How did/do you handle head or heart hunger?

sue9999
on 5/13/22 6:57 pm
RNY on 02/08/21

15 months out now, and I've been hit hard the last few weeks with intense head and heart hunger. I'm sure that I'm not unique in this so I'm hoping you all have strategies that have helped you get through. I've had head hunger over the previous year but nothing like I've been experiencing. It's like I never had surgery in that old habits are trying to reassert themselves plus my emotions are triggering me, too. I'm afraid this will never end. I didn't appreciate how easy my first year was in comparison to this. It's getting hard fighting this.

HW 243 SW 208 GW 125 CW 135

Partlypollyanna
on 5/14/22 4:13 am
RNY on 02/14/18

I find acknowledging what's going on is important and that helps me try things that work in that moment -- go for a walk, brush my teeth, have a cup of hot tea, leave the house, take a bath, go to bed early....distraction helps me when I know that's what I need.

HW: 306 SW: 282 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19) CW:150

Jen

sue9999
on 5/14/22 10:20 am
RNY on 02/08/21

Thanks for replying. I do have a list of things to do, but recently I have been just trying to white knuckle my way through it. That seems to keep it going however. Time to pull the list out again.

HW 243 SW 208 GW 125 CW 135

Partlypollyanna
on 5/15/22 4:46 am
RNY on 02/14/18

my program required us to read/complete the lessons in Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays. You can get it on amazon; it's a cd and book combo. I thought it was a little too woo-woo for me but the tips for dealing with the types of hunger were very good. Maybe it would be helpful for you.

HW: 306 SW: 282 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19) CW:150

Jen

sue9999
on 5/15/22 8:18 am
RNY on 02/08/21

That book sounds familiar, and I think someone mentioned it at one of the bariatric support groups. I see Amazon has a Kindle version (I'm visually impaired and Kindle is adjustable to maximize my vision. It says there is a link to a 75 minute video with eating exercises led by the author. Did you try those perhaps?

In our preop 8-week Life Skills class, mindful eating was covered but as time goes on, I'm realizing that virtually everything about success after bariatric surgery is about being mindful.

Thanks for the suggestion. Last night was very challenging and I literally sat on my hands for an hour. Too dark for me to walk and hub was sleeping on the lower level due to his work schedule so my craft project was out. So I sat on my hands reminding myself no one has ever died from white knuckles, lol. My hub goes to NA and will say "This, too, shall pass". I can't wait!

HW 243 SW 208 GW 125 CW 135

Partlypollyanna
on 5/15/22 11:56 am
RNY on 02/14/18

No I just used the cd but sounds like they might be the same thing; glad they have another way to do it for the kindle users! Kindle has been a game changer for people with low vision, hasn't it?

HW: 306 SW: 282 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19) CW:150

Jen

White Dove
on 5/14/22 10:11 am, edited 5/14/22 3:11 am - Warren, OH

Your body is smart. It knows that it has been taking in calories and that those calories have been malabsorbed and caused weight loss. Part of RNY is the removal of cilla. Cilla are fingerlike appendages that line the inside of the intestine walls. They grab the food as it passes by and hold it against the wall of the intestine so that the calories can be absorbed.

After RNY it takes about eighteen months to thirty months new stronger cilla to grow in. Then absorption of food will be close to normal again. You are now at the stage where your body is recovering and wants to get its weight back. It will send you signals to feed it the foods that will let it get heavy again.

Your honeymoon is over and now it takes careful planning and tracking of food to maintain the weight loss. When my bounceback regain started, I went back to Weigh****chers. Their plan allows for any food that I want as long as I measure it and track the points. I accept that I am on a diet for life, but I am much happier with never having to restrict any food that I truly want. I attend meetings online several times a week. I weigh myself daily.

I have had periods where I take a break from tracking and the weight comes back so quickly it is like water flowing down a waterfall. Probably at least 50% of weight loss patients regain at least half of the lost weight by year 5. Some regain all of it and more. It gets easier every year to regain.

Weigh****chers published a book called "The Shift". It goes through the various problems that cause weight gain in people. It has a lot of good, smart help and common sense. I would suggest you get a copy and read it.

