Archive for the ‘Regain’ Category
03/02/2014 by Yvonne McCarthy • 11 Comments | Leave a Comment »
Regain glasses suck.
The moment regain becomes a problem we put on those regain glasses and NOTHING looks good.
A few years ago I distinctly remember reading a post from a woman that went something like this.
I hate my hair. I don’t like my face and don’t know how to use makeup. I hate what I’m eating every day and I’m sick of it. Oh and I gained 5 pounds.
One of my most often repeated quotes….”we are rarely upset for the reason we think”. Of course I assume you can guess what she was really upset about. I wrote her and told her to get a cute haircut, go to a department store and get someone to show her how to do makeup (free) or check out thousands of makeup videos on You Tube. I also told her she could change what she eats every day. Of course none of that made her feel better because she didn’t FEEL like doing any of that because she was wearing her regain glasses loud and proud. It is a vicious cycle because you can’t fix the regain until you feel better and you won’t feel better unless you fix the regain.
It seems that for most people everything looks pretty awful through those regain glasses. I want to help you take them off. You say “Yeah right…like I haven’t tried… and mostly….. I don’t FEEL like it. I don’t feel like doing anything.” I have often pointed out that when you were at this weight on the way down you were ecstatic! Do you see how your perspective totally messes with your head? Why do we obsess about the lowest weight we ever reached instead of constantly realizing what our highest weight was and being grateful we aren’t there? And if you choose to obsess about your lowest weight, doesn’t it make sense to move towards doing something about it instead of continuing to walk down regain road?
Unfortunately we have this big adjustment to make after weight loss surgery because the first year we are wearing the “honeymoon glasses” and EVERYTHING looks GREAT! Remember how wonderful everything was when you lost your first 30-40 pounds? Yet you were heavier than you are now. You could hardly mess up at all the first year. It was all good!
One day you wake up and you can’t find your honeymoon glasses. You start to take for granted the little things like being able to tie your shoes, paint your toe nails, fit in an airplane seat….. and the next thing you know it isn’t enough anymore. Some of us hang in there for a while or even a long while and eventually something shifts and you start to think about how much you miss those honeymoon glasses…. you start looking for that feeling in other things like our old friend Mr. Food. He’s tappin’ you on the shoulder every day…”Pssst….remember me? Remember how much fun we had? Oh come on… a little sum-um sum-um won’t hurt you”. All the while your old friend has some regain glasses stuck in his back pocket just waiting to slide them on your face.
One of the most extreme cases of the perspective meter being out of whack was a woman I met who had lost 485 pounds. Not a typo! She lost 485 pounds but she had gained 40 back. She was all out of sorts and literally more miserable than when she weighed her heaviest.
I asked her to imagine that 485 pounds sitting on the floor. Right next to it 40 lbs. I guess we could say it looks something like this. (For those with perfectly analytical brains please forgive me…I guesstimated it)
I told her not to give that 40 pounds the time of day and dust it off. We give that regain so much power and of course we can pile plenty of shame on top of that for good measure. Shame is toxic, shame keeps us down. Shame keeps those horrible regain glasses cemented to our face.
Here’s the thing….if you don’t take off the glasses and begin to turn things around….chances are that you’ll look up in another year with more regain. Get off the insanity train today. Of course you remember… “Insanity=doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome”
Everyone is different but here are a few suggestions. You can’t build Rome in a day but you can always do the next best thing.
Look at your before picture in the morning and FEEL what you felt like. Sit it that for a while. I do that every morning without fail. Remember the things you wanted so badly. BE GRATEFUL you aren’t there. If I could put you back in that body for a week you would be SO grateful to be you right now.
Quit thinking about the perceived mountain you have to move and pick up the shovel and start with one scoop at a time. Instead of Nike’s “just do it”, change it to “just start”. It’s too overwhelming to plan into the next century. I can hear the questions now….how long will this take? It DOES NOT matter. Just move toward your goal instead of away from it….. just for today. Today is all that counts.
Get the crap food out of your house. I know many people who find creative ways to do this with a family that feels they have to have the crap food. Put it in a place it can locked up but you’d do your family a favor by getting it out of their reach as well. Sugar and junk food is as addictive as any drug and they will guarantee that you will still be wearing those regain glasses. See my “M&M” story in this post.
Find a way to move your body that you can enjoy. I LOVE to dance. I hate to run….I wanted to love it but I don’t. I wanted that runner’s high and I just could not get it. I love yoga and if you think you can’t do it, watch this! I describe yoga as slow dancing with yourself. Abby Lentz from Heartfelt Yoga is a dear friend. Look her up, she has DVD’s.
You won’t do anything for very long if you perceive it as suffering. When you eat healthier food envision how you are nourishing your body. Remember it will make you feel better and look better instead of putting on more weight which equates to depression, physical pain, more misery and a shorter life span. Again the most important part of this is to stop the bleeding that has begun with regain. Nothing in life is easy so here comes your choices……choose your hard.
