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Do you think I can lose 70lbs naturally? I'm at a crossroads :(



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Firstly hi all, I'm new here. My name is Helena.

Just a little backdrop - I'm 37 years old, from the UK. I'm 5'9 and weigh 270lbs/20 stone.

I talked to my local doctor recently about getting weight loss surgery and then I few weeks later I suddenly get a letter through telling me that an appointment has been booked with a bariatric surgeon in a few months time! If I'm approved I will be getting the surgery done on the NHS which means I essentially don't have to pay for it.

That sounds like a blessing. But of course now I'm freaking out, being the massive coward I am I have been binge watching vlogs and from everything I'm hearing - whilst the end result is great - I don't know if I want to or even if I CAN go through the operation. For many reasons.

Firstly I have never been operated on. I've never had children so don't know what childbirth or a c section feels like. I've been pretty blessed, aside from a herniated disc I had a few years ago, I've managed to live a pretty pain free life.

The second thing might sound a little bit selfish but in my 30s I grew to accept myself as a bigger person. Whilst I hate the size that I am I feel like I don't really care about getting down to my ideal bmi and that I would be perfectly happy being 220lbs or if I'm really lucky 200lbs (I told you, thats gonna sound selfish). I can live with a heavier me.

Ideally I just want to lose some weight. But by some I don't mean 10lbs, enough so that I can lose a few dress sizes. Many years ago I lost just one dress size and felt amazing, so much more confident. But that was in my 20s and achieved from pretty much a starvation diet (about 700-800 calories a day, only lasted a few weeks and of course eventually put it all back on). I won't be able to do a starvation diet in my 30s, don't have the willpower now.

So I want to keep the surgery option as my last, last, LAST option (without sounding ungrateful) but so far all the success stories I've heard of people who have lost roughly 50lbs-70lbs or more is that it was achieved through some sort of surgery.

Do you honestly think its achievable to lose the weight naturally within a year (I need to lose it within a year) or do you think I should just prepare myself for the surgery??

Sorry if you think its a stupid question, I'm just kinda lonely with no one else to really turn to so I kinda need to get this off my chest. If you think it can be achieved naturally could you tell me what diet/weight loss plan I should opt for?

Thank you for listening x

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Hi Helena- welcome. Do i think you could lose the weight in a year? Yes, I have done that several times in my lifetime. But the weight always came back once I returned to eating carbs with no restraint. I am 52 now and just had the surgery in early March— with a goal to lose 65 lbs. I just couldn’t stand being that heavy again- and am tired of fighting it alone. I see the VSG as a tool to help me get to my health goals. While it may be a bit quicker, I still think it will be tougher to reach those lower ranges again— but my health will be better for it. No more “A1C1 markers being close to pre-diabetes”, no more (or hopefully less) strain on my feet and knees due to extra weight, no more feeling like a penguin. Surgery is NOT fun, but it wasn’t terrible. I have had many, this was my fourth in a year. I missed one day of work- that’s it. Ive already lost close to 25lbs- 12 before surgery and the rest since 3/3. This was a jump start on a healthier life— you can take a different path, and I know you could get there either way. Just make the right decision for you and your body. Good luck!

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I too have lost weight many, many times but every single time I put the weight back on. So can you lose weight without surgery? Yes. The real question is can you keep it off. I always went back to eating the same way as soon as a diet was over so of course I put the weight back on. I also messed up my metabolic rate by doing those very low calorie diets too many times & practising meal skipping to ‘manage’ my weight. The surgery gave me time to change everything about what, why & when I ate, my habits & whole relationship with food.

It was the best thing I ever did. I lost all my weight & more & have pretty much maintained that weight. Has it restricted my life in any way? No.

Now some truths about weight loss surgery. The average weight loss after bypass or sleeve surgery is about 65% of the weight you have to lose to put you in a healthier weight range. Some lose less & some more. A lot of this is because of the new set point the surgery gives you (the new weight your body is happiest at & is easiest to maintain). Everyones set point is different & it may not be a low weight. Some lose less because a higher weight & new eating style better complements them & how they want to live their life. It may be because of age, gender, genetics, health issues, medications, personal choices, complacency, life events, bounce back regain, etc.

The long term success of the surgery depends upon you & the changes you make to your eating, relationship with food & the head work you need to do to understand & manage those factors.

It certainly is worth a conversation with the surgeon & then you will be better informed to make your decision. In the end, you are the only one who truely knows your self, your situation & lifestyle & your weight loss/gain history. All the best whatever you decide.

Edited by Arabesque

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Some people can do it without surgery. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. Like the others, I would lose weight, only to regain it, and more each time. One thing that you will see in these threads are people saying they wish they did it sooner. I am one of those as well. I wish I didn't put it off. I wish I did it in my 30s, it would have saved me years of frustration and pain, mentally, emotionally and physically. I guess that's why I am sharing my thoughts with you. I wish someone sat me down then and told me that I needed help, that it was only going to get worse. Instead, they just kept telling me "just don't eat so much". No one in my family understood overweight people. To them, it was simple but not to me. It still isn't. I still have to work on it every day. WLS saved my life in so many ways.

If you do decide to do it without surgery, it would probably be helpful getting a therapist to help you with your relationship to food and to be successful.

