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Weight Loss Surgery is NOT for Slackers – Bariatric Edition

What say you? Easy Way Out OR a Jump Start? 
I’ve been working with bariatric clients for many years now and I watch their struggle while discussing the procedure with their friends and family. I also see their posts on FaceBook and how they didn’t take “the easy way out” and how “weight loss surgery is also a struggle”. 
A lot of my clients need to defend their stance on weight loss surgery, explaining to friends and family all the sacrifices they make daily to lose the weight and then to maintain it.
Let’s start at the beginning. Bariatric surgery is not the last step. Many years ago, we felt like it was the final step to get to our goal weight and then maintain it long term. Today I teach my clients that bariatric surgery is the FIRST step in losing weight and then maintaining that weight loss long term.
We complete a short and effective pre-op diet, have surgery, and return to regular life. Now the work BEGINS. We need to take our nutrition seriously. We need to learn how to count macronutrients. We need to know how to balance our diet. We need to understand carbohydrates and how they affect our blood sugars, insulin levels, and weight loss. We need to be able to calculate grams of protein because if we are not eating sufficient, hair loss will occur. We need to understand the importance of taking our vitamins and supplements and the proper times to take each one. We are required to move more. We need to get active and we need to prioritize time for exercise.
Sure, bariatric patients have a tool to use and that tool is either restriction or restriction with malabsorption but it’s not the tool that does the work. It’s my client who is feeding their tool the correct foods to reach their goals. They are doing the work and they are taking the time to understand food and the mistakes that were made in the past with poor food decisions.
They are putting in the work every day to reach their goals. They become BOSSES in their kitchen recreating recipes so that they now fit into their macros and their new lifestyle.
If my clients want long term results, they know that they need to put in the work. They need to do a deep dive into nutrition and what works for their biochemical individuality. They become very connected to their nutrition and how it makes them feel and what kind of energy it gives to them.
My clients discover food sensitivities along the way. They eliminate a lot of comfort foods from their diets. They find ways to replace those comfort foods. They find solutions as they work through their new diets.
My clients discover who they are through this process. They learn to love themselves again. They learn how to stop with all the negative talk in their heads. They start to deal at times with childhood trauma and the reasons WHY they became obese in the first place. If we never way to go back, we need to understand the reasons that got us there in the first place. 
Weight loss surgery is a “jump-start”. What comes after the “jump-start” is the pot of gold. That pot of gold contains a new healthy lifestyle that is filled with encouragement, an active lifestyle, and a diet of whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality food.
If friends or relatives think that you have taken the easy way out, let them read this. Ask them “when was the last time you lost 50 or 60 or 120 pounds”? And leave it at that. You don’t need to explain to anyone why you’ve decided to take your health into your own hands. 
Your body/ your health. You do you Boo! 
Healthy Hugs, 
Sheri Burke RHN, your bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator.

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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