I was just like you: severely obese, tired all the time, sick of being the fat girl, frustrated with clothing, and scared I would die because of my weight. I turned to weight loss surgery to help me lose the weight for good. Finally, I overcame my food addiction and successfully lost over 235 pounds. Now, I want to help you get through the surgical weight loss process and join me on the loser’s bench! Stop Weighting, Start Doing will help you navigate your way to the loser’s bench.
How I Can Help
Welcome to Stop Weighting, Start Doing! My name is Nicky Bicksler, and I’m here to encourage you, give you some tips and tricks, and answer your questions about surgical weight loss. While Stop Weighting, Start Doing doesn’t provide specific diet and exercise plans (but your doctor should!), it will give you motivation and strength to continue on your journey. Stick with me, and I’ll help you get through your best and worst days of weight loss surgery. It will be the best decision of your life. I am so excited to welcome you to the loser’s bench with me!
What is the Loser’s Bench?
The loser’s bench is used in the bariatric community to indicate someone had a surgical weight loss procedure. When you wake up from surgery, you have instantly joined the loser’s bench. There’s no magic amount of weight you have to lose to be a member. The only requirement is that you have undergone a bariatric procedure. Because once you have, you will start losing weight and finally live the life you’ve always imagined!
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I started my journey to the loser’s bench in November of 2017 at 428.4 pounds and began making changes to lose weight before surgery. Little did I know that in 2018, I’d be making more major life changes. In March of 2018, I kicked out my emotionally- and financially-abusive husband. It seemed as if my whole world was falling apart, but now I realize it was the second-best decision of my life. In April, I moved back home with my parents until I could become financially stable again. While all of these significant changes were happening, I was still going through getting weight loss surgery and radically changing my habits to achieve the life I’ve always wanted.
Surgery and Beyond
I joined the loser’s bench on June 18, 2018. My doctor performed a gastric sleeve operation. I felt scared, excited, overwhelmed and happy to make such a positive change. The first few days were tough, but I had already been through so much, I knew I could handle it. On September 16, 2018 (my 31st birthday!), I ran my first 5k post-op and felt terrific. In October, I ran an obstacle 5k course as well. It was an incredible experience, and there was no way I could have done these races at my most massive weight.
October 2018 was an exciting and stressful month for me. Not only did I run my obstacle 5k race, but I met someone new. He has been so sweet and supportive, and I am fortunate to have met him. However, that month I also found out that I would be losing my full-time job of seven years. It meant I’d lose health insurance and life insurance as well. It was an extremely stressful, but exciting time. Luckily, I got hired at a great company in December and started a new career in January 2019.
Let Stop Weighting, Start Doing Help You
My journey has been full of ups and downs, and I want to take everything I learned about weight loss surgery, exercising, eating, life, money and myself to help you get through it. There’s no doubt that you will also face ups and downs as you go through your journey. Life happens. I get it. Stop Weighting, Start Doing will help you get through those moments when you want to give up. It will help you get through those times when you’re scared and feel like no one could understand how you’re feeling. I’ve been there, I’ve thought it and you are not alone!
What you won’t find on Stop Weighting, Start Doing is specific diet and exercise plans. Surgical weight loss is about a lifestyle change, and each surgeon and hospital does things a little differently. You must follow your doctor’s advice and plans for eating and exercise after weight loss surgery. You’ll find tips and tricks to help with food and exercising, but the specifics of your diet will be up to your doctor. I do make suggestions on things that have worked for me in hopes that they will help you get to the loser’s bench too.
My Favorite Loser’s Bench Tools
As you progress in your bariatric journey, you’re going to find specific tools to help you get closer to your goals. Below is a list of my favorite tools that helped me gain my membership on the loser’s bench and stay there.
Living Well Planner
The Living Well Planner is my go-to life planner. Not only can I manage my daily schedule, but I can also set goals, create a plan to achieve those goals, track my budget, meal plan, write my grocery list, and so much more. Without this planner, I wouldn’t have been able to track all of my pre-op appointments or weight loss goals. I wrote a full Living Well Planner review if you want more details.
I love RedCon1’s products, but my favorite meal replacement is their Isotope line. I use these protein shakes every day, and enjoy the mint-chocolate ice cream flavor. With 25 grams of protein per serving, it helps me reach my protein goals. Plus, my readers can use code T20NickyBi to get 20 percent off their order!
Walk at Home with Leslie Sansone
When I was 428 pounds, exercising was hard. It hurt to walk, ride a bike, and I had no energy. Using these DVDs at home, I was able to ease my way into exercise. Leslie Sansone’s workouts are adjustable for any fitness-level, motivating and fun. I was ready to begin a regular exercise routine based on her workouts. And with the recent lockdown that closed my gym, I started using her workout DVDs again. It’s one of the best ways to begin working out.
RedCon1’s Total War
Speaking of working out, sometimes I need a little boost of energy to get through my workouts. Since I exercise after work, I don’t always have the motivation to hit the gym hard. RedCon1’s Total War gives me the energy boost and motivation I need to power through my workout. It helps keep me focused, plus gives me energy that lasts way past my workout. Mango is my favorite flavor! Use code T20NickyBi to get 20 percent of your order!
