100 lb. Club - The Surgery Plan - Without the Surgery




LaurieDawn
01-16-2010, 03:27 PM
My sister has decided to get the gastric bypass surgery, and I am excited for her and her decision. I am not ready to go that extreme yet, but I am a little jealous of how quickly she will lose the weight.

No one loses weight from the surgery itself, though. They lose weight from the diet they are forced to eat because of the surgery. At least, that's what she thought when I asked her. I have always heard that 1200 calories should be the floor, and I have always tried to respect that when I've lost weight before, but why shouldn't I embrace a plan that has been successful for so many people? At least for the first 40-50 pounds?

I know that a lot of people will balk at this, and I absolutely want to hear what the naysayers have to say, as I don't want to ruin my health while trying to preserve it. On the other hand, I am far more interested in opinions supported by evidence. I know the "conventional wisdom." I just don't know why it is in opposition to the advice so many weight loss doctors give to their surgery patients.

If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies. ~Elmer Rice


CLCSC145
01-16-2010, 03:55 PM
I guess the thing I would be concerned about is that your sister will be heavily monitored by doctors because her eating will be so altered. Including special vitamins and supplements, blood tests, monitoring of protein levels and other nutritional things. If you are doing it on your own with no one monitoring what you are doing to yourself, you run the risk of causing yourself harm.

Coondocks
01-16-2010, 04:02 PM
Ya know what, I've asked the same question myself, and the only thing I can come up with other than th above stated medical personel monitorring your body and weight loss closely, is this . . .
If I had a stomach that could hold only 4 oz or something like that, a 3 oz meal is going to tell my brain im full and that way teach it that smaller portions are ok.
If my stomach holds say 16 oz . . . having a 3 oz meal isn't going to do to much other than make my mind think Im with holding food or that its in short supply and go into starvation mode.

Of course I could be WAY off here, and I probably am, but it made sense in my head.


rachael
01-16-2010, 04:08 PM
The surgery itself causes weight loss, too, at least in the case of gastric bypass. It bypasses part of your intestines so you don't absorb as much of the nutrients/calories. Certainly part of it is the restriction, but that isn't the only component. Either way, though, as people have already said, you shouldn't do something that extreme without major medical supervision.

Eliana
01-16-2010, 04:26 PM
I'm glad you asked this because I've wondered too. I also wonder why if a person manages to lose 80+ pounds just to be a candidate for the surgery, why can't they just keep going with that? I think maybe because it's really, really hard and the surgery makes it easier? I don't want to be insensitive. I know there's a logical answer. ;)

I know that by going to 1200 calories my stomach has shrunk. So with the above example of a 16 oz stomach originally, well mine probably used to hold that, but it doesn't any more. After a good week of hard effort, 1200 calories is now no problem.

Now with my own personal example, keeping my stomach this small is completely up to me. I'm sure one night of a good heavy meal would probably stretch my stomach out and it wouldn't take much to get used to 16 oz again. Perhaps that's not the case with the surgery???

DCHound
01-16-2010, 04:48 PM
There's no secret to losing weight...there are a million plans out there that work BUT there is a secret to keeping it off...learning lifetime habits you can maintain forever. Something this extreme is not doable over a lifetime. I'm afraid you may be setting yourself up for failure if you take this extreme of a route, when a regular old plan works well too. Most folks here do calorie counting/portion control, carb counting or low fat. Maybe test out one or more of those to see which you are the most compatible with rather than starting with a "nuclear" option. :)

cathydoe
01-16-2010, 05:04 PM
Wow Laurie...u took a big risk (IMO) writing this question. I say GOOD 4 U! Because I have thought the same thing. I actually recently met a person who has a sister that had the surgery and the person I met did the same diet without surgery. She did it without surgery because her insurance wouldn't cover the surgery.

Before joining 3FC I thought possibly the WLS was the easy way out. But ewww I don't think that way now. What a BIG RISK 2 take and the pain of surgery and the possibility of throwing up and blah blah blah...not to mention the risk factors of surgery. And I also know people that have gained a lot of the weight back after surgery.

DCHound said it...this is about maintenance in the long run. We can all learn secrets to weightloss and try all sorts of ways and gimmicks and theories... the magic is...and it isn't magic...it is science...ya gotta burn up what you put in. Burn up means either "just living" or moving more.

