Weight Loss Surgery - So am I truly a failure?

View Full Version : So am I truly a failure?

10-15-2009, 08:49 AM
here I am 3.5 weeks out and NOT losing. I lost about 10 pounds before 2 weeks out. Now. NOTHING.

I'm eating what i'm supposed to be eating. I'm not drinking as much as I could but i'm doing my best.

I'm not getting a ton of exercise but I am doing some light walking.

you know someone has to fail at this surgery right...

10-15-2009, 09:13 AM
I'm sure you're not failing!!! I don't know much about WLS, but I do know that you are very dedicated and determined. Please don't worry to much, and talk to your dr. if you have worries! :hug:

10-15-2009, 09:19 AM
I also know nothing about WLS, but I do know that surgery of any kind can cause you to swell and retain fluids, and that can be a factor for several weeks. If you aren't drinking as much as recommended, that could be causing some of the fluid retention.

Keep following the directions for eating and try to up your fluids to the recommended level, and I'm sure the results will follow!

10-15-2009, 09:45 AM
WLS or not, a week and a half without a loss is not failure (even this early out, especially this early out because of the probability of post-surgery edema and inflammation).

I thought you had the lapband, am I right? I was watching on a lapband documentary not long ago, that some doctors are more conservative than others about the first fill of the band. So you might just need to have the fill adjusted (it seems to be a better outcome than doctors who are overly agressive in the first fill - even a sip of water will make the patient vomit).

Even if the fill was perfect, there's still post-operative edema and inflammation. I think before you can call it a plateau (and long before you can call it failure) it really has to be going on more than a couple weeks.

But, talk to your doctor(s). See what he/she/they think.

10-15-2009, 09:56 AM
no I did not have lapband I had RNY with 150 cm bypassed.

10-15-2009, 10:30 AM
No no no no no no! Don't make me bring out my big long rant about the term 'failure'!!!

You had surgery less than a month ago! I don't care what kind of surgery it was ... that's hard on a body!

You know that you still have areas that you can tweak. Go ahead and tweak!

:hug: Be calm my child. Time is on your side.:hug:

10-15-2009, 10:31 AM
My mistake. Bypass being far more serious surgery, I would suspect edema/inflammation even more. Being you're not able to get in the water you would like, it may be that you just haven't reached the "tipping point" at which water flushes water.

10-15-2009, 10:42 AM
well i have to get 64g of protein a day and 64 oz of fluids. i can't drink for 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after a meal... and i can't gulp i have to sip...

it's darn hard but i'm trying.

10-15-2009, 10:55 AM
I didn't mean to suggest you're not doing everything right. If I understand it correctly, the recovery/healing process uses water. Edema and inflammation are part of the healing process - they can become signs of something going wrong (but only because they're a sign of the body trying to heal itself). Unless you have symptoms of infection (which I'm sure your doctor has given you signs to look for), or this goes on for weeks and weeks, this is probably entirely normal.

I think that this soon out, you may be losing fat, but water gain is camoflaging the loss. The "tipping point" as I called it, may not come for a while, because the body may NEED the extra water right now. Besides which, water gain issues aside, there is still so much that could be going on, that a premonition of failure is very premature. Yo don't even know yet whether you're going to lose steadily, or will you lose in staggered "whooshes," or by some combination. You could wake up tomorrow and see a 5, 10 lbs or more loss - that happens to be and I haven't had wls.

If you're concerned though, talk to your doctor, and hopefully members who've had similar experiences will share, so that you know it doesn't portend failure. I could be wrong, but my understanding of the bypass experience, is that those who "fail" do so after they've lost a significant amount of weight. They regain the weight later, they don't never lose it in the first place. Again though, your doctor, and members more experienced with wls, can hopefully give you more reassurances.

10-15-2009, 11:03 AM
well it's the doc I'm scared of... if i don't show a decent loss I'll get 'yelled' at.

i also did have that horrible reaction to the steri strips and I was on steroids for 6 days. OMG I was so sick with that.

Shannon in ATL
10-15-2009, 11:11 AM
Steroids... I bet those just added to the water weight.

When I had my BA earlier this year I weighed 10 pounds more the afternoon after surgery than I did the morning of. With next to no eating over the next few days I was almost 20 pounds up by the Saturday after a Wednesday procedure, from swelling and water and such. And, my surgery was much less invasive than yours. Took almost a month for all of that to settle out for me. I would have to imagine that it would take at least a month for your system to equalize back out, too, especially with the challenges you have on the consumption.

I'm sure that you are doing just fine honey. Your body just needs to recover a little before it can buckle back down. :hug:

Other than the loss question, how are you feeling?

10-15-2009, 11:14 AM
Between healing from surgery and healing from the steri strips ordeal, it really doesn't surprise me that you are stalled. If you read back through some of the older posts, you'll see a recurring theme - afraid of failing because they haven't lost much (if anything) yet.

I'll let those who have already had surgery chime in on that aspect, but just wanted you to know that you're not a failure and your body is still adjusting. Hang in there!

