Jen581791

How long did it take for your weight to stabilize?

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For this if you who are further out than I am, was there a lot of fine tuning you needed to do to plateau out at the place you wanted to be? Did you have a lot of fluctuations over the first year or so? How did you go about finding your caloric intake sweet spot? 

On a related but separate note, for how long after reaching GW did your body keep changing shape? It seems like right now everything changes a lot every few weeks. 

Also, did your skin tighten up at all after reaching goal, or did it sort of stay where it was then? Asking for a friend ;) 

 

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It took a good few months for my weight to stabilize Jen.  I have always been diligent with planning and weighing my foods so just added approx 100 calories a day for a couple of weeks or so.  If there was a drop on the scales, I upped my intake to 200 calories and that's how it went. 

I did end up in the underweight BMI category for a while (not by much) so that probably made arriving at a weight where I felt best took some time.  But going from around 1,000 calories a day to maintaining on 1,800 - 2,000 - essentially doubling my intake took some doing.

I don't know that my excess skin ever improved (might have redistributed a little) but given my age and reluctance to go through any more surgeries (or the expense), I try not think about what's going on under my clothes.

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I'm only about two years out but it's been a year since I reached goal. No fine tuning. No big fluctuations. I'm not diligent with my food tracking, but I am mindful about what I eat. I too lost beyond my goal, getting down to the low 120s for  a while and that's where I easily stay if I'm working out a lot. For a long while, I would weigh myself every day and adjust my food intake accordingly if I got out of a 5 lb range, but even that took minimal effort. I just increased or decreased my carbs more than anything. I actually wound up cutting back on my exercise rather than increasing my food intake and now I'm happily at 134 without any effort on my part. As far as my body changing, it stopped once I hit goal. I found, even with gaining about 10 pounds back from my lowest weight, I'm basically the same size. I'm still a 0/2, my boobs are just bigger (much to my boyfriend's delight). For me, the difference between 122 and 134 is two cup sizes and a slightly bigger butt (which is good, since I have no butt at 122). And my excess skin did continue to tighten up a bit, although I didn't have much to start with. Now, I don't have any extra skin on my stomach or butt, a tiny bit on my arms and some on my upper thighs (where I carried the majority of my weight). All of it is pretty manageable.

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@cinwa and @athenarose, thank you so much for your thoughtful answers. As with every step of the way, I feel like I just want a crystal ball to see what's in store for me! Lacking that technology, your experiences can at least help me to understand some possibilities - it sounds from both of you like keeping on top of calories in/calories out together with my weight is probably my best bet. I'm pretty vigilant about that, so I suppose it's just a question of figuring out the steering process without overcorrecting too much :)

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On 12/24/2017 at 12:16 AM, Jen581791 said:

For this if you who are further out than I am, was there a lot of fine tuning you needed to do to plateau out at the place you wanted to be? Did you have a lot of fluctuations over the first year or so? How did you go about finding your caloric intake sweet spot? 

On a related but separate note, for how long after reaching GW did your body keep changing shape? It seems like right now everything changes a lot every few weeks. 

Also, did your skin tighten up at all after reaching goal, or did it sort of stay where it was then? Asking for a friend ;) 

 

Great questions! 

I have more fluctuations at 3+ years than I did when I initially hit goal. In part because I'm not as diligent about food as I was in the beginning. I didn't trust myself or my body that once I hit goal I wouldn't gain it all back like I always did in the past. So, for the first year or so I still pretty much ate like I was in losing mode. I also fluctuate depending on how much I'm exercising and if I'm training for something. For the last year or two, I have to work to keep weight off. 159 was my lowest weight and that was too thin for me. 170 - 175 is a good range for me.

My body hasn't really changed shape since I hit goal and then had my plastics. If I gain a few pounds it shows up in my face and my hips. If I lose a few, I lose it in my face and my hips. 

My skin did continue to tighten up a little. Mainly under my arms.  @Jen581791,you've done fantastic and I have no doubt you'll be successful in maintenance as well!

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6 hours ago, Stephtay said:

Great questions! 

I have more fluctuations at 3+ years than I did when I initially hit goal. In part because I'm not as diligent about food as I was in the beginning. I didn't trust myself or my body that once I hit goal I wouldn't gain it all back like I always did in the past. So, for the first year or so I still pretty much ate like I was in losing mode. I also fluctuate depending on how much I'm exercising and if I'm training for something. For the last year or two, I have to work to keep weight off. 159 was my lowest weight and that was too thin for me. 170 - 175 is a good range for me.

