Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Scale Never Lies...

I previously mentioned the Thinner Times forum as one of the best places for any question a WLS patient may have. Not everyone there knows what they're talking about, however, so you need to weed out those who have been living the life long term from those who may be pre-op and not as well informed as others. This goes without saying for anything you find on the internet and in forums in general, but some people still need the "dummies" version of the book. Last night I was reading a thread someone posted inquiring help about how many calories a day we should be eating post-op. This is a really really REALLY relevant question...mainly because I had the same one and of course my questions are the most important (even though I had not had the guts yet to ask it myself). There were so many replies my head was reeling. 

The thing is, you are going to get a different answer from each person that has a different doctor, in a different state, who went to a different medical school and heard their info from a different professor or research study. I saw every single answer from 1500! Are you kidding me?! I have asked my nutritionist the SAME question and do you want to know what the NUT said? Really? She said not to even worry about the calorie intake as long as I am getting my protein requirements for the day...which are above 50...which will spark a whole other debate on the forum (more than 50...70...80...1 gram per pound of goal for me that would be 150 grams a day?!). Let's stick with this one for now and when my hair starts falling out (which it better now, damnit) we can discuss protein again. So the forum has numbers all over the spanking place and my doctors are telling me something completely different. This is what I decide to do...

I chart my every single day intake on (it's amazing and awesome and you all should join because it's amazing to see what we do with ourselves daily). I track my calories, fat, protein and carbs. I also track my fitness minutes, fruit/vegetable and water intake. In terms of protein, I strive for at least 60-70 grams, if not more, a day. In way of calories, however, let me break it down. As time goes on in pretty pretty post-op land, one can consume more ounces of food. I was on liquids, then soft foods, then about a week afterwards I was eating about 2oz of food at each meal. Two months out, I can now eat about 3-5 ounces of food (depending on what and how dense it is: ground meat versus stew with lots of soft veggies). When I was about a month out, I was eating between 300-500 calories a day tops. I just couldn't get in more than that and my body was definitely in starvation mode. I was still healing too, so I felt tired all the time from taking in so little and recuperating. Now, I am able to thrive on about anywhere between 600-900 calories daily. I never break 1000 and although many people would say I am too high, many others say I am wayyyy too low. I find that varying my caloric intake helps me more than staying on the low or high side multiple days in a row. Here's why...

Simply put, sometimes you HAVE to eat more to lose more. That doesn't mean go out and hang out with all the police officers at DD on a daily basis. What it means is that if you eat too few calories, no matter who you are, your body will go into starvation mode and hold onto all the fat it can for dear life. Our bodies panic, and instead of losing weight on the scale, we stall out or even gain a pound or so. The stall can be the biggest bitch of all. I looked back at my weigh-ins on spark during the time I would lose about a pound a day and then stall and not really lose the next week. Now, I know that our bodies play catch up with us and the not losing is a sign the body is readjusting. However, I have found that since I have upped my intake and vary the calories I am eating daily ( day 1: 630, Day 2: 800, Day 3: 732 etc.) I have lost weight more consistently without the dreaded stall for more than a day or so. Also, I will eat on the higher end of my numbers on days I work out for more than 30 minutes and also up the fluid intake. The science of it all is too much for me and if I read another post right now about who thinks or has heard what about calorie intake, I may cut a bitch. But in the end, it's not anyone's fault, yet again, that we do not have an accurate picture of what we need to do. We each have an individual body that has very different needs from the next person. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. All we can do is support the choices of our friends and online community members, and keep asking and answering questions. Sometimes half the battle of not feeling alone is knowing someone else is just as confused as you are. 


  1. Wow! I so agree with what you said. I am 4 weeks post RNY and am so frustrated that no one has the same idea on what to eat, how much, protein intake, calorie intake, food choices ect. I so agree that you need to find out what works for you and your body. The scale never lies! Thanks for the great inspiration. I will follow you now. Any advice on preventing or slowing the hairloss? Charmaine

  2. Thank you so much for following my blog. I began writing with the intention of writing down many points on what was to be a difficult journey for me and it turned out to be a place where I hope to educate those who don't understand our choice and help myself and others cope with the lifelong challenge it will be. Thanks so much for the nice words :o) I have not yet experienced the hair loss aspect (knock on wood) but I will update the blog with any new info I hear or experience. Trust me, I will want to bitch about it if it happens lol.

  3. How do you feel about Carnie Wilson having the surgery for a second time or teens as young as 16 having it? Need an opinion from a "person in the know."

  4. Carnie Wilson has to make her own choices, as do we all. I can't say I would do the same in her shoes...but I have never walked in them. All I can do is focus on what I need to do for me and let others do for them. At least Carnie is actively making decisions, even if we don't all agree with them. She could be sitting on her duff and eating herself to death. She may still do that if she chooses not to utilize her tools but who am I to judge. It's her life. As far as 16 year olds go, I don't know that I agree with them having the surgery. Yes, some will be mature enough to know what they are getting into and be prepared for life after surgery, but most will not. I as 28 before I could even really make an informed decision and wrap my head around it. I also don't think a parent or guardian should make this choice for a minor...much of the reason I was as big as I was had to do with my issues with my mother's constant diets for to be on. I needed to grow and make the choice for myself, I would never want a parent to make that decision for me or allow me to make it without being properly informed. That being said, there are always exceptions to any rule. An active counselor needs to be involved in any big decision, so I would hope anyone of any age is seeking some better understanding of themselves and their goals before making the plunge. I hope I answered the question Anonymous :) Please feel free to ask others!