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Others Are Watching, Pay it Forward – Bariatric Edition

It’s the beginning of December!  What happened to the other 11 months of the year?  This year has gone by so quickly and I have had the delight of working with so many of you in 2019.  I appreciate every one of you.  I get to cheer you on as you embark on your weight loss surgery journey.  I get to see you losing thousands of combined pounds!!  I have a great job being able to coach you back to good health.
I think that social media is wonderful.  Every time I get or feel negative about social media, I have to remember how it enables me to keep in touch with family who is far away.  It allows me to learn numerous things about different parts of our world.  It lets me be a part of a community of people who share the same interests as I do. 
A lot of my work occurs on social media.  This is how it goes.  Susan has a bariatric surgery and she loses 80 pounds.  Her 2nd cousin Kelly sees her at Thanksgiving and cannot believe the change!  She wants to know how Susan has lost her weight.  Susan tells her about her medical trip to Mexico and how she had a great experience.  Kelly wants to know more.  She has 70 pounds to lose and she has tried everything.  Susan introduces Kelly to me in a group chat on FB messenger.  I reach out to Kelly, after thanking Susan and Kelly and I continue our conversation through FB messenger, emails and telephone calls.  Kelly tells me that Susan is her hero.
See how important social media becomes to me and my business of helping people get healthy?  
Before social media, patients still crossed the border for surgery.  They still knew about a weight loss surgery program over in Mexico.  They heard the rumors.  Today those rumors are on everyone’s social media feed.  It bridges the gaps and allows my clients to not only “hear about our program” but also to discuss our program with others who have made that same journey recently.  They encourage those who are considering the journey but are afraid, nervous and worried.  
I like to say that it is not my job to “sell” anything.  I am not here to tell anyone that they should hop on a plane and have surgery.  My job is to facilitate the decision once it is made.  It’s my job to provide the information that my clients require to make a well informed, educated decision.  If you are not ready to make that decision, you will not ever be pushed by me.  WHEN and only WHEN you are ready, I am here to put together all the details for you.
I say the same thing to my clients.  They so badly want their cousin to have surgery.  They are suffering and have terrible pain in their knees.  Their blood sugars are out of control and they are on medications for high blood pressure.  Who are we to say that they need to have surgery.  That decision lies with them and when they reach out for help, we should be there for them.  
This is why I appreciate it when you share your bariatric journey with others.  Do you understand that you can be saving a life?  I mean that.  Your family and friends are watching you.  First, they are watching you because they are worried that you will not be successful with your weight loss surgery.  
They have heard the horror stories about traveling to Mexico. “Mexico?,,, are you crrrrrazy”???   Maybe they have met others who had surgery and were not entirely successful.  They may be thinking that this will be you too.  
Then your friends and family see you lose weight AND they see that you made real changes to your diet and lifestyle!  They see you posting your healthy lunches online and they see you exercising and truly happy.  They want that too.
They decide to reach out to you.  That is where the magic happens.  Your decisions and determination and hard work have encouraged somebody else to take their health into their own hands.  You may have just saved a life.  See how that works!! 
Pay it forward. All you need to do is to lead by example.  Show others how if it’s possible for you to get healthy, it is also possible for them to get healthy.  Don’t push.  Just enjoy your weight loss journey.  Celebrate your milestones. Put yourself first.  Love yourself enough to feed yourself correctly and move your beautiful body. 
I know that you want others to have what you have.  Lead by example.  Others Are Watching 🙂



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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