How to gain weight AFTER a hysterectomy

I have been very successful at gaining weight after my hysterectomy since June 2014.  I haven’t tried hard at all.  I never knew this was something I set out to do until I did it.

fat cat

The low down on how to gain weight after a hysterectomy (in no particular order):

  • Stop weighing yourself daily or even weekly for that matter.  Push the scale far under the bed so you won’t want to crawl down there with the dust bunnies to retrieve it.  The longer the scale stays out of reach the more your muffin top will discourage you from trying to bend over, getting down on all fours to get it.  Let the poor scale be — it’s honestly sick of you stepping all over it anyway.
  • Eat ALL and I do mean ALL of the foods you were either limited to or forbidden as a child or teen.  For me this included Doritos, Cheetos, powdered donuts, candy bars of any kind especially Heath, Skor and Snickers.  I like to do the salty-sugar-salty balance routine: begin with something salty, then something sweet followed by something salty so you don’t feel so guilty by ending on a sweet.
  • Eat lots of chocolate.  Try to avoid the dark chocolate as it may have some “health benefits”.  After your hysterectomy you will want to eat lots of chocolate — I did.
  • Coffee with cream or milk and some sort of flavoring is a good way to start your day, brighten your midsection mid afternoon and kick start your insomnia night.  Make sure to try ALL kinds of coffee from almost every place you can find.  Try iced coffees, store coffees, coffees at friends homes, but only with real milk or cream and a sweetener of some sort, of course.  When you develop palpitations from the caffeine that will be your signal to back off just a bit.
  • Have I mentioned cheese? cheese board Pretend you have just become French and must catch up on trying all the worlds cheeses, especially creamy brie and camembert-like cheeses.  If you go to a party and there is a cheese tray see how much cheese you can actually eat.  See if that’s all you can eat.
  • Be sure to drink all the wine you’ve always wanted to try.  Now that you don’t have a uterus there is no fear of poisoning dear baby in the womb.  The baby house is gone so you’re free to drink up!  This includes cocktails of all sorts as well.  My new favorite is The Blue Moon made with Creme de Violette.

    THE BLUE MOON Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice and 3/4 ounce Crème de Violette. Shake that all up and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

    THE BLUE MOON
    Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice and 3/4 ounce Crème de Violette. Shake that all up and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

  • To further weight gain sans uterus be sure to buy and try all of the different cakes and other desserts that you’ve been putting off for years because they’re “fattening”. Who cares?! If you like one dessert in particular, for me it was chocolate pot de crème, keep buying it, eating it again and again until you finally tire of that dessert.  It took a couple months, but I finally moved on to something other than pot de crème. Be patient with yourself as you move through all the desserts you’ve ever wanted to try.      pot de creme
  • Watch mostly foodie shows on TV (telly for you Brits) and Netflix.  Make sure to subscribe to lots of food blogs and follow Pinterest pinners boards with food, food and more food.  You can start with my Pinterest food board here to help stimulate your appetite: FOOD & DRINKS — MY BAD SIDE (Pinterest).
  • Be sure to include as much bacon in your life as much as possible.
  • When buying clothes always choose the larger size … it will give you some to aspire to (or grow into).
  • Go to Italy.  Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love certainly wasn’t joking when she talked about gaining weight in Italy!  Apparently, even Julia Roberts who starred in the film based on the book (read the book, skip the movie) gained weight during the filming while in Italy.  When I was in Eatly, I mean Italy, I gained seven pounds in seven days!  Pretty awesome huh?  I’d say one month in Italy and you’d be treating yourself to a whole new wardrobe upon your return.

That’s about all the weight gain tips I can come up with today … I’m going to go have a snack!  KIDDING!  I’m actually going to drink some water and start with the realization that I’ve been the one all along causing my pants to become tight and to feel full all the time … it was never the hysterectomy that has made me gain weight but my adventures described above instead.

And by the way, I don’t think what I’ve been doing for over a year (see above) has exactly been heathy, but it has been a fun journey of sorts. I think I’m done gaining weight.  

For my first exercise, I’m turning over a new leaf.  Today makes four days that I have gone without eating a daily Snickers bar.  I’m not saying I didn’t think about eating one though …
leaf quote

Getting fatty-mac-fat-fat after a hysterectomy?

