Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why the Question.

Yesterday, I asked a question. It was, "What would you say if I told you I was considering gastric bypass surgery?" And I got a huge response that totally floored me. So I want to explain why I asked the question... what was behind it.

I've mentioned before that I have had heart palpitations over the past decade, usually not too bad and usually if I eat a lot of produce and skip junk I don't get them as much. I've seen a doctor and a cardiologist. But I had one really upsetting episode with an arrhythmia that put me in the ER when I weighed 278 pounds. (If you really want to understand the terror of this problem for me, you can read this post from way, way back when I was only about a month into losing weight). So, I have not had any MAJOR arrhythmias in a couple of years.

The other day I woke up, felt great, made myself a bowl of steel cut oatmeal with bananas and almonds and sat down to a great healthy breakfast. Except before I started to eat, I went in the fridge for milk and saw bloody raw meat juice dripping down all the shelves. Leaky stew package, ick. So I spent half an hour emptying and scrubbing the fridge, and wayyyyy in the back at the bottom, lying sideways, I found a bottle of Starbucks mocha frappuccino. Must have been there forever. I thought about dumping it but hadn't had coffee in awhile so I decided to have it with my oatmeal. Bad idea on a lot of levels... but I have a thing for sweet coffee.

I sat down with my oats and coffee. I sucked it down. About 10 or 15 minutes went by and I felt my heart kick into double beats. I coughed (which is supposed to stop the racing) but it didn't stop. Thud thud thud. I mean SUPER fast and thumping out of my chest. Coughed more, took deep breaths, started to get lightheaded. EXACTLY like that time I went to the ER. I calmly took some herbal remedies. I chewed some aspirin. I sat still. It kept pounding, on and on. It was not slowing or stopping and was skipping beats and then racing and honestly it became terrifying at about 2 minutes in. I got the phone poised to call 911. I wondered if it was going to stop. I wondered if I was going to have a heart attack. (It was not a panic attack... I used to have them long ago and this is different... the cardiologist explained and I have not had a panic attack in ages). So I sat there, watching my daughter play, wondering what I should do, thinking, "oh my gosh. Maybe it is too late. I have screwed around and stayed fat and not fixed my health and now, now I might end up back in the ER." After 3 or 4 minutes, suddenly my heart just 'jumped' back into normal rhythm. I sat there waiting for it to happen again, but it didn't. But I was exhausted, emotionally, physically, mentally. My chest felt heavy and tired. And I cried and cried. I hit a new rock bottom regarding my weight. I haven't felt so desperate/frustrated/helpless in a long, long time.

I've been dealing with other stuff, family health problems, 3 sick kids at this point, PMS, not getting enough sleep. I've been up the past 2 nights most of the night with my daughter who has a 104 fever. One son was sick last week, another woke up sick today. But yesterday, when I was sitting around drained from the arrhythmias and feeling so utterly bad that I have ruined my body in so many ways (like my knees that are SHOT), I just wondered, "how am I going to do this? What am I supposed to do NOW?" I was too scared to exercise or do anything to get my heart rate up in case it would flip out again.

And in my inbox was an email from a major weight loss company, offering to provide me product if I will blog my progress. So them mental gymnastics began. "I need this weight off NOW for my health. I need to get a good chunk off FAST so I can continue. I need to do SOMETHING different." I thought about gastric bypass. I thought about LAP band. I wondered what you guys would think about me taking some kind of a drastic turn from my "whole foods, produce based, work for it" approach. So I put it out there.

"What would you say if I told you I was considering gastric bypass surgery?"

I wanted to get REAL feedback from people I think sort of know me and where I am coming from. Many of you I've come to trust and value your opinions. I wondered if I'd get an overwhelming state of shock that I would stray from my usual mindset, or if, perhaps, it really IS time to do something drastic to get past that 225 pound barrier I have been up against for over a year now. I've thought about LAP band before; and really, in my saner moments I *had* decided against it for two simple reasons: 1) it won't fix what's going on in my head and I worry I would drink milkshakes to get around the band, and 2) I have NO ONE who could care for my children properly if I were unable, and since they are from two marriages, if anything happened to me they would be split up to different parts of the country and I don't think they'd be well cared for. I can't stand the thought. So I decided I cannot take the risk for my kids' sakes.

