Being in it for the long haul

cappy11448
on 6/25/16 6:34 am

I just got back to my goal weight after many months of trying.  I've been maintaining for about 20 months, after 18 months of weight loss.  Its been a long journey.

I wanted to share a little about my experience with maintenance, mostly because when I was starting out, I was curious about some things

  1. Could I reach a normal weight? - I never expected I would.  This was beyond belief.
  2. Would I gain all the weight back, as happens to too many people?
  3. What would maintenance look like or feel like?

So here is my take on maintenance: 

I did lose all the weight I wanted to - beyond my wildest dreams.  I got to a normal BMI.  I went from a 5X to a size 14. My health and energy are much better.  Its wonderful.

I've been able to maintain my weight loss, but I have to put the same effort into my diet and exercise that I did during weight loss.  It is clear to me that maintenance is just another food plan, with a few more calories and a bit more flexibility. Its not being "done".  Its not forgetting about the program.  It is a daily effort to plan meals, eat healthy, and manage the obesity.  

I understand now why the WL program always said that the sleeve is a tool.  The obesity is not cured.  It is there and needs to be managed for the rest of our lives.  The sleeve does not cure obesity, but it does make it possible to manage it. 

So what does maintenance look like?  The easy answer is "a lot like weight loss, with a few more calories and a bit more flexibility to cheat occasionally." 

I take my vitamins twice a day.  I take miralax for constipation daily.  I built a treasure of recipes for tasty, and easy-to-make healthy low carb meals, and I cook a lot. (I've posted a lot of my recipes on the recipe forum) I cook more than I ever did when I was heavy, because prepared foods have too many calories and carbs for me. 

Carbs cause cravings for me, so I have to watch them carefully.  It is so easy to get pulled back into eating bread or crackers or sweets, and it becomes addictive quickly.  In maintenance, I've added some carbs in the form of sweet potatoes and winter squash, but I have to avoid the cookies, cakes, crackers and chips as they overcome me.

I got a tummy tuck, and I'm so glad I did.  My tummy looks like it did when I was a teen, before the weight gain started.  I love looking good.  I think we all deserve it after what we've had to deal with in obesity.

I've been traveling a lot.  I fit into an airplane seat with seat-belt to spare.   I can fit into an airplane seat and take the strenuous tours when I travel and keep up with the best of them!

I am so glad I decided to have weight loss surgery.  It was not easy.  Its not easy in maintenance either, but its possible to lose the weight and live a healthy life.  And we all deserve health.

best wishes,

Carol

    

Surgery May 1, 2013. Starting Weight 385,  Surgery Weight 333,  Current Weight 160.  At GOAL!

Weight loss Pre-op 1-20 2-17 3-15 Post-op 1-20 2-18 3-15 4-14 5-16 6-11 7-12  8-8

                  9-11 10-7 11-7 12-7 13-8 14-6 15-3 16-7 17-3  18-3

     

Daelcare
on 6/25/16 6:46 am - Easley, SC
VSG on 10/27/14

Thanks so much for sharing...so spot on!!  It's nice to see someone that actually gets that this is not a quick fix, but a life long process.  Congrats on your success....don't you just love fitting into seats!  

5'5" 64 year old; HW 219; SW 199; CW 129; GW 145ish (original)...now on to "ideal" (138)...got that...now a few spare (132)...got that one, too! Now for the 120's!! Made them...now for the "dream" weight...125! Well, that one's proving to be a little tougher!

cappy11448
on 6/26/16 4:29 am

Thank you for your kind words. 

Carol

    

Surgery May 1, 2013. Starting Weight 385,  Surgery Weight 333,  Current Weight 160.  At GOAL!

Weight loss Pre-op 1-20 2-17 3-15 Post-op 1-20 2-18 3-15 4-14 5-16 6-11 7-12  8-8

                  9-11 10-7 11-7 12-7 13-8 14-6 15-3 16-7 17-3  18-3

     

Kelly L.
on 6/25/16 8:35 am

Hi Carol, love this post, it's very informative.   You are such an inspiration and I am glad you stick around here and share your journey with us, even when you are in maintenance.    We need you here, so thank you for that!   Congrats on reaching goal!! 

cappy11448
on 6/26/16 4:29 am

Thank you.  Your kind words mean a lot to me.

Carol

    

Surgery May 1, 2013. Starting Weight 385,  Surgery Weight 333,  Current Weight 160.  At GOAL!

Weight loss Pre-op 1-20 2-17 3-15 Post-op 1-20 2-18 3-15 4-14 5-16 6-11 7-12  8-8

                  9-11 10-7 11-7 12-7 13-8 14-6 15-3 16-7 17-3  18-3

     

Kathy8429
on 6/25/16 10:26 am

I'm so happy for you. You're an inspiration to me

mmsmom
on 6/25/16 11:42 am - Woburn, MA
with

Perfect post

VSG on 04/28/2014

janinemarie
on 6/25/16 4:23 pm

Hi Carol, thank you so much for this post, I found it very helpful.  I'm 20 pounds from goal and have been so nervous about maintenance.  Your ideas are great, I too cook a lot and should make a recipe file.  I try to remember that most people whether they are overweight or not can't eat whatever they want and its about being healthy.  

 Congratulations for doing so amazing.   

Janine

joanne0658
on 6/25/16 4:27 pm
with

You are and have been the one who inspires me.  I'm 11 months out and I truly use your words of encouragement and advice, along with your recipes, to rebuild my relationship with nourishing my body.  Many times I refer to it as a WWCD moment.  

 

Thank you for always being a straight, honest voice and never all "judgy" of others and their concerns or struggles.  Thank you for teaching me that VSG is simply a tool(my Doc stressed this but you made it REAL), and that I must be vigilant and enjoy this journey to a lifetime of better choices and better health(on a daily basis)!

CAROL . . . YOU'RE AMAZING!!!!!! 

Again, thank you!

 

Joanne

 

Age: 60 | Height: 5'3.5 | Surgery Date: 07/24/15 | Starting Weight: 292 | Surgery Weight: 267 | Goal Weight:150 | Current Weight: 149 | WL so far: 143 lbs

cappy11448
on 6/26/16 4:27 am

Thank you for your kind words.  They mean a lot to me.  Obesity is tough, and its so good to have a place to come for support and encouragement. 

Thank you for your kind heart.

Carol

    

Surgery May 1, 2013. Starting Weight 385,  Surgery Weight 333,  Current Weight 160.  At GOAL!

Weight loss Pre-op 1-20 2-17 3-15 Post-op 1-20 2-18 3-15 4-14 5-16 6-11 7-12  8-8

                  9-11 10-7 11-7 12-7 13-8 14-6 15-3 16-7 17-3  18-3

     

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