May 28, 2014

Bad Days After Bariatric Surgery

We all have bad days, bariatric surgery or not. However, it is how we handle them that gives us the ability to rebound and continue pushing toward our goals in life and weight loss. This is no different for a bariatric surgery patient. Every patient needs to have a plan for dealing with and managing bad days as they proceed down the road to weight loss success.

Each and every patient will have hurdles along their journey. After all, excess weight did not appear overnight and nor will it go away that quickly. Those hurdles to success may come in the form of stress in a patient’s personal life or at work, changes in their medical condition or lifestyle issues that may be out of their control. The problem, of course, arises when a simple bad day becomes a bad week, a bad month and ultimately a bad year. That’s why any patient who has undergone bariatric surgery will benefit from a damage control plan. When a bad day threatens, our patients can jump into action before the stressor becomes overwhelming.

All of this is easier said than done, naturally. Further, when we’re in the moment, it is very difficult to take a step back and admit we are stressed. It requires a great deal of self-knowledge and understanding and plenty of practice. Patients will not always nip a bad day in the bud, but as time goes on, they will be able to exert ever-greater self-control.

Some patients find that meditating before a big or long day at work can help significantly. Others choose to avoid a stressful situation altogether to ensure that they stay on track with their goals. Stress management techniques can also be employed after the stressful event has occurred. For example, the last thing we want a patient to do after a stressful day is to eat or drink sugary or alcoholic drinks this is a recipe for weight gain. Rather, we want patients to understand that they have an opportunity to turn their day around and employ stress-relieving tactics such as taking some quality alone time, performing a calming activity that they enjoy such as meditation, yoga or pilates or more strenuous exercises. These are all very effective stress busters.

The bottom line that bad days are contagious. As bariatric surgery patients, we can help ourselves mitigate the problems that can arise from a bad day by attending support group regularly and sharing the challenges to your weight loss. Your peers have likely undergone similar issues will be able to offer tips and advice to manage your bad day and continue on track toward those weight loss goals.

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