We all learned "what goes up must come down" What I am learning now and learning it over and over...whatever I put in my mouth turns into energy or turns into a weight gain. I wish it was that simple to get a grasp of it.

losingitandlosingitwell
01-16-2010, 05:41 PM
lauriedawn, i think that's a great plan. it's what i'm doing (i went to the weight loss services group here and asked to be put on a medically supervised weight loss plan).

I agree with the other commenter that it's a good idea to have a few more sets of eyes monitoring. But really the gist of it is a balanced diet (35 % carbs, 35% protein, 30% healthy monounsat. fats) and moving...

losingitandlosingitwell
01-16-2010, 06:05 PM
Many times WLS candidates need to lose at least 10% of their body weight through diet / exercise for safety reasons. I think that's what Laurie meant by mentioning the WLS diet, not the surgery itself necessarily...

nelie
01-16-2010, 06:05 PM
Well surgery (except lapband) causes those that undergo surgery to not be able to digest all the calories they eat. I'm not sure about the percentage but it is one thing that helps with surgery that you can't get otherwise.

Also, surgery is extreme for a reason, it is for those people that really need help to get some initial weight off, regardless of other things including muscle loss. From what I've read, eating too few calories can result in a greater muscle loss.

There are also diets that do kind of mimic surgery in a way such as optifast. Doctor guided, liquid diets. Again, they are meant for people that need the weight off fast for various reasons.

Even when I was well over 300 lbs, surgery wasn't on my mind because I was relatively healthy and figured there had to be a way to get the weight off without surgery.

Lyn2007
01-16-2010, 08:54 PM
The thing is, if this was readily doable, then I think a lot more people would *just do it.* "Just" eat the 600 cal a day or whatever in protein drinks for x months, and then teeny portions as if you had had the surgery. I have seen this suggested many times, but I have never seen anyone able to stick with it for more than a few days.

The surgery *forces* you to eat that way. If you could eat that way on your own, you'd just do it. Right? A lot of people would.

I personally at one point bought high quality protein shakes and tried to do shakes only for awhile, and I went nutso and binged because I was SO hungry.

If you or anyone else tries this approach, I think it's important to be monitored by a doctor. Regardless, please post your progress and experience here so we can all see if it IS, in fact, doable by anyone.

ToriLeigh
01-16-2010, 10:10 PM
I think you would be starving... With the WLS, your stomach is smaller. But if you could handle it and were under medical supervision, I guess it could work. For me, I would rather lose the weight slowly and and find an amount of calories that I can live with eating on a daily basis forever.

LaurieDawn
01-17-2010, 12:42 AM
Thanks for the thoughtful and respectful responses. You have given me much to think about.

Yes, I think it would be challenging. But this is not my first rodeo. I find it easier to go way low-cal than to eat moderately - both require a high degree of commitment. So, Lyn, while your point is well taken, you could say the same about any plan choice that anyone makes. If it were easier, everyone would be doing it. The statistics prove that this is not easy, no matter how we choose to do it!

After a day's contemplation and some very good input, I have decided that I am not going to try it now - though I may at some point decide to go extreme low-cal w medical supervision. But today, when I was eating an apple, my 6YO daughter decided that she wanted one too. And when I was on the elliptical in the basement, she asked if she could use the treadmill. So, for about 10 minutes, we pumped out Hannah Montana and worked out together. For now, that in itself is enough to make me want to model the habits that will help her develop habits so she (hopefully!) does not have to get on the weightloss roller coaster.

traci in training
01-17-2010, 12:56 AM
I have always wondered why those people who lose 10% in order to have the surgery don't just keep doing whatever they were doing to lose that 10%. And we have a good friend who lost 10%, had the surgery, lost over 100 more pounds and is now at least as big as he was before the surgery if not bigger. Surgery was about 5 years ago. Very sad IMO.

Ophelia31
01-17-2010, 01:37 AM
I have to say I agree with the others who responded and I am glad that you've chosen to re-think your decision.
I think it's wonderful that you have chosen to be a good example for your daughter in the hope that she might never have to deal with these kinds of struggles.
Cause it's not just about losing the weight...it's about keeping it off for the rest of your life and never having to go through this again. And that can only come from learning self-control, healthy eating habits, and staying active. It may not be the quickest way...but it is the safest, healthiest way.

