Bariatric Surgery: No Easy Way Out

Some people, those who on the outside looking in, believe that Bariatric surgery is an ‘easy way out’, giving the obese an opportunity to see results without effort. Still others view weight loss surgery as a quick fix for those who lack willpower or are just plain lazy, but this could not be further from the truth.

For example, a basketball player makes his game look easy, but no one knows the countless hours spent practicing and studying game plays. Like the basketball star, obese patients cannot help but make Bariatric surgery look easy because the results are quick and the weight loss seems to happen with little effort but…

Decision for Weight Loss Surgery is NOT Easy

In fact, if you are looking for easy weight loss options, you have been highly misinformed about Bariatric surgery. Those who are obese do not choose weight loss surgery because they lack any self-control and discipline. This huge decision is not an option simply because Bariatric surgery candidates abhor the thought of exercise.

Bariatric Surgery Prevents Obesity Related Health Issues, Saves Lives

You might be surprised to learn that people who choose weight loss surgery have exhausted every other measure. They have at least two or more health concerns that have placed them at a high risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other obesity related comorbidities. In nearly every case, the decision for Bariatric surgery has been decided (as a last resort) in an effort to prevent more serious health concerns and/or to save the patient’s life.

weight loss surgery easy

Obesity is a Disease …and It KILLS

Welcome to the year 2016, where people know that obesity is a disease that kills and the American Medical Association knows it. Knowing what we do, why would Bariatric surgery be considered anything less than a necessary plan of action, a method to quickly save someone’s life or avoid additional health concerns? Those who say weight loss surgery is an ‘easy way out’ for the obese have little or no understanding of how this disease works.

Fad Diets and Weight Fluctuation Leads to an Unhealthy Lifestyle

Obese Bariatric surgery patients have tried diets after diets, losing hundreds of pounds and gaining hundreds of pounds back. Their aggressive dieting and constant use of weight loss products, gimmicks, tricks, and diet pills are all more unhealthy and hard on the body than actual Bariatric surgery. Therefore, the decision for weight loss surgery does not come from avoidance of discipline and lack of dieting.

The reasons for obesity abound and are too numerous to list for you here, many of which are documented as genetic in nature. Other causes include socio-economic factors such as a history of abuse where patients sub-consciously shrouded themselves to avoid unwanted physical attention caused by their weight. Obesity also has psychological and metabolic factors at play.

Among the metabolic issues are diabetes, hypothyroid problems, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, and insensitivity to leptin. Does weight loss surgery still sound like a cop-out? Find out more about Bariatric surgery and your options for an ‘easy way out’ by reading the second post in this series, ‘Bariatric Surgery, the Hard Choice’.

Taking Medication after Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is life changing. Every aspect of your life will likely change with weight loss surgery, even the medications you are and are not allowed to take. Additionally, your vitamin and supplement needs will change with a smaller stomach pouch or sleeve, thus the body’s ability to absorb these will also be altered. All of these changes can be dealt with in a positive manner, resulting in a smaller and happier you.

medication after bariatric surgery

Roux-en-Y Weight Loss Surgery and Medication

The type of weight loss surgery you choose will have a bearing on which medications, vitamins and minerals are recommended. For those who choose the Roux-en-Y weight loss surgery, food is digested very slowly and only partially absorbed.

Since the Roux-en-Y bypasses the lower portion of the stomach and a considerable part of the small intestine, medications are not easily absorbed and can irritate the pouch and Roux limb. This can also result in marginal ulcers and deficiencies requiring supplementation.

Medication and the Duodenal Switch (DS)

Perhaps the single most successful type of weight loss surgery, the Duodenal Switch leaves the stomach much larger than gastric bypass surgeries, allowing for the consumption of larger meals. With Bariatric support and planning, weight loss patients can supplement their diets with post-operative protein, vitamins and minerals, avoiding deficiencies. However, only physician approved medication should be taken. If problems arise, the intestinal bypass section surgery section is partially reversible.

