Top 10 Bariatric Surgery Tips From RealSelf Community Members

Kirsty at RealSelf on 7 Mar 2014 at 9:00am

The RealSelf bariatrics community has a growing number of community members who are supporting each other through the weight loss journey. Support from others going through the same thing is very important. There is also a lot of other information that you need to know when having bariatric surgery.
Here you will find tips from 10 of our community members, provided in their gastric bypass reviews. These members have all had their surgery and are at differing post-op stages.
Follow your doctor's advice
From Crzysoup's gastric bypass review: “I was very dilligent in following ALL instructions. Quit smoking, fast pre-surgery, follow the after-surgery schedule of introducing foods, eat high protein foods first, lots of water, start walking the day after surgery and continue when home.”
Do an honest self-evaluation
From KellyBw3's gastric bypass review: “Early into my 5th year post op, I was feeling exhausted, fat, grumpy and just 'icky'. I did some honest self evaluation and realized I'd forgotten or ignored what I had to do to take care of my tummy, my whole body, and my mind. I started regularly taking my vitamins and slowly being aware of my food intake. I added regular exercise a few months later.”
Have the right attitude
From Myselfagain's gastric bypass review: “I really believe if you have the right attitude and approach--that this is for life and you want to keep eating small as you recognize all the benefits of that--this is the most sensible way to deal with weight once and for all.” Myselfagain goes on to say: “It is a fabulous tool that still requires commitment and thinking. However I feel joy in feeling full again, which was missing prior to surgery.”
Drink a lot of water
From Elizabethr6922's gastric bypass review: “I drink enough water each day, a minimum of 64 ounces. It may sound like a lot but in reality it’s just four 16-ounce bottles, which I freeze ice-cold. Your body burns more calories when it has to warm up the water to use it.” Elizabeth goes on to say: “You may not like to drink water because it is not full of sugar, and it is not sweet to your tongue, but your body is made to like water. It is built to have water. Your brain and muscles depend on water to function.”
Don't rush back into eating
From Rebecca F's gastric bypass review: “I didnt rush into eating. Four weeks of liquid and 2 weeks of a pureed diet worked really well, but it was hard mentally as I just wanted to chew. Listen to the doctors and nurses. They know what is best.”
Change your eating habits for good
From Cindy4287 gastric bypass review: “If you are willing to change your lifestyle, this surgery will help you become the person you only dreamed of being. By changing your lifestyle, I mean you need to be willing to completely change your eating habits, commit to taking vitamins the rest of your life, and exercise on a daily basis.” Cindy also says: “Say to yourself, this food does not taste as good as skinny feels.”
Learn coping mechanisms
From Cynthia J's gastric bypass review: “You have to see someone and really spend serious time talking about what to expect when you have slimmed down. You will still have your issues with self worth but you will learn to have your coping mechanisms.” Cynthia goes on to say: “Just know what you are getting yourself into, so that you are prepared when things are tough (and they will be, life still happens to all of us) but you will be better able to cope and chameleon into yet another new life.”
Join a support group
From Caddgal's gastric bypass review: “If you are thinking about this procedure and want your health back, JUST DO IT. I feel that the biggest key to my sucess is the support group therapy after the surgery. I didn't go at first and should have. I go now as I consider it my 'tuneup.' I will go to support group forever. If your doctor doesn't offer a support group, look around. Other doctors offer them and will usually welcome you.”
Realize that surgery is only a tool
From Hope81026's gastric bypass review: “This is not a miracle, this is a tool to use. It's up to you. This is a diet for life. You can not just go and eat whatever you want and still lose weight. You still have to work at it.”
Determine if it's "worth it"
From Pyruegas's gastric bypass review: “It's all in how you want to spend your life. You have to determine if it's 'worth it' and the value is based solely on what is important to you: Eating foods that aren't good for you or living. I choose living!”
 
Any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!
 

Comments (4)

Just two weeks post surgery ( rny) and feeling really good.pureed food is going down well. Religious about protein and water and ready to resume excerising. Im a little freaked out by the number of people on blots who have regained weight. Please tell me this isn't inevitable.
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Hi there,

Regaining the weight is certainly not inevitable. However, you have to be motivated for the rest of your life to keep this change going. The best way to look at it, is that your RNY is only a tool, to make it easier for you to lose weight. It restricts how much you eat, but there are ways to abuse it, stretch your stomach, still eat things you shouldn't and not exercise. You have to put the effort in to making it work. As long as you do that, you get all of your protein, water and vitamins in, then you shouldn't have too many problems. :-)

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I had gastric bypass surgery 19 months ago. It is important to go to every appointment. I wish I had listened more to the dietician. The shakes you drink per and post surgery are a crucial way to adjust to the new you. I found using an electric mixer the best. The shakers left clumps. I just told myself they were "Tootsie Rolls". Like I said I am 19 months out and guess what--- I am still drinking protein shakes. (Various brands). It was worth it. Best of all I lost more weight than they projected!
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That's some great advice Jeri! It's hard to get enough protein into your diet when your post-op, so protein shakes are a great way of doing it. The difficult part is finding the right protien powder... some of them are just awful! :)

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