Couch to 5k
When I progressed in my exercise and was ready to begin running after my bariatric surgery, I turned to Couch to 5k. I used this training program pre-op when I was running my first 5k. I now do the program every summer because I enjoy it so much! It slowly eases you into jogging three miles. I’m a slow jogger by nature, so I don’t always make the three miles under the 40 minutes it suggests. However, this program is excellent for beginning a running regimen. You can read my full Couch to 5k review here.
Rip Van Wafels
This item is one of my newest favorites. Rip Van Wafels is a small, sweet treat I can enjoy without the guilt. They taste delicious on their own or dunked in coffee. With only three grams of sugar and 120 calories per wafel, these satisfy my sweet tooth without feeling guilty. Use code STARTDOING10 to get 10 percent off your order.
FitBit Charge 2
My Fitbit Charge 2 helps motivate me to keep moving. I aim for 8,000 steps a day and hit it most days of the week. The thing I love about this product is that it motivates me to walk 250 steps an hour. If there are 10 minutes left in the hour, and I still haven’t walked 250 steps, it alerts me and reminds me to walk. I’d love to upgrade to one that works in water someday, but this one helps keep me active and tracks my distance on my runs.
Weight Loss Surgery Workbook
When preparing for my bariatric surgery, I received this Weight Loss Surgery workbook from my insurance company. It helped me work out reasons for losing weight, what I can expect as far as recovery and weight loss, and decide which surgery to choose.
Ultimate Bundles was initially introduced to me by my business friends. I first purchased the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, which provided me with tons of helpful products to grow and scale my business. I have since purchased the Self Care Mini Bundle, which you can buy right now. It helps you learn and grow more in many aspects of your life. Some bundles are only on sale for a limited time, so you have to catch them during their release weeks or flash sales. However, I love these bundles because I can learn from multiple people for an insanely low price. Right now, they have the following items on sale:
- Self Care Mini Bundle–22 items worth $564.80 for only $29.99 with tips on managing your mood and emotions, creating beauty products, getting clear skin, balancing your hormones and more!
- Ultimate Productivity Bundle–68 items worth $2,743.08 for only $67, which is your ultimate guide to conquer your to-do list, free up more time for yourself and reach your goals.
- Stay at Home Survival Bundle–21 items worth $493.19 for only $24.97, with tips and resources on kids’ activities, parenting, self-care, work at home and many more.
- Gardening and Sustainable Living Bundle–32 items worth $577.71 for only $24.99, with info on how to grow delicious vegetables, even if you’re short on space, preserve foods, plan your garden, homestead and much more.
Financial Peace University
Dave Ramsey has been a name floating around my head for a while, though I never really looked into his teaching before last year. I started by reading the Total Money Makeover and was hooked on his Biblical teachings about finances. Since joining the loser’s bench, I found my way back to God, so his teachings spoke to my heart. I began listening to his podcast, The Dave Ramsey Show, and learned so much about life and money. I took FPU when he offered a two-week free trial this year, which you can still get by clicking here. He introduced me to the Seven Baby Steps, and I am currently on baby step two, pay off all debt using the debt snowball. If money is a struggle for you, you need help budgeting, or you live paycheck to paycheck, you need to check out his teachings.
What You Gain
When you use these products and get closer to joining the loser’s bench, you will find you hate the dreaded G-word – gain! However, as you lose weight, you gain life. You gain self-confidence, control, happiness and, most importantly, self-love. Stop Weighting, Start Doing is here to give you that push to keep fighting, to remind you why you’re going through all of this struggle and to show you that you aren’t alone. Let me help you gain the strength you need to overcome any obstacle life throws at you. I’ve had my fair share!
To get you started, check out these posts to help you better understand Stop Weighting, Start Doing:
- Weight Loss Surgery Requirements
- How a Weight Loss Coloring Chart Helped me Lose Weight
- How to Lose Your Bingo Wings in 7 Easy Exercises
- The Ultimate Post-Op Diet Guide You Need
- How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Weight Loss
- Gastric Sleeve: Before and After
You Can Do This!
While it seems intimidating now, you can succeed at surgical weight loss and join me on the loser’s bench. I’ve been where you are: scared, excited, nervous and even overwhelmed. Let me help you eliminate the overwhelm and fear by giving you tips and tricks to get through it. I’ll help keep you motivated through my posts on Stop Weighting, Start Doing! This surgery will be the best decision you have ever made, and I’m so excited to welcome you to the loser’s bench! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free Bariatric Beginner’s Guide to get you started, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
Stop Weighting, Start Doing is a bariatric surgery blog created by Nicky Bicksler. I help women make the permanent lifestyle changes necessary to be successful with weight loss surgery. By focusing on four key areas – food, exercise, stress and sleep – I provide the exact techniques I used to lose over 235 pounds.
The loser’s bench is a term used in the bariatric community to indicate someone had a surgical weight loss procedure. When you wake up from surgery, you have instantly joined the loser’s bench. There’s no magic amount of weight you have to lose to be a member. The only requirement is that you have undergone a bariatric procedure.