NerdyLady

I Need Maintenance Help.

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I’m twenty pounds under my initial goal and that feels wonderful. However, I’m having trouble being interested in food. How does one enter a new relationship with food? I’m talking about a healthy and committed relationship with nutritious food. 

My head hunger is interested in all kinds of things but that’s a discussion for another post. I’m having trouble upping my calorie intake because I’m not interested in the preparation and physical act of feeding myself. I do feed myself because I want a healthy body but I’m not excited about anything that comes my way. At this point, I’m putting gas in my tank but don’t care much about the fuel that’s going inside. I’m eating between 900-1100 calories a day.

I have an internal battle over how to eat more carbs + calories and my knee jerk reaction of protecting my body from diabetes. In addition to those mental hurdles, some of the carbs I’ve been adding have not been good fits for my digestive system. My current diet is too low calorie/carb and I keep losing weight. Today, the scale read 142.3 and I’m about to enter “too thin” territory. 

Going back to the original question, how do I get interested in food again? Ideally, I’d love to be on a 100% vegetarian diet but I’m willing to be flexible in order to fill my protein needs. 

I’m not worried about myself but I do want to embrace good habits and a permanent healthy lifestyle. I’d love any advice, thoughts and tough love. 

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I don't know that I've ever gone back to having an interest in food that I once did but then that included chocolate, cakes and cookies too and those were a big cause of getting me to the point of needing WLS in the first place.

Increasing calories is not difficult provided you can get your head around eating more (and yes, I found that thought pretty scary).  I was advised to I up my calories slowly - 150 to 200 additional calories a day for 2-3 weeks and then weighed myself.  I added things like a 1 cup of 2% milk (just over 120 calories), an ounce of cheddar cheese (110 calories), a small apple (around 100 cals.), 1oz roasted almonds (170 cals).

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6 minutes ago, cinwa said:

I don't know that I've ever gone back to having an interest in food that I once did but then that included chocolate, cakes and cookies too and those were a big cause of getting me to the point of needing WLS in the first place.

Increasing calories is not difficult provided you can get your head around eating more (and yes, I found that thought pretty scary).  I was advised to I up my calories slowly - 150 to 200 additional calories a day for 2-3 weeks and then weighed myself.  I added things like a 1 cup of 2% milk (just over 120 calories), an ounce of cheddar cheese (110 calories), a small apple (around 100 cals.), 1oz roasted almonds (170 cals).

That is great advice @cinwa  I think I’ll go have a glass of milk right now. 

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Sorry you are struggling with this part of the phase at the moment.  Looks like @cinwa has a very good idea for you.

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1 hour ago, tracyringo said:

Sorry you are struggling with this part of the phase at the moment.  Looks like @cinwa has a very good idea for you.

@tracyringo Maintenance is an odd place to be. It’s certainly not a bad place, nor are my concerns, bad concerns. They are just really...new? 

I like plans. When I dieted, I DIETED. I followed every rule and list. The weight loss part of post-op life was good for me. Not easy or pleasant, but good. I had a nice plan I could follow on auto pilot. Fight head hunger and stay on plan! That has been my life for the past year. Now I have to use my brain and common sense to navigate the rest of my life. There isn’t a diet plan that has been typed out for me. I have to figure this out on my own. 

I cant wait for all of my newbie buddies on TTF to join me at the Maintenance Cafe. It’s a weird place but I’m glad to be here. 

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I have a really hard time getting interested in food.  I love to cook, just not eat it...some days I feel like I eat all the time to maintain..lately, I don't even want to eat, I can get my weight up to 130 where I like to be but it tends to fall back off.  Ive lost 13 pounds in the last 3 weeks, I'm getting comments at work (they never saw me lose).  Someone asked if I was losing weight yesterday and then the typical "do you have an eating disorder?"  I just snapped back "yep, everything I eat turns to crap".    Can you eat peanut butter?  That's a higher calorie, protein food.  On celery or just a spoon of it?  You do protein shakes?  Make it with 1 or 2 per cent milk...I like peanuts and peanut butter..start playing with what works now, before you get too low...unfortunately, I find good for you food is low calorie so you have to eat more..

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Hi @NerdyLady, thanks for broaching this topic. It’s going to become extremely relevant to me pretty soon! I’m happy to hear about your success, of course, but I hope you (we, I) can find that sweet spot at the Maintenance Cafe where we can enjoy a stable weight.

I’m hoping nuts and cheese, plus some beans, will work for me. I can’t eat a lot of any of those at one time, but maybe a couple of extra servings per day? I like to eat all three of them and have been intentionally limiting them up until now because of calorie or carb concerns. 

