- It is not THE permanent solution.
No one issues you a stay skinny for life pass when you have weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery is a tool that enables obese people to lose excess body weight so they can reclaim their life. It is not foolproof. You can find ways to cheat the surgery. If you do, you will find yourself regaining weight. When you had bariatric surgery you signed on for a life of maintaining a healthy life and managing your weight.
- Yes, you have a problem with food.
This is a statement you must own. The love of food, food additions and/or mental issues surrounding food resulted in you being overweight. For your bariatric surgery to be a success, you must acknowledge this and commit to change. You may be able to go it alone; maybe not. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. You must develop and live a mentality of healthy eating as a post-op.
- Sorry but you have to exercise.
Don’t let that honeymoon period of rapid weight loss during the first year fool you. It may look like you don’t need to exercise to keep the pounds at bay. The truth is that you do. The day will come when the dial on the scale starts to move in the wrong direction. Introduce exercise into your routine as early as you can in your bariatric journey. Not only does exercise keep the pounds off, it is good for your physical and mental health.
- That’s right. You better not eat that.
You are human. Even after adopting a mentality for healthy eating, temptations surround you every day. Restaurants, food retailers and manufacturers market an endless parade of unhealthy foods. It’s easy to take a walk on the wild side now and then. Just be aware that this can become a very comfortable habit that leads to weight regain. Enjoy an occasional special forbidden fruit treat. That is what makes life enjoyable. Don’t let it become the norm.
- Help! My scale took me hostage.
You know what I am talking about. You have been watching the numbers on the scale rigorously. Just don’t let this become an obsession. Weight loss is unpredictable. Many other things factor into what you weigh. Obsession may lead to depression and discouragement when the scale does not move in the direction you anticipated. Develop a schedule, weekly or monthly are ideal, by which you can track your weight. Let this pattern guide your decisions.
- Were you really expecting the body of a Victoria Secret model?
Advertisers have convinced us what the perfect man or women must look like. You may reason that once you reach that perfect weight that you will have that perfect look. If you have experienced great weight loss, you are likely to have sagging and loose skin. Plastic surgery can alter the body after bariatric surgery. Just be aware these perfect people and bodies are few and far between. If you embark on the plastic surgery route, you most likely will never achieve that perfect look. Learn to be comfortable in your skin with the body you have.
- Oh no… you didn’t! You say I took the easy way out.
People don’t understand weight loss surgery. It is seen as a quick fix that lets the pounds drop away effortlessly. Thank the marketers in our bariatric centers for conveying this message so effectively. It immensely helps their bottom line. It is your job to educate people on how your surgery works and how much effort you must put into maintaining your healthy weight. People will soon realize that as a post-op you are no different than them.
- I found the good, the bad and the ugly about change.
The surgeon’s scalpel cannot change everything about your life. You may dream about the new lease on life you will enjoy from your bariatric surgery. There is no question that lighter people tend to be more mobile, have less medical problems and enjoy a happier life. You should also know that some things may remain the same. Weight loss may just be the first step in changing your life. You may need to seek professional help for more troublesome and difficult changes.
- Who is that new person in the mirror?
Sure, you see a slimmer, trimmer image in the mirror. Do you really recognize the new person in the mirror? Changes happen quickly after weight loss surgery. It is not uncommon for the post-op to be unable to keep pace emotionally with the changes. We drag that old baggage around of poor body image, shyness, and negativity. Shake that negative image off and work hard to see the positive image that is looking back at you in the mirror. It is definitely there when you look close and hard enough.
- It’s the best thing you ever did for yourself.
Weight loss surgery is the best gift you can give yourself. It most likely has led to the success that has evaded you for years. Tell yourself daily how happy you are. It is up to you to be a good steward of the changes resulting from your weight loss. Always remember that you are the person who controls your happiness. Work hard on these cold hard truths to be the success you are for now and in the future.
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