If you’re new to the world of weight loss surgery…
Last Saturday I reached another post-op anniversary, it has been two years since I reached my goal weight after my gastric bypass surgery. This means I’ve been in the maintenance stage for two whole years now. Before my surgery my mind was so focused on the weight loss in the initial stages and reaching my goal weight that I never really thought about or considered how things would be this long after having weight loss surgery.
So how has my second year been? I’ve found it very different to the first year and in no way has it been easier. I had mistakenly thought earlier on in the process that I would reach a point of being done. Done with having to think about my weight, done with having to think about what I eat and being done with my weight problem for the rest of my life. Oh how naïve about that and life in general I was. It’s pretty safe to say this year I have learnt a lot.
My goal weight celebration outfit and photo and two years later!
Let’s start with the easy stuff shall I? Who knew that a chocolate bar a day would not be conducive to managing your weight without it slowly climbing? I learnt again for about the thousandth time that I have to pay attention to what I’m eating and always make that effort to make the right choice. I learnt that I will continue to repeat mistakes and try again with things I know I shouldn’t eat that cause me problems. I learnt that you don’t get to your goal weight, do whatever you want within your new limits and maintain your weight.
I really struggled for quite a lot of the last year to understand why my weight was climbing slowly but surely. I was doing okay food and exercise wise and it didn’t add up. Some old bad habits had crept back in and to be honest with you I think I will always struggle to control them when things get tough, but once I was honest with myself, recognised them and worked on it the weight gain stopped in its tracks and I maintained well.
The biggest thing I learnt and have to take away from this year is that I will always be on a path of learning and discovery, literally for the rest of my life, regarding what my body needs and how I can maintain my weight at a healthy level. I now know that I need to check in with myself and have a good look at everything food, exercise, habits, how much sleep I’m getting and general self-care on a regular basis. Without this checking in and complete honesty with myself I don’t have a hope of maintaining the incredible weight loss I’ve achieved.
I wasn’t able to understand how some people managed to put all of their weight back on after bariatric surgery before. In my first year of maintenance I could do whatever I liked and my weight stayed where I wanted it to be. I’ve since figured out that my body was enjoying an extended honeymoon period and that long-term the game isn’t that easy. I think for some people this realisation would be crushing because they have banked on surgery to fix all of their problems. I always knew it but once again it was reinforced to me that surgery is not a silver bullet. I’ve come to a place of total acceptance of this though. I always knew this was ultimately on me and I know I can do the work I need to.
Where exactly am I at? My weight is sitting about 3kg over my goal, my clothes still fit me and I’m quite happy with my body. I am fitter than I’ve ever been and I really feel like I’ve come into my own as a runner. I never ever expected that to happen. Mentally the game is a bit tougher but being aware of it makes it easier to deal with. I celebrated my two-year goal weight anniversary by walking a half marathon, the second half marathon I’ve completed. I love so much that I’m more than capable of doing things like this now!
The second year has gone well overall, it wasn’t what I expected but at the end of it I’m still winning and I would still do all of this over again if I had to. My gastric bypass was the best choice I’ve ever made to put myself first and I look forward to seeing where the next year takes me.
Have you got to a point where you are maintaining your weight after weight loss surgery? Is it what you’re expecting or like me are you continually learning new things? Comment below and let me know!