Gastric Banding, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

Weight loss surgeries which restrict food intake while bypassing the bowels (Gastric Banding, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Vertical Banded Gastroplasty) does not typically result in poor food absorption. Therefore, while it may be necessary to take proton pump inhibitors to protect the pouch and decrease reflux, these Bariatric surgery patients aren’t subject to strict supplementation needs.  If you choose one of these weight loss surgeries, your Bariatric doctor may prescribe ursodiol (Actigall) to prevent the formation of gallstones.

What are Marginal Ulcers?

Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Celebrex and Excedrin are medications used to treat inflammation as well as fever, headaches and cramps. These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, called NSAIDs, can increase the risk of developing Marginal ulcers between the Roux limb and stomach pouch and should be discontinued after Bariatric surgery.

Speak with your doctor before taking aspirin as he may prefer acetaminophen and opioids for pain relief. While Marginal ulcers are quite uncommon, there are several anti-acid medications your doctor may choose from as a method of prevention. These may be prescribed for up to six months after your Bariatric surgery.

Effectiveness of Medications after Bariatric Surgery

Since your stomach pouch is smaller and the intestine has been shortened, time, delayed and extended release medications may lose their effectiveness. The same is true with anti-depressants and sleeping or nerve medications.  Enteric coated (EC) and film coated (FC) medications are also less effective since they do not begin to work until reaching the stomach and small intestine.

Those with high blood pressure, edema and congestive heart failure may be taking diuretics or Lasix prior to weight loss surgery. Unless the doctor says otherwise, these should also be discontinued to prevent dehydration. Blood thinners such as Coumadin are typically stopped prior to weight loss surgery and then resumed gradually, under the doctor’s watchful eye.

If you are taking an oral contraceptive, speak to your primary physician about switching to a barrier contraception to prevent pregnancy.  It is important to ask your Bariatric doctor before crushing or cutting any medications in half.

Gastrointestinal Problems after Bariatric Surgery

Mild gastrointestinal problems are not uncommon after weight loss surgery and most often, Imodium AD and Gas-X are chosen as safe and effective treatments. Here’s why:

Diarrhea and Constipation

Smaller amounts of food after Bariatric surgery means smaller stools and a higher risk of constipation. Milk of Magnesium taken once every three or four days is helpful, but the primary way to prevent diarrhea or constipation is to consume plenty of water. Bariatric patients can also benefit from fiber supplements such as Metamucil or Fibercon.


A rapid and significant weight loss after weight loss surgery can lead to gallstones in predisposed patients. The Bariatric doctor can prescribe a medication called Actigall to prevent gallstones from forming.

Weight loss surgery is one of the best things you can do for your body if you are obese, but not without changing your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, supplements and certain medications. After Bariatric surgery, many patients will be able to discontinue previously prescribed medications as physicians find their underlying health issues and daily discomforts are gone.

Say Goodbye to Soda after Bariatric Surgery

If you have decided to undergo Bariatric surgery, you must find the resolve to say goodbye to all carbonated beverages, especially those which are high in sugar and calories. Do not expect to switch to diet soda after Bariatric surgery because these too are very bad for you.


You Can’t Have Soda after Bariatric Surgery

Soda after Bariatric surgery is a bad idea for many reasons. You will need to consume adequate amounts of water as well as discover some new and healthy drink alternatives when water isn’t what your body craves. You should plan to read more labels and do more research as you transition into a vibrant and healthier individual. Here are four good reasons you will have to say goodbye to soda after Bariatric surgery if you want to see results!

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Four Reasons to Avoid Soda after Bariatric Surgery

Drinking any brand of carbonated soda after Bariatric surgery can be quite painful. Even if you are considering a zero or low calorie diet or a lightly carbonated fruit infused water beverage, soda after Bariatric surgery can lead to bloating, stomach discomfort such as cramps and sharp pains, and abdominal distension. Carbonated beverages can also slow the healing process by adding unnecessary pressure to your incision site. Some doctors will suggest waiting three months to drink soda after Bariatric surgery but those who want life-changing results will give up carbonated beverages entirely.

