Once the decision to have weight loss surgery is made, the next question is often, “How soon can I schedule my surgery?” Sometimes, surgery can be scheduled quickly, but other times there are medical clearances or insurance requirements that take weeks or months. As frustrating as that can be, it is a great chance to prepare yourself mentally and physically for post-surgical life.
Put Your Peeps in Place
Getting the right support after bariatric surgery can enrich your weight loss journey and improve long-term success. Put supports in place before surgery and then when you need support, it’ll be there. Support can come from all sorts of places, but support groups, the Barix Clinics team, friends / family and therapists are the most common.
Support Groups. In person or online, no one understands your hopes, dreams, fears and challenges better than someone who has walked in your shoes. At Barix, we have options for in-person support groups and a private Facebook Support Group page just for Barix Clinics patients. Our patients report that they obtain more of their support from these groups and the Barix Clinics staff than from friends, family, and co-workers.
Barix Clinics Facebook Support Group Post: Thank you all for your help in this group. You don’t even know how much you have been helping me with your posts. I’ve been reading all of them. My surgery will be next Tuesday and I can’t wait!
The Barix Clinics Team. At Barix, your surgeon is supported by a staff of specially trained people, including insurance specialists and nutritionists, to help you navigate the steps before surgery and to help you succeed after surgery. Many of them have years of experience working with people having bariatric surgery and can provide invaluable insight and advice.
Family and Friends. Get your family and friends on board with the positive healthful changes you’re making and include them whenever possible. Keep them informed of what you are doing and why. Let them know what they can do to support you—they may not know. In return, your new-found energy can help to motivate those around you to make positive changes in their lives as well. We often see entire families improve their health and well-being when one member has weight loss surgery.
Therapist. Food isn’t just about properly nourishing our bodies. It helps us to celebrate and to grieve. It can be a comforter and a friend. Extra weight can even be a protection from unwanted attention. It’s complicated. Exploring the relationship you have with food with a trusted therapist both before and after surgery may be helpful.
Knowledge is Power
The more you understand about weight loss surgery itself and what to expect, the higher your comfort level will be. Take time to learn all you can. Good sources of information include:
- Other patients– The Barix Clinic’s private Facebook Support Group is a great way to connect with other patients who can share their pre- and post-surgery experiences and advice. You’ll need to filter the information you gather from this source, understanding that you’re getting an individual’s experience which may or may not be typical.
- BarixConnection.com has a wealth of information for you:
- Monthly newsletters with a wide-range of topics from Hair Health to How to Manage Mindless Munching and everything in between.
- Healthful Tips to keep you informed and motivated.
- A Support Group Locator with times, locations and contact information.
- Easy, healthy and bariatric-friendly Recipes for you to try.
- Reliable medical websites, such as WebMD, ASMBS.org, MedLinePlus.gov, and MayoClinic.org.
You’ll want to follow post-surgical instructions closely. Learn what those are and put as many behaviors in place before surgery—which eases the adjustment time after surgery. This is a good time to begin:
- Eating six smaller meals throughout the day—about every 2 ½ or 3 hours. For example, eat half of your lunch and save the other half for an afternoon snack.
- Sipping on calorie free beverages (instead of snacking) in between. Water, Crystal Light, Bai, Vitamin Water Zero are good options.
- Eating more fresh and unprocessed foods and limiting fast food. This is a great time to try out some new recipes and start to pack your lunch and snacks for work or school.
- Finding alternatives to sweet treats and beverages, so you can ditch the added sugar. Chocolate Mousse is simple and delicious. Top with shavings of sugar-free chocolate or crushed sugar-free peppermint to dress it up and make it party-worthy.
- Enjoying your meals more by practicing mindful eating—slowing down, taking small bites, and chewing food well. Add some quiet music when you can.
- Moving more. Start a regular walking program or other type of exercise. You’ll build up some muscle, sleep better, boost your metabolism, and best of all have an important habit in place before your surgery. If you have physical limitations, talk with your family doctor about chair exercises, water exercises, a stationary bike or other exercise options that are safe for you.
Barix Clinics Facebook Support Group Post: I discovered I love to dance and find myself dancing every night as a fun form of exercise!
We’re here to help with resources and information to get you started in the right direction.
Support from Barix Clinics Patients
- Nutritionist: 267-572-3208
Dr. Marymor’s Office: 267-572-3162
- Nutritionist: 734-547-4732
- Dr. Poplawski’s Office: 734-547-1064
- Dr. Taylor’s Office: 734-547-4900
Your surgery will be here before you know it. Feel well-prepared by learning all you can and using the time before surgery wisely to get a jump-start on habits that support a healthy weight.