WLS Do's and Don'ts
DO remove the word ONLY from your vocabulary. Ex: I’ve ONLY lost 10 Lbs in 2 weeks… Now let’s look at this again without the word ONLY: I’ve lost 10 Lbs in 2 weeks!! See what I mean? Perception is reality folks!!
DON’T assume you’ll never eat all of your favorite foods again. This is just an excuse your brain has designed to allow you to indulge. You WILL eat all your favorites again someday, just much less but find it to me more enjoyable. Which leads directly into the next:
DON’T do the “last meal” syndrome. You will only sabotage your weight loss you might have pre-surgery or set you back further from your ultimate goal post-op. This surgery is very serious and is for the serious minded. Use this time wisely to get the feeling of how life might be like post op.
DO learn all of the rules pre-op that you will endure post-op. Such as, no drinking with meals, using smaller utensils and plates, engaging in some type of workout routine, limiting your sugar and sodium intake, joining as many WLS support groups as you can.
DO celebrate every single pound lost! Imagine one pound of butter. Yeah… that’s gone from your body forever. It is noteworthy and worth every bit of a pat on the back as any others that may go along with it.
DON’T compare your successes and losses to others. Chances are very high that you will only come out on the short end and only find yourself disappointed. Everyone’s journeys are their own…
DO keep track of your losses in many different ways than just the scale! Examples:
DO keep one set of your largest clothes you’ve ever worn. Make it a point to try them on, especially when you’re having a down moment. You will find this will really pick up your spirits! This is a real rollercoaster of a ride, and anything that will keep you positive is what you should do!
DON'T keep any other fat clothes around. Get rid of them ASAP. You're never going to fit them again, right? So... off to donations they go.
DO take photos of yourself just before your surgery. Keep them close. Again, having a bad day? Look at them and compare them. As a matter of fact, take photos of yourself often. You will also find that the more you lose, the more you will want to take pictures. Nothing wrong with that!!! That goes with celebrating your losses. ;-)
DO take measurements of yourself often. Keeping track of all your inches lost will really keep you on the right track when your scale is being stubborn!!
DO reward yourself every time you hit a mini goal. Make some more worthy than others. I like to go shopping when I hit a goal, it is my favorite thing to do now.
DON’T let the scale define you. Great majority of us will endure many fluctuations and stalls in this journey. It is what it is… patience is the key here. Meditate and envision yourself months down the road at your goal. Smile, then move on!!
DO find out about measuring body fat! It’s more than just weight loss, FAT LOSS is the real goal here. Keep in mind that the BMI scale is greatly inaccurate and most Health Studies do prove this. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) our body fat % ranges should be average: 25-31% for Women and 18-24% for men. Any higher is considered obese. However it does go more in depth, according to ages and more. Everyone has different genetic make ups, frame sizes and fitness levels... even a different ethnicity can post differences.
DO have many goals in sight. Having only one, especially a simple weight goal you will find can be difficult. Have many MINI goals along your journey, and more than just ones that involve the scale. Such as, clothing size goals, body fat% goals, fitness or workout goals, dietary goals, etc…
DO challenge yourself always!! Whether it’s a global challenge with others, or personal challenges... It will keep you motivated and always willing to go further than you ever thought you could!
DO have a mentor! Find someone that you can trust and confide in, and that you know has “been there”. Preferably someone you know in person. You will find many folks in your life who have been there, for obesity is worldwide now and there are so many who have been able to defeat this demon. It’s not easy! It quite literally is the toughest feat I’ve ever had to endure. I can say this too, my job will never be done. This is for life!
DON’T ever beat yourself up! We all make mistakes, and dare I say not one person on this Earth is perfect. I try hard to be, no doubt! I always admit that I’m a perfectionist – but I’m far from perfect. I just try to be… The only thing you can do is pick yourself up, give yourself a pep talk, perhaps contact your mentor for reassurance and move on!!! Again, this is for life. Every day you wake up is a second chance.
DO look for solutions to your problems. Otherwise they will just become excuses.
DON’T EVER GIVE UP. I don’t think any explanation is necessary here.
Good luck to all of you. This journey is a tough one, but if you are here, then you believed in yourself enough to give yourself the life you’ve always dreamed of. YOU WILL BE successful. Always keep that in mind.
Add-ons by other experienced sleevers:
DO keep a list of NSV (Non scale victories) to reflect on when times are getting hard. Can you walk up 2 extra flights of stairs before getting winded? Cross your legs?" and
"DO NOT be afraid to change things if they aren't working. Stalls happen even gains happen. If you are on a long stall look at your eating and decided if changes need to be made. Utilize your tool!" -- Southern Sleever
DO: Keep a food diary of what you eat and drink. This is a great learning tool as to which foods have what amounts of fat, protein and carbs that add up to your daily intake goals. There are many ways to diary your food - from old fashioned pen and notebook to many options via smartphone apps. Keeping one is the important thing - however is right for you. I use mine now to look back for meal ideas when I hit a blank as to what to prepare for a day or a week.
DO: Realize this is not a diet to be followed for a while then set aside. This is a permanent lifestyle change. Yes, the amount of food you eat will increase as time passes, but your relationship with food will be forever altered. How you celebrate your joys, successes and holidays will be different. How you mourn your sorrows will be different. Some people need outside help to get through the sometimes overwhelming mental changes this process brings. If you need help with this part of the deal- reach out and get it. -- SKCUNNINGHAM