Yet who has been morbidly obese and not ever considered it? Don't most people think about it and wonder? And as I see all the AMAZING information rolling in to answer that question, I think the responses to that post are going to stand as a valuable resource to anyone who comes through this blog considering gastric bypass. I have not seen such a concise, distinct set of input anywhere else on the web... answers from both sides, positives, negatives. Thank you for all the input and information because I know it is going to help a lot of people.

And thank you for the outpouring of support. Through it all I think many sensed my desperation, worried about me, knew there was something *behind* the question (as I did not say "I am considering it" but "what would you say?") And in many of the answers I have drawn strength and felt such compassion and seen successes and struggles that make me feel like we are all in this together no matter what path we take to lose the weight.

I wondered when I posted the question, "Does it really matter how one loses the weight, if it comes off and stays off?" Of course HOW it comes off may determine whether it stays off, but why is it that if you stand 3 normal-weight people in a room, and each has lost 100 pounds, the general public:

1) *assumes* they had surgery or used pills to lose the weight
2) gives some kind of moral superiority to the person who "did it on her own" without surgery or pills or a diet program?

Why is it that the person who lost weight via surgery is somehow seen (by some) as weaker or less successful than the one who did it by counting calories and walking?

Why is it that the person who does it on meal replacements, liquid diet, or some other supplement program is not seen in as high esteem as the one who just ate less and exercised more?

Is it because people assume you CANNOT change your lifestyle without some kind of intervention? So they are in awe, somehow, that people can just change their lives on their own?

Isn't it just as hard if not more so to live life after weight loss surgery as it is without? I dunno, I don't really understand the prejudice out there. Thoughts?

I am not going to have surgery. I think it is an amazing tool and have respect for you who have used it. I think we all have to find a path that works for us.

I get approached by a lot of diet companies to try their products and do a review on my blog. From dieter's coffee to weight loss bars to hypnosis CDs to pills, I've heard it all. I turn down almost all of these products because I believe there is no magic pill. My main policy when considering reviews is that I will NOT try anything that could be harmful such as pills containing ingredients that are questionable. But I *have* tried some things that are benign, just so I can blog about them and tell you not to waste your money. But what about a program that features meal replacements for 2 meals a day plus snacks, and has you eat your own lean protein and lots of vegetables for dinner? No drugs, no herbs, no stimulants, no magic ingredients, just portion control, low sugar, high protein, low carb, 1000 calories a day. Maybe?

My main thought against it is that it costs $300 a month (free for me, but do I want to promote something that might make people thing they need to spend that kind of money to lose weight?) Do I want to veer off my whole foods plan and do prepackaged stuff for a month or two so I can see 20 or 30 pounds drop off? Maybe it would be helpful, because I am ALL about unbiased reviews. If it tasted like crap I'd say so. If I was hungry I'd admit it. I'd be blunt and honest. Maybe it would help people decide who are considering this plan. Honest reviews can be hard to find. And perhaps it would get me out of my plateau. But I am not willing to change this blog into some kind of promo for a program, whether it works or not. So I dunno. Do your thoughts about a *drastic* change to lose weight change when we are talking about that kind of program versus bypass? I have felt just desperate enough to consider such a change, lately. I just don't know. My heart, my self, knows that eating whole foods, nourishing my body with fresh healthy produce is *the* answer. Would doing a product review for a month get me into the 2-teens again, help me get my energy back, drop some pounds off my knees so I can *do* more when I get back to my healthy eating plan? Or would it just screw things up even more?

All input is appreciated and I do realize what a valuable resource I have in all of you, who care and give me feedback honestly and freely. I hope what I write is of some benefit to you as well. I don't just write this blog for me anymore. I care about the people who read it.

Scale is down 2 pounds to 233.


Anonymous said...

I say do it. Take them up on the offer. Do it for you, I think one thing about this is that it can't HURT you. The weight loss surgery has potential to hurt you (based on your reasons for not doing it, ie your children), this is far less intrusive.
And you know what, it may not be a miracle. And it may not get you to your goal weight, but like you said, if it gets 20-30 lbs off, why not try it? If it only gets 10lbs off, why not try it?
If like you said you are going to be brutally honest, then you can explain to your readers that you don't necesasrily think this program is NEEDED to lose weight. But if it works, you can tell them that too.
The readers will understand. We will all understand if you try it.
I can read the frustration and stress in your latest entries.I see no harm in mixing it up, trying a short term plan that is different than yours. Plus you have the experience with the whole foods to give us all a compare and contrast.
No harm in trying?

Andra said...

