Book Review: The Emotional First Aid Kit - A Practical Guide to Life after Bariatric Surgery

Patient Expert

The Emotional First Aid Kit - A Practical Guide to Life after Bariatric Surgery

Life after bariatric surgery

I had gastric bypass surgery a decade ago.I recall the difficulty I faced afterward in dealing with my dysfunctional emotional relationship with food - something which the surgery could not possibly address. My experience with my bariatric surgeon's support group was that it was useful in preparing me pre-surgery and for a short-term post-op in managing my new anatomy. However, it did little to educate me on  how to maintain lifetime obesity disease management. My surgeon told me, "I do the surgery. The rest is up to you."

Great! I thought apprehensively. I wanted to ask him if he had implanted something in my brain that would teach me how to eat healthy after nearly four decades of being a processed-food junkie. Instead, I found my way to Overeaters Anonymous and dealt with the psychological aspects surrounding major weight loss and permanent lifestyle changes.

More recently, I stumbled upon the book "The Emotional First Aid Kit - A Practical Guide to Life after Bariatric Surgery" published by Matrix Medical Communications. Matrix Medical Communications also is the publisher of the peer-reviewed medical journal, Bariatric Times. Intrigued, I contacted the editor and she kindly sent me a copy for review.

I read with eagerness_  The Emotional First Aid Kit,_ written by Cynthia L. Alexander, a psychologist with the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. I have some emotions to deal with in the aftermath of my abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) body contouring procedure and the book has provided certain enlightenment to my feelings. I recommend this book as one of the tools for your weight loss success, regardless of where you are: just exploring, a newbie, or a graduate of bariatric surgery or body contouring surgery after weight loss.

Alexander gives a realistic view of the steps to long-term success. There is no shortcut. There is a lot of work that need be done. Challenges lie not just with the surgeries in and of themselves, but where the rubber really meets the road: remaining successful two years, five years, and 10 years after. That is when the real work begins, and ultimate success or failure is decided. Persons who falsely believe that bariatric and post-bariatric body contouring surgeries are an easy-out or 100% reliable need the wake-up call to reality that this book just may provide.

When you change your mind you learn to change the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that keep you from being successful. Alexander explores issues in the most clear, direct way that you can easily absorb and re-read with good feeling.   It is a friendly book, and, as the title promises, a practical guide.

The bottom line: To become complacent is to risk failure in our weight loss success.   I offer this book in the expectation that it will serve as a useful guide and help you gain greater control over your health and your life. My hope for you is that you live and life you love and love the life you live. I'd like to hear from you if what I have written  rings true.

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