Friday, June 21, 2019

TGIF - Dieting Saga

What a week.

I had been waiting for a call from the nurse at the Bariatric Center to schedule my sleeve surgery, but that call didn't come.  So I called her.  She told me that I am now required to lose 17 pounds before they will schedule surgery!

That could take months!  I've been on a 1200 a day calorie count for about 3 weeks and lost a total of 2 pounds.  Sigh.

Yes, I did have a big ol' pity party, and I was angry. But I 'talked' with other patients through our on-line support group, and a few reported the same thing.  One woman was told she had to lose 38 pounds!  She lost 20 and then they scheduled her.

These docs and nurses are not foolin' around. It's an elective surgery and they want to make sure you are as prepared as can be.  There is also a battery of tests that need to be done pre-surgery:  colonoscopy, mammogram,  "Well Woman visit with Pap smear."  So I at least have these scheduled so they'll be out of the way by the time I get approved.  I have this terrible feeling I will go through all of this and then will be denied by my insurance company.  Not likely to happen, since they approved all the visits to get to this point, but still.  I'm tired of surprises.  Neither one of the nutritionists I worked with mentioned this large of a weight loss this quickly. 

After two days of raging and crying, I got real.  I ordered a meal-replacement shake that has all kinds of good nutrients in it, low sugar and high plant protein.  I had that for breakfast and lunch today.  I also took a thirty-five minute walk this morning (see lovely trail above) which I haven't been doing. I know I should have been.  I've been taking fifteen minute walks a couple of times a day.  After feeling pretty sluggish starting out, I felt very good when I returned home, both physically and emotionally.  I did it!  Now to keep doing in five to six days a week.  Next week I'm upping it to two thirty minute walks.

I had this scrumptious salad for dinner:  lots of greens, carrots, red pepper, grilled asparagus, garlic, 1/2 cup ow fat cottage cheese and 2 oz. sliced turkey from the deli.  I used 2 tbs of Newman's Own Balsamic to dress it.  (yes, I use measuring cups and spoons) It was delicious and I was starving.  I savored every damn bite.

Granted, I could have been doing this for the last two months.  Dieting is hard; it requires mental and physical discipline.  Frankly, obviously, I wasn't up to it.  The conversation with the nurse was the wake-up call I needed.

These are all  habits I let go of when my lap band was removed in January this year.  I was like a kid in a candy shop -- I ate much more than my body requires, and so I gained 19 pounds in six months.  It was a frickin' free for all, I tell ya.  Moments of pleasure that had very negative side-effects.  For now, lesson learned.  Big time.

I plan to use this post when my resolve is flagging.  And it will.  But not today.

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”  Thomas Fuller


  1. Sounds like a perfect regimen for weight loss. The walking is definitely crucial. Your dedication will prove successful I am certain.

    1. I'm glad we have some very scenic places to walk, right out my back fence. This helps.

  2. You can do it, girl!!! I wish we lived closer, I'd walk with you everyday.

  3. Your experience is a profound confirmation for me as to what little effect drastic calorie restriction (and the extreme hunger that accompanies it) has for many people who attempt to lose weight and maintain weight loss in that way.

    Do I understand correctly that once you have the sleeve surgery, the effect will be that your body will only be able to utilize not much more than 1200 calories per day and that is what will allow you to maintain the 17-pound weight loss that is being asked of you prior to the surgery?

    Do I understand correctly that after the surgery, you will feel no hunger for more calories while eating not much more than 1200 calories per day? My understanding is that, except for people with anorexia, most human beings experience intense and painful hunger if they attempt to go for any length of time eating only 1200 calories per day.

    Sending love to you as you fully live through all these things that are difficult before they become easy.

    1. the sleeve surgery will drastically reduce the size of a stomach, therefore extreme hunger is not present. I have to lose 17 lbs. in order to have the surgery. After surgery, I will have a goal to lose 60 lbs. After the surgery, the number of calories consumed for the first many months is around 600. When most of the stomach is removed, the hormone Gherlin is greatly reduced, and that hormone is responsible for sending hunger signals from the stomach to the brain. It is present at higher levels in obese people, and much lower levels in thin people. Also present in obese people is the lack of gut bacteria, which helps metabolism. After surgery, the gut repopulates with good bacteria, it has been observed. So there are various metabolic reasons for surgery to help lose and then, most importantly, maintain the loss.

      I had anorexia in my late teens and early twenties. I was not hungry. The less I ate the less hungry I became, and when included with a LOT of exercise, I was not hungry. I had to force myself to eat half an apple because I knew I should eat something that day. I have been on both sides of the metabolic equation.

      I lost 109 pounds with the lap band and kept it off for many years. Although some people do regain after surgery, it is a wildly successful way (with much supporting data) to lose and maintain if you adopt a healthy 'lifestyle.'


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