For those of you who had surgery a year ago or more, you may be noticing that you are starting to slide back to some of your old habits. Before you had surgery, some of you may recall the doctor or the psychologist telling you, "now remember 12 to 18 months after surgery, you will need to use all of those skills you learned in the beginning to keep things going." Unfortunately, in the excitement and the blur of assessments that are required prior to surgery, a lot of patients don't remember everything that was told to them in the "pre-surgery" days.
Let's review some of the basics. Your decision to have surgery was not just to go on another diet--it was to make a lifesytle change. It was to change how you managed your entire life. For many of you, one of the thing we discuss before surgery is how part of being successful is focusing on yourself for the first time in your life. Many people come to surgery after doing everything for everyone else and putting themselves at the bottom of the priority list. When we rush around and take care of everyone but ourselves, we ultimately slip on healthy eating habits, exercise and overall life balance. You are the priority.
For those of you who see this as selfish, if you are not healthy then you cannot fully be available to help others. You will be too tired, overwhelmed and then tend to be resentful because you are "doing everything" and no one else is helping. Helping yourself is not selfish. It makes yourself more available to others. The optimal you--not the tired and overwhelmed version. So, this means that first thing in the morning you need to take a couple of moments for yourself to plan your day. Plan your meals. Plan your exercise or activity for the day. Where will I get my protein today? How will I deal with that birthday lunch at work today? What healthy snacks can I pack in case I have cravings? Taking care of you, takes thought and planning. You would do it for other people--why not yourself?
Being a year or more post-surgery can be more of a challenge because the weight might not be coming off quite as quickly as it did in the beginning. The scale might not move everyday. The solution--everyday--yes everyday--renew your decision to have surgery and your decision to take care of yourself!