Interview with Colleen Cook: Weight-Loss Surgery Patient and Thought Leader, Part 2

Patient Expert
Ms. Colleen M. Cook

Colleen Cook is a successful weight loss surgery patient (WLS). Colleen also is a weight loss surgery thought leader. This is the story of her personal weight loss journey, as well as a story of how she helps bariatric patients succeed after weight-loss surgery.

Colleen is a sought after International speaker for both bariatric patient events and professional conferences. She is the former host of the radio show, "Obesity's Surgical Solution". She is the author of the internationally acclaimed, bariatric best seller, The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients book, workbook and educational program. The Success Habits resources are used in bariatric facilities throughout the world, helping patients learn and live these important principles for a lifetime of success.

Since its first publication The Success Habits of Weight loss Surgery Patients has become a bariatric best seller. The research based principles taught here continue year after year to be a standard for success throughout the bariatric community.The Success Habits Principles are now taught in hundreds of bariatric programs all over the world and are recommended by many Bariatric Centers of Excellence, surgeons and bariatric health professionals).They provide structure, clarity and simplicity for weight loss surgery patients as they reach and maintain a healthy weight.   Read about Colleen's experience as a weight-loss surgery patient in Part 1 of this interview.

Your contributions to the bariatric community include: the Bariatric Support Centers International website, the Success Habits for Weight-Loss Surgery Patients book, a back on track program, and training for bariatric support group leaders and back on track facilitators. Thank you for all that you continue to do to help weight-loss surgery patients. Let's explore this more deeply.

Q: You wrote the Success Habits of Weight-Loss Surgery Patients book. Do WLS patients need to follow these principals for all of their lives? What has been your key(s) to successfully maintaining your impressive 115-lb weight loss since 1995?

A: The Success Habits principles have been key to my weight loss and maintenance. On a good day, I own all 6 of them. On other days I struggle with one or two. The key is I am always mindful of what I need to be doing and the Success Habits provide the structure as well an an anchor that I can rely upon to keep my behavior in check.

Q: You have ack on track program for weight loss surgery patients that have regained weight. Once a patient has regained weight, how is it possible to lose it again?

A: Weight regain is a concern to bariatric patients and professionals alike. Since 1999, struggling weight loss surgery patients have turned to BSCI for hope and help through our extensive Back on Track Program. Designed especially for those who have reached an extended plateau or who have regained weight.

Q: What is the most common reason or reasons for weight regain?

A: Our recent research indicates that weight regain occurs for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, patient list lack of structured support, personal motivation and accountability and unresolved emotional issues.

Q: What are your tips for avoiding weight regain after weight loss surgery?

A:Simply, compliance to the Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients!

Q: Please tell us about other resources on the Bariatric Support Centers International website that help patients to be successful after WLS.

A: Since 2000, BSCI has served tens of thousands of weight loss surgery patients, providing long term educational support resources for new, veteran and struggling patients. Additionally, we assist bariatric professionals as they seek to improve the quality and consistency of their bariatric support and educational programs. We have certified over 600 professionals through our Support Group Leader and Back on Track Facilitator Courses.  Our professional training programs and resources are designed to support the people who support the patients.

Q: Lastly, of the many things you have done to give back to the bariatric community, what has been most meaningful to you and why?

A:It has been my life's work to share my experiences with all who desire to learn, to improve and to implement habits that will ensure their long term success.   It has been a privilege to work with thousands of weight loss surgery patients and professionals through the years. My involvement has blessed me with greater health, wonderful insights, and dear friends.

Colleen, thank you for sharing your story with our community on the HealthCentral Obesity site. I wish you continued good health and happiness.