Weight Loss Surgery - truth hurts

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02-10-2006, 10:55 AM
when i started this adventure, i vowed to myself that i would NEVER outgrow the collection of pants that i owned at my lowest point.

well, folks, i've outgrown the smallest ones. i admit that the weight at that point might have been a little on the low side, as i felt very tired all the time. BUT the next size up is now uncomfortably snug.

and i REFUSE to gain anymore.

sooooo, starting today, my life is changing again. back to basics. what i've been considering a snack will now be a meal. and 20 grams of protein in a shake form [which i might mix in yogurt for a change]. i'll add some good carbs in the form of low GI fruit and oatmeal.

no more doggy bags from restaurants. more reliance on deli roast beef and low-salt chicken and turkey. veggies veggies veggies.

why is it that we can either lose or gain, but we can't maintain????? drat drat drat.

02-10-2006, 11:04 AM
You're on the road a lot aren't you jiffy? Up until last September DH and I ate in restaurants far too much. He enjoyed it. Liked the choice every meal. I hated it! Could never find anything that worked for me comfortably and no control especially over how the food was prepared. The single best thing I did was move my office back to my home where I could focus absolutely on my own food preperation once again. I know not everyone can do that but when I read what you said about doggy bags at restaurants it took me back. Now when I take doggy bags, they are literally doggy bags! I have 4 Shih Tzu's (and two litters of pups at the moment too) who literally inspect me for goodies when I walk in the door and they know if there's a doggy bag its got stuff for them.

I had to do a major shift myself last September and although its hard, its the best thing I did. I think we eventually get kind of burned out being careful, careful, careful and then its easy to see a pound, or two, or 10 or twenty creep on.

I'm so with you on this jiffy. The great thing is you know how do do this. Its just a matter of shoving yourself back into that familiar groove you lived in while you were doing all that weight loss before. You know how to eat, what to eat and what that will feel like.

You just took the first hardest step which was to look at it, table it and making the changes will fall into place.

I with ya!

02-10-2006, 11:06 AM
Reading your signature jiffy, I was wondering if you ever had plastic surgery? What was your lowest weight if you don't mind my asking?

02-10-2006, 11:19 AM
i haven't had the plastic surgery yet, although it's a priority for me at the moment. in the past, anything below 160 is difficult for me. since the surgery, however, the lowest the scale ever said was 225. and if we figure that there's at least 30 pounds of excess skin, i'd be happy with whatever my 'real' weight was at that time. i strongly suspect that much of the fatigue was due to a combination of too strenuous an exercise regime [close to 2 hours most days during the week!] and not taking my vitamins.

and so far, we're off to a good start. just finished breakfast: a mix of 1/2 c plain yogurt, about 15 grams of protein, a couple of slices of mango, and about 2 tbs of muesli. tastes great!!!! and i'll have a couple of cherry tomatoes to finish it off....

02-10-2006, 12:00 PM
You know what I think the best part of shifting focus and getting back on track is jiffy? You start really thinking and planning what you're going to eat and its like you rediscover how good food can be once again. You're not just taking it for granted and reaching for whatever sits in the fridge. There can be such delight in the simplest of foods enhanced by the knowledge that you've stayed within your target.

I too am looking at the plastic surgery and I have a huge 'apron'. I also realize my 'real' weight is impacted by this pendulous belly. I had my breasts done a year and a half ago and I'm not happy with them. At all. I had the abdominoplasty booked for last spring but I was not feeling good about the surgery, or strong enough to make it through so I cancelled. Now that surgeon is leaving town and I have to start again with a new surgeon who I expect to meet in April. Then another 6 months before the surgery happens.

02-10-2006, 04:49 PM
geezzzz. ya know, my surgeon told me that the belly had to come first, and then the breasts. so maybe while the new guy does your apron, he can do something about the breasts.

and i'm trying to be optimistic about this. trying to have faith in myself, and trying to do the right thing. but it's going to take minute-to-minute focus for awhile, and that's ok. i had hoped - prayed - that at some point it would be completely automatic, but that's not reality. unfortunately.

it's been a good day, foodwise, despite the temptations. and it is also a major opportunity to reset the dump-o-meter.


