Depressed and hopeless from weight gain after gastric bypass

Question Below Submitted By:  

Elaine (a patient from Gloucester, England)

I had gastric bypass surgery in Birmingham, England about 5 years ago. I loved the weight that dropped off… I lost 9 stone (126 lbs) in total. But over the last 2 years I have put on nearly 3 stone (42 lbs).

I am so low and am on antidepressants. I don’t want to go out… all I can see it he fat person I was and am rapidly heading back to. I feel so useless and hate that I can’t deal with this sanely.

Please don’t think “how dramatic” and laugh. I really need someone’s help. I’m 49 and have no friends, and I don’t find it easy to socialize and meet new people. I can’t work due to depression and osteoarthritis in most joints. I also have osteoporosis due to lack of absorption of calcium and nutrients.

I can’t get funding for further treatment, and my local hospital does not deal with bariatric surgery or problems. I can’t raise the money personally because I’m on benefits.

Where do I go from here? I was not warned about putting weight back on… that’s why I had major surgery instead of a band.


Patient Responses to the Question Above

For Nicola (again!)

by: Yvonne McCarthy

Nicola you crack me up.

I thought for about a second that I could actually take part in the BBW world but I didn't feel sexy so that didn't take long to figure out that I wasn't a candidate.

Also we present ourselves to the world 99% of the time with our clothes on.

If we can look good in our clothes we pretty much have it made.

Accentuate the positive things and be happy about them and don't stress about the not so pretty places.

Everyone has them...

Once you start losing the weight you will begin to glow and you WILL get attention from the opposite might get it from everyone! You won't have to relearn'll start feeling it because the guys will start coming out of the woodwork.

:) And hey, large butts are in! I always joke and say if I win the lottery I'll buy me one! (I have no butt left and I'm kidding about buying one) My blog is at and you could probably find some good stuff there about all this stuff.

You've got an incredible attitude and I think you are going to be a huge success.

I have a prop that I made with 2 long tube socks that I sewed golf balls in on the bottom.

I tell people this is what my boobs looked like and I just rolled them up and put them in a Victoria Secret's bra and I looked great! I was very fortunate that my husband actually paid to get them fixed but again...I didn't know I was supposed to be freaked out about dating because I had loose skin.

I was so happy I looked OK in my clothes and I wasn't obese anymore! It worked out...he married me and fixed the loose skin.

I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress Nicola.

Well...when you put like that! - For Yvonne

by: Nicola

Yvonne that made me laugh! (in a good way)- you are SO right. If they aren't interested because of a bit of loose skin then I wouldn't want them anyway for being so shallow! And I wouldn't be anywhere near the situation of getting nekkid in front of someone if I didn't know whether they were shallow or not in the first place.

It's like what you hear people talking about after childbirth. Bodies are amazing and stretch marks and not-so-perky boobs are all part of life. I actually think I might find nicer men now because its hard when your pus size to avoid attracting the men who almost only (or mainly) like you because they like bbw. They sometimes made you feel like it didn't matter what the rest of you was as long as you came with T&A.

I suppose I was thinking less about the lie back and think of England stage of dating (which seems like years away for me at the moment) and more that initial thing of bringing it up early on like when they ask you to go for a meal and wonder why you don't actually eat. I have been thinking I'll have to learn to re-imagine myself as a sexual person a bit though - because I've always been curvy etc. Mind you my weight loss body shape still seems to incorporate a rather large behind so maybe I won't :-D It'd be good to come to talks of yours and think about these type of things and have a good old chat and a laugh. I'm interested in identity stuff and enjoying figuring out what the 'new'(or rather 'a bit different') me will be like and what I can do with my life. IT'S VERY EXCITING!

For Nicola

by: Yvonne McCarthy

I have so many things to share with you.

You are so realize how much of this is psychological.

Don't worry too much about the changes to come.

Handle them one day at at time.

I'll also suggest that you start dating when you feel like it.

Fortunately there weren't any forums around when I started to date to tell me to worry about loose skin or scars.

I just did it and I wore things that made me feel more comfortable.

To be honest I didn't really take off my bra...and kept the lights low! Anyway I met my husband to be and I told him pretty much up front about the surgery.