I, too, have a very hard time mustering up an interest in food. I’m learning to feign it for my dining companions’ sake, but that’s about all I can do. I can definitely see how this turn of events would make keeping the weight off easier long term (hooray!) but at the same time, it does make it harder to increase my intake.

I’m just down the street from the Maintenance Cafe right now - I’ll meet you inside in a few weeks. Save me a seat at your booth (I’m imagining a diner type situation, but is it more of a high end ladies-that-lunch type place? Or one of those vegan coops with photos of their farm-to-table harvests on the walls?). 

 

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Thank you for this topic.  I'm a few streets over from the Cafe, hoping to join y'all soon.  I am wondering if I am strange because I still like food. :)  It scares me.  This weekend I will be making fudge for Christmas treats for friends and co-workers.  Fudge used to be a big trigger for me, so I plan on giving it all away as fast as I can.  My brain has been pondering licking the warm fudge off the stirring spoon.  Argh. 

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I'm in a similar place @NerdyLady as you well know. I have managed to up my calories by adding in snacks like string cheese, yoghurt with fruit,  30g nut snacks, small protien bars etc. Obviously still not enough as I'm still losing albeit slowly. My surgeon says it's pretty much impossible not to keep losing this far out from surgery if we stick with healthy choices. This is the very reason they don't generally approve surgery for lower BMI patients like you and I were. He always warned me that my weight would fall lower than either he or I would want it to, but a time would come 12-18 months post-op when we would be able to regain some of the excess loss, and would need to let that happen. I do eat low GI carbs, generally a seeded grain sourdough roll at lunch. It doesn't cause my blood sugar to spike and then tank, and by having it a lunch time the carbs have been utilised before I go to bed at night.....which I'm told is important. Living alone means I generally don't bother to cook, it just isn't worth the effort most of the time given the portion size I'd eat. Added to that, if I do cook something I've usually lost interest in eating it by the time it's ready.

Please tell me that you are having regular blood tests to check your nutritional status

Probably should have added that my lunchtime roll (double cut with meat for protien) takes me a good hour to get through. My dietician says the stop eating after 20 minutes has elapsed doesn't apply to me these days. If I didn't spend more time eating I'd be emaciated by now!

Edited by Aussie H

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5 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

I have a really hard time getting interested in food.  I love to cook, just not eat it...some days I feel like I eat all the time to maintain..lately, I don't even want to eat, I can get my weight up to 130 where I like to be but it tends to fall back off.  Ive lost 13 pounds in the last 3 weeks, I'm getting comments at work (they never saw me lose).  Someone asked if I was losing weight yesterday and then the typical "do you have an eating disorder?"  I just snapped back "yep, everything I eat turns to crap".    Can you eat peanut butter?  That's a higher calorie, protein food.  On celery or just a spoon of it?  You do protein shakes?  Make it with 1 or 2 per cent milk...I like peanuts and peanut butter..start playing with what works now, before you get too low...unfortunately, I find good for you food is low calorie so you have to eat more..

@Cheesehead Those are all good food suggestions and I’m going to add them to my menu. I’ve been eating PB2 but perhaps it is time to switch to real peanut butter? Knowing myself, I need to be mindful about how I eat. I need more *intentional* calories. Grazing is what gets me in trouble and I need to keep that addiction under control  

I’m seriously starting to dread the “are you ok” questions. I wish people kept their mouths shut about our bodies. Go find a hobby!! 

Blerg. 

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31 minutes ago, Aussie H said:

My dietician says the stop eating after 20 minutes has elapsed doesn't apply to me these days. If I didn't spend more time eating I'd be emaciated by now!

Sometimes I feel like I spend all day eating or drinking or waiting to do one of those things!! :lol:

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1 hour ago, TammyP said:

Thank you for this topic.  I'm a few streets over from the Cafe, hoping to join y'all soon.  I am wondering if I am strange because I still like food. :)  It scares me.  This weekend I will be making fudge for Christmas treats for friends and co-workers.  Fudge used to be a big trigger for me, so I plan on giving it all away as fast as I can.  My brain has been pondering licking the warm fudge off the stirring spoon.  Argh. 

@TammyP I’m not interested in food but I have my moments. All of those moments are connected to Head Hunger. In fact, nachos sound really good right now. Am I hungry? No. Was my head influenced by the Chipotle I passed this evening. You betcha. I don’t like chocolate. Did your description of warm fudge make my heart leap? Yep. 

