Cutting the String on my Yoyo! - English born living in Sydney, Australia, AU

I'm 61 and I've been yoyo-ing between size 12 and...

I'm 61 and I've been yoyo-ing between size 12 and 18 since I was a teenager. Up and down this same 65lbs about 10 times in all. Every day is a battle and although I've won many days, the only inevitable loss I have at the end, is in the battle.

I've hit 61 and I just can't battle again. I tried the lap band on one down-swing of my yoyo, but I missed eating normally, as in a variety of foods, and mostly, I was always hungry. I had the port removed 5 years ago as it felt uncomfortable on the waistband of everything I wore as I settled on small regular serves of those unhealthy high calorie foods that I could swallow and keep down without vomiting, and in my foolish then slim confidence, thought I'd finally made it. Once band-removed, I devoured all the foods I could not eat while restricted, and although many of them were healthy choices with my volume was unrestricted, and yes, I was still always hungry and I could eat my fill (and that's a lot of food), in a couple of years my 65lbs was back with a vengeance. I lived in misery with it for a year of so before I picked up the yoyo and played again.

I took a year off work using all my accumulated annual, sick and long service leave and went to the gym and pool everyday for a minimum of 2 hours and after 9 months, my enemy, those 65lbs was gone once again. I was 59 and felt fabulous but in true yoyo fashion, I returned to my full time work, and my enemy, those 65lbs were back, within 18 months, without the time to exercise like a woman possessed.

So, I've sat around for 18 months holding 65lbs, reading my scales almost daily, having good days bad days while playing my mini-yoyo game but overall, sitting on those 65lbs.

I've tried them all, weight loss clubs of notable fame, and some dubious tea, grapefruit tablets and prescribed drugs, crash diets and healthy ones, and of course every type of exercise and if wishes and hopes could only keep me slim,I would be as I certainly have had my fill of those.

So, a month or so ago I let the sleeve option enter my thoughts. I've read and read everything I could find, including on this site, and argued with me the rights and wrongs of this chance often and whether I deserve it for failing so often, and at my age, and because insurance does not cover it.

I had to wait a month and a half to meet with the sleeve surgeon and my reactive plan for an immediate surgery date, before I could back out, was suddenly gone. The previous surgeon, who took my band-port out, had chosen to leave the silicon band on my stomach as it was more 'bother' to remove it when it would not restrict me un inflated, and I knew no better. My sleeve surgeon insisted it had to be removed first and then a 2 month break before the sleeve surgery. I took it well I think, but of course, I'm disappointed.

So band removal is set for 22 August, just over 2 weeks away and the sleeve for October 24th, 2014. Now, I'm actually glad for the grounding time so when I do go ahead, it is with a considered time and with informed decision making, and not the rash, rushed choice the day I called to see the sleeve surgeon after the scales numbers refused to drop once again.

I'm scared, I'm nervous, I'm most importantly, I'm hopeful that at 61, I can finally cut my yoyo string forever and live a happy healthy life.

Reality check tonight!

Went to my long term personal GP today who didn't know of my sleeve plans and arrangements, and when I said I was likely to do it, he said it was a good choice for me! I also mentioned I had thought about it (only) to a friend over lunch today, and she too said with a warm heart, it would be good for me. Not the responses I expected, and perhaps I am putting my own feelings of embarrassment into the equation rather than trusting those that care about me. Anyway, I said a couple of days ago I'd put a photo or two up and I've not done so. Avoidance? More shame? I did get brave and took a couple but I posed, well dressed and that hid a multitude of my weight sins. So I've stripped off to my minimum but decent and oh, what a reality check it is! Usually, I can squint, flash a glance in the mirror or not look at all, but tonight I looked and it just made me that more determined.

More reality checking

Each time I play my own mind games I look more closely at me and remember why I must do this!

Bandless and looking forward!

