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Saturday, February 19, 2005

It's Only a Tool

Let’s face it. By the time we resort to weight loss surgery most of us are in the big leagues when it comes to dieting – we are dieting professionals! Like many of you, my amateur career in dieting began when I was a pre-teen. Actually – my first attempt to lose weight wasn’t a diet. Not even close. In the darkness of night when I was twelve years old I stole away into my mother’s kitchen – not for my usual midnight rendezvous with chocolate chip cookies and cold glass of Ovaltine. This time, my prey was the box of plastic wrap.

Back in my room by the light of the desk lamp I wrapped my naked thighs, belly and butt with the plastic. And I did a great job shrouding myself in a plastic smelter I was sure would deliver me from the evil of fatness. I was positive, beyond any doubt, that by sunrise I’d have reduced my little fat body to a state of near-goddess like beauty and I could go to the end of school swimming party in a teeny bikini. I envisioned the looks of awe on the faces of my cruel classmates as they beheld my star-like figure. Those name-calling bullies would line up to apologize for their words that had in fact hurt me. And I would triumph gloriously in my body by Saranwrap.

Imagine my surprise, and tremendous disappointment, when I woke a slick sweaty mess suffering from an unfortunate galling. Worst of all, my body had not shrunk, not one iota.

The plastic wrap magic trick didn’t work. Neither did the countless other miracle plans, programs or pills I attempted over the years. You name the diet, I’ve been there, done that. And so have you. You, like me, were a long-time professional dieter.

But guess what? By having weight loss surgery you have retired from the diet game. You will lose weight with bariatric surgery. Guaranteed. At first it will seem effortless. You won’t feel hungry – in fact, sometimes you won’t even feel like eating. You don’t have to count points, stir powder into drinks, eat special packaged foods, take enemas, or wrap yourself in plastic. It’s not even called a diet.

But in spite of the comparative ease with which the weight is lost, it essential that patients actively engage in radical behavior modification to become healthier and sustain long-term weight loss.

You cannot simply let the bariatric system to do the work for you and hope for the best – you must take responsibility to ensure your own health and wellness. Every bariatric surgeon will tell you that the bypassed and malabsorption system is only part of treating morbid obesity – it is only a tool.

Many patients believe that after surgery they can eat anything they want until their pouch is full, and there is no need to pay attention to nutrition. Some believe that they need to snack frequently throughout the day, that it is impossible to eat just three tiny meals a day without snacking in-between. Some patients believe they can continue to drink anything but water and lose weight. Some patients are content to lose weight without adding exercise to their life.

These patients are sadly mistaken.

Patients who want to use weight loss surgery as a means to a healthier life will engage in radical behavior modification every day for the rest of their lives.

It is incomprehensible that a person would undergo weight loss surgery and not make the necessary behavior changes to ensure success and wellness.

When a person fails to uphold their end of the bargain they show a grave lack of self-respect. The bariatric system is surgically achieved willpower. The unpleasant side effects of unchecked behavior – dumping and vomiting – are reminders to respect your body. It behooves every patient to learn the four rules and engage daily in pursing a healthier, happier more self-respecting life.

    Protein First
    No Snacking
    Daily Exercise
    Drink Lots of Water

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