By Suzette

After having a conversation with my son, who is not a bariatric patient, I realized that stalls are the bane of the bariatric patients existence.

Well, at least they make us feel like we are not winning the battle against obesity.

I lost most of my weight in the first six months with my doctor telling me I was losing too fast.  I was excited and poo pooed off his advice until 6 months out I stalled and did not lose any more weight for 1 year and 6 months out!  Painful, yep!  But I had lost enough that my biggest fear was re gaining what I had lost.

After worrying, trying different combinations of eating and beating myself up, lucky to not gain any weight back, I realized a basic  idea that most of us miss.

My body had been in shock from the surgery for the first 6 months.  This body of mine needed time for recovery and regeneration!  The more I stressed over the stall, the worse it became.

For me, going back to basics, protein first and exercise were the key to not gaining.  I did not starting eating a ton of carbs just because I was not losing and felt sorry for myself.  I did not stop exercising.  And I made sure that my portions stayed small so that  I would continue to eat mechanically the right way.

I think this is what kept me from bouncing my weight around.  I know that for some this just doesn’t work.  But changing the basic recipe does not make the cake better, it may make it completely different, and I did not want to change what I had already accomplished.

What I did change was some of my exercise, I hate to sweat, I began to make sure I sweated every day.  Another change was that I would barely hit my water intake, I started exceeding my water intake and learned to pee like a horse, it takes the fat and impurities out of my body. The third and last thing I learned was that my thinking about food had changed.  I do not eat because I’m hungry, I eat to nourish my body!

Nourishing my body means feeding my body what it needs to maintain health, not eating just anything.

Often when we speak to groups I hear the statement “they told me we could eat anything just in moderation”, I’m here to say that is CRAP!  The old saying is “if you are insane you will do the same thing over and over again expecting different results”  That definitely applies to the bariatric patient that thinks they can continue eating the same foods they ate before their surgery.

Bariatric surgery, which ever you choose is a TOOL!  You are the mechanic that will make that tool either work or you will break it!  YOU are the one that must become the master of your tool! You are the only one that can make or break your success.

What does this have to do with stalls?  Everything!  Why spend your time and efforts trying to get back on track, don’t ever tempt yourself.

I remember being at one support meeting when a lady who was 6 weeks out and was disappointed at “only losing 38 pounds” (which by the way is awesome) wanted to know “when can I start eating noodles”, my answer was, any time you want to but WHY would you want to go back to doing what got you into trouble in the first place!!!  Harsh?  I don’t think so!   I think I was being truthful and honest!

We have to change our thinking to stop our stalls and failure!  WE all are in the same boat and have to paddle like the boat is on fire and we are fighting to make the shore before we sink!! In some instances we may get a little singed before we figure out our personal level of success.

I also hear folks say, I have lost XXX number of pounds and I’m happy? Really, did you give up on your goal or are you stalled and worn out from trying to break the stall?  This is a place we all have been and truly will all break through if we do not give up on ourselves.

My stall did break, and I have lost about 10 more pounds a total of 160, I am carrying 12/15 pounds of loose skin, I eat my protein first, low carb, sugar free, lactose free, these are things I have done since day one.  I do eat a little larger portion than I did the first 6 months, still not more than 1 ¼ cup total per meal which is variable.  What I do is what worked for me!  I cannot say what works for you, but evaluate, what worked in the beginning? What changed?  If nothing changed, then try changing up your exercise and water intake first.  If you are lax on your protein, try increasing it and lowering the other calories.  Sometime like me you just need to change the Sweat Factor!  Increasing or changing your method of exercise is one of the easiest fixes.

Good luck and if you have broken your stall please let me know what you did differently and how it help you get back on your plan.

P.S. I do not have any underlying health issues that might keep me from exercising, I know there are those that struggle because of these issues.  This was not meant to address any of those issues so please don’t misunderstand my thinking.