I'm one week post band removal, which translates to one week closer to sleeving! All went well, op on the Friday afternoon, no pain medication required post surgery, just an overnight, and after the weekend, I took just one day, the Monday, off work and was fine to work the rest of the week. Saving my sick leave for a 2 week break post sleeve op. Yes, I was tired and sore (discomfort level) at the end of each working day but manageable. In fact the worst of it all was/is my allergy to plasters. No matter what they use and what I say about how I will react, they put plaster over laparoscopic entries and I break out. It itches so much and gets worse each day for a week, well after I rip them off as soon as I get home. Still wishing I didn't need to sleeve and still knowing without a doubt I do. No miracle change to my eating habits post band removal, and my weight is still way up there at 216 lbs (98 kilos) this morning. I've 8 weeks to my sleeve date and counting! I'll try not to add to my bulk but I'm craving an ice cream binge and clearly, I cave in so easily. I'm living reading about others journeys, not just the physical but the emotional too. Knowledge is power! Reminder of my target; size 14 for Christmas Day. I'm fitting 18 now and I'm 173 cm (5' 8") so I'm a 'big girl' desperately just wanting the big word to go away!

Starting my 40 Day Pre-Op Countdown

Today I'm starting to count days not weeks. Despite every day saying I'll eat healthy and start this weight loss, I'm true to form and today's scales show a 5 lb gain over the last 3 months from when I made this decision. It's a good reminder that I not only want to, but must do this. Today I sweated and puffed through my Saturday domestic goddess chores, another reminder. I'm dressed to go out and I look bloated, squashed in and just plain awful, another reminder. I deserve to be kinder to me than I am being. So I'm happily wishing my life away, well 40 days of it. I don't want to see this reflection anymore!

Size 0 advisor! Pre op meet with surgeon and dietician today. The latter my worst nightmare!

After a quick visit with the surgeon, Ms Perfection Size 0 dietician came in and sat opposite me and using the Royal 'we', decided to tell say how we are facing a big op and we need to start eating in a refined way now so we can do so after the op! REFINED?

Then she, at all of 20 years old, told me how we (glancing at my Summary weight and medical history over 61 years) announced, like it was unknown to me, that we had struggled with our weight for so long and that diets don't work (would I be there if any of the 50+ I had tried did?) and added, we really do need to do better. She said we had gone up and down so often we had to change pre op or post op we will fail again! Lord knows if I could change myself I would not be having this surgery and you don't need to be a Rhodes Scholar to know that.

This was followed by a lesson in eating, using a small bowl, she was kind enough to role play how to take an imaginary small mouth full, put the spoon down, and savour the taste, waiting minutes before reaching for the spoon to do it again. Just in case I missed her lesson, she reacted it twice more for me.

I could barely contain myself, whoops, after listening to her condescending tone, I actually didn't! I certainly clarified that unless I was mistaken I'm the only one having the op, so she could stop including herself in my journey. I also said I know what I should eat and how much I should eat, and the speed I should do it at, I just don't have the control to apply that knowledge and I was in fact the expert in what overeating has done to me.

I haven't been so annoyed for years and it took me a few hours to get over it. Not a positive experience but I'm not letting her insensitivity stop my process, and when I see my surgeon, I'll let him know how annoyed I felt too.

Sadly, I gained nothing from the $200 visit but resentment. I have learned so much more from my sleeve friends here and it's all been in a friendly, supportive non-judgemental atmosphere.

So, back to my positive of just 27 days to op day!

Two weeks today and I'll be post-op, if only by a few hours!

Closer and closer sneaks the day! A very busy work life takes my mind off it almost totally but today I was to start then pre op eating plan officially. I've been quite careful for the last 2 weeks so I expect I'll cope with the requirements just fine. I've momentarily thought about skipping the op a few times as I'm managing healthy eating so easily but a flick into my memory banks soon reminds me how many times I've managed it and then set all the best intentions aside for poor food choices and a return to heavy me. The op or difficulties post op not on my mind, just the time off work with so much going on, but I need to remember ITS JUST A JOB! So, I'll keep this short and sweet as I look forward to my health and future slimness!