Lyn, you've been at this too long to even have to ask "what happens?" if you try this product. You *know* that 1000 calories a day is not healthy for your body. You *know* that it will screw with your metabolism. You *know* that you may bet into the two-teens with it but you also *know* that once you stop it, you'll pop right back up out of them.

The weight is an issue, but you have a bigger issue to deal with and that's working with your Cardiologist to figure out what is up with your heart along with getting your children healthy. Health first, scale second.

Alexandra said...

I'm sorry you're so frustrated and stressed, and I wish there was one easy answer to solve your problems. I guess the answer is, do what you (and your doctor) think is right for you. Don't worry about what others will think of you because it isn't about them.

That said...some people do look down on those who have had GBS as weaker than those who "work for it." But the thing is, GBS is NOT a quick fix. It's not an easy way to lose weight. Even getting to the point where you decide to take that route...that HAS to be a struggle, and after you have the surgery, I'd say it's more of a jumpstart than an easy way to lose weight because if you want to be successful, you still have to change bad eating habits to good ones, you still have to get in the activity. Because if you don't change your lifestyle, you can still go back to your old habits and gain the weight back--some of it, if not all.

P.S. Good job on the 2 pounds. :-)

Kelly said...

Regarding the heart issues: I've been there. At 250 pounds. at 230 pounds. I know it. I've been to the ER with it. It scared me to death like it did you. The doctors asked me questions, hooked me up to machines and finally said that it was from etiher too much caffeine (Diet Coke was my water) or too much stress (I was living with my in laws....I won't go into details). I did a lot of reading on my own and one thing that actually helped me was taking potassium supplements. I was low on potassium in my diet. That combined with losing some weight has REALLY helped. I won't say that it never does it at all anymore but it may skip one beat instead of doing it over and over.

It won't be easy but you can lose weight if you want it bad enough (and I think you do!). You already have the magic formula: create a calorie deficit and exercise. The scale will bow down to your efforts. :)

bbubblyb said...

Lyn, so often I find myself fumbling with words because I don't ever want to say something that would hurt your feelings or make you feel bad. I've always felt like words are powerful and I always try to make mine mean something in a positive way.

With that said, I don't know if you know my story but I had my stomach stapled at age 15, I weighed 345 lbs. I lost about a 100 lbs initially but I also vomited daily because I didn't follow the rules. It was a pretty miserable way to live always throwing up not being able to eat. But eventually (within a few years) I ate around it and gained back up to 315 lbs. Then I tried a liquid, pre-packaged food plan, lost down to 230 but then again within a few years gained it back all the way to my all time high of 378 lbs.

What I have done different this time around is put so many things in my life to support my new lifestyle that I really don't think I can fail. For me, I needed accountability which TOPS gives me. I also needed to fix things in my head that went back to my childhood, that's where therapy came in. Then I just needed to learn to believe in myself and realize that I can do anything I put my mind to. I also needed to realize that exercise needed to be a big part of my life. I realized how much depression and anxiety played a part in my life and realized how much exercise could help with that too.

The bottom line is really no pill, or pre-package food or even weight loss surgery is going to fix our minds. That is something we have to do ourselves either through professional help or through whatever outlet we can find (support group, blog, friends, etc).

I do know that I don't regret having the surgery 27 yrs ago I think at that time in my life it was something I needed to go through. I think though if I had children it wouldn't be a consideration because as you said no one can care for your kids like you can.

I say do what you want, it is your life and it is something you have to figure out for yourself. With your heart situation though I would definitely make sure whatever you decide you have a doctor that knows what's going on.

Like I said whatever decision you make I'll still be here reading along supporting you in whatever way I can. *hugs*

charm73 said...

As I read you post today, I was thinking about the Dr. Oz how last night I watched... It was his 100th episode, and he had on 100 people who had lost more than 100lbs... it was inspiring and informative... he even included a demonstration of how your knees will repair themselves once the weight comes off.... Even 5% of your bodyweight lost can make a huge difference and things will start to repair themselves....

See if you can find it online to watch... it was a great show....

As for a program that takes you back to pre-packaged foods... not worth it... you still eventually have to come out the other side and start making good decisions for yourself.

You CAN do this!

Weighting Around said...

Please, whatever you do - you need to address the issue of your heart first. Work with your doctor to find the best solution. If your doctor isn't much help, get another opinion. Your body is issuing warnings you cannot ignore. For your sake, for your daughter's sake - make an appointment with your doctor right now.

Kyle Gershman said...