02-10-2006, 05:17 PM
The first surgeon I went to refused to do the belly for over a year. He said the chance of gangrene was to great due to the lateral incisions I had and all the complications. But... he was also totally unfamiliar with this as part of a post bariatric surgery process and I asked him to reconsider after he did the breasts. So he wrote to the committee who decides if this will be an insured process and they said no. I was so angry! So I contacted the head of the committee personally and demanded an explanation. He said he was never made aware of my history and didn't even know I'd had WLS!!! He asked me to put into my own words my history and my request and fax it to him. Her personally walked to the desk of every single person he needed to on that committee and called me back two hours later with an approval. Problem was that by then, between the crappy job on my breasts and the lack of proper representation of my situation I had no confidence in the surgeon! When he realized he was backed in a corner and would now have to do the surgery he told me he wasn't even going to bother giving me a new belly button. Just gonna chop the excess skin off and sew me up.

So.... I'm hoping the new guy will handle this professionally and do what needs to be done.

I understand how you feel about regaining control over your food choices again jiffy. Did I tell you about the jelly beans? Last summer, dh and I used to go to this one restaurant about once a week for dinner. In the lobby, they had those 25 cent candy dispensing machines. Jelly beans. Now I have to tell you I love jelly beans. Not the flavour so much as the colours! I'm like a little kid with them!!! So it started with one quarter in the machine as we left for 'dessert'. Hah. Then two quarters. Then I went out and bought a bag of jelly beans and ate them. And then I bought another, larger bag and hid them in my desk. HID them. That was the big wake-up call for me. I was hiding these damn things and mostly, I was hiding them from myself!!! I thought what on earth am I doing!!!! I threw the bag out and realized then and there that I was not going to torture myself doing what I know I cannot do! I was taking Metformin for insulin issues, wanted OFF the metformin and was eating jelly beans!!!! How stupid is that?

That was my moment of truth jiffy.

You'll be fine. You will.

02-10-2006, 05:48 PM
I know for me, I'm an all or nothing type of person. When I'm 'dieting', I can stick the program, but when I lose that structure, its like something turns off in my head. I think that is why I'm working so hard to learn to healthy in a way that I hopefully can for the rest of my life. Of course if the gastroparesis gets better enough for to go completely off the feeding tube, I'll have to make adjustments- but I want to think in terms of adjustments, not major changes to what I'm already doing. I've also been taking your advice on the deli meats- its a little easier on the budget since one of the local stores marks down all their sliced meats to either $1.99 or 99c when they go to close the deli at night. I admitt, I've been known to hang around the produce department & pretending to look at stuff, just waiting for the anouncement so I can be the first in line at the deli counter ;) When I get it home, I package it up in 2oz servings and freeze it- it works great when I need the protein, plus I can have variety too. They also mark down their roasted chickens to $2.25- I've started using them in a lot recipes and such. It saves a lot of time & frustration on my part- I still hit the point if I've spent too much time preparing food that I can barely eat it.

I think its a good thing you held on surgery with that other surgeon. There is just something about having to have surgery with someone you pissed off, you know? And besides, everyone needs a belly button :D...were would you have to collect lint?

You comments about the jelly beans & doggy bags is so true- I've been rereading a book I bought several years ago called Making a Case for Yourself- a Diet Book for Smart Women- the author is a laywer. She has a chapter in there about how we try to convince ourselves that we're doing the right things, that 'wasting food is bad'- yet when is the price of stale leftovers worth more then our health? It really makes you stop & think before you eat something, is this really worth it?

02-10-2006, 06:14 PM
i LOVE that line christine: since when is stale food worth the price of our health!!!!

that's another one to tattoo onto my forehead!!!!

mama annie
02-10-2006, 06:47 PM
Why is it that even after losing a lot of the weight, and looking and feeling so much better that I can go back to such stupid bad habits? That comment about the jelly beans hit the nail on the head. I just realized that I am hiding candy in my desk too. Who do I think I am fooling? And why am I doing that again? And I hate it that my clothes are feeling too tight. I hate that so much. Not only has my weight loss stopped, but I am beginning to creep up, I have gained 10 pounds since my lowest point. Ahhhhhhh!

