A lot of people have questions about what the “honeymoon” phase is after surgery. I like to describe it as the time between surgery and 6, 9 or 12 months out when your restriction, focus, motivation, lack of hunger, (and therefore your weight loss) are at an all-time high.
I think the “honeymoon” was over for me at about 7 1/2 months out from surgery, 14 1/2 months out from when I started the supervised diet. After all that time and about 230 lbs lost, I was just tired. I spent those months thinking almost exclusively about weight loss, surgery, weight loss, surgery, repeat, repeat, repeat, and it became exhausting! I’ve put so much effort into changing my life mentally, emotionally, and physically that I noticed about 4 months ago, my motivation to get to my goal waned. This was especially true after I reached “onderland” and got into the 100s. The “honeymoon” being over for me was about the loss of motivation and focus and not a physical ending of my ability to lose weight.
One thing I think I’ve gotten much better at since this major life overhaul almost 18 months ago is my ability to let things go – and that has come from lots of work I’ve done on myself independently and with a therapist. When I eat something that is off-plan, there is no guilt. I feel no need to come online and “confess” and I don’t feel the same feelings of shame that I did in the past when I would be on a “diet” and I “cheated” on it. I’ve come to realize that beating myself up in this way really doesn’t help me get to where I want to be. It is not productive and I’m all about being productive!
I recently wrote about my trip to Florida on vacation. When I left for that vacation, I was 198.6 lbs… about 2 lbs up from the lowest weight I have seen so far. When I returned from FL, I was up to 203.8 after poor eating choices and drinking alcohol. I know logically that I did not gain 5.2 lbs of fat on vacation; however, some of the gain was the real deal.
In the past, this would’ve made me panic. I would’ve beat myself up and felt guilty. In truth, I would’ve avoided the scale when returning from vacation so I didn’t have to see the gain and acknowledge it at all. While I will never be one of those people that says, “X amount of lbs gone forever!” (because I know I could easily get myself back to where I was 2 years ago), I have made a promise to myself that I will not put my head in the sand and live in denial. I got on that scale, I faced the reality, and made a plan to get on track.
I’m happy to say that I weighed in today, one week later to a weight of 196.2 lbs. I realize I’ve dropped a lot of water weight; however, seeing a 7.6 lb drop in the past week (water weight and real weight) shows me that for me the honeymoon isn’t over if I don’t want it to be over. I still have the ability to lose weight. I continue to get exercise and I consume about 1,100-1,400 calories per day.
I’ve got A LOT of stuff going on in life right now. I’m settling into the new job I have (I was promoted at the beginning of the year), I’m taking graduate courses, and my consulting business is booming. At my last therapy appointment, I talked about my desire to put weight loss on the back burner. I want to focus on other things and I feel as though continuing to eat well and exercise – but not specifically fixate on weight loss, would not be a bad idea.
I acknowledge that losing weight further out from surgery will be more difficult as my capacity continues to increase…. but I also have to accept that I cannot give 100000% to every single aspect of my life right now. My therapist suggested picking a specific date that I will actively work towards losing weight again, and I think that’s a good idea. I’m wondering if maybe a maintenance or very slow loss plan for summer with a start date of September 1st for weight loss could be on my agenda. It’s definitely something I’m considering…. my #1 priority though was to take off the vacation weight – “real” or not.
I realize this post doesn’t really have a point, focus, and rambles a bit…. but I’m just putting my random thoughts down so that I don’t lose them – feel free to ignore me 🙂