02/05/2014 by Yvonne McCarthy • 2 Comments | Leave a Comment »
Ever since this story aired on the evening news I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. For years the National Weight Control Registry has been keeping records and documentation of those who have lost weight and kept it off for years. The term “Super Dieters” tends to turn me off a bit because we all know diets don’t work and no one should be called “Super” as if figuring out how to manage your weight somehow gives you magic powers. I’ve been a member for several years. The questions are extensive… they ask everything you eat, your activity, how much you weigh, did you gain, did you lose, etc.
Ok…. so they gave us six tips these people seem to have in common and I’m thinking most people won’t get past the first one. Just like knowing the sky is blue, this first tip will be just like being told it isn’t….but what if this nugget is really spot-on? Truth is it won’t apply to everyone but I’m going to attempt to explain why it might apply to way more than you think.
Let’s get the next part over with (the posting of the list) so we can go ahead and get done with the screaming after reading the first rule.
Rule No. 1. Don’t ever cheat. They never give themselves a break, not even on holidays or weekends.
Rule No. 2. Eat breakfast. The National Weight Control Registry shows that’s one of the most common traits of those who succeed in keeping those pounds off once and for all.
Rule No. 3. Get on a scale every day.
Rule No. 4. Put in the equivalent of a four-mile walk seven days a week.
Rule No. 5. Watch less than half as much TV as the overall population.
Rule No. 6. Eat 50 to 300 calories less than most people.
So rule 4,5, and 6 deal with the “stuff” we’ve heard forever….calories in/calories out. For years I never ate breakfast because every day for over three decades I woke up with the idea that I would go as long as possible without eating. Too bad no one was around to tell me in the 4th grade that I was destroying my metabolism. So check…Rule 2 is a given. Since finding out there are about approximately 2,000 steps in a mile, most days…Rule 4, check!
Rule 5 done. Sometimes I watch TV while I’m walking so I’m not sure exactly how that fits in.
Rule 3 is an absolute for me. “Hello scale” every morning…it just gives me feedback and it has no special monster powers. I’ll do a “part two” in order to cover this in another post because this one is for everyone still laying on the floor from a cold faint after reading Rule 1.
My surgery was nearly 13 years ago and I’ve learned many, many things. Some beliefs that were absolutes changed and Rule 1 was one of them. I’ve told this before and I’m telling it again. Early on I would allow myself my one guilty pleasure ONLY IF I was able to get 5 pounds below goal. (It was a Quarter Pounder with cheese – insert my self induced shame). I was somehow able to stick to that but what I noticed was on the days I couldn’t have it, I wanted it! Eventually it became harder and nearly impossible to get 5 pounds below goal and after some period of time I also realized that I was beginning to forget how my “crack” meal tasted. Then I totally forgot and I didn’t even crave it anymore. Because I stopped eating it I had successfully rewired my brain to lose the cravings. I was also acutely aware the cravings would come right back if I ate another one…even one bite. Um….duh. That’s sort of like quitting cigarettes and having one just for fun after 3 years. I’ll say this again too. For me, the idea of taking a bite of something to get past the craving equates to giving an alcoholic a sip of beer to stop the craving. SOME of us can take these bites but so many cannot.
If I had a quarter for every post-op that told me the M&M story, I could take a trip to Mexico. The M&M story you might ask? Maybe it’s because they are tiny…but the story always starts the same. “I was doing great for 2 years, 4 years, (sometimes even longer) and I ate one M&M. Really what could that hurt? Next it was two then three…then a small bag, a bigger bag.” Some call it testing the waters. They went such a long time without one single M&M and nobody died, they certainly didn’t miss out on anything of nutritional value and they were doing great until they decided they could try just one. In other words they never cheated during that time and most were at the weight they wanted to be or at least smaller than after they started the M&M’s. You CAN be abstinent from sugar and junk food and it is far easier if you have none instead of a little for those that struggle with not being able to stop.
Again let me repeat….IF you can “eat just one”, go for it. I’m beyond thrilled for you!!! If you find you are not losing or you are in the process of regain, you could always try stopping any food you don’t wish to crave. Try it for a month but approach it one day at a time. When I’m somewhere and there’s a bowl of M&M’s, I look at it as if it’s a bowl of cyanide. Sugar put me in the prison of an obese body and at the end I would have rather died than spend another day at my heaviest weight. And really….if you were a drug addict would you allow yourself a cheat snort once a week?
This is a great quote that applies. 100% is easy, 99% is a bitch. Not eating processed sugar and junk food 100% is so easy but 99% leaves a ton of wiggle room. It has became totally effortless for me to avoid these foods but please don’t misunderstand…..my journey is still something I work on every….single…day.
