Remind me of how you succeeded

Pamela M.
on 10/7/14 5:47 am - Atlanta, GA
VSG on 08/25/14

I am 6 weeks post-op and since surgery, I have lost 21 lbs which I am very pleased about.  However, I am struggling with my food choices (carbs), lack of exercise, and vitamins.  If you are at least 6 months post-op and feel good about your journey thus far, would you please share with me (and all of the newbies) the top key behaviors that are keeping you on track.  I need some reminders about the basics and some encouragement.  Thank you all so much!   Pamela


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.   Henry David Thoreau

Gwen M.
on 10/7/14 6:09 am
VSG on 03/13/14

I'm six months (and a few weeks) post-op.  I've lost over 100 pounds and I certainly consider myself successful!  

Things that have helped me?  

Being kind to myself.  I don't beat myself up for making mistakes, I just accept that I'm imperfect and get on with life.  I also get a massage once a month and participate in the hobbies I had cultivated pre-op.  Plus I do a lot of other neat things now.  I do things to increase the happiness and joy in my life :)  

I found a therapist that I click with and I see her every week.  (Well, every week I'm in town, sometimes I have to miss a session.)  Taking care of my mental health is a big part of my success.  I realized pre-op, thanks to OH, that surgery only changes my body - I've got to change my brain.  Being kind to myself is part of that, but seeing a therapist is a big part of it as well.  

I log all of my food.  Sometimes I don't eat things because I know I'll have to be accountable for it.  :P  This helps me.  (I don't track calories, I just log.)  

I exercise a lot.  I started with just walking and getting up to an hour a day.  Then I started going faster.  Then I added fitness classes.  Then I started running.  Now I do over 10 hours of exercising a week with 5k training, yoga, zumba, water aerobics, bhangra, tai chi, and pilates.  Variety is the spice of life!  My first 5k is in 11 days.  Eeek!  

I cook exciting things that are sleeve friendly and I enjoy every bite I take.  Food will never be "just fuel" for me, it will always be something I look forward to and enjoy.  Some people are well served by a consistent diet, I'm not one of those.  Again, I need variety.  

I surround myself with super supportive people.  My family and friends have all been amazing in this process and that's also a large part of my success.  :D  

I take my vitamins with food, and that helps.  I've had issues in the past with nausea due to vitamins, but I haven't had any issue post-op thanks to taking them with food.  

I work on keeping busy.  I plan my meals in advance.  I have an "emergency kit" that I take with me everywhere so I'm never without a protein snack if I need one.  I always have a nalgene with me so I can drink throughout the day every day.  

These are all of the things that help me!  (Aside from normal stuff like eat lots of protein and avoid processed and refined things.)  

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Surgeries with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL & brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL & mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 41 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

on 10/7/14 6:32 am

I am 10 months out (wow! I didn't realize it was so far).  I consider myself successful :)  These are the things that I did:

  • tracked my food daily
  • came to the boards daily
  • planned things ahead of time -- make it easy to stay on plan
  • look for new recipes -- your food can taste great!
  • try a lot of different exercise -- you gotta love it for it to stick!
  • look at old pictures when you aren't seeing the difference
  • this is a marathon and not a sprint, so cut yourself some slack ;)

VSG: 12/12/13, LBL, small TL, BL/BA: 11/7/14  - 5'10 33 years old - Stacy_WLS on myfitnesspal - please add me :)  


on 10/7/14 6:55 am

I would echo everything Gwen and Stacy said, and add a couple of things.  You have already identified one huge problem - carbs.  Carbs make me crave more carbs, so eliminating as much of that as possible will really help, both with weight loss and cravings.  Tracking what you eat is really important for several reasons, but my main reason is to make sure I get enough protein each day (80g minimum) and try to stay around 800 calories.  When I slack on tracking, it usually means I'm not wanting to be honest with myself about what's going in my mouth, so over time I have learned to just stick with it no matter what.  Also, drink lots and lots of water - it will get easier as you get further along.  For vitamins, I take a chewable in the morning and evening, so that's easy, and the chewy caramel calcium is like my candy treat three times a day.

Finally, and this is really important, be patient and try not to compare yourself to everyone else.  It's a long journey, and there will be fluctuations and stalls, but don't let that sway you from your path.  I'm a fairly slow stair-step loser, so I lose a pound or two and then stop for a week or so, and then lose another couple, etc.  Very frustrating at first, but now I know that this is just the way my body loses and I just have to stay on plan. I lose 5-6 per month, but I'm down 66 lbs in 9 months and thrilled with my new emerging body.

I think you're doing great, and recognizing areas of improvement this early on shows a terrific attitude! :)

GeekMonster, Insolent Hag
on 10/7/14 9:58 am - CA
VSG on 12/19/13

I'm approaching 10 months since I had surgery.  I've lost 138 pounds since my surgery date, and 195 pounds overall.

