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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rebound - oh my!!!!!!

I am going to talk about a taboo subject today.  Anorexia after weight loss surgery.  I am going to talk about my own struggle over the last few months to maintain and gain weight.  I know this is a subject that may turn off a lot of WLS patients because they aren't at goal, but everyone can relate to the fear of regain.

Remember the fat girl that so wanted to be skinny.  Well, here you are and you will do ANYTHING to stay there.  I have that feeling to the extreme.  For 7 months after my surgery, I couldn't eat solid food. Which I know was my trigger, I had adhesions that weren't allowing food past my stoma and all I did was vomit.  I went from 260 pounds to 103.  I looked like a skeleton and I stopped letting family and friends take pictures of me.  I looked like a walking anorexic billboard.  But, guess what, I was a size 2 and I loved it!  Deep down inside that fat girl was happy to be a size 2.  Unhealthy as it was, with every rib showing, and my liver enzymes climbing, I had to force myself to take that first bite after surgery. 

The scale began to climb 106, then 110 and now I am 114.  And I find myself panicking!  Absolutely horrified that they will continue to climb.  My goal weight was 130, I am 5' 4".  I am in therapy for this, rest assured.  And I encourage anyone else that is battling this to find a therapist that specializes in eating disorders.

But, if you can relate to the heart stopping panic when you step on that scale, then you know the fear of regain.  Our entire community deals with it, some differently than others, but we still are dealing with it.  We have watched our idols in the community regain and hide it.  We have seen others be honest and talk about theirs.  But, if you're counting calories to the point of severe restriction or your not eating to maintain, please see a professional.  I found my personal life spiraling out of control, there were two things I could control: One was my weight and the other was my can eat off the floors!

According to this study amongst Bariatric patients conducted by:   Rosenberger PH, Henderson KE, Grilo CM. Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.:
Overall, 36.8% of the participants met criteria for at least one lifetime psychiatric disorder, with 24.1% meeting criteria for a current disorder. The most commonly observed lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were affective disorders (22.4%), anxiety disorders (15.5%), and eating disorders (13.8%). Participants with eating disorders were significantly more likely than those without eating disorders to meet criteria for psychiatric disorders overall (66.7% vs. 26.7%) and specifically for anxiety disorders (45.8% vs. 10.7%).

And according to Eating Disorder Review the risk of suicide increases in Bariatric Surgery patients:
My therapist and I are making progress.  They want me to be 125 lbs. and I told them I would be happy with that if it was in muscle, so I am resuming my exercise routine.

Truth is that I am taking this one day at a time.  I don't have the answers to this question.  I am not an expert, but I know what I feel and I feel fear.  The fear of being fat again is real.  And I can't ignore it or bury it in my subconscious.  It needs to be talked about and discussed.


  1. Jill,

    Thanks for openly sharing this part of your struggle. I have run into few post-WLS patients willing to admit this problem.

    I got down to a size 0 and was happier than ever. I was able to wear clothing from the children's section. What bliss for someone who had a weight problem for their entire life.

    Then, I had to be put on medication (probably for the rest of my life) that has slowed my metabolism. I have gained 22 pounds since the beginning of June. I am a healthy weight for my height, age, and body shape (hourglass).

    Nevertheless, my world fell apart. I can sooOoo relate to everything you have written. I will see my psychologist today to work on the issues fueling this 'craziness' I feel about a healthy weight and not resorting to restricting to get back to that size 0. There is nothing wrong with a 4-6. Yet, for me, there is!

    1. Thank you Ronnie for your openness and candidness about your struggle, as well. We all need each other to realize that it isn't crazy. My therapist says it is quite common amongst wls patients. Please keep reading and commenting, your opinion is so valuable.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I can definitely relate. I try to look at the changes in my diet as a way to remain healthy for my children, not as a means of weight loss, but it is hard to keep focused on that and not watch the scale with bated breath.

    I still have 70 more pounds to lose to get to 155, but I keep thinking that I should go lower to 145 or maybe 140 so that I have some wiggle room. Then I think that maybe 135 won't be too bad. I am 5'6" and larger boned, so I was told that 165 would be a good number to go for...

    I guess it is all about learning to take all things in moderation. Good luck in your journey.

  3. To the happy Housewife:

    My thoughts are with you and I truly hope you understand that we all go through what you are feeling. I wish I had a magic wand and could make my feelings go away, but it is taking a lot of hard work and deep soul searching.

    My prayers are with you on your journey, my friend!

    Jill xoxo