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Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. And even if you do lose it, you said yourself you have a lack of willpower. You would need to make solid, permanent dietary and lifestyle changes. Can you do that, and maintain it, on your own? And if so, why haven't you done it before now? I've lost weight several times, but I wasn't able to keep it off.

Are you thinking about surgery because you have health concerns? Do you have comorbidities? Or is it just because you want to lose weight and drop a size or 2? Will you follow the bariatric diet to the letter and make all of the lifestyle changes that will be required?

The surgery is a tool. And it's absolutely not easy at all to change your mindset, your relationship with food, and your eating habits. You have to go into it ready and willing to do everything required to improve your health and life. Surgery or not, you have to be ready for that. Can you say that you are?

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1 hour ago, SleeveDiva2022 said:

Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. And even if you do lose it, you said yourself you have a lack of willpower. You would need to make solid, permanent dietary and lifestyle changes. Can you do that, and maintain it, on your own? And if so, why haven't you done it before now? I've lost weight several times, but I wasn't able to keep it off.

Are you thinking about surgery because you have health concerns? Do you have comorbidities? Or is it just because you want to lose weight and drop a size or 2? Will you follow the bariatric diet to the letter and make all of the lifestyle changes that will be required?

The surgery is a tool. And it's absolutely not easy at all to change your mindset, your relationship with food, and your eating habits. You have to go into it ready and willing to do everything required to improve your health and life. Surgery or not, you have to be ready for that. Can you say that you are?

ahh good point...

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I agree with everyone else. I always thought I could do it on my own, and I lost weight - only to regain it - again and again and again. This went on for probably 30 years. Some people can do it - but according to statistics, it's about 5% or fewer. I wasn't one of the 5%. Surgery was the only thing that helped me lose my excess weight and keep most of it off.

it's not easy. It does take work. A lot of work. But on that other hand, it does work as long as you do your part. Stick to the eating plan. Get and stay active. The difference is, you're no longer fighting biology - the strong need for your body to return to its highest weight. You can definitely regain a bunch of weight if you're not monitoring yourself, but because of the lower set point and changes in your hormones, it's a lot easier to maintain the loss. I couldn't have done it without the surgery.

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11 hours ago, helenah said:

Do you honestly think its achievable to lose the weight naturally within a year (I need to lose it within a year) or do you think I should just prepare myself for the surgery??

Maybe a WLS board is way too biased to really answer this question neutrally.

I personally think that even if it's possible to lose the weight and maintain it that it will most likely be much more of a struggle in comparison to having WLS. However, WLS has its downsides as well, e. g. possible complications both directly and indirectly linked to the procedure.

What you can do is go to the appointment and follow through with the program/plan they have to offer. You can back off anytime if you want.

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Like most other people have said... Can I lose the weight on my own? Yes! Can I keep it off? No! I agree, surgery should be a last resort. It's a drastic step.

From what I've heard, there is a pretty long waitlist for getting the surgery through NHS. So, you will probably have plenty of time to try to lose the weight on your own. And I would try, if I were you. Go to the appointments, but try to do it on your own, at the same time. Even if you decide to have the surgery, the lower your weight is when you're on the table, the safer you'll be.

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I will only say this... you know if you can or can't, because you would do it if you could... unless you never wanted to.

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I went through this thought process before my procedure and came to the conclusion that my history said I could probably lose 30-40 pounds on my own with a ton of difficulty...but would probably NOT be able to keep it off, because I never have been able to before. This surgery is far from the easy way out but it's like having a diet coach living right in your own body to keep you on track. I may have only been able to lose 30-40 pounds without help, but I have lost 130 with help.

The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting different results. If you have not been able to lose the weight "on your own" this is probably the way to go.

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Lost 2 stone myself on a low fat diet

I lost 5 stone with Weight watchers, put it back on in 2 years

Lost 2 stone with the local doctors weigh in clinic,

Tried prescription diet pills, hated them

I lost 7 stone with Slimming world, put it back on over 10 years with stopping smoking and the Covid lock in.

So I just couldn't face the whole diet struggle again. I just knew I wanted this surgery, I paid. I am overjoyed with my results. You and only you will know if you are ready to do this, its tough for some, me included. I had no pain with the surgery but had months of nausea and had trouble with my restriction. Would I have had this surgery in my 30's if I could get it on the NHS, hell yes. All my life has been ruled by the weighing scales, calories and feeling guilty if I ate something 'bad'. I now feel liberated

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Thank you so much for all the answers.

catwoman 7 - you’re totally right. So much more goes into it than imagined. Over the years I would lose 20lbs and then regain it. No idea why I never stick to the diet that’s working for me

Summerset - haha you’re right, a WLS forum was probably a weird choice for my question but it was the only forum I could think of at the time.

Jeanniebug - yes I am planning on still going to the appointment. You’re right I’ve also heard that the waiting list could be up to two years and that they might put you on a weight loss program first. That would be so ideal.

pintsizedmallrat - two things did work for me in the past. Kettlebell workouts and intermittent fasting (mainly OMAD) but I just very stupidly gave up after a month of trying. I think my bigger problem is I get lazy and stop. No idea why. I’m gonna try combining the two soon!

Summerseeker - Wow that’s amazing, 10 stone on slimming world! Perhaps I should join them.

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