Here's the third post in my little post-op series of…
There is one main ingredient that is crucial to your success after bariatric surgery. While the choice of exactly which surgery to have is important it’s not that. The doctor you choose has a big influence on how things go but it’s not that. Your starting weight, age, and other things you can use to define yourself may have an influence but it’s not that either. The main thing that is going to influence your bariatric journey, whether you reach a healthy weight after surgery and how you go maintaining it long term, is you.
The surgery alone is not going to fix your problems, it’s not going to make you ridiculously happy every single day for the rest of your life and surgery alone is not going to get you to a healthy weight and keep you there. Making the choice to have surgery seems like such a huge thing when you’re considering it to begin with but it’s your attitude and willingness to make changes and learn a new way of living that is far, far more important to your outcome than which way a surgeon re-designs your insides.
Your starting weight, your age, how long you’ve been overweight and the event that finally got you down this track of having bariatric surgery are all important and will have some bearing on how things turn out but the impact of them is probably somewhat overstated in our own minds. Obesity and especially morbid obesity, is such a complex condition that I don’t think we have begun to understand it in any real or holistic way.
In deciding to have bariatric surgery there are a few things that you need to come to terms with and be prepared to do and if necessary, change to get the absolute best out of it. You need to be prepared to focus on yourself and make yourself and your wellbeing a priority. If you’re constantly busy and don’t have time to do the simple things for yourself this might not be the best choice for you. One thing that I think hugely contributes to my continued success is meal planning and two hours of meal prep every Sunday afternoon to get myself (and my family) ready for the next week food wise. I would never have thought prior to surgery that I would have time, or inclination to do this every week.
The biggest adjustment that you have to make is mentally and attitude wise. There are so many little things that I have done through my journey to make this shift so it’s impossible to list them all here but going in with a positive attitude and being open to changing where needed and being able to reflect and see where change happens as you get further down the path is really the biggest determining point to whether or not you will succeed.
Taking responsibility for your journey and owning it, owning the absolute shit out of it, is going to get you where you want to be. By internalising your sense of responsibility and accountability you are pinning all your hopes on yourself, nobody else. You know what that means don’t you? It means you have the power, the direct and absolute power to influence your journey and how it turns out. If you externalise the accountability for the success of your journey to your surgeon, your type of surgery, your support people (they are important though don’t underestimate that) then you’re giving the power for you to succeed to someone else. Bank on yourself, own it and you will do it.
I have chosen to share my journey through bariatric surgery and afterwards to help others going through it and considering it. I want to reflect what it’s really like to live with this long term. I make this lifestyle work for me the best way I can and want to share my insights and tips and tricks with you here. I am stoked when my readers find this useful but a large part of what comes after surgery is crafting your new reality and version of normal within the bounds and guidelines that are provided to you by your team.
This journey is not something that anyone else can do for you, the outcome is totally dependent on you. I know you can do it, I did. So go out there, own your journey and when you get to where you want to be you know that it was you that did it my friend, nobody else. Have you considered your journey through bariatric surgery like this before? Comment below and let me know!