When the Tool No Longer Works

Barbara Thompson

Those of us who are post-op know that right after surgery, the weight tends to fall off at a rate that you have never known before.  Your former foe, the scale, suddenly becomes your best friend – at least until that first plateau occurs! If you had Roux en-Y (RNY) gastric bypass surgery, your new pouch is very swollen right after surgery and there is little room for food, much less your water.  After two bites, you are full.  You get used to losing 15 to 20 pounds per month and you start to calculate that at that rate what you will weigh after 12 months or 16 months, believing that your weight loss will continue at that rate, month after month until you are positively svelte! You have little desire for food.  It tastes somehow different, and despite any nausea you may feel, any falling hair, or the occasional dumping, life is grand!!!

But then your weight loss slows.  You wonder if this is another plateau or is it the end of your weight loss?  Along with this comes the return of the food demons.  And you realize that your dreams of never feeling hungry again are not realistic.  How you deal with these issues will determine your true success. Yes, you will know hunger for the rest of your life.  However, this is when the tool can be used to your best advantage.  You will not experience the truly ravenous hunger that may have plagued you in the past, however you will experience a hunger that is now much more quickly satisfied than prior to surgery.  You are able to eat less and your appetite is able to be satisfied. The tool works, but you now know that you control that tool.  It is no longer automatic.  This can be a psychological barrier that some have to overcome.

Take advantage of those early months when the weight comes off the easiest by following the four “Rules of Success.”  They are:

1.  Eat protein first at every meal.
2.  Do not graze.
3.  Try to drink 64 ounces of water every day
4.  Exercise regularly

Realize that the weight loss will come to an end and it may end before you want it to.  Do not doubt how wonderful this surgery is, but it truly is a tool that you control.

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