My body hasn't really changed shape since I hit goal and then had my plastics. If I gain a few pounds it shows up in my face and my hips. If I lose a few, I lose it in my face and my hips. 

My skin did continue to tighten up a little. Mainly under my arms.  @Jen581791,you've done fantastic and I have no doubt you'll be successful in maintenance as well!

Thanks for your insight, @Stephtay  :) It sounds like there's definitely some variance in how people's bodies react after hitting goal. I'm glad you've found your sweet spot and that you can keep right around there, even if it's some work to do so. I feel like I really understand your eating like in losing mode for the year after hitting GW - my fears (panic?) about gaining will probably have me doing the same thing, although I'm trying to work on those feelings.

I'm hoping my arm skin and thigh skin will tighten up a little - my midsection isn't bad. I'm hoping not to start feeling the need for plastics, but we'll see how my vanity deals with the actual end results ;) 

Thanks for your encouragement. I'm firmly resolved to stay on top of everything and make this work for the long term. 

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I’m also curious to see how my body will adjust over the next few months/year. My body seems to be shapeshifting and it’s frustrating. I know I need to be patient but I want to know what the future holds RIGHT NOWW.

I’m especially curious about my loose skin. I have some loose skin that that makes me sad face but I know I’m luckier than most folks (I hope that doesn’t sound mean or like a humble brag). I wonder if exercise will tighten me up or if I’m left with this loose skin for life? I’m not excited about the thought of plastics but I do see it in my future for my breasts. They are so very sad! 

All of that said, I am not devastated about the loose skin. All of that is vanity and the real achievement is my health. Now if I could only make myself believe the above...

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11 hours ago, NerdyToothpick said:

I’m also curious to see how my body will adjust over the next few months/year. My body seems to be shapeshifting and it’s frustrating. I know I need to be patient but I want to know what the future holds RIGHT NOWW.

I’m especially curious about my loose skin. I have some loose skin that that makes me sad face but I know I’m luckier than most folks (I hope that doesn’t sound mean or like a humble brag). I wonder if exercise will tighten me up or if I’m left with this loose skin for life? I’m not excited about the thought of plastics but I do see it in my future for my breasts. They are so very sad! 

All of that said, I am not devastated about the loose skin. All of that is vanity and the real achievement is my health. Now if I could only make myself believe the above...

Based on your starting weight, I would guess your loose skin isn't bad at all. And, if I remember correctly, you weren't heavy as a child? I think the longer someone has been overweight, the more likely for them to have loose skin. I have no data to back this up - just my hunch. Exercise doesn't do much for your skin but it does change the muscle underneath which can then change the appearance of your skin. Pre-op I had a huge butt. It had it's own zip code. I did lots of squats so part of it was muscle but it was 86% fat. Post-op I kept doing lots of squats and the slide board which mimics ice skating (skaters tend to have high and tight butts). Because I've developed those muscles, my tush doesn't sag (much) and there is virtually no loose skin back there. 

It was a tough decision for me to have plastics. I never considered myself to be the 'kind of person' who would have plastics -- whatever that means. In hindsight, the amount of time I spent fretting over to have them/not have them was absurd. All I knew about plastics I learned from Bravo tv and what a skewed view that gave me. Best decision I ever made was to be sleeved. 2nd best, going on a date with my now husband. 3rd best - plastics! 

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8 minutes ago, Stephtay said:

It was a tough decision for me to have plastics. I never considered myself to be the 'kind of person' who would have plastics -- whatever that means. In hindsight, the amount of time I spent fretting over to have them/not have them was absurd. All I knew about plastics I learned from Bravo tv and what a skewed view that gave me. Best decision I ever made was to be sleeved. 2nd best, going on a date with my now husband. 3rd best - plastics! 

Ditto!!