As I have blogged before, I think that anything that someone can do that is HEALTHFUL to lose weight is FAIR GAME. I only disagree (though never judge) when someone wants something that takes on undue risk.

Also, it isn't supposed to be a popularity contest and there are no prizes for how you reach your goal nor are there penalties.

This is YOU and only YOU. You can only lose us by giving up and doing nothing.

Also, since you never know if something will be a lifestyle until you've done it for awhile, you can't judge "diets" too quickly. Perhaps drinking a shake for two meals is highly sustainable. Doesn't mean that you shouldn't try it just because some may view it as a diet and unsustainable.

Again, if it is healthful means of losing weight, you'd always have my support.

Anonymous said...

Go for it! It may be just what you need to get you in the right mindset. I do have a concern about 1000 calories a day though.

BTW: My husband takes medication to control arrhythmia. His doctor told him years ago that if he ever had an episode, to put his face in a sink of cold water. He did and it slowed his heard down immediately. Just something to file away in the back of your brain. Can't hurt!

Claire said...

I've lost over 100 pounds and done it by swapping between a liquid type diet and calorie counting. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Calorie counting means you get choice and lots of lovely healthy food. It retrains your appetite. But losses can be very slow.

A liquid diet (I did Cambridge) is fast and easy (ish) once your hunger has gone. You get a break from food - something I previously thought was impossible. It is very good watching those scales go down. But it teaches you very little about healthy eating.

If I had all the time in the world and was super determined I'd calorie count the whole way. If I had no time I'd go for the liquid diet. I don't regret either.

Maybe you need a boost in your weight loss. It would help you move about more easily.

Or maybe its time to face that food demon and sort out the emotional side whilst calorie counting.

I honestly don't know what is best - only you do - but the dieting business is mostly in your head not on your plate. x

Rosa said...

Wow! That is such a dilemma. My heart was erratic just reading this. I think that a lap band/bypass surgery is a very personal decision that, like you have considered, can't be taken lightly. My MIL got the lap band, lost 35 and gained it all back and then some, she is still dealing with the "issues" that cause her to overeat to the size that she is. And that extra weight has caused her to go from diabetes pills to full blown insulin.

Would it be better to find a therapist and a nutritionist to deal with the issues. Even if they aren't so bad individually, but taken collectively, drive you to overeat or to give up on your plan. It is less risk and cheaper than surgery. But you wouldn't be a failure if you go that route.

As I've gone through my journey, I take everyday as a new day and a new goal to be accomplished for that day. I make "choices" today, and definitely plan on tomorrow, but "decide" how to treat myself for today. I didn't exercise this morning, so I have to exercise tonight. Even with a full days work, running around this evening with my son's Karate, cooking dinner for the 5 of us. I made my choice to sleep in, and now I have to accomodate for that.

You have choices in life and you can't keep neglecting yourself for the sake of others. Take this time to make it the "Year of Me", and do whatever you need to do to make yourself healthy. Good luck.

Lyn said...

I SO appreciate ALL the comments. All have been insightful and respectful. Nothing anyone said offended me at all! Thank you for the support.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

I haven't been reading here very long, but I just want to say your journey is incredible! Thank you for sharing with us so openly. You've been a tremendous encouragement to me.

Whatever way you choose to lose weight I applaud your efforts!

I'll share a bit of my story with you. Just my story here, not anything I'm advising others to do.

For years and years and YEARS I kept telling myself that I could/would/should be able to lose my extra weight by diet and more excersize. I kept trying and trying and failing and failing. I felt like the world's biggest failure. I had no hope and was becoming depressed over the situation.

It took me a very long time to realize that I needed more help than I could give myself. It was so difficult to admit to myself that the help that would be best for me was surgery. The main reason I decided to have a Lap Band "installed" is my health. The track I was headed on was not healthy and that at some point I was going to develop some serious health issues (other than being morbidly obese).

While doing extensive research into the safety of the various weight loss surgeries and expected outcomes I talked with several people I knew that had it done. I was very scared of making a life altering decision and wanted to find out from the horse's mouth so to speak.

Almost every single person had tears in their eyes as they told me how much losing the weight had done for them. They felt better physcially, emotionally and had so much self confidence. During their journeys something magical happened on the inside of them -- not just on their stomachs. It's like they were given a brand new lease on life. That's what I wanted. A better chance at a long healthy life.

I still have a long way to go towards my goal, but now, since surgery things are different. I have hope.

Steelers6 said...

