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I am stuck – Bariatric Edition

Who feels like this?  Stuck?  In a weight-loss RUT.  

Who has fallen off the pink cloud? 

Who has realized that their bariatric surgery is just a tool?

Who wants to use their tool better to get unstuck? 

We all have these feelings at one time or another after weight loss surgery. 

The first year after surgery can be one big, exciting time because we have so many “wins” during that FIRST YEAR. 

  • The weight is falling off.
  • Our doctor is happy with our cholesterol levels.
  • Some of us have ditched the high blood pressure medications.
  • Some of can bid adieu to diabetes medications.
  • Our backs, knees, hips and feet have less pain.
  • We get to buy a new fun wardrobe.
  • No more seat-belt extenders on the airplane.
  • We are sleeping better.
  • We are happier.

The “I lost a lot of weight” pros-list can go on and on depending on your specific circumstances.

We move into year two with confidence. 

Have we made the changes that needed to be made in order to keep our first-year results?  Time to re-evaluate. And we can re-evaluate at any time along this journey.  Not just at the 12-month mark – we can evaluate 2 years, 4 years, 10 years, 20 years later.  

If you are stuck …. it may be time to re-evaluate and make some new changes.  It is NEVER too late to make healthy changes.  Please remember that.  Every single day is a new day.  Every single day is an opportunity to make the next meal a healthy meal.  We get a second chance every time we eat so don’t get discouraged if you find yourself in a rut or if you feel stuck.  

We can “unstuck” ourselves at any time.

The “bariatric pink cloud” lasts for about a year but our tool stays with us for a lifetime. 

So what kind of changes can we make to get the scale moving again, or to get our sugars back to normal, or to help our blood pressure stay in the normal range? 

Let’s start with food.  What foods should we be avoiding? 

  • Fruit that is high in fructose (sugar)
  • Processed food
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Bread
  • Buns
  • Bagels
  • Tortillas
  • English muffins
  • Candy
  • Ice-cream
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes

You should aim for a diet which is low in SUGAR and STARCH.

What sorts of foods should we be eating to get back on our pink cloud? 

  • Whole Live Natural Good-Quality FOOD 🙂
  • Meat, poultry, eggs, fish
  • Lots of low carb veggies
  • Small amounts of low sugar berries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Healthy fat

Notice how most of the foods listed above are whole foods?  They don’t have a long list of ingredients.  Most of them do not come with a label either.  They are just real food.  There are no tricks or pills or shakes.  

What about exercise?  

Exercise is so important!  I always say, “weight-loss occurs in the kitchen” BUT “good health occurs through exercise”.  

We cannot exercise our way out of a bad diet.  Especially when we hit a “certain age”… who has the time or energy to spend 3 hours a day in the gym and is that realistic or even good for us and our joints?  

Exercise helps keep us healthy and it lubricates our joints.  It helps to prevent age-related diseases and it eases the symptoms of depression.  Exercise is a big key to success on this bariatric journey.  Find something you like.  Walk or jog.  Bike or run.  Go to the gym or participate in yoga classes.  Swim or garden.  Just please try to do something every day to stay active.  

I have personally seen what inactivity does to the body.  It scares me.  Please don’t allow this to happen to you.  Love yourself enough to move that beautiful body of yours.  If you have been inactive, guess what, today can be the first day of the rest of your active life.  Please move.

Sleep is the best free medicine.

Shout that from the rooftops.  Sleep is the BEST medicine and it is FREE.  Every day we get an opportunity to sleep better.  Sleep is powerful.  It is a time for our body to rebuild and regroup and when we don’t take the time to sleep properly, we get out of balance.  

This puts a lot of stress on our body and our hormones (like cortisol)start to rise and high levels of this hormone make weight loss more difficult.  Please take your sleep seriously and put together a sleep hygiene plan.  

Is your bedroom the perfect temperature?  Is it dark enough?  Is there a noise that is waking you up? Are you eating too close to bedtime?  Figure out what you can do to improve your sleep conditions.  Take advantage of this healing time and allow your body to get sufficient rest.

We all go through periods where we feel stuck.  The champions rise to the top and they don’t stay stuck for long.  They get back on the elevator and take it to the next floor!  They put together a plan that starts NOW and they take back their control.  Nobody can take that away from you.  Make your plan and “unstuck” yourself now.

Reach out and tell me what you are going to do today to hop back onto your pink cloud 😉

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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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