Real life begins where your comfort zone ends

sue9999
on 5/14/22 10:31 am
RNY on 02/08/21

Wow, I haven't thought about it that way. At 15 months, I wasn't anticipating the end to the honeymoon and was hoping I'd be in the group with an extended one.

Like everyone, I'm scared to death of regaining the weight and have felt as if this is the beginning of the end. I've never maintained weight loss for more than a handful of months at best when I lost weight "traditionally". With the return of full-force cravings (head and/or heart hunger), I've been fatalistically thinking of this as the inevitable end to my success.

I do continue to track my food and exercise and also attend my programs bariatric support groups. Unfortunately, due to Covid, the groups are virtual only and it is hard to get to know new people (for me) on virtual meetings. So I guess it is time for me to find what helps me feel both supported and social at the same time. Isolating myself is a huge trigger for overeating and weight gain even when the isolation is enforced like with Covid rather than a personal choice.

I'll look into the WW book. Knowledge is key to recovery! Thanks.

HW 243 SW 208 GW 125 CW 135

White Dove
on 5/14/22 11:59 am - Warren, OH

With the addition of the weight loss surgery tool, I am successful in keeping off the weight now. Although I am close to 20 pounds over my all time low, I am 9 pounds over my surgeon's goal for me. I am slowly working on getting back to goal. I had RNY in 2007 so have been through a few ups and downs. My regain started at 30 months. I thought that I was not going to have any, but when it started it was a pound a week.

My surgeon's goal was 136 and I stayed effortlessly at 128 from 18 months to 30 months. Then the regain started. I did not worry at first, but when I hit 142, I rejoined Weigh****chers. Getting it off has never again been easy. I think my body become super efficient at maintaining weight after surgery. The most important thing for me is to weigh daily. If I am up a pound, I am working on getting it down.

One thing that my bariatric dietitian told me was not to drink protein shakes. She says our bodies do not need a quick source of calories once we are able to eat solid foods. Protein shakes are great for getting in calories when we are not able to eat enough solid food. Lean protein and tons of water are good ways to stay satisfied and keep from regain.

Real life begins where your comfort zone ends

SculptorPainter
on 5/14/22 4:58 pm
RNY on 09/01/12

Ten years post op I'm still not very good at controlling cravings or snacking but I do successfully maintain a fairly low weight (135 5'9") and am quite healthy.

I find if I make exercise a priority first thing in the morning I have shining health and a very nice body and no real overeating issues.

If I DONT.... If I get stressed out because of business or other worries ... I will cook and go back for seconds and snack .... Not so great .

What saves me from gaining is a very forgiving menu ... I use super lowfat ( usually fat free) ingredients whenever possible and eat a lot of fiber in the form of "healthy" carbs like beans vegetables potatoes (cooked not fried ) and salads with fat free dressing croutons ( which have no fat) and fat free feta cheese crumbles.

I try to avoid " real " cheese , ice cream, nuts and fatty dairy products like creamer and half and half . The truth is almost every dairy product including butter sour cream half and half milk even ricotta and mozzarella cheese is available in most supermarkets or online .

You can choose meats that are leaner too like chicken breast over thighs , pork loin, eye round and extra lean ground beef which is half the fat of regular lean . Turkey medallions ate another great choice - super popular in Europe and almost a cross between meat and chicken and quite tasty .

Seafood of course is naturally mostly fat free ( I avoid salmon especially farmed salmon like the plague ) and I eat a lot of it .

I make easy sauces from powdered sauce mixes readily available in any supermarket , butter buds ( which is freeze dried fat free natural butter solids and can be bought as butter flavored popcorn seasoning anywhere) and fat free half n half n veggies- delicious!

I also try to avoid sugar - luckily I still dump so it's not that hard . Getting sleep is very important too.

My favorite snack is fat free kettle popped popcorn made in an " old fashioned" rotating twenty dollar popper from Walmart which toasts the kernels to delicious nutty flavor. A handful of popcorn makes a huge potful.

Hope this helps .

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