I didn’t believe that a fad diet would let me lose 150 lbs. in a healthy fashion. I also didn’t like the idea of Gastric Bypass Surgery. I figured the best thing for me especially since I was getting older was to adopt a healthy lifestyle which included nutritional food and daily exercise. My goal wasn’t to be “Joe Muscles” just be healthy and fit and of average weight.
The first thing I had to do was to get my mind straight and to educate myself on what nutritional food is and the best exercises for me. I spent many hours on the internet using those weight loss calculators and reading all of the articles that I could find. I researched and read up on weight loss programs and have read nothing but good things about them but I didn’t want to spend the money. I also wanted to begin a healthy eating lifestyle that I could do the rest of my life. After many trial and errors of different foods, diet programs and exercises I finally came up the following system.
Diet & Exercise Before Tummy Tuck
These are the Dieting and Exercise “Tricks and Tips” that I used to lose 150 lbs before having my Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Plastic Surgery. Since the battle for weight loss is fought in the mind, I needed some ammunition and so I developed the following tools for controlling my diet and exercise behavior. They worked for me.
MY WEIGHT LOSS PHILOSOPHY
- Will power Doesn’t Work. Avoid Temptation.
I believe NOBODY CAN RESIST their favorite food under the right circumstances. Example: If your alone, are bored with nothing to do and a “waive of depression” comes over you, that cheesecake sitting in the fridge isn’t going to last long. Force of willpower isn’t going to keep it their. If it’s not there you won’t eat it.
- People Are Lazy
If it’s TOO HARD TO DO, your won’t do it. The temptation to have “cheesecake” is balanced by the amount of effort you are willing to obtain it. Getting dressed and driving to the grocery store may be too much effort to put into obtaining that treat, so it goes “uneaten”.
- You Crave Things That Taste Good
FOODS THAT TASTE GOOD ARE TEMPTING. Getting rid of all the “good tasting” junk foods in the house and replacing them with natural healthy foods will force you to change your eating habits. The cravings for sweets and junk foods will eventually go away and you will grow to enjoy the healthy foods. You really do learn to like them after a while.
- Knowledge is Power
GETTING SMART and learning as much as you can about good nutrition and exercise is the first step in “training yourself” into adapting a healthy lifestyle. With the healthy lifestyle come weight loss and fitness.
- Tailoring Your Environment for a Healthy Lifestyle is Crucial
Create a living condition that controls your eating and exercise habits (as shown below).
MY HEALTH & FITNESS SYSTEM
CONFIGURING YOUR HOUSE
- Get Rid of Junk Food
YOU HAVE TO get replace all the unhealthy junk foods in the house with healthy foods.
- Clean the House
Keeping the house clean, neat and organized puts you in a better frame of mind.
- Accurate Weight Measurements
Purchase an accurate digital weight scale and weigh your self every three days or so. Nothing is more disappointing than to step on the scale to see a gain in weight due to an inaccurate or inconsistent scale. It takes the wind out of you. Also, “go the bathroom” before weighing yourself and weigh yourself first thing in the morning for consistency.
- Air Fresheners
Add air fresheners to your house. A good smelling house makes you feel better.
- Support System
Tell your family and friends what you are doing and ask for their support.
WEIGHT LOSS FOOD TIPS
- Healthy Foods Only (No more fast foods)
For over three years I ate only the following healthy foods (well almost only). Fish (salmon and tuna), skinless chicken breast, broccoli, egg beaters with tofu omelet, onions, salad, carrots, Alba diet shake made with fat free dry milk, fat free Jello, 6 cups coffee, Coffeemate, Splenda/Equal sweeteners, fat free or low fat yogurt, oatmeal with vanilla flavored protein powder, grapefruit, apple.
- Bonus from Healthy Eating and Exercise
My Total Cholesterol = 115
HDL = 52 LDL = 49
The receptionist at the doctor’s office said that my Cholesterol was the “Lowest She Had Seen”.
- Keep a written log of what you eat and count calories, proteins and fats.
This will keep you aware and make your guilty conscience kick in when you fall of the diet.
- Eat Bland Food Only
If it tastes good you will eat more. Don’t want that. Eat for the nutrition, not the taste.
- Eat a Big Breakfast
Big breakfast in the morning and smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day will give you the energy to keep going.
- Don’t Feel Full
If you eat enough to “feel full” you will probably will just want to go take a nap.
- Food Shopping Once a Week
Less trips to the market means less temptation to buy treats and goodies.
