8 Quotes By Weight Loss Surgery Patients That Will Inspire You.
“How can I be successful after weight loss surgery?” I have heard this question countless times as a dietitian.
I wish I could tell you there was an exact formula. There’s not.
I wish I could tell you exactly how you can do it. I can’t.
What I can tell you is that each person develops different habits, routines and strategies that work for them. This journey is about discovering what works for you.
Will there be ups and downs? Absolutely.
But it’s about showing up again and again to commit to your health and future.
Today I want to present to you eight individuals that have undergone weight loss surgery that are willing to share their story with you . I asked all my contributors to share what #1 thing helped them be successful after weight loss surgery.
Whether you are just starting to research weight loss surgery or had it done years ago, I believe you will find inspiration in their words.
“My mantra is Living Larger than Ever. And what I mean is I continually push myself beyond my next boundary, crossing the line between what I have already achieved and what more I might be able to achieve. I was afraid to get surgery and that fear held me back for years. And when I finally had RNY-GB in 2003 my huge achievement was teaching myself what it meant to eat really healthy. I had no clue what was healthy and what was not. Learning was a process that did not happen overnight. It took time and dedication and perseverance.
Then, after a decade of not having achieved the body and face I wanted to achieve from weight loss, I had body contouring plastic surgery and facial plastic surgery. It took all the courage that I could muster, and then some, to go through with those surgeries. And it was tough, almost unbearable at times. But I made it through the fire and was reborn. So that experience was extremely freeing for me. And I made a vow never to let fear hold me back again from doing what I wanted to do. I’d allowed it to hold me back for so long.
I went on to explore all that life has to offer, making up for lost time to years of morbid obesity. My granddaughter and I ran our first 3k together in Monterrey. I swam with sharks and stingrays and turtles in Belize. I went out on “The Ledge” in Chicago. I went zip lining and completed a rigorous 4-hr treetops rope course in Nashville. I became certified in Reiki II. I climbed pyramids all over Mexico. I went off-loading somewhere in GA, speed boating on the Cheet River, and 70mph on a waverunner in TN. I joined an adult rowing team. I learned belly dancing. I lived outside the country in an uber cool third world nation for 4-months. I star-gazed and saw the aurora borealis in the UP. And so MUCH more.
I hope that you will follow your dreams. Your life belongs to you and you are going to live it only once, not twice or more.”
"When Kristin asked me for my #1 tip or habit to achieve long-term success after WLS, I instinctively thought of portion control – because I do use my bariatric portion plate at almost every meal. But to be honest, it might seem like a thinly-disguised invitation to check out my products and it wouldn’t be strictly true. There has been something much more important or valuable – namely ‘getting support’.
So my number #1 tip is to find great support for your journey from pre-op start out to long-term post-op. Having a good support network to call upon when times are both good and bad, celebratory or challenging, has been invaluable for my own (and I believe your) lasting WLS success.
This can be from your surgeon, bariatric or allied health team, your friends, family, co-workers, and other people or buddies that have had bariatric surgery too.
Surgery is about making life-long changes, not just for today, tomorrow, next week or this year, but for life. You need to make sure that you have people in your corner now and for years down the track.
There are going to be sometimes when you need professional advice, some tough love (or what I call a ‘critical friend’), a non-judgemental ear or shoulder to lean on, or just a mate.
My tip is to cultivate these connections and relationships that are going to build you up and sustain you so that you can reach and maintain your goals.
I attend two main Support Groups – and for very different reasons. One is for professional advice and on-going education (yes, even after 9 years!), and the second is for friendship.
I supplement these with on-line forums too and dip in and out of several. They are a mixed bunch – some local to an area, others allied to a weight-loss surgery provider, a country, a gender, a surgery type, or problem (such as regain, diabetes etc). I would urge you to choose carefully the ones you opt into (some may not be for you and some are poorly moderated). They are invaluable however if you can’t attend a Support Group in person.
I am fortunate to have a great family, many friends and associates, as well as on-line bariatric buddies in my network of support (including those who contact me via my own website). I feel blessed and focused daily as a result. They are my cheer-leaders and invaluable in my post-op life."
- Carol Ball, Bariatric Cookery
"If I had to encapsulate everything I know into ONE main habit or routine that helps cultivate long-term lasting success after weight loss surgery it would be writing things down. The clinical research indicates that people who plan ahead, creating meal plans and track their food intake are more likely to maintain long-term weight loss than those that did not. Therefore, I strongly encourage post-op patients to create the practice and habit of planning and tracking their food by keeping a log of foods to eat and foods eaten.
Most often people don’t do this when they slip into old habits because they may experience blame, shame, or guilt from this. However, I have found that when people track consistently they are less likely to fall off track because their food logs hold them accountable. Additionally, I would add that this habit, routine, strategy is also very important because it gives additional insight into the mindset of the person. If they are struggling with something at work, or in their personal lives and they go running for food, this is an indication of more mental and emotional work to be done. Therefore, this habit is essential not only for keeping someone on track, but also for helping people gain insight into setbacks as they occur. It’s unrealistic to think that once you’ve had the surgery that your behavior will be perfect. That idea is nonsense. Everyone will struggle at some point with eating unhealthy foods. However, through the practice of writing things down and being aware of one’s emotional needs, this can help someone stop and shift their behavior back to healthy choices before they experience the struggle of weight regain.