Drinking soda after Bariatric surgery can lead to an unpleasant occurrence called ‘Dumping Syndrome’. Common symptoms of Dumping Syndrome include the following:  nausea, weakness, cold clammy sweats, paleness, irregular or pounding heartbeat, and diarrhea, to name a few. After weight loss surgery, consuming anything with a high sugar content can lead to these symptoms as your body tries to regulate its sugar levels in the small intestine. Additionally, do not use a straw to drink soda after Bariatric surgery as this can introduce air into your reduced stomach, causing major discomfort.

Drinking soda after Bariatric surgery will slow your weight loss down dramatically or cause it to reach a standstill. One of the best tips you could ever receive as a Bariatric patient is not to consume your allotted calorie allowance in the form of drinks. Sodas and sugary sweet beverages will sabotage your diet and help the weight hang on while water and other zero calorie low sodium healthy options will assist your body with removing fat cells and toxins.

Drinking soda after Bariatric surgery can cause your pouch to become ‘stretched out’. You will find opinions for and against this theory across the internet as doctors have different ideas on whether permanent stretching actually occurs. However, it is a known fact that carbonation does expand the stomach and, even on a short term level, this can be bad for your diet. When your pouch is expanded, you require more food to feel ‘full’  which leads to an increase in calorie consumption. Such changes in your diet could lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Additionally, you may find yourself feeling worse instead of better.

What are some other reasons you should avoid sodas after Bariatric surgery?

Top Gastric Bypass Blogs To Follow

Whether you have already had weight loss surgery or are simply considering it, having some insight into the lives of those who have had gastric bypass surgery can be highly beneficial. From determining what your life might be like if you have the procedure done to connecting with others who are on the same journey as you, here are the best gastric bypass blogs to follow.

  1. Beauty and The Bypass

Having struggled with weight loss since childhood, Nicole Bullock finally decided that gastric bypass surgery was the answer to reclaiming her health and happiness. Having been a blogger for 11 years, she decided to document her life and weight loss after having the surgery in February of 2012. Beauty and the Bypass provides an intimate and personal look into Nicole’s life that covers everything from her motivations, empowerment and triumphs to her doubts, depression and “some deep mental health struggles.”

Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight (whether before or after gastric bypass surgery) can relate to Nicole’s journey and the all-too-familiar hardships that she has faced and continues to overcome.

  1. Bariatric Girl

Yvonne McCarthy underwent gastric bypass surgery in March of 2001 at the hefty weight of 260 pounds. A woman of creative talents, Yvonne is a photographer, computer geek, artist, musician, animal lover and weight loss surgery devotee. Since her surgery, she has lost and maintained a weight loss of 130 pounds, and devoted herself to helping others who have decided to follow the weight loss surgery route. Choosing to pay it forward, she has become a certified Health & Wellness Instructor and volunteer whose goal is to positively contribute to the weight loss community that provided her so much when she first started.

For anyone who is looking to positively connect with someone who has traveled the gastric bypass surgery road, Yvonne offers support, encouragement and advice to others who are making their own journey.

  1. Miles To Go

Julia Holloman finally made the decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery after her weight had reached more than 300 pounds in 2006. Faced with obesity and a myriad of related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid problems and sleep apnea, Julia made the decision (as a last resort) to have weight loss surgery. Since then, she has lost more than 160 pounds and no longer needs over half of the medications that she did before the surgery.

Today, her passion is to share the lessons that she has learned with others who are undertaking the same challenges that she did. Having been trained and certified by the Bariatric University as a Certified Bariatric Coach and Bariatric Support Group Leader, she now shares her story via blogging, speaking engagements, one-on-one sessions and local support groups.

In 2014, Julia published her book Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land in which she shares her incredible journey of struggle, weight loss and Christian faith. For those who are struggling to face their health problems, weight loss and faith, Miles To Go offers a safe haven of understanding and encouragement from someone who has lived it.

