My story, I hope it might be helpful:
High weight: 230 lbs, BMI: 41
Weight for past 6 years: 115-120 lbs, BMI: 20
What has been working for me with maintaining my weight loss, just me because everyone is different and needs to find their own path:
I took 'surgery does not operate on the mind' to heart.
I made a commitment to learning how to manage my mind rather than it managing me.
I looked for and have an excellent therapist who is kind, validating, insightful, skilled, and firm- he doesn't let me weasel.
I have sought out and seek whatever other support I could and can find and put it to use.
What I'm practicing and will have to work on forever:
Accepting the challenge.
The work begins with me and is up to me to do.
Motivation doesn't happen waiting for it.
Commitment, determination, consistency, perseverance over time.
Staying focused on goals and concrete results.
Keeping my feet moving literally and figuratively no matter what, no excuses, no vacations, no matter what I feel like or am thinking or want to do.
Mindfulness, one day, sometimes one minute, at a time.
Keeping on keeping on doing what works.
Has it been the hardest work I've ever done? Oh, yes. Has it been worthwhile? Yes, beyond yes, way way way beyond yes.
Have I been perfect? Far from. It's been a process of learning and practicing and keeping in front of my nose that it takes only one more time to get up than I fall down. I acknowledge I have been an addict since childhood with seeking short term destructive self comforting. Eating is my deepest addiction. Thank heavens I never got hooked on drugs. I smoked as a teenager until 1990. I've flirted with alcoholism a couple of times. I struggle with impulsive spending and buying. I struggle with depression and anxiety and negative destructive thinking.
My recovery is my highest priority and has been for many years. Working it has gotten easier over time because working with myself constructively is now mostly habit. I just do it. However, I know I can fall off the wagon in a nanosecond and do slip from time to time. The trick has been catching myself as soon as possible.
Very important: I need to emphasize that the following has been only since getting to goal weight and that I developed my maintenance program very gradually, experimenting with where I could be flexible yet not tip myself over into self sabotage. Before I got to goal weight I rigidly followed the rules.
What I have done and do religiously since beginning maintenance:
I weigh myself daily since getting to goal weight and keep myself within a 5 pound margin because I hate hate hate to do the work of losing weight.
I exercise exercise exercise. Exercise is the cornerstone of my program. I speed walk at least 2½ miles daily plus hike and bike and work at having working out being more than good intention. Before surgery I hated to exercise, now it's just what I do no matter what. I like how I feel when I'm done plus it makes managing my eating a lot easier.
I eat healthy most of the time and pretty much what I want, avoiding sugar and processed food for the most part. I eat on a mostly regular schedule. I've pretty much learned what works for me regarding how much and what to eat when.
I get regular medical follow up and and since maintenance use my blood results to determine the vitamins I take beyond my daily multivitamin and iron.
I keep myself active and occupied.
What I don't do:
Log my intake, count calories, measure portions, drink protein shakes or not drink during meals. I would much rather exercise and eat right than having to do those things.
I did surgery because my health was tanking seriously. I'm now in great health with all my co-morbid conditions handled. My chronic conditions have not worsened.
I have self esteem and self confidence. My attention is now outside me rather than inside me being curled up in a fetal position with self consciousness.
My relationships beginning with me with me are better and more rewarding and fun.
I like being called small.
I like living in my baggy skin.
My deepest gratitude goes to the people in my life who have had my back and have been cheering me on. I couldn't have done and be doing this alone no way no how.
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly." Richard Bach
"Support fosters your growth. If you are getting enough of the right support, you will experience a major transformation in yourself. You will discover a sense of empowerment and peace you have never before experienced. You will come to believe you can overcome your challenges and find some joy in this world." Katie Jay
How wonderful! Thank you so much for coming here to write this. Do you limit how many times per day you eat or have any eating rules that you follow?
Height: 5'5" Pre-op 14 M1 23 M2 11 M3 13 M4 + M5 17 M6 9 M7 5 M8 3 M9 3
Below goal of 135 lbs in 6 months. Total 101 lbs lost, then 13 lbs regained and now losing again. New goal - maintain in low 120s forever.
Thanks for your acknowledgment! I usually eat about 5x a day- light breakfast and lunch, bigger dinner, and 2 snacks- afternoon and evening. I don't have any specific rules other than protein and vegetables first, I just have a sense of what works for me at this point with eyeballing size of portions. Plus I can't eat a bite more than what my tummy says is enough, otherwise there's hell to pay. Plus as I said above, for the most part I avoid white carbs including sugar and processed foods. I am flexible within limits- I don't respond well to feeling deprived because I will then want to binge. So I just try to say balanced and moderate, which are difficult words to put into action- neither are my strong suits in anything.
First, thank you so much for starting this thread and describing what's working for you 7.5 years post-op.
So much of what you are doing is my program, too. (I'm 3.5 years post-op and maintaining very well, too.) I do some things differently, but the spirit of constant vigilance is also key to my success thus far.
Congratulations to you. And thanks again for your post.
ANN 5'5" AGE 72 HW: 235.6 (BMI 39.2) SW: 216 GW: 150 CW: 132.0
WEIGHT LOSS: Pre-op: -20 M1: -10 M2: -11 M3: 10 M4: -10 M5: -7 M6: -5 M7: -6 M8: -4 M9: -4
NEXT 10 MOS. -12 TOTAL: 100+ LBS.