One thing I say quite often in the talks I give....if you are in an intimate situation with your partner and they see your loose skin and say "Oh I can't do this". don't need to let the door hit them on the butt on the way out of the room.

If someone is so hung up on the way you look, what will happen when you are 70 or 80? By the far no one has ever told me that happened! By the time you are getting that intimate rarely will anyone back out.

Like I said...don't over think it.

Enjoy one day at a time.

I also had problems when I was fat but I realize now that I have to take some of the responsibility for that.

I was so sure I was going to be judged that it didn't matter if I was or not.

As obese people we often think everything bad that happens to us is because we are obese.

I had to admit that after I lost the weight that I ended up getting a ticket because I was the past I was sure it was because I was obese.

Keep an attitude of gratitude and you'll have a much easier time!

Hugs, Y


by: Nicola

Just wanted to say that this series of posts is brilliant. Really thoughtful and detailed answers to a very genuine concern. So uplifting to read.

I'm only about 2months out of my gastric sleeve but at least twice a week I spend some time connecting with issues, research papers, forums etc about gastric surgery ups and downs and challenges and solutions. I'm aware of/interested in how WLS is about a psychological change as much as a physical one.

I'm single (and increasingly lonely and isolated) and recently I've been starting to get my head around what the new me will be like and when I might be ready to date again and what do I want from a relationship and should I tell him about my surgery straight away and what about loose skin and scars and and and - I had lots of problems in my old relationship when I was fat but now I'm going to be less fat, it doesn't get rid of all life's problems, it just brings new ones.

So interesting but the key things from forums like this is that, we're not alone, whatever we're thinking and feeling, so good luck all of you whether it's bypass or sleeve or band, single, married, black, white, blue, or pink!

Lol x

Another comment that should help

by: Yvonne McCarthy

Since adding to this conversation I wrote a blog post that should be of some help. It's called "Take off those regain glasses and turn it around". I hope this is helpful for anyone experiencing regain.

Hugs, Yvonne

Depressed and hopeless from weight gain after gastric bypass

by: Mary Ann

The advice you've been given is wonderful. I'm a newbie, just about 3 months out from surgery. As of now, since my nutrition classes, I look at sugar as poison. I thought carbs would be the hardest, until I tried to eat a piece of bread and it got stuck. It's hard for me to believe I'll soon be eating regular food. I try to stick with shakes, but occasionally eat some protein.

So I can't say I know exactly what you're going though, but I have a friend who lost a massive amount of weight, had plastic surgery almost on her whole body, then became depressed, started drinking alcohol and regular sodas, and she's gained about 60 lbs. It must be heartbreaking after all that work. Can you go back to your surgeon and their team of nutritionists and get them to help you get on track.

I CAN identify with your lonliness and isolation and depression, though, due to circumstances which wouldn't do any good to tell you. I've decided that to fulfill my "lonely" needs, to reach out to someone worse than I am, and do as much good for as many people as I can. It takes my mind off myself and makes me feel encouraged in my spirit.

I'm also a Christian, and I pray and have a few friends I can talk to, so besides the serenity prayer, maybe just talking to the Lord would help you. (I don't like to preach at people) I don't know your beliefs but just wanted to share what helped me. I'll keep you in prayer. If you have your nutrition notes, possibly refer to them and just re-do what helped you before. Just keep telling yourself, "I can do it!" Sincerely, Mary Ann

And thanks Denise

by: Yvonne McCarthy

I wanted to thank you Denise.

You really made my day.

My answer to Elaine was too long and I had to cut out a lot of it.

Here's what I left out...I wanted to show the most important part of Dr. Freedhoff's artice.

• The more weight you'd like to permanently lose, the more of your life you'll need to permanently change.
• If you can't happily eat less, you're not going to eat less.
• If you can't happily exercise more, you're not going to exercise more.
• Your best weight is whatever weight you reach, when you're living the healthiest life you actually enjoy.

"So remember, whatever you choose to do to lose the weight, if you stop doing it, the weight's going to come back. What that means, of course, is that if you don't like your life while you're losing weight, you're going to gain your weight back.