4. National Bariatric Link

Similar to the above mentioned Bariatric theme blogs, National Bariatric Link offers a blog filled with personal success stories but there is so much more! This blog responds to your medical questions on everything from pre-op diets to insurance coverage. It is imperative that National Bariatric Link provides the necessary information to answer all your questions so that you too can begin your Gastric Bypass journey. Enjoy a better quality of life and share your journey with others as you morph into the person you want to be, whether you choose to write a book, start a blog or simply tell your friends and neighbors.

Don’t miss out on these top gastric bypass blogs to follow and connect with others who are living their weight loss success stories. From stories, encouragement, tips and advice to one-on-one personal support sessions, these blogs have it all.

Craving Pumpkin after Bariatric Surgery?

After you have weight loss surgery, some things will (hopefully) never cross your lips again, especially some of the more popular fall holiday fare. While you are sure to have a few cravings for those old favorites you used to love, now is the time to find new ways to enjoy these flavors without the empty calories and excess sugar.

Pumpkin Mousse, Pumpkin Pie …Oh My!

When you think about the flavors of fall, pumpkin is probably one of the first to cross your mind. The delicious taste of rich pumpkin mousse or a freshly baked pumpkin pie can be almost more temptation than a body can handle, but with a little fore planning, you can beat this craving with some Bariatric approved pumpkin recipes.

Bariatric Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Four ounces of light or fat free cream cheese, softened
One tbsp. skim milk
Three packets of Splenda sugar free sweetener
One 1/2 cups of Cool Whip Lite
One 9” graham cracker pie crust
One cup skim milk, cold
One 16 oz. can of pumpkin
Two pkgs. of sugar free vanilla instant pudding in the four serving size
One tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of milk and the three packets of Splenda, whisking until smooth. Stir in the whipped topping and spread across the bottom of the graham cracker crust.

Next, pour one cup of milk into a large mixing bowl and add pumpkin, spices and pudding mix, beating with the wire whisk until blended well. Your mixture should be thick, allowing you to spread it over the cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate the pie for at least four hours or until the pumpkin pie is fully set. Garnish with additional whipped topping. Without the topping, one slice of pie is only 218 calories, eight grams of fat and five grams of protein.

Makes 8 servings

Bariatric Approved Pumpkin Mousse Recipe

One pkg. instant sugar free vanilla pudding in the six serving size
Three cups skim milk
½ cup solid packed canned pumpkin
One tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ cup Cool Whip Lite
One cup plain yogurt
One tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, add pudding mix and skim milk, beating for approximately two minutes before folding in the rest of the ingredients above. Spoon into cups or stemmed glasses and garnish with a
sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of Cool Whip Lite. Each cup holds only 106 calories, one gram of fat and seven grams of protein.

Makes six servings.

You can make these recipes anytime you crave pumpkin, but when the fall holidays roll around, be sure to have some on hand to curb your yen for the foods that will keep you from reaching your goal weight.

Zucchini Bread Recipes for Post Bariatric Surgery

I’m not going to lie. Homemade breads are one of the things I miss the most after having weight loss surgery and I will probably always long for those fresh baked fares, but the pain is not worth one moment of pleasure or losing sight of those weight loss goals.

As the fall holiday season fast approaches, I remember how delightful homemade zucchini bread can be, especially when it was just removed from the oven and is still warm. Yum! I love the way homemade zucchini bread makes the house smell like fall.

Zucchini Bread Recipes after Weight Loss Surgery

If you are like me, you are probably thrilled right now because you thought you would never be able to enjoy zucchini bread again. Best of all, these Bariatric zucchini recipes taste so great, I doubt you will have any trouble getting your family to fall in love with these great homemade baked goods too. Below you will find two Bariatric doctor approved zucchini bread recipes that won’t sabotage your weight loss goals.

Bariatric Approved Moist Zucchini Bread Recipe

½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup vanilla yogurt, no added sugar
Two cups Splenda
¾ cup egg substitute
Two cups raw shredded zucchini
Two cups whole wheat pastry flour
One teaspoon baking soda
One teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
Three teaspoons cinnamon
Three teaspoons vanilla
Dash of nutmeg

In a large bowl, blend together the oil, yogurt and Splenda. Add the zucchini and egg substitute and blend. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the yogurt mixture.

