VSG Regain: Overcoming eating my feelings
Successfully had VSG April 2018 and to say I had "amazing" results is grossly understated. My weight-loss was life-altering, better than $ex, riding on cloud nine, amazing. Over 80lbs weight loss my first year post-surgery! I was finally comfortable in my new body and confident with my new outlook on clothes. So why am I bragging? I'm not, I promise. In fact, I'm full of BS.
Because I'm fake-happy.
Because I'm pre-diabetic again.
Because I'm too fat to wear my work clothes.
Because I'm "only take photos of my face because full body shots show the real me" miserable.
Because three years later, the majority of weight came back and I feel like a walking, talking, text-book example of "what not to do" after WLS.
I'm not in denial of how my regain came to be. I know how it happened. I ate WHATEVER I wanted, however often I wanted it, and in quantities that I had no business shoveling down my throat. I would sneak a small French fry on the way home from getting my nails down. I would treat myself to a skinny latte and glazed donut in the morning because it was a Friday. I would grocery shop online and add that loaf of bread to my order, and some chips, and frozen pizza.
My body had changed; literally had 80% of my stomach removed. I physically changed myself in order to live a healthier lifestyle. So why keep torturing myself by making the wrong choices, over and over again? Because despite making a physical change, I neglected to acknowledge my mental health and destructive relationship with food. I never dealt with my binge eating disorder (B.E.D). In what feels like an instant, the urge to binge started pulling me deeper and deeper into the realm of regain and embarrassment by dangling an ice cream dipped in chocolate in front of my nose.
I've spent many hours laying in bed, replaying the food choices I made that day, recalling the "in the moment" happiness that eating comfort foods gave me. Donuts, cookies, peanut butter toast, fruit snacks, cookies, more cookies. And then like a mental light switch, beating myself up over guilt and the patheticness of not being able to control myself.
I came on here today because I needed to get these feelings off my chest. To have others just like me know that if they are struggling, then they are NOT alone. That the hourly struggle doesn't get easier, it just becomes different. More hyperfocused in areas that you've unknowingly and mistakenly neglected.
These past two weeks, I've been working incredibly hard at taking back control by relearning the basics with a nutritionist. And most importantly, coming to terms with my binge eating disorder by participating in eye-opening, weekly sessions with a psychotherapist. And I'm proud to say that I'm loosing weight again, yay!
I'd love to hear what others like me are going through years after VSG. Attach at element of normality to my lately thoughts and feelings by knowing I'm not alone in this life-long battle of bettering myself.
Thanks for reading. For understanding. For relating and/or sympathizing.
VSG Surgery Date: 4/4/18 | Starting Weight: 239.6 | Pre-Op Starting Weight: 234.0
Day of Surgery Weight: 225.0 | Goal Weight: 140.0
I had RNY in 2007. I will share some of my observations over the years. Most people with RNY lose about 100 pounds. Almost everyone regains 20 pounds in year 3. About half regain 50 pounds by year 5. Some regain 100 pounds by year 5. By year 10 there is even more regain.
VSG is only restriction, so the weight is harder to lose because you do not have malabsorption to help. Every calorie that you eat is absorbed. With RNY there are several years of malabsorption, so most people lose weight no mater what they eat. We tend to regain pretty rapidly after the malabsorption period ends.
No matter what surgery you have, the only way to maintain the weight loss is with diet and exercise. I rejoined Weigh****chers after two years. I was at my goal of 136 in 2016. I am now at 157 and that is with diet and exercise. I find it harder every year to lose or just to maintain.
The surgery gets the weight off, but it is the constant attention to calories eaten and burned that keeps it off. What I like about WW is no forbidden foods. I can decide to eat anything as long as I stay in my points range. I track my food and exercise. I attend virtual Weigh****cher meetings and I check out this site every day.