I realize those of us who are overweight are not going the easiest on our hearts, but there clearly seems to be a caffeine correlation here also.

Not sure on caffeine info for the bottled Starbucks mocha frappuccino, but the website says a 16 ou grande that they make for you has 115mg caffeine. It really seems like that is what caused your problem. ? I don't 'do' caffeine, bc I do not want to have that feeling, and also know it isn't really good for me. I don't think you normally do much caffeine either.

I know you have discussed the problem of irregular beats w/your specialists before. Next discussion seems to be to talk about caffeine and its effects. ? See what they say? And stay away from high caffeine drinks & the like! hugs. Chrissy

Melissa said...

Gosh - my heart is feeling funny just from reading your post. How very very scary.

I do not at all blame you for wondering & i also do not know where the prejudice comes from. People that have gotten surgery have gotten thinner faster but have still had to work hard. Either way, it's not easy.

You rock.


Twix said...

The 1000 cal thing has me a bit worried. And for that reason alone I wouldn't try it. To bad they couldn't throw in physician and nutritionist monitoring, and an exercise program to boot or some pyschologic, behaviour counseling too. Seems that the product doesn't encompass the whole picture or is realistic.

The heart thing is scary. Sorry I don't have any techniques to tell you to get it to stop. I have Grave's disease and at times my heart races and skips around too, definitely scary.

Finding our way out of this mess, for the long haul, isn't something we are going to solve over night but consistency and a resolve to not give up will help us get where we want to go. Congrats on another 2lbs down, keep up the great work!! :)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the heart palpitations... I get these, too. It seems like a low blood sugar symptom, usually happens before breakfast. I was told that exercising is important for my heart because it strengthens it. Also, as soon as they start I try to lie flat and that almost always stops them, right away. We may not have the same thing going on, but I wanted to share what works for me in case it might work for you!

Anonymous said...

sounds like your heart issue may have been caused by caffiene yesterday, not necessarily your weight.

Leslie said...

Ohmigod!!! You have 1002 followers! Damn woman - does that tell you how loved and respected you are here? Probably by the time I'm done commenting, you'll have 10 more! Me, I pick up a new person about once a month. That's okay - I'm grateful to have any!

Once again, you have an amazing array of great comments - pro, con, and trusting you to do the right thing. I'm not sure there's anything I can add. I think that deciding to commit to a truly healthful nutritional product for a finite period of time isn't a bad idea. I know for myself that after a period of abstinence from my usual fare, even if I wasn't craving anything or hungry on it, I can respond to reintroduction of regular food by going bonkers.

I'll be staying tuned to see what is your next right thing! And way to go with dropping 2 lbs!

Lyn said...


Yes, I do think this instance was triggered by the caffeine. The reason I realted it so strongly to weight is because of that instance where I was in the ER. I was 278 pounds, taking ZERO care of my health, but drinking almost no caffeine. That time, I hadn't had any caffeine or anything to trigger it. That time, I thought I was going to die because I was so out of shape and eating such crap. And this happening to me the other day, while maybe not related to my weight, put me back there emotionally. I felt a desperation and a new low I have not felt in ages.

beerab said...

Just in case here is the full title:

Conquer Your Food Addiction : The Ehrlich 8-Step Program for Permanent Weight Loss

Autumnforest said...

I'm glad you took everyone to heart. I can tell you that the surgery does make you very weak and malnourished chronically and you would be a half-hearted mom, though skinny and the skinny would likely not last. To do it by exercise and good eating is setting an example, it's gaining confidence and credit, and it's making you strong and truly healthy-- so when you're skinny you're peppy. I know you can do it- but you really have to let the fear you felt when you imagined your kids being alone in the world enough to fuel every day you doubt and want to slide into old habits. Feed yourself and your kids well, stay active, and each day you weight a few ounces and sometimes pounds less--less to carry on your knees, less to carry in fat in your body that makes your hormones out of whack and arrhythmias a problem--you will get there by feeling that inner strong woman who raises her babies and can take total credit for it. The same drive that keeps you working each day and doing activities with your kids and paying bills and taking care of the car and all those other responsibilities--this is just another responsibility on the list that is not negotiable. I believe in you--you are a lioness.

Dinah Soar said... is a blogger who did the liquid plus a meal a day thing. This link is the first post on her blog...the blog goes forward to there is a lot of good information you can check out.

