bellamoma

Thoughts on 2 years out!

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Hello everyone,

Thanks to those who sent me emails.  Life has been so busy lately that i've fallen off. I'm so sorry, I still see NSVs and some other topics I follow and love to see how you all are doing. School is busy and challenging (believe it or not, hahaha). Not to mention the emotional impact of switching careers at 46 and being out of the house for full time hours (without full time pay) while raising a family and keeping my husband happy! 

Here's my thoughts on 2 years out. I write this because when i was pre-op and in the honeymoon phase, I wanted so badly to hear from folks who were further out to help me know what to expect. Lots of us fall off the further we get out, for many reasons, so we don't get to benefit from hearing from many who are further out. (Of course there are the wonderful exceptions of cinwa, tom, res, gaviv, stephtay, clickn, etc).

Anyway, here we go:

The threat of regain is real. your appetite comes back more than you would think it could, as the sleeve relaxes as it heals. If you're relying only on the feeling of restriction to maintain your weight, you may be screwed. My theory is that your honeymoon has more than one stage. There's the immediate post op stage, where it's impossible to eat and you are miserable. The swelling in your pouch/sleeve is the most it'll ever be.  I also believe that there is a malabsorption factor during the healing stage (yes, even with sleevers) that helps with the rapid weight loss. 

For me, at about 7-8 mos post op, I thought my honeymoon period was over. I was able to get more in my sleeve and my appetite increased. A lot. But, i continued to lose and got 5lb below my low goal weight of 135. i believe it's because there was still swelling and a degree of malabsorption. By 14-15mos out, my appetite was fully back and I found I can eat much, much more than I could before. Of course, just because you can doesn't mean you should. if you spend any time on these boards, you've seen that expression time and time again. 

So, where i was maintaining 130-133 pretty effortlessly for a good while,  at 14-15 mos out i had "regain" to 137-139.  I started changing up strategies but found myself hungry a lot. I believe my sleeve is fully healed now, allowing for more room, and the malabsorption is over. That, along with larger portions,  have been my struggle. If you add to that the stress of a major career change, I am struggling. Every day I struggle. Every. Single. Day.  Today i weighed 140.5.  

I wonder if there is a nadir we reach, where we're the lowest we'll ever be, and then a rebound weight gain as we heal of about 5-10lb. I wonder if 130 was too low for me. I am still slim and can fit into all but my smallest clothes (just one pair of jeans in a size 2 don't fit comfortably. my 4s do, just not quite as nicely).  I did notice that my terrible tailbone pain is finally gone, after a year of awful pain- but i wonder if it also has to do with the bit of extra lbs i have on. 

So that's where I sit at 25+ mos out. In many ways, you can forget you ever even had surgery. This is good and bad. I get back on the horse every day.  Thinking of changing my goal weight from 135 to140.  Menopause is in full effect and I'm sure it's doing me no favors.  For those who may think I am obsessing over 5lb? Yes, yes I am. I think we all know how quickly 5lb can turn to 20 or 40. I have to keep fighting. My therapist once said my weight will always be my bear in the woods. She was so right.

I'm proud to say I'm still in the game, maintaining as best I can, and STILL DO NOT EAT SWEETS! Hooray! WLS vets, please feel free to add to this!!!!  Everyone else, tell me how you're doing!!!

xoxoxxo

 

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Thanks for your update, @bellamoma! It sounds like life is busy but good for you right now :) 

Your 5 pounds may be a good thing for you, it sounds like. It’s great that you’re keeping on top of it and making sure that you stay where you want to be, though. I definitely have a history of letting 5 become 20+ by just not monitoring carefully. Vigilance! Watchfulness! -_-

Best of luck on your education as you continue through it. I admire your bravery in taking that step!

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Thanks for your post @bellamoma!  You gave me a lot to think about.  I admire your bravery on the school/vocational changes.  Do you think the added confidence from WLS helped you to pursue this vocational change?

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Thank you so very much for the update @bellamoma!  Your journey and success have been amazing to witness. You are so very right that the greatest issue once you reach your goal weight is how to deal with weight regain. I suggest that you set a new goal weight of 135 and work to get there over the next couple of months. Once you make it (and you will!:D) then you can decide if that is the right weight for you. We are here to support you. 

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thanks as always, res.  you're the bees knees.