There is a rumor out there in the universe that women will gain weight after a hysterectomy.  I have heard it.  I am living that rumor … or truth.

Words of wisdom from the Dr. Dr. (yes, you read that correctly), Wulf H. Utian, MD, PhD:

There is some evidence showing that women tend to gain more weight after hysterectomy than after natural menopause. Why that is, especially since these women still have their ovaries, just isn’t clear.

… And it is clear that women often gain weight after menopause.

This weight gain doesn’t appear to be due to any effects from low estrogen/progesterone levels, but, rather, from changes in lifestyle (primarily becoming more sedentary) and because postmenopausal women tend to lose muscle and gain fat. That, in turn, leads to a slowing of your metabolism. Put more simply: Your calorie-burning furnace is operating on medium instead of high. That means that even if you’re eating and exercising the same as … years ago, you either have to eat less or exercise more to maintain your weight.

I would like to blame my weight gain on the removal of one organ.  In truth, I can’t.  I know  I haven’t been doing anything physical other than typing speedily, sprinting to the bathroom when the need arises, running my mouth and leaping into bed at night.  C’mon, who thinks this is real exercise?  I hate, loathe, detest exercise.  I used to do yoga but since my hysterectomy and the facet syndrome of my neck (fancy words for old-lady-neck osteoarthritis PAIN — emphasis on pain), I don’t want to do anything physical.  OK, maybe that one special thing that will remain unnamed that takes two people.  You know. (I’m keeping this paragraph G-rated).

On the up side, I have had thoughts of doing yoga. yoga om procrastinate  Do thoughts count?

I have also thought about swimming too, but then I’d have to join a health club paying the fee and never end up going like usual. It’s happened before.  I like to think that I’m donating to health clubs (and yes, past yoga memberships) by helping them stay in business for all those people who overuse their services.  Kind of generous huh?  (or really stupid with money).

What you would like to read about now?  More hysterectomy stuff, weight gain or my neck?  Readers choice!  Oh, wait, it’s my blog so we’ll talk about my neck because it has nothing to do with the title of the post.  You never know what you’re in for when you come here!

I promise I won’t spend too much time on my neck, but since I no longer have painful periods what else can I complain about?  Back to my neck … hmmm … that sounds funny.  Just say it, “Back to my neck.”  You can’t switch it up and say, “Neck to my back”.

My neck.  What a piece of crap neck did I get.  I can’t even say I’ve had any major  rollover car incidents or attempted self-hangings … no nothing that dramatic.  I used to swing my neck around while dancing in the ’80s especially to … see video:

After watching this video and realizing I was such a fan of such garbage musical inspiration and innovation, I’m quite sure I deserve the neck pain I’m having.  Have you ever thought, “What the f*ck was I thinking in my 20s (50s, 60s, 70s, for some of you who are older)?  clubbing  I remember thinking I would love clubbing (that means going to bars and dancing, most likely getting drunk in case you’re from another country and don’t know what that means) for the rest of my life. Holy criminy was I wrong.  And it wasn’t the last time I was wrong either!  You couldn’t get me to a club to save my life … plus those sexy neck swinging days are over.

Currently I’m undergoing RFA (radiofrequency ablation) on my neck.  Only one side can be done at a time for reasons not fully explained to me.  I had the RIGHT side RFA’d about a month ago and have complete relief on that side.  The LEFT side is an evil beast that awaits RFA in three — yes, only three days from now!

Let’s get back to that weight gain subject after hysterectomy, completely switching gears!

funny-owl-turning-head-deal-with-it-animated-gif-pics

I have no idea why I want to eat and drink almost everything.  Like everything.  What’s with this, “I don’t give a rat’s @ss attitude”?  Like everyone else, I have to ask myself WHERE my limit lies.  A number on a scale isn’t doing it for me, the lack of a 6-pack (as if I ever had one) …  but tight pants, that’s got me rethinking eating that Snickers bar daily.

I refuse to blame the hysterectomy for the weight gain.  I am putting more food into my mouth and gullet than I ever have in my life.  The only theory I can come up with is that weird experience I had with Effexor (venlafaxine).  I lost quite a bit of weight while on that medication and had so many food aversions it would make your head spin (see pic above!).  I’m making up for all that lost time of good eating. I’m weighting … I mean waiting for my weight and appetite to normalize (it’s been 16 months since my hyst).  I’m not sure how long this is going to take … and yes, yes, yes, I’ve had my thyroid checked, and yes THE PANEL of thyroid hormones too blah, blah, blah … can’t blame “the thyroid” either as it all came out normal.