2 Days Post Op

Well, well, well, aren't I the lucky one! 2 Days post op and I'm feeling great! No pain worth complaining about, walking, talking and doing just fine. Drains and drips still in and I'm yet to sip water but I'm certainly not feeling like eating yet. There is a guy really suffering after it, we met at the x-Ray to see if any leakage and he can hardly stand poor thing! Fingers crossed my journey keeps this way. It will certainly make my life easier and for me to return to work as I plan. I've loved the pre op support I've found here, I can't thank you enough!

One Week Today

I've reached my first week post op milestone. How do I feel? Like a mental disease that caused physical symptoms (weight) has been cured.

No appetite. No food mind games. A new life.

Including the pre op eating plan period and up to day 4, I had lost 12lbs, or 5.8 kgs. Now, that been over 2.5 weeks so not mind blowing at all, but it's loss and not gain.

I can't see any change at all, nor do I feel it in my clothes and nor do I, as an overweight person, expect that relatively small amount to show. I'm just fine with it.

I don't have scales so I will need to wait until Monday when I see my surgeon for a weight loss update. What I do know, as sure as air fills my lungs, it will happen.

I've been one of the very lucky ones, almost pain free, no vomiting, no dumping, no issue getting the liquid volume into me, no dislike of the protein shakes I enjoyed pre op. Yes, there has been discomfort, but I was out of hospital after 2 nights, well able to care for myself at home alone, and back at work in 6 days. I can slip into the same zippered dress work pants and fitted blouses I wore pre op so swelling has passed. Yes, I get waves of overwhelming tiredness, then I rest or sleep but they are lessening.

How could I have regrets?

I'm keen to see the dropping weight numbers of course, and just as keen to slip into the smaller clothes that await me in my wardrobes from years of yoyo dieting. I can be patient.

What has really touched me are the real people who have reached out to me in a private message or openly on my Review page, or in the general discussion Forum, you have carried my fears with me and shared my concerns. Your support is unmeasurable. Thank you all.

Post op check -11 days

All cleared to start on soft foods so no issues at all. He said from when I booked the op, when on his scales, I was 217.8lbs (99 kilos) I had lost 17.6lbs (8 kilos). Which means today I weighed 200.2lbs (91 kilos). I can tell, not gone down in a clothes sizes but those that were tight are now looser. I've no appetite still, but make sure I reach my water and protein amounts. I swear I've never eaten such healthy food. It just boring doing so now. Each day the tiredness eases just a little, that's been the hardest for me since the op. I have very little to complain about all in all and I'm looking forward to giving away my 18s very shortly. At 173 cm (5' 8") it spreads the weight more and when I'm under 90 kilos, my 16s fit, rather tightly, but they fit! Not much energy for writing tonight, I've been up 14 hours and worked 8 of those and drove another 3 hours. My bed needs me or is I need it real soon!

3 Weeks post op update

Well, I started this journey at 98 kilos or 216 lbs. I did my pre op plan, and went under the knife at 94.5 kilos or 207 lbs. This morning, 3 weeks post op I weighed in at 89.1 kilos or 196 lbs.

So in total, a loss of 8.9 kilos or 19.5 lbs, or since surgery 11.8 lbs.

I'd hoped to keep a 4 lbs average and I fall just a bit short from surgery date, but its a little bit short and that's just fine. I can feel the total of 19.5 lbs and I'm still confident it will keep coming off. Maybe because I had such a trouble feed op the weight loss might take longer, I can cope with longer as long as it happens.

I'm also trying to up my protein intake as I read that's helful for weight loss, but whatever the slowness, I'm still really happy to be heading the right direction with little if any effort. My appetite remains non existent and that makes it so much easier than dieting.

I'll likely weigh myself way too often now I've got access to my own scales, and hope I can keep my 4 lbs weekly loss expectations. It's been an incredible journey so far! I feel very, very lucky!