Main goal was health but man it sure is amazing to finally look the way I feel :)

And these breasts...I'm not sure they were this perky ever; I always needed rebar-enforced bras to keep them up where they belonged.  To quote Honeybooboo (dear God did I really just say that!?!), "Mama went from a 42 long to a 36 up" lol

 

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7 hours ago, Stephtay said:

Based on your starting weight, I would guess your loose skin isn't bad at all. And, if I remember correctly, you weren't heavy as a child? I think the longer someone has been overweight, the more likely for them to have loose skin. I have no data to back this up - just my hunch. Exercise doesn't do much for your skin but it does change the muscle underneath which can then change the appearance of your skin. Pre-op I had a huge butt. It had it's own zip code. I did lots of squats so part of it was muscle but it was 86% fat. Post-op I kept doing lots of squats and the slide board which mimics ice skating (skaters tend to have high and tight butts). Because I've developed those muscles, my tush doesn't sag (much) and there is virtually no loose skin back there. 

It was a tough decision for me to have plastics. I never considered myself to be the 'kind of person' who would have plastics -- whatever that means. In hindsight, the amount of time I spent fretting over to have them/not have them was absurd. All I knew about plastics I learned from Bravo tv and what a skewed view that gave me. Best decision I ever made was to be sleeved. 2nd best, going on a date with my now husband. 3rd best - plastics! 

@Stephtay The only thing I took away from this post is that you love garbage TV as much as I do. I love-hate Bravo. 

Thanks for your thoughts. I’ll keep them in mind when I play “let me manipulate my skin to see what a flat tummy looks like”.

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12 hours ago, Stephtay said:

I never considered myself to be the 'kind of person' who would have plastics

I understand the thinking behind this. It's such a quality of life thing for people post-WLS who have a lot of skin, though - I wish it was easier for us to consider that without having societal messages creating an atmosphere of judgment. I'm glad you did it and are happy with the outcome. It would be a shame to avoid it and have to deal with the unhappiness/unhealthiness the excess skin was causing. 

Slide board sounds fun, btw. I used to rollerblade a lot back in the day, and really liked what it did to my booty. Why does rollerblading have to go out of fashion? I love it so.

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1 hour ago, Jen581791 said:

 

Slide board sounds fun, btw. I used to rollerblade a lot back in the day, and really liked what it did to my booty. Why does rollerblading have to go out of fashion? I love it so.

LOL Jen. I actually found one of my sons pairs of rollerblades in the shed this morning. They must have been hiding there for the last 10 years. They would have fit me, and I did think about keeping them for about a nano-second before I nearly tripped over something else in my moonboot. Then they went straight into the bin. I'm never risking my foot again!!!!

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18 hours ago, Aussie H said:

LOL Jen. I actually found one of my sons pairs of rollerblades in the shed this morning. They must have been hiding there for the last 10 years. They would have fit me, and I did think about keeping them for about a nano-second before I nearly tripped over something else in my moonboot. Then they went straight into the bin. I'm never risking my foot again!!!!

I’m with you, @Aussie H I’ve broken too many bones to ever want to rollerblade again. I’ll have to applaud @Jen581791 from afar. 

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My weight has remained very stable ever since I reached my goal weight in late 2014, with the only change being a five pound increase in February 2017 after my spouse (quite rightly) told me that I was too thin (something about being all skin and bones :D).

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Since my last response to this question, I’m been pleasantly surprised at how much arm flab I have lost. I never expected so much of my loose skin to disappear. Of course, I still have my third and fourth underarm boobs but nothing else everything else has slowly melted away. Now if I could only get my tummy, thighs and butt to do the same. 

I am pretty certain that I will have breast surgery in the years to come. Even though they are little, the sad saggy breasts are the bane of my existence. Maybe I just need a heavily padded bra from Victoria’s Secret??? 

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On 12/24/2017 at 2:16 AM, Jen581791 said:

For this if you who are further out than I am, was there a lot of fine tuning you needed to do to plateau out at the place you wanted to be? Did you have a lot of fluctuations over the first year or so? How did you go about finding your caloric intake sweet spot? 

On a related but separate note, for how long after reaching GW did your body keep changing shape? It seems like right now everything changes a lot every few weeks. 

Also, did your skin tighten up at all after reaching goal, or did it sort of stay where it was then? Asking for a friend ;) 

Since it's been a year now since this post, would you mind terribly giving an update? I'm at the exact place now that you were then, looking for a crystal ball! Will my skin tighten up? Will I have alot of fluctuations? How do I find my caloric sweet spot? (So far I haven't done my NUT's advice of adding 100 cals per day. Seems restrictive somehow. Is that the only way?) Will my body change shape in the coming months? 

