Lifestyle Changes After Bariatric Surgery
It is important to see Bariatric surgery for what it is… a tool. This tool helps to control appetite and intake. This tool, if not used properly, can be quite unsuccessful and even a hindrance to an individual.
When the foreman gives you a box of nails and tells you to build a house, it may be difficult with out the proper tools. Now when that box of nails comes with a hammer the job can get done, but it is up to you to pick up that hammer and use it. It will do you no good hammering with the wrong end or using the handle instead of the head of the hammer. Pounding all the nails in one place won’t help either, there needs to be a “method to the madness”.
After establishing a few habit changes you will be shocked as to how your healthier ways rub off on those around you. Creating change not only creates a longer, healthier life for you but also your family. You now have your children and friends interested in the foods you are choosing or the healthier cooking options you have instilled. You can now become the teacher, the one others turn to for a healthier option.
Combinations of new healthy food options now have increased and the energy level can increase tri-fold. Think about the possibilities that increased energy can provide for you. Things you may have never thought would happen; ‘volunteering’ to walk the dogs, bringing the kids out to play… everyday, choosing the outdoor activities instead of staying in, opting to go to the gym! The possibilities are endless when you have the energy to drive you.
- Cooking dinner at home with the family, $15;
- Working out at the gym, $25/month;
- Taking your multi-vitamin, $10/month;
- Not monitoring your blood sugar or blood pressure, $0;
- Knowing you have your health, priceless!
You always take your health for granted until it’s wavering. The struggle to keep up with and even pay for your medications seems overwhelming. Taking control over your health is yet another positive change that you may have never dreamed possible. Do you enjoy visiting your doctor? Does your doctor seem to come up with results that you do not want to hear? How refreshing could it be to leave your doctors appointment with results that put a smile on your face? This means decreasing medications, or not following in the foot steps of your grandfather, and the simple fact of knowing that you will be around for your family that much longer.
“Staying at home just seemed like the easiest option before surgery. I didn’t have to deal with the number of outfits that I didn’t have to wear, or the activities I couldn’t do, or my ever growing awareness that people would stare at me. After surgery my most positive change was integrating myself back into society. This past summer I was able to fit comfortably on a plane to enjoy a family vacation to the tropics, and it didn’t stop there, I could enjoy the same activities my family did with the only second thought being that I couldn’t have done this a year ago.” – 1 year post-op bariatric patient
You may feel similar to the above story, you may see ways that your weight has begun to hold you back or slow you down. Positive lifestyle changes after surgery can include those simple things such as tying your shoes easily, painting your toenails, crossing your legs, or walking across the parking lot with out getting winded.
Feeling the struggle with social aspects in your life have the opportunity to change as well; going to the mall or the movies, going to a work function, traveling, attending your child’s school function, and what about volunteering for that community project that you have always believed in.
Family and friends have a chance to enjoy more activities outside the home with you; going on a hike, riding a roller-coaster, or like the above patient fitting in the plane to travel several hours to a place that is completely new.
There are many avenues to gauge success after surgery beyond weight loss. Approach success as the positive life changes that give you the opportunity to be… You!