Putting this another way, whatever strategy you choose for weight management, if you see the strategy as a temporary means to an end, the end will likely only be temporary.

If you're on a diet that leaves you regularly hungry or having cravings, you're going to quit. If you're exercising beyond the point of liking it, with the hours or the effort a source of dread, you're going to quit.Our shared affliction, the human condition, simply isn't good at letting us live lives of unnecessary, perpetual suffering.

So even if you do manage to lose boatloads of weight through misery, since suffering through under-eating and over-exercising is wholly unnecessary, the suffering, and the losses, won't last."This was my comment to his article.What an incredible way to explain it! I fought the battle and lost for 30 years.

Almost 12 years ago "I lost 130 pounds and maintained due to weight loss surgery. The difference? I lost weight because of the surgery but kept it off because I happily changed everything, I happily ate less and I happily moved more. It took a lot of work to change my perceptions in my head and it still takes a lot of work because as you said...."

The human condition, simply isn't good at letting us live lives of unnecessary, perpetual suffering." The answer? Change your perception of suffering. I experience suffering if I start to gain weight and lose the progress I've made for 11 years. Doing without the sugar and junk I ate for years makes me happy now and I don't consider it suffering anymore. As long as I suffered I always gained the weight back."So..change what you believe is suffering and it makes a big difference!

Related Pages:-
- Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Bariatric Diet (What you eat)
- Bariatric Eating (How you eat)
- Weight Loss Surgery Support

Thanks Denise and wishing Elaine the best

by: Yvonne McCarthy

Elaine I think you've gotten a good start at knowing it can be done.

Denise quoted Gina who didn't get to goal until she was 9 years out.

Gina also had a 70 pound regain and she got it off.

It's never too late.

You said you know you are using food to self medicate (like most of us did or do) so unless you get to the root will just continue to come back to it.

You have to retrain the way you think. If everything in life looks awful it will be.

We obsess so much about the things we don't have instead of being grateful for what we do.

The easiest way for me to explain that is to tell a story I've told hundreds of times...

A one armed man can either be really upset that he's lost an arm or he can be grateful that he has one left.

It is all in your perception.

There's a saying about people like us.

We can actually be invited to a birthday party the wrong way.

We think so little of ourselves (and I do too) that we do things to sabotage our program.

One of the best blog posts I've ever read was by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff.

You can see it here and PLEASE read the first comment which was made by me.So Elaine....I see junk food and sugar and unhealthy food as this poison that is putting me in a prison of obesity.

You WILL lose cravings if you stop eating the food you want to stop craving.

People will tell you to take a taste to get past the craving.

Would you give an alcoholic a sip of beer to get past the craving? Just like Denise did to detox from carbs....and do you hear her attitude of gratitude? You have to actually practice feeling happy and quit being so unkind to yourself.

Get busy with something other than food.

Remove the junk food from your house.

I had surgery 12 years ago and have maintained and I still can't keep crap food in my house because I will eat it at night.I have answered hundreds of messages from post-ops that have regained and almost all of them say they started eating sugar and junk again.

They thought they could have a little and they couldn't.

Sugar is a drug... it is one of the most addictive things on earth (processed sugar).

You've also got to get deal with the pain you're trying to medicate.

If you have access to therapy, use it.

The way you see yourself is the way you project yourself to the world.

"Familiar misery is often a more comfortable place than unfamiliar happiness".

Start today! No one is perfect.

You will have days when you mess up.

Live in the now.

You can't change the past and dwelling in it, dwelling in shame and guilt sucks the life out of you.

Dust yourself off and make a difference from right now.

The Serenity Prayer may seem cliche but it is right on with us.

We MUST accept the things we cannot change.

We MUST change the things we can and most of all hope we have the wisdom to know the difference.

Hugs, Y

depressed and helpless

by: Elaine Sparrow

I would like to thank Denise and Tracy for taking the time to offer me help. I have taken lots of your advise on board and agree I have to go back to basics and be kinder to myself. I will write down everything I eat/drink and be honest with myself. I know I'm comfort eating and don't need a packet of biscuits, and then beat myself up for failing. I also need to watch portion control, as that has crept up and up.Thanks again,Elaine

Don't give up Hope....

by: Traci

Elaine-Please know that you are not alone in your journey.

