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Yes It Is True: Bariatric Surgery Can Make You Happier

By Tina Wiedmaier, RNC BSN


Congratulations on making the decision to have bariatric surgery. Whether you have already had your procedure or you are just now making plans to have bariatric surgery, it is important to understand that you hold the key to how successful and happy you will be with your results. Yes, your surgeon plays an important role in this process, but you are the one in charge of your own behavior. But, with the right mindset, bariatric surgery can improve your enjoyment of life. Here’s how you can accomplish this:


Learn to make yourself a happier person. If you feel emotionally sad or depressed, it can affect your overall physical well-being. Every organ in the body reacts when you are depressed, anxious, or stressed. Some physical symptoms that may occur under stress include: headaches, chest pain, insomnia, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain. Addressing some of the underlying issues of mental health can often improve our physical symptoms. So many people ask “How can I make myself happy?” Some simple suggestions to being a happier person include:  spend more time with other positive people who radiate a positive energy. Keep a journal of things you are grateful for and add to this list daily. Engage in activities that bring you pleasure. Devote time to yourself to pray or meditate. And volunteer your time to helping others.


Make exercise a part of your regular daily activity. The word exercise often makes many people frown so stop frowning and try to find an activity that you enjoy that does not involve food. Decide what time of day will work best for you and realize that without fail it must be a habit. Start out simple, set small goals and commit to making gradual changes in your program. Walking, swimming, and dancing are a few suggestions but live a little and try something that you maybe would have not have considered in the past. Try to make exercise a priority and part of your daily routine.


Validate your own physical beauty. Don’t rely on compliments from your friends and family that may never come. Instead, look in the mirror and examine yourself for your own beauty. Smile when you look at yourself and when you see other people. Everyone is created differently and we all have many variations in our physical traits; however, you are beautiful and are deserving of kind words. Give yourself positive comments when you look in the mirror or praise yourself for eating that piece of fruit when you could have had a cookie. Compliment yourself for losing three pounds in a week. No matter how small your accomplishment, become your own greatest fan.


Be aware of the food that is in your kitchen. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it is for you. In an ideal world, your cabinet and refrigerator would contain only the foods that you are allowed to eat or drink; however, other members of your household may not have your same tastes or dietary allowances. Think of the food that you will consume as being “special”. Practice self-control, and praise yourself for not reaching for that bag of chips.


Keep in mind that your success with weight loss may not come easy so make a plan each day on how you can overcome your barriers. Don’t underestimate your ability and learn to focus on the positive. Believe in yourself and what you can achieve. Know that you are worthy and that the steps that you are taking are heading you in a direction for better health.