On the subject of the thyroid, recently to my trip to Eatly, I mean Italy, while on the plane a woman sat down next to me.  She squeezed into her seat, attempted to put the food tray down but it collided with her abdomen (truly a panniculus if you want to get technical).  She said, “This is another skinny seat!”  I didn’t know what to say and kind of looked away.  I couldn’t exactly agree with her (or disagree).

Prior to  her sitting down she had been bypassed by three stewardesses when she had obviously needed help putting her case into the overhead storage bin.  The stewardesses were Amazonian women of the oldest airline in the world that will remain nameless here because well, I don’t want them to read this (ha! like they would be reading my blog … I’m not that deluded people) and be upset with me … their bread was so delicious and I may be flying with them in the future.  

bread fat

When that passenger got seated one of the stewardesses practically threw her seatbelt extension at her.  Yikes.  Anyway, she went on and on about her weight saying that over two years ago she had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism indicating this was the cause of her increased junk-in-the-trunk.  This was such an awkward conversation (or monologue).  I remained polite by distracting her with my neck problem explaining that looking left towards her was painful … which was true.  She kept talking anyway.

I want to start to eat healthy ALL THE TIME again and get back to yoga.  My hysterectomy no longer keeps me from doing anything physical and my neck … it’s on the mend!  I have no excuses for my eating behavior … simply life is short and I want to eat so many things!  And try fun cocktails like the Aperol Spritz I had in Italy!

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
Saluti!

This an inspirational excerpt I found in regard to getting back to yoga (or really any kind of physicalness) after an absence:

Honor where you are today. If you’ve been absent for a while, your body will not be the same as it was. You’ve probably lost some flexibility or strength.  Maybe you have a noticeable loss of range of motion in a joint or two.  Allow yourself to return slowly, and let go of the expectations you may have placed on your “former” body.  Be real about the body you’re bringing to the mat today. Honor the integrity of your body and don’t push or injure it.  Give it time.  Put in the hours on your mat and reclaim your practice.    ~ From BODY POSITIVE YOGA

CAT YOGA

Ab Flab & blah blah blah

Next month will be my one year hysterectomy anniversary — AKA hysterversary.  

How’s it going, you ask?  Fine, good, great and uneventful.

I was thinking today I’m ecstatic I had that cervix part of the uterus taken out because ever since it’s been goodbye to constipation.  I know you’re thrilled to read about my internal workings!  I’m pleased that Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen with codeine) isn’t a monthly regimen anymore and that horrible fatigue has taken a hike.

Here’s a little TMI, R-rated stuff for you … if you’re not at least 18 years-old, stop reading.  (Just being dramatic for attention, it’s not all that and a bag of powdered sexy donuts!)  I was able to be “on top” for the first time … my fear was gone.  I didn’t rip open like the last bag on Earth of Lay’s potato chips (mmmmm, potato chips) … all was well and now that position is back in the repertoire of well … I think you get the picture.  Hubby’s happy.  I’m glad I didn’t break; it took me eleven months to get over the fear of this particular position and I’m quite sure it was safe to do it sooner … but well, like I said, I didn’t want to be busted open with all my surgeon’s good work shredded to bits.

Now, my only mission is stop eating like a lazy sugar-carb addicted slob.  Saying good- bye to candy bars, donuts (powdered ones are the only ones I was eating), cookies, candy bars, cake, coffee latttes, bread, candy bars, Cheetos, and did I mention candy bars?  My belly is a big chubby-wubby and it’s NOT from the hysterectomy folks.  Lots of people women like to blame their weight gain on hysterectomies, but I’m going to let you in on a secret.  My flabby abby is due to poor eating and lack of exercise.  Yep.  It’s true.

carbs cartoon

I’m not saying I’m going to become some fitness guru or ab model, but I gotta do something about this waistline or I’ll be shaving years off my life due to gluttonous eating. Man, eating is fun!  And eating sh*tty bad-for-you food is even funner.

