The 3 Most Common Reasons for Weight Loss Surgery Failure
Food and Weight have been problematic issues for me all of my life since early childhood. The
first binge I remember was age 5 at a kindergarten Valentine’s party – I couldn’t stop cramming in the sweets – and barely made it home in time to vomit in the toilet – help it in with much difficulty – part of my early strict conditioning – do bodily functions output ONLY in the proper place. Ordinarily my mother controlled my food intake – I can only imagine the joy and freedom I must have felt at this time.
On June 10, 2013 I had a VSG – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – “the sleeve”. With the loss of weight pre-op required I lost a total of 137 lbs. I’ve successfully kept off 100, and aim to continue.
The 3 most common reasons for failing after WLS. Weight Loss Surgery.
Honeymoon is Over
Lack of Support
I mostly gave up the protein drinks because 1) I don’t like them that much
2) they don’t satisfy my protein hunger the way real food does and 3) Making them
requires more effort in the making and cleaning up then I often have – due to
the depression symptoms of low energy and apathy.
However I still have 1 1/2 large containers of the expensive powder – 2 yrs later –
don’t know if the open one is still good – and I tell myself I WILL use them because
of the expense especially.
I generally do NOT eat protein bars because I dislike them – yuck the soy protein – and also they usually contain some sugar.
Potato Chips – When I went shopping yesterday I got extra rice cakes to use instead
of potato chips. (Lundberg Organic Whole Grain Rice Cakes Salt-free ONLY). So for snacks now I will sometimes have rice cakes with cottage cheese (a food high in protein – 14 gms per cup).
I know chips are not something I should eat. However I was good friends for awhile with another WLS patient, 7 yrs out, who constantly ate cottage cheese and potato chips for snacks several times a day. Against my Rational Mind I chose to follow suit – OMG the first time I tasted that combo I felt like Id died and gone to heaven – huge red flag right there – if ANY food or drink gets me so excited in response to ingesting it – leave it out – it is potentially addictive for me, therefore deadly.
Former friend had a DS – duodenal switch – so had less stomach space than I – I find certain foods seem to be able to eat too much easily while other “real foods” cause me to feel full faster – like meats and vegs. And they also seem to have “rough edges” after I swallow them which contribute to less in.
The Whole Grain Rice Cakes do not trigger me that way, although I’ve been known to eat too many when I wanted to nosh, nosh, nosh and I had no other carb substance in the house. The plain ordinary rice cakes that most supermarkets sell are not whole grain; they are refined and they do trigger me.
Honeymoon is Over – my weight gain happened between months 18-24 – huh! I gained 30 lbs. So the honeymoon was over for sure PLUS I was turning back to food for comfort due to loss of relationship pain – and in relationship pain, too. Also my depression was pretty bad then which means very little physical energy so I do what takes least effort ie eating “easy down” snack foods instead of doing the food prep.
Lack of Support.
I live 80 miles from my bariatric center and I no longer have a car so I’ve identified this as problematic for quite some time. Because of dual needs – need more support AND need to share my successes and experiences with other WLS folks I’ve thought of moving there, even put in an application for low income senior housing there about 12-18 months ago. Portland is a larger city and has a good bus line so I could get where I wanted to go easily. However Home is Home.
So what I’m doing now is planning to start a local WLS support group. Unfortunately the person I would
turn to for community assist for this just got laid off from job at medical center due to a merger – so not sure exactly what to do now.
Also I’ve joined several WLS pages on facebook and found one great page I am participating in daily – Gastric Sleevers over 50 Support Group. AND met my one/one co-sponsor there who I stay in contact with daily for mutual support and accountability.
OA and FA – Overeaters Anonymous and Food Addicts in recovery Anonymous are excellent support groups in my are because we are all dealing with the same basic issues – addiction to foods. It is important to find a Sponsor right away, and to find someone willing and confident to modify the suggested meal plans to accommodate the new stomach size of a WLS patient.
For myself I attended OA meetings mostly since 1980 until recent past years. There is no longer an OA in my town and without a car I find it difficult to get there. Many 12 steppers do not seem as accommodating to others re rides and other helps as the old-timers are. FA is more difficult as their guidelines are very rigid and structured and it is challenging to find a sponsor willing to work with a WLS to make the necessary food plan changes such as portion sizes and frequency of eating. I had success in working with my Bariatric Nutritionist to write out the food plan I should follow and my then sponsor, working with her sponsor, accepted that and agreed to work with me. So why did I stop going? Early meetings – 8:30AM – however the meeting is in town and I can easily walk to it, and now that I am back on track I get up early morning so I will consider returning. This recovering from a food addiction is a life long process, and requires diligence, work and commitment.