And.... I'm just asking for a friend too. ;)

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3 hours ago, Cindy Lou Who said:

Since it's been a year now since this post, would you mind terribly giving an update? I'm at the exact place now that you were then, looking for a crystal ball! Will my skin tighten up? Will I have alot of fluctuations? How do I find my caloric sweet spot? (So far I haven't done my NUT's advice of adding 100 cals per day. Seems restrictive somehow. Is that the only way?) Will my body change shape in the coming months? 

And.... I'm just asking for a friend too. ;)

I don't listen to dieticians at all these days. Most of them have no idea about bariatrics.....well certainly the ones I have access to....and none appear to know how to deal with reactive hypoglycemia.  I also don't count calories. Instead I just eat quite mindfully and watch the scales. I've maintained within about a 2kg range (both up and down) of my 69kg. That's the point when my surgeon said I'll see you again in 6 months and don't want to see a kg difference in your weight. I know when I eat empty calories, and I do allow it occasionally but the scale keeps me honest. I have no idea how many calories that is and don't intend to try to find out because I don't actually believe in the calories in vs calories out mantra as I know not all calories are equal. Everybody just needs to find out what works for them and stick with it.

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15 hours ago, Cindy Lou Who said:

Since it's been a year now since this post, would you mind terribly giving an update? I'm at the exact place now that you were then, looking for a crystal ball! Will my skin tighten up? Will I have alot of fluctuations? How do I find my caloric sweet spot? (So far I haven't done my NUT's advice of adding 100 cals per day. Seems restrictive somehow. Is that the only way?) Will my body change shape in the coming months? 

And.... I'm just asking for a friend too. ;)

Good time for an update, @Cindy Lou Who. It's been just about exactly a year since this post. 

Once I hit my actual GW (I agonized a lot over that number, but finally looked at myself in some photos one day, and was like "Yikes! Maybe too thin! Time to stop!") I have varied only within the 5 pound window I give myself (well, I've bounced just a pound over and a couple pounds under a couple of times, but that all regulated itself out in a few days). When I hit GW, I suddenly ramped up my calories quite a lot, increasing over a month's time from 1000 per day to 1800-2000 per day. I found that number by doing some TDEE calculator websites and generally shooting for the number they spit out. That seems to be accurate, since that's how much I can eat and not gain or lose. That process was a big shock to my system, but it effectively stopped the losses very quickly. I eat 1800-2000 calories per day basically every day now, and my weight just seems to stay in the same spot.*

*this week I'm giving carbs a whirl, due to holiday festivities. This means I have packed on 5 pounds of water this week (water bonds with glycogen in the body for energy storage if you eat enough carbs to store away energy - I usually eat pretty low carb, so my body is suddenly storing glycogen/water and it's doing my head in!!!). After Christmas, it's back to low carb. I'm not eating a lot of garbage, just some cookies or whatever every few days. I'm fully prepared to go back on the wagon, and I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm just trying not to freak out over the numbers on the scale.

At GW, I had lost a bunch of muscle (goodbye booty), so I have spent a lot of time at the gym trying to gain that back, and then some. I'm getting surprisingly (for me) muscly now, which is great. My loose skin is disappearing slowly, so that if I look at a photo of my arms, for instance, from like a couple of months back, I'm surprised at how much better they look now. I have a bit of loose skin under my upper arms. I have some loose skin on my upper thighs. Almost all the loose skin in my butt and above/around my knees has gone away. My boobs are awfully small now, but they're a little bit perkier than they were when I hit GW. In general, all over my body, the skin is just a bit... loose. But improving. I'm hoping it continues to improve for the next few months. I'd love for it to be perfect 22 year old flawless skin, but hey. That's not happening. I feel a little self conscious in my bathing suit and just a bit still in sleeveless tops, but I have a feeling I'll be OK in sleeveless tops sometime soonish. The muscle I'm gaining is helping to fill out the skin, I guess. My booty is coming back, too, but it's all muscle now :) 

 

 

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On 12/14/2018 at 2:02 AM, Jen581791 said:

Good time for an update, @Cindy Lou Who. It's been just about exactly a year since this post. 