- Keep Only Healthy Bland Food in the house
- Educate Yourself about Health and Nutrition
Try to become an expert in health and nutrition. The more you know, the more your mind won’t let you eat the bad stuff.
- Eat Healthy Food Only
If you eat enough of this, the craving for chocolate, pizza and fast food will eventually go away. Plus you will have a better mental attitude about your health.
- Don’t have an Occasional Treat
If you buy that one candy bar or pizza it’s like pulling your finger out of the dam.
- 1500 Calories per Day
For my body 1500 calories per day along with exercise will make me lose weight yet still provide me enough energy to feel strong for exercising.
- 40% Carbohydrates, 40% Protein, 20% Fats
That is suppose to be the proper ratio of foods for good nutrition to build muscle.
- Daily Vitamins & Supplements
Take the supplements throughout the day. By taking them in the morning, afternoon and evening with a large glass of water you are “reminding” yourself of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Just another mind training exercise.
- I take the following
– 1 Ecotrin (Safety Coated Enteric Aspirin)
– Men’s multiple vitamins
– Fish oil supplements
– Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM (I take this to delay the onset of arthritis that runs in my family)
- Drinking Coffee
This doesn’t fall into the “healthy category”, but for me drinking 3 cups of coffee at breakfast and lunch kills the appetite, perks me up and gives me the energy to exercise.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Just like you have heard all your life. It will help you feel full and is good for you.
- Salads Each Day
Eat leafy dark colored “mixture” salads. No iceberg lettuce. I buy the salads in the bags then add raw onion and broccoli. I used to use low fat Ranch style dressing (40 calories per serving). I have since changed to 1/2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. A little more calories but a lot healthier for you. I have also changed to using spinach leafs for the salad mix. Taste good, is cheaper and sounds like it’s good for you.
WEIGHT LOSS EXERCISE
- Diet First, then Build Muscle
The way I figured it, building big muscles wasn’t going to happen while dieting. The most I could expect from exercising was to build up muscle tone and burn up calories. If I wanted to, I could concentrate on muscle building after the weight loss was over.
- Do Easy and Enjoyable Exercises
I have (like everybody else) tried all sorts of different types of exercise. None lasted throughout my lifetime. They all became boring or were too hard to keep on doing. The key for me was to find exercises that were easy and ones that I didn’t mind doing. The phrase “no pain no gain” didn’t work for me. For me when I pushed something too hard (the pain) I would simple stop doing it altogether.
- Exercise to Loud Music
I found that I needed music with exercise. And the louder the better. Music is a must have. Music makes you forget that you are exercising. Music videos are even better and are more distracting. Shania Twain videos work for me. If music videos aren’t available I found that cranking up the music from the sound system while putting the TV on mute works just as well. Both the ears and the eyes are distracting you from the “work” being performed.
- Eat Before Exercising
Eating about an hour before exercising was necessary for me. I found that I needed the energy to keep me strong and get me through the workout without becoming drained. If I would have felt weak or tired I would have quit.
- Good Smells
I found that spraying the exercise mat and exercise area with an air freshener before you exercise gives a little “boost” to your mental attitude.
- Be Cool
Exercising while standing under an air conditioning vent and overhead fan keeps me cool and prevents excessive sweating. This makes it much more enjoyable and therefore I continue exercising longer.
- Lifting Dumb Bells
For lifting dumb bells I found that a little Pam or kitchen butter spray under the arms acts as a lubricant and prevents chaffing. It is kind of odd though.
- Wear Gloves
Wearing fingerless padded exercise gloves for lifting dumb bells does a couple of things for you. It makes it easier on the hands and gives you a mindset that you’re ready to exercise.
- My Daily Routine
My daily routine boiled down to one hour of stretches in the morning and one hour of light weight (dumbbells) in the afternoon. (During the summer months I also swam and played with the dog in the pool for one hour.)
– My “stretches” include a variety of arm twirls, body twists, neck turns, pushups, waist bend, knee bends, leg stretches and more. I would do one type of exercise per song. The average song length was 3-4 minutes.
– I started being able to do 0 pushups. I do 25 a day now. I can do more but I don’t want to push myself (make it hard)
– I started with 8 lb. dumbbells. I use 25 lb. dumbbells now. Again, I don’t want to make it too hard.
March 28, 2010
It’s people like you that keep me going! Thanks so much for the info about tummy tucks and your tricks to get and stay slim. I wish there were more people like you who are willing to help others. take care and GOD BLESS.
