Over the years of working with clients that have undergone gastric sleeve surgery I have seen two different thought patterns emerge in how people approach this procedure. One way people look at this surgery is that with weight loss surgery they will be done with being obese. The other outlook is this surgery will give you the opportunity to make significant and positive changes to your life.
Let’s start with the thought pattern that this procedure will help you stop being obese. While this sounds like a good thing (and it is) it’s limiting. The truth is nothing outside of you can stop you from being obese, including weight loss surgery. The gastric sleeve is a tool not a cure for obesity. If you don’t use the tool correctly (or at all) then you are going to fail at long term weight loss.
Sure, the first 6 – 9 months you’ll see a dramatic reduction in body fat and that is seductive. You don’t really have to do much to lose the weight. But that’s short lived. There is a point where your weight loss will stop unless you become active in continuing the loss. But if your set on the idea that this surgery is going to ‘fix’ your obesity then you’re blinded from being an active part in the process. The good news is you haven’t failed. The tool is still there to be used and you can start right now to use it correctly. So how do you start? By changing your mindset, which brings me to the second way to approach weight loss surgery.
The gastric sleeve will give you the opportunity to make significant and positive changes to your life.
Coming at this procedure with this mindset opens you up to be an active participant in your weight loss and a healthier life. Gastric sleeve surgery gives you a tool, a tool that helps you lose weight faster than more traditional methods. It’s this fast reduction in weight that opens up new opportunities but it’s not without work. You have to understand that you will have to build strong habits around eating (following the rules of the tool), drinking water, and exercise. But before you groan in frustration from having tried all that in the past and having it fail, this time it’s different.
Think back to all the times in the past that you tried to exercise and how much it hurt your knees, back and how difficult it was to move with all that body fat. It’s different this time, and this is why bariatric surgery can be a great thing. This time you will be losing weight fast, the pain in your back and knees will feel less, you will be able to move easier which makes exercise easier.
So how does this connect back to the mindset part? Well it’s to help you visualize what your life can be like if you treat this procedure as the start point of a new life and not and end point for being obese. Of course you will have to put in the work and you will have to make some significant lifestyle changes as well. It’s these changes in habits that can make or break your success and that is why I started Phoenix Fitness.
My goal for you is to be able to build the habits you need to make this surgery the beginning of a better life.
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Geof has been working with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade. His goal with Coaching For Bariatric Success is to give you the tools to make your weight loss successful for the long term.