If you still think this is utterly ridiculous, file it away for later. My favorite quote:
- There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
It means don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
And just in case you might have missed this before… I’ll leave you with an oldie but goodie.. .
03/06/2013 by Yvonne McCarthy • 8 Comments | Leave a Comment »
This morning a story was featured on Good Morning America. Chris Powell is a beautiful soul and I can’t be grateful enough that he said he wasn’t for or against weight loss surgery but he mentioned he has seen many after surgery for help with weight loss. This is a misleading statement because his clients wouldn’t be WLS post-ops who kept the weight off. The words that sent an arrow through my heart…”Brian was so busy focusing on altering his body that he didn’t change his mind and that’s where the transformation happens. Then he got it. He learned from his mistake. And then he said I’m going to do this the right way. I’m going to walk my dog. I’m going to start one step at a time.” I know Chris meant the right way was by making the transformation in his head but it sounds like weight loss surgery was the wrong way.
Chris made some excellent points that I’ve been talking about for years.
With every transformation we need to surround ourselves with people who love us unconditionally.
Find another purpose that feels much better than food ever did. Always have something to look forward to more than food.
Most importantly he mentioned that after you quit getting the thrill of seeing the scale move and getting all those compliments, you have to find more happiness in service to others.
Where are the stories about those who figured it out the first time around after surgery? We have to work just as hard every day to maintain our weight loss. This isn’t about me….it’s about all of us who have gotten our lives back. While some haven’t kept it all off they are still 100 pounds plus ahead of the game. Watching someone freed from their bed, wheelchair or walker is a miracle to me. Seeing someone resolve their diabetes is a miracle. Some of us have damaged our bodies so intense exercise isn’t an option but there are still ways to move our bodies.
For years I’ve been writing People Magazine when they publish the issue about people losing half their weight. They don’t want my story because I had surgery and they really don’t understand how many times we’ve lost half our weight only to gain it back. Why can’t they celebrate those who have kept it off period? It is always funny when I hear how weight loss surgery doesn’t work but the moment someone loses a great deal of weight quickly they are immediately accused of having surgery.
I want this post to be understood. Brian is to be congratulated for figuring it out no matter when it was. Chris knows how to teach people how to keep the weight off but I hope some day he’ll learn more about our community. Please don’t leave negative comments about either of them.
The cynic in me says no one wants to do positive stories on WLS because it just isn’t good television.
Maybe some day….in my lifetime…the stigma will go away forever.
03/25/2012 by Yvonne McCarthy • 16 Comments | Leave a Comment »
Carnie Wilson is the reason I had weight loss surgery. Some of us affectionately call each other Carnie babies. My surgery was about a year after hers. In 2000 there was no aftercare and maybe a couple of places you could even discuss it online. We forget how much ridicule Carnie had to endure going first and going so publicly. The moment I heard about gastric bypass I made the first available appointment for a consultation. I literally did fifteen minutes of research.
Now Carnie has decided to have a second surgery twelve years later and the comments under the online articles are so incredibly cruel. Not only from the “normies” (as I certainly expected) but also from the weight loss surgery community. Revisions are very common so we should be accustomed to those. Many of us regain so we should be accustomed to that too. At the very least if you don’t have something kind to say… don’t say it. We have enough problem fighting the stigma of WLS without our own community helping. Since I have been volunteering for many years I’ve noticed some particular circumstances that seem to cause regain. In no particular order:
1. Having babies. Almost every woman who has a baby after WLS fights regain.
2. Not being educated properly about the psychological aspects of our disease.
3. Being super morbidly obese before surgery. It’s just plain harder for those folks.
4. Being a woman. (Men have a far superior metabolism)
Carnie also has to do it in the public eye. How well would you do if after your surgery paparazzi was there every time you left your house to record every pound regained or lost? I would have crumbled. She went first so the process was a little easier for the rest of us and yet some of us pound her at the first opportunity.
She deserves to be happy with her decision. I don’t know anyone who is perfect enough to throw stones so let’s give her another chance to be healthy and avoid diabetes. I’ve never seen it in the “WLS life rules” that you don’t get another chance. I would really appreciate some support for her in the People magazine online article linked below. People Magazine has particularly not given us much of a chance because every time they publish the “Half Their Size” issue we are intentionally left out. The cover says “no surgery, no gimmicks”. Aren’t you happy to know we used a gimmick?
Thanks in advance for voicing your support.
Thanks in advance for not posting if you are against giving her support.
We are so strong when we pull together and nothing would make me happier than People Magazine hearing us roar!
Who is Bariatric Girl?
Musician, Artist, Photographer,computer geek and weight loss surgery aficionado. On March 30th, 2001, I had weight loss surgery weighing in at 260 pounds. Since that day I have lost and maintained a 130 pound loss. Yoga and walking my dog were the only exercise I was getting until I started with an instructor and creator of "Body Juggling". Click on the picture on the bottom of this page and it will take you to the site. Read More »