30 Days post op

As tomorrow is a month since I chose this tool to a healthier, slimmer and happier life I decided to record my weight. Yes, I've been checking it daily and I'm certainly on a go slow, yet, my goal has always been to lose 4 lbs each week and I'm not quite making that post op, although just above the 4 lb average including the two week pre op plan.

Started my sleeve journey at 98 kilos or 216 lbs.
Surgery date I had reached 94.5 kilos or 207 lbs
Today, I'm 88.4 kilos or 194.7 lbs
Total loss, 9.6 kilos or 21.12 lbs
Loss since surgery date, 6.1 kilos or 13.4 lbs.

These are just statistics of course. What matter is how I feel about me today. I have hope and believe that I will not be the fat lady anymore. I am not bloated and filled with guilt. My clothes are not pulling and bursting, and I've worn a few things I haven't been able to wear for some time.

I am not dreaming about food or trying to control the uncontrollable. I rarely think about food and when I do, it's trying to think of something I feel like eating only because my body needs fuel, yet I have no appetite. It's just a whole new way of functioning for me. I don't miss my gluttonous, out of control binging at all. I don't miss the short term pleasure taste gave me at all.

So, as I end this first month tomorrow, I've reflected on my decision again, and I have no regrets. Of course I wish I could write about the same thuge losses other achieve, but this is obviously my slow journey and it's not perfect but it's okay. I'm sure at 61, my 51 years of fluctuating weight through drastic method are contributing factors, as is one of specific weigh gain medications for other health issues, but that's okay too, I'm losing. I'll always need the medication so imagine how it might have been without the sleeve now?

I've managed to keep it a total secret, which was important to me, and maybe these 21.12 lbs in total I've lost, has been slow enough that people aren't noticing any change. I know it's a loss, I know I feel better and I know it will continue. I'm very lucky to never have being overweight be the focus of my world again. I actually forget I've had this op.

Thanks so much for eveyones advice, encouragement and support.

Rainy Sunday update

I'm sitting looking out at the rainy summers day in Melbourne Australia, and iv been thinking about th last 6 weeks and how much I have achieved since having an operation to save my physical and emotional well being. I always complicate my life it seems; I booked the operation a few months before October 23rd, 2014, so I could have the 10 years of failed Gastric Band removed first. Between operations dates, our company closed and everyone was made redundant, and I got one month's notice and one months redundancy.

With a lot of effort, with no work locally, the day before my sleeve op, I successfully obtained a higher level position in a far away State, which I had to agree to uptake up 2 weeks post sleeve op date. I agreed, I'm alone and support myself, it wasn't a choice. I came home 2 days post sleeve op to organise packers and movers, a sight-unseen rental apartment in the new State, put my own apartment up for sale, and returned to work for the last week of the closing job that enabled me to get the one month's redundancy. That was just enought to pay my interstate moving costs.

I started my new job the day after I arrived from Sydney, NSW, to Melbourne, Victoria, living out of a suitcase in a cheaper hotel for the two weeks it took for my household goods to arrive and be dropped into the newly leased apartment.

I've been here for four weeks, two hotel and two apartment, while working, unpacking, and healing. Today, I can actually stop thus crazy treadmill and look back at what I have achieved, not least of all, my weight loss.

I started my weight loss journey at 216 lbs (98 kilos) dropped to 207 lbs (94.5 kilos) by sleeve op date, and I weigh 188.5 lbs (85.7 kilos). Clearly I'm not a fast weight loser, 27.5 lbs since pre op diet, and 18.5 lbs since by actual sleeve op. Nevertheless, it has been a complete success in my eyes. In these very stressful times of redundancy, job hunting, two surgeries, selling a home, packing, moving States, leaving family and friends, renting and starting a new job, I usally would have added huge bulk to my body comfort eating, instead I'm down a full clothes size. I slipped into USA Size 14 blue jeans today (AUS 16) and they zipped up smoothly without breathing in. At 5' 8" (173 cm) I look just average at 188.5 lbs, of course I've much more to lose to be slim, my ultimate goal, but average feels just wonderful to me. In my new role I'm very much in the public eye and I have the confidence to walk in the room without wishing the floor would swallow the fat lady up. So much of how I feel about myself has always been about my weight and some of it very illogical. In my head, logically my total loss 27.5 lbs is not enough to see myself move from being an embarrassed fat lady to acceptably normal, but that is exactly how I feel.

