Lessons from Bariatric Surgery: Patience

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Bariatric surgery patients might as well go to school to get a college degree. At least, that is what it may feel like, with all you learn about digestive physiology, health insurance and the healthcare system, nutrition, and exercise along your journey. Another of the “courses” you will take in your School of Bariatric Surgery career is one in patience.

With patience, you can tolerate setbacks and persevere towards scale and non-scale goals. Not to be confused with laziness or procrastination, patience can keep you from getting discouraged or frustrated. These are some of the areas in which being patient can help in your Quest for health.

An Unpredictable Scale

You are in the small and lucky minority if you lose weight as quickly as you hoped and as regularly as you expect. Everyone else should be prepared for many, many weeks when weight loss comes slowly or not at all. Lose patience, and you might give up on your Weight Loss Surgery journey. Stay patient, and things will eventually turn out right.

Focus on the process, such as healthy choices each day, rather than the outcome, such as the scale number or your pants size. You can control your choices, and if you are making the right ones, the outcomes will come. They may just not come when you expect them.

A Frustrating Healthcare System

One of the biggest tests of anyone’s patience is navigating the system. In this case, you might be trying to figure out your health insurance system and get the reimbursement letter you deserve. Or, you might have more trouble than you had hoped when trying to contact your surgeon. Don’t let these nuisances throw you off. Your perseverance may save your life.

Incomprehensible Relationships

Anyone who has Weight Loss Surgery is almost certain to have changes in their relationships. When your lifestyle changes, so too may the way you interact with family members and friends. You are working hard to stay on your healthy plan, but they may be working hard to support you and/or understand you. Be patient while there is friction, as it can often turn out okay.

You had better be prepared to return the patience if you want to keep your relationships. While you should not feel obligated to tolerate rudeness or anyone who undercuts you, you may need to get ready to have some tolerance for ignorance or friction due to changes in your lifestyle and attitude. Be ready to clearly explain your surgery to the important people in your life, and how it might affect them. Try to keep in mind that a sudden fit of anger from your SO might be a display of a moment of weakness while supporting you, for example, by keeping favorite foods out of the house.

Not Knowing the Answer

You might ask 25 people the same question and get 25 different answers. Your surgeon may recommend something different than your friend’s surgeon. You may get opposite advice from patients who each swear that their own experience was the “right” one. This gets frustrating!

The truth is that, in many cases, there is no single correct answer. The best you can do is to be patient as you dig to find the best answer for your individual case. Understand that you are receiving everyone’s best guess, and the answer – for you – is something that can be determined only after gathering input from those you trust, and mixing their advice with your own intuition. Carry the patience one step further, since you may find out by trial-and-error that your first guess was wrong!


You have no doubt studied the Weight Loss Surgery diet and seen warnings about feeling too full, dumping syndrome, and developing intolerances for former favorite foods. Reading about these and experiencing them are two different stories, though! Since they are out of your control, your best bet is to accept and deal with them, not to fight them.

Being patient can help you succeed in your weight loss surgery journey. It can keep your weight in check long term, and also keep you mentally fit for minimizing the stresses linked Weight Loss Surgery. Keep practicing it, and your efforts will be worthwhile.

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19 hours ago, Alex Brecher said:

Stay patient, and things will eventually turn out right.

"God Grant Me Patience, Just Hurry Up About It"

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