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Struggling to envision weight loss



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So I read an interesting article early on in my research obsession that stuck with me. It said most people who get weight loss surgery are shocked when they "actually loose the weight". Meaning we are all so used to yo yo diets and unsuccessful attempts that when we ACTUALLY loose a significant amount we are shocked. Its almost like we are wired to not really believe its going to happen for us until it does and we are surprised. I think about that article a lot when "goal weights" are mentioned to me. I feel super unsure about setting a goal weight for myself.

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1 hour ago, kla7403 said:

So I read an interesting article early on in my research obsession that stuck with me. It said most people who get weight loss surgery are shocked when they "actually loose the weight". Meaning we are all so used to yo yo diets and unsuccessful attempts that when we ACTUALLY loose a significant amount we are shocked. Its almost like we are wired to not really believe its going to happen for us until it does and we are surprised. I think about that article a lot when "goal weights" are mentioned to me. I feel super unsure about setting a goal weight for myself.

So true

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It can take ages for our heads to catch up with the reality of how we look when we’re losing & have lost the weight. I’m almost 4 years out & last week I was folding my knickers & wondered how these tiny things actually fit around my butt. But they do. Same with how other people see you. It takes time for their image of you to change from the overweight you to the slimmer you. It’s why we get all those how much more weight are you going to lose & you should stop losing you’re getting too thin comments.

I picked my goal weight based on the lowest weight I was always able to get down to so I was able to visualise what I’d look like & what size clothing I’d be able to wear. Well that fell to pieces when I lost more. I couldn’t see myself at all. Would be shocked when I realised reflections in stores mirrors & shop windows were actually me. I haven’t weighed this since I was 12 (almost 46 yrs ago now) & I didn’t know how much I actually weighed then so it makes sense I couldn’t understand or visualise it. Proved it to myself by putting on the tutu I wore then but it was super freaky & weird me out at the time at the time.

I also did something that probably sounds a bit odd but I used to google the weight & height of celebrities I thought might be about my size to get a better idea of what I may look like.

Oh & I second @Smanky’s advice to get in & wear those beloved old smaller sizes when you can. I remember I was only able to rewear a beautiful Dries Van Noten outfit I’d kept twice because in 4 weeks it was simply too big. I also lost my window to wear some clothing because the seasons were wrong. 😩

For a laugh, here’s a pxt of me in 2021 wearing the one tutu I kept & one of me at 12 in 1977 wearing the other tutu I wore at the same concert. (Wish my arms & thighs were still that slim - dang loose skin. 😁)

CB958EE0-5B51-4B3C-B19D-4CDF5A18F526.thumb.jpeg.9daf15d2aaa3dc394c7dd25d868f845a.jpeg F59CDDF3-6DA9-4C11-8D31-9409E77ED5A5.thumb.jpeg.9942be34a34a6076a41a989670717f04.jpeg

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I agree. I am 9 months PO, and had you told me that I would be able to reach the weight I currently am, I would not have believed you.
I didn't set a firm goal at the beginning, because I had no idea where I "should" end up. I did some math with weights around the top of the "normal" BMI numbers for my height, to see what the percentages were so I could have some idea of my progress at 3 and 6 months.
Then I ended up dropping weight faster than predicted. The only time I had an actual number in mind was after my 6 month appointment when the APRN told me what they had written down as my "ideal weight" in the computer. It messed with my head some, because I couldn't ever remember weighing that little, so when I got into the range with the same number in the tens place, I was psyching myself out. I had to work to get over that.
I still don't believe the number on my jeans (6 - I had to buy new ones because my saved clothes only went down to 10). It's insane to me that I can wear size small t-shirts. I can feel bones in all kinds of places that I never did before. I am still slowly losing, letting my body decide what it wants to do, but my brain is still catching up with what I see in the mirror.
I also agree with wearing things you have saved as soon as they fit and as often as possible. Sizes can go by quickly sometimes.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using BariatricPal mobile app

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5 hours ago, noteasierstronger said:

