How Will I Feel After my Bariatric Procedure?
The answer, as is true for so many medical questions, is: it depends. It depends on the precise procedure. It depends on how healthy you were before your surgery. It depends on whether there were any complications. It depends on how well you’ll be following your doctor and dietitian’s orders.
In short: it depends.
There are many things you can do before the procedure, however, to slant that answer toward the positive end of the scale:
Your mind and body are closely connected, and so starting out with positive thinking is the first step. When you wake up every morning, give yourself a positive mantra: Today I am one step closer to a new, healthy body.
Use visualization techniques to “see” yourself a year after surgery in your new, healthy body.
Empty your pantry and cupboards of the foods that you won’t be eating after surgery.
Begin an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be anything rigorous, but just getting your mind and body into the habit will help once you’ve recovered enough to exercise. And habit, as we know, is everything: it is what will guide and support you when your mind starts playing tricks on you. Find a convenient time and set it aside every day. Even if all that you do is walk for five minutes, you’ll be letting your mind and body know that this time is necessary, non-negotiable, sacred even.
Educate yourself. Your bariatric surgeon will already have explained your procedure to you; probably several members of the team have been over it with you as well. But the more you know, the less mystery there is; the less mystery there is, the less fear you’ll experience. An educated patient is almost always a successful patient. So read everything that you can about the bariatric procedure you and your doctor have chosen. Ask questions. This is your body: you have a right-perhaps even an obligation-to understand what will happen to it. And more knowledge and less fear will definitely help with a speedy recovery!
Plan some rewards. Chances are, you’ve had a tendency to reward yourself with food in the past. Let’s shake out those old thoughts and make room for new ones. Planning before your surgery how you will reward yourself after surgery (for weight lost, for a successful week of exercise, etc.) will give you something to look forward to while you’re recovering in hospital.
How will you feel after your bariatric procedure? It depends; but if you follow these suggestions, you’ll have a whole lot of reasons to assume the best.