Add the vanilla and stir in nuts and/or raisins. Pour into two loaf pans that have been coated with
non-stick cooking spray and bake at 300ºFahrenheit for approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

This recipe yields approximately 16 servings, each portion containing 125 calories, four grams of protein and seven grams of fat.


Bariatric Approved Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

One and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
One tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon and allspice, ground
1/2 cup apple sauce, unsweetened
1/4 cup pineapple juice concentrate, unsweetened
One large egg and two egg whites
Three tbsp. peach spreadable fruit
Two tsp. vanilla extract
One and 1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
Six packets of sugar substitute

Preheat your oven to 350°Fahrenheit and spray a nine by five loaf pan with non-stick vegetable cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients along with the egg, egg whites, fruit spread and
vanilla. Next, pour the remaining liquid ingredients into the large bowl and stir just until blended.

Add the shredded zucchini and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the zucchini bread for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the zucchini bread on a wire rack for about ten minutes before removing from the pan to cool
completely. This recipe makes one dozen servings of whole wheat zucchini bread, each portion containing only 80 calories, three grams of protein and one gram of fat.

Fall Fitness Tips to Faster Weight Loss

Weight loss surgery is not a quick and easy fix as some might think, but rather a constant reconditioning of your life, and that includes your approach to exercise. It isn’t too difficult to get yourself up and moving when its warm and sunny, but depending on where you live, you may find yourself feeling reluctant to leave the house once the fall season has rolled around.

fall fitness Bariatric

Fitness Tips to Beat the Fall Blues

Another reason fall can be a difficult time of year is due to the many upcoming food and candy focused holidays. Additionally, when you feel a bit trapped indoors, it is easy to make bad choices out of habit or convenience. Here are some fall fitness tips to help you lose weight and feel better about the person you are slowly and steadily becoming making the choice to have Bariatric surgery.

How to Get Fit for a Healthy Fall Holiday Season

#1 – You and your Bariatric doctor has already determined what your goal weight should be, but it is also important to set small weight loss goals such as one or two pounds per week, especially with the upcoming holidays.

#2 – Keep a food and exercise journal to mark your progress. Research shows that weight loss patients see much better results when keeping track of what is being eaten and how many calories are burned.

#3 – If you are like most who have undergone Bariatric surgery, you probably have a pair of jeans or a little black dress you are working your best to get into. Don’t hide these items in a drawer or hanging in a closet. Instead, put these goal items where you will see them several times a day.

#4 – Make an effort to go bicycle riding or walking two to four hours per week. Not only will your body appreciate the fresh air, but your goal weight will be that much closer.

#5 – Rid your pantry of any and all food items that are not agreeable with your Bariatric diet by donating them to the local mission or food pantry. Getting rid of the temptation will also cleanse your life.

#6 – Keep numerous protein rich choices in your pantry and refrigerator rather than the traditional fall sweets and sugary candies around your home, opting instead for yogurts, tuna, chicken and other healthful options.

#7 – Replace your candy dish with a bowl of vegetables kept inside the refrigerator, allowing you to snack on carrot sticks, celery and other convenient finger foods.

#8 – Get your family on board for the extra support and make some changes they will also benefit from as well. Purchase skim or fat free milk instead of whole milk and replace regular products with reduced fat or fat free options.

#9 – Stop consuming liquid calories! Announce that your home is a soda free zone and keep bottled water on hand. By drinking bottled water, you can keep track of your intake and help flush away unwanted fat cells. Switch up the flavors with lemon, cucumber or mint.

#10 –  While you are probably used to dining with plates, it is recommended that you downsize to smaller plates, bowls and saucers. This will keep you from dishing out more than what you need, helping you eat slower and smaller helpings.