She has lost over 100 pounds -- she started out with a liquid meal--a shake--for breakfast, lunch, snack, then a meal like lean cuisine at night. If you can get the product free, what would it hurt to try it? It might help you and give some good information to others who are considering it. If you lost some weight, great and if not you are no worse for 'wear'.

Anonymous said...

out-of-the-blue comment -

my old roommate had those same heart problems. scared the absolute hell out of him. was linked to him being hella stressed out (we were in first year law school at the time), and caffeine, and alcohol. he cut those out and they went away. the guy is 6 feet tall, a runner, and super skinny.

use every wake-up call you can to help you - but please keep the understanding that you already have, deep inside, that skinny and healthy are not the same thing.

i'd pass on the diet shakes.

Theresa said...

Don't worry about us getting taken in and buying things.... we're buying them with or without your comments! We're all looking for something that will help us! :)
I say go for it as well. What is the worst thing that can happen? You don't like the products. Best case scenario is losing enough weight to get those knees and feet cooperating again. That's my goal. As soon as it doesn't hurt to walk I'll be thrilled. My doctor asked how much I want to lose. She smiled when I said "anything". :P

Shelley said...

My gosh, how scary that must have been with your heart racing like that. I'm sorry you had to experience it, and I hope you are going to make an appointment with your doctor to get checked out.

Now, as to the diet that you are considering: If your doctor gives you the ok, I don't think there is anything wrong with doing something SHORT TERM to get some weight off and give yourself a kick start. It might give you the momentum you need. I started my journey with a shake program - lasted for a few months before I transitioned to counting my calories. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Hugs to you, my friend.

Shelley said...

OK, obviously I posted my comment before I read any of the comments, and now see that Dinah Soar has pointed you to my blog - lol!

What a Splurge said...

Please forgive the long comment!

All the advice you got here was spot on. See a doctor. I USED to have heart palpitations. They were frightening and totally unpredictable. This went on for years. I was finally diagnosed with PSVT (Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) which is a fancy term to mean that there was an electrical disorder in my heart. Like a spark that sets things off. I was born with an extra node in the heart. My usual bag of tricks (vagal maneuvers) like yours (coughing) or plunging my face in ice water would usually get me out of it. Eventually I'd either pass out or throw up. I should have sought help much sooner than I did but it's amazing what starts to pass for normal, isn't it? Doctor prescribed 2 beta blockers a day and I haven't had a single episode since. I honestly don't think it's a symptom of obesity.

PrincessDieter said...

I would worry about 1000 calories a day, period. I think that's an amount that might set you up for more metabolic weirdness down the road. But my primary concern is that you stay away from sugar and caffeine cause of your arrhythmia. Make sure their packets do not have sugar or caffeine or stimulants. And make sure they aren't full of crap and preservatives. That might end up backfiring. But if the shakes look okay nutritionwise, just tell them you're gonna do a total of 1400 calories and add 400 more in healthful nutritious food/snacks. What are they gonna say, no? :) If you can't lose at 1400 calories using their stuff, then their system sucks.

CJ said...

I am new to your blog so I am not going to judge you by this one post.You seem like a strong woman, especially since you have come so far. Every journey has its ups and downs, and you are at a lower point right now. Just step back and think hard about any decision you will take. I am not saying that you have to go with the surgery or not saying don't do it. You know yourself the best. But do think hard, and twice if its absolutely worth.

I pray that you get strength from Lord to pass this tough test off.


Anonymous said...

was it isagenix? if so, the easiest most doable thing I have ever tried and the first time in my life I felt "i can do this". I felt normal eating a real meal in the evenings, even losing weight when I had popcorn at the movies at night with friends. I realize, it's still calories in vs calories out, but it was SO EASY to stick to during the daytime.

M said...

I would do it if I were you. I have some friends who lost a lot of weight and taught themselves how to eat right following the procedure. It was a great experience for them.

Sean said...

I personally don't think all supplements are a bad. I use a meal replacement shake and/or protein powder to supplement my other whole foods daily and I'm down ~75 pounds so far. They make it easier and more convenient when you want a change of pace, are in a hurry, or want some other flavor in your food (like chocolate in your oatmeal).

I wouldn't mind if you reviewed products on your site so long as you researched the ingredients, were honest about the flavor and effect on your body, and made us all aware when you were doing it.

Anonymous said...

I worked with a guy that did the prepackaged meal diet. (He had tried everything before to lose weight). He cheated on this low calorie diet within the first three days. He got so sick of eating out of packets and boxes.