I agree. I am 9 months PO, and had you told me that I would be able to reach the weight I currently am, I would not have believed you.
I didn't set a firm goal at the beginning, because I had no idea where I "should" end up. I did some math with weights around the top of the "normal" BMI numbers for my height, to see what the percentages were so I could have some idea of my progress at 3 and 6 months.
Then I ended up dropping weight faster than predicted. The only time I had an actual number in mind was after my 6 month appointment when the APRN told me what they had written down as my "ideal weight" in the computer. It messed with my head some, because I couldn't ever remember weighing that little, so when I got into the range with the same number in the tens place, I was psyching myself out. I had to work to get over that.
I still don't believe the number on my jeans (6 - I had to buy new ones because my saved clothes only went down to 10). It's insane to me that I can wear size small t-shirts. I can feel bones in all kinds of places that I never did before. I am still slowly losing, letting my body decide what it wants to do, but my brain is still catching up with what I see in the mirror.
I also agree with wearing things you have saved as soon as they fit and as often as possible. Sizes can go by quickly sometimes.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using BariatricPal mobile app

Congrats on your amazing progress! And thanks for sharing your insights...this definitely helps.

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Pro-tip: Wear them lots the second you can fit! The window of time for wearing clothes in those mid-loss sizes is startlingly short! I had a bunch of clothes waiting to fit, including some Torrid (size 1) stuff that I bought waaaaaay back in the early 2000s when Torrid was still a subculture store, and never got to enjoy them because when I finally tried them on again, they were too big! Now they're just sentimental keepsakes. [emoji2957]
Agree, had some pants I never wore, tried it on and they were a little tight when sitting, 3 weeks later they were loose, only wore those once [emoji57]

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I think that is somewhat normal. Every time I look at my goal, I just can't imagine being back at that size, I feel like my weight was just the new normal and I just accepted it.

But I also don't think I look different at almost 100 lbs down. Its a process and goals definitely change a lot.

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Hi all. I am almost a year out from band to bypass revision. I set my goal weight before getting banded in 2012 at 185 because I wanted to say I’d lost 100 lb from my surgery weight. I hit that goal but am not satisfied at how I look so I have a new goal of 175. I think the numbers mcipanda quoted at the beginning are unrealistic numbers in the first place. Better to be flexible about the goal and when it feels right then you’re there, imo. Congrats to all of you on ryes chat to have made the decision to improve your health!

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18 hours ago, Daddyof4 said:

Hi all. I am almost a year out from band to bypass revision. I set my goal weight before getting banded in 2012 at 185 because I wanted to say I’d lost 100 lb from my surgery weight. I hit that goal but am not satisfied at how I look so I have a new goal of 175. I think the numbers mcipanda quoted at the beginning are unrealistic numbers in the first place. Better to be flexible about the goal and when it feels right then you’re there, imo. Congrats to all of you on ryes chat to have made the decision to improve your health!

Congratulations on your progress! I just wanted to say thank you for your thoughts on “ideal” weight. Letting my body choose sounds like the most natural way forward, provided I hit all of my nutrition goals daily. I want to be healthy first. 😊

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I haven’t had surgery yet either, and I don’t have a date set. If I am able to obtain all my clearances then it should be mid-end May. I have been so many different weights at various ages. My body is shaped different (I guess)z. I want to tell you about my history so hopefully it will help you just incase you don’t meet the clothing size goal. When I was in high school I weighed 100-110 lbs and was 5’2”… I wore a size small top, 32A/AA bra and jeans size jr 9-11. All my friends approx same weight wore size 1,3 or 5 at the most. I gained weight to about 160, Medium too, 34A, womens 14-16 pant. Lost weight to 132, Medium Top, 34A, size 12 bottom. (Looking back at photos - that is where I hope to be eventually) that was also after my 1st child. at age 25.
After 2nd son, age 30… 160 pounds 38B, size 18 jeans. (Would still be happy based on those pictures)
I am now 53 (in May), still 5’2”, weigh 347!!!! Top is Plus size 26/28, pant size 28-30 if stretch material. I don’t recognize this person.
So for me —- my goal is going to be weight loss and to feel healthy. I still have all different size of clothes - can’t wait to get into them and keep down sizing (I won’t keep clothes as they get too big for me). If I were to do a vision board, I think it would be more pictures of thing I want to see me being able to do. Fit into a roller coaster seat, comfortably sit in a booth, fly on an airplane for vacation, go to the beach and not look like a beached whale!
I do think visualizing goals is great; just don’t be so specific that if the goal you meet looks a little different than planned.

