Community support is often crucial with any weight-loss journey. Thanks to the power of the Internet, people are increasingly finding support entirely outside their local networks, and meeting with like-minded people online. The cosmetic surgery website RealSelf.com is one such place, where users support each other through their struggles. A recent post on the site highlighted 10 tips from various community members who have undergone gastric bypasses, a form of bariatric surgery that often precedes body contouring surgery.
1. Follow your doctor’s advice. Quit smoking, follow a set exercise routine, take your medication regularly, and whatever else your doctor recommends. Your body will thank you.
2. Do an honest self-evaluation. Sometimes it helps to take a close look at your body, habits, and routines. What do you want, what do you need, and what can you leave behind?
3. Have the right attitude. My best advice is to be practical but optimistic – “keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.”
4. Drink a lot of water. H2O is beyond important. Put away those sugary drinks and pick up some cold, refreshing water, especially when exercising.
5. Don’t rush back into eating. After gastric bypass surgery, patients need to abide with liquid and puréed foods for some time. It’s important to ease the transition back into regular eating habits.
6. Change your eating habits for good. “Say to yourself, this food does not taste as good as skinny feels,” says RealSelf user Cindy.
7. Learn coping mechanisms. “You have to see someone and really spend serious time talking about what to expect when you have slimmed down,” says Cynthia J. “You will still have your issues with self worth but you will learn to have your coping mechanisms.”
8. Join a support group. Many doctors offer support groups where patients can talk about their experiences. This is especially important for bariatric patients, who have a long and rocky road to full recovery.
9. Realize that surgery is only a tool. Proper diet and exercise are still essential. You can still be unhealthy, even after a gastric bypass, if you don’t take the right steps.
10. Determine if it’s “worth it.” This is a question that every prospective patient has to ask. After massive weight loss, patients often find that they are left with excess skin, and require body contouring procedures such as the breast lift, body lift, and tummy tuck. Where will your journey take you?