Long Term Management after Weight Loss Surgery
The success of any weight loss after bariatric surgery is entirely up to the patient. Doctors and operations can only do so much and weight loss surgery should be thought of as a tool not a cure. It is imperative you stick to a new diet and an exercise routine. If you mistreat your tool, your stomach can and will stretch and you can gain back all of the weight you lost.
Thankfully 80% of patients do extremely well after surgery with their health and weight loss. Weight loss surgery can even halt obesity related conditions. Things like sleep apnea, obesity related diabetes, etc. Weight loss is not the only thing people are managing after weight loss surgery, health related conditions play a big role in why one gets weight loss surgery.
One thing that might be hard for patients after surgery is managing the thought that the weight loss could actually be permanent. A lot of people who have weight loss surgery have lost and gained in vicious cycles prior to weight loss surgery. It is hard to imagine that it wouldn’t be the same this time. A positive outlook isn’t always easy to maintain, but it is important to work towards a positive outlook daily.
The beginning stage after weight loss surgery can be one of euphoria. The weight is coming off rapidly and you are feeling really amazed at all the progress. Then you hit the stall, the wall. When you hit that wall feelings of despair and hopelessness that are so familiar to a patient who has dealt with weight loss issues before, bad habits can return. It is imortant to know that stalls are normal and you have to stay strong and keep doing what you’re doing.
Having a support system will help with stalls. You cannot slack off and you cannot change the level of intensity. You have to stick to the habits you have formed if you want to maintain the weight loss and potentially lose more if that is your goal.
Aside from weight loss it is also important to stick to any follow up appointments you have with doctors or dietitians. It is just as important to keep up with your mental and physical health, just as it is with the weight loss that is at the forefront of the journey.
If you go into this weight loss journey thinking of it as a diet or a temporary thing until you lose the weight, you will fail. This has to be a forever change, a complete change of lifestyle. This is about creating a healthy life and breaking bad habits. None of this is a temporary thing, and until that is realized, any type of long term weight loss will be hard to imagine and navigate.
A good habit to form is therapy. A lot of patients benefit from getting therapy for the issues they may have with food or emotions. This is something everyone should think about before beginning this journey. It may completely alter the journey in very healthy ways.
It is important to keep an eye on your nutrition as well, so seeing a dietitian may be of benefit as well. You can ask your primary care physician if it would be beneficial for you. Due to the diet change and smaller portions it may be necessary for you to supplement to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and nutrients.
The biggest thing to think about is to take all of it one day at a time. Keep things in perspective and look at the bigger picture. It is hard to manage long term weight loss if you look toward the future and wonder how you will ever be able to manage it. You have to have a vision for what you want for your future, but in terms of managing it is valuable insight to focus on one day at a time. Take it easy on yourself, and don’t rush yourself.