Merry, you do what you think will work for you. If you can stick to the Weight Watchers diet and lose the weight, then by all means do it. I have tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Medifast, etc., and I gained the weight back every single time. I became very discouraged because personally, my weight came off very slowly and I was still so large that it was very difficult to effectively exercise. I was embarrassed to go to the gym and would always say, “I’ll go when I’ve lost a little more weight.” My joints hurt from arthritis so badly that it was difficult to walk, and especially when I would develop plantar fasciitis. I had to wear orthotics in my shoes, had cortisone injections into the plantar fascia, and would always give up the fight. I didn’t mention that hypertension and diabetes also played a big role in my lack of motivation. I was SO tired all the time. I would take a nap every day between 2 and 3 p.m…you
could set your watch by it! Now, I can go all day long and feel fantastic.

Looking back at my lifetime struggle with weight, there was only one time that I actually lost a significant amount. I worked for Richard Simmons as an instructor at the Anatomy Asylum in Aurora, CO. I had gotten a job there working in the nursery to help pay for my membership, as we were a young couple with three small children and my husband was attending graduate school, and money was tight. As I was losing weight, I was asked to train so I could teach the “overweight” aerobic classes. Some of the women in that class weighed close to 400 pounds, so naturally the routine was simpler and less demanding. I was able to work out 3-4 times a week for an hour, sometimes twice a day, and I did lose around 40 pounds; however, it wasn’t just the exercise that caused the weight loss, it was because I put myself on a 500 calorie-a-day diet eating some type of protein bar for two meals a day, then a salad with a little tuna or grilled chicken for
dinner. Heck, I would have lost weight on the diet alone, without the exercise…I was REALLY hungry all the time. Surprisingly, I found myself expecting our 4th child after losing from 180 down to 139-ish and guess what…I gained every single pound back during my high-risk pregnancy where I was put on complete bed rest for 6 months. And, after that pregnancy, I weighed more than I ever had.

Yes, the weight loss does slow down with the MGB, but what I found was the initial large amount of weight I lost was very encouraging and motivating. I can walk, jog, and have just started Pilates, which I absolutely LOVE. A year ago, I couldn’t perform any of these activities.

I don’t know what diet you could go on where in 12 months’ time you would lose 100 pounds or more (depending on your beginning weight and length of bypass) without feeling hungry and having uncontrollable cravings. For me, losing my craving for food has been the biggest blessing of all. At 7 to 8 months out, you will start craving some of the bad “old” foods you were used to eating, but this is the period of time where you need to train yourself to eat good foods! This surgery is a tool, and you still need to change your thinking when it comes to food. I have to say that this “tool” is very powerful and it certainly hasn’t taken much effort on my part. I keep plenty of veggies cut up in the fridge to nibble on, as well as fresh fruit. Last night I cut up a cantaloupe and half a watermelon, and I always have grapes, apples, or strawberries for when I get a sweet tooth and feel that craving for a little sugar. I also find when I
increase the protein in my diet, I lose that craving for sugar and I also lose better.

Bottom line, this surgery has been a blessing and Dr. Rutledge has given me a second lease on life. I am so happy and feel SO fantastic…I can’t sing his praises enough! BUT, it is you who has to feel good about your decision, and we will all support you either way!

Best wishes,
Holly

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