Seven years ago, my life completely changed when I decided to have weight loss surgery. Through hard work and determination, I dropped 160 pounds and felt amazing. I overcame so many challenges and pushed through some of the darkest times of my life. I had many struggles throughout my journey.
I had to deal with some of the negative side effects of surgery and it was not always an easy road. I went through a conversion from gastric sleeve to gastric bypass and have started my journey over again.
I have learned a lot through the years, and there are a few of those that I would like to share with you now.
- The scale is not everything. When you are on a weight loss journey, this can be hard to remember. We are so focused on how fast the scale is dropping at first, that it can sometimes become a problem. I have had such a difficult time letting go of the scale. It is important to track your progress, but at the same time you must remember that there is so much more to this journey than just how many pounds you are losing. Remember the non-scale victories as well.
- Exercise needs to be your friend. This was hard for me at first, but over time I learned to love working out. It is so important to look at the entire picture with creating a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy is just one component. Working out needs to be a part of your life after surgery, no matter what type of activity you choose.
- The mental game is just as important. I found this out the hard way. I was not expecting the mental toll this surgery would take on my mind. There is so much I wish I would have done differently prior to my first surgery. The most important thing is I wish I would have started going to therapy earlier on. I did not realize how severe my food addiction was until after I had surgery. I was so depressed when I could not use food for comfort any longer and it played a huge role in my overall mood.
- Your support system is everything. Once I found my true support system, everything changed. I found some of my closest friends at weight loss surgery conferences and now I have the support I did not know I was missing. We are able to share stories and bet practices and help each other out. It is an amazing feeling knowing you have people going through the same thing as you.
- Everything will fall into place. This can be difficult to remember, especially when things feel like they are falling into pieces. However, I have learned that sometimes you just have to give things time and everything will fall into place. It might feel like you will never lose the weight or never get healthy, but patience is everything on this journey. Remember to give yourself some grace and allow for your mind and body to catch up with the quick weight loss. Everything will turn out ok in the end. You got this!