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Friday, July 15, 2011

There are no guarantees with WLS.

I'm a die hard realist and for that reason, I always like to express how there are no guarantees with weight loss surgery. I see and talk to a lot of people being that I run the local support group and I see a variety of attitudes within the group. Most people have very realistic expectations but once in a while, I run into people that make a lot of assumptions about surgery - only to disappoint themselves when they don't get the results that they want. Realistically, we need to go into this surgery with the mindset that we do this for health. Here are the statements that I hear sometimes that worry me:

~ "When I get to a size 2, I will....".
~ "When I'm smaller than my sister, I will....".
~ "When I lose all my weight, I will....".

I worry about these because even though I was positive I had realistic expectations, I know that there was somewhere deep inside of me, where unconsciously I was certain that I'd end up being an 18 year old, blonde bombshell who was too small for a size 2.". LOL!! I think everyone subsciously has this desire to turn into Britney Spears with rock hard abs and a killer body. LOL!

Then we are disappointed to end up as a scraggly, wrinkly 40 year old like myself who looks good when I dress myself appropriately upscale but looks haggard in a pair of shorts and tank top. I'm serious here.

And I barely got to a normal bmi despite the fact that I exercised like a mad fiend my first year (I walked a half hour to work and home and then jumped on my treadmill for four more miles after that!).

I ended up not a size 0, not a size 2, not a size 4...but a size 10. I mean I had coworkers who were size 0 after having three kids!! It was devastating!

Realistically though I know that I'm bigger boned in many respects. I didn't even change a shoe size after WLS whereas many people can change and lose 2 or 3 sizes in their shoes.

The Bariatric Centres of Ontario often quote that a 50-60% loss of excess weight is what they consider a success with WLS. I surpassed that easily my first year. But then hit bounceback and, still went higher than that amount. Even with bounceback I've lost more than 50 - 60%.

So what does that mean? That means that they are being absolutely conservative in their numbers and well, they have to be. Knowing that people's genetics are all different, people's metabolisms vary greatly, mobility varies and definitely the amount of weight to lose. Most people that are 400 lbs will not see a number in the 100s. Some do - but they are few and far between. That means that being 400 lbs, you won't necessarily be guaranteed to be 150 lbs by the time two years are out. Can you be happy with 200?

That's the concept that people need to grasp. There are no guarantees that you will ever be a size 2, that you will lose *all* your excess weight, or that you will ever be smaller than your sister.

Mindset is key here because where you end up will be determined by *YOU*. If you don't reach a certain size or a certain weight (yes you can keep trying!) will you define yourself as a success or a failure? For me, because I was a 10, for a LONG time I defined myself as a failure. Now I'm changing that attitude and seeing that life is SO MUCH MORE than just a dress size or a number on the scale.

So be sure to measure your success by NON SCALE VICTORIES. Make lists of things you can do after surgery that you couldn't before. Keep those biggest pair of pants to remind you were you were and where you are now.

Remember my friends, attitude is EVERYTHING!


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