Im fairly new here and am looking for some advice or some support because it seems nobody in life gets what Im going through and so hard to explain to people who just have no clue what it feels like. Let me first start off by introducting myself. I am a 21 year old student, who feels like im trapped in a much older body. I have been actively trying to lose weight for a long period of time, and have had success. In about August of last year I weighed 178 lbs. and I worked damn hard to get there, I was always a big girl and had reached my highest weight of 212. I was on top of the world I knew there was still a long process and a long road ahead but I felt like I could achieve this. I had tryed numerous diets, Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, but I understand the concept I know what needs to be done, I know its calories in vs. calories out. I understand that part. I just started to count calories and would go to WW meetings for weigh ins, and support, the little stickers you get when you lose 5 lbs. I wasnt eating the best of foods but it was much better than what it was before. My diet was high in sodium but It was something that I could do and something that felt like I could keep doing. It was mainly lean cuisines, but I started to add in lean meants eat breakfast drink water add in some exersize I was getting good at it. I really was!! I knew how to eat when I went out, I knew where to stop if I was on the run and wanted to eat fast food, I knew the calorie concept of everything I put in I knew the healthiest options that were out there. I wasnt perfect but I really felt I knew what I was doing.
Then I dont know what happened, I had a big birthday that came up so I kinda felt like I could cheat a little bit. That little cheat has turned into a 7 month disaster that has made me feel so uncomfortable in my own skin. I also started a new job and just started to go back to school, I felt like my lifestyle change went completly out the window. I forgot everything that I had stressed over for so long, I didnt know what has going on. About 2 months ago I started looking into Weight Loss Surgery because I promise I didnt feel right anymore, I didnt know who I was anymore, I had always been that girl on a diet, and for a while it was working for me. I now weight 228 on my little 5'2 frame. I am completly miserable I get winded walking around my house. Im out of breath from doing the most simplyist of things, and I know Im to young to be doing this to myself. I was in complete denial. I refused to buy bigger clothes. I ache all over I hate getting dressed in the morning, I am just miserable right now. Once I started gaining weight I didnt stop because I had been thinking of surgery and knew I needed to meet the minimum requirment of a BMI of 40 so my insurance would cover since I have no other medical problems. So I looked into WLS, I had my consultation with a surgeon who had just done bypass on a co-worker and had looked great and didnt have any complications, so I met him. I need 3 months supervised diet and am already 1 1/2 months. I am just so confused right now. I keep going back in my head between the lap-band to bypass to just getting off my bum and doing something about it. I dont know if I want the surgery I am scared to death of any kind of surgery, and keep reading and reading and letting it scare me off, but then I can actually imagine me there happy, healthy and thin. But then I see the other part of it, of actually going through with it, and something terribly wrong happening, and knowing that I could have prevented this from happening. Why couldnt I stop stuffing my face with junk food, when Im not even hungry or keep doing this to my self. Its self destruction at its best. And I know the emotional attachment I have with food, I just absolutley love it. All of it, I dont care what kind it is how bad for me, I have just been on a 7 month binge all out been and dont know where to go from here. Not one person can understand what Im going through in my life, the only support I get is from the support groups for the weight loss surgery and I cant help but think that Im in the wrong place, and this isnt for me. Theres people there that are twice my age and size, and are just thinking to themselves you know I wish I was her size,but Im obese I have a BMI of 40. I feel miserable I look unhappy. And feel every pound on this body that I have put on there in the couple of months, I cant go on like this anymore. And dont know where to start again. I guess Im just looking for some advice to get me going or some support or just anykind of anything that can give me a little chance of some light at the end of this miserable experience. I am having big doubts about surgery, I know it is a personal desicion, but cant help but feel that its not the right one for me. I want to get on this kick I was on when I started months ago, counting calories, going to the grocery store getting excited about new food finds, and looking at the back of packages again, ( I cant remember the last time I have been to the grocery store other than something other than water or soda ) it has been all fast food, take out, just horrible food. Im getting bigger by the day and dont know where to start!!
Thanks for reading!! Sorry its so long, just feel a little better getting this out.
04-12-2009, 07:48 PM
Whatever you decide to do, I suggest that you find a counselor. I think you will benefit from it, and it is usually a requirement if you do decide to go through with surgery.
I can't tell you what path is right for you. I CAN tell you that it IS possible to overcome emotional eating and to lose a significant amount of weight (93 lbs.) without surgery.
You CAN change YOUR life. The key word there is YOU. This weight will not disappear (even with surgery) without a commitment from YOU.
I have found that certain trigger foods will cause me to go on an eating binge. I need to avoid those foods. I need to structure my eating and stick to my plan. You definitely know what to do, you just need to do it.