I think maybe I kept seeing myself at my highest weight of 253 lbs (115 kilos) even when I'd achieved some loss through dieting before I started this surgical journey, because 65 lbs less now makes more sense as a real change.

I do have a few health issues, one being severe arthritis which stops me adding a useful level of exercise to my weight loss tools, but perhaps as I lose more the pain of regular movement may reduce, it's very lucky my work has few movement demands. A couple of my medications have weight gain side effects as well, and I'm 61, my life time of yoyo dieting is causing my body to be confused. All these factors contribute to my slow rate of weight loss I'm sure, but I am still losing, I feel acceptably normal, and I know this will continue.

So it's time for breakfast, and to get to the last half dozen cartons to be unpacked hiding in my spare room.

I would like those, who like me, lose weight slowly to take a few minutes to appreciate what they have achieved by changing the direction of their size, because not just what we lose, it's also what we have not put on.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone and thanks for allowing me to tell of my journey and to read yours in every post you share. It's been such a support for me!

Sunday afternoon delight!

As Christmas is almost upon me, it's time to see if I made my outfit goal, AUS size 14 outfit (USA size 16). Off I went to buy the special outfit to wear, and yes, I was able to pick a AUS 14, and to prove it wasn't just incorrect sizing, I bought a couple of extra size 14 different tops for work, yes, every one I tried on in that sized fitted so I'm officially a size Australian 14 (USA 16).

It's a calm contented feeling more than any high level of excitement, I guess I have know for these 8 weeks and 2 days, and just short of my two calendar month post op anniversary, I would likely get here, because this operation has worked for me. I'd always set my goal to 180 lbs or 82 kilos knowing that's been my best weight for years and I feel accepted at it, and today I'm 184 lbs and 84 kilos, and those few pounds more just don't make that much difference in my clothes.

Of course, my Surgeon had far higher goals, he says I should aim for 165 lbs or 75 kilos, which is an Australian size 10 and a USA size 12. Even that's just 19 lbs away, a blink in time! There's this lovely inner peace right now, if more comes off, and it's obviously very likely, it's all bonus at this point for me.

So what's the change? Started at 216 lbs (98 kilos) and today I'm 184 lbs (84 kilos) on my 5' 8" (173 cm) frame. That's ummmmm 32 lbs (14 kilos).

All achieved without pain (just discomfort), and without hunger or resentful dieting feelings of deprivation or guilt and shame from because of binging of failing once again. I'm so blessed!

I want everyone who battled like me to feel what I feel today. It's sad some struggle more than I have in this process, and it's unexplainable why some lose at twice my weight loss rate, that's all about us being individuals I guess. Still, I'm gloriously pleased with my decision 8+ weeks ago to follow the Drs orders, I think that's made my journey easier.

I enjoyed half a cup of cereal with half a banana and no-fat milk for breakfast, a milk coffee at mid morning, one single grilled chicken kebab on a skewer for lunch and a fresh fruit and veg juice for an afternoon snack. This is how slim people eat and stay slim, I'm in their club now!

May I close this update with wishing all of you that celebrate this Christian festival, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and those of other faiths or none, a very safe and happy holiday break.

Picture update for Christmas Day

It's certainly not easy taking photos of yourself but I'm sharing today because today, two months exactly since my life changing surgery, I'm feeling good. I'm not there, wherever that ends up being, but I'm a lot closer than I was to fitting in to this slim focused world. I'm healthier, happier and it's the best gift I've ever received.

