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Bariatric Surgery and Weight Regain

Sunday, June 09, 2013

I posted this on a new team I've started - Fighting Post-Bariatric Weight Regain. I thought it was worthy of a blog entry, too. Maybe some of you can relate. Maybe some can't. Whether you're pro or con weight loss surgery, just know that we all struggle to lose the weight, and that weight regain is a very real thing and makes for a very difficult and humiliating experience. BUT THERE IS HOPE! YOU DON'T HAVE TO LET THE REGAIN WIN!

One of the most important decisions I've made in my life was to have bariatric surgery. There are so many types out there now. Each one, tailored to the individual by their medical team. Personally, I had the open Roux-n-Y procedure done. It is one among many approved procedures now. Something that everyone is warned about is the weight regain. Somehow, we put it in the back of our minds, determined that no matter what, it's not going to happen to ME. I believed that, too...until it did indeed happen to me. I'd lost a total of around 190 pounds by the beginning of 2008. That's when I started gaining the weight back. These were the basic rules I was (AM) to live by regarding my surgery:
1. Get between 80-90 grams of protein per day
2. Drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day (64 oz. total).
3. Don't drink 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after I eat (no drinking during eating either).
4. Take very small bites and chew incredibly well so that everything will pass through the opening at the bottom of the pouch.
5. Start with 1-2 oz. portions, each month adding to the portions until I finally come to an 8 oz. portion of food.
6. Very few carbs, except for natural, whole food carbs like fruits and very limited whole grains.
7. Vegetables when I can get them into my diet along with protein.
8. One multi-vitamin per day.
9. Two calcium supplements per day.
10. One SUPER vitamin B complex per day.
11. One biotin vitamin per day (1000-5000 mcg).
12. Eliminate carbonated beverages completely.
13. Oh yeah... and NO SWEETS and no fried foods (which cause dumping syndrome).

These were the most basic of rules. In 2008, I decided that I'd been a "good girl" and that it was time to try some new things to see if I could do them. So, first, I had a root beer. It was the best root beer I'd ever had. It was incredible! I could feel the gas building up, causing a lot of burps. I figured that with so many burps, there was no way that the gas would cause my pouch to stretch. How wrong I was!!! If I'd had just that one root beer, maybe it wouldn't have been a problem. But I didn't stop with one. I continued to have one every few days, then it was every day. Then it was several times per day. In addition, I started drinking with my food...the carbonated beverages, to be specific. Then, I started introducing sweets into my diet to determine how many sweets I could have before I had the dumping syndrome. These were ALL BAD IDEAS!

Basically, I stopped doing almost everything that I'd learned to do by experimenting with my pouch. In this experimentation, it expanded, allowing me to eat more and more. I'm not sure how big my pouch reached, but I could eat a lot more than a mere 8 oz! By the end of 2009, I'd gained about 100 pounds back!!!! Ouch! Talk about a blow to my health, my ego, my total self-image. It was horrible.

If you've had or are thinking of having bariatric surgery and you're asking yourself, "When will I be able to ___________ normally again?", then you're simply not ready. Although I thought I was ready, and may have been at the time...I undid my preparedness by experimenting with the "what if's". The surgery is a FOREVER decision, not to be taken lightly. It's a huge commitment.

It's really simple... the whole key to weight loss, whether you do it with weight loss surgery, or without, it takes the same thing...lifestyle change. Some of the changes needed to successfully use the tool of weight loss surgery are much more strict than weight loss without surgery (depending on the type of surgery), but if you make the decision for the surgery, you must make the decision to stick to those rules or risk weight regain. Either way you go, there are obstacles to be overcome.

Lifestyle change. That's the key. No matter what form your journey takes, it's small steps to great outcomes.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for this blog. I had the RNY on Jan 2014.
    2401 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12331628
    This is all so true. If only I had continued to follow the rules with the same diligence I had in the beginning, I wouldn't have gained so much weight back. Now, I'm focusing on eating healthy and trying to work getting exercise in.

    Thank you for starting this team. It helps to know there are other people who are dealing with the same issues.
    2674 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14234676
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are right on the target with this blog, everything you said is so true. We're given a tool that's all. We have to do the work and use that tool in the right way.
    2701 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13422983

    You are so right.... many times people assume that having weight loss surgery is the easy way to lose weight, but the reality is that IT IS STILL HARD WORK.... and you still have to make lifestyle changes and you have to stick with them if you want to maintain your weight loss...

    emoticon Don't give up, keep on reaching for your goals!!
    2706 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11848595
    Am I stretching my pouch? | SparkPeople

    Check this out.
    2707 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11848595
    Well I had a long reply tediously typed and lost it.I would Google chronic fatique syndrum. I fit the criterior like a glove. Have you had a bone density test? My rheumologist did one on me and I have osteoporosis, osteopenia and arthritis.

    I wish you peace through this battle. emoticon
    2707 days ago
    Wow, that is so interesting. I have never considered any surgical procedure to lose weight. Like non surgical weight control rules and life style change are obviously important. But being human it is normal for us to test the water to see what the boundaries are. To see what we can manage or what we can get away with. You have done so well and must be so proud of yourself. You have shown that obstacles are only a wrong turn, and they are no reason to quit. Good on you for perservering and not giving up emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2929 days ago
  • JEAN111766
    You really helped me understand more about how the weight loss surgery works... describing your pouch made it very clear.
    I'm sorry you had your setback, but so happy you are getting things back under control now.
    One thing that made the most sense in your do's and don'ts list... whole grains, no carbonated sodas and limiting the sweets... this is essential for all lifestyle changes... something I am trying to get solidly into my head and hourly thinking.

    2930 days ago
    This is an amazing blog- exactly what I needed to read.
    Thank you so much for posting..
    Wishing you all the best on your journey. Will you check out the internet for the five day pouch test to see exactly how much you can eat now, and if you can retrain your pouch?
    Very best wishes
    2933 days ago
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