I had considered doing the Lap-band myself but decided against it because for me at least, losing weight isn't my only issue. I have horrible self-esteem and I need the boost to my self-esteem that doing it myself will give me.

I only started two weeks ago...and I've only lost ten pounds so far...but I feel so proud of myself for working so hard and accomplishing this myself...and I need that.

Eliana
01-17-2010, 08:34 AM
LaurieDawn, exellent update! I'm so happy that you found such delight in changing your habits with your daughter. It's such a good feeling when that happens. And it's much better for her to see you do things in moderation than to have a grumpy and tired mom who's starving.

Ophelia, "only" ten pounds in two weeks? Change that to "I lost TEN pounds in just two weeks!!" :carrot: You're awesome! That's a tremendous accomplishment! Do you realize you've lost a bowling ball?

rockinrobin
01-17-2010, 09:00 AM
The thing is, is if you really, really, REALLY stick with your plan CONSISTENTLY than the weight will come off in a CONSISTENT matter. Time really flies. Those weeks go by in a flash. Each 7 day period is a real chance to progress. You start stringing together those "good" weeks and by doing so you chip away and chip away and chip away at the numbers and before you know it, a good chunk of the weight is gone.

Having canceled WLS 7 days before the date, I personally think that time spent working on changing ones habits, working on incorporating life time sustainable healthy habits is the best way to go. You focus on those good behaviors, getting a good eating/exercise plan - especially the eating part (though the fitness as well surely) down pat, customizing it, making it your own, finding foods that you LOVE, wrapping it around your head that you must do this for life, finding coping skills, tips, tricks and strategies that keep you on plan, setting yourself some boundaries, making some steadfast rules, planning ahead ALWAYS, finding the joy and the good in this lifestyle, is without a doubt the best way to go about this.

DECIDE to do this. COMMIT to do this. FOCUS on those behaviors. Make this a PRIORITY. Decide. Commit. Focus. Priority. Decide. Commit. Focus. Priority. Decide. Commit. Focus. Priority. Everything else will fall into place.

If you ask me THAT is what is needed. That and WILLINGNESS. Willingness to make the changes. Willingness to do what is required. Willingness to do what is necessary.

Losing weight and lots of it IS a doable thing. For every one and every one. You *just* must be willing to do what's necessary.

ubergirl
01-17-2010, 10:57 AM
I just want to add that I'm a health care provider and I spent part of yesterday caring for someone who had WLS about five years ago, and who has MAJOR health problems now that are direct consequences of the surgery.

It made me really sad for her. She is young, but she has severe and permanent health consequences-- she has the health profile of an old woman. I think it is likely that she will not live to see old age.

I am not meaning to disparage those who decide that WLS is their only option, but ask any health care provider who has had to see the possible consequences first hand and they would almost certainly recommend that you try anything and everything else first.

People often talk about how obesity is a killer-- but it kills slowly. Most of the severe health consequences of morbid obesity don't show up until after a relatively long period of time.

You get many, many, tries to get it right with traditional weight loss. You could fail three, four, ten or even twenty times, and then eventually figure it out.

But, with WLS it's permanent, and if it doesn't work out right for you, you are stuck with the consequences.

Maybe that's a little OT to this thread, but I can't get this young woman out of my mind.

rockinrobin
01-17-2010, 01:26 PM
Like I said, I was scheduled for WLS, canceled 7 days prior. I wish I had been advised to seek out other methods first. Whether it be WW or an eating order specialist or a nutrionist or a SOMETHING. I wish my doctor would have told me that there ARE other ways to lose weight. But of course my own doctor didn't think that there WERE other ways to lose large amounts of weight. In fact when I told my primary care doctor that I was canceling my surgery (I then wanted her to be aware of my decision and monitor my weight loss progression) she told me that she didn't think the amount of weight that I needed to lose could be achieved without the surgery. When you are that heavy you believe that there ARE no other ways out. I certainly did. For me, it was being that close to the surgery date that started freaking me out about what was going to happen to me and how my eating habits were going to HAVE TO CHANGE. And THAT woke me up to that fact that I was indeed going to have to change my habits, whether I liked it or not. So I finally realized if I was going to change them, I might as well change them in a way that seemed much more palatable. So I called up the surgeons office and told them that I wanted to try it on my own. Give it one last shot, giving it my ALL. And the nurse told me - "you'll be back, they all come back". Only I didn't. I did give it my all. And when I gave it my all (and than some), I didn't need the surgery. :)