The only way is DOWN!

Good morning to you all!

I'm not much for focusing on the sleeve process as I pass my 3 months mark on 23 January 2015. It's something that happened way back when food ruled my life and now that's behind me, so is the enormity of its outcome. I'm taking a moment to reflect on what is means to be 38 lbs lighter (17 kilos). It means I wear clothes with pride and comfort, it means less arthritic joint pain, it means a quieter confidence when I enter a room for work meetings or go out in public doing simple tasks, it means I can recognise I'm who I always knew I could be, it means people see me and not my fat. I've done so little to get to this very happy place, paid for a surgeon's skills and followed a very simple short pre op period and a even more simple way of eating post op. I'm protein focused at every small meal, it's a breeze!

Of course I've had a few issues along the way, but I choose to see those as minor moments to overcome and remain positive, this attitude was a key to success for me. Initially I wondered why post longer-sleeve people lessen posting on here and slip away altogether in many cases but as my life moves on and this op memory fades, I understand that moving forward more. I relate it to pregnancy and childbirth, a difficult time with an amazing reward, a child to focus on. If we stayed in the discomfort and pain of those 9 month the joy of the child would be lost. I'm in the joy of my own re-birth of a healthy, happy, slimmer and a socially acceptable person by appearance (that theoretically should not matter, it does to me). Thus the pain or discomfort to get this joy is fading more and more.

I've chnaged my relationship,with food totally with relatively little effort, it's just quality fuel now.

I hope every one of you get to achieve your goal with the sleeve, I've just surpassed my own a little, and I've just 13 lbs to what the Dr said should be my goal, I laughed then and now I know it's inevitable because the only way IS down.

Almost 4 months post the best change for me ever!

Yes, I'm still in awe of this life changing op! It's like a long ago memory and I sometimes stop and remind myself of this 360 degree turn to what is now my future.

I'm a slow loser I guess, but I feel that it's quick to reach healthy and slim in 4 months. It's relative to so much, like what I had to lose, what I expected, and how felt about being overweight. Starting at 216 lbs or 98 kilos, although not my heaviest ever weight, it was a lot to carry on my 61 year old, 5' 8" tall, arthritic bones. Most of all I was always conscious and embarrassed by my body. I wanted hide away in shame. No matter what I wore I only saw fat. That is my past.

I'm a very happy 173 lbs today, or 79 kilos. I'm a very happy normal shaped woman. I don't stand out, I blend in. I wear AUS size 14 or USA size 12, with ease. I have given away 75% of my clothes because they look silly for their looseness. I buy off the rack in normal sizes. I never check a chair for sufficient space, or squirm in a plane, train, bus of movie, to avoid overflowing my girth to the next person. I have flappy upper arms and thighs and thinning hair (the latter will pass) and I'm so grateful for them because it's because the skin isn't filled with fat, and it will never be that again.

I'm living every day without shame and embarrassment. I'm lighter than I've been for over 35 years. I know I will stay this way, this isn't a temporary crash diet or frantic exercise regime, it's the result of needing and eating far less food. Thank you sleeve.

I've moved four States in the last 12 months, once State twice, for different jobs, so people don't know the fat lady, they just know me, Bonnie. My shame is unknown, which is a positive but then no one says his well I've done either. Like the op, it remains my secret only. They just see me not my fat, because it's gone. I see me and not my fat, I am finally comfortable in my skin.

I've a quiet confidence wherever I go and with who ever I am with. I ate one single slice of pizza yesterday, a slice with work colleagues, as people who remain slim do, there was no shame. I make choices that keep me slim. I have an appetite, just no more to binge, it's for small healthy meals and I enjoy an occasional less healthy choice.

It's changed far, far, far more than my body, and I will live the rest of my life with a level of self acceptance inside and out that I had chased all of my adult life. I am very, very lucky to have been able to have this sleeve key to the physical and resulting psychological contentment I craved.
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