post-op regain

Post-op Regain?

January 6, 2014

 Getting Back on Track-From One Patient to Another

Photographing Your WLS Journey

A lot of you are familiar with my story. I had RNY Gastric Bypass on 02/12/2008. At my highest weight I was 291 lbs. I decided to have WLS, after years of procrastination, mainly for my health and my children. I am still, six years later, 110 lbs down from my highest weight. I’m going to share something with you though, I’ve regained. My lowest weight after surgery was 145 lbs, 10 lbs below my own personally set goal of 155 lbs. Some bounce back is to be expected; however, somehow I ended back up to 188.2 and was feeling every bit out of control that I was at 291 lbs. It was time to put myself in check and fast, as 200 lbs was quickly approaching. Today I am at 181.6, I’ve lost over 6 lbs!

How did I start the process of getting back on track? First I had to ask myself, “How did I get here?” It may seem like a simple enough question, maybe even one that is easily answered – eating junk and not exercising – until I really thought about it. How DID I get here?? Let me sum up for you what I’ve determined. The years 2011 and 2012 both brought emotional devastation to my life. Two things happened in my family that shook me to my core and forever changed my life. Initially I was too sick to eat, however I think in the aftermath I went back to how I dealt with emotions before WLS, I ate my feelings, tried to bury them with food. I didn’t learn how to properly deal with emotional events, as we’ve all heard before, the surgery is on your stomach, not on your brain. I let these events consume me, and while I tried to put a smile on my face and tried the whole “fake it til you make it” with my happiness, underneath I was still hurting and I still have those days.

Taking back control – it had to be done. I had to be my own advocate. It’s not easy, but no one is going to do the work for you. If you are unhappy, if you want to make change, YOU need to be the one to do it. I’d read of other WLSers losing regain and their posts about how it was just as simple as logging your food and exercise “calories in, calories burned”. It was very inspiring to see someone lose weight they’d regained, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get there myself. It’s a switch, mentally and emotionally, that happens to you and it just wasn’t happening for me. I think a good majority of us know how to lose the weight figuratively speaking, but it’s not going to happen until you are ready to make it happen. You can know what to do and someone can preach it to you, however when you’re just not there mentally, it’s not going to happen. You hit a point emotionally where you DECIDE to take control back, something clicks. It’s hard to get there, but when you do, it’s empowering.

Are you not “there”? Are you regaining and feel like you can’t stop yourself? I know how you feel. Let me share with you some of the things I’ve done to get myself out of that “place”.

•Accountability Partner – I found at least one person I am 100% accountable to. I share my weight, my successes of the day and also all about those rough days. We can talk about why I had an off day, why I may have put something in my mouth mindlessly, without thinking. We cheer for each other and challenge each other.

•Plan Ahead – I’m a snacker. I like to eat small snacks through-out the day rather than three meals. Work is the worst place for me and snacking so I put foods in my fridge at work (and at home) that are safe snacks and when I am running low, I replace them.

•Herbal Tea – I drink warm tea all day long. It feels good to have something warm in my tummy and as long as it’s caffeine free it counts as water! I have found this has REALLY helped curve my snacking!

•Sign up for a fun run/walk! They come in many different distances. Try a 5k. If you can’t run, walk, take your time. No one out there is worried about your time, so don’t let being embarrassed of being slow stop you! It’s a positive atmosphere and just getting out there and moving will help your mental state. Start with the Couch to 5K program. (There’s an app for that!)

These are just some ideas to help you. Remember, the first three weeks are going to be the hardest, but once you get past those three weeks, it will be easier and you will be feeling better!  You are worth it!!



Jessica Mowles Stockton is an 8 year post-op and has been an avid member of ObesityHelp for over 6 years. She is an advocate and a strong supporter of the weight loss surgery community and enjoys photography as one of her hobbies. She has a weight loss surgery support page on Facebook.

Read more of Jessica's articles!