You Are What You Consume: Why Lifestyle Changes Matter

Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN

Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, and owner of Level Up Bariatrics, LLC, a bariatric lifestyle coaching program that provides pre and post-op support for weight loss surgery patients. Learn more on Instagram (@level_up_bariatrics).

Transformation is a powerful thing. Most people seek it after having weight loss surgery in some form or fashion. But in order to transform, you have to reflect and observe yourself and your life. Let's start with this... Have you ever noticed how much time we spend on things that don't benefit us? We're constantly seeking entertainment and pleasure, whether it's through social media, watching reality TV, or spending time with people who don't align with our goals. Whether you realize it or not, the things we feed ourselves daily affect how we act, think, eat, and talk to ourselves.

What we fill our lives with is indeed a reflection of our current selves. We’ve all been there, and many of us are still there, but know that all of these distractions can hold us back from reaching our true potential, especially after a life-changing decision such as weight loss surgery. Are you curious about what you're truly capable of? Are you ready for a transformation and curious about how to start? Then keep reading!

We all know that WLS can change your life, but it's no quick fix. To succeed in the long term, you need to make lifestyle changes that support your weight loss goals and improve your overall health. So how do you do this? In this blog post, we'll explore why what you eat, watch, listen to, read, and who you surround yourself with are all important factors in your success after WLS. Are you ready to level up? Let's go!

1) Mind your mouth. After WLS, your stomach is smaller than before, which means that every bite counts. Moreover, you’ll want to provide nutrition to your body that helps you thrive, feel better, and assist in decreasing inflammation and disease. That's why choosing nutrient-dense foods that provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals is essential. Focus on lean protein sources like chicken or fish, whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid overly processed foods with long ingredient lists, foods high in sugar, and unhealthy fats — all of which can sabotage your weight loss efforts. The more you learn about food and how your body uses it, the better you achieve wellness.

2) Watch with intention. Do you spend hours scrolling through social media feeds filled with meaningless content? Instead of wasting (too much) time on cat videos or celebrity gossip, use most of your social media engagement to your advantage by seeking tips from those who have been successful in their WLS journeys. Create a new follower list. Follow cooking channels featuring healthy recipes and meal prep ideas, or seek inspiration from inspiring quotes and videos. The little things add up, and you’ll soon find yourself in a different mindset than before.

3) Listen carefully. Music can lift our spirits and energize us during workouts or daily activities. Create a playlist of upbeat songs that inspire you to move more and stay active. You can also listen to podcasts featuring experts sharing valuable insights about nutrition, fitness, creating healthy habits, and just learning about the body and how it functions. Search podcasts that feature bariatric-specific professionals and topics so you can learn along the way. The more you know, the easier it is to connect your actions and the desired results.

4) You are the company you keep. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are on the same journey can provide valuable support and motivation. Hanging out with a crowd of people seeking something entirely different than you isn’t very inspiring, is it? Especially if they’re stuck in the same old patterns that inhibit growth and prosperity. We’re not saying to totally disconnect, but you will need to seek out others who also want to improve themselves or those who undoubtedly will lift you up and motivate you. Look for online communities or local support groups where you can connect with others who have undergone WLS or are working towards similar goals. Share your challenges, celebrate your successes, and learn from each other's experiences.

5) Create the lifestyle you want & deserve. Remember that WLS is just one step in the journey toward a healthier life. Remember that you are what you digest — so choose wisely what you eat, watch, listen to, read, and surround yourself with. All of these changes take time, years even. But if you put in the hard work and are determined to improve your lifestyle, you’ll be so proud of the person you have become. The person who has been waiting for you this whole life! Create intention and cherish this one lifetime we have been given. We believe in you — design the life you want!

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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