Whether you are contemplating bariatric surgery or are post-surgery, lifestyle changes are the key to optimize your outcome. Having the right team members with you on this journey will ensure a healthier you and make transitions smoother.
Research shows that individuals who remain in touch with their bariatric centers maintain weight loss and are in better health. Follow ups with your surgeon or Primary Care Provider (who is knowledgeable of post- surgery care) are essential over your life time.
Prior to surgery attendance at one or two nutritional seminars is the norm. The information provided invaluable but often overwhelming. Often your handouts end up loss in a drawer and you struggle with how to vary your diet over time or revert to some unhealthy habits. Learning all you need to know before you have surgery is almost impossible. It’s like reading a book on how to swing a golf club and actually hitting the ball straight onto the green. Consider a Bariatric Specialized Dietician to help over the course of weight loss and management as a valuable team member.
Your significant other and family are crucial members of your team. The more they understand your new normal, both changes in diet and exercise, the more support can be provided. Let family members know your needs, be firm that your health is a priority and what they can do concretely to assist.
Friends become team members only when they are included in your journey. Not all friends may remain on your team. Accept new members who support your lifestyle and cut those who are not able to make the transition with you.
A bariatric support group is another member to add. These groups are a resource to gather new ideas, compare experiences and learn about your new lifestyle.
If you are struggling with emotional hunger, depression or anxiety, counselors can provide a safe place to help learn new coping skills, examine new life goals and resolve any unfinished issues before you sabotage your success.
Most importantly is your bariatric surgery itself on your team? Is it your friend or rival? The framework you place your surgery helps determine future behaviors and motivations. If you treat your surgery as a team mate, one who assists you in keeping obesity in remission, who deserves attention and respect; the guidelines and rules are just part of the game. If you see your surgery as an obstacle, barrier to get around or beat, compliance and ultimately optimal results suffer. Make your surgery your MVP.
So, who is on your team? Add those individuals who will assist you on the way to new opportunities and success.

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