The journey does not end when you get home with your VSG. The journey is just beginning.
This is a topic that is near and dear to me. Half of my career was spent coordinating and facilitating for clients who wanted to have bariatric surgery in Mexico. After I realized that our clients required more than just the logistics of surgery, I went back to school to become an RHN, registered holistic nutritionist. I now do all the coordination, and logistics for our clients but I also work with them before surgery and post-surgery to ensure that they meet all of their short and long term goals.
We have an extremely well-rounded bariatric program. Our clients have all of our experience with coordination and facilitation as well as true nutritional support. We don’t just give them a hand-out diet and tell them to follow it. We work with them on a bi-weekly and monthly basis requesting food logs and weigh-ins through emails and telephone calls. Our clients let us know how much support they require and we work around their schedule.
What I discovered along my 12-year journey working with bariatric clients is the importance of nutritional support. Bariatric surgery is a wonderful thing. It is the tool that transforms lives and helps us to lose enormous amounts of weight and to get healthy again but what happens as time goes on? How can we maintain those results?
Once we have our weight loss tool, we need to learn how to truly use it and this is a life long journey. The journey does not end when you get home from the hospital with your bariatric tool. The journey is just beginning.
I know that clients can lose weight during their first year eating a diet that is let’s say “not so perfect” but what happens down the road? I am here to tell you that if you do not make real lifestyle changes after your bariatric surgery, you will go back to where you came from. If you continue to eat post surgery like you were eating before surgery, you will go back to where you came from. There is a pattern here. Real changes need to be made or you will go back to where you came from.
This is not to scare you into eating a salad but it’s to provide you with the information you need in order to reach your goals and also to maintain them.
I want my clients to understand food. We need to get educated about fat, protein, and carbohydrates. We need to understand how many calories we should be eating each day. We need to learn about macro-nutrient balancing. We need to understand portion control also.
It’s not as easy as reading one book or reading a few blogs and deciding that you are “good to go”. Food nutrition science is changing each day and we need to stay on top of it. One day eggs are good for you and the next they are bad for you. We need to take food science seriously if we plan on staying thin and healthy for the years to come.
If you are reading this blog, then it means that you care about your food decisions and that you want to learn more. I salute you for that. It’s a very complicated arena but that is why I bring you updated blogs and videos on a weekly basis. I want you to be able to fully understand your nutritional decisions.
We eat every single day. We eat many times each day. Why is it that we don’t really understand what happens to the food when we eat it and what it does inside our body? That’s my job and intend to provide all of my clients with this type of knowledge. “Nutrition Knowledge” is power and we need all of our power to stay healthy and happy moving forward in this journey.
Congrats on being here – you’ve got this!
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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