I'm frightened after reading some of these posts. Stalling made me give up losing weight in...
on 2/19/20 1:58 pm
I haven't had surgery yet. I'm waffling between the VSG and RNY. My surgeon hasn't told me his preference for me.
The more I read these posts though, the more worried I'm becoming. I've read quite a few posts about people who are having trouble continuing to lose weight and those who have gained the weight back. That scares the heck out of me.
How do I avoid this after my surgery? I'm already having a hard time sticking to an eating style before the surgery. I've lost a few pounds, but not enough. If I can lose a few pounds why do I need the surgery in the first place? I know, I know it's about maintaining weight loss, but I'm really afraid I'm going to fail and in a year I will not have lost the weight I desire and still won't be able to do the things I want to do after my presumed weight loss.
This process really scares me. I am not a very disciplined person.
on 2/20/20 4:23 am - WI
In order to truly succeed you must become a disciplined person. Surgery was never intended to do all the work of weight loss. Surgery gives us a very finite time to get the weight off rapidly. If you follow the surgeon's plan you will lose weight. If you become disciplined you will maintain that weight loss. It's hard work. Those who tell you weight loss surgery is the "easy way" to lose weight are wrong.
After surgery your tiny stomach will prevent you from over eating by making you feel terrible if you do. If you get RNY you may be one of the 30% who have dumping syndrome when you eat sugary foods. Feeling awful when you eat the wrong foods will keep you on the right path for awhile. Eventually the swelling goes down and your pouch relaxes and grows and you are able to eat more food. This is when the discipline comes in. You will have to measure your portions and learn to be satisfied with a very small amount of food. You will have to learn to make good choices when you eat. You will have to stop grazing and snacking.
The problem comes when we figure out how to eat around the surgery. For instance, I have dumping syndrome. If I eat 4 cookies I am in serious pain, but I can eat one cookie, every few hours, and feel nothing. That means I can eat the entire package in a day...one cookie at a time.... and start gaining weight.
Many of us include a therapist in our WLS team so we can learn the discipline needed to lose, and why we choose to sabotage our weight loss. Getting the head stuff right is the biggest part of the equation in weight loss surgery success. Sometimes we need help figuring things out. I encourage you to seek out a therapist that specializes in eating disorders.
Coming to this site and interacting with others who have "been there and done that" was essential to my success. The people on this site will tell you the truth...like it or not. Sometimes the truth hurts, but is necessary to hear.
You can do this. We're all here to help you.
on 2/20/20 7:26 pm
Do you attend groups outside of this website? Are there support groups in your area that are as honest about this procedure as you are?
I've been to OA meetings but found them unhelpful. I think a support group for bariatric surgery may be helpful.
I would consider a therapist, but I am a member of AA so I find groups comfortable and helpful.
a lot of bariatric clinics have support groups. My does - but it only meets once a month, so I come here for daily support (I quit going to the support group at the clinic long ago, though - the people that went to mine were all pre-ops or new post-ops, so they have very different issues than I do....). But I've found this site very helpful.
on 2/21/20 2:20 pm
My clinic is the same. Once a month. I'm not sure that is going to be enough.
There may be other practices in your area that also have support groups that you can join - many welcome patients from other practices (and some like to keep them proprietary to their own patients.) You may find another group that fits your needs better than the ones offered by your practice and ultimately drop one i favor of another as you proceed. The one my wife and I attend has evolved to being primarily for veterans many years out and less instructive for pre- and early post- ops.
1st support group/seminar - 8/03 (has it been that long?)
Wife's DS - 5/05 w Dr. Robert Rabkin VSG on 5/9/11 by Dr. John Rabkin
on 2/21/20 5:52 am, edited 2/20/20 9:53 pm - WI
I live in a very rural area and there are no support groups here. OH is my only support group. I visit this site every day and read. I actually lurked on this site for 3 years before I joined. The people who helped me the most are the vets *****fused to hand-pat and tell me I'm doing fine when I was screwing up. If that is what you need...this is your new WLS family.
There are some people on this site who think anything but a "hand-patting, mushy gushy" approach is bullying. It's not. Support, to me, is when someone who has been through the same issues slaps the cookie out of my hand and says, "what the hell are you doing? You know better". You may see a few of them calling out a WLS vet for being real with a newbie. I worry about those people influencing the success of that new WLS patient. That is the reason why many of us have stayed on this site (some for decades) to offer our advice. We want you to succeed.
You really can do this...many of us have...I had my first WLS in 1986 and revised to RNY in 2010...but that is another story. The point is, anything you will go through... there is likely someone on this site that will be able to help you out. Seriously though...with and alcohol problem, and obesity, you really need to get a great therapist. That will help you way more than a support group. Find one you really connect with. If you don't like the first therapist you meet... shop around. They are your employee. You can fire them. Just keep searching until you click with one.
I had similar worries before my VSG. I had tried so many diets in the past and failed each time to keep the weight off. How was this going to be any different? Here's what i would tell the pre-surgery me.
WLS is different. Normally, when you try to diet, your body fights against you. Your metabolism slows down to maintain your current weight, and you get hungrier. After WLS, you will be less hungry. You will probably still feel "hungry" all the time for a few months because of excess stomach acid. However, I found that type of "hunger" felt far less urgent, and I could ignore it much more easily. It's hard to explain until you've had the surgery. Now I only feel hunger when it's been a while since my last meal.
After WLS you will need far less food to make you feel full, so you will naturally tend to eat fewer calories. You can work around this by eating "slider" foods like sweets that move through your stomach quickly and leave room for more food, but if you're wise you'll avoid doing this.
WLS changed my cravings. Before WLS, I would crave something specific, like chocolate ice cream or pizza. Now I get cravings for "something sweet" or "something savoury", and in either case it's easy to find a healthy food that satisfies the craving.
All of these changes give you time and space to develop healthy eating habits. The danger is that you could eventually go back to your old habits. In reality, I think there are very few people *****gain all the weight. More typical is the person who loses a satisfactory amount of weight, and then during some life crisis (illness in the family, unpleasant job, etc.) they regain some weight. They have to go back to basics (eating high-protein, healthy food) to lose it again.