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There is NO cheat code: TOUGH LOVE AT 5 YEARS POST-OP

nestingdoll

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About 6 years ago, I joined this community and became HOOKED on the fact that I could use the gastric bypass as a tool to help in the extreme battle of the bulge.  I had my surgery on 3-19-12, and it was a complete success. 

I'll go ahead and answer the burning question:  At my heaviest documented weight, I was 397lbs.  When my surgery was scheduled, I was down to 268lbs.  My goal weight was 145.  The lowest I ever got was 147. Today, I'm weighing in at 161(and not too happy about it). Will I battle for the last 16lbs to be gone??  Of course!!  What's 16 lbs when you started at 397?? 

Let's get real:  life is messy.  Gastric bypass doesn't make it any less messy.  Since my last blog, I lost down to 147lbs, then gained some back.  However, I survived my hubby's 2.5 year deployment, infidelity in my marriage, a long pause then restart to my math degree (I feel your cringes from here), moving across the country, complete separation from half of my family, hospitalization for viral meningitis for one month and subsequent detox from fentanyl over the span of 2 months, AND 5 years of growth for each of my girls. 

I decided, however, that it's important to continue my blog on thinnertimesforum.  Along the way, I will post about real life, real food, and the real challenges that I face daily.  I promise to document every achievement, shortfall, and swan dive off of the wagon. 

Last November, I started becoming frantic, frankly.  I knew I was losing control, again.  I started looking WAY too much like 397lb me. 

Here are my personal warning signs that I'm reverting:

1.  Avoiding the scale or making excuses like, "That's not 'real' weight; I'm about to start my period in 2 weeks.  Or, my favorite, "It must be water weight from the salt I had yesterday."  No sweetie, it was the fries that the salt was on. 

2.  Daily decisions to "start a new lifestyle."  In November, I decided to do the 5 day pouch. It was "ridiculous this far post-op."   Then, I decided I would live and Atkins lifestyle.  Reality check:  Atkins plus carbohydrates isn't Atkins.  It was "too hard while I'm in school." 

3.  I suddenly have a larger stack of "goal" jeans in my closet than I do of current fit jeans.  That's okay, self, "you'll get back into them after the holidays.  The hubby must've shrunk them in the dryer." 

4.  I keep telling myself that "I'm a health foodie. I wrote a wholefoods blog. I don't eat like that" as I'm eating a burger or handful of chips. 

5.  My house is suddenly bursting at the seams with junk food and chocolate and I lie to myself, "it's for the hubby and the kids."  Yeah, honey?? Then, stop eating their food.

6.  I KNOW deep down that I'm letting the food monster creep back in...nay, the food monster is here, bigger than life.  But, if I cram the food into my mouth super fast, the calories somehow won't count.....  There's not even any logic in that one.

I'm done with that version of myself.  Done.  So, I've spent several weeks reflecting on my journey.  This is a fork in the road, a pivotal moment in my life.  Will I be a success long-term or will I become one of those people that everyone's co-worker warned you about----that lady everyone knows that had gastric bypass and ended up bigger than before. 

Here are the truths that I've written down to remind myself what's at stake:

1.  "Living to eat" only leads to one place.  Weight loss surgery is like playing a game of chutes and ladders.  All it did was set me back at the beginning.  If I take the same footsteps I did before, I will get to the exact same place. I used to say, "If I had it to do over again, I would have.......(never stopped running, fallen in love with nutritious food, said no to every second helping, etc...)"  I got a re-do.  I'm calling my own bluff.  Am I strong enough to do it differently this time?  Every step counts.  I will make the most of each one.

2.  Maintaining my spoiled-brat food attitude means failure.   Eating to live means prioritizing my health TODAY, not starting tomorrow.  If there's anything we should all know, it's that being healthy is freedom and being unhealthy is a prison of flesh.  So, why have I been choosing things that are unhealthy to put inside my body?? Isn't it about time that I give it what it needs instead of what I want??  Is it only in America that we whine about eating fresh fruits and veggies while other parts of the planet don't have any??  Is it only in America that we whine about how fresh food doesn't taste good enough because we don't get the taste of cheesecake with every bite?  Are we a nation of fist-pounding toddlers refusing to eat our green beans and wanting to move straight to dessert?  Attitude is a decision.  Changing it is as easy as changing my mind.  "Do or do not, there is no try--Yoda"

3.  There is NO cheat code for this game.  There is NO way to live a life of food splurging and NOT gain all of my weight back.  There is no magical combination of foods that will allow me to "eat the foods I love and still lose weight" unless I learn to love foods that are healthy for my body.   If my plate holds the same foods that it did when I was 397lbs, I should run, terrified, to the garbage bin, scrape it frantically, and start over.  We all know the combination to weight loss.  This is not rocket science.  Eat an appropriate amount of foods that are dense in nutrients and lead an active life.  LIVE.

