We recently welcomed Anetra back for her tenth annual follow-up visit since gastric bypass performed by Dr. Adeyeri in 2011. Even with the challenges we have faced with Covid-19, the US Postal Service employee has continued to maintain her weight loss.
It is possible to regain weight after bariatric surgery. Motivation to lose weight and stay on track the first 12 months after surgery is at its highest, certainly. But how do you stay motivated to maintain your weight—or continue to lose—four years, seven years or even 10 years after surgery?
Fortunately, Anetra was willing to share her experience and offer some real-life weight maintenance guidance from which we can all learn:
Can you share your history with us?
I’m a 62-year-old married mail carrier in Ocean County. Ten years ago, I carried the mail on foot, lugging a 40-pound (or more) bag with me up the stairs and hills, 12 months a year.
I am 5’4” and weighed over 200 pounds at the time. Since my weight loss surgery 10 years ago, my weight now averages between 140-145 pounds.
Carrying so much extra weight was already taking a toll on my health; I had high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, unsteady cholesterol and I just felt out-of-breath and exhausted all the time.
Even with all the daily exercise, I could not lose any significant amount of weight–and I tried all the diet plans over the years. And my weight kept creeping up a little more every year.
My husband, who is 6’4”, had gastric bypass performed by Dr. Adeyeri in 2002 and he lost about 200 pounds, which I’m proud to say he has also maintained. I consulted with the doctor in early 2011 and found out that my chronic health issues qualified me for weight loss surgery.
How did life change after gastric bypass?
Due to the physicality of my job, I took off eight weeks to fully recover after surgery. I had time to focus completely on my new style of eating, which was great.
First and foremost, I concentrated on finding out when I was full. If you overeat after surgery, you will feel uncomfortable, so it’s an important lesson to learn early on.
I got rid of the junk food and sugar and replaced them with fresh fish, chicken and turkey. Even today, we have about three meat-free days a week, which keeps your energy level surprisingly high.
Fruit has become my passion; I eat it all day long for the sweet taste and to feel full.
We also love butter lettuce and Jersey tomatoes as a salad base several times a week.
How do you fuel up to walk 12,000 steps daily?
Breakfast is a big meal for me. Typically, I will focus on eating whole grains, like oatmeal topped with a small banana or whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter. However, a lunch break isn’t always possible, so I pack light snacks, such as whole grain crackers with peanut butter, watermelon, turkey bacon and cheese sticks.
Keep in mind, these are small portions. Often, I’m too tired after work to even think about eating dinner.
What do you do when the scale creeps up?
I go back to the tools Dr. Adeyeri and the bariatric dietitians gave me 10 years ago; they worked then and they work now:
· Start writing down everything you eat during the day
· No late-night eating
· Increase your water intake (not my favorite thing, but necessary)
· Up your protein
· Get rid of salty and processed foods
Anetra’s Tips for Bariatric Success
1. If you have weight-related health issues, it’s a message that you need to take action and get the weight off before symptoms get more serious.
2. Find a surgeon you trust and like, because it’s going to be a long-term relationship.
3. Challenge yourself to slowly eat small bites of food; you will eat less, I promise!
4. Focus on one day at a time. Eat the right foods, drink water and move your body.
5. Get support from your family or the bariatric community.
Can you speak about working with Dr. Adeyeri since 2011?
Since he operated on my husband 19 years ago, I’ve always had 100% confidence in his skills and expertise. While he’s a serious surgeon, he’s also very funny and positive. He never forgets anything about my case, even 10 years later. I look forward to my annual visit every year to see him, for sure!
Are You Frustrated by Repeated Diet Disappointments?
If you have more than 75 pounds to lose, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery could be the solution to set you free from the weight of the weight.
Call our friendly team of weight loss surgery specialists at (732) 217-3897 and schedule your telehealth appointment–within the next week!
You will speak privately with our medical director, Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, and find out if you qualify for a bariatric weight loss solution.
We look forward to profiling YOUR success story soon!