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Life After Weight Loss Surgery: Why It Is Not Perfect

Life After Weight Loss Surgery: Why It Is Not Perfect

It takes you a lot of courage and determination in making the decision to undergo a weight loss surgery. This in particular happens if you have a bothersome medical condition that can be overcome with weight loss. Other than assisting in the battle against extra pounds, these surgical procedures can improve the quality of your life and increase your lifespan.

However, it is of great importance to first understand that other aspects of your life will also change. These include your eating habits, self-esteem, and relationships with others, just to mention a few.  Whereas weight loss surgery might appear as the simplest way out, you will still need to apply more effort if you want to keep off extra weight through restricted meals and regular workouts.

While you will still be required to make lifelong healthier food choices, weight loss surgery acts as a fulcrum towards the realization of a slim, healthier, and attractive figure.

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Feelings Behind Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process, and its effects become noticeable after 3 to 6 months, or longer. In the next several weeks or months after the operation, you may experience challenges which may interfere with your daily activities. These include body aches, dry skin, feeling cold, hair loss or thinning, changes in moods or feeling tired. Luckily, these symptoms eventually disappear once your body becomes accustomed to changes in weight. It is recommended to consume plenty of protein and vitamins after the operation.

Some individuals will become prone to feelings of sadness after the operation. This is from the fact that life’s reality after the operation may not match the expectations present prior to surgery. Some unexpected outcomes, like feelings, attitude, and anxiety will still be present. These include:

  • Missing out on certain social events such as parties, food restrictions, or eating out with colleagues.
  • You may not lose weight as soon as you were expecting.
  • You might think that the craving for food and the appetite for sugary foods will die.
  • Expectations to be treated differently by friends and family after losing weight may become unrealistic.
  • You expected thoughts of sadness and depression to fade away after surgery and weight loss, but they are still present.

Some people may suffer from both psychological and physical complications involved in the recovery process such as a need for frequent follow-ups and infections that may result after the weight loss surgery. This is against possible earlier expectations that all will go smoothly.

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Dietary Changes

After the operation, you are not required to resume to old eating habits. Instead, you will be put under liquid or pureed diet for between 2 to 3 weeks. Eventually, you will introduce soft foods and then resume normal eating. It is likely that you will resume regular meals by the 6th week.

Initially, you will be feeling full too soon after only a few bites of solid foods. This is because your reduced stomach has a very little holding capacity from just a few tablespoons shortly after surgery. Even if your stomach pouch is larger, you will find it harder to hold more than a cup of chewed solid food. (An average stomach can hold up to 4 cups of solid food). Can this have any psychological impact? Well, it will all depend on your psychological preparedness.

As you embark on the path to eating regular solid foods, each bite must be carefully chewed about 20–30 times. To be swallowed, food must be smooth or pureed first.  The reasons behind this are:

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  • You will have to spend at least 30 minutes per meal
  • The opening to your new stomach pouch is significantly smaller. Swallowing large portions can lead to blockage causing you to vomit or endure a painful sensation under your breastbone.
  • Instead of the regular three meals in a day, you will have to consume at least six small servings daily.
  • You are not allowed to snack in between meals.
  • You might feel some pain from some foods that are not chewed properly such as pasta, sticky, or dry foods.

After the surgery, you are supposed to ensure that you consume at least 8 glasses of water or calorie-less fluids daily under some conditions.

  • You will be required not to drink any kind of fluids an hour before or after you eat, or during a mealtime. Consuming of fluids will flush out solid foods from your stomach making you hungrier.
  • Just like with foods, you are only supposed to take fluids in small sips and not gulp. Additionally, straws are not allowed since they bring in air.

Regulated Caloric Intake

After the surgery, your health caregiver will recommend what you should consume and what to avoid. Proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are some of the recommended foods you should consume as they assist in weight loss. You should avoid overeating as this can stretch your stomach pouch and counter your weight loss plan. Avoid foods and drinks rich in fats, sugars, fructose, and carbs. Carbonated drinks and alcohol are also prohibited.

Bodily Changes

Saggy skin and loss of muscle mass are common challenges that come after weight loss surgery. Saggy skin mostly occurs around the belly, face, arms, chest, buttocks, and other body parts.

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In conclusion, we can deduce that weight loss surgery is indeed not the perfect solution in shedding extra pounds.

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Kathy Mitchell

Health, Beauty and Fitness Adviser

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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