‘I didn’t have weight loss surgery to live on a diet!’

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’.

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17 thoughts on “‘I didn’t have weight loss surgery to live on a diet!’

  1. Sue Lepouttre says:

    I had gastric bypass in 2006. I lost about 120 lbs. I had tummy tuck in 2008 which they took off about 6 lbs. of “over hang”.  I was down to 136 lbs and that was perfect for me.  I have maintained that weight until 2013. I had a terrible fall and now I have a spinal cord injury. Not as bad as some people.  I can’t walk as normal people. I joined a gym to try to excercise but it’s very difficult.  Since my fall I have gained about 35 lbs. I hate it ! I want to lose it and get back on track.  I need to come up with a food plan to help me as I am not as active as I was.

  2. BARBARA ARONSON says:

    I had gastric by pass surgery in 2003, lost 92 pounds and actually lost to much weight I was at 121 lbs. and didn’t like that weight on me, I put about 20 lbs. on and was happy with weighing 140-145 lbs. I also have type 1 Diabetes, I do have a hard time to put my blood sugar under control but I try to get it some what in the control range. So about 9-12 months ago I started gaining weight about 20 lbs. after losing my job, and have been trying to loss it was no success, I need help! I don’t want this weight gain to keep happening.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Barbara, you don’t need as strict a ‘boot camp’ intervention for twenty pounds. If you add one or two of the HIIT exercises and just keep our food journal, you should be able to get a handle on your gain! – Susan Maria

  3. belita says:

    I need to lose 75 to 80 lbs I have liver problems the meds. they had on made me sleep all the time I gained this in 6 months . I never been this size I need help bad to get this off asp. my muscle mass in gone it all turned to fat…

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Belita, I am sorry you have had medical issues that have hurt your weight loss! Eating Less and Exercising more is the old fashioned way to lose weight but we are lucky that our bariatric surgery is still a strong tool to help us. Welcome to BE. We will do anything we can to help you. Please join our Online Support Group at http://www.beforeandafterhelp.com for additional help with your weight loss. – Susan Maria

  4. Cindy Morton says:

    I had lapband surgery back in 2008 and after my surgery I lost 167 lbs. Them got real sick, not from the lapband, I had other problems and had to have all my fluid removed. Now I have gained all my weight back and need to get back on track. Please if anyone has gone through this please let me know how to get back to where I was.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Cindy, I misread your post. I didnt see that it was NOT the band that made you sick. If your band is intact, get it refilled and start over bella!!! Then you can join us for the workout component and you will have a restriction good as new. – Susan Maria

  5. Carole says:

    This website is exactly what I’ve been looking for.  I had gastric bypass in 2003 and lost 155 pounds.  I am 25 pounds up and amazed at how much 25 pounds can do to a person.  I’ve always felt like a failure because I couldn’t lose the weight on my own and had to have gastric bypass.  I weighed 300 pounds when I had it.  When my husband died of cancer, I felt that I would die also if I didn’t lose the weight, so I had the surgery.  I think it was the best decision for me, but not without the guilt of not enough character to lose it on my own.  I would like to get down to between 125 and 130, I have a small frame.  I am about to get into some yoga and slowly start the exercise process. Thank you for posting this site, I look forward to following it daily.

  6. Betty says:

    I had my gastric bypass in 2002 when I was 24 and a tummy tuck in 2003. I was 386 lbs at that time. Over a period of 20 yrs+ I gained all of it back but 50 lbs. I’m 56 now and still not to goal but I’ve lost alot of what I gained again … I got down to 202 but I’m currently at 219 now. Yes, we get the results but if we don’t change our lifestyles and what we eat…. It will not stay off! Stay motivated and let’s get where we’re going! 

  7. kathy schaefer says:

    I had lap band in 2011.lost 65lbs in  a yr..Have maintained it  till my thyroid Dr (had thyroid cancer in 2003 and had it all out)started lowering my meds the last 2yrs because it’s been 11yrs…and not good to have to high of meds for to long…slowly some weight has came back on…and I know it’s not ALL because of the meds..can’t eat lots at one time but I do eat some  “slider” foods when I’m tired or stressed..about 20lbs…I don’t like it and WILL not let myself gain anymore..Thanks for posting your site I’m going to follow your plan and get back on track before summer..I just turned 65 and feel much better at the lower weight…Thanks 

  8. Megan says:

    I had bypass 2007. I lost 100 then put 50 back on. I threw up everyday for 2years. I never can eat dense foods. I have had an EGD recently and my pouch is normal. I know I graze. Help!!

  9. Lou Ann Leesque Skidgel says:

    I had the gastric by pass in 2003 and lost 160 lbs. I have weighed 190-196 up till 1 year ago I’ve gained 25lbs. it seemed like it was overnight-I was put on prednisone for two years and never gained weight till I was taken of it. I have tried to avoid gaining weight. I have all kinds of health issues and having a hard time to take it of. Do you have any suggestions for me? I was so proud of my self that I kept the weight of but now i’m so angry at myself for gaining 25lbs. I hope I can find some help somewhere as we don’t have any support groups near by. HELP!!! AND Thank You.

  10. Lynn Wills says:

    I am in the process of going through all the steps to get to where I can have the gastric sleeve done. surgery is scheduled for sometime in April I am looking for to it but kinda scared all at the same time. maybe I can use this support group to help me get through this I am at 383 lbs the last time I was weighed in I’m hoping to get down to at least 150-160 lbs like I used to be. I am only 49 so I hope that I can do good with this surgery but it will be hard when you have people they call me their friend that sits down and eats ice cream in front of you and aLL IN THE SAME BREATHE THEY ARE LIKE WE WILL HELP YOU WITH THIS WE WON’T EAT THAT KIND OF STUFF IN FRONT OF YOU KNOWING THAT YOU WANT IT TOO then I go out of the room and I come back and they eating ice cream they just couldn’t wait until I left and went home and then they wonder why you get mad at them

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Lynn, we are the ones who need to change and find NEW foods to love, not those around us. However, many of us end up with different friends when the relationships change and we no longer eat ice cream as part of what we do as friends. If the ice cream eaters are spouses or partners it is tough as they do need to support our efforts and we need to draw the line. A compromise is to ask ‘that while I am adjusting from surgery, I can’t have ice cream in the house’. At some point you do have to learn to be happy with being thinner and having a small dish of strawberries. Draw your happiness from being smaller rather than the bowl of ice cream. It is hard but it’s mostky in our heads. Please join our Onlibe Support Group at http://www.beforeandafterhelp.com as there are many there to help you make life adjustments. – SML

  11. Irene says:

    Hi everyone. Had gastric bypass surgery 4 years ago. I lost 115 lbs. I never reached goal, which for me would have been around 150-160lbs. I have broken all the rules of our surgery. I eat more then I should and I graze all the time. I do try to eat clean and I cook low fat most of the time. I have started to gain weight (about 27 lbs). I need to get back on track. My biggest problem is the grazing in the evening. Don’t know how to fight the cravings. Any suggestions would be so appreciated. Feel so guilty and ashamed that I can’t loose this weight. Feel like a total failure sometimes.

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