As I wake every morning, my emotions are high as I step towards the scale. Will it show I lost? Maintained? Or worse, gained? That scale is so powerful, and I hate it. How can something that doesn’t even have a voice dictate my mood? It can ruin my day without even saying a word. One of the biggest misconceptions about bariatric surgery is that you don’t ever have to worry about your weight again. People believe that the surgery cures the problem, but that is far from the truth. I am currently 4 years post op and now more than ever I feel like I worry about my weight. Perhaps it is because I feel like I have a standard to live up to now. The last thing I want is for people to question why I have regained since I invested all this time, money and energy into having gastric sleeve. The truth is, it is a constant struggle. Any weight loss is hard, and doing it through bariatric surgery is no different.
There is a high that you have throughout your first year after surgery. This is when weight loss is its strongest. The scale shows numbers that you haven’t seen in years, and your clothes confirm your success. It is truly a beautiful feeling when you are losing this fast. But for some, that feeling goes away. The further out you get from surgery, the harder it is to lose weight. The advice I give to people who are new to bariatric surgery is to take advantage of that first year. That’s where you have the greatest chance of losing all your weight. It’s natural for it to slow down, and you might see some ups and downs with your weight, but if you see yourself creeping back up, you need to evaluate what could be going on. Regain happens for quite a bit of us, and it is important to be prepared so you know the signs to look for.
I lost a total of 160 pounds and I have regained about 20 back. That’s not terrible, but it’s also not great. Regain after surgery is serious. It sneaks up on you like a cat and takes over before you know it. Don’t let that scare you, but let it be a constant reminder to never stop pushing yourself. If you see yourself regaining, take control and make the changes to get back on track. Most importantly, love yourself at every single stage in this journey. You got this!
“The scale can only tell you what you weigh—NOT who you are” - Steve Maraboli