10-15-2009, 11:22 AM
thanks. I just feel like i should be losing something, i'm off the steroids almost 2 weeks now...


10-15-2009, 11:30 AM
Steroids! Yowza. I have autoimmune disease, and when I'm prescribed steroids, it screws with my water/weight balance for weeks. I have to be off of them for a month or even more before my body readjusts and I can "trust" the scale again.

I'm sorry you have a doctor that "yells," that absolutely sucks (wls or not).

10-15-2009, 11:39 AM
"yells" is my term. I don't think he's ever raised his voice in his life. but he will be disappointed if I don't show a decent loss on the 28th I'm sure.

10-15-2009, 11:40 AM

Don't set yourself up sweetie.... trust me :hug:

Your body needs time to adjust and so does your brain... you WILL SUCCEED :D


10-15-2009, 11:53 AM
but haven't others lost way more than I have by this time? I know not to compare but come on I feel like i've lost nothing (sorry but ten pounds is NOTHING)...

10-15-2009, 11:59 AM
Oh dont feel bad. My doc told me I won't be losing this week probably because all of the fluids from surgery are finally gone.
I am not getting in all the liquid either. I am just getting about 40 oz a day and trying to get in protein and eat.
Don't give up ... it will come. We are still adjusting.. and when You do lose it will probably a big old drop quickly.
But do try to get moving more. It will help so much more.

Shannon in ATL
10-15-2009, 12:00 PM
I'm no expert, but I think everyone is different. I know two people who had WLS - one lost a lot of weight right away, then slowed to a much slower but more even pace. The other didn't lose much at all for the first two-three months and then lost at a very rapid pace, sometimes so fast it scared us a little. I would bet that there are some old threads on here about just that topic. :hug:

10-15-2009, 12:30 PM
"yells" is my term. I don't think he's ever raised his voice in his life. but he will be disappointed if I don't show a decent loss on the 28th I'm sure.

Even a silent look of disappointment from a doctor can be so crushing. I've avoided doctor's appointments in the past to avoid disappointing my doctor - I would almost feel as if I was letting HIM down.

My current doctor is great - often when I'm disappointed in myself, he will cheer me up - telling me to remember how difficult change is, how few people accomplish it, and how every small change does make a difference.

The 28th is still two weeks away, and just because you haven't lost in the last ten days or so, doesn't mean you're not going to lose in the next two weeks. I think you're "borrowing" trouble.

I know it's hard not to feel that a "trend" is going to continue, but it's really unlikely that this is all the weight loss you're going to see from this kind of surgery. The surgeon took a good part of your digestive system off-line; you're going to see more than 10 lbs lost. Metabolism can slow down, but it can't stop, and even the slow down generally takes many weeks or several months.

With or without wls, when you start worrying that you're not losing as fast as "most" people seem to, you can drive yourself nuts. But, remember it's the fast losers that we're more likely to remember, and compare ourselves to - the real statistics may be much different.

I complained to my doctor that "most people" can lose much faster than I can - and he said "who said?" I told him, "well, most people can lose at least 1 or 2% of their body weight per week, or at least 1 to 2 lbs, and my doctor reminded me that "most people" lose nothing at all, because they don't stick with their changes - that it doesn't matter if I lose 1/4 of a lb, I'd still be ahead of "most people" if I stuck it out.

Obviouslyl with wls, you're going to be losing faster than without the wls, but I think it's probably just as dangerous and defeating to compare yourself to your idea of other people's success (without even knowing for sure, the true statistics than for those of us not going through the wls. You might be right in line where most people of your height/weight/age do - or you might even be exceeding those statistics. You're not comparing yourself to the reality - but to your impression of the reality (and doing either could put you through unnecessary trauma).

"It is what it is," and I know that isn't overly encouraging, but all you can do is "do your best, and leave the rest."

Good luck, and hang in there.

10-15-2009, 01:54 PM
Almost every WLS patient hits a stall near the end of their first month. Of the 6 months since my surgery, I lost the LEAST in my second month due to stalls. Your body just needs to adjust. Here is a better explanation that I am stealing from a friend (Diana Cox) on OH:

A "stall" at this point is inevitable, and here is why.
Our bodies use glycogen for short term energy storage. Glycogen is not very soluble, but it is stored in our muscles for quick energy -- one pound of glycogen requires 4 lbs of water to keep it soluble, and the average glycogen storage capacity is about 2 lbs. So, when you are not getting in enough food, your body turns first to stored glycogen, which is easy to break down for energy. And when you use up 2 lbs of glycogen, you also lose 8 lbs of water that was used to store it -- voila -- the "easy" 10 lbs that most people lose in the first week of a diet.

