Admittedly, most of us are somewhat resistant to change. But when you know a new direction is warranted, like choosing to fight back against obesity, it can be exhilarating to see where the journey will take you.  From the beginning of your bariatric adventure to achieving goal weight, I’ve outlined a few of the changes and challenges you may encounter on the road ahead.

Once obesity sets in, life is about the food, first and foremost. But after bariatric surgery, you’ll see that food is just fuel for your body. Eating just keeps you alert and full of energy to fuel your life–nothing more. Rather than worrying about your next snack or meal, you’ll be focusing on far more important things to make your life fuller, richer and healthier.  Going forward, you will learn that food gives your mind and body fuel to perform at its highest level possible. Food is not a crutch or a protector from the challenges of daily life.

Preparation is the number one key to weight loss success. Before surgery, you’ll start the process of changing what you eat. Go ahead and dump the junk food, the sugar products and empty carbs. You don’t need them, nor does your family. After about a week, don’t you notice a difference already? Read articles, blogs, magazines and books about healthy living. Prepare your body and your mind to make changes toward living a healthier lifestyle.

Having the courage and dedication to have weight loss surgery is a strong statement about your regard for your value and self-worth. But the battle against obesity is complicated; the mind’s negative messaging doesn’t just end after your operation. Now you have more motivation than ever to seek out psychological counseling services to quiet that negative messaging once and for all.  

Once you are eating solid foods again, you can incorporate exercise into your routine, in most cases. Many patients enthusiastically report that weight loss surgery gave them a new chance to reap the benefits of working out.  Reclaim your body, reclaim your health, and start a journey that leads to an active, healthy lifestyle. Find activities that you enjoy—start with walking around the neighborhood, walking on a treadmill while you watch your favorite TV show or play ball with your kids (they will be elated, I assure you).

Don’t let your mind hold you back from forging ahead and leaving bad habits in the dust. Change can be a little disconcerting, but once you see what’s on the other side, it will be well worth the effort!

Ayotunde Adeyeri, M.D., FASMBS, is a board-certified and fellowship-trained laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgeon and medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss at Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge. The Institute is accredited by the MBSAQIP as a Comprehensive Bariatric Center and provides individualized medical and surgical solutions and support for individuals seeking weight loss, including nutrition and lifestyle counseling. For more information or to attend a free bariatric surgery seminar, call 855-TIME-4-ME.


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