Windchime
01-17-2010, 02:02 PM
So I called up the surgeons office and told them that I wanted to try it on my own. Give it one last shot, giving it my ALL. And the nurse told me - "you'll be back, they all come back". Only I didn't. I did give it my all. And when I gave it my all (and than some), I didn't need the surgery. :)

Huh. Wouldn't it be fun to go down to the office in your tiny little jeans and say, "You're right. I DID come back--to show you that it can be done! HA!" :)

playfullyme
01-17-2010, 02:45 PM
Just wanted to say what a good discussion this was.

rockinrobin - Your story is very inspirational! I think you should go down there with your bad self and tell them that they were wrong. ;)

My mom had WLS 2 years ago and it was scary seeing her go through it and it STILL is scary. 190 pounds lost later and she still struggles with her eating and not overeating. I PRAY that she does not reverse her progress and gain any back. She looks and I know she feels amazing as well. She is my inspiration. WLS is not for me, but I know that I can achieve the same results that she is achieving. Just a different method.

We can do this ladies!! (And gentlemen if there are any here.)

dragonwoman64
01-17-2010, 02:49 PM
I had considered doing the Lap-band myself but decided against it because for me at least, losing weight isn't my only issue. I have horrible self-esteem and I need the boost to my self-esteem that doing it myself will give me.

I only started two weeks ago...and I've only lost ten pounds so far...but I feel so proud of myself for working so hard and accomplishing this myself...and I need that.

I read you post, Ophelia, and it really resonated with me. I have self esteem issues, and I have those same types of feelings, that losing this weight is something I need to tackle and conquer once and for all, for me.

I saw that 237 on the scale this past Friday, and yes, I still have a long way to go, but it has been decades since I've seen a number that low and it almost feels surreal. I did that, I lost all those pounds. And I'm still doing it. It's been an irreplaceable and invaluable experience for me, losing the amount that that I have, esp coming from the out of control binge behavior of my past.

a big congrats on those 10 lbs, that is a serious number to drop in 2 weeks! :)

getting into my head it's really doable has been a big part of the struggle for me. so I'm always grateful to read posts like yours, rr.

rockinrobin
01-17-2010, 03:42 PM
Huh. Wouldn't it be fun to go down to the office in your tiny little jeans and say, "You're right. I DID come back--to show you that it can be done! HA!" :)

I thought of this and many people have said that I should go and show them - but in the end, I thought it would be rubbing it in their face.

Now my doctor, she's another story. Of course I showed her. I think she was pretty shocked! She still has a hard time believing it. I should tell her about this place so that she could see that what I did is not that unheard of. The truth is, I'm not that happy with her as a doctor, given her lack of confidence in me all those years ago and always have my ears open for another doctor.

How I wish I could shout if from the rooftops - that weight loss and lots of it IS a doable thing. That is the one message I would love to get across to each and every person. WEIGHT LOSS AND LOTS OF IT IS A DOABLE THING!!! IT IS. IT IS. IT IS!!

Windchime
01-17-2010, 04:00 PM
I really was just kidding about that. I'm not a big fan of the "shove it in their face" response, either. It really makes sense that she would say that to you; after all, people coming in for surgery is what keeps her office in business and chances are good that lots of people DO come back.

I really think that the key for many of us is to have the support and the knowledge that it CAN be done. I really, honestly, truly don't think that I believed that I really could do this until I came here and saw PROOF. Proof in all the stories in the goal section. Proof in the tickers of all the chicks that post here nearly every day.

Your doctors lack of confidence in you was probably not a personal thing. I'm sure it was based on her years of seeing people in her office with resolve, only to observe that many of them were not successful. So she applied that experience to you. But how much different might things have been if she had said, "Yes, Robin, I believe that you CAN do it! I look forward to your success!"

