Embarking on the journey of post-bariatric surgery demands steadfast commitment and unwavering motivation. The challenges and triumphs that come with this transformative process require a strategic approach to ensure a successful and fulfilling post-surgery experience. In this blog post we’ll uncover the key strategies tailored to bariatric patients for maximizing motivation after surgery.
Pre-Surgery Preparation: Building a Strong Foundation
Embracing the Pre-Surgery Diet
Prior to undergoing bariatric surgery, practicing the basic bariatric eating guidelines and adhering to the advice offered during your consultations with Bariatric Registered Dietitians is crucial. This nutritional education will lay the foundation for a seamless transition into the post-surgery lifestyle. Your Bariatric Registered Dietitian is a great resource to offer you personalized guidance and to ensure you are well-prepared both mentally and physically for life after surgery.
Establishing Support Systems
Recognizing the significance of a robust support system during the pre-surgery period is vital. Connecting with others undergoing similar journeys creates a network of shared experiences, fostering camaraderie crucial for sustaining motivation. Some patients admit that they lack a strong support system at home. Family members or loved ones may tell them that they can lose the weight on their own and don’t need to have bariatric surgery. However, if you know that bariatric surgery is the right option for your health and you’re looking for positive and encouraging mentorship and support from others on a similar health and wellness journey, we encourage you to join our bariatric family.
Post-Surgery Lifestyle: Achieving and Maintaining Balance
Navigating the Diet and Exercise Balance
Finding the right equilibrium in both diet and exercise is key to long-term success. While you prepare for surgery and the first six months after surgery, use the time wisely to start building in healthy habits around eating whole foods low in grease, butter, and oils and moving your body with intention. The earlier you start working on these healthy habits early on, the easier it will be to maintain your new lifestyle in the face of stress and changes in everyday routine that can happen down the road after surgery.
Unveiling New Horizons
Sustaining motivation post-bariatric surgery involves continually exploring new avenues. Discovering fresh recipes aligned with dietary requirements and exploring different forms of exercise keeps physical activity engaging and enjoyable, fostering a sustainable lifestyle. Remember- make movement and cooking fun! Listen to music as you prep food for the week, or watch healthy cooking shows to feel inspired while you build your meal plan. Save fun shows on Netflix or inspiring audiobooks or podcasts for your walk on the treadmill or walking path outdoors. The more fun you make these experiences, the more you’ll forward to them each time.
Long-Term Motivation Maintenance: Fostering Resilience
Cultivating a Positive Mindset
Sustaining motivation over the years requires developing a positive mindset. Begin by consciously observing your thoughts and identifying any negative patterns. Replace self-critical or pessimistic thoughts with positive affirmations and constructive self-talk. Consistency is key, so make it a daily practice.
Surround yourself with positivity – whether through affirming quotes, uplifting books, or supportive individuals. Additionally, mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help center your thoughts and promote a more positive mental space.
Celebrate small victories and practice gratitude regularly, focusing on what you appreciate in yourself and your life. Over time, these intentional efforts contribute to the development of a habit that not only enhances your mental health but also positively influences other aspects of your life.
Building Lasting Habits for Success
Creating a structured routine post-bariatric surgery contributes to long-term success. Incorporating consistent meal times, hydration habits, vitamin schedules, and exercise routines establishes a sense of stability, reinforcing positive behaviors. Use a planner or digital tools to schedule specific times to ensure they become integrated into your routine. Consistency is crucial, so choose a time that aligns with your daily life and stick to it. Create reminders on your phone or set alarms to prompt your habit-building activities. Track your progress regularly, noting successes and areas for improvement. Adjust your schedule as needed, and be flexible without compromising consistency. Building a habit is a gradual process, and a well-structured schedule provides the framework for sustainable growth.
Mindful Eating Practices
Developing mindful eating practices enhances the connection with food, promoting a healthier relationship. Paying attention to hunger and fullness cues, savoring each bite, and avoiding distractions during meals contribute to a sustainable post-surgery lifestyle.
Regular Follow-ups and Check-ins
Maintaining regular follow-ups with your Bariatric Surgical Team ensures ongoing support. Periodic check-ins, lab draws, and review of personal goals and goal setting not only helps to monitor progress, but allows time to address your concerns. We know that sometimes seeking help during times of weight stalls or regain can be discouraging, frustrating, or shameful, but seeking support from your Bariatric Surgical Team is extremely important during these times to course correct and to help you make necessary adjustments to your post-surgery plan, helping you feel re-committed and re-motivated again.
Life after bariatric surgery requires commitment and resilience, requiring a strategic and holistic approach for long-term success. Pre-surgery preparation emphasizes adhering to dietary recommendations and establishing robust support systems, essential for a smooth transition into post-surgery life. Navigating the post-surgery lifestyle involves achieving balance in diet and exercise while embracing new horizons early on. Long-term motivation maintenance is anchored in fostering a positive mindset and resilience, utilizing affirmations and mindfulness techniques. Building lasting habits involves structured routines, mindful eating practices, and regular follow-ups with the Bariatric Surgical Team. The journey is dynamic, requiring dedication and support, but with a positive mindset, it becomes a fulfilling and inspired life that endures over time.
Maximize Motivation With Small Habits
If you’re wondering where you should start to improve your self-confidence and motivation after surgery, we always recommend starting with one of the bariatric basics. Maximizing your protein intake (ideally from whole foods) is a great way to achieve small wins that will inspire you to take on more challenges with time.
If you’ve been struggling with getting in > 60-80g of protein per day, or are looking for ways to optimize your protein intake, we encourage you to download our FREE High Protein Resource!
In this resource, you’ll learn how to:
- Identify high protein sources from nutrient dense foods
- Understand the exact protein amounts per serving from every food group
- Create easy “grab-and-go” high protein snacks
- Make grocery shopping seamless, with a printable shopping list