Happy third surgiversary to me!

Today marks the third anniversary of my Lapband weight loss surgery. I somehow feel the need to acknowledge the event and say something profound about weight loss. After giving some thought to the occasion, I decided to dig into my blog archives and see what I was thinking about during the summer of 2008. Funny thing about blogs as opposed to life, you can go back and relive the past through them.

I am actually proud of myself in many ways. In 2008, I was laying the groundwork for changing my life. In early June I began the pre-op diet process with my weight down to 258 pounds from my 278 pound early 2008 weight. I had attended an exercise assessment and had begun integrating the treadmill into my daily routine. Exercise and fitness has remained with me over these past three years.

Looking at the change in my diet was the most telling. I was in the early stage of post-op weight loss. Like most bandsters, the weight came off slowly but steadily. I lamented often about the scale not coming down fast enough. I was still very focused on what the scale told me about the success of my surgery rather than other non-scale factors that were the real indicator of the change in my life. I set very rigid goals that were all based on pounds lost in a given period of time. Fast forward to today…

Life today has dramatically changed for me. Sure, the pounds did drop off and I met many of my weight goals. The changes that I failed to acknowledge early on have had the biggest impact on my life. In the past three years I have come to understand the importance of being an active person. I found a love for cycling that keeps me both fit and happy.

As you know from my wellness vision and the theme of this blog, diet, exercise, health and wellness work together to bring happiness to my life. That is a much more complicated formula than tracking pounds lost. It took me probably two years to acknowledge that to myself. I look at my transformation over the past year particularly as being the extra step that led me to understand how my weight loss led me to a healthy happier life. I’ll close this post by giving you some tips on staying healthy after weight loss surgery.

Tom’s Top 10 Weight Loss Surgery Success Tips

  1. Eat healthy!
    Look in your cart next time you go grocery shopping. The cart should contain low fat, low sugar, high fiber and high protein foods. Read the nutrition labels as you shop.
  2. Celebrate life!
    Too many people have a fear of food. You should be able to eat foods that you enjoy. Be aware of quantity and frequency when enjoying foods that don’t fit the bariatric diet.
  3. Love yourself!
    Don’t beat yourself up over the pounds your wanted to lose but didn’t. Get yourself out of being a prisoner to the scale. Judge your success by other non-scale factors.
  4. Be active!
    I integrated cycling into my life. That has made me a more active person. I now find myself more likely to participate in active events. Being active directly relates to being a happy person.
  5. Enjoy exercise!
    It should not be a chore. It may take you some time, but you need to find an exercise routine that you love. You will be surprised how fast exercise goes when you enjoy it.
  6. Lose the fat guy!
    Too often people lose weight but don’t let go of their former body image. Acknowledge that you are a new person and live in that new person’s body.
  7. Support yourself!
    Acknowledge that you need support. My weight loss buddies are still there for me three years later. The power of a support network can not be underestimated.
  8. Be vigilant!
    Weight loss surgery gave you a tool to lose weight. You are now responsible in making sure that you maintain a healthy weight. It’s not rocket science.
  9. Challenge yourself!
    I love to challenge myself to reach new heights. I find that my life expands at an ever faster rate when I open myself up to new experiences.
  10. Live life! 
    I have come to know that weight loss is more about getting a second chance at living life to the fullest rather than looking good in front of a mirror.
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