Hi, I’m Tiffany from Change is Good, Changing for Good. I am honored to be guest posting at Laurie’s blog. A brief background about myself: I had the Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery March 26, 2007. My highest weight was 393.6 pounds, and I have been morbidly obese for most of my life. The last ten years of my life being super morbidly obese. I have lost 254.6 pounds.
This was not my heaviest weight. I estimate that I gained another 15-20 pounds before having weight loss surgery. I wore a size 36W jeans and a 5X/6X top, which had to be ordered from the two major online women’s clothing companies.)
Boston, MA June 11, 2010 (139 pounds)
I debated about what I would post, but decided that I would write about what I do to maintain my weight loss. I have maintained my current weight for seventeen months. Since most of my life I have gained weight, maintaining is a new ground for me.
Tips and Tidbits:
1. Never drink your calories. I was a huge Coca-Cola addict pre-op. I don’t waste any calories on liquids (with the exception of protein drinks).
2. Don’t keep “trigger” foods in the house. For myself, bread is a huge trigger food. I can very rarely eat bread in small portions. At restaurants, I will ask for the bread basket to be taken away, or not to be brought at all.
3. Be prepared. When I don’t have many choices, I will inevitably make bad choices. I always have “go to” snacks that I can eat, so this rarely happens. Stock up a desk drawer at work, stash things in your purse. Argue with TSA that peanut butter is not a gel, and that you should be allowed to take it on your flight.
4. Customize your food when you are out. Don’t be afraid to ask for things to be made a specific way. Have the server go back in the kitchen to find out an answer to your question. Look at menus online to have a game plan for when you go to a restaurant. There have been some ethnic restaurants that I didn’t feel had a lot to offer me, so I brought my own dinner when meeting friends. The world doesn’t care if you are fat, we have to take our healthy eating into our own hands.
5. When you make sweets, give them away as soon as possible. As a former severely overweight person, I never had the problem with sweet items “going to waste” in my house. They were cleaned out very quickly. I love baking new things, but what I do is allow my husband and I to have a small sample, then I send him around to all our condo neighbors, until the items are gone.
6. Be diligent in medical care follow up. This is especially true if you have had weight loss surgery. Make regular doctor’s appointments for yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor tough questions, or to seek second opinions. Insist on regular lab work to be done, and make sure you understand the results of that lab work. One thing I am compiling this summer is a “Medical Spiral Binder” for my husband/family. This is going to contain ALL the medical notes from my doctors over the last five years. If ever something serious happens to me, I want them to be able to use that data to decide what the next steps in my treatment are. Having it all organized in one place will help in this process.
7. Find some way to deal with your emotional baggage. If you have been heavy for any amount of time, there will be feelings of low self-esteem that you need to build. You will have to find your way out of the heavy mode. This may take many different forms. For myself, I had to rediscover who I was. That is the basis of my blog. I’ve went skydiving, horseback riding, and am learning how to cook. Being able to maintain a healthy mindset will help to keep the weight off. I’ve found so much support through the online blogger community as well.
8. Take pictures. Pictures are a good form of accountability. They let me know when I am slipping up. Sure, there is always the occasional unflattering angle or outfit, but this shows progress (good or bad) over time. It is amazing to see the progression over time.
9. Wear clothes that fit. Yeah, I had the elastic waist pants by the dozen too, but you are different now. You can judge by how a pair of fitted clothes feels on where you are weight wise. Take someone who knows how to help you find the proper fit. I found my viewpoint was very skewed in this regard. I started out with a size twelve skirt, and thought it fit just fine. My friend went back and got me an eight. I would have never bought that without her saying, “Yes, this fits you.” She was right, I just wasn’t able to see it yet.
10. Weigh yourself daily. This can frustrate the tar out of someone, including me. I have kept up with my weigh ins online. There are many places you can do this online. I use Med Help trackers. I now don’t panic when I see a spike, especially if I notice it is a trend that my body goes through. Even if you cannot commit to weighing yourself daily, almost all physicians recommend that you weigh yourself weekly to maintain your optimum desired weight.
11. Give up fast food. I was a hardcore fast food addict. Most days, I had fast food twice a day: always super-sizing, getting extra dipping sauce, you name it. I have been fortunate that most fast food makes me nauseous. McDonalds is the absolute worst, and I won’t even let my husband bring it in the house or eat it in the car with me. I have about four items total that I will eat from all the various fast food places. It is processed junk. I’ve learned that I am worth more than that. Again, going back to planning, I would much rather pack something from home, or swing by a grocery store to eat something that is good for me.
Thank you for letting me share. If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them for you. You may contact me through my blog. Be kind to one another, this journey is hard, no matter how you choose to battle it.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite bloggers, Frayed Laces,
“There will come a day when you can no longer do this, today is NOT that day.”