Post-Op Bariatric Roadblocks – What to Do & How to Overcome Them
I’d like to help you overcome some post-op issues that may come up:
Recover From Your Operation First, Then Focus on Weight Reduction
You’ve prepared for weight loss surgery for a long time and you’re eager to start shedding those pounds--right now. But first, it’s far more important to heal properly after your operation. As a result, you'll very likely lose weight faster and avoid complications which could potentially set you back.
“I’m Not Losing Enough Weight!”
That’s a common concern and one that is certainly justified! Often patients think they will never be able to overcome obesity and metabolic disease since WLS was a last-ditch effort after years of dieting didn’t work.
Keep your nutrition diary updated. Keep moving. Drink all that water every day. If you didn’t see the scale move this week, you’ll be happier next week. If not, call your bariatric doctor to take a closer look to determine what is causing this temporary setback.
Doubting Your Decision
I view the first few weeks or even months after weight loss surgery as a perfect storm for generating self-doubts about your choice to have the sleeve, gastric bypass or the lap band.
You now realize that subscribing to a lifetime commitment of changing your eating habits and lifestyle is a pretty big deal.
Additionally, you have not eaten solid foods for weeks, which can also be unnerving to some people.
These feelings are completely normal—and temporary.
You’ve undergone a big life change that’s going to take some time to get used to.
Just make a little note to carry with you that says:
1) You are fighting back against obesity-related diseases.
2) You are lengthening your lifespan.
3) You are going to enjoy a significantly improved quality of life.
4) You will look better and feel great every day.
Comparing Your Weight Loss to Others
Everyone fighting obesity is completely unique. While Bob may lose 28 pounds in the first month, Linda may lose only 15. Months down the line, the weight loss figures even out, more often than not.
Think about it. A general round number for great first-year weight loss after bariatric surgery is 100 pounds. That’s an average of 2 pounds a week, or 8 pounds a month.
If you lost 20 pounds in your first month, you’re doing fantastic! To hit 100 pounds in your first year, you won’t even lose a pound every three days.
Don’t worry if the scale doesn’t go down every single day. If you’re eating right, you’ll lose weight.
Better yet, only weigh yourself about once a week.
Take Weight Loss Surgery One Day at a Time
No matter how frustrated you may feel at times, stay positive and focus on following your bariatric team’s instructions to the letter. Continue to eat a liquid diet and then pureed foods. Use this recovery time to plan a day-to-day system to help achieve your long-term success. Learn to measure your food. Schedule specific days/times for food prep, sleep and exercise.
Should you have any pain or discomfort of any kind, call your doctor sooner rather than later. (Yes, it’s often gas, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!)
We want to hear how you’re doing, I assure you.
Weight loss surgery is a lifetime adventure. Your world is changing for the better. When you are temporarily frustrated or disappointed, move forward, look ahead. Because your future is going to be very bright (and healthy!) indeed.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy Witthaya Phonsawat via freedigitalphotos.net)