4.  I am not "cured." I will always be a food-aholic; I should never let my guard down.  Food is not a reward.  Using it to celebrate is dangerous.  Do alcoholics give themselves a pass on their birthdays or holidays?? I sure hope not.  Rewarding myself with dangerous food reinforces my food addiction and makes it easier to make excuses for the next meal...like "I've already blown "my diet" for the day, I'll start again tomorrow."  I have had enough fried and sugary foods for a lifetime.  Eating them did not make me happy.  In fact, eating them made me miserable.  I will remember that this is not my "diet," this is my life.  This is not my lifestyle.  This is my life.  This is a life that "blowing it" with a plate of food means walking back toward being a mommy that couldn't bend over to tie her own shoes.  This is a life that is worth more than trading it for a piece of cake or a slice of pizza. 

 

BACK TO MYSELF:

The last 16 lbs will be reached by becoming again the best version of myself, not by further depleting my body.  I'm currently on day 8 of going back her.  She wrote a daily whole foods blog and was a serious health foodie.  Every bite of food that went into her mouth was for one reason:  TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY of her life.  She believed in the power of nutrition to heal and that foods should be eaten as close to their natural state as possible.  She didn't need to count calories, fat grams, carbs, etc... because when you're living the right way, your body balances itself.  And, the greatest part of all.....I'm still her.  I just need to remind myself of that. 

 

 




5 Comments


I can help you with one of your questions. No it isn't only in America, there are super obese people everywhere. That said, from what I've seen of the US and UK (via TV only) you certainly seem to have much higher rates of super obesity over there. You also have much larger serving sizes of fast food than we have in Australia. Our government is very pro-active about education with regard to obesity, along with spreading the healthy eating message. Mind you they still haven't turned the carb-heavy healthy eating pyramid upside down.

Such a shame that the need to reduce carbs isn't a message any government seems to be pushing. Maybe there is just too much pressure from certain food lobbys. Just a walk around our supermarket looking at the pre-packaged "healthy option" meals reveals ALL of them are carb-laden with either rice, pasta or white potatoes.

Best off luck turning your eating back around. You know what to do and you clearly know how to do it. You're also taking control before your weight gain gets away from you.

debbio likes this

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I LOVE this post! So real, so come-to-Jesus. Thank you for thinking out loud and taking the time to write it down. I'm archiving this post to refer back to. I totally relate with your mental determination juxtaposed against human vulnerabilities we are all subject to post-WLS.

Life is real and messy, and we all have to decide how we'll handle the zigzags when we had plotted for a linear course. I'm sorry to hear about the infidelity in your marriage. Please stay strong. Do it for you.

Edited by ShrinkingViolet2
debbio, vsgguy and Khaleesi like this

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Thanks for posting this. Life sure gets in the damn way doesn't it? Honestly I think with everything you have been through, you are doing great to be able to recognize that you got off track and get back on it again! 

Hopefully like you said 16 pounds won't be much since you lost so much already. We just have to go back to basics and remember what we did in the beginning right? 

Good luck to you. I gained about five pounds give or take, which I know doesn't sound like a lot. I still don't know whether it was fat or muscle because my measurements were all the same, and I moved into a place with stairs and I'm literally up and down the stairs twenty times a day and walking a dog....but anyway I had to go back to basics and I'm down three pounds, trying to get those last two to come off. 

Good luck to you! Thanks for sharing your story with us. 

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 8:53 PM, Aussie H said:

I can help you with one of your questions. No it isn't only in America, there are super obese people everywhere. That said, from what I've seen of the US and UK (via TV only) you certainly seem to have much higher rates of super obesity over there. You also have much larger serving sizes of fast food than we have in Australia. Our government is very pro-active about education with regard to obesity, along with spreading the healthy eating message. Mind you they still haven't turned the carb-heavy healthy eating pyramid upside down.

Such a shame that the need to reduce carbs isn't a message any government seems to be pushing. Maybe there is just too much pressure from certain food lobbys. Just a walk around our supermarket looking at the pre-packaged "healthy option" meals reveals ALL of them are carb-laden with either rice, pasta or white potatoes.

Best off luck turning your eating back around. You know what to do and you clearly know how to do it. You're also taking control before your weight gain gets away from you.

Maybe Australia is different but personally I have not seen any 400-500 # persons in Europe.  I am sure there are some but not like US where you see folks > 300 pounds ever day. And when I kept adult foreign exchange students, they would tell me how shocking it was to see so many huge people in every day life.  I wasn't even heavy then but had some huge family members and thought this is a sad statement about American food consumption.   That was 30 years ago, and we are still the fattest country in the world. the most disheartening trend is the rapidly rising numbers of children under 13 who are consider "super obese" for their ages. Absolutely awful.  

I am determined NOT to be a fat American anymore. I want to be healthy, take little to no medication and enjoy an active lifestyle. 

Anne

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I LOVE your post!!! Especially:

<<<2.  Daily decisions to "start a new lifestyle."  In November, I decided to do the 5 day pouch. It was "ridiculous this far post-op."   Then, I decided I would live and Atkins lifestyle.  Reality check:  Atkins plus carbohydrates isn't Atkins.  It was "too hard while I'm in school." >>>

AND

<<<But, if I cram the food into my mouth super fast, the calories somehow won't count.....  There's not even any logic in that one.>>>

AND

<<<...  we whine about how fresh food doesn't taste good enough because we don't get the taste of cheesecake with every bite...>>>

Cracked me up the most, because I have said those exact things in my head countless times!!!

How do I archive this post? I am still pretty new at this.

Thank you for being SO frank!

Debbi

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