I love my job as a bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator.
What a fun topic this is for me – I have had the opportunity to work side by side with weight loss surgery clients for 13 years now – what a wonderful job I have. I mean, I get to see people THRIVE and not only SURVIVE.
What a rewarding career – Every single client is special and unique. They all have a story to tell. I get to join their journey to wellness and I get to share their triumphs with them. I am humbled by their FB posts, emails, and text messages. They thank me for helping them find their way through the pre.op diet, surgery and the post-op guidelines. When they reach milestones, they tag me in their posts and allow me to celebrate their victories.
What I want to be sure they understand is that THEY did all the hard work. I may have been there for advice and accountability but what it all comes down to is their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and to board a flight to Mexico for bariatric surgery and that’s just the beginning…
The real work begins AFTER surgery. That’s the time when they start taking nutrition seriously. They weigh and measure and log their food intake. They track how many ounces of water they drink each day. They religiously take their supplements. They look to add more movement into their lives. They explain their surgery decision to friends, family members, and co-workers.
They are ROCKSTARS.
My bariatric clients are my partners. We partner together in order to be a stronger team. We set clear goals to accomplish. We fight for those short and long term achievements.
BUT, sometimes LIFE HAPPENS.
Stress sneaks upon us. Carbs sneak upon us. Weight regain can occur.
When this happens, don’t give up. Please reach out to me and together we can find a solution. It may involve changing up your food plan or adding more movement or both. You may need encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. I am all of those things.
I am now more sensitive to my clients emotional requirements. I have sharpened my listening skills. I am a “zero”-judgment zone. When they have something to celebrate, we do exactly that – celebrate them. When they are having a rough time, we sit down for a chat and a heart-to-heart.
This is not just “have a surgery and be done”. This is a lifelong event. There are stumbles along the way. There are little speed bumps that we need to take into account. My goal is to always be there for you and to provide you the education and the information that you require to turn your short term accomplishments into long term accomplishments.
Together we are better. Team YOU and ME.
About the Author: Sheri Burkeis 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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