Life After Gastric Sleeve Surgery Isn’t Always Easy

Even with all of the information we give patients before they undergo bariatric surgery in our Mexico practice, I often get the sense that many expect the weight loss process to be fairly effortless. Sometimes it is. Most of the time it’s not. And guess what? That’s okay. I know, I know: easy victories sound like more fun than those that are hard won. But that’s not any more realistic in your weight loss journey than it is in the rest of your life.

Challenges will come in the form of lack of motivation, temptations, stalls, and even (sometimes) regain. Being prepared for struggles is half the battle. Have you ever noticed how many famous quotes there are about overcoming challenges? There wouldn’t be a need for so many if, well, there wasn’t a need. Today, I want to give you some words to consider when the VSG road is tripping you up.

“Smooth seas do not make successful sailors.”—African proverb
I frequently remind patients that vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a tool rather than a magic pill. It helps you achieve your health goals, but it only works as hard as you work. That means that there will likely be times in this rest-of-your-life ride when the scale isn’t moving. Or maybe it’s even moving in the wrong direction. If all you’ve ever known are smooth seas, you may not have the skills to correct your ship when it gets off course. All of those slips—emotional eating, being “too busy” to get to the gym—and how you get back on track afterward can become lessons your future self can rely on when you start slipping into familiar patterns.

“Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.”—W. Clement Stone
This one is for folks who are still on the fence about the life-changing opportunity of safe, effective surgery at Endobariatric. There are some who hear about it, usually from someone who has experienced the benefits first hand, and dive right in. Often, though, patients go back and forth about everything from safety (surgery in Mexico? yikes!) to the gastric sleeve surgery cost (I can’t afford that!). Believe me, we want you to be completely comfortable with your decision, and we practically bombard you with information on the affordability, our incredible safety records, and detailed success guides. But what keeps some people from pulling the trigger isn’t so much legitimate concern as much as good old fear. They believe that if they just keep thinking about it—and thinking and thinking and thinking—they’ll somehow reason themselves into the “right” decision. Yes, the thought of surgery may be scary, but not taking action when you’re obese should be far scarier.

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”—Moliere
Maybe this sounds familiar: I have so much weight to lose; I’ll never reach my goal.Or perhaps this: I can’t believe I’ve regained so much; I knew it wouldn’t last. If losing weight—or maintaining it permanently—was easy, everyone would be at their ideal weight. As humans, we’re conditioned to avoid discomfort, which is why changing our eating habits and acclimatizing our bodies to exercise feels hard. It is! The key to moving past where you are now to where you want to be is embracing those feelings of discomfort, pain (mental pain, mostly), and anxiety. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Most of the time, in fact, the exact opposite is true. Committing yourself, over and over again if you must, to fixing what you’ve been putting in your mouth and how you move your body is necessary and, in a way, wonderfully liberating. Stop with the excuses. Welcome the tough times. And then glory in overcoming them.

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“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.