Response – Thank you. When I began documenting my weight loss and tummy tuck experience I never dreamed that I would publish it on the internet. It was much too personal. It wasn’t until later when I realized that all of the research I did as well as the experience that I went through might be helpful to others. Best regards, Tanner
March 23, 2010
Hi, One last question I wanted to ask you was did you have the operation in the winter intentionally? People around me are telling me to wait till its winter because it will easier on me comfort wise but I would like to do it in the next 3 months or so or at least as soon as my Medical Insurance can schedule me in. I was quite surprised to find out that it was covered by them as sort of a thank you for losing all the weight and saving them loads of other medical bills in the future. I had to get through some red tape but it was worth it because as you mentioned in your reasons for having a Tummy tuck its “not much of a reward from all that hard work and discipline” and I could not agree with you more and wish to close this circle already and finish the job to finally see myself as a thin and most important healthy person. Thanks again for the great website you have covered areas I would not have even thought of for good preparation before I have it. All the best
Response – I did not intentionally wait until Winter to have my tummy tuck. I was just “ready” at that time. I don’t really understand why your friends say it may be easier for you “comfort wise” but I guess that would depend on your particular living circumstances (hot days and nights, if you have air conditioning or not, etc.). Even if it would cause a little bit more discomfort, I would have probably proceeded without waiting just to get it over with and move on with my life (unless there was a medical reason to wait). Waiting would have been very hard to do. I think that is great that your Medical Insurance will cover your tummy tuck. I sure wish mine would have but it was still worth the cost. One suggestion – Do everything you can to prepare for your tummy tuck.(Sound like you are already doing it though). This might not be a problem for you but one of the biggest concerns about having a tummy tuck for me was the worry and the fear of the unknown going into it. I found that by doing everything that I could to get into shape, eating nutritionally balanced meals, taking vitamins and making all the preparations that I could gave me a sense of achievement and a feeling that I was ready for it. Also, be sure to do a good job in researching your surgeon and the facility where you will have your tummy tuck. Along with being the smart thing to do it will give you a “good feeling” that you will be treated by fully trained and competent professionals and will help to give you “peace of mind” going into it. Being mentally prepared for me was very important. After it’s all over and if you have the time and if you remember I would be curious to know how it went for you. Best of luck. Tanner
March 22, 2010
Hi, Thanks for your website it’s just what I was looking for. I am also going to be having the Tummy tuck in the next few months after losing 140lbs . My main concern was how soon I can return to strenuous exercise. Unlike you I like it very hard: It just does it for me and keeps me interested in the sport of seeing how far I can push my body now that I am fit for the first time in my life. I totally agree with the loud music while exercising I cannot train without it, How long was it till you were allowed to go into the pool? Does being in the pool for a long time (60 Minutes) maybe prevent scar healing as good ? Cheers
Response – I had my tummy tuck in December and even though I live in Florida, going into the pool wasn’t high on my list of things to do because the pool water was way too cold. April is the earliest I go into the pool so I can’t give you a good answer. 4-6 weeks would be my guess but that’s just a ball park guess. I would think that even if you asked your surgeon he would not be able to give you a definitive answer and would say it would depend your level of healing and medical condition at the time.
With regard to staying in the pool for a long period of time preventing or delaying scar healing, you would have to ask a doctor but I personally would not think so. If I would have gone swimming, after I got out I would have showered with fresh water, washed the wound area with antiseptic soap, dry, then coat the wound/incision area with a layer of Neosporin and wrap it with gauze (I used toilet paper/paper towels after I ran out of gauze) followed by the compression bandage. You can buy anti-scarring gels but I found that they are too expensive for the small amount that you get. I purchased some and used it but I couldn’t tell you if it worked better than Neosporin or Vaseline petroleum jelly.
Right after the tummy tuck is not the right time to see how far you can push your body. It may be hard for you to do, but you may have to curb your enthusiasm for strenuous exercise and start out slow letting you body and your surgeon tell you how far to push it.
Going into the pool is one thing. Swimming is another. Any form of exercise that will tug or pull on your wound area is bad and swimming seems like an unavoidable way of pulling at these areas. The last thing you want to do is to hurt yourself and hamper your recovery (especially after all the work you did to get there).
The good thing I found after I had my tummy tuck is that I could do lots of exercises and weight lifting that did not affect my stomach or waist area. I could lift dumbbells to exercise my hands, arms and shoulders as much as I wanted. I wouldn’t think that your surgeon would have any objections to that as long as you didn’t overdo it.
It’s great that your doing all this exercise before your tummy tuck. I firmly believe that it is one of the reasons that my recovery went so well.
September 14, 2011
Coffee As A Weight Loss Aid. Agree that coffee plays an important role – so many people are against it…