There are many of us in the WLS community who are here to support you online, over the phone, skype, etc.

You have taken the first positive step by reaching out to your fellow WLS community.

You are not alone in your struggles or weight gain and right now you are at a road bump in your journey.

We all need support on different levels and we need to work on getting you in a better place.

Try to reflect on why you did this in the beginning and remember how far you have come.

Many WLS patients struggle and gain weight at some point in their journey no matter what type of surgery.

The surgeons operated on our stomachs and gave us a tool to help in our weight struggles.

Unfortunately they did not operate on our heads so we all still battle food issues on some level and that is why support is a huge part of our journey.

The internet can be a very useful tool because you can reach an enormous variety & amount of people.I would encourage you to track what you’re eating and what you are feeling.

Keep it simple but know your amount of protein, carbs, calories and hydration.

Sometimes if we write it down or track it online etc..

seeing things in black and white can help us recognize patterns in our habits.

If you can write down your emotion or mental state when you eat that may also be a good visual for you and any patterns.

Maybe one day you write three sentences because it’s been a rough day and you need to get it out and maybe the others are just a few words or one word.

Ex: sad, happy, angry, tired, depressed.. Cater it to your needs and what works for Elaine.

Be honest with yourself but don’t beat yourself up.

You are human and we all make mistakes.

Ask yourself: Am I eating high sugary foods? Am I eating a lot of carbs? How much protein am I truly getting every day? Am I staying hydrated with bari friendly drinks verses caffeine and un necessary calories? Am I exercising enough? What are my daily habits and recognize both the positive and negative? I will be 5 years post op in October and I just wrote a post on my baribits blog about my current struggles and it’s hard opening up to people and being honest with yourself. Keep reaching out to your online WLS community and I truly believe you will get an amazing level of support!I hope this helps and please don’t give up...Warmly, Traci

It is not too late to turn this around

by: Denise

I can absolutely relate to your weight gain and feeling of being out of control and depressed. I had lost 140 pounds after gastric bypass 8 years ago and over the past 2-3 years had regained 42 pounds back as well. I thought I was too far gone and that I would soon be back to being over 300 pounds.

Thankfully I found online support. This site led me to Yvonne who I now call my WLS guardian angel! She led me in the right direction and gave me support, guidance, and the vision that there is light at the end of my dark tunnel. I didn't need another surgery, I needed the control to go back to basics. I had tried to do that numerous times before, but could never control my mind long enough to follow my healthy eating plan.

THEN I found the 5 Day Pouch Test Diet at the Living After Weight Loss Surgery website. In 5 days I rid myself of the dependence I had on carbohydrates. As funny as it may sound, I was apparently addicted to carbs like a drug addict needs crack! On the 5 day plan, I actually experienced severe headaches and the sweats as my body came off carbs.

After the 5 days I was able to go back to the basics of healthy high protein, low sugar, healthy fats, and healthy fruits and vegetables without any cravings or difficulty. I am back in control and the scale is going down! In just 3 weeks, I have lost 12 pounds already and gained the hope and confidence I needed. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!! Use the same strategies you followed after originally having surgery. I never thought I would be able to have cookies, chips, crackers, bread, and pizza in front of me and not just have a taste which would eventually lead to a binge and then a self beating of depression, but I have total control now!

I have 2 young kids who eat everything in front of me and I have stayed strong without even the desire to eat the junk. I will not say the first 5 days were easy, but once you rid your body of the simple carbs, the cravings stop and the control clicks in. Give it a shot. It is not too late and you don't need another surgery.

I will share a quote from a woman named Gina that has become my motto...."The only revision I needed was revision of my mind!" Boy is that so true! I believe if you use this site (Bariatric Surgery Source), Bariatric Girl (Yvonne's) site and the Living After Weightloss Surgery site, you will see that you are not alone and you can do it!

Good luck!


In the same boat and sinking

by: Pauline C

Found this forum after typing in a search 'HELP gained 3 stone 3 years post gastric sleeve and so dissapointed and depressed in myself'.