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@TammyP, absolutely my weight loss had a role in my career change. let's face it, the beauty industry is ugly.  we've all experienced being treated differently because we were fat. it's just the truth. you have to sell yourself and project an image that will attract the type of clientele you want. for me, i wouldn't have felt confident at 217lb to project the image i wanted to. plus, it's a lot of standing and other physical work that would have been really unpleasant at 217#.  plus i can wear way cuter clothes now :P

something else that came to mind- loose skin.  when you first achieve your new body, the loose skin can be pretty devastating. at the very least, it's annoying. i will say that over time, i've gotten more used to it, more accepting of it. that's not to say that if i won the lottery i wouldn't be booking a full body lift with the finest plastic surgeon around, bc i TOTALLY WOULD. but just like you don't realize how limited you are when you're overweight and you kind of get used to certain things with a bigger body, you will also get used to some things with a smaller body. I think that's why the NSV thread is so important. After a while, you forget about the things you couldn't do when you were bigger. just yesterday i was painting my toenails. i was contorted because i'm very near sighted and needed to see what i was doing. i remember at my highest, i couldn't paint my toe nails! it's the little things that we always have to remember! xoxo

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19 minutes ago, bellamoma said:

it's the little things that we always have to remember!

Thanks for the reminder to look for the little things!  It's funny how quickly we tend to acclimate to the "new bodies" and forget to cherish how far we have come. <3

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@bellamoma I’m glad to hear that life has been treating you well. Sometimes radio silence is a good thing because it means you are living your fullest life. Although I miss you and understand that life is hectic, I’m glad you are chasing your dream.

Your update gave me the reality check I needed today. My weight seems to fluctuate between 135 and 138. I’m irrationally hard on myself on the 138 days and feel like I’ve failed. Your post reminds me that these are superficial concerns. It’s about the long game! For now, I’ll keep tucking my loose skin into my clothes and focus on keeping my weight and health in check. 

Thank you! 

 

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So nice to get such a fantastic update from you. I think about you in school often. I hope that's going well. Way to maintain!!! Very impressive.

Edited by Gretta

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Love the update and love hearing from people who are maintaining long term. Thank you for writing this!

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You rock!  From what I’ve been told that 5# regain is probably your body getting muscle mass back.  We lose weight so quickly we lose muscle mass as well.  When things settle down and we start to get our muscle mass back it shows up as regain, if that makes sense..

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2 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

You rock!  From what I’ve been told that 5# regain is probably your body getting muscle mass back.  We lose weight so quickly we lose muscle mass as well.  When things settle down and we start to get our muscle mass back it shows up as regain, if that makes sense..

It does make sense. My surgeon said a 5-10% regain is both normal and acceptable after 12-18 months. Not sure most of us would agree with the "acceptable" part though.

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53 minutes ago, Aussie Bear said:

It does make sense. My surgeon said a 5-10% regain is both normal and acceptable after 12-18 months. Not sure most of us would agree with the "acceptable" part though.

I’m glad people are posting about the 5-10% regain. I need to prepare myself for emotions tied up with regaining weight. Menopause is right around the corner and as @bellamoma noted, a slight increase in weight gain. 

I think weight loss is tricky for Western women. Not only do we police ourselves but we live in a culture where female slenderness is a religion. Weight gain, no matter how slight (or great) can lead to self hatred and doubt. 

There is a little voice that pops in every once in a while that asks me if I’ve really finished losing weight. Thankfully, that voice doesn’t visit very often but the struggle is real. 

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19 minutes ago, NerdyToothpick said:

I think weight loss is tricky for Western women. Not only do we police ourselves but we live in a culture where female slenderness is a religion. Weight gain, no matter how slight (or great) can lead to self hatred and doubt. 

Yes, this. I feel like I’m walking on a knife edge in maintenance - like just a few pounds would send me into a tailspin. Trying to keep a healthy perspective, but it’s hard. There’s a lot of fear wrapped up in my success.

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@NerdyToothpick you really have finished losing weight. My voice is far louder than yours and it is still telling me I haven't, even though the surgeon tells me I have.... Haha! ;)

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@Aussie Bear I have finished losing weight. I have finished losing weight. I have finished losing weight! I know that losing more weight would put me at skeletal status. I found myself lying to a friend about my size because I knew she’d flip out at how small I’ve become. The irony!

I’m sure you look fabulous at 68kg. You’ve been through a H ell of a ride this year!! The fact that you’ve managed to do so well ( and you have!!!) is amazing. That said, if you think you aren’t finished, you aren’t finished. I’ll hold your hand on this rollercoaster. xo

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2 hours ago, NerdyToothpick said:

@Aussie Bear I have finished losing weight. I have finished losing weight. I have finished losing weight! I know that losing more weight would put me at skeletal status. I found myself lying to a friend about my size because I knew she’d flip out at how small I’ve become. The irony!

