Tips for Success
By Heidi R. Cherwony, PsyD
Being successful in maintenance of weight loss after surgery requires a drastic change in lifestyle. The majority of my patients exploring the idea of bariatric surgery understand only that they will have to make changes to their eating habits and start exercising. It is important to realize, however, that long-term success requires a change in all aspects of our lives. The way we treat ourselves will reflect greatly on our success down the road.
Integrity is the main ingredient to success. Being honest with yourself will help you in learning about yourself and personal growth. If you sneak food behind your spouse’s back, it does not so much matter that you are lying to your spouse but rather than you are lying to yourself. If you come in for a follow-up visit and fail to share your struggles, you are only cheating yourself the opportunity for guidance and additional support.
Establishing a supportive network is another key ingredient to success and happiness. Surround yourself with healthy, successful people and those who you admire and respect. You may be surprised at how their positive energy rubs off on you.
Many of us are scared to go to a doctor when something does not feel right because we are afraid of what we may learn. Similarly, we put off going to the dentist or annual checkups that are a necessary part of preventative health. Being proactive in our healthcare is important and necessary to our general wellbeing. It is also important to ask questions and understand fully what instructions or information we are given by doctors, as well as healthcare professionals, before we leave their office.
Become aware and tune into your body. Sore feet at the end of the day may mean that you have worked too hard and that your legs and feet need to rest. Soaking your feet in warm water, elevating them or staying off your feet can help to heal them. The alternative option is to continue to ignore your feet until you wear them down, resulting in the potential for a serious problem. The same goes for the rest of your body. If you are sick, take a sick day. The world will go on without your being there.
Slow down and make sure you have time for fun. Balance in life is important. Setting priorities and goals are essential in success. If you are engaging in any behavior to extreme, even exercise, you are neglecting other important parts of your life. Many of my patients who are successful have even changed their careers because they know that their career, for example, one in the food industry, was not conducive to healthy decision making.
No matter how far out from surgery you are, you must realize that you have to sacrifice and make lasting changes if you want to be successful for life. It is a process and may require the support and/or guidance of a friend, family member or professional. The end results will be worth it!