You must reach deep inside yourself and realize that can and must do what is needed to change.
You are young, and that is a huge blessing on this journey. Come here for support - the "chicks in control" threads might be right for you - check them out!
So, stop, breathe - forgive yourself for the past, and put together plan. Then STICK TO IT!
You will be in my prayers!
04-12-2009, 07:55 PM
Your story really brings to reality how weight loss and maintenance is a lifelong endeavor. I lost over 120 pounds and felt really in control, but since then gained back 20+ pounds and am trying to find the 'sweet spot' again. I know that "one cookie" won't be the end of the world, but sometimes opening the door on old habits really brings them back!! You are not alone.
I can't tell you if surgery is the option for you, but I have frequently heard of people discussing it as a last option when they can't lose on their own. It doesn't sound like you can say that yet. I advise you to do TONS of research before making any such decision. And if I read you right you said you gained weight to qualify for the surgery? If so, I do think you need to talk to someone... remember that surgery is just a tool. You still do have to change your eating habits for life. It helps to know where you are mentally, too.
Do check out the Weight Loss Surgery forum here.
04-12-2009, 09:29 PM
Hi Stacey! I'm glad you found 3FC. It is a great place to find support from people who actually understand.
I read your post and really felt the need to reply.
My mother was morbidly obese at 310 pounds and only five feet tall. She had been "chubby" since she was a child and finally her bad habits had made so many health problems that surgery looked like the only answer. It was a major desicion and is not to be taken lightly.
After surgery, she required a lot of care and could not keep down much more then popsicles and we could not have any food near her because if she smelled it, she got very sick. After she got adjusted to the COMPLETELY different lifestyle of supplments three times a day(including NINE childrens vitamins not to mention the 15-20 more) she had to take. Then she had to choke down chalky protein drinks and learn to hardly eat, just only the protein drinks.
Obviously, she did not get to 310 pounds by not enjoying food and after losing 135 pounds, she began to want to eat more and different foods. After you have weight loss surgery you are not allowed to have any suger or milk and losing so rapidly can cause lots of problems like Anemia (My mother is) and lots of excess skin which can cause lots of uncomfortle times. (Another thing my mother lives with) She has gained back 45 of those pounds by not sticking to it because it is not a cure, it takes a lot of hard work and though it was a good desicion for her because it had been a life long struggle that had brought on many problems, it is not just a magical cure.
If you actually were trying to gain weight so that you would qualify for surgery, I would definatly let your surgeon and a dietician know because that is not really what suregery is about. It's when all other options have been exausted and it's more of a happy life or short misrible life desicion.
Please make sure you are absolutely ready for whatever you choose.
04-12-2009, 09:42 PM
One thing that really struck me about your post was your age; you're 21. As a 44-year-old, I know that when I was 21 I wasn't thinking about how my decisions would be affecting my life 20 years later, 40 years later, 60 years later. I was more about living for the moment.
So I just caution you to think about how the decision to have surgery, and the subsequent modified way of eating, will be one that you will be living with for the rest of your life. I don't know the first thing about the surgery so I can't give you any advice but I just suggest that you think about the long-term effects of any decision of that magnitude. You also sound very torn; a decision of this magnitude should only be made (in my opinion) if you are absolutely certain that you are doing the right thing.
04-12-2009, 10:44 PM
Surgery, especially if you're talking gastric bypass and not lapband, is a very extreme solution, with permanent risks and consequences. I understand the feeling that drastic measures are needed, but I'd suggest a few experiments before surgery.
The first is a detailed food journal, where you keep track of not just your food and calories (whether you stay on plan or binge - write it all down) and also write down what you are thiking and feeling physically and emotionally at the time - keep track of your menstrual cycle, as well - and see if you can detect some patterns. Do some foods trigger binges, cravings or hunger? Do you see a pattern associated with your menstrual cycle? Do you tend to eat most of your calories during a certain time of the day? Are there emotional triggers? Does sleep quantity or quality play a role (for example do you eat in response to fatigue, rather than rest or sleep?)
I suspected for years that a large part of my overeating was hormonal - since crazy hunger was part of my PMS symptoms. Using birth control like Seasonique to have fewer periods significantly helped me. I also found that lower carb eating gave me much greater control over my hunger.
I'm not saying that you have to jump to the conclusion that what's helped for me, would help for you (I wouldn't recommend anyone immediately start with a low carb plan, if calorie counting worked equally as well). I feel the least restrictive plan that works is the best one, but to find that plan, you have to experiment - and the food/ hunger/ environment/ thoughts/ emotions log can help you find your patterns. Maybe surgery will be your ultimate choice, but maybe there are less-restrictive choices that would work for you, that you just haven't tried yet.
