I spend a few hours each day on the phone with post-op bariatric clients. We chat about the journey, how things are going, how are they feeling with the new foods they have added back, how their weight loss is going. We have plenty of topics to cover.
What is the biggest question I get from distraught post-ops?
Here it is …. “I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but the scale has not moved in two weeks”.
YUP, the dreaded stalls along the weight loss surgery journey. Oh, it’s real, and we need to be very prepared for them. You cannot lose 100 pounds and expect it to be linear. There are going to be times that weight loss comes to a grinding HALT.
I know I’ve said it a thousand times. I know you’ve read it and heard it a million times by now. Why don’t you believe me?
We need to trust the process. There may not be a movement on the scale, but have you tried on your skinny jeans lately? They might just fit now.
How can that happen? I like to see it as the body playing “catch up” with the scale. Even if the number on the scale is stuck, you may still be losing inches. Take a few measurements and snap some photos along your journey. I am certain that when the scale gets stuck, you can still have plenty of NSVs to keep you motivated, and excited!
Now, do you want a hack to use when the scale gets stuck? If you’ve “tried everything” and you are ready to throw your scale out the window, try this … throw your scale out the window. I was joking, but not really. Take that darn scale and put it in your closet underneath your heavy sweaters. You won’t take it out for 5 days.
During those 5 days when your scale is hiding at the back of your closet, you will do the following…
You will follow Sheri’s secret recipe to get the scale moving when a stall hits.
What’s my secret recipe? It’s so simple.
I want you to get rid of the supplemental protein you are taking.
I want you to get rid of the nuts, seeds, cheese, dairy, fruit, artificial sweeteners.
Breakfast will be eggs, any style.
Lunch will be a half chicken breast with some cucumbers.
Dinner will be the other half chicken breast with some greens.
Drink LOTS of plain water.
Go to bed an hour earlier.
Take a walk each day.
You can substitute the chicken with turkey, fish, or lean beef.
Rinse and repeat for 4 days.
On day 5, go grab your scale from the back of your closet.
Step on it gently.
Email me and tell me how many pounds you are down.
Once the scale is behaving, and the stall has been broken, you can add back foods slowly.
Your weight loss will continue to creep down slowly. Maybe you want to keep that scale in your closet because the journey is much more fun when you are looking up and not always down at the scale.
I think we need to stay accountable and weigh ourselves once or twice a week, but we shouldn’t get so caught up in the numbers that it destroys our days and our weeks.
It makes me sad when you cry because you haven’t lost any weight in a week. I understand how frustrating it can be, but you need to know (and I will say it again here), “Trust the Process”. Sometimes your body needs to catch up with what the scale is saying. Sometimes we will have times where we retain more fluid. It is a NORMAL part of this journey.
I want you to be happy every day. I want you to celebrate the fact that you ARE losing weight, and some of us lose more slowly than others. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else. You are a biochemical individual. You are special. That makes You, You. You don’t want to be “Sally”, or “Karen”, or “Bob”. Love yourself throughout the ENTIRE journey.
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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