Janine, says, “It was so exhilarating that first 6-8 months after weight loss surgery, I remember it well. The pounds are flying off and although you’re trying to find your rhythm, it’s still pretty much an easy ride. Then the weight loss begins to slow and the excitement does too. There can be some panic like, “I’m gonna fail. How did this happen? I’m doomed to be fat forever!”  But this feeling subsides and you find your new stride with slower but steady weight loss. But the feelings come back like a bulldozer when you plateau.  “Oh my gosh, this is it. I’m done and I didn’t reach my goal weight yet. But I’m doing everything right and I’m not losing.”  But then you stop, evaluate, and realize you’ve been cutting your exercise short lately. So you kick it up a notch and before you know it, you’re back on track with weight loss. Then you’re 12-14 months out and the weight loss just stops. You decide to try maintenance because you really are pretty happy with where you are.  So you go on living and you do well maintaining. But 2-3 months later, you discovered you’ve gained 5 pounds. And I haven’t talked to ONE weight loss surgery patient who hasn’t regained some weight. But by this time I had dealt with the voices in my head that wanted to tell me I was a failure. I knew enough that the weight regain was because of my choices, but I wasn’t a failure. It was up to me to assess what had been going on that contributed to my regain.”

Janine says she reviewed the after weight loss surgery basics and was honest with herself about each one.
Protein & calories: “I had gotten comfortable. The first day I startedtracking I remember I couldn’t believe how little protein was going in. The calories were heading toward the direction of 1600-1700! I was adding a handful of frozen berries to my protein shake twice a day. How did I start using whole milk? I had switched yogurts and added about 100 calories. I was putting butter on my healthy, cooked vegetables!

Daily exercise: “It wasn’t daily. I convinced myself I could maintain my weight with 3-4 walks per week. Had I not been increasing my calories maybe I could have.

Sleep: “I was doing okay on sleep.

Hydration:  “My water was slipping too.

Vitamins & supplements:  “Maybe this wasn’t affecting my weight gain but I was slipping here too. I had run out of calcium and was only taking my multivitamin.

Prescription medicine:  “I was still taking 2 medicines but I had not seen my primary doctor since right after surgery. Again this was not the reason for my weight gain. But my doctor did lower the milligrams because I had lost so much weight.”

Appointments:  “I was on track with my surgeon’s appointments.”
Janine did this self assessment four years ago.

“I still follow the same formula today. I have a poster with this checklist. It’s beautiful and still hanging on my fridge. It reminds me what got me back on track all those years ago. It is my daily reminder of what I need to do to keep the weight off. I made a second poster that I added to when I discovered something else that was important to me staying healthy. I started weighing myself 2-3 timer per week. But I would say the most important things I’ve added to the second poster have to do with how I manage life.”

rose w janine words

Excerpts from Janine’s LIFE list.