# 7: People will treat you differently, and it will bother you! Imagine being 40 feet away from the door of the building you are entering, and for the first time in your life, someone stands there and holds the door open for you to walk through. My first thought was; I have opened my own doors my entire life, and now that I look a certain way, you want to stand there and wait for me to walk through the door? I was furious! This was a huge mindset adjustment, and I had to do a lot of work on this topic. I was so angry that because of how I look, people were going to be nice to me? What? That was one year after my weight loss. I went from 40 percent BMI to 18 percent. I have since worked through the emotional aspect of those situations. This was a process in itself, and I can help you through it as well.
Looking in the mirror and becoming happy with the progress, but still not "feeling" good about yourself. Reflection and retrospection become more frequent, and the realization of how you have been treated based on your size is common among all those you know. It starts to sink in. How shallow is the world? Really? The weight loss is good, but what about all this skin? Realty hits! Perception is everything! When I was at my biggest (220-pounds at 5 foot 2 inches) I never thought I was that big, but now that I hang around the 120-pound range, I cannot see myself as "tiny" as a lot of folks like to refer to me. I am powerful! Do not let my size fool you. Wink Wink!
Even your family and friends treat you differently, those who are struggling with their weight as well may now be resentful, your significant other may start to have feelings of insecurity, and an already shaky partnership may end. Relationships will change. My 2nd husband left me after losing 70lbs. He became insecure even though I never gave him a reason. I think I married the last chubby chaser out there. My married friends did not want me around, not much in common anymore. Everything really starts to change.
#6: You start to change! For better or for worse! New habits begin. Good, bad, or otherwise. Drinking, partying, avoiding responsibility, over exercising, not eating at all. Everything is changing so quickly, and I lost control. Four years after RNY, I had obtained four DUI's (three of those within five months of each other), lost my home to foreclosure, had to move back east to get help from family, and went into treatment for alcoholism, lived in halfway houses for nearly two years, and I have been sober since October 13, 2008. This is where a lot of my internal healing started to take place, so I have no regrets about how I got to this point, I am just so grateful to have made it past that point. Talk about vulnerability. The depression on top of the alcoholism is an entirely separate subject.
#5 The vitamin and mineral deficiencies start to impact overall health. Hair falls out, digestive system does not work as well as it used to, so constipation, IBS-D or C, Diverticulitis, Anemia becomes a concern, Iron infusions begin ($15,000 a pop) other comorbidities arise. This is a lot to deal with and by this time, you no longer have contact with the support groups, or you just don't get the support you need from your doctor’s office. The weight is starting to come back, and you are starting to be able to eat things that you should never eat again.
#4 The sagging skin does not go away, so new relationships are harder because of the insecurities of hanging skin. (Unless the hot molten lava hanging from bones is something sexy these days.) Surgical removal is the only way to get rid of it. I started that journey in 2010, and I had my most recent procedure in December of 2020. I had skin lifted from my thighs and back, so for the first time in my 50 plus years of life, I don't have a skinfold hanging over my pants. I am going to wear what I want to wear for as long as I can. I was not able to as a young woman, but I am only one great facelift away from 40!
click here to see before and after photos. www.TrainingWheelz.net.
#3 You will gain weight back. According to a study published by Pubmed: "Weight regain was observed within 24 months after surgery in approximately 50% of patients." I did gain some weight back over the years, but I set my max number and would always get back on point if I exceeded that number. Not number obsessed, but I weigh daily. Now, I have my body and lifestyle designed to stay around the same number or at least within 5lbs. Depends on the season. We must enjoy life in the moments.
Your stomach can expand back to size the size of your head. Our relationship with food and beverages MUST change for good. A balanced meal plan while avoiding high sugar and processed foods. My saying: "If you can drive thru it, DON'T GO TO IT!" This is a must! These lifestyle adjustments are not expected to all happen overnight. We did not get here overnight, even though it may seem like we did, but little by little, it all gets better. Everything in moderation, right? We can have the things we love; we just have to decide what price we are willing to pay. Weight gain, extra exercise, etc... Consequences for all our decisions. Choose wisely!
#2: Exercise, hobbies, active activity are a must for keeping the weight off. Visit my website at www.TrainingWheelz.net where I have great recommendations to find groups that put together events for people who enjoy the same activities, such as hiking, biking, book club, painting, whatever, if there is not one, start one. This is great also for social networking. Just find your hobby and go from there! Encourage a friend or family member to join you and have fun!
#1: The number one topic that needs the most attention is SELF LOVE!
If we cannot love ourselves, how can we expect others to love us? The pre and post support groups do not focus on what got us in that position in the first place. This is not putting the blame on the medical teams, because their focus is to provide you with the support you will absolutely need medically while adjusting to your new procedure, but putting a bandaid on a gaping wound is not going to have much of an impact in that short period of time. We must to go back and re-write the script.
Everyone is different, and my program is designed for all phases of self-love, ie., self-care. They go hand-in-hand. I will help you FIRST and FOREMOST learn how to love yourself, no matter what your size, because if you do not love yourself first, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. If we don't love ourselves enough to make great choices for our bodies, then we will end up right back where we were, NO, excuse me, worse off, because I can only imagine how it must feel to GAIN YOUR WEIGHT BACK after going to such great lengths to take it off in the first place! (Since so many think we, "took the easy way out.") There is nothing easy about being desperate enough to die to be acceptable to society and believing this to be the resolution to a "normal" life.
I chose weight loss surgery because of the impact the weight was having on my ability to exercise after having a total hip replacement at the age of 30 (childhood hip disease). The extra 100lbs was too much for me to do what I needed to do without excruciating pain, and because I really thought it would make everything ok, and my life would be perfect if I were thin. Everyone always said: "you would be so cute if you just lost some weight." Well, it does not solve all of the problems, and it can absolutely create more if we do not go back to the beginning and start with self-love.
YOU DID NOT FAIL! Weight loss surgery failed you! Now, let's change all that!
My primary reason for starting this blog, is because of my personal experiences with life after WLS and all the challenges that come with it, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and for me, financial. I have been very determined to keep my weight off over the last 18 years, but seeing so many other WLS clients struggle with keeping their weight off, or gaining it back, or still not being happy with themselves, or feeling worse than before. "I must be hopeless if weight loss surgery couldn't even help me."(anonymous) YOU DID NOT FAIL! Weight loss surgery failed you!
STOP THE MADNESS! I am here to help you through what may be the most challenging and changing times of your life. I will help you learn how to love yourself first, find a hobby that you enjoy, and make healthy nutrition choices based on your body's needs and per your WLS procedure and stage, so you can be healthy for the REST of your LIFE! It's no longer about being "skinny" it is about being as healthy and happy as you can be!
For more information on my visit my website at TrainingWheelz.net, and let's get this party started.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18392907/. Magro DO, Geloneze B, Delfini R, Pareja BC, Callejas F, Pareja JC. Long-term weight regain after gastric bypass: a 5-year prospective study. Obes Surg. 2008 Jun;18(6):648-51. doi: 10.1007/s11695-007-9265-1. Epub 2008 Apr 8. PMID: 18392907.