Thursday, December 02, 2010

A 3 year battle with the scale

The photo I took on the morning I hit the
100-pounds-lost mark. August 19, 2008 - 10 months post-op.
Recently, on, I was asked about my weight loss story -- or more accurately, the story of my lack of weight loss.

So often we don't hear the stories from WLS folks who never meet their goal weights. We never hear the stories about how science doesn't always work like it's suppose to. We never hear the theory debunked about "calories in vs. calories out" and we continue to believe the lies that it's the only way to lose weight. Sometimes it doesn't matter what your calorie deficit is, your body does whatever the heck it wants to do. But the diet industry doesn't want you to know that. So I'm sharing a summary of my weight loss journey with some links to more in depth information about pieces I mention.

My journey toward weight loss has had many twists and turns in the road. But my journey is not unlike many, many other people who are on the same road I am. There are lots of us who never reach the goal weight we thought we'd achieve. Below is my story:


I stopped losing around the 10-month mark - right in the midst of the period in time when I was training for a 10-mile race followed shortly by a half-marathon. The scale played games with me for a little while after that, but essentially the weight that I was at 10-months out, is the weight I'm at today. About 190-195lbs.

I had my 1 year follow up appointment about a month late, so at that point I'd been stalled for 3 months -- but my Nut and PCP didn't seem concerned and figured I'd start losing again any day. I got the standard speech about following the rules and sticking to the plan as prescribed (which I was).

I had my 2 year follow up appointment and the scale had then been stopped for 1 year and 3 months. Over the previous year I'd been wearing the GoWearFit, been experiementing with calorie intake (higher amounts, lower amounts) and nutrient content (more protein, less protein, more carbs, less carbs) and had switched up my exercises (walking, cycling, weight training). Nothing made the scale more either up or down. My medical team was baffled. My PCP said to me: "You are doing everything right. I don't know what else to do for you." So my PCP sent me to an endocrinologist who instantly put me on a Rx diet pill. After 3 months of pure hell, I went off Adipex without any significant change in the scale (lost a few pounds, but they came back as soon as I stopped taking the pills). Then the endocrinologist fired me as a patient.

About 6 months into my second year post-op I finally figured that I needed to work on the mental side of things and find a way to accept the weight that I was and beating myself up about it. My body had a mind of it's own and it was going to do whatever the hell it wanted to do -- and I had no control over it whatsoever. I'm still dealing with that emotional and mental battle but I feel like I'm in a much better place today than I was 6 months ago.

And now, here I am 3 years after surgery. Next week I have my appointments with my PCP and surgeon's office. The scale still hasn't moved even though I was a very bad girl for several months this year. I hate that bad behavior is not punished with added pounds. I don't expect anything earth-shattering to happen at these appointments. I don't expect the scale to move and I've stopped trying to make it move -- I'm just working on maintenance at this point. I've had to learn that following the rules isn't about seeing rewards on the outside or on the scale ... it's about doing what's right for my body so I'm as healthy as possible on the inside.

Yes, its frustrating when we can't make our body do what we want it to do. It's frustrating when we realize that we're not in control of stuff (I'm a control freak, this part pisses me off big time). It's frustrating when our doctors don't have the answers and when science kicks us in the butt with it's nonsense.

So at some point we have to make the change from beating ourselves up over meaningless numbers on a plastic machine that lives in the bathroom next to the toilet -- and learn what it means to accept ourselves for the amazing women we are.



  1. Pam,
    The science doesn't work for everyone because the calorie ratio is set as a one size fits all. I am not a believe in starvation mode and I believe that someone people require more of a calorie deficit than others to reach their goals. I am almost 2 years out and I never eat more than 900 calories a day. Anymore than that and I will see an immediate gain. I am a little below goal now at 160 pounds. I know most post ops eat many more calories than that. But I can say that keeping my calories very low works for me and I am healthy and I am not starving.

  2. @Karen -- "Starvation Mode" is a scientifically proven thing. It's not really something you can believe in or not. Check out the Minnesota Starvation Study for more information.

    As for eating only 900 calories a day. Yeah, I tried that avenue too. Around the 18-month mark I did that for a month or two. The scale still didn't move. It also didn't move when I was eating 2000 calories a day. So yeah, I guess I defy the rules, huh?

  3. Great Post!! I'm gonna start following you. . .

  4. I love when you just throw it all out there! That is why you are my hero!

  5. This really hit me. Thank you for your honesty and letting me know Im not damaged and neither is my body.

  6. @Little Mama - Thanks! So glad you'll be following the blog.

  7. @Kristy - You're such an amazing inspiration to me. I love you right back!

  8. @Chrissy - None of us are damaged beyond repair. Sometimes a little duct tape goes a long way in making us whole again. We rock, don't we?

  9. I so relate to this post! Dang If I could stretch my 5ft height body then my bmi would be lower, but alas I cannot. So I have to accept who I* am and not let a number on a scale define who I am as a person!
    If you are ever on Skype, I would love tp talk with you.


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