Pumpkin Roll Recipe won’t Sabotage Weight Loss

Before having Bariatric surgery, the beginning of October might have marked the onset of your fall baking season. Now is likely the time when those cookbooks are unearthed and you began to budget for longer grocery lists to bake and create all of your favorite fall dishes.

Enjoy this Pumpkin Roll Recipe without Remorse!

In some homes, certain dishes and baked goods are not only a family favorite, but a time honored family tradition. One recipe that is often considered traditional this time of year is the Pumpkin Roll. While there are a lot worse things you could be eating, the bread-like consistency could leave you feeling ill or suffering from ‘Dumping Syndrome’ due to the sugar content.

Don’t worry because, with the recipe below, you will be able to share a traditional pumpkin roll with family after Bariatric surgery. This recipe is fairly simple to make and offers very little remorse, and tastes so good you just might talk everyone into a newer, more healthy holiday tradition.

Bariatric Approved Pumpkin Roll Recipe

One cup almond meal
One tsp baking powder
Two tsp cinnamon
One tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt
One ½ tsp unflavored gelatin powder
¾ cup Splenda
One cup canned pumpkin
Four eggs
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup water
One eight oz pkg light cream cheese, softened
One tsp vanilla
¼ cup sugar-free maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit and prepare your jelly roll pan with nonstick
spray. Next, line the pan with parchment and spray the top of the paper.

In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and mix them up well. Add pumpkin, oil, eggs and water before beating for three minutes before pouring into the prepared jelly roll pan.

Turn the oven temperature down to 350° Fahrenheit and bake for approximately
15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean. Be very careful not to over-bake.

Remove from oven and allow the roll to cool in the pan for about five minutes before covering it with a clean dish towel and flipping it upside down, carefully peeling away the parchment paper.

Next, gently roll the cake up inside the dish towel, beginning with a long side. This will create a cake roll that is long and thin. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Finally, blend the cream cheese, vanilla, and syrup together in another mixing bowl. Unroll the cake carefully, flattening it without too much force.

Spread the cream cheese filling mixture onto the cake and very gently roll it back up. Allow the pumpkin roll to cool completely inside the refrigerator until time to serve.

This Bariatric recipe should provide about 15 slices or servings. Each serving contains approximately 130 calories, four grams of protein and ten grams of fat.

Striving for Weight Loss after Halloween

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You can breathe a sigh of relief because Halloween is finally over, but what about all the candy your children collected? It can be very tempting to eat a piece of candy or chocolate when it’s lying around. In fact, you might accidentally eat a piece out of habit before remembering that you’ve sworn off. This may not seem like much of a slip up, but one fun sized candy bar can hold as many as 210 calories.

Is your Child’s Trick or Treat Candy Haul Tempting You?

If your neighborhood is like most, your children came home with an impressive haul of candy. There is a good chance all that candy is going to tempt you into having ‘just one’. While the kids aren’t about to let you throw it all away, here are some ideas to help you manage the candy supply in your home after October 31st. Some of these tips could also help you show your child how to use moderation for good health.

#1 – As soon as you return home from trick-or-treating, gather the children to the table and inspect all of the candy. Next, allow the kids to choose a handful of candies to keep and give the rest away.

#2 – Your child’s dental clinic may have a program for donating Halloween candy, allowing you to remove temptation from your home.

#3 – Another place where you can share your child’s candy wealth is at church, school or work. Co-workers and faculty members might appreciate the gesture.

#4 – Another option to consider, especially if your child has an insatiable sweet tooth, is storing Halloween candy in the freezer. Your children will eat the candy at a much slower pace, one or two at a time.

#5 – Circle a date on the calendar. This is the day your home will once again become a candy free zone.

Candy and the Bariatric Patient

The bottom line is simple: candy offers only empty calories and too much sugar for those who have undergone weight loss surgery. After Bariatric surgery, your body needs nutrients and lots of them. Instead of filling up on nonsense that will leave you hungry for more, find healthy ‘treats’ that will curb your yen for something sweet.