04-12-2009, 11:56 PM
Hi stacey. I feel exactly like you do. I weight more than you do. I weigh 255 the most ive ever weighed. Im 5'6. I have done everything. The diet that did the most for me was quick weight loss. But its extremely expensive and once your done with the diet youll gain it all back. I concidered weight loss surgery and after reading about it and talking to a siurgeon and a friends mom who had it, the surgeru wasnt an option for me. I love to eat and honestly dont want to have to eat liquids and be sick everytime I want to eat something a little fattening. Right now im counting calories and eating healthy. I know its very hard to "diet" when noone around u is as heavy. I live with to underweight guys. My fiance and his dad. There both skinny and can eat whatever they want, But theres a time where u have to just say im done living like this. So yesterday I got off my fat *** (excuse my french) went to the grocery store and was there for 2 hours picking the right foods. Today I went jogging for 45 minutes and it felt amazing. I will help you Stacey. We can be weight loss buddies. I need someone there to help me as well
04-13-2009, 12:01 AM
I agree with above posts.It is a major surgery.Unfortunately I am a homecare nurse and usually only see the post surgical complications.I have taken care of many.I am not knocking WLS.I am telling you the complications are real.I have many patients who are malnurished and malabsorbed.I also see patients for wound infections.Seek advice outside of the medical profession.I would guess this is a great place to start.Talk to patients who have been where you are.They will give you the truth.Hang in there.
04-13-2009, 12:31 AM
Hi CountryGal! :)
I'd also strongly recommend you do some counseling for a bit first before doing something drastic as bypass surgery.
Pls PM me when you feel like it! I've never done bypass surgery, but I am a recovering complusive overeater, so I understand how addictive food is.
04-13-2009, 12:00 PM
Hi Stacey, I hope you take up Breanna's offer to become a weight loss buddy with her. Of course, it is your decision, but I would hate to see you have surgery at such a young age, and honestly, from your post, I don't think you are ready for it. The amount of weight you want to lose may seem impossible but just read some of the posts here. There are people who have lost so much more the old-fashioned way, and it's inspirational, because if they can do it, you can do it! You can do it! Don't give up! Research the glycemic index and learn about blood sugar and insulin levels. This will help you learn to eat the right foods so that you don't feel hungry throughout the day. All calories are not the same and you don't have to limit yourself to carrots and salads. Don't give in Stacey. You don't have to be in a rush. You're young and you have lots of time to turn things around. Good luck!
04-13-2009, 12:54 PM
You do realize that with the surgery you will need to follow a strict diet comprised mainly of proteins the rest of your life. It is not a free ticket to eat anything and everything. It is definitely an not easy way out. At 21 you couldn't have possible exhaust all other options.
You really need to get some therapy before taking a step like this. If you can't control your eating now, how will you control it after surgery?
04-13-2009, 01:23 PM
Hey hun, first of all, I am really glad you decided to ask for advice, I know that can be a hard thing to do but trust me everyone here understands. I was having a hard time last week and these girls picked me back up and got me back on track. Anyhow, I am 29, I weigh 289lbs and am 5'8", so trust me I understand. I have always been the big girl too, of course looking back I wish I was the size I was at 21 now, even though I thought I was a whale back then! I am willing to be a weight loss buddy if you need one, I wish I was closer and could help more. I also looked into lap-band surgery, talked to the surgeon, but then I had to be totally honest with myself. We didn't get this way overnight, I know I am this way because I like to eat, I just know that it's ok to enjoy eating I just need to eat differently. I know that personally, being able to eat 1-3oz of food at a time, I would be miserable and I would not stick to it for the rest of my life. So for me I can tell you right now it would be a temporary fix and I would eventually get right back where I am and be even more unhealthy then I already am. I hate that these surgerys are all over TV now and made out to be a quick easy fix, it's not an easy fix, it's a HUGE lifestyle change. I feel we are lucky to be deciding to take control of our lives and our weight at a young age, we can do this without drastic surgery, we can do this without eating 1oz of food at a time. What really drove it home for me, I took a shot glass and filled it with food, that's 1oz, look at that and tell me if you will be happy eating that as a meal the rest of your life. You sound like you like to eat out like I do sometimes, why eat out when you can only take 3-4 bites of food? That's a social thing for me that I am not willing to give up. I think you just need to decide if the lifestyle that comes from having the surgery is something you would be willing to do, for me it's not. I know you are feeling lost and hopeless and think this is the only way out but it's not. You have done it before and you can do it again. Please think your decision through before you take such a drastic move, I am here for you if you need a friend.
