Considering Weight-Loss Surgery? Five Questions You Must Answer First!
We are becoming more and more aware of a mind-body connection, an important connection that ensures the good health of both. Starting out your journey to a healthier body must also include consideration of emotional issues that are entwined with your obesity.
The reality is that bariatric surgery alone isn’t going to make everything beautiful in the garden. You must make changes in the way you think as well. Here are some questions to help guide you in that thinking and on that journey.
1.What factors led to your losing weight in the past? Your answer will probably include “eating smaller portions,” “exercising,” and “eating less sugar.” These are all things you’ll need to do after surgery as well.
2.How much time do you currently spend exercising? Nobody wants to admit it, but we’re all much better at resolving to exercise than we are at actually doing it. Be honest: count the hours. Understand that you will need to increase them-possibly dramatically-after weight-loss surgery.
3.How much time do you think that you’ll spend exercising after your bariatric surgery? It’s probably more than you want to contemplate.
4.What has kept you from exercising in the past? You probably have what seem to be very good reasons. Not enough time. No place to exercise where you feel comfortable. No motivation.
5.Have you ever eaten for emotional reasons? Your answer is probably yes. Most obese people regard food as comfort as much as they regard it as sustenance.
Now take a look at these questions, and at your answers. How is weight-loss surgery going to change any of this? Will it motivate you to begin exercising? To eliminate sugar from your diet? To stop eating for emotional reasons?
The reality is that weight-loss surgery isn’t going to “fix” you or your problems. You will still be the same person after the procedure that you were before. You’ll still be going home to the same problems, stresses, and issues.
For your weight-loss surgery to be successful, you must remember that:
Surgery can’t force you to exercise
Surgery can’t force you to follow post-procedure nutritional guidelines
Surgery can’t make you take your vitamins
Surgery can’t make all your emotional problems go away
Surgery can’t make you drink enough water or get enough sleep
You see where we’re going with this. You are in control of your thoughts and your actions. Before your surgery, you need to figure out a plan that will enable you to take advantage of what your surgical team has to offer. We can perform the selected procedure, but it’s up to you to address the rest, to find healthy ways of responding to stress, to make an exercise plan that you can stick to, to follow through on the plan that your team will be putting together for you.
The ball, as they say, is in your court.