The Maintenance Cafe awaits your arrival. I’ll be sitting here waiting for you. :wub:

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3 minutes ago, Jen581791 said:

Sometimes I feel like I spend all day eating or drinking or waiting to do one of those things!! :lol:

@Aussie H @Jen581791 I cannot believe I have become one of those “I forgot to eat” people. I have to remind myself to eat and make sure I am full. What the fork? 

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@Jen581791 You are making me howl! We have a permanent booth at the Maintenance Cafe. I’m fact, autocorrect has already identified the phrase Maintenance Cafe, so it’s official. 

Oh, it’s a diner but we haven’t decided on an aesthetic. Juniper and her vegan coop turned down our request for membership. The Real Housewives of Thinner Times aren’t interested in healthy food. There is a chance the MC will be located in an abandoned strip mall decorated with Premiere Protein promotional posters. 

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4 hours ago, NerdyLady said:

@Aussie H @Jen581791 I cannot believe I have become one of those “I forgot to eat” people. I have to remind myself to eat and make sure I am full. What the fork? 

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Same here. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and often I'm caught out somewhere in the morning and 11.30 will come along and I start to feel a bit dizzy so I end up  making apologies that I need to go home for breakfast. You should see the looks I get!!! It's very rare that I'll sort out something for breakfast before 10am, and mostly that's just a protien shake. Lunch never happens before about 2pm, and tea often ends up an after thought at around 7.30-8pm. Even then it's only because I need to eat, rather than wanting to eat.

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56 minutes ago, Aussie H said:

This is the very reason they don't generally approve surgery for lower BMI patients like you and I were. He always warned me that my weight would fall lower than either he or I would want it to...

Please tell me that you are having regular blood tests to check your nutritional status

@Aussie H I genuinely had no idea that this was a reason why lower BMI folks aren’t approved for WLS. It makes sense but I’m very surprised by this new info. 

I am having regular blood tests but I’m not satisfied with my current care. My GP is lovely but doesn’t have the GBP knowledge that I require. I will be leaving for California next week and it is my hope to schedule an appointment with my surgeon in Mexico for a check up. 

Thanks AH. You always give me something to chew on. Pun intended. 

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23 minutes ago, NerdyLady said:

@Aussie H I genuinely had no idea that this was a reason why lower BMI folks aren’t approved for WLS. It makes sense but I’m very surprised by this new info. 

 

I always believed that our bodies would just stop losing when we hit some magical healthy state/weight, so when my surgeon said I'd "lose a shitload of weight" and he expected (and was very concerned) that I'd end up in the 60s (kilograms) potentially even into the 50s. He really was concerned for me but I pretty much never believed him so wasn't concerned. I'd never managed to diet my way below 90kgs in my life.....yet here I am more than 20kg below my lowest ever weight as an adult, and yes I'm very close to dropping into the 60s with many more months of "honeymoon" still to come. I'm pretty much tracking exactly as he said he expected. I've tried for bone regrowth reasons to not drop any weight for the past 3+months, yet I'm still down another 6 kg. I can't stop it without switching to unhealthy food choices, and these won't help me nutritionally anyway, which is where my body needs the extra help right now.

So it seems my surgeon was right and is smarter about the effects of bariatric surgery than I am.......who knew!!!!!  LOL!!!!

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17 hours ago, NerdyLady said:

 

I like plans. When I dieted, I DIETED. I followed every rule and list. The weight loss part of post-op life was good for me. Not easy or pleasant, but good. I had a nice plan I could follow on auto pilot. Fight head hunger and stay on plan! That has been my life for the past year. Now I have to use my brain and common sense to navigate the rest of my life. There isn’t a diet plan that has been typed out for me. I have to figure this out on my own. 

I cant wait for all of my newbie buddies on TTF to join me at the Maintenance Cafe. It’s a weird place but I’m glad to be here. 

 

Welcome to Maintenance! It is an odd place to be. Before I got to goal I was scared to reach it because always in the past when I lost weight and got to where I wanted to be, I would start gaining again. I never lost interest in food and it may be different because I have a sleeve but my hunger came back somewhere between 18 and 24 months. (My hunger isn't the same as it was pre-op but until the point it came back I never felt hungry post-op. Head hunger, yes but actual physical hunger, no.) I have to watch grazing. When I'm out for a social meal where we linger at the table, I have to give the server my plate to take away other wise I can keep nibbling for an hour or longer. 

 

You know yourself well regarding following rules and lists. That worked for you to help you get to goal so quickly. If I were you I would employ the same mind set in maintenance.  Keep snacks with you so when your body needs to eat, you have something handy. I keep nuts and dried edamame in my car and a variety of things at my office. 