02-10-2006, 09:44 PM
Right now I'm not having any trouble turning away from food....but I know my time's coming. My doctor told me, I've heard it from other people, and now listening to you all I know this two stepping I'm doing with food will get trickier. I shudder to think about the possibility of going through all this and the sabatoging myself in the end. Oh well, one day at a time. It's humbling and inspiring to read about your struggles. Many of you have had a lot more difficulties than me and yet you're still marching forward. I'm proud of all of you. I don't know if I could have persevered the way some of you have.

02-10-2006, 10:12 PM
magi - you'll hear this over and over and over again, and the more i hear it, the more i realize how true it is!!

use this time to relearn how to eat. and how to cope. and how to live a life that's healthier and not focused on food.

it's about figuring out what makes us eat when we're not hungry - and about taking care of ourselves. sounds easy, doesn't it... HA!!!!! it's the hardest thing i've ever done!!!!

but, as the first day of focus [trying to recapture the feeling of not being interested in food], it's been ok. nothing weird happened. no real temptations, just a few thoughts that i banished.

exercise was a 30 minute hike, some qi kong, and 30 minutes of tai chi.

one day down. i'm sitting here drinking orange spice tea with sweetener, and i expect to be able to resist the chocolate. i might have a little cheese before bed....


02-10-2006, 10:39 PM
OHHH ..I know what makes me eat. I didn't spend all that time sitting in 4 different psychologists office and being an out patient in charter peachford for a month and a half for nothing !!! LOL

I have learned some other ways to deal with things but you are so right. It is very hard to apply those tools to my life.

Congrats to you and hubs for your success today.

02-11-2006, 08:18 AM
Jiff, I have faith in you even if you are missing i yourself right now.

02-11-2006, 10:37 AM

I have absolutely no wise thoughts to help you on this journey, but will remember you in my prayers. I have had many times in my life when I have felt that I lost myself, but I have always remembered a sermon I heard several years ago by a layman. He also had been going through a "lost period". He said the one thing that helped him climb out of the dark hole, was remembering that when he was so lost that he couldn't even pray, he remembered that the Holy Spirit was praying for him in his behalf & when I remember that, it is so much easier to allow myself to be held in the hands of our loving Father. For me, to be in that place gives me the strength I need to face the hour to hour temptations. (Sorry about sermonizing)

02-11-2006, 10:22 PM
thank you so much - one and all. one thing's for sure, the more time i spend with the alzheimer's mom, the worse my eating gets. but i must admit that i think the tai chi and chi kong are helping. i'm observing her craziness without reacting internally. a major MAJOR accomplishment.

and loodie - one of the things that keeps me going is that old story about the footprints. it's given me comfort and strength.

linda - you and dixie have walked a HUGE distance - a little more than 2 miles a day!!!! is that why the poor girl looks so tired?????/

02-12-2006, 09:43 AM
LOL No! We should be doing more, I should be doing more! Dixie is happy out playing with her doggie friends and walking forever. Also it keeps her form being a destuctive puppy :) That and marrow bones :)

Hang in there with your mom, it is so hard not to internalize all that "stuff" You are a rock for so many people here always singing our praises, we are sining for you and you need to take a little of that song and hum it for yourself.

Be well my friend on the snowy sunday

02-13-2006, 11:32 PM
How you doing there jiffy?

02-14-2006, 12:14 AM
in the interests of truth...
friday was good. so was saturday. yesterday, however, was a completely different matter. too much time with alzheimer's mom. too much snow to escape. drat.

today was ok - not great. i just got out of the shower, and i cried during it. the alzheimer's mom just wouldn't go to bed, and i have to go to bed after she does, so that i can do all those silly things like adjust the curtains and turn down the heat. it's way too late for her to be up.

soooo, right this second, i'm drinking a wee bit of old bourbon, mostly to keep me from compulsively eating chocolate. here's the choice: 100 calories of alcohol with the result that i'll relax and go to sleep vs 400-500 calories of chocolate that'll leave me wanting more.

i'm going for fewer calories and a faster effect!!!!