I wish you lived near me. I would refer you to my doc. She is the best. When I told her I had lost 15 pounds (which was a drop in the bucket), she was VERY encouraging and reminded me that it's a process, that every pound counts, etc. I love her. Let me know if you ever move to central Washington and I'll give you her number. :)

traci in training
01-17-2010, 06:16 PM
I am a nurse. I work with many overweight nurses. The majority of them will tell you they'd rather have surgery than go to "all the work" of losing the weight themselves. We had this big discussion the other day and they think I'm stupid for working to lose the weight when "it will all come back." No way to keep it off. And these are all educated people who KNOW BETTER!

The topper for me - I work on an inpatient mental health unit. These are nurses who understand esteem and effort and making choices. And they still think surgery is the best choice. What is up with that?????

nikki
01-17-2010, 09:34 PM
I think weight loss requires a lot of work with or without surgery. I witnessed my mother suffer the consequences of WLS many years ago (I'm sure it was worse back then when it was a new surgery). She lost a ton of muscle tone, vomited a lot (that was the primary way that she learned what foods she could no longer tolerate), and to this day she has major digestive problems. One thing I know for certain - there is no way she could have subsisted on such tiny amounts of food for months but for the constant threat of vomiting or dumping. Since she didn't change her emotional mindset toward food, her stomach apparently stretched to hold more food and the weight did eventually come back. Except now she is weaker and suffering from persistent IBS. Also, she has a long list of items, including dairy, that she can no longer tolerate.

I say this only because I became convinced after witnessing her struggle that there is NO EASY WAY to lose weight. Zip. Nada. But as someone else said, we get many tries when we do it ourselves.

I'm very glad to hear the OP say that she will model good behavior for her daughter rather than emulating a life changing surgical experience. Someday she will thank you!

Ophelia31
01-19-2010, 12:31 AM
Ophelia, "only" ten pounds in two weeks? Change that to "I lost TEN pounds in just two weeks!!" :carrot: You're awesome! That's a tremendous accomplishment! Do you realize you've lost a bowling ball?

LOL! Don't worry, I am very proud of what I have accomplished over the last couple of weeks. I was reffering more to the fact that I have only been here on the board for a couple of weeks and I've only lost 10 pounds, compared to others who have been here for months and lost 40-50 pounds.

:-)

chikygrl13
01-19-2010, 01:44 AM
Good luck to your sister with the surgery.
But I think you're on the right track with not doing it.
My Dad had it done 5 years ago... has gained all the weight back plus some...
My Aunt did it 2 years ago and is back to her old habits. Same story with my friend's mother.
A good friend of mine had it done 6 or 7 years ago (she was the first person I knew that had it done). They are NOW finding out that malnutrition issues relating to the surgery (which she had trouble with) probably caused her to miscarry 4 children. While Shannon eventually went on to have a "successful" pregnancy (her daughter is 2 1/2) Kathryn was born 3 months premature and spent the first year and half of her life in NICU. This is the main reason I WON'T do it... I'd like to have children someday!

ubergirl
01-19-2010, 09:36 AM
Your doctors lack of confidence in you was probably not a personal thing. I'm sure it was based on her years of seeing people in her office with resolve, only to observe that many of them were not successful. So she applied that experience to you. But how much different might things have been if she had said, "Yes, Robin, I believe that you CAN do it! I look forward to your success!"



I think I've spoken to this before on the boards, but as a health care provider, I understand where the response is coming from....

I remember several years ago, a patient of mine who lost about 100 pounds-- every time she came in she was another 30 pounds lighter or so. And not just that, she looked AMAZING. Other than that, there was nothing special about her--she was just a regular person. I grilled her and grilled her about what she did... she "watched what she ate" (modified calorie counting) and she walked 6 miles a day. She absolutely glowed.

But see, I still remember her, because in my experience, it was unusual. Most of my heavy patients either stayed heavy or got heavier. They were embarrassed about their weight and I had to be very tactful about discussing it. Sometimes I thought that my own struggle with obesity made people feel more comfortable talking to me, but on the other hand, I had no real solutions. Plus, you only get a few minutes with people... hardly enough time to address the complex issues-- and most patients pretty much know what they "should" be doing.... they just don't understand why they "can't" do it.

Add that to the fact that a lot of people are making money from WLS-- it's a huge cash cow for hospitals who are busily building new wings to accommodate the bariatric patients...

