck in my belly. I ate a spoonful of rice and went, "Meh." I had about four ounces of the chicken and some of the salad. I didn't even buy the baklawa.

It truly gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can make this stick when I'm no longer hungry, and do it for the 90 days it takes to make it a lifestyle change. (Obviously the restriction lasts past 90 days, just quoting one of those self-help books people insist on giving me.)

I swear. You can do this. You are a budding bad-@$$, you just don't know it yet.

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You are not alone & you’re not a F-up. We all likely have experienced various degrees of success losing weight in the past but I’m 100% positive we all failed at keeping it off. If we had been successfully at keeping the weight we’d lost off we wouldn’t have been obese & lined up for the surgery. And I’m pretty sure at some point & in varying degrees we all worried that the surgery wouldn’t work for us either.

I’ve never ever been able to maintain a low weight for longer than a month or two. I’d get complacent, think oh eating this won’t hurt. But it did. And very quickly I’d have gained a lot back & I’d be lying in bed at night saying tomorrow I’ll eat better just as @Officially Not Fatty Matty said.

What’s made this time different for me is that I realised that I had to really look at what I had been eating, my eating habits & why I would want to eat. I also had to come to accept that this wasn’t a short term diet restricting what I ate for a few weeks or months but a complete forever change of what I ate. I realised if I went back to the way I used to eat, I’d fail again & end up exactly where I had been - obese. If I hadn’t had these ‘come to Jesus’ type realisations I know I would not have lost all my weight & actually be maintaining it.

Yes, the surgery helped by reducing my hunger & reducing how much food I can physically eat. But most importantly it gave me the time to reflect on the what, how & why I ate & start to put in place the changes I wanted & needed to make to be truely successful this time. The change of mind set was vital. I was able to do this myself but others seek the support of a therapist. Don’t be reluctant to seek help if you need. There are lots of people on this forum who have had lots of success doing so.

It can be very scary to try to imagine & understand how & what you will eat in the future & how you will cope without your old emotional crutch foods. Food grief is real. A therapist can help. The cravings, our emotional drives to eat & our own proclivities never go away, we just learn to better recognise them & develop strategies to manage them.

Any one can learn to cook (my sister-in-law’s 74 yr old father just learnt cause his wife died) & this is a great time to experiment. You don’t have to get good enough to enter MasterChef. Simple basic home cooking is all you need but if you enjoy it … I always cooked but have to admit I cook pretty simply now. Food has a different purpose. I look at food more as a source of energy & not as a way to satisfy some craving, an emotional support or social activity. It still has to be yummy but the nutritional content is equally or more important. Sure I have cut a lot of things out of my diet but I still enjoy everything that goes into my mouth. Honestly, when I look at fast food ads, social media pxts of overly sweet foods, massive portions, etc. I’m revolted now. My stomach actually turns over.

This is my story & what has been working for me so far. Reality is I’m still pretty much a newbie & am still learning. Like @Jaelzion, I don’t know what the future will bring. Life can throw a lot of crap at you at times. I’m in the dangerous third year when the possibility of the 10lb+/- bounce back regain is high. But damn I’m gonna work hard at continuing to watch my calorie intake & being careful about my food choices.

All the best.

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the difference this time is that it will actually "work" as long as you put in the effort. On previous diets, I'd lose 50 lbs (that is, on my more successful tries), hit a brick wall, and then the weight would eventually come back. You are constantly fighting biology. This time, you won't be fighting biology. That has all been reset.

a 10-20 lb regain, usually in year 2 or 3 (after you hit your lowest weight), is very common - I knew that going into it and purposely lost a little more than I wanted to, knowing it was quite likely I'd end up where I wanted to be in the first place. But gains beyond that are due to bad habits creeping back in. You do have to be diligent. I still closely monitor myself, and I'm over six years out.

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There are a ton of bariatric cookbooks on Amazon including those for Air Fryer, Instant Pot, and Crock Pots.

I particularly recommend The Bariatric Diet Guide and Cookbook, "Easy recipes for Eating Well after Weight Loss Surgery" by Matthew Weiner. I also like The High Protein Bariatric Cookbook, by Stacy Gulbin and Weight Loss Surgery Cookbook (for Dummies) which is a companion to Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies which every WLS patient should keep handy.

I would encourage everyone to read The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients by Colleen Cook, available on Kindle. Hard copy can be found on used book sites like Abe.com It is not a cookbook, but address long term success post surgery.

Success Habits.jpg

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Aww, honey. Beating yourself up doesn't count as cardio, so cut it out. You're letting fear and anger make you miserable; why not give love and respect a chance instead?

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When I had my psych consult (pre-op), the therapist said I hadn’t failed those scores of diets over the years; the diets had failed me. Having had the bariatric surgery, I have to say this: No, it has not been easy, but I feel like my body is my friend now, and I’m not always fighting it to get my weight down.

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Posted (edited)

I understand your concerns of failure going into this. When you have tried to lose weight over and over only to regain or not lose much at all, it is hard to believe anything will ever work. Yes, people have had WLS and regained or didn't lose much. I, like you, questioned my will power to remain on track, and still do. I have been on diet after diet, and tried many programs over the years, never reaching my goal (close a few times) and never getting to maintenance.

I can say that post-op, I am surprised how much the restriction does help in keeping me from "going off" the plan. It is early on, so things may get harder, but at about a month out, a craving might "pop" in my head for a second, but it goes away quickly. I get full (satisfied) pretty quickly, and am not really tempted to snack. I think after putting myself through this extreme weight loss procedure & knowing that it is important to stick to the plan help me not want to do anything to jeopardize my success.

I do enjoy cooking, but because I had to cook for my family also, I have been taking more short cuts then I did prior to surgery. During the soft food phase, I often ate Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt or scrambled eggs for Breakfast, & canned chicken or tuna for lunch & dinner. Now that I am on the modified regular diet, I am trying to cook meals that my family & I can all eat. My sides might be different (quinoa instead of rice, etc.) I try to make double for my family & freeze a second meal when I can. For the foods that are just for me, I also try to make extra for another day or the freezer. The airfryer, crock pot & instant pot are great tools to make easy meals. Right now, as I am getting in new eating habits, I buy foods that are easy to prepare.

You can do this.🤗👍 Find ways to take short cuts (in food preparation), find a few bariatric recipes that sound good & focus on those.

I wish you luck with your surgery and progress. It is totally understandable to have these fears going into this, but don't let them get in your way of taking this step towards a healthier you. 🍀😊

Edited by Candace76
Clarity

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