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The full quote is usually ‘I didn’t have weight loss surgery to live on a diet for the rest of my life!’
Uhhh huh, oh yes we did!
When bariatric post ops utter this standard ‘hand on hips’ diet quote, it makes me <sigh> on the inside and roll my eyes on the outside. As if anyone needed the ultimate proof that ‘we took the easy way out’, this certainly hands it to them. After eating our way to 300 pounds and having major surgery to help fix things, we wouldn’t want to inconvenience ourselves with dieting, would we?
If anyone believes that you can have 7/8th’s of your stomach removed, or cut in half with intestines rerouted and reattached, or a silicon band looped over then cinched down to choke it off with a port implanted under your skin and then not have to make permanent dietary adjustments afterwards, they are in for a big surprise.
Rules of engagement
We do have to live on a diet the rest of our lives, albeit a healthy fresh food diet that’s really quite nice as long as we embrace it rather than fight it. There are also basic bariatric rules that some are very careful to respect and adhere to. Not a lot to ask of us given our benefits… no drinking with meals, no soda, take bariatric vitamins every day forever, generally avoid sugar, processed foods and consume foods lower in fat and carbs…. maintain a more healthy lifestyle than the one that grew us to MO status.
What the hell happened?
However, sometimes life gets tough, we lose control, revert back to old habits and BOOM we wake up one day to a fifty pound gain. We need a real diet… a full blown, take no prisoners, all capital letters DIET. Not a lifestyle. Not a ‘revision’. I had a healthy lifestyle going for twelve years before life went sideways and I gained weight. Most of us do well with our slim and happy little bariatric life until something happens. Since we live an entire lifetime with surgical changes, odds are that something will eventually happen that rattles a human to the very core – that’s how life works.
‘Everything in moderation, pass the kale!’
Another scenario is that as the years pass, the definition of ‘everything in moderation’ has expanded almost as fast as your waist (apple) or arse (pear) and its suddenly not working out so well for you. No one boldly chants ‘everything in moderation’ before diving into a kale salad, it’s much more likely to be heard before the top comes off the bucket of KFC or while the dessert menus are passed to us. It’s the lame excuse we use to eat the foods that we know created our obesity; the foods that once out of control got us to that qualifying BMI with the ugly word ‘morbid’ tacked on.
… and then you hit Bottom
Post ops get too far off track and often the only way back is to completely pull back and reboot. It is not nearly as dramatic a measure as the surgery itself – it does takes an ugly and harsh reality that clothes don’t fit and an opportunity that was once a source of great pride is rapidly slipping away – a true ‘ah-ha’ intervention moment.
Doing a quasi liquid diet is not something a 16 month post op needs to do, but is a plan that a 16 year post op may find themselves in need of. People who have gained back a lot of weight are not eating a lovely little spinach and egg white omelet for breakfast, they are stopping at Dunkin and grabbing a bagel and a vanilla latte. They have slipped back into old habits.
Wooo Hooo, 85 pounds GONE FOREVER!
When you are a new post op in the Honeymoon Zone, its hard to fathom that ANYONE can fly off plan or gain weight back and we tend to think anyone who does is an idiot. I’ve been there and said that. However, live some years with this surgery and age brings body and life changes that are not even on our radar in post op year three. If you are still shaking your head in disbelief that you could EVER gain back weight, you and I are speaking from completely different places. You are absolutely correct from what you have experienced so far and in ten years I am not saying you will gain it all back, but you will understand.
If you have flown completely off the rails, this plan will help you to QUICKLY get Back on Track and in control. I promise you. I was in that place you are in right now and it put me back in control of my weight and my life. The familiar smile is back when I look into the mirror and that’s a wonderful thing. Let’s get some of that gain off you and THEN we can try it again with ‘real food’.