 

Who are the Real Housewives of TT?

 

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I am almost 2 years post GB surgery and have no hunger and am so glad. That said I use MFP daily to track what I do eat to make sure that I get my protein and fluids in and keep the carbs under 50.  I've been wearing size 8 jeans since around May (last time I wore size 8 I was age 8).  I cook daily for my husband and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner - I like to cook but I don't care if I eat it.  If what I cooks gives me the needed protein than I have 2-4 oz of it.   I have head hunger from time to time but have learned to ignore it. Today I was at the Farmer's Market and Craft Fair, lots to sample but I sampled very little of it.  Most days I average 1000-1100 calories and my weight is holding. The handbook from my surgical team stated that 1000-1200 calories a day post op would be good. Using MFP helps me plan what to eat and I can eat the same things day after day and not mind.

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1 hour ago, LeeC said:

I am almost 2 years post GB surgery and have no hunger and am so glad. That said I use MFP daily to track what I do eat to make sure that I get my protein and fluids in and keep the carbs under 50.  I've been wearing size 8 jeans since around May (last time I wore size 8 I was age 8).  I cook daily for my husband and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner - I like to cook but I don't care if I eat it.  If what I cooks gives me the needed protein than I have 2-4 oz of it.   I have head hunger from time to time but have learned to ignore it. Today I was at the Farmer's Market and Craft Fair, lots to sample but I sampled very little of it.  Most days I average 1000-1100 calories and my weight is holding. The handbook from my surgical team stated that 1000-1200 calories a day post op would be good. Using MFP helps me plan what to eat and I can eat the same things day after day and not mind.

I’m glad to hear from a still diligent tracker - MFP just mentally helps me stay honest. I’m glad it’s working as a long term tool for you.

”Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair” does seem to be a secret code for “all the baked goodies you can imagine” in my experience! Not sure where on the farm the baked goodies are grown... :lol:

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On 12/8/2017 at 11:40 AM, Stephtay said:

Who are the Real Housewives of TT?

 

I was just kidding. Have you heard of the Real Housewives franchise? It’s a reality TV series about awful people doing awful things. They are all rail thin thanks to cocaine and Adderall. 

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The strange (but important) thing to realize when you reach maintenance is that it is a lifelong status that will affect all aspects of your life (including but certainly not limited to food).

Quite simply, unless you regain weight (which obviously is something to avoid at all costs), your days of being overweight and everything that came with being overweight are over ... forever.  The new normal is being thin, healthy and more active. 

So maintenance will change your life in many ways. It’s both wonderful and a bit scary at times.

Being too low is weight is not healthy - so just like you take your vitamins every day to be healthy, you now have to have enough protein and calories every day to stay healthy. Eating enough food every day is not a choice, it is an obligation. 

But once you are at maintenance there is no reason that you cannot add more carbs back into your diet to help increase calories. My go to snack foods are Jif peanut butter,  smokehouse almonds, Goldfish crackers, dry roasted peanuts, Wheat Thins and hummus. 

When I am at home and need a healthy meal I just pop a couple of flavored chicken sausages into the oven, or a frozen cordon blue chicken breast.  It’s easy and tasty.

The days of dieting, of gaining and then losing large amounts of weight, of being overweight, and of having all the awful physical and emotional side effects of being overweight are over. That is life at the maintenance cafe. It’s a big cafe, so everyone is welcome. 

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Something to be aware of is people at the lower range of normal bmi are at a bigger risk for osteoporosis according to my NUT.  Be careful not to get too low...

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53 minutes ago, Cheesehead said:

Something to be aware of is people at the lower range of normal bmi are at a bigger risk for osteoporosis according to my NUT.  Be careful not to get too low...

I can hold my hand up to that one. 

Despite my efforts to keep my weight up, I continued to lose and my weight ended up on the lower side for a good few months (BMI of 20) and I was diagnosed with osteopenia (bone density that is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis).

Despite managing to put a few pounds back on, keeping up with my calcium supplement and increasing my intake of calcium rich foods and milk, plus following daily a regime of weight-bearing exercises, there has been no improvement but at least it hasn't progressed to osteoporosis.

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14 hours ago, NerdyLady said:

I was just kidding. Have you heard of the Real Housewives franchise? It’s a reality TV series about awful people doing awful things. They are all rail thin thanks to cocaine and Adderall. 

I auditioned a couple of years ago for RH of Beverly Hills. 

Edited by Stephtay

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