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I Make Suggestions You Make Decisions? – Bariatric Edition

I have a wonderful career. I get to meet you. I get to see you THRIVE. I get to accompany you on your weight loss journey. Imagine how beautiful it is for me to watch my clients crush their goals, and recover their health.
I get to see NSVs every day. Your wedding ring is too big. You can cross your legs again. You can buy knee-high boots because your calves fit in them! You get to ride on roller coasters. Your clothes are too big. Your energy level is higher than you can remember. You sleep better. You got to stop taking your meds! You climb mountains. Your drivers’ license doesn’t look like you anymore. The NSV list is extensive!
Sure, the “surgery route” is not the easy way out. It is surgery. It means international travel. It’s expensive. It involves a recovery period. The first few months are not easy. There is a huge learning curve. The “new normal” is not fun in the beginning. Having a tiny tummy sounds wonderful until you actually have that tiny tummy. What happens when you have one bite too many?
There is so much to learn. It feels overwhelming. What do I eat? When do I eat? How do I eat? How can I drink? What protein shakes should I use? When do I take my vitamins? Will I be able to exercise? How is the recovery period? How long before I can swim in a pool? What kind of restrictions will I have? ….. these are just a sample of the questions I get asked each day.
I am happy to say that I am able to answer every one of your questions. That’s my job! I’ve been working as a bariatric surgery coordinator since 2008. That’s a whole lot of years! I want to empower you with the knowledge I’ve learned over my career. I want you to truly understand the process. Your bariatric tool is not a magic wand. It is a tool that doesn’t come with a manual but,,, I have the answers you are searching for. I have that learner’s manual for you.
I make suggestions. You make decisions.
That’s how this goes. I can teach you how to use your tool but ultimately, it is you who decides what they are going to do.
Here is an example. Gatorade. I don’t like Gatorade and I discuss this with each client during our pre-op call. I explain “why” I don’t like Gatorade and I give suggestions for other, better products that you can use for electrolytes. Ultimately, you will be the one who buys the Gatorade, or not.
Juice. Juice is not something that we should be drinking while actively trying to fix our insulin resistance issues. It’s very high in fructose, which is essentially SUGAR. If you choose to drink juice, this will be your decision.
That’s because I make suggestions. You make decisions.
I am not going to “juice-shame” you. I am not going to “gatorade-shame” you. But, I am going to gently explain “why” there are better options. I am going to make these suggestions because I care. I am going to make these suggestions because I want to do my job well. Doing my job well means teaching you the reasons why I make the suggestions that I make. I am not making these things up. I want you to have the BEST user manual out there.
I love talking about food with you. I could talk about food all day long. Actually, I do talk about food all day long! I want to show you the best way to lose weight and the best way to maintain your weight loss. I want to teach you all the “tricks”. My main trick is to teach you about what real food is. How to avoid processed food traps. How to create healthy meals. How not to be at the mercy of the food manufacturers. How to avoid the blood sugar roller coaster.
I want you to win. I want you to feel confident in your food choices.
I make suggestions. You make decisions
Please reach out to me if you are unsure about your bariatric tool. Don’t go to some big forum to post your questions. Well, sure, post there but also shoot me an email. I want to help you figure this out. It’s a HUGE part of the puzzle. This is not “surgery and done”. This is surgery and let’s dig in and learn on a continued basis.
None of us, me included, has a perfect diet, or a perfect workout plan, or a perfect sleep/ stress routine. We are striving for progress and not perfection. As long as we continue to learn, we are going to continue to grow.
I make suggestions. You make decisions.
Healthy Hugs,

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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