02-14-2006, 08:21 AM
aww jiff, I wish i could help you out. but you did have 3 steps forward.

02-14-2006, 10:50 AM
linda - just in case you don't hear this enough: YOU'RE THE BEST!!!!

02-14-2006, 01:01 PM
jiffy, can I suggest you look into melatonin as a sleep aid for your Mom, and for you? This is being used very successfully in many nursing homes, and is also safe for children who are visually impaired. 3mg. a night is the usual dose. I have other suggestions if that doesn't do the trick but it almost always does.

Hugs jiffy. You'll be ok.

02-14-2006, 01:04 PM
Bourbon? Yum!

And you're right, Jiffypoo. It was probably a better choice than chocolate, which speaks oh-so-seductively to me too. Linda's right, three steps forward, one back and you're still ahead of the game. Hang in there darlin'.

The Chick

02-14-2006, 06:16 PM
Jiff, the feeling is mutual, if I may sing your praises, you have turned this little nook of 3FC from a place where people thought it was a bad choice to and in the scam section of this site to a place where people could come and get real answers to questions and make real choices for them. You voice concern when people were doing thing that were causing them to not loose and you cheered for every success. you give very sound advice and you have kept off some ungodly amount of weight.

it is our turn to hold you up, tell you that you are more than what the scale says and you are living like everyone else on this board, how to deal with life along with taking care of yourself.

I have been here for 5 years and seen you do an amazing turn around with your life, happy anniversary BTW, I can't imagine you not being here to make each and every person feel special.

NOW, it is time for you to turn that inward and stop beating yourself up. You are in a tough situation with mom, and I can't imagine that it is going to get better, you are going to have to find a place to settle in and get comfortable for the long haul. i have heard you say a million times it is a choice at every meal. Take your advice, lean on your friends out here in cyberspace and know that the love you have earned from your friends here is nothing more than pure for who you are with none of the baggage.

My hope for you is that you can get some coverage for mom, take a few days away and pull your thoughts and game plan together. I think you need a game plan for how then next few months or even years of your life are going to be and how and where you want to be.

I am sending you a cyber hug from up north, hang in there, you will get through this. You have to, I need to know you are out there.

Be well my friend,

02-14-2006, 07:19 PM
Jiffy, does your mother have an in-home care provider? I believe that it can be covered by Medicaid or Medicare (Even though I took Elder Law, I still can't remember which one covers in-home care.) Maybe that could relieve some of the incredible pressure you must be going through.

Have you tried Ambien or Lunesta? I use to take 5 mg of Ambien when I had a night that I knew was going to be restless. I'd only take it maybe once or twice a month. I didn't like Lunesta, but my primary physician kept trying to push it on me. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I go to sleep by putting a DVD in my TV and listening to the director's commentaries. The Day After Tommorrow commentaries put me to sleep in about 5 minutes. I know all the sleep specialist say you shouldn't have a TV in your room, but DVD commentaries were the first non-narcotic that worked for me.

Anyway, I'm sorry if these are lame suggestions. You are going through a lot right now and like Linda said, you've have always been such a positive force on these boards. So if you need our cyber-back up, we are here for you.

02-21-2006, 01:25 PM

Wanted to reply on two counts:

I have also gained, somewhere between 10-20 lb from my lowest weight, and have been struggling with this weight for the past year or so. I see that you are having some good days, and some bad, and I think that is normal. Rejoice in every good day. We know what works, but it is amazing to me how many old habits creep back in. For me, the once-per-week treat becomes a twice-per-week, then sometimes twice-per-day, and one exception suddenly becomes two or three or even four. Add it up, and a lot of little things add up to pounds.