I know why it has happened. My portion size has steadily increased in the last 12 months and my food choices have been terrible. Before surgery i ate too much carbs and portion size of a large man. Now i eat normal portion of a women who hasnt had surgery but the choice of food is poor and i crave (and eat) way too much sugar than i ever have in my life. I have never exercised much as I have severe brittle asthma which is brought on my exerise, at my lowest weight post surgery my walking distance had improved which was life changing. However after a bad attack 8 months ago my breathing is the worst its ever been and my daily steriod dose is the highest its ever been and my exercise tolerance the worst its ever been do I needed to be even more careful what I ate as I knew i would be prone to gaining weight. But i have continued to eat all the wrong things and even talked to myself when doing so asking myself why I am sabotarging myself this way. The extra weight makes my contition worse yet i cant seem to get it under control.

I feel such a failure and so so weak willed. I dont know what to do to get it back and get this 3 stone off and realistically another 2 stone needs to come off for me to be a healthy weight. Ive read your posts and I feel i am not alone in this as i have done for the past few months and their may be ways to get me back on the right path. I hope so anyway.

65 lbs gained after 130 lb loss

by: Gina

I'm not the Gina referred to in prior posts. I'm a 52 yr old woman who had RNY in February 2002. I go back and forth between ignoring my weight gain and severe depression from it.

I never got thin post surgery. I got to a low of 162. At only 5'2", that's still a BMI in the high 20's, so still in the overweight category. I'm now fluctuating between 225 and 229. BMI over 40 again :-(

I went to try to get a revision a yr and a half ago, but was told if my original surgery is still intact, they won't do one. That was one bout of severe depression. I'm in another right now. I feel out of control and on my way back to 300+ lbs.

The advice above sounds good except that I've tried repeatedly to get back on track and have failed numerous times. I feel like such a failure. You know how they say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem? Well my weight is a permanent problem, so that logic doesn't apply. I don't need medication. I need a magic way to lose a lot of weight, but I know that none exists. Thus my severe depression. I'd really like a permanent way to eat a tiny amount of food like it was shortly after surgery.

I don't even want to submit this post because I don't want to hear all the "you can do it!" replies when I've tried so many times and in so many ways. Desperation brought me here. Can anyone offer a way to get a revision that would be permanent? Not lap band, too many long term complications.

Dont give up

by: Calypso

Here are a few things you could do:

If you find yourself eating too much, put yourself on a calorie controlled diet and you will see the pounds gradually dropping off.

Take your vitamins religiously (take chewable vitamins if you cant absorb tablets)

Get more exercise.

Join a support group for people who are trying to lose weight and or people who suffer from depression. Getting support is vital, and will help motivate you.

Hope this helps x

Waight gain after bypass surgery

by: Neil

I had surgery about 15 years ago i went from 29 stone to 15 in little over a year. I felt awesome. I'm 50 this year and the weight has started creeping back on over the last 2 years. I'm now a tad under 20 stone and its really putting my head in a bad place. My blood pressure is up and my type 2 diabetes is rearing its ugly head again. I have a severe back problem that has stopped any of my normal exercising.

I'm waiting on surgery to hopefully get it right....but I'm finding myself in quite a dark place at the moment. I'm embarrassed and very disappointed in myself for allowing it to get like this again. HELP is needed please...😩.......

Weight gain


I fully understand your pain. My surgery was done 3 years ago. I dropped so much weight that I felt I looked like a skeleton. My doctor said I was way too thin. What they didn't say was that you would spring back and level out. So I put back on about 35 pounds and actually felt really good. When I was alone.

My friends and family were very bipolar about things. Either they went way overboard and constantly asked how much I weighed (trying to appear supportive, but embarrassing me instead), or saying, "Stop talking about it. We are sick of hearing how great you are doing".

The worst was, "You won't succeed. You will just pack the weight back on". I was looking and feeling better than I had in years, but confused and anxious about the comments. I met someone, and tried to focus on him. I was no longer too big.

Someone wanted me. Until he said I was too old. You can't fix age. That rejection hit me harder than unsupportive comments. So I ate too much and went back up 2 sizes. How did I fix things? I ended friendships. I quit group functions. They say we need supporters, but sometimes forging on with a precious few true people is all you can do.

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