He went from fast food three meals a day to packaged food. I think it was hard for him because the change was so extreme -- cheeseburgers to just-add-water entrees. I definitely think you will do better than him and it's great that you can add your own protein.

I don't think that $300 is too bad. This guy I was talking about took his bank statements and added up the costs of his fast food meals and his new meal plan was actually less than his fast food meals. I'm not saying that all overweight or obese individuals eat fast food but that was just one person's experience.

I do think that 1,000 calories is too little. I would only do it if they let you up it to 1,200.

Hanlie said...

My objection to the meal replacement idea comes from the fact that they are usually highly processed, something that you have tried to steer clear of for a while. As such they can not produce health in your body.

It seems pretty clear that the coffee caused the palpitations - it is a known side-effect of caffeine. As you say, you hadn't had coffee in a while, so it came as a huge shock to your body.

Congrats on the loss!

screwdestiny said...

I think people look down on those who have had surgery to lose weight because it wasn't really them that did it. It was a doctor making their stomach smaller that did it. Anyone can get surgery to make themselves look a certain way. But if they did it naturally, it says a lot more about them, I think.

MargieAnne said...

Hi. My tuppence worth now. *smile*

My advice is to do what you feel is right for you. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Personally I would never choose weight loss surgery. That doesn't mean I haven't considered it or never wished it was an option that would suit me. I have had 3 full anaesthetics in my life and vowed that the only circumstances I would accept anaesthetic again would be for a life-threatening injury or no-choice illness. I don't think weight loss fits my criteria. There are 2 other aspects of weight loss surgery that concern me. One is the risk of complication which can be very serious and the other is the risk of mal-nutrition.

I accept that many people do well on Weight Loss Surgery and it is the best way for them. And guess what! They all work at it just as hard as the rest of us ... their advantage is that they have an extra tool in their arsenal against making bad food choices.

I find meal replacements acceptable but first check the ingredients. I used one in the 70s that was brilliant and recommended about 1250 cal per day. Sadly meal replacements fell out of favour and the company vanished. I saw many people thrive on this because at least 50% of the food they were getting was real food and it was a huge improvement on their previous diet. There was a well planned transition to regular eating. I do have a complaint with these products in that somehow they have injected, far too much artificial stuff, or what I would consider unhealthy ingredients into their packages now. These days my body, or should I say my gut, does not feel happy on the products I have tried. Years of abuse has given me dodgy digestive system.

Having said that I do very well when I begin the day with a whey protein smoothie/shake. But I mix the whey powder with whole milk, whole Greek, (thick), yoghurt and frozen berries.

I thrive when I choose lean protein and lots of veges and 1 or 2 pieces of fruit for the remainder of the day.

I go for whole, healthy foods anytime and reading Hanli's Blog, Fertile Healthy, lately has impressed me no end about the need to be fussy about good nutrition.

Forgive me please for the following generalisation. Americican's appear to have poor knowledge of nutrition and there is far too much dependence on packaged, convenience foods. Sometimes I am appalled by the food choices described in a weight-loss blog. Sadly this is a trend I see in New Zealand but we do still have a tradition of knowing where our food comes from and most homes cook their meals from scratch We are still a largely rural people who know the origins of our food.

Sorry a long rambling comment and all I want to say is don't be afraid to try anything new or different but be sure it fits into your personal ethos.

Anonymous said...

Re: your heart palpitations. The next time you are at your doctor's, you might want them to check your hormone levels. Even though you are young, heart palpitations and mood swings (which you write of) are common in perimenopause. A simple saliva hormone test can read where you are on the perimenopause scale, and supplements--bioidentical or pharmaceutical--can be taken to even out these common symptoms. Since the cardiologist has ruled out any serious irregularity, a check of your hormone levels would be worth looking into.

Diana said...

Lyn, I read through some of the other comments before I started this comment. People are pretty amazing aren't they? So caring, wanting to help, so kind.

I didn't know Dawn's (bbubblyb) entire story. I've been following her blog for over a year and have watched an incredibly transformation. You two are a lot alike.

Have you tried an organized weight loss group, like Weight Watchers or TOPS? It sounds like you're doing this all alone (well, as lone as you can be with over 1,000 followers :). I'm wondering if that might help you, having a place to go to share your food issues with other people (I mean, besides your blog).

As far as the WLS, I don't think it's cheating at all. I know so many people that have done it and gained most or all of the weight back that I know it's not exactly as easy as it sounds. Not to mention all the possible complications.