I am so glad to see you are going strong with exercise. I am struggling with that one.

We can do this. Losing 10-20 lb is do-able. Stopping the regain cycle is do-able. We don't have to lose 200 lb. We have our level playing field, and we can play just like everyone else.

I will go NAKED before I will buy a bigger size of clothing. Period.

Good luck to you. Contact me anytime. I would love to talk to you.

Secondly, about your mom:

I volunteer with a hospice in our area, and have visited with families of several Alzheimers patients. What a tremendously difficult thing. I don't know your exact situation, but please please please do take care of yourself. Even paying someone to come in for a few hours can give a much needed break and renewal. Hospice, and some medical plans, will cover respite care. I am sure you know this, but just can't help but say it here.
It is such a hard thing, but such a lovely thing, that you are doing.

Venting is good. If you ever need someone to just listen, I volunteer for the position!



Ms Spotdog
02-22-2006, 02:03 AM
*Big Huggies*, Jiff! You are even more my hero today, sweetie - You love your mommie and what you are doing for her is a wonderful thing but very hard. I'm praying that you can get some help to relieve you so you can rest and refuel yourself. You need to take care of yourself too, don't forget.


03-11-2006, 10:59 AM
Hey Jiff!!!

It's been quite a while since I was in this neck of the forum. I realize it's been a month since this post, but I wanted to add my 2Cents, for what it's worth.

I remember when we started this thread, and you and oleAlvin were newly surgeried, and the world look wonderful. I'm not sure about you, but I know oleAlvin thought that after all he went through he would never regain a pound. wrong, Wrong, WRONG!!! Unfortunately he did not catch it as soon as you did, and he has put on quite a bit of his weight. He has almost completely gone back to his old habits, and you know the saying When you keep doing the things you always did, you get the same results!!!

But now he has realized (Yes I think it was the clothes thing with him too) and like you he has gone back to the basics. Lots of protien, thinking about what he's putting in his mouth, etc etc etc. And as he fell back into bad habits, I took fell off the wagon and reached my all time high of over 300 pounds. I've been so close to that mark for several years, put had "prided" myself that I had actually never gotten to the 300 mark. Well, I can't say that anymore. But I put the brakes on and was 299 yesterday morning, and plan to keep south of the 300 border.

Now I am worring about my friend Pam. She had the surgery a year ago July. She was never sick a day, had the surgery on a Friday, was back at work on Monday, and 185 pounds just Dropped off her. Now I set and watch her eat every thing in site (except what she should) and think that it will be this way forever. You and oleAlvin had the surgery when it was just beginning, it would be interesting to know if there have been any clinical studies that follow the WLS patient long term. I know when oleAlvin had his surgery I asked about the long term effects, like what could we expect 5 years, ever 10 years down the road, and there were no answers.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is we were right in the beginning, this is just a TOOL not a quick fix, and we have to work at it forever.

Kiss your mom for me, and know you are in my prayers (even though I don't get in here very often.) When I have days like I did last Saturday when I spend the day crying all day because I miss my mother so very much, the thought always come that at least I'm not like Jiff and have lost her without loosing her body, and having to care for her for years. She had a fairly easy death, and never felt any pain, so we were very lucky even if we were not ready to loose her.

03-11-2006, 01:16 PM

03-11-2006, 01:24 PM
I don't know if you remember me. I used to post on the 100 board. It's been a long time. We've moved adopted a second child from China...on and on.

I didn't know you had gasteric surgery. I Had it 5 years ago... I have stopped losing but need to lose about 50 more.

I had a tummy tuck 2 years ago. The best thing I did, they removed 19 lb of Skin. They do have to start with the stomach.

It is had to stay focus with eating right. The one big no no is to drink carbonated beverages after you have gasteric surgery. Sodas will stretch your stomach. I have adapted the Weight Watchers program in helping me to lose the last 50 or so pounds I want to lose I include more protein.

It's good to be back on the boards and to read how everyone is doing..

Hang in there!!


