Five Resolutions for Weight Loss Surgery Patients
As I write this, 2012 is history. The smoke from the fireworks has blown away. The champagne bottles are in the recycling bin, we’ve put away the silly hats, and we’re all getting ready to return to the office and start a new year.
We at Marina Weight Loss see this as a new beginning, a chance to turn over a new leaf and renew our commitment to our goals. It’s a starting line, and this time, we all swear to ourselves, we’re going to finish the race, no matter what.
Of course, not every resolution is successful. The health clubs are packed just after New Year’s Day, but the crowds start thinning out by the time winter is over. People’s enthusiasm for saving money can fade when they realize they haven’t been to see a movie or gone out for dinner in a month. In short, many people lose sight of their goals.
When you made the choice to confront obesity, you made the choice to change your life. That means changing your day-to-day behavior. The reward for that hard work is improved health, a more able body, a longer, easier life, and more enjoyment of the world around you.
But sometimes, the day-to-day effort is difficult and that long view can be hard to focus on. Especially if you’ve indulged more than normal over the past few weeks, it can be really tough. It is possible, though, and we’re here to help.
A Few Resolutions That Will Help You Stay Healthy in the New Year
- At least once every day, consciously remind yourself that you’re worth all the work. When you get up in the morning, when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, when you make your partner laugh, when your boss compliments you on a job well done, when your kids hug you goodnight, and at all other times, remember that you are valuable, you are loved, and you are absolutely worth all the work it takes to become fit and stay healthy.
- By Jan. 15, make sure your fitness and weight-loss plan are up to date. Your dietitian, physical therapist, and bariatric surgeon and the rest of the staff here at Marina Del Rey Hospital are here to help you. That means support before, during, and after surgery. Why not use the end of the holidays as an occasion to dust off the meal plan and exercise routine and see how it still applies to your current situation? Do you need to get more aggressive with weight loss? Are your workouts not challenging enough? Bring up these issues at a support group, at a follow-up meeting, or whenever you are in touch with us. We are here to keep helping.
- If you slip, forgive yourself. Then get back to healthy habits RIGHT AWAY. Have you ever said to yourself: “Oops, I wasn’t supposed to have that pizza. Oh well, the diet’s ruined for the day, I’ll grab a milkshake and start again Monday”? Don’t do that. If you realize that you’ve eaten too much or had something unhealthy, accept it and draw a line under that meal or that snack. Everyone does it at some point. Not “just about” everyone — everyone. The key here is not to beat yourself up. If you do that, it’s really easy to think “well, I’ve failed,” and give up entirely. Do not do this. Instead, tell yourself it’s OK, remind yourself how successful and disciplined you’ve been until now, and jump right back on to the plan. This is the key to long-term success — not perfection, but real determination. Your diet isn’t ruined; it starts again, right now, with exactly the plan you had before. You don’t need to starve yourself for three days over an extra two cookies. Just get back on the original plan and look firmly ahead.
- Learn to cook something new. Remember, food is supposed to be delicious. Learn how to cook two new bariatric-friendly dishes by the end of January. In February, go to a supermarket you’ve never shopped at — Los Angeles is a great place to get food from all over the world — and eat a fruit or vegetable you’ve never had before. If you’re always eating at your desk, then by the end of March, find three new health-conscious salads and three meals that you can learn to make quickly. Keep it fun. That’s the way to truly enjoy the active, wholesome lifestyle that leads to long-term health.
- Try a new sport or exercise. Just like food is supposed to be delicious, exercise is supposed to be fun. The best exercise is the kind you can do for hours because you forget that you’re working hard. Do you daydream of bird-watching on a long hike in the mountains? Have you dreamed of serving an ace past your opponent on the tennis court? Try it by the beginning of April. That way, you’ll have an exciting new way to spend the sunny summer afternoons that will be here before you know it.
We here at Marina Del Rey Hospital wish you a happy New Year. Now, go get ‘em!