My doctor says that there is an 18 month window for weight loss after surgery and that then after that following the rules is about maintenance not weight loss anymore. He describes it as a marathon, not a sprint, but that first 18 months out of the gate seems pretty damn important and messing around with the guidelines seems like a sure fire way to fail. So, if I’m going ahead with this I have to be all in.

I’ve looked online at calculators that tell you what to expect in terms of weight loss after surgery. They tell me I should expect to lose 68 pounds from the sleeve. But the calculators also say that if I were having the band surgery I’d expect to lose 57 pounds and when I had the band I lost 90 pounds. So… I’m wondering what the realistic expectations should be for me. Is 68 the best I can hope for? Or will I be able to hit the 90 pound mark again? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve got 18 months to get it done either way and I’m not going to mess that up.

I’m 12 years older than I was when I got the band surgery, which means my body is older than it was and has been through more (like another pregnancy). But, I’m feeling just as motivated and I’m just as much of a rule follower now as I was then, so I think I’ve got a chance of making a run of it back to the 90 pound loss.

I pulled out my spreadsheet where I kept track of my weight loss and inches loss in 2005. It took me 10 months to lose 85 pounds. Then it took me another 4 months to lose an additional 5 pounds. I know that at the 10 month mark I was wearing a size 6 and decided that I’d essentially reached my goal and was comfortable settling in. I stopped following all the rules and was honestly thrilled that I was maintaining (or very slowly losing) my weight while basically eating whatever I wanted in small quantities.

But I don’t think I’m going to satisfied with that this time. I want to be healthy, not just thin, and I sure as hell don’t want to fail at this again. So, yeah, I’m hoping that by the 10 month mark I’ll be down by the same as I was before. And then I don’t want to slip into bad habits again.

I keep telling myself not to expect too much. But I also keep telling myself that last time I got pregnant and gained weight from the pregnancy and the band being emptied and then I never got restriction back properly after that and that I won’t have these obstacles this time. I don’t know…

I just know I’m gearing up for “a marathon” and the results are going to matter to me so taking it seriously is going to matter. So, here’s to taking things seriously.