Once I hit my actual GW (I agonized a lot over that number, but finally looked at myself in some photos one day, and was like "Yikes! Maybe too thin! Time to stop!") I have varied only within the 5 pound window I give myself (well, I've bounced just a pound over and a couple pounds under a couple of times, but that all regulated itself out in a few days). When I hit GW, I suddenly ramped up my calories quite a lot, increasing over a month's time from 1000 per day to 1800-2000 per day. I found that number by doing some TDEE calculator websites and generally shooting for the number they spit out. That seems to be accurate, since that's how much I can eat and not gain or lose. That process was a big shock to my system, but it effectively stopped the losses very quickly. I eat 1800-2000 calories per day basically every day now, and my weight just seems to stay in the same spot.*

*this week I'm giving carbs a whirl, due to holiday festivities. This means I have packed on 5 pounds of water this week (water bonds with glycogen in the body for energy storage if you eat enough carbs to store away energy - I usually eat pretty low carb, so my body is suddenly storing glycogen/water and it's doing my head in!!!). After Christmas, it's back to low carb. I'm not eating a lot of garbage, just some cookies or whatever every few days. I'm fully prepared to go back on the wagon, and I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm just trying not to freak out over the numbers on the scale.

At GW, I had lost a bunch of muscle (goodbye booty), so I have spent a lot of time at the gym trying to gain that back, and then some. I'm getting surprisingly (for me) muscly now, which is great. My loose skin is disappearing slowly, so that if I look at a photo of my arms, for instance, from like a couple of months back, I'm surprised at how much better they look now. I have a bit of loose skin under my upper arms. I have some loose skin on my upper thighs. Almost all the loose skin in my butt and above/around my knees has gone away. My boobs are awfully small now, but they're a little bit perkier than they were when I hit GW. In general, all over my body, the skin is just a bit... loose. But improving. I'm hoping it continues to improve for the next few months. I'd love for it to be perfect 22 year old flawless skin, but hey. That's not happening. I feel a little self conscious in my bathing suit and just a bit still in sleeveless tops, but I have a feeling I'll be OK in sleeveless tops sometime soonish. The muscle I'm gaining is helping to fill out the skin, I guess. My booty is coming back, too, but it's all muscle now :) 

Thanks so much for the update! It sounds great that your skin has changed and is disappearing. With the last 5-10 pounds, I feel like suddenly I have tons of loose skin. At first I was able to stay positive about it, but I'm feeling self conscious these days. Thank goodness for leggings and pants with lycra/elastic being in style!! :lol: And thank goodness for winter!  But I still have loose skin on my back and arms that is a bit annoying - makes me look old. OF COURSE, it's better than fitting in my skin like the old days, but I'm hoping for some skin retreat in the weeks and months to come. Maybe I should take some pictures so I can measure improvement?

It's also helpful reading that you mainly stay in a five pound range. I have set my goal in a 10 pound range, but maybe I should really strive for five. Seems easier to recover if I go astray. 

I'm finding I'm afraid to add calories back at meals or designated snacks, but I'm grabbing little bites of stuff throughout the day that I didn't do before. The result is that I don't know exactly how many calories I'm eating. NOT GOOD! I'm still weighing every day, and the holidays are here, so I'm thinking I will hang in on the weight range, and then get more scientific about counting the calories added in January. I'm looking forward to that too. Feel very unsettled at the moment, but trying not to stress if my weight stays good. 

As for muscles, my arms and legs are pretty good, as I'm naturally muscly/chunky. But my butt has vamoosed! It's so flat from the side now! :lol: My motto now is "Flat bottomed girls make the rock-n-roll world go 'round!" 

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1 hour ago, Cindy Lou Who said:

My motto now is "Flat bottomed girls make the rock-n-roll world go 'round!" 

:lol::lol::lol:

That's exactly what motivated my intense gym-going! I'd doing a lot of squats and lunges these days.

For me, the little bites of stuff is dangerous, so I generally pre-grab all my food for the day and stick with what I've planned. Of course, over the last couple of weeks with holiday parties, that's gone a little out the window on certain days, but as a general rule. Routine is my savior. 

Lycra, lycra, lycra. My gym leggings make me look awesome. 

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I’m 6 years out, I still have fluctuations.  At the moment I’m down.  I have a 10 pound spread it seems, used to scare me but now I know what to expect.  You will find what your norm is.  I float between 120-130.  I think my body likes 120, I like 130.

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