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Transformation, Enthusiasm, and Bariatric Surgery – Bariatric Edition

What Comes Next?
Real Transformation, Enthusiasm, and Bariatric Surgery.
Do you see all the before and after pictures? Can you believe all those pounds lost? It’s like two different people!
The person reading this right now… you may even be one of those amazing transformations that I am talking about. You came and you conquered. You made that decision to take your health into your own hands and you boarded a plane, flew to Mexico and had your bariatric surgery. 
You were motivated! You were excited! You were psyched-up and ready to get it done. You wanted what you saw in those transformational before and after pictures that you saw online. You may have had a neighbor or friend or relative that went before you. You were just so tired of the struggle of being overweight or obese. Nothing that you tried had worked and you lost and gained that same 20 pounds over and over again.
I get this scenario. I understand it so well. My career has been based on this exact description.
What comes next?  Yes, what does come next? We are so focused on the actual surgery that our minds forget to “fast forward” past the “honeymoon stage”. When we lose weight is it over? Does it just end there? What happens next? 
The first year is such a whirlwind. There is the lead-up to our surgery. This takes months. We need to decide to get it done and then we set the date, pay our deposit, book our flights. We start to focus on the pre-op diet and what that consists of. We have the surgery and the weight loss begins. We have support from our nutritionist and we work hard to get our diet right after surgery. We are cruising along during that first year. Some weeks we lose more and some weeks we lose less but our clothing sizes are getting smaller and everything is working out.
Goal (or close to goal). We did it. We are off our meds. We are at an ideal weight. We are feeling so much better about life and ourselves. What now?
This question “What Now” is so HUGE at this stage. Do we start to settle now? We were so motivated after the surgery. Where did all that motivation go to? 
Here’s what I think, we need to now replace motivation and willpower with “enthusiasm”. What does that mean?
I find that my willpower only takes me so far and then it fades. As I get older, it is harder to even muster up the “willpower”. It used to come so much easier. I get an idea and off I go!! I am motivated and my sheer willpower took me where I needed to go. Sure, I have good intentions but I need that “boost” to turn the intentions into reality.
Here is a good example. 
How many times have you said “Monday I will eat right” or “Monday I start my exercise program”. There is a little boost of motivation and willpower on the weekend and the intention is set but what happens on Monday morning when the alarm goes off at 6 am? Do I bolt out of bed to hit the gym? And if I can muster up the motivation to hit the gym, what happens on Tuesday and Wednesday and all the other days of the week? Where did that willpower go to? How can I get it back?
I want to share something with you. I have another trick in my toolbox. I call it enthusiasm. 
Making the mental shift from “I gotta get this done” to I get to get this done” is what helps me immensely. 
I can be talking about my work or my activity level or about my meal planning. I like to stay excited about my plans. 
“get” to get up each day and help people get well through good eating habits and weight loss. I “get” to encourage them and see them lose hundreds and thousands of pounds.
“get” to be active each day. I “get” to move my body and sweat for an hour. I “get” to use exercise as my anti-depressant. 
“get” to plan my meals. I am not limited to only poor quality food (think refined and processed carbohydrates). I “get” to eat fresh, live, natural, good quality food AND I “get” to feed that same food to my whole family.
Gratitude is what happens when motivation and willpower leave the room. Gratitude allows me to feel enthusiastic about the life I have chosen to live. This feeling enables me to push further and create more goals and it helps me to build that life that I want to live.
What happens when you no longer have to focus on your weight loss? You are there. You’ve done it. What’s next? 
Let’s face it, the average active weight loss phase will last for approximately one year post-bariatric surgery. What then? Is it over? Or has it just begun? 
I like to think that this is the time to dial it up a notch (or ten). Who do you want to be? How far do you want to go? This isn’t “just” weight loss. It’s becoming who you were always meant to be. Why sell yourself short and stop when the weight loss stops.
We can be whoever we want to be. We are in charge of our lives and we create our lives how we want them to be. If we are powerful enough to have decided to have weight loss surgery then who’s say what powerful decision we will make next. 
I want to see you SOAR. I want to hear you ROAR and I want you to be that person that you always wanted to be. Let’s move gracefully to the next stage and keep setting goals for ourselves. Let’s feel the gratitude. We had a successful surgery and we did what we set out to do. How powerful we are. 
Let’s stop fretting about the last 10 pounds. I see my clients get stuck in this loop sometimes. I know that if they set new goals and if they got enthusiastic about them and felt grateful for where they are right now, that they would step off this loop and start crushing new goals. Guess what, those 10 pounds might just disappear in the process also.
“Some” of my personal goals right now look like this: 
Launch my new franchise business by Mid-March.
Continue to be active and work-out 5 days a week.
Continue to improve my diet and follow a low processed carb lifestyle.
Use Intermittent Fasting Mon. to Fri. to improve insulin response.
Tell me all about your goals. It’s your turn now.
Oh, I have so many goals set. The four that I listed above are just a drop in the bucket. I sit down and write them all down. I visualize them. I make a vision board. I can see what it looks like to achieve the goal. If I don’t do this, I feel like I am just on a hamster wheel and I don’t feel so enthusiastic about my life. I don’t know where I am going or what direction I am taking. 
If you haven’t taken the time to think about your life and what you want it to look like, this may be your time. Spend an hour with yourself and a blank page and start writing. See what comes out. If it helps, send it to me and I will help you stay accountable. 
With Healthy Hugs and Enthusiasm
Sheri BUrke

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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