As you stay in caloric deficit, however, your body starts to realize that this is not a short term problem. You start mobilizing fat from your adipose tissue and burning fat for energy. But your body also realizes that fat can't be used for short bursts of energy -- like, to outrun a sabertooth tiger. So, it starts converting some of the fat into glycogen, and rebuilding the glycogen stores. And as it puts back the 2 lbs of glycogen into the muscle, 8 lbs of water has to be stored with it to keep it soluble. So, even though you might still be LOSING energy content to your body, your weight will not go down or you might even GAIN for a while as you retain water to dissolve the glycogen that is being reformed and stored.

10-15-2009, 02:12 PM
Nessa, how is your husband doing? Just curious.

Good advice for you has already been given. Just take some time to let your body heal and establish a pattern of weight loss. It might be a couple of months before your weight loss becomes more consistent.

10-15-2009, 02:21 PM
Jilly I've seen Diana post that before... and it makes sense. does not make me happy but it makes sense.

Kaplods, thanks for that post it makes sense too... i know one day at a time. well today I did take a walk... yay me.

susan, hubby is doing great. last night he got up looking for a snack and he had a single serving size of DICED CARROTS... who'd have thought it.

his weight last time he weighed on our scale was 388 his high at the doc was 466 so he's doing GREAT!

10-15-2009, 03:26 PM
Jilly I've seen Diana post that before... and it makes sense. does not make me happy but it makes sense.
heh, yeah, knowing the "why" doesn't always make it better, but at least you should know you're not alone, and it sure isn't the end of the road for you!

10-15-2009, 10:42 PM
Nessa Girl you are bringing me down!:hug:
You have been through alot during the past few weeks, major surgery, major reaction to steri strips requiring you to have to take steroids....then just think you have to deal with the down side of those steroids. Just taking them plump you up~
Give yourself a break and a few days and you will be dropping the pounds.
Don't get so down on yourself....everyone is different and had different outcomes.
You will be writing a post in a few days about how the weight is just falling off!!

10-16-2009, 09:32 AM
oh girl I hope so...

10-16-2009, 01:02 PM
No he wont be dissapointed. I am pretty sure that is normal. i have had 2 family members have the surgery, both rny's and they both had the same thing. they felt very similar to how you feel. it will pass. let your body heal and catch up. the weight will start coming off.

10-16-2009, 10:14 PM
ladybug - oh dear. everyone's given you such good advice. seriously - you're really doing fine. steroids will truly mess you up. i'm getting an impression that you're feeling that you've done everything and STILL nothing's happening? maybe if you take some ACTION you'll feel better about yourself. and trust me, i'm not talking about anything drastic or weird - just something that'll help you realize that you ARE doing the right thing -

keep a diary. on one side, track your food and water, on the other side, your exercise. look at it. tweak it. learn from it. and take it to your doc appt. he'll be FAR more pleased that you're doing what you're supposed to than with the number on the scale.

sometimes we need these little aids to help us realize that we really ARE doing OK.

and please - don't compare yourself to anyone else. we are ALL so very very different.

10-17-2009, 01:32 PM
It is still so hard 3.5 weeks from surgery and it sounds like you have been through so much. I had surgery in May -- recently enough for me to remember the difficulties and far enough past it to be so grateful that part is over. Please hang in there! And do NOT worry about your doctor and his reaction, worry about YOURSELF. You are the patient and you need his care, support and guidance. I know this is a very different way of thinking of things, but really, he needs to live up to your expectations, not the other way around.

Is there a nutritionist at your surgeon's office or the hospital that you can speak to and/or email? I emailed and spoke to mine so often in the beginning and it did help. I had a very difficult time in the beginning getting in protein and fluids; it takes a while.

Also, this may not be possible for you, but I will share one more thing that helped me: I really didn't focus on the pounds. I know that may sound ridiculous (after all, why did you go through all of this anyway?), but if you can simply focus on trying to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF each day, and get in your protein and appropriate fluids, the emphasis will come off the weight, and the weight will come off.

Take care of yourself and best of luck. Hang in there. I promise it gets easier.

10-17-2009, 03:48 PM
Hey Lady: Your system is screwed up right now. Here is my lecture for all newbees. STAY OFF THE SCALES!!! Throw them in the back of the closet and let them stay there or just weigh once a month. The scale will defeat your mind!!! LOL! Are your clothes fitting you better? So many times, I would stall, but my clothe size would change. Just keep doing what you are suppose to do and you CAN'T NOT lose. Don't compare yourself to your DH, because them boogers seem to lose faster than us women. Talk with your NUT. Steroids sure don't help. Are you moving around? Just hang in there...everyone is different. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

10-18-2009, 10:47 AM
Thanks everyone.... I think everyone goes through this... of course I still have hives... AND I think i'm retaining water for my period. (although I don't bleed i do ovulate so who knows....)

10-19-2009, 04:35 PM
I am about 7 months out from my RNY... I lost about 16 lbs in the first three days after surgery... then I didn't lose another pound for 2 weeks. Its just your body readjusting and healing from the surgery it self. I woke up one morning 12 pounds lighter! Keep up the good work!

10-19-2009, 07:45 PM
Nessa Woman Steroids have you floating on a sea of water. Take it easy and be kind to yourself :hug: