Bariatric Surgery: Develop Health Habits in 4 Simple Steps
Bill Streetman was not always obese. In fact, he was once quite the athlete. But as Bill matured his activity level decreased while his eating did not. Eventually, Bill weighed in at 404 pounds. He told me, "Nobody gets to weigh 400+ pounds without lying to themselves and others a great deal."
Bill finally faced the truth about his obesity and decided to have RNY gastric bypass weight loss surgery. Before his bariatric surgery, Bill crafted a set of guidelines that would make eating well, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle easier to attain and thus enhance his chance for success with gastric bypass. He writes on his blog "a set of rules/guidelines must be designed and implemented before surgery."
Bill has maintained his 200+ pound weight loss since 2010.
My Bariatric Life: Bill, please explain your point of view that we lie about our obesity.
Bill: When I was heavy the whole construct of my life was based upon lies I told myself. I acted as though the cause and the cure for obesity was outside of me. "They" caused my problems by supersizing my meals. I expected the cure to come to me from outside... from "out there" somewhere.
MBL - How is it you came to face the truth about yourself?
Bill: I ran into an old friend that I hadn't seen in over twenty-years. He looked exactly as he did at thirty-two. During those twenty-years I had gone from thirty-pounds overweight to one-hundred and fifty pounds overweight. All I could think of was "what's his secret?" He answered, "I eat right and exercise." Not what I wanted to hear. I would gain another seventy pounds before telling myself the truth. I eat more calories than I burn.
MBL - Let's give readers an overview of you four strategies for success. Strategy #1 is to prioritize.
Bill: You cannot have two first priorities. I say my family is my first priority but I've put my own interests ahead of my family. I am trying to serve two masters. If service to my family is important to me, I'll best serve them if I make acheiving and maintaining my own health and wellness my true first priority.
MBL - Strategy #2 is learn to be brutally honest.
Bill: We do everything we can to keep the voice in our head from shouting the truth. We cover up wise words with self-serving rhetoric. "They serve too much food at the restaurant." We do anything to justify why others are being unfair and judgmental.
MBL - Strategy #3 is don't consider weight loss surgery until you have a pre- and post-surgery diet and exercise plan.
Bill: Planning that includes pre-surgery will create an environment where I am more likely to succeed in my long-term goal of losing weight and maintaining that loss. The most important trait that will need to be learned and implemented is to eat by design and election. By having a pre- and post-surgery nutrition and exercise plan, you'll be able to modify your approach on the fly.
MBL - Strategy #4 is living with control and within limits.
Bill: Too often we sabotage our own best interest. We go off-plan. However, we might recognize the symptoms of loss of control and develop means of minimizing their impact if not eliminating them altogether.
Continue to part 2 of this interview, Bariatric Surgery: Define Your Barriers to Success
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