Taking the Scary out of Weight Loss Surgery

Not only am I a blog writer, but I am also a one year and four month veteran of weight loss surgery, choosing the Lap Band in May of 2014. Since October is the month of all things scary and dark, I feel it is a good time to discuss…

What’s so Scary about Bariatric Surgery?

Once you have been given a Bariatric surgery date, the whole weight loss journey starts to feel ‘real’ and you start to worry about anything and everything that could possibly go wrong. Far scarier than Halloween spooks and ghouls, below is a list of the things that scared me most about Bariatric surgery and how to mentally overcome those fears.

#1 – What will others think about my decision to have weight loss surgery?

Yes, I was worried about what others might think or say about my decision. In fact, I might have been concerned that someone would talk me out of it. I was also embarrassed that I had allowed my weight to get so out of hand. I decided to keep the information private, sharing my secret with whom I wanted to know. Today, there are still very few family, friends and acquaintances who know I had Bariatric surgery. There’s no reason to tell anyone if you don’t want to, but I am fairly certain that, eventually, you won’t mind sharing your story.

#2 – Am I making a bad decision by having Bariatric surgery?

A lot of doubt will come from people who do not know what it feels like to be morbidly obese, and how hard it is to motivate and carry out the simplest daily tasks. Therefore, your decision to have Bariatric surgery is a personal one because no one knows what it is like to walk in your shoes and all of the difficulties you face because of obesity.

You must also remember that a lot of people will not understand that weight loss surgery might actually be safer than the risks of carrying around all that extra weight. I was even told by someone that weight loss surgery was the ‘lazy way’… I guess he thought the weight just starts coming off, all by itself rather than a journey to better eating and exercise habits. So you see? Some people are too clueless to have an opinion about Bariatric surgery and what might be best for you.

#3 – What if I have weight loss surgery and still cannot lose weight?

Do yourself a favor and stop thinking like that! You will definitely lose weight after Bariatric surgery… how much weight depends on how much you change your lifestyle. Are you going to mess up? Yes, over and over again but each and every day of your weight loss journey is a new beginning, a chance to start over. Never let the fear of failure prevent you from chasing your dreams.

#4 – Am I at higher risk if I messed up on my pre-op diet a couple of times?

My Bariatric doctor instructed me to drink only protein rich shakes that were very low in sugar three times daily for one week prior to my surgery. It was very difficult to follow this diet but I managed, slipping up only two or three times. By slipping up, I drank one extra shake two different times when I felt as if I was starving and had one bite of meat on a night when I couldn’t resist. I spent the rest of that week worrying that my weakness would somehow sabotage my weight loss surgery.

The day before surgery, I met with the doctor in his office and found that I had lost about twelve pounds – in just that week! After my surgery the next day, the doctor came to my room with pictures (yes! awesome color pictures) taken of my stomach and liver during Lap Band surgery. They bragged on what a great job I had done on my pre-op surgery, explaining they could tell this from the color and size of my liver.  The pre-op diet is an important part of the surgery process, keeping the liver small and out of the way for Lap Band placement. I felt like a hypocrite but I was so relieved!

#5 – Will I ever be able to dine out with my family after weight loss surgery?

Some people might think this is a silly thing to worry about but family time is very important, and it’s likely one of the reasons you have decided upon weight loss surgery to begin with. The answer is yes, you can dine in restaurants but very carefully! I still go out to eat with my family but my orders are very different than what they used to be. I have to spend a little more time reading through the options and sometimes, I have to pretend that I really like something because I don’t want the kids to think I am not enjoying myself …that might take away some of the fun.

#6 – Will I regret having weight loss surgery?

That is something that I cannot answer for you because all of our weight loss journeys are different, but I can tell you that I highly doubt you would have any regrets. I have not seen the level of results that I had hoped (my own fault) but I have lost a significant amount of weight and feel so so much better than I did before having surgery. I have increased energy and my body aches are now minimal. I can walk without getting winded and I continue to lose weight, slowly but surely. If asked if I would do it again if I had the option, I would say yes, absolutely and without a doubt.