  • Drink a protein shake for breakfast every day.  I like RTD Premier Protein in chocolate.
  • Log everything, and I mean EVERYTHING I eat on My Fitness Pal.  No lying to myself anymore.
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water everyday.  When I don't, I see little weight loss.  Closer to 100 ounces kicks the weight loss in gear.
  • Exercise in some manner, even if you hate it - which I do.  My surgeon recently told me that we need to increase our "activity" to 30 minutes per day.  This includes doing housework, gardening - just ordinary activities.  We also need to increase our "exercise" to 30 minutes per day, five times per week.  I spent a lot of time in our pool this summer swimming and doing strength training with water barbells.  Now that summer is over, I'm back to walking or the recumbent bike. 
  • Weigh every day.  This doesn't work for everyone, but it helps me to see where I'm at.  I notice my weight stays the same or goes up if I have an excess of sodium in my diet.
  • Avoid excessive carbs.  I try to keep mine around 40 grams per day, but after surgery they were closer to between 20-30 grams per day.  For most people, they will derail your weight loss immediately.
  • Eat delicious, healthy foods.  I will cook something in the crockpot, portion it out and freeze it for easy meals.  My favorites are pot roast with mashed cauliflower, pork chili verde with vegetarian refried beans and chicken salsa.  Try to eat dense protein because it will help the satiety and you won't eat out of boredom.  But if I'm bored and wanting to munch on something, I find that a pickle is a good option.  Low calories, very filling and filled with plenty of flavor.
  • Take your vitamins.  If you don't, you can become run down and have a multitude of problems.  I portion my out into a 2-week pill container, then dump them into a small tupperware plastic container daily that I carry in my purse.  They're always with me so I don't forget them.
  • Therapy and support groups.  I also read OH daily and it keeps me grounded and informed.  I declared this MY YEAR when I opted for surgery and am doing everything I can to be a success.

Hope this helps.  Good luck to you  


"Oderint Dum Metuant"    Discover the joys of the Five Day Meat Test!

Height:  5'-7"  HW: 449  SW: 392  GW: 179  CW: 220

Pamela M.
on 10/7/14 10:18 am - Atlanta, GA
VSG on 08/25/14

All these responses are extremely helpful and encouraging. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write down your strategies for having a successful journey. I am in this for the long haul!  Thank you for the encouraging words!


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.   Henry David Thoreau

Pamela M.
on 10/7/14 10:19 am - Atlanta, GA
VSG on 08/25/14

All these responses are extremely helpful and encouraging. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write down your strategies for having a successful journey. I am in this for the long haul!  Thank you for the encouraging words!


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.   Henry David Thoreau

Kelly Jean
on 10/7/14 10:34 am
VSG on 04/08/14

Pamela I'm 6 months tomorrow and 96 lbs down !!! 

  • Love your self !!! It's always easier for other to love you if you do!!
  • Remember where you want to go and what will get you there!!
  • Keep your eye on the prize
  • Take pics of yourself all the time and keep looking back and see where you where ...and how far you came
  • The more you loose the more you will want to loose and commit to this..
  • Take your measurements so when you do stall you can check inches
  • Make sure to get in all your protein at least 80
  • Make sure you drink all your water at least 64 oz
  • Make sure to keep your carbs under 40
  • Exercise and exercise and then more exercise it will motivate your mind body and soul...
  • Make sure to talk to others and get all the support and boosts you need it truly does help and everyone here is sooooo nice!!! If not push block lol 

Best of luck to you your doing great and it will get easier and easier as you go on just try to make smart choices and remember you won't always make them !!!! :-)

♡ Kelly


Dakinbar Yes
on 10/7/14 8:30 pm
VSG on 05/07/14

Something that has been helpful for me, is that while I can obsess about numbers -  calories, protein, etc, I try not to obsess in terms of dates. I have general ideas of when I want to meet certain weight milestones, and I try my best, but if I don't meet it I know that really it is just arbitrary.


Also, when you struggle, really look at what happened. I thought I was doing really well mentally, and coping just great. About 3 months out life got stressful, and I really felt like I was going crazy as I hadn't learnt any new coping mechanisms for when life gets tough. I was gentle with myself about it, and patient.


I went on holiday overseas and found myself existing on carbs, which really threw me. I ate much more than normal, and didn't recognise how much being away from my familiar choices would throw me. I will know for next time.


Be kind to yourself :)

HW 309lb  CW 186 1/9/2015  GW 136     31yr old Female, 5ft3



Tracy D.
on 10/8/14 4:23 am - Papillion, NE
VSG on 05/24/13

My Keys to Success: 

1.  My Fitness Pal - tracking every single bite of food, every day to ensure protein and carbs stayed in line (80 grams protein, 40 or fewer grams of carb). 

2.  64-80 oz. of water per day (it's 100 oz. now but you're only 6 weeks) 

3.  Going to Overeater's Anonymous meetings - because the surgery didn't erase my compulsive overeating behavior/food addiction 

4.  Reminder alarms on my phone to take vitamins at certain times

 Tracy  5'3"     HW: 235  SW: 218  CW: 132    M1: -22  M2: -13  M3: -12  M4: -9  M5: -8   M6: -10   M7: -4

 Goal reached in 7 months and 1 week

 Lower Body Lift w/Dr. Barnthouse 7-8-15