One thing that I tell myself everyday is that I am on a diet for the rest of my life. I never bought into the concept that it is about changing my lifestyle. I will always think about pulling into Dunkin Donuts or the Dairy Queen. If it were not for Weigh****chers, I believe I would have regained every pound that I lost. That is my form of therapy. I am glad you found a therapy that is helping you. I am glad that you are losing again. It can be done. Nobody has surgery, loses the weight, and keeps it off without working at for the rest of their life.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
Oh my dear, you are far from alone!
In 2005, at 325 pounds, I had lap-band put in. It was a great success! I got down to 150 pounds in less than a year. I was focused, I was careful, I was active. It was the best $15,000 I had ever spent on anything!
Then I got divorced, lost my job, and lost my house. Eating was all I could think about, and I ended up doing what you described doing: treating myself to foods I had no business eating. I got back up to 260 pounds.
I moved to another country, with socialized medicine. I went to an obesity clinic looking for help. The doctor determined my lap-band was leaking, and no longer created any restriction. My new country would pay for me to have corrective surgery. Due to scarring and other issues, the best option was an RNY bypass.
So, on 10/10/2017, I had the RNY. It was a great success! I got down to 150 pounds in less than six months (I didn't have as much to lose the second time). I was focused, I was careful, I was active. I banished bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cookies, brownies, cake, pastries, ice cream, as well as any and all other starchy foods (e.g., beans, corn, and peas) from my kitchen, plate, and mouth. I met a new man and we moved in together; I was so happy and felt so proud of my svelte new "me".
But, now, almost 4 years later, I have put on almost 40 pounds, and disgust myself. I can't make any more "surgical commitments" to my weight loss. I really just need to get a handle on my relationship with food, my body, and my (horribly critical) inner voice. People tell me I should be gentle with myself, but how can one be "gentle" with someone one despises. I have always thought of myself as my brain, and the rest of me as my brain's enemy. I need to change that. I desperately need to change my vision of my body ... it is not separate from me, and is not a traitorous back-stabbing constant source of pain and hurt. How I do that is still a mystery.
I also know that I have to acknowledge and manage my relationship with food. I have gone back to basics, starting with an 800-calorie a day liquid protein diet to "restart and realign" my post-bariatric stomach. I am sure I stretched my pouch to my stomach's original size as the quantity of food I was able to consume was simply far too much for a post RNY pouch, way, way more than it should be able to handle. So, after a couple more days of that (it has been 5 days), I should be ready to reintroduce meat and other proteins. I will not, however, let starchy carbohydrates back in my mouth. I will, of course, eat healthy vegetable carbs once I think my pouch has shrunk back to its proper proportion.
Thanks for reading this, and letting me tell you my story, so you do not feel alone or ashamed of yourself, as what happened to you can happen to anyone. It has happened to me TWICE. As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!" Boy do I feel the "shame on me".
Be gentle with yourself, and know you have been heard and understood. A big virtual hug is being sent in your direction.
I also am having difficulty with weight regain. cant seem to get back on track & lose a single pound. I probably would benefit from psychotherapy with someone who specializes in eating disorders. I get back on track a few days then something happens to stress me & start eating what i dont need. came back here for support!!!
After weight loss, you have a tiny stomach that is satisfied with a tiny amount of food. But that baby stomach grows up and becomes an adult. So tiny amounts of food no longer are satisfying. Getting back on track often means to try to eat like you did when your sleeve was new.
To me, this is like asking your adult son to be content with a bottle of baby formula. My plan has to include foods that satisfy my hunger and that I enjoy eating.
The secret now is to eat like your sleeve is an adult. My rule for controlling my weight is to allow 10 calories a day for each pound I weight. So to maintain 120 pounds, I need 1200 calories a day.
To maintain 150 pounds takes 1500 calories a day. 300 calories is not that much extra food. But it makes a big difference on the scale and how your clothes fit.
Find a way to track what you are eating and you will soon realize what is causing the weight gain. My Fitness Pal is free. Weigh****chers is expensive. Both have helped me a lot.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends