Counting Macros After Bariatric Surgery

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We often get this question over email,”Can I do your program if I’ve had Bariatric Surgery?”

Today we get to interview Client Spotlight, Line, who’s had great success counting macros with Stay Fit Mom years after having gastric bypass surgery. Line has navigated the challenges of post-surgery life and attained exceptional results! Let’s dive in!

Tell us a little bit about your story. Work? family? Where do you live? What’s a typical day in your life look like?

Before and after picture of bariatric surgery patient counting macros.

My name is Line, I’m 44, originally from Norway, but I have lived in Vienna, Austria for the past 18 years. I work with Graphic design and print, so a very sedentary work day. Up until August of last year, it was me and my dog Odin, but he passed away after 14 years together. At first it was very empty without him around, but as of right now, it’s just me, and I’m very content and happy with that. I don’t have children, but I am surrounded by children via family, friends, and neighbors.

A typical day for me usually includes walking to work with either a strength or run workout before. I try to get a 30 to 45 min walk in during lunch.

I’m a huge part of the running community here in Vienna. Being part of such a community has been so important for me. I often participate in races, anything from 5k to ultra marathon.

Sprinkled in between, there is hanging out with friends and family, meal prep, adulting, traveling, and just life in general.

Picture of a client holding her dog.

How did you find Stay Fit Mom and what made you decide to take the leap?

I first came across Krista’s instagram account back in the fall of 2023. Already doing a decent amount of meal prep, I was always on the lookout for new recipes.  I don’t think it was until the end of the year where I followed the account and started getting all her posts, and when I discovered that you offer macro coaching. In January, I got honest with myself. Losing Odin was a huge deal, and suddenly the pounds crept on a little too quickly, and I could no longer blame hormones or anything else. What I was currently doing was not helping, and I was just not feeling good in my body. After going back and forth with myself, an email with some questions to you, I decided to give it a shot. And should it not work out, at least I tried. 

You’ve had quite the journey with your weight loss over the last 7 years that has included Bariatric surgery. Can you tell us a little bit about that and also how has counting macros helped you post surgery? Any words of wisdom for women that have had bariatric surgery that are considering counting macros?

I have been overweight basically my whole life. I have yo-yo dieted several times, and losing the weight has never been an issue, it’s the keeping it off that has been a problem. Back in 2015 I had a ruptured lumbar disc and needed surgery. Surgery went well, but a year later, I had a relapse, with even more nerve pain. Late 2016 we started talking about next surgery, as it wasn’t a question if we should do surgery, but when, or how quickly. I knew that a second back surgery could lead to even more back surgeries in my future, and if I didn’t do anything with the cause, and quickly, this could spiral only one way, down. At this point I was also at my heaviest, and although I had thought about it, bariatric surgery wasn’t really on my mind, until a coworker had hers. I made an appointment with the doctor, January 5th 2015 was the start. I qualified, got started with the program right away, and on March 17th I had my surgery. With the support from my bariatric team and my neurosurgical team, along with a combination of nerve blocking injections, physical therapy and weight loss, my back slowly got better. I did have a date for the second back surgery, just to be sure, but the progress I was making was beyond what we thought. On my last check up before planned surgery, I walked in and presented my neurosurgeon with a medal. It was a medal I had gotten the day before, for having completed a half marathon nordic walking race in a little over 3 hours. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the planned surgery didn’t happen.

Picture of client doing races.

I got down to my lowest a little over a year post surgery, over 100 lbs was gone and I felt amazing. We are warned that from our lowest, we would gain a little, and then things would stabilize. And that is exactly what happened. And I was stable for years, just fluctuating around 5 lbs up and down depending on the time of the month. Along with that, a few bad habits came along, how to cheat the gastric bypass, etc. I started running, so even though I was eating more than I should, and most definitely not the right macros, I stayed stable. Then 2023 happened. My dog Odin got sick at the beginning of the year, and despite recovering, his care caused me a lot of stress. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (which was perfect when I was overweight, to the shock of all doctors), and the pounds slowly crept on. Odin, my best friend for the past 14 years, passed away in August, 1 week after my 44th birthday.

As gastric bypass patients, we very quickly learn how to get enough protein, so that was not the issue when it came to macros for me. It was the carbs, the sugar, the grazing, the snacking, all the things we shouldn’t. When I had my surgery, we were only told to get enough protein, but nothing about carbs and fat. I know some programs have to stay low carb, that was not the case for me, and as an runner, even an ultra runner, I need carbs. Just not the kind I was eating. Sugar, so much sugar.

Before and after picture of bariatric surgery patient counting macros.

When I got my macros, I was first surprised at how much I got. And I had to fight with myself a little in the beginning to make sure I actually ate it all. But it was also freeing in so many ways I didn’t know I needed. I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as it fit my macros, and the guidelines given by coach Courtney. The accountability and the weekly check-ins, they were exactly what I needed. Slowly I was adding more and more veggies, my fiber intake probably quadrupled, sugar got quickly reduced, but not gone. I was encouraged to have dessert, I could still eat my favorite treat, just not the whole bag, or it would throw my macros off, and I couldn’t have that. 

Before and after picture of bariatric surgery patient counting macros.

If you are like me, more than 2-3 years in your post gastric bypass journey, counting macros can most definitely help you (First 2 years you have enough with following your plan from your bariatric team and getting enough protein). Counting macros has made such a huge difference to how I view food, and how much food I need to fuel my body, and how food impacts my everyday life. The support and accountability this program gives has been a huge turning point for me. And counting macros is not just about weight loss, my body now looks very different than the last time I was at this weight, in a good way. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

What’s your most used, favorite SFM recipe?

Buffalo Chicken Bake, Chicken Parmesan Gnocchi, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs (so easy in the muffin tin), Chicken Fajita Bowls, and Chicken Pesto Bake. And if I don’t make a specific recipe from one of the meal prep books that I have or from Krista’s instagram account, I often use them as inspiration. Just seeing how easy it is to pack flavor, veggies, proteins, nutrients that I need, into a bowl of delicious food.

How has your macro counting journey impacted other areas of your life besides getting a new wardrobe? Share some of your favorite Non Scale Victories.

Mentally, so much has changed for me. Being a former binge eater, and having found ways around that, even after GBP surgery, the need to binge has subsided so much. Because the food I eat now is much more filling, I don’t get the cravings. I don’t seek out the candy at the store to tie me over as I know I have a delicious meal already planned, and if lucky, already prepared. Things that would usually trigger me to binge, no longer trigger the same way.

Tell us about your experience working with Coach Courtney specifically.

Coach Courtney has been exactly what I needed in this process. When I started Macro coaching, I was in the middle of marathon training, and being a runner herself, she understood the process, the cravings, the no hunger, the hunger, the need for calories, my frustrations, the joy of running, etc. The advice she has given me on my concerns, the accountability filling out the spreadsheet gives, knowing she’ll read and respond back to it, and her encouragement on my frustrations, feeling that I’m seen, that she is slowly getting to know me. It’s the whole package. Everyone needs a Coach Courtney in their corner. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish over the next few months….and probably longer. 

Interested in macro nutrition coaching? Learn more about our program and get registered today!

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