7½ years out, 6 years successful maintenance! Woot!

AnneGG
on 3/2/18 7:06 am, edited 3/5/18 5:20 am

Cross post:

My story, I hope it might be helpful:

Height 5 feet 3 inches
High weight: 230 lbs, BMI: 41
RNY 7/15/10
Weight for past 6 years: 115-120 lbs, BMI: 20

What has been working for me with maintaining my weight loss, just me because everyone is different and needs to find their own path:

I took 'surgery does not operate on the mind' to heart.
I made a commitment to learning how to manage my mind rather than it managing me.
I looked for and have an excellent therapist who is kind, validating, insightful, skilled, and firm- he does not let me weasel.
I have sought out and seek whatever other support I could and can find and put it to use.

What I am practicing and will have to work on forever:
Accepting the challenge.
The work begins with me and is up to me to do.
Motivation does not happen waiting for it.
Commitment, determination, consistency, perseverance over time.
Staying focused on goals and concrete results.
Keeping my feet moving literally and figuratively no matter what, no excuses, no vacations, no matter what I feel like or am thinking or want to do.
Mindfulness, one day, sometimes one minute, at a time.
Keeping on keeping on doing what works.

Has it been the hardest work I have ever done? Oh, yes. Has it been worthwhile? Yes, beyond yes, way way way beyond yes.

Have I been perfect? Far from. It has been a process of learning and practicing and keeping in front of my nose that it takes only one more time to get up than I fall down. I acknowledge I have been an addict since childhood with seeking short term destructive self comforting. Eating is my deepest addiction. Thank heavens I never got hooked on drugs. I smoked as a teenager until 1990. I have flirted with alcoholism a couple of times. I struggle with impulsive spending and buying. I struggle with depression and anxiety and negative destructive thinking.

My recovery is my highest priority and has been for many years. Working it has gotten easier over time because working with myself constructively is now mostly habit. I just do it. However, I know I can fall off the wagon in a nanosecond and do slip from time to time. The trick has been catching myself as soon as possible.

Very important: I need to stress that the following has been only since getting to goal weight and that I developed my maintenance program very gradually, experimenting with where I could be flexible yet not tip myself over into self sabotage. Before I got to goal weight I rigidly followed the rules.

What I have done and do religiously since beginning maintenance:
I weigh myself daily since getting to goal weight and keep myself within a 5 pound margin because I hate hate hate to do the work of losing weight.
I exercise exercise exercise. Exercise is the cornerstone of my program. I speed walk at least 2½ miles daily plus hike and bike and work at having working out being more than good intention. Before surgery I hated to exercise, now it is just what I do no matter what. I like how I feel when I am done plus it makes managing my eating a lot easier.
I eat healthy most of the time and pretty much what I want, avoiding sugar and processed food for the most part. I eat on a mostly regular schedule. I?ve pretty much learned what works for me regarding how much and what to eat when.
I get regular medical follow up and and since maintenance use my blood results to determine the vitamins I take beyond my daily multivitamin and iron.
I keep myself active and occupied.

What I do not do:
Log my intake, count calories, measure portions, drink protein shakes or not drink during meals. I would much rather exercise and eat right than having to do those things.

Results:
I did surgery because my health was tanking seriously. I?m now in great health with all my co-morbid conditions handled. My chronic conditions have not worsened.
I have self esteem and self confidence. My attention is now outside me rather than inside me being curled up in a fetal position with self consciousness.
My relationships beginning with me with me are better and more rewarding and fun.
I like being called small.
I like living in my baggy skin.

*****

My deepest gratitude goes to the people in my life who have had my back and have been cheering me on. I couldn not have done and be doing this alone no way no how.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly." Richard Bach

"Support fosters your growth. If you are getting enough of the right support, you will experience a major transformation in yourself. You will discover a sense of empowerment and peace you have never before experienced. You will come to believe you can overcome your challenges and find some joy in this world." Katie Jay

Haley_Martinez
on 3/2/18 8:38 am
RNY on 05/03/18

Thanks for the post! It's great to hear from people who are successful in maintaining the goal weight, I'll keep all this in mind as i go forward and hopefully some (or all) of it will for me as well!

-Haley

supershopper
on 3/2/18 9:09 am

great post- you are an inspiration!

HW 305 SW 278 Surgery weight 225 GW 160 LW: 118.8

RNY 12/15/2015,

GB removal 09/2016,

Twisted bowel/hernia repair 08/2017

M1 Dec 2015-13.0, M2-7.0, M3-14.5, M4-9.4, M5-7.1, M6 9.8, M7-7.6 ,M8- 7.6, M-9 5.5, M10-6.4, M11- 2.2, M12 Dec 2016- 5.8

Nancyd1225
on 3/3/18 8:39 am
RNY on 03/26/18

Thank you so much for this post! I am a new member and pre-surgery (waiting for insurance approval) and am really encouraged when I read long term success/maintenance posts.

I have a call in to a referal specialst to help me locate a good counselor prior to surgery. Specifically my eval psych recommended it would be good to learn additional stress coping skill since that is a huge trigger for me. I believe creating the relationship with a counselor before surgery will help in my long term success, because as you stated - they don't operate on our heads!

I also really LOVED your "what I do not do" those would be my "hate doing these things" list at this point. :)

Thanks again, great post!

Nancy

AnneGG
on 3/3/18 10:09 am

OMG therapy and every kind of support have been essential for me with learning compassion for myself and learning new behaviors! My suggestion would be to keep trying until you find someone you feel you can work with. I need someone who is firm with me, otherwise I will weasel. I'm a congenital weasel.

i did follow the rules rigidly until I got to goal weight, then I gradually eased up over time making sure that whatever I did supported my health and didn't tip me over into self sabotage.

Good luck with your surgery- may you work it well! It's the best thing I've ever done for myself but I've had to work my ass off keeping it small. That's the trick- do the work over time each day at a time.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly." Richard Bach

"Support fosters your growth. If you are getting enough of the right support, you will experience a major transformation in yourself. You will discover a sense of empowerment and peace you have never before experienced. You will come to believe you can overcome your challenges and find some joy in this world." Katie Jay

Kathy1212
on 3/3/18 10:13 am

Thanks for the great post and congrats on long term maintenance.

Pre-Op Visit: Jan. 10, 2017, weight 304, surgeon: Dr. David Lindsay, St. Joe's, Toronto

1st Day of (3 weeks worth of) Optifast: Jan. 11, 2017

Surgery Date: Feb. 1st, 2017

  Kathy  

surfgirl
on 3/7/18 7:39 am

Congratulations on your success, and thank you for sharing your story. :)

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