04-13-2009, 02:00 PM
Girl I know how you feel. Though I'm going to be totally honest and say I don't recommend the WLS. I was 235 at my heaviest and I'm just an inch taller than you. I think you just have to realize that cheating once doesn't have to turn into a 7 month downhill spiral. Take yesterday- it was easter- I had some easter candy- it was good- I didn't feel guilty- and for dinner I made grilled chicken, salad, and grilled veggies. And it was delicious and I didn't go over calories because I compensated with a lower calorie dinner- besides the chicken, the salad and grilled vegetables were like 100 calories because I used lemon and spices for the salad and garlic for the veggies :)
My friend's mother ended up dying from WLS. People can STILL die today. The best quote I ever read was "what fits your schedule better? An hour a day of exercise or being dead 24 hours a day." BAM since I read that quote I've worked out more, ate better, and so on. I don't want to be dead, I don't want to go through a crazy surgery and have to take all sorts of vitamins the rest of my life and possibly still gain weight (I have heard people eventually gain the weight back).
I think if you get to the root of why you overeat you'll change things around and won't have to worry about WLS :)
Good luck girl you can do it!
04-13-2009, 03:47 PM
Thank you for responding to my post. I just felt very torn between in all. And I know I can do this on my own because I have before!! And I actually miss it, the trips to the grocery store was like an adventure for me, I loved finding new things and making veggies that Ive never even heard of before. It was who I was.
I know the downside to WLS, I work in a hospital and have seen 2 women in the ICU in the last month from complications. One from the band and one from bypass. I dont think I have had the proper time to fully think it through, and would like to start strong today (which I have) and start getting back on track with calorie counting and exersize. I was off work today and slept in so when I woke up this morning it was already lunch time. Instead of Taco Beuno which would have been my 1st choice. Im having a salad from chick-fil-a, I still know those can be bad, but I have my own low-cal dressing still in the house. Im planning a day of me today and just getting everything started back up again. A big trip to the grocery store is in store for today. There has not been food in my house for months. Just take out boxes and fast food bags. I need some real food. This junk makes you feel horrible 1000's and 1000's of calories to consume like that is just not healthy. Im a little in to my day today and feel so much better than what I would have felt if I consumed 1200 calories in one sitting on one meal or the 400 I had on this big delicious salad that I just had. Fast food is going out the window for now until I can get a grip back on things. Thanks for reading, and thanks for you all responding. I really appreciated it, and got some insight from some other people who felt like I have at one point and changed it, or in the process of doing so right now. Reading some of the poss here and very inspiring to see that people can do this and that youre not alone.
Thank you so much,
I tryed to PM you back but I went to send it and it wouldnt let me because I didnt have the minimum posts yet. So here is the PM I wrote.
I think that would be awesome. See ive never had anyone to be accountable to because I swear I dont think through my whole life Ive had one overweight friend, so I havent had anyone in the same boat as me, or could imagine how I feel. So youre 20? Yeah a year ago I was about I got down to 178 lbs a month before my 21st b-day, and I let myself go off track because I gelt like I wanted to have fun and I couldnt if I was counting calories or trying to stay on track. I wanted to have fun, and I quess I didnt associate having fun with being skinny, but long story short since I have turned 21 I have been off track, and that was in September!! Well I look forward to meeting you. And I know it can be done, I have done it before. But something you just need a swift kick in the rear to let you know that you can do it!!
04-13-2009, 06:45 PM
Keep in mind:
1. Bypass surgery is permanent.
2. Bypass surgery is only effective in the long term IF you have constant medical followup AND if you follow the restrictive diet.
3. It is possible to return to a high weight after surgery by over-stretching your stomach pouch (see Ron from this season's Biggest Loser...he had gastric bypass in 1995 at 520 lbs, got down to 360 lbs and then bounced back up to 430 lbs at the start of this season. He ate his way through his bypass, and how has to lose weight the "usual" way while managing all the consequences of his bypass surgery. Is he really ahead of the game? Perhaps not...)
4. If you are prepared to follow the strict diet post surgery, why not follow a strict diet pre-surgery and perhaps avoid the permanent issues that you will have to deal with post-surgery.
Gastric bypass is appropriate for a number of people: just make sure you know exactly what you are getting into and what your life-time complications will be.
04-13-2009, 07:10 PM
Good for you, Stacey! Oh, I am so relieved! And I am so proud of you for picking yourself up and turning things around! What a great attitude! I know you are going to feel wonderful when you see that you have done it on your own, and you ARE going to do it! You have lots of support here and hopefully, Breanna will see your note to her, because I think becoming WL buddies can help you both stay on track. One thing you may want to do is set some mini-goals. That way, you'll get to feel the success of your efforts along the way and it will help you stay motivated. Good luck and please stay in touch!