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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 May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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