Best advice post VSG for success?
Hi, I just want to know from anyone who's had this surgery please...what is best advice you would give for staying healthy and fit after surgery? Would it be accountability like I've read a few times or maybe keeping a food and exercise journal?
My surgery isn't scheduled yet although we are looking at Oct. of this year if insurance goes through. I'm in process of fulfilling my six month insurance requirement right now.. I feel like I'm not doing too well. I don't know why I can't seem to get it together. Eating healthy has been a struggle to say the least. Exercising is coming easier since I run around most days chasing my toddler and we walk to the park a lot. I also have a stationary bike I use two to three times a week.
I want this surgery so bad so why is it so hard for me right now!!? I'm worried if I can't lose weight now, how will I keep it off after the surgery? I know its all a process and change doesn't happen overnight but still..I'm just struggling.
I'd just like to know what helped each of you? Thank you!
Others may not agree, but the secret for me is to set goals. Do you know the difference between a wish and a goal. They are the exact same thing except that a goal has a date attached to it.
Make a goal to lose two pounds this week and then mark the amount you will weigh for that day on the calendar. At the end of the week, x it out and put up a new goal weight.
Take it in doable steps and the only real way to measure that is on the scale. I would advise you to invest in a smart scale that tracks fat, muscle, water, and bone weight. It really lets you see your progress.
Every pound you lose now will make the surgery easier on your body and give you a headstart on your post-surgery success story.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
Make sure you set realistic and healthy goals. Also for me I have to stay accountable. I do this by weighing myself every day (and in that I know there are normal daily fluctuations). Some advise to only weigh once a week but you have to decide what is best for you. Also I have over 1300 consecutive days of logging everything I eat into My Fitness Pal so that I know exactly what my protein and calories and all are for the day every day. It was also helpful for me to write a blog. I keep it set private so it was more of a journal I guess but I write about why I did this and I have written about successes I have had and some not so great reality moments along the way. It helps when there are rough patches to go back and see where I was at the start and why I made the choice to do this. One other thing that has been helpful is to do pictures and measurements. I took a monthly picture from the front and side in front of the same doorway so that I had a way to see the changes as they happened. When I couldn't see the changes in the mirror I could look at the pictures and be encouraged by seeing the differences from month to month.
Had VSG on 9/28/15
Lost 161 lbs since surgery, LOST 221 lbs overall so far!!
Another thing that is very helpful is when you are looking at your before and after pictures is to cover up your head. When your brain sees your face, it automatically associates the body it remembers going with that face.
By covering the face you can really see the body changes.
Strange, but it works.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
Yeah that is strange but makes sense. Also when I'm looking in the mirror everyday it's so hard to notice ANY change. So pictures I definitely will do. I plan on documenting this whole process. I want to look back and feel good about how far I've cone one day ..I also want to use the pictures as inspiration for what I DON'T want to go back to.
on 6/1/19 7:36 pm
It is incredibly overwhelming! I am only five months out, but for me tracking has probably been most important.
One thing that is super important when making large-scale behavior change is to not try and make all of the changes at once. I made a list of everything I needed to do and kind of slowly chipped away at things. Maybe set a goal to meet one goal in one or two weeks and then set another goal. This is easier said than done. For me, reality was messier than this. Sometimes, I would not achieve a goal and would switch to something easier and then go back to the tough goal later. However, at some point, I looked back and couldn't believe how many behaviors I had changed! I recommend starting with the easier goals first to get some momentum going. I saved caffeine until the end because I knew that would be worst and it totally was!
Highest weight: 350, Surgery weight: 317
No longer obese goal: 185, Healthy weight goal: 150
Weight loss per month: 1=22, 2=12, 3=9.5, 4=11.5, 5=8, 6=9
on 6/1/19 10:42 pm
The fact that you "can't seem to get it together" is the very reason you're having surgery! Don't be too hard on yourself, do your best and honestly it will be easier-- albeit still hard work-- after you're sleeved.
You will be able to keep the weight off after surgery, if you work your tool correctly, because you will be physically unable to eat the volume that you can right now. WLS will also affect your metabolism and hormones, so your body will be quite different after surgery day. You can do it :)
Regarding advice, the best thing to do is to get into the habit of weighing, measuring, and logging everything you eat. The most successful vets who have maintained their weight loss for years continue to log everything using MyFitnessPal or similar. Staying accountable is super important, and many people find that as soon as they start slacking on that front, it's much easier to make excuses and get (and stay) off track.
Sparklekitty / Julie / Nerdy Little Secret (#42)
Roller derby - cycling - triathlon
VSG 2013, RNY conversion 2019 due to GERD. Trendweight here!
During the 6 month insurance requirement phase, my RD had me focus on a couple of things to change each month and I picked the three things based to have a mix of easy and hard.
My first month, the three things were 1) each lunch daily; 2) focus on portion control; 3) stop carbonated water;
Month 2 we continued on eating lunch daily; added the each meal tracking with who/what/where/how did I feel element and had me start trying protein shakes to find one I liked;
Month 3 moved from portion size to actual calorie counting (so taking the prior two months and building a skill); added the post surgery vitamin regimen; and continued the tracking/logging (on paper)
Month 4 and 5 were much more about prepping and ensuring I understood the progression post surgery and was committed to the exercise and vitamin requirements but also reinforced months 1-3.
Essentially, no one expected me to be perfect in the 6 months but they wanted to see behavioral changes that showed i understood what needed to happen in the future and that I could sustain the changes.
Use this time to work on what you can; give yourself grace where it's hard...and work on your brain...my brain still needs the most work!
HW: 306 SW: 282 CW:144.8 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19), next goal - 132.9
A few pointers from someone over 11 years post op.
- Major - no alcohol or other mind altering substance. The 2 times I gained weight was when I was drinking alcohol. Not necessarily to excess, but enough to affect what and how much I was eating. I strongly recommend if you chose to celebrate with alcohol, to limit it to a very very very special occasions.
- Determination. You may encounter stalls. They may happen as you would be losing weight, or later when you regain some and are losing it. Just stick to the plan. It should happen. When I was losing weight right after WLS I had a very few stalls. But losing regain, I had many. When I was losing regain it was more for me to take care of joints pain, and my gastro issues (gas, cramps) so I had a secondary goal to stick to a diet - "feeling better".
- Find what works for you. We are individual, and as we are look different (even most twins have differences) what works for one person, may not work for you.
- Look for help when you need. Physical health and .. mental health. I use to medicate myself with food. But that was gone. At one time I started medicating myself with alcohol. But I recognized that, made appointment with my doc, and got anxiety meds. When after 10 years on them, on and off, I realized they no longer doing the job, I made appointment with my doc who switched me to something else. I am now on 2 meds, that are really working for now. I have a very stressful job, but I can't quit or find another. So I'm stuck. It the meds help me to cope. (The meds that work for my anxiety don't do much for my depressiono my doc added a small amount of another that helps. )
- Last but not least, enjoy the process of finding new you. As you would be losing weight, you may change. That is very normal. Note the changes: i.e more confidence, smiling more, discovering new activities you like or don't like, etc.
Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG
"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"
"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."
on 6/19/19 5:58 am
I am 4 years post op. My advice for food...
Look what is on your plate. Go for protein first, then veggies... carbs LAST. If you are too full to eat the carbs... Good!
Its ok to splurge every once in a while as long as you keep that mindset. If everything on your plate has lots of carbs.. prob not a good idea to keep eating it over the long haul. My wife and I went on vaca this week and ate lots of fried seafood all week. 2 meals a day. Ok for a splurge, but def not something we would do all the time.
300lbs pre-op here and holding now at 160.