Moving On After Weight-Loss Surgery
You’ve probably been thinking about your bariatric surgery for months if not years, wondering how the “new you” will feel and look and act, excited about making a major positive change in your life.
And then you have the surgery. And find that you’re not quite as elated as you thought you’d be.
The reality is that bariatric surgery, or any bariatric procedure, is a tool. It’s not a miracle. It’s not going to change who you are, or the specific circumstances of your life. It’s not a fairy godmother with a magic wand.
Yet often we expect it to be.
You may still experience setbacks in your life, even on your weight-loss journey. You may have problems. You might have to deal with difficult people.
The only way for your surgery-and your life post-surgery-to be successful is if you realize from the beginning that it was in fact just a tool, and that you can choose how you use it-and, perhaps most importantly, that it’s not the only tool available to you. Your repertoire of post-bariatric surgery coping mechanisms should include many other resources: a counsellor or therapist, useful literature, a circle of supportive friends, a personal trainer or exercise buddy to make sure you keep to your exercise goals, finding ways of rewarding yourself that don’t involve food … the list can go on and on, but what is essential is that you do in fact have a list.
So why not make it now? Take a few minutes and write down all the resources you need to keep moving forward on your journey. What books, magazines, or websites will be helpful? Which friends will be supportive as you change? (This one is tricky, because some of your friends will have been comfortable with the “old you” and may be resistant to the changes you need to make.) What counsellor or group will you be looking to for professional support? What gym are you joining, and how often will you go?
The items on the list need to be personal and particular to you, so think about them and consider what will work best for you.
The important thing is that you make the list! The first step in any battle is marshalling your resources, and this is one battle that you need to win.