What can I do to set myself up for success following weight loss surgery?

on 6/21/20 7:22 pm

I weigh over 600lbs What can I do to set myself up for success following weight loss surgery?

on 6/22/20 1:58 am

Hi, I was just over 300 and the woman I am dating was at 450, so our experiences aren't quite the same as yours. I find a big factor that is often overlooked is the exercise. I'm not in the mindset that I'm going to exercise just to lose weight, like it is some sort of sprint. Exercise is a part of my life, each and every week. All the talk about changing your relationship with food and exercise is spot-on. Don't worry if you're not completely there by surgery day, either. There's something about the surgery that kind of kicks your butt and gives you a chance to restart with the food, like a clean slate of sorts. What you do with that opportunity is up to you.

But find something you enjoy or at least don't mind doing as exercise. Whether it's the same thing most of the time, or various different ways of working out, the important thing is that you make movement a huge part of your life. I burn most of my calories on the recumbent bike indoors as well as walks with my dog. That doesn't make those methods better than tennis, or rowing, or basketball, or whatever it is that you can enjoy doing and stick with. Fortunately, we feel much, much more like working out once the weight starts coming off. It's much easier to stick with working out now than it ever was when I was bigger.

on 6/22/20 10:48 am

Perfectly stated! Great advice!

Janet P.
on 6/22/20 4:10 am

April, I found that like anything else I had to be mentally committed 100+%. All the times I had dieted and failed, all the times I quit smoking and failed. I realized all the other times I tried and failed to make changes to my life it was because I was ready. I always tried to make changes for the wrong reasons - other people primarily. When I finally made the commitment to lose weight I knew I would be successful. I also worked extensively with my therapist throughout the entire process.

To directly answer your question, you need a good support system (whether it's friends or family or both) and you need to be 100+% committed to making it work.

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

on 6/22/20 5:01 am
RNY on 06/03/15

get and keep your head in the game. I still do, at over five years out. This will work as long as you're totally committed. Follow your surgeon's instructions; follow your eating plan. Weigh/measure and track your food. I'm still doing it, even at this far out.

(deactivated member)
on 6/22/20 7:55 am

Follow the plan, and be patient. None of us became MO in a few weeks, and it isn't coming off in a few weeks or months. Stay the course and it will happen.

Congratulations on taking a huge step in the right direction.

on 6/22/20 11:00 am, edited 6/22/20 4:00 am

This is both a emotional and physical change. Sometimes, I found the emotional side of it to be way harder because what I was supposed to do was written on paper and provided by my surgeon (as far as diet goes)... what I could and couldn't eat. It's a great coincidence that the blog post today is regarding the emotional side of WLS and the author states,

Perhaps the most important question to ask oneself is ?Am I committed to changing my lifestyle??

as Puggledad explained above, you don't have to get it all right now, and surgery will give you an extra push... but it's also nice to have someone on your side (a professional) to help you with what you are thinking as you are experiencing it. It was hard for me to get attention for losing weight and accepting that people were actually paying attention to me. I was so used to being on the outside, It was hard for me to be the topic of someones conversation.

So, if I can recommend one thing to set you up for success after WLS, is to start talking to a mental health professional now who understands Weight Loss Surgery.

on 6/22/20 11:11 am, edited 6/22/20 11:52 pm

Support, support, support and did I say support. That is the main factor to success. Surround yourself and don't get ****y about your success. Go to support groups for bariatric patients, participate here in OH, and I think one of the most important tools is getting a good therapist who knows bariatric issues. Don't minimize this, as I'm approaching 4 years out and to me it is the number one reason I'm successful. Exercise is good, but not key in my opinion - unless you find something you love and it helps motivate you. So build life long support and not just a few months. Good luck.

HW 510 / SW 424/ GW 175 (stretch goal to get 10 under) / CW 160 (I'm near the charts ideal weight - wonder if I can stay here)

RNY November 2016

PS: L/R arm skin removal; belt panniculectomy - April, 2019

Janet P.
on 6/23/20 4:56 am

I was so fortunate to have one of the best surgeons in the country right here where I live (Hazem Elariny). Back then (18+ years ago) he had a monthly support meeting at the hospital. Sometimes we'd get 40+ people at that meeting. From that group, there were about 12-15 of us who all lived within 15-20 miles of each other. We met every week (Tuesday's @ Cindy's house) for years and years. About 10 of us are still friends and get together periodically even after all this time. That group is made up of 4 DSers, several VSGers, and one VSGer who just revised to an RNY. Started as a support group, turned out to be wonderful friendships!

In 2020, this support group could easily be done online (zoom meeting anyone) and you don't have to be local. If there isn't one, start one!!

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

on 7/6/20 11:50 am

April, You did not say if surgery is already scheduled, or if in approval process.

The MOST important thing is follow the surgeons instructions. Get all instructions for pre surgery, immediately post surgery and long term maintenance all written down. Al rules for using your new tool.

The second item you need is support, others have elaborated, i won't.

3rd. start now... doing something more than you were doing for yourself toward your long term goal. start with small goals...think as a timed goal, not a distance... increase the time by 2 minutes as you get to tolerance of each level.. Not able to walk long distances.?.. start by doubling what you can do, by breaking your exercise into 2 or 3 short sessions a day. If you go shopping... park a little further out and walk n store. make extra trips from kitchen to bathroom- 2 times for each item required...go set out glass, get out ice. go do something else and return to fill glass. The addition of exercise will begin to tone your body.. do isometrics. one time a day., it will strengthen and begin more calorie use.

4th Diet changes. Incorporate changes .. deliberately.

Cut out ALL artificial sweetners. try pyure stevia( has no chemical additives and a special processing,) Mung fruit is also all natural.

Cut hidden sugars as well as most white foods. You need to be reducing inflammation... pull up an anti-inflammatory diet, read as much information as you can on why and how it works , incorporate what of that you can on a HIGH protein, low carb diet. This will aid in your ability to loose weight...and make surgery safer as the pressure is relieved on the liver with a substantial weight loss. several small meals of high protein and very low carb should get you started. lots of green leafy veggies, if you can eat them-without interfering with another health issue...

I know diet is a nasty word. this has to be a lifestyle change.You have to change from the inside, and that change begins between your ears. The decision Must be for you. You Must WANT this for yourself first, family and all others next.

No excuses. No compromise. This must be your goal for your health.

Learn to accurately measure. get a good diet scale. weigh everything as a single portion. Measure so often and so long you can order a beef patty and estimate the weight by looking at it's size. same for your liquids.. Mostly water or UN-sweet drinks. try adding lemon or orange slices to FILTERED water... for a flavor change.

Cut as many chemicals as possible from your life.., Organic veggies as much as possible.. aluminum in deodorants, chlorine and other gunkies in water.

Eliminate non stick coating pans... all rlease chemicals into you and can cause inflammatory responses. stainless steel or seasoned cast iron are treated the same. place a 1/2 tsp of high grade olive oil on a paper towel, dampen entire bottom and sides of pan, heat til hot, remove from heat and allow to cool. then reheat pan and add food.

Hope these things help you.. my surgery was in mid 90's and my goal is still very close..

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