The act of writing things down has made a huge difference in many of the clients I work with. Additionally, the most successful weight loss surgery patients I know tracked significantly within the first five years as a post-op. It is the first five years that is the most crucial in changing one’s behavior to the new healthy lifestyle, and this is why I believe that tracking one’s meal plans and logging one’s food is the most important routine for lasting success.
In my own personal journey as a post-op bariatric patient, writing things down has helped me to see what I eat, when I eat, the reasons I may feel the need to eat, and it helps me to catch myself before eating. For me, writing things down has been more than meal planning and tracking/logging, it’s also been about journaling the feelings and emotions that come up that may drive my desire to eat. This has helped me become more aware of the urge to eat which may have absolutely nothing to do with physical hunger. This is why I think it’s the ONE main habit or routine everyone needs to know about and develop as a post-op bariatric patient. "
- Kristin Lloyd, LPC/LMHC author of Bariatric Mindset
"My goal to successfully lose weight after gastric bypass, in May 2015, was to regain my health; my bad health issues were caused by my obesity, all 402 pounds of it! My weight was literally crushing my knees, hips, ankles and back. I was also pre-diabetic and my triglycerides were so high that they were no longer chartable; I was taking nine assorted prescription pills a day, all (over)weight related. My life had become sedentary.
As early as my first 50 pound loss post surgery, I could feel a significant decrease in pain. I was taking less and less medication and seeing a big increase in my mobility; this weight loss motivated me to keep going, to stick to my plan and to the bariatric protocols. As I lost more weight, 188 pounds to be exact, the splendor of now living practically pain free was, and still is, my constant motivation. The lower number on the scale, smaller clothes and looking healthier are of course also a welcomed added bonus, but finally being healthy is my jackpot!
As I continue on my weight loss journey I find much fulfillment in encouraging and motivating the members in my [Facebook] weight loss surgery support groups, “Bariatric Surgery Toolbox” & “Bariatric Healthy Choices.” Helping others to have a weight loss adventure as amazing and rewarding as mine has been, also holds me accountable to set a healthy and successful example for other bariatric patients like myself. ...Life is good! (and HEALTHY!!)"
- Lucy Lane, Founder of Facebook Group Bariatric Surgery Toolbox
"What helps me is being positive and having confidence.
I know that bariatric surgery has given me the tool I need to control my weight. With that knowledge comes confidence that when I make the right decisions, I will get the results I deserve.
The joys in my life keep me motivated to be healthy. I get to spend time with my kids and say "YES!" when they want me to join their activities. I get to work hard in something that I am passionate about - helping others through weight loss surgery. I get to be active and be proud of myself. All of those wonderful things are worth working hard for.
I love life and want to be here, experiencing it all, for as long as I can."
- Alex Brecher, Founder of Bariatric Pal
"I was sleeved just over 4 years ago. I have lost, maintained, regained, and lost again. Am I still successful? Yes indeed! I remain honest with myself.
I no longer make excuses for where I am at or who I am. I no longer look for things to blame for my current situation. That was left behind with my surgery. By remaining honest with myself, I have been able to be honest with the professionals that I have look to for advice, guidance, and correction. Being successful does not always mean that the number on the scale has dropped to a certain point. Sometimes success is measured in things we physically accomplish, new things we are able to do, a new clothing size, being able to look in the mirror and like who you are.
For me, my success has come from my mental attitude I have achieved since surgery. An attitude that allows me to see how far I have come in many areas and all this is possible because I remain true to myself and keep things honest with myself, as well as with others. "
- Dorothy Rosnick
I do not believe it is just one thing that leads to success, but incorporating a variety of good habits that work together each day.
There were many changes to make during the first year as I adjusted to my new, post-surgery habits. Perhaps the most important change that I made was how I thought about food. During the first several months, while my body was responding to the types and quantities of food I was eating, I decided that this was the time to learn to think differently about food. It proved to be an ideal time to learn to make this monumental transition. For example, I no longer saw a "sandwich," but rather a combination of separate food groups: protein, vegetables, and carbs.
Several months later, after losing 50 pounds or so, I met a friend for lunch. A doughnut was part of the chili lunch special, and I decided that rather than waste it I would take it home to one of my teenagers. The server placed the doughnut in a little sack for me, and I was on my way with the doughnut on the passenger seat beside me. When I arrived home some 40 minutes later, as I pulled into the driveway, I was surprised when I noticed the doughnut! You see, prior to surgery, I would have been so aware of that doughnut on the seat, that it never would have made it out of the parking lot!"
- Colleen Cook, Author & Inspirational Speaker
"The thing that was most helpful in both my initial success in losing 243 pounds and also my maintenance of that loss for the past 16 years, was the powerful belief in myself that I could accomplish what I wanted.
Even though past dieting attempts had not been successful for me, I was determined to make the tool I was given through weight loss surgery work for me. Because of that determination, I followed my surgeons guidelines exactly as he gave them; I didn’t stray from them on any level. I knew that I only had a finite amount of time to lose weight with the assistance of the surgery and I was very driven to get every extra pound off of me during that time frame.
I kept my thoughts positive and I refused to consider that I might not make it. Deep inside I was terrified that if this surgery didn’t work for me, nothing ever would and so I was relentless to achieve my goal. People tend to downplay how much positive thinking and a positive attitude make a difference in every single thing we do. I had tried to lose weight for 20 years and had been unsuccessful each time.
I was determined that if God opened the door for me to have the surgery I needed, I was going to make it."
- Kelley Gunter, Author of You Have Such a Pretty Face
What are the habits and routines that help you?
Please share them in the comments below.