Body vs Weight

I continue to struggle with slow weight loss. If you look at the timeline, you can see that it’s going down, but just creeping down. I lose a pound, go up and down for 3 weeks, lose another, etc. I posted I was down 50 lbs total, but that was about 2 weeks ago and NOTHING since. I am following the plan. I have certain “macros” to follow:

  • Protein between 75 and 90 grams
  • Water at least 80 oz
  • Net carbs under 50

I don’t have a specific calorie target, but generally get between 900 and 1100.

I also follow all of the other guidance about not drinking while eating, and getting exercise. But nothing seems to change.

On the other hand… I’ve gone from a 4XL shirt down to a snug XL. That’s huge! I can wear some tops from a regular store! Unbelievable! I am thinner in many places: face, arms, legs, butt, chest.

On the other hand… I’m still carrying a huge amount of weight in my belly. I’ve gone from a size 26/28 to a 20/22. That’s 2 sizes, which is great, but actually I hit that many months ago, and since then, nothing.

Frustrated!!

Six Months and Counting

Yep, 6 months since my surgery.

No regrets. I’m in such a better place with my body than I was 15 months ago when I started this journey. And I see improvements almost every day.

People have asked how hard it is sticking with the dietary regimen. I’m not finding it that hard because my whole approach is to be chill and not feel bad if I don’t stick 100% to the plan, but stick to it pretty religiously. It’s become a way of life to have a water bottle with me all the time, bring food with me when I go places where I know it will be mostly food I don’t eat (like lots of carbs and/or sweets), and have food in the house that I love that nourishes me. I generally don’t make a big deal out of most of my meals: just have some tasty protein and a few small things on the side. I go out to eat. I cook and eat with my family. I just make good choices, and my surgery is a tool that helps me not eat too much.

I feel like I’m being successful in my lifestyle changes.

I wish I was losing weight faster; some people have lost 70 or 80 lbs or more after 6 months. I’ve lost 50. That’s not trivial, but not as fast as I’d hoped. On the other hand, I don’t have any of the issues that a lot of people have, like nausea, inability to eat foods they love, hair loss, dehydration, or really anything else. I just can’t eat a lot, have trouble with only a small amount of foods, and need to pay attention more than others. I’m happy with that.

Handling Stalls

A “stall” is when weight loss stops for a period of time, at least a week if not more. I’m in a couple of Facebook groups for people who’ve had weight loss surgery, and by far, the most common post is a panicked or frustrated post from someone who’s stalled. It can be 2 weeks after surgery, 6 months after surgery, or even a year after surgery. Invariably it’s something like “The scale hasn’t moved at all in <some time period>. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong! I’m doing just what I was doing before, getting in exercise, water, and protein, but nothing. What can I do to break this stall?”

The advice people give runs the gamut, including…

  • Eat more
  • Eat less
  • Eat more carbs
  • Eat less carbs
  • Eat more protein
  • Eat less protein
  • Exercise more
  • Exercise less
  • Don’t do weight work, only do cardio
  • Cut back on cardio, start some weight work

You get the point.

Almost always someone says they did one or more of these and the stall broke the next week/day. However the other option is to just stay the course; keep doing what you’re doing and your body will kick in again. The problem is that we just don’t know what stopped the stall: doing one or more of the above, or just waiting.

I’ve been in many stalls since my surgery, which was just 5 months ago. Mostly I’ve just continued doing the same thing. I’ve increased my carbs and calories a little bit to see what will happen. We’ll see…

3 appointments, 3 days of walking

Turns out I had 4 separate doctor’s appointments this week, on Monday (2), Tuesday, and Wednesday. I had a great victory: I walked from my car to the appointments and back again. And on one of the trips I took the stairs down from the 3rd floor.

My back hurt progressively more each day, but it’s not hurting to the point where I feel like I need to take Tylenol. Almost, but not quite. The hard part is knowing if this walking is irritating my back more, or if walking will actually help re-develop my walking muscles. I guess I’ll keep walking, and see what happens.

Meanwhile, the scale stays stuck; no movement in 3 weeks. Sigh.

Walking and Weight and Hunger

Walked again today. Just up to the stop sign and back. A couple of hundred yards. I put on my sneakers for the first time since I wore them to the gym in February of 2020. (I’ve been wearing my walking sandals during the pandemic, but they finally bit the dust a few weeks ago.)

It feels really weird. My back hurts some, but mostly my hips are complaining. They’re not used to walking. I’m really working on my gait, keeping my feet aligned and my arms moving and not rocking back and forth. I didn’t walk far, but I walked, and it felt great.

On the other hand, my weight hasn’t budged in a while. As usual. It’s really hard to stay motivated. I generally eat between 900 and 1000 calories. Some people think this is too little, so I upped it to 1100-1300 for a few days. Back down around 1000 now. I’m getting in my daily vitamins, water (80-90 oz), protein (75-90gm). Even with some walking, my chair aerobics, and yoga. Stuck. Grrr.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, I’m hungry a lot more all of a sudden. Maybe my body is saying yes, please eat! Or maybe it’s self-sabotage. I get people advising me to eat more, or just ignore it, or drink more. Nobody really knows what to do, and nothing seems to help.

Can you tell I’m on a bit of a downer?

Goals and milestones

I’ve been asked many times if I have a goal weight. I’m in a Facebook group for women who are on the bariatric journey, and it seems most of them have a goal weight. As I’ve said many times, the most important thing for me is being mobile, not having back pain. But since I look at the scale, of course I’ve thought of milestones. I’m not setting a weight as a “goal” because I am goal-oriented, and don’t want to feel like I will fail at my goal if I don’t get there. But here are some interesting weights in my history:

  • 278: Weight at which I got pregnant the first time
  • 265: Not sure what was going on, but I distinctly remember being this weight, maybe in my 30’s
  • 225: Weight I was when I graduated college
  • 199: Just a big transition. On my FB group we call this “getting to onederland”.
  • 185: Weight in my freshman year of college. (Very sad because at this weight I thought I was the fattest, most disgusting thing on the planet. Felt that way all through high school too, when I likely weighed less.)

I don’t know what my actual goal weight is. I think I would be thrilled to be below 200. I might end up at a higher weight, but will be satisfied with that if my mobility is significantly improved. So this is an interesting journey, without a specific endpoint. An adventure!

More creeping along, two new NSVs

Weight is slowly coming off. Down 38 lbs since surgery, 72 overall. Amazing.

NSV (non-scale victory) #1. I’ve been in size 13 underwear forever. I moved to size 12 after some initial pre-op weight loss. I’ve continued to wear those, although they’ve been getting looser and looser. I pre-bought some smaller sized underwear months ago. Yesterday I wore a size 9. Pretty cool.

NSV (non-scale victory) #2. This is me, with a towel wrapped around me enough to stay on by itself. I actually can’t remember the last time I could do this. Maybe college?

I guess I should have been taking body measurements all this time, because I am definitely significantly smaller.