03-11-2006, 05:26 PM

I also don't know if you remember me, I also used to post on the 100+ forum but I lost 75 lbs 18 months ago and although I stayed below the 300 lb mark for most of the 18 months, I have strayed to 300, realized it, then worked on getting down again. Basically, I've been fluctuating within the same 15 lb range for the past 18 months but I too am starting renewed efforts to lose weight because I don't like the high points. For a while though, I became tired of all the work on trying to lose weight, got tired of the foods I was eating and was perfectly happy in a maintenance mode. Although your nearly 300 lb loss isn't much compared to my 75 lb loss and I didn't have to endure the trials of surgery, I think I can understand somewhat. Keep up the good work and good job at noticing the creep and stopping it :)

03-12-2006, 08:11 AM
Hey jiff,
I need an update, good or bad, how are you doing?

03-12-2006, 11:14 AM
This is a very important thread and I'm very appreciative of the honesty in everything shared here. I think its so critical for people to realize they cannot take the tool of WLS surgery for granted as a magic bullet before going into it and stories like these need to be shared.

And yes, how are you doing jiffy?

03-12-2006, 12:13 PM
why is it that we can either lose or gain, but we can't maintain????? drat drat drat.Because, until we are willing to permanently change our lifestyle, we will always be caught in this vicious cycle. :eek:

Look at it this way, for most of us our obesity is directly related to a) our diet and b) our daily exercise or lack thereof. For a few of us, medical reasons may also contribute. For me, perimenopause played a part.

Temporarily changing our diet to reach a weight goal (with a view to returning to our regular eating patterns) will NOT result in permanent weightloss since our "regular" diet is what helped make us obese in the first place. It's not enough to find "low carb" versions of ice cream and cake. For many of us, it's about giving up ice cream and cake and finding healthier alternatives (sorbet, perhaps, and mousse). It's also not enough to simply eat LESS of our current diet - Eating LESS of what is essentially an unhealthy diet is a poor long term weightloss strategy.

Remember these truisms are particularly apt when it comes to weightloss struggles:
Doing what you've always done will get you what you've always got
Doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result is one definition of insanity.

So what if your neighbor/sister/friend can eat cake every day and not gain an ounce? Life is not fair. Get over it! :D (I did!)

Find an eating plan that you can stick to for life, and then go make your life the one you long for - healthy, slender, full of energy, love, and laughter. :hug:

03-13-2006, 12:24 AM
ya know - every time i come to this thread to post an update, i get so overwhelmed by all the kind comments and wisdom that i start getting teary-eyed and have to leave!!

and yes, derby and nelie, i certainly DO remember you two!!!

here's the update .... in brief.

it's been an extremely tumultuous few weeks. the results have been very positive, but the process has been difficult.

a new job landed in my lap - literally. but my current company reacted by panicking, and making major counter-offers, and promises. and frankly, despite their craziness, i really like my current company. but this new job offers much more in terms of a future, and doing things i really do well and enjoy. everyone's very sad about the situation, including me, but as of friday, it's been resolved....

in the meantime the AM has been a mess - major nosebleeds landing her in the emergency room, and she's been getting more disoriented. and sleeping more. it's been a lot of doc appts.

but i'm happy to report that there's more help on the way - both paid and unpaid. and i've found a dogsitter because i will no longer be able to come home at lunch and let maggie out.

that's the structure- the food thing has been difficult. but at some point, a bell went off [or i got hit over the head???] that i needed to WALK rather than wander around the house trying to avoid food. so i did. and it's helped.

i'm happy to report that the too-snug jeans were faced this morning, AND I WORE THEM ALL DAY!!!!

sooo, even though it's felt like i've been backsliding, things are working. could be better - even MUCH better - but i'm heading in the right direction.

thank you all sooooo very very very very very much...

03-13-2006, 07:58 PM
carbonated beverages stretch your stomach? i did not know that..

03-14-2006, 02:40 PM
Congrats on your new job jiffy. And likewise on your positive shift in focus. Sometimes a woman has to take the proverbial bull by the horns and its sounds like you're back in focus.