In short, our health care system just isn't set up right to help overweight and obese patients-- doctors lack time and know how to help.

The end result: we like to recommend stuff that's easy to implement (a pill, a patch, a surgery....)

I don't work in primary care any more, but if I did, I would be much more effective now. My patients used to tell me three things 1) they couldn't stick with a diet, 2) they didn't have time or money to join a gym and 3) they didn't have money to join a program like WW.

Well, now I know that you don't need ANY of those things to lose weight, and perhaps the single most important thing is SUPPORT. Even the WLS people know that, because it's incorporated into their programs.

But every single person who succeeds here and goes back and shares his or her success with the health care provider is another person who is helping spread the word that IT CAN BE DONE.

People used to think it was almost impossible to quit smoking-- that did not turn out to be true. I think weight loss is the same.... there are more obese people now, but it's also going to become increasingly clear that weight loss IS POSSIBLE.

marigrace
01-19-2010, 09:46 AM
It is an individual choice,and I honor that, but I feel very strongly about this.
I think that surgery, (any surgery) should only be considered if there is a severe and imminent condition that out-weighs the risk and life-time side effects that come with the package, and it's likely that many don't meet that criteria at all. There is no shortage of pills, potions, and procedures to undergo out there, and if one were in the market for say, a nice bridge in Brooklyn, I'm sure someone would be willing to sell. Most of us turn to doctors to be healed, without first changing the life-style that got us in trouble to start with. I sincerely wish your sister the best of outcomes, but I am glad to hear that you have chosen a different approach.I know you can make it.

FitGirlyGirl
01-19-2010, 10:51 AM
At the time that I started this journey I considered the lap band. With the numbers I had at the time my insurance company would have paid for it completely. I read and I read and I read. I had decided that for me the lap band would be the safest and best option of the surgery choices. There was some part of me that was rebelling against the idea though. For the sake of that part of me I decided that I would give myself a 2 month goal of 20 pounds. If I could lose 20 pounds in 2 months on my own then I could lose 130 pounds on my own. I made it to the 20 pounds and then gave up for a few months, but I had made it so I knew this could be done. I started back a few months later with no intention of ever considering surgery. It is hard work, but that just gives me more incentive not to put the weight back on if I don't want to go through this again. I have nothing against people who decide to get the surgery, but I do not think it is the only option for anyone. Also, the really fast loss only happens at the beginning for most of them. I have a friend who had surgery and her rate of loss dropped after a few months down to barely more than mine. I also think I am healthier than her because I have had to do it with food choices and I have seen what she eats even after surgery, it's not good.

LaurieDawn - I'm so glad that you have decided that being a good role model for your little girl is more important than fast weight loss.

Ophelia - I am very glad that you do not see your 10 pound loss as minor. Every single pound is a major battle won.

Robin - I do think you should tell your doc about 3FC. If she actually listens then maybe if some other patient tells her they want to do it without surgery she might tell them to come here for support. I wish you could have my docs, I love them so much and they have supported me through this and continue to do so. One of my docs was practically bouncing and saying how "awesome" it was when I was down my first 15 pounds. I am sorry your doc is not so good, I wish everyone could have great docs. One of mine left recently, he left the air force and moved to Texas, I was very sad to see him go. I was also worried about the type of doc he might be replaced with, but I got lucky again.

cfmama
01-19-2010, 10:57 AM
My doctor and his secretary SHRIEK WITH GLEE every single time I walk into the office and will LOUDLY proclaim to EVERYONE there how much weight I've lost (the last time I was in there I had lost 160 pounds) and he always says that he had NOTHING to do with my weight loss... but he tells all his clients now that it can be done. And references me ;)

WhitePicketFences
01-19-2010, 01:49 PM
Yes, I think it would be challenging. But this is not my first rodeo. I find it easier to go way low-cal than to eat moderately - both require a high degree of commitment.

I can relate to this (perhaps many can).

I do not know anything about WLS, however, and so don't know how low you are thinking? I saw a mention of 600 calories but it wasn't in one of your posts. I do not think you should eat that low, no.

My opinion is that you should not eat lower than 800-900 on any sort of regular basis. I did eat pretty low -- started at ~930 cals and worked my way up, actually the opposite of what most do.