There are some really common questions that you get asked…
There is one major contributing factor in the overall success of everyone having bariatric surgery. That main factor is you! I see so much focus on the surgeon and the type of procedure which is a natural thing to angst about before surgery but honestly, as time goes on, those things become less important and the main factor determining your success is you.
I haven’t noticed this in a New Zealand context so much but it is especially so on the US bariatric message boards that I see a lot of the focus directed at the surgeon. The system is totally different there and of course we all want the best surgeon possible but the surgeon alone is not going to determine your outcome. As I have said before and will continue saying until I am blue in the face bariatric surgery is not a silver bullet it is a tool that gives you an advantage to manage your weight and only that.
Once you are given your tool to work with be it a gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, duoduenal switch or other kind of bariatric surgery it is yours to do with as you please. There will be guidelines (although I tend to think more of them as non optional rules) that will go along with your tool depending on which one you choose and these coupled with your tool should give you the best outcome possible.
What is going to make the difference in the short term through the rapid weight loss phase and long term through the maintenance phase is you and your decisions. Nobody else can do this for you and I really hope that you have or are doing this for yourself and yourself only.
An important step of getting mentally ready for bariatric surgery is deciding you can live with the consquences that it will bring on your day to day life. For me it was a process of researching gastric bypass as much as I could through message boards and things written by bariatric teams on what to expect and getting to the point where I felt the trade off of losing some of the freedom I had around food for a new healthier me was worth it.
Right from the start when beginning to think about bariatric surgery, gastric bypass was the one I was most interested in and thought was most suitable for me for a variety of reasons. I see pre surgery patients getting a bit confused and overwhelmed when they are given a choice between two or more different surgeries. My best advice in terms of this is to see what your team suggest, why they suggest one option over another and then see what choice you are presented with that suits you and you feel fits better with you.
What’s going to get you to your goal weight are your choices. Your choice to focus on protein first and making sure you hit your goal every day. Your choice to go for that walk or do that exercise. Your choice to make sure you always have a backup plan in case things don’t go as planned. Your choice and often realisation that you are worth this, you deserve this and you can do this!! It really is down to you and you only at the end of the day.
Bariatric surgery itself is a big turning point for anyone who has battled their weight for what often feels like forever. It is a massive focus in the lead up and for the first year or so after surgery but eventually you get back to a new normal and the actual procedure isn’t the thing you base your life around anymore. A couple of years out the surgeon who performed your procedure really doesn’t make a difference and who knows maybe you would have had a very similar outcome if you had picked the other surgery that you were considering.
I am a very driven, motivated person and most of the time I can find it within me to keep myself on the right track and do what I need to to make sure I hold onto the success that I’ve had with the assistance of my gastric bypass. Sometimes I need a kick up the bum though and a stark reminder of the fact it’s the choices I make that make all the difference is what I need.
Has this post helped motivate you to do the absolute best you can for yourself? Comment below and let me know!