You're a smart lady and I have no doubt that you will figure this out. Regardless, whether you choose WLS or another diet program such as packaged, processed foods or something else, I'm behind you 100% and would never think you're "cheating" or taking the easy way out. We all know there really is no "easy" way to lose weight. It's hard work regardless of which path you chose.

I am, and shall remain, a faithful follower. :)

Anonymous said...

Lynn your an inspiration. I appreciate what your doing and reading your posts each day motivates me. I've lurked for a while following your blog and thought I'd de-lurk to tell you that. Thanks for sharing your honest emotions with the blog world - I'm glad you decided against surgery, and good luck for whatever you decide to do with the new diet plan. Maybe see a Doc about the heart issue just in case? Stay strong and congrats on the two pound loss!

Seth said...

You continue to inspire people to do more each day.

lindalou said...

Lyn, I think when you have more time to yourself, like when your daughter is in'll be able to exercise, ride bike, or whatever and put that time into YOU. I finally have 2.5 hours a day to myself...M-F ...and it is a bit easier to set aside at least 3 days of that to exercising, going to a gym. In the fall, things should get easier for you and you could make a dent in your weight even before the fall and I'll bet you'll feel fab!!

NewMe said...


First, thanks for your supportive comment on my blog recently. It's really appreciated.

I've thought a bit about your question and, in light of your follow up post, here is my answer:

Obviously, no one can tell you what to do, we can only reflect on options from our own point of view.

Your recent question was prompted by drinking a bottle of sweetened coffee and having heart palpitations. My question back to you is simple? How would some type of gastric surgery prevent you from doing exactly the same thing in the future? The decision would still be yours to make or not. Would a lapband tie your hands and keep you away from foods you crave? It's a simple question.

As to going on a meal replacement programme, we all know how well they work in the long term. And the answer is not well at all. If you lose a large amount of weight and gain it back because you haven't solved the psychological part of your eating, you will not simply be back where you started. Yo-yo dieting is bad for your health and I would worry about your heart's ability to deal with rapid weight loss followed by an equally rapid gain.

Rapid weight loss also wreaks havoc on your metabolism, making it all the harder to keep the weight off. THis could be hard on your heart too.

I'm not saying give up. But you have made it clear how much your weight is a psychological and not just a physical issue. Maybe it's time to work with a professional on the psychological part of your problem.

I just want you to know what a lovely, intelligent person I think you are. I really wish you all the best.

The Chubby Girl Diaries said...

Lyn, you have to do what is best for YOU. In the end, that's what this is all about.

Just make sure that everything is kosher on the inside with your emotions and self-perception. Know what I mean?

Listen to your own intuition and do all of your research. You are a strong and intelligent woman. You wouldn't have come this far if you weren't.

Aside from all of that, you have been a major inspiration to me. You have all of this stuff on your plate and you STILL lost 60 pounds!

You can do this! You will succeed no matter what you choose!


Annie said...

I think you need to think the WLS (weight loss surgery)thing through. I have the lap band - I have a couple of friends that have had the gastric bypass.

NONE of them are easy fixes. You still have to watch your diet - actually - change the whole way you eat. Proteins first and then if you have room veggies.

There is also a learning curve to the WLS's. Figuring out what you can and cannot eat. And as you already know - you can eat around them.

But, you seem to already have the dieting thing down. I don't think it a sin for you to do some homework and learn about the surgery.

I love having my band!!! I started out at 230lbs and I'm now down to 188lbs. It's the first time in 30 years that I have been less than 200. What you do gain is respect for your body, you learn to work with it, you get to feel better and become more active. But you still have to eat right or you still feel like crap.

I think you should see if it's right for you. OH - and it takes time to do this. If insurance is paying for it you can expect to jump through hoops for 6 months to a year before you get approved.

happyfunpants said...

I am JUST now getting to write a reaction to this post after being gone for the last week and what I really want to say is that I'm so glad that I didn't offend you. :) Even though I've never met you, it just didn't *seem* like you.

Also, on one hand I think it's awesome that you have this many people that clearly care about you. On the other hand, I hope you don't feel like you have to answer to any of us. Sometimes I feel like I owe people a response and even though I've never really stuck up for myself in that fashion, when I was reading your post (and the one that followed) I just wanted to tell people to back off from telling you their opinions.

You are fantastic, beautiful, and amazing just as you are.

And no matter what you decide to do, you'll STILL be that way. :)