No promises here about future weight loss and a flat ab.  But admitting the problem is the first step … although I think realizing there IS a problem is truly the first step.

How can you admit something without realizing it first?!

No ab photo for you today … maybe a one-year ab photo the end of June.  We’ll see how shy and proud (or not) I feel.  I would also contribute my 12 lb. (ugh, hate to say it aloud and publicly) weight gain is due to my sloth-gluttinism.

According to BODY LOGIC MD:

Estrogen: It is common for estrogen levels to diminish during menopause causing cessation of ovulation. The decreased production of estrogen by the ovaries causes a woman’s body to search for other sources of estrogen. Another source of estrogen is fat cells, so your body learns to convert more calories into fat, in order to increase estrogen production. This means weight gain.

Progesterone: It is also common for progesterone levels to decrease during menopause. Progesterone’s role in weight gain is more deceiving; low levels of the hormone do not actually cause you to gain weight, but instead cause water retention or bloating. This annoying side effect makes you feel heavier and makes your clothes fit tighter.

Testosterone: Testosterone in a women works to build and maintain muscle mass among other things. These muscle cells work to burn calories in your body and cause a higher metabolism. Levels of this hormone decrease during menopause causing the loss of muscle mass and hence result in lower metabolism. This also results in weight gain.

Other Causes: Insulin resistance and stress are also responsible for a woman’s difficulty or inability to experience weight loss during menopause. Insulin resistance occurs when a woman’s body incorrectly converts every calorie into fat; this is an extreme case of estrogen correction. Overtime, your body resists the insulin produced in your blood stream and you therefore experience weight gain.

Stress is also a contributing factor to menopause weight gain. High stress puts your body into panic mode, preventing weight loss. Basically, your body begins to store food since stress hormones, namely high levels of cortisol, are telling your body that you will not be eating again for a long time. These stored calories result in weight gain. Stress hormones and weight gain are a common problem among women.

fuck food cartoon

I know stress and anxiety have been a big part of my weight gain situation.  It’s called the stress of my job.  Actually, it’s not the job itself as I love what I do, but rather the physical bodies I’m surrounded with and I’m not taking about the patients — THEY are the best part of my job. I stress eat … while the powdered donuts, almond Snickers, cafe lattes, bacon, Cheetos, and butter shortbread cookies have only been temporary reprieves from the work angst I’ve been feeling.

So, yep, my desk job with all its stressors gets me munchin’ on all kinds of inappropriate crap because somehow my mind is temporarily distracted by the serotonin preserving-producing pseudo-food I’m loading into my gastro trough.  I’ve never understood emotional eating until now.

emotional eating cartoon

I like this doc’s answer (read below) on the whole hysterectomy-weight gain idea … it’s similar to what my GYN told me:

There is some evidence showing that women tend to gain more weight after hysterectomy than after natural menopause. Why that is, especially since these women still have their ovaries, just isn’t clear.

This weight gain doesn’t appear to be due to any effects from low estrogen/progesterone levels, but, rather, from changes in lifestyle (primarily becoming more sedentary) and because postmenopausal women tend to lose muscle and gain fat. That, in turn, leads to a slowing of your metabolism. Put more simply: Your calorie-burning furnace is operating on medium instead of high.

WEIGHT GAIN after HYSTERECTOMY  ~ Dr. Wulf H. Utian, MD, PhD

The wonderful HYSTERSISTERS site says:

[There] is a common misperception about hysterectomies and hormone replacement therapy— that they cause weight gain. Scientific studies do not support this belief. [my emphasis]  Having a hysterectomy doesn’t “make” women gain weight. Taking HRT doesn’t “make” women gain weight. Some women gain weight, some lose weight, and others stay the same.

Dieticians and nutrition scientists agree that in human beings, weight gain and loss is about “calories in versus calories out.” Simply put, if the calories you consume in food and beverages outweigh the calories you expend in exercise and other physical activity, you gain weight.

Funny-Weight-loss-Cartoon-W6302

MY hysterectomy is not to blame for my weight gain. I am.

Sadly, I get all the credit. I’ve also got to move beyond the work-stress blaming excuses and get moving — literally!

D@mn!  Am I going to miss those CHEETOS! 😦 

*DISCLAIMER

D@mn!  Am I going to miss those Cheetos!

D@mn! Am I going to miss those CHEETOS!