Chances are you are doing these things too. It took me three years to stop gaining weight and start losing as I kept repeating the same mistakes. Once I took a step back and re-evaluated my habits, I saw that I was doing many good things but not the right way. It now makes sense why I stayed the same weight for years and then a painful regain. After the Honeymoon is Over, we are just like everyone else. Losing weight is no longer magic or automatic, we have to fight for each pound unless we learn the subtle shift and work smarter, not harder.
1. I skipped breakfast
I am not a morning person and even though I know better I have always had difficulty eating in the first half hour of my morning. My old pre op dieting habits whispered that if I were gaining weight I needed to eat less, so I often would not eat until 2:00 in the afternoon. Not only did this slow down my metabolism, but I would end up feeling nauseous and compensate by choosing easy to grab, higher fat slider foods. This bad habit was one reason for my weight gain. When I started eating or drinking a protein breakfast plus mid morning protein snack, the pounds started to drop. I now pour my coffee and make an Inspire Vanilla protein drink at the same time, to drink before I start work. If for some reason I can’t do that, I eat a Cinnamon Protein Square.
2. No Exercise
When I first had my RNY, I started walking but then the weight loss kicked in and I was losing even without exercising so I didn’t bother.
Years later when I began gaining weight, I would start walking but would get easily discouraged when I didn’t lose. Two months ago I started walking fast on a treadmill but this time I started High Intensity Intervals (called HIIT) which are short bursts of running like a madwoman while walking, rather than keeping a steady pace. Then my husband kept bugging me to add a different exercise on alternating days. By doing the HIIT method of aerobics for 20 minutes and adding just ten minutes of intense repetitive weight exercises on 3 days it was like the light switch flipped on and the number on the scale began to move. Finally.
The last thing we want to do is **groan** work out! That is why we had weight loss surgery. That has been my truth for years and unless you are one of those folks running around doing half marathons, it’s your truth too. I get it and it’s our little secret. We thought we could have surgery and get by on it. We can’t. If you are happy where you are, I am happy for you too. If you are not at goal weight and you are not thrilled about it, don’t wait until you gain it all back… make up your mind to get up and move. I promise you will see results with this program. I am the biggest slug in the world when it comes to exercise and I hate sweating and if I can do this, so can you.
You just have to push yourself enough to see a result and then that feeling of pride kicks in and helps you. Once the BIG rock begins rolling we gain momentum.
3. Carb Justification
Crackers, bread, cereal, pasta, rice, toast, potatoes, tortillas were all gone from my life after my surgery but then I began making allowances for whole grain bread or protein Special K, or a few organic fingerling potatoes, or a handmade tortilla, or brown rice at the sushi bar. No bueno. Even complex carbs are still carbs and do not leave room in a tiny surgical stomach for lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruit.
I finally wrote down what I was eating for one whole week and determined that while I was eating good food, my diet was too carb heavy for someone who had bariatric surgery and a ‘bad’ metabolism that does not process carbs the same as other humans. Once I cleaned the pantry of foods that were healthy for a normal person but not for me, it gave me more room for salads and fresh produce and that’s when I noticed a change in how I looked and felt.
4. Grazing and Unhealthy Portions
I had and still have a kitchen full of food stocked from Fresh Market and Whole Foods, all high quality, nothing processed… cashews, unsweetened peanut butter, 3 kinds of imported cheese, dried unsweetened sour cherries, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, jerky, pistachios and turkey breast. I had not flown off the rails in the thirteen years since my surgery and still did not touch sugary or really off limits foods, but I still ate bites here and there of healthy foods that I didn’t measure or account for. BANG.
The pouch only works for portion control if you fill it! If you eat single bites or small noshes all day long, the food does not press against the sides of the pouch and send the fullness signal to the brain. One can gain weight by eating super healthy freshly ground organic unsweetened peanut butter when its spooned mindlessly from the container.
When I got out the small dishes and plates that I once used for gauging & measuring and started paying attention to ‘bites’, I started losing again.
5. Night Eating
I am not an early person, which is why I don’t like breakfast, BUT at midnight I come alive which is why its easy for me to mindlessly eat a few hundred calories while watching late night TV. At the same time that I forced myself to eat a protein breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up, I also stopped making 1am kitchen runs for a slice of Swiss cheese or a few cashews. The number that flashes on the treadmill or elliptical machine showing Calories Burned at the end of my HIIT time reminds me that 300 calories takes a LOT to burn but just a few chews to swallow. If I can’t stop myself from eating I am able to steer my choice of foods to a more solid protein like the leftover chicken from dinner that is self limiting and not fun to munch on.
6. Waiting for Calm
I could copy and paste endless motivational quotes and attribute them to people who didn’t say them but I won’t. It is going to sound like it though. Life is one big long trip and if I kept waiting for things to slow down and be a little calmer so I could focus on losing weight, I would still be waiting. Sometimes life has drama beyond belief and I had to get it though my head that if it was not changing that I needed to move on. We all have wonderful times and we all have sad times (good, bad, high, low, fast, slow) that are part of that same trip AS THAT IS CALLED LIFE.
Today is already playing out and for tomorrow to be more in line with what we would like it to be, we have to make it happen. Richard Simmons was not going to knock on my door and make me sweat to the oldies with him every day. Here is a much better visual… Joe Manganiello was not going to pick me up on his way to the gym and help me lose weight. I had to do it myself and I had to take that first step.
I fibbed… here are a whole bunch of motivational quotes attributed to Jim Rohm that are exceptional and apply to the subject. If you are still reading, you will love them. Then you can make a conscious decision to Start. Change. Now. With me.
If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.
The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.
Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
Either you run the day or the day runs you.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.
Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?