Bad Days after Bariatric Surgery
Bad days are an inevitable part of life after bariatric surgery. In fact, bad days are a part of every person’s day-to-day life. Bariatric surgery is a tool to help patient lose weight and improve or eliminate the diseases associated with obesity. That does not mean that the patient’s responsibilities end at the conclusion of the surgery. In fact, that is when the patient’s hard work begins and when they take on the most responsibility. Patients will have to implement significant lifestyle changes that include improved diet and exercise regimens that allow for measured and safe weight loss. Anyone who has ever tried a diet or weight loss program (just about any of us) knows the difficulty of maintaining that program over the long-term. Translation: we all have bad days.
The procedures and subsequent support program that we offer patients are intended to help them with the ups and downs of life after surgery. However, there will always be challenges that no one but the patient themselves can overcome. These challenges crop up once in a while throughout a patient’s recovery and weight loss journey. No matter what the challenge is, the way the patient bounces back from that difficulty is what separates those who do well from those who don’t.
A bad day is just that – one day. As such, occasional bad days should not color the patient’s entire weight loss journey. As a patient moves from one milestone to the next, they must understand that the going will not always be smooth. Indeed, it is important to separate a bad day from all of the other fantastic achievements that a patient has accumulated over the months and years after surgery.
During bad days, patients need to rely on the support system that they have created. This is the most effective way of putting it behind them and moving on. Going to an extra support group, visiting with family and friends that understand the procedure and the lifestyle responsibilities afterwards and even speaking to your bariatric surgeon are all ways to get over a bad day quickly. Further, keeping mementos and trophies of achievements can also help motivate the patient to move on from a bad day. For example, remembering compliments that they may have received from friends or family they haven’t seen in a while or looking back on weight loss goals they have attained over the past several months can help put a bad day in perspective.
Ultimately, having a bad day is not such a bad thing, unless we allow it to affect us significantly. Putting a system in place whereby we can understand what triggers our bad days and use that knowledge to mitigate future bad days is the ultimate goal. This will help us get past the bad blips on the radar and move on toward our ultimate weight loss goals.