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!