I’m sure you look fabulous at 68kg. You’ve been through a H ell of a ride this year!! The fact that you’ve managed to do so well ( and you have!!!) is amazing. That said, if you think you aren’t finished, you aren’t finished. I’ll hold your hand on this rollercoaster. xo

I have an event to go to in two weeks where I'm supposed to wear my corporate top. Given they haven't re-ordered the in over a year I can't actually see myself rocking up in my size 22. I'm definitely nowhere near skeletal yet but I do think losing maybe 10lbs more might be a better place to stay. I suspect that for me anyway, I need to go too far to realise where I need to be. I'm not at lying about my actual weight yet...but I don't really like others seeing what size clothes I'm buying either. I do lie about not trying to lose anymore though. I'm not ashamed, I just find it easier to lie than put up with their opinions on something that is absolutely none of their business. The "your fading away to nothing" comments are really grating me now. There isn't much else they could say that would make me angrier.

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Kinda glad I’ve mostly gone through this 6000 miles from home... ;) 

Did the math: it’s actually 7500 miles (12,000 km).

Edited by Jen581791
Math!

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22 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

Yes, this. I feel like I’m walking on a knife edge in maintenance - like just a few pounds would send me into a tailspin. Trying to keep a healthy perspective, but it’s hard. There’s a lot of fear wrapped up in my success.

This is how I feel, and I’m not technically even in maintenance yet...it’s scary

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Thanks for the great update @bellamoma I do have a question for you. I have seen a few WLS vets here and there mention that they feel it is much easier to gain weight years out from surgery than it was before surgery. Do you find this to be true?

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@bellamoma I keep hearing about regain and it scares me to death to think that I wont keep the restriction that I have now. Thank you for your post and I am also one of those 5lbs turns into 20lb !!

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On 3/9/2018 at 12:42 AM, Aussie Bear said:

The "your fading away to nothing" comments are really grating me now. There isn't much else they could say that would make me angrier.

LOL, I got angry just reading the end of your post. I completely relate to how you feel. 

My mother thinks I weigh 160lbs. If I told her my true weight, she’d take up full time residence at our local church. 

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On 3/10/2018 at 9:23 PM, NerdyToothpick said:

LOL, I got angry just reading the end of your post. I completely relate to how you feel. 

My mother thinks I weigh 160lbs. If I told her my true weight, she’d take up full time residence at our local church. 

(Well, perhaps if your Mom lived there full-time, then you could ask her to pray for the rest of us. Does she know that there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people like you?? She is going to need to do a LOT of praying!  Just saying, you know,  some of the rest of us could use some Divine Intervention or at least Angelic Assistance... Why, just this week my Perfect Wife said it was a miracle I was still alive although the context had veered off from this thread about long-term maintenance...)

More seriously -

There is this data suggesting that middle aged or older people who have BMIs a bit higher than 25 (25-30 range) "do better" than people with 'normal' BMIs of 20-25  when they are ill... but when persons with cancer, for example, were looked at, this was not true if the person was sarcopenic - e.g. too little muscle mass - so the story may not be so simple. so: You can be older, have a BMI of 25-30... and not be protected against dying when challenged by an illness IF you muscle mass is too low. 

Just another reason not to be too very very scrawny after WLS. Need to have some meat on those bones...

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Wow, thanks for this thread. It is so educational to hear from all of you who have lost the initial weight. I know this is the "easy" part, and the maintenance will be the real key. Thanks again. I've read and re-read this string. You guys all rock!

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I think you are doing great. I am almost 6 years out and have been struggling since year 4.  I never had a goal weight.  I figured my body would stop where it was comfortable. It did at 15 months out.  I had lost 130 pounds.. half my body weight.  I had a slight regain as I had never done maintenance before and really didn't realize all I needed to do was keep doing what I was doing.  I maintained my weight within a few pounds until year 4.  I had a few slip ups and would do all protein for a week and get back down.  

It was into my fourth year that I started to gain.  I gained 60 pounds.  I have recently lost 30 pounds of the regain and have been thinking about how realistic it is to go back down to 132 pounds.  I am only eating 900-1,000 calories most days and sometimes less and have seem to hit a wall with losing. Maybe a more realistic weight would be in the 140-145 range.  

I don't think I am taking the easy way out.  I know many who have maintained at there goal weight. Maybe I am just stalled after the 30 pond loss.  Honestly it is more important for me to be at peace with food than at war.  

I think you need to see how you feel.  Only you know what you can live with and what is most important to you.  I wish you all the best and congratulations on your career change.  You are a courageous women!!

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