Regain is something that unfortunately happens for some bariatric patients. It can be a really emotional process to go through and it takes a lot of effort to get back on track. I can speak from experience as I experienced a 100 pound regain after having gastric sleeve surgery back in 2014. It has been a really difficult process trying to get back on track. I did not realize the emotional toll it would take on me. To be honest, it happened over such a long period of time, I started getting used to the regain. I was so unhappy and suffered from depression because of it. I had so much shame for what I had done to myself. I had worked so hard and lost 160 pounds. I was so healthy and felt so good about myself during that time. After the regain happened, it was almost like I became numb.
I tried so many things to get back on track after the regain. I did reset diets, low carb diets, low calorie diets, you name it! I never stuck to anything, which gave me more shame. Shame is a really hard thing to live with. I remember I used to wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror and feel disgusted. I was disgusted that I let myself get to that point again. When I lost the weight, I never thought I would be that person again.
It took me a few years to finally figure out what I needed. I eventually decided to have a conversion surgery to gastric bypass. This is the tool that I needed all along. I needed a fresh start. I am now down 40 pounds and am feeling great. However, I still sometimes have anger towards getting back up to this weight and it has taken a lot out of me to learn how to control it.
Once you get in so far with the regain, you begin feeling hopeless. It can feel like there is no escape. I promise you, there is still hope. The first step starts with learning how to forgive yourself for the regain. I denied it for so long, but eventually when I started to accept the regain, I realized I was on the right path towards a healthier me. I had to stop torturing myself with all the “what if’s.” What if I would have followed the plan better…what if I had worked out more.. what if I would have gone to therapy sooner. I had to stop obsessing with the things that I did not do and instead focus on the things I could do now. I cannot change the fact that I experienced the regain. However, I can accept it and learn how to navigate through it.
If you have experience regain, forgive yourself. The first step towards getting back on track is acknowledging the regain and then letting it go. You cannot stay mad at yourself forever. You have way too much to achieve! So, pick yourself up and re-focus your energy. You will get through this regain. Find what works for you because it is different for everyone. Do your research and get yourself back on track. Never forget your WHY behind getting healthier. You got this!