I started this blog with the original intention of public and personal accountability regarding my weight loss surgery journey, as well as the hope that it might educate at least one person who’s thinking of starting their own journey.
In that vein of accountability I’m sharing my regain struggles. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve unfortunately been letting old habits sneak back in. This has especially been true since I hit my personal goal weight last winter, which I was only really at for a hot minute. Slowly but surely I’ve regained back 10-14 lbs, depending on the day.
Not only have I let some old eating habits come back but Dad and I have been severely slacking in going to the gym regularly. There’s not really any valid excuse other than I got lazy and sat on my laurels. I never changed mentally, thinking that I could sneak by eating what I wanted but just in moderation. With food addiction this doesn’t work. Yeah you can only eat 2 cookies instead of your “normal” sleeve of cookies, but if the box is sitting next to you on the couch you’ll slowly make your way through that sleeve without a second thought. It might take an hour or more, but it’ll happen.
Everyone says that the sleeve (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) is only a tool. Tools help but first you have to help yourself. You have to make the mental shift that I actively fought against. I’m not sure why I actively fought against the mental shift needed for long term success, even though I heard from multiple resources, including my surgeon’s office, that you’ll lose the weight initially during the honeymoon phase practically no matter what you do but if you don’t make the mental changes needed then it comes back to bite you in the butt.
Below I included the requisite comparison photo collage. My smallest was 168 but I didn’t get the photo from the 2 minutes I was actually at that weight. The middle picture was from around the time Dad and I did the Flying Pig 5K. We were working out regularly in preparation. Even though the difference is only 10 lbs between then and now there is a noticeably visable difference. What little muscle tone I had is gone. My core strength is diminished so I’m not holding my stomach in as much and not standing up as straight.
Plus you can tell from my facial expression that my body confidence has been affected too. I realize I’m no where near where I started and have come far since the beginning of my journey, but that doesn’t take the feeling away of just feeling gross. The larger tummy roll has affected how my new smaller wardrobe fits. My stamina and strength have decreased. My headaches have increased again. And when you eat junk you just feel junky.
So that leads me to my goals in the new year. They’re fairly simple and take me back to basics immediately post-op:
1. Eat more protein, less carbs. Generally more well balanced. Maybe throw more vegetables in here and there for novelty’s sake.
2. Work out at least twice a week, even if Dad flakes out on me.
3. Increase my water intake.
4. Take my vitamins.
5. Start tracking my food again.
6. Start weekly weigh-ins again.
7. Start going to bed at a “normal” time, aka at least by 11-1130 every night during the work week.
8. Avoid complex carbs, aka those yummy addicting sweets. I need to take a page out of my mother-in-law’s book and not even start eating them. I’ve learned that once I start I don’t have the willpower to stop. That first piece of candy out of the snack drawer at work will lead to another 5-6 throughout the day. And it just goes on from there.
I think these are doable goals. Another super challenging goal that I’ve set for myself is that I’ve registered for my first 15K race, followed the same day by another 5K with my Dad. You read that right. By the end of that particular day I will have run 20K, with the potential of 25K if I decide to do the 5K walk after the race with my co-workers. Yes, I realize I’m a little insane, but I find that I’m better if I have a goal to work towards. I have just over 3 months to get myself up to speed, so to speak.
So here’s to the New Year and keeping accountable!