8. “Actually losing the weight takes hard work.”
In the first six months after surgery, Wolinsky lost 50 pounds, which is not as much as she was expecting, she says. Then, for three months, her weight plateaued. She realized that although her stomach was significantly smaller, she needed to revamp her eating habits to see continued progress.
“I thought with surgery I could eat whatever I wanted,” she says. That included lots of her comfort foods: bread, potatoes, pasta, processed snacks, and lots of meals out with friends at restaurants. “Even though I ate really small amounts, I didn’t pay attention to what I was eating,” she says. “Surgery is not solution, it’s a tool to help get you to where you want to be.”
She now follows what she calls a modified Ketogenic diet, i.e., super low in carbs and high in fats and proteins. She aims to stay below 25 grams of carbs per day and avoids all processed foods. Instead, she fills up on plenty of veggie- and protein-filled meals she cooks at home. And she logs every bite she eats. In the two years since her surgery, Wolinsky has lost a total of 130 pounds, weighing in at 215. And that’s huge progress, though she’d still like to lose another 70. “Now I have so much more energy. It feels like my body runs more efficiently.” That said, Wolinsky says she still craves carbs all the time. “What gets me through is my monthly cheat meal. I make sure it’s a good one,” she says.
9. “I have a whole new perspective on life.”
Immediately after her surgery, Wolinsky says the weight loss helped her to feel hopeful about future. Then the plateau hit. But now, she says the experience was good for her. “I know I can do this even though it’s hard,” she says. “It’s made me more tenacious and given me a whole new outlook on myself and what I can do.”
What’s been essential: forgiveness when she inevitably slips up. “Some days you’re having a bad day and you eat too much because you don’t know what you’re doing,” she says. “But I would never take back having the surgery. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.”