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21 minutes ago, KBlackwell said:

I want to tell you about my history so hopefully it will help you just incase you don’t meet the clothing size goal. When I was in high school I weighed 100-110 lbs and was 5’2”… I wore a size small top, 32A/AA bra and jeans size jr 9-11. All my friends approx same weight wore size 1,3 or 5 at the most. I gained weight to about 160, Medium too, 34A, womens 14-16 pant. Lost weight to 132, Medium Top, 34A, size 12 bottom. that was also after my 1st child. at age 25.
After 2nd son, age 30… 160 pounds 38B, size 18 jeans.
I am now 53 (in May), still 5’2”, weigh 347!!!! Top is Plus size 26/28, pant size 28-30 if stretch material.
I do think visualizing goals is great; just don’t be so specific that if the goal you meet looks a little different than planned.

Thank you for sharing this. It was so interesting to see that your friends of the same weight all wore different size jeans. That’s a really good point. After having 3 kids, my tummy fits differently in jeans vs before. That’s something I need to consider. And I agreed with you wholeheartedly on the vision board! I started mine a few days ago and have added pics of airlines, indoor skydiving, scuba diving, snow shoeing and - stretch goal - white Water rafting 😊

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I had a goal to reach the size I was when my son was young which was a size 2 but didn’t believe I could actually reach it…Yesterday those same old size 2 pants fit! It seems weird but you will adapt to your own body much faster than others will because you see it everyday. Enjoy the ride ☺️

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YES I fully understand this. I was in the 160's in middle school & I now weigh in the 140's. It's insane to think I'm now smaller than I was as a CHILD!

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There are other kinds of goals than just weight loss or smaller size. Certainly I wanted to be less heavy and be able to fit in a booth. But I also wanted to stop insulin, blood pressure meds, and be able to get up from the floor without help.

I had the sleeve surgery 12/30/2022. Feels like a different lifetime before.

I expected much more of a struggle, a continued war over control of my compulsive eating. I thought that would be my most likely post surgery downfall. Stopping that war became my goal. I made up my mind to befriend and protect my surgery and the signals that my smaller stomach is sending me like a precious possession. So far it's working. I am down 60 lbs since my sleeve surgery and still progressing.

A little more than once in a while I am tempted and I will have something I shouldn't but I will either leave or limit myself to a taste. I noticed that if I leave I don't miss it. If I taste it it isn't as delicious or satisfying as I expected. I am respecting and protecting my stomach's ability to help me have a nicer life where I can play with my grandchildren and climb a flight of stairs and not have to plan how to get up before I sit on the floor with my grandkids.

Last week I was at costco and I really missed having a hotdog with mustard. I bought one and I ate until I felt full. I threw away 2/3 of the hotdog. I did the same thing with a slice of pizza the week before only took two bites and realized it wasn't tasting as good as I expected. I threw that away too.

Something that helped me was that before the surgery I made up my mind that if I was miserable post surgery I have permission to stretch out my stomach and go back to my old ways of coping and keeping life worth living. So far I have been more at peace and happier on the trajectory I am on. I am down 60 lbs since my surgery and still progressing.

Lately I am realizing that the enemy of my progress is my sense of failure when I have a bite of something unapproved. Permission to throw away the rest once I taste it or have hit "full" is freeing. I am enjoying the sense power when I throw away the remainder and move on.

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"I had the sleeve surgery 12/30/2022. Feels like a different lifetime before."

PS. I am 65 and 73 inches and weighed 404 at my heaviest. I dropped 40 lbs in the year before my surgery and another 60 lbs since. Before surgery I had weekly therapy exploring how I use food to cope with stresses of life and my relationship with myself.

My next step is regular exercise. I am starting out 2 minutes of exercise on my step machine in the morning and again at night. Doesn't sound like much but it's enough to get me out of breath and make my legs and arms tired. Enough exercise to tire my muscles twice a day is a good beginning. I am trying to be gentle with myself.

I hope this helps someone.

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