Ever since I can remember, parents, relatives, friends, and occasional strangers have offered simple, homespun bits of advice. For example, I was told innumerable times in my youth to eat my vegetables. There is an indisputable logic here - eating my vegetables is a pretty good idea. Vegetables are a source of vital nutrients that promote bone health, protect against heart disease, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. When I asked about the benefits of eating vegetables as a child, I was told to eat them because they were good for me. Type 2 diabetes was never mentioned, but whatever.
Another simple piece of advice was to exercise caution or I would put my eye out. No other injury was ever explored. Broken bones or lacerations were never considered, but eyes were given high priority. I suspect that my parent’s generation had a disproportionate number of one-eyed children and there was no way they were going to let that happen to me.
We were also told that an apple-a-day would keep the doctor away. I suppose this is a vague reference to the benefits of eating fruit, although some mention about avoiding processed foods would have been useful. Whereas the apple a day preventative was not as successful as it could have been, I have seen my share of doctors.
Seeing a physician as needed is also a good idea. As a matter of fact, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing recommends seeing your gastric bypass surgeon with some consistency if you wish to maximize weight loss.
The Importance of Follow Up After Weight-Loss Surgery
A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and published in Obesity Surgery maintains that gastric bypass patients who attend five follow-up visits in a two-year period lost nearly twice as much weight as did patients who attended only two follow-up visits. The average weight lost for the patients who made five follow-up visits was 113 pounds compared to the average of 57 pounds lost by patients who followed-up only twice.
Professionals maintain that the study demonstrates that follow-up with healthcare professionals after gastric bypass surgery is critical for motivating patients to achieve optimal weight loss. The findings also suggest that patients who are more motivated for improved health will be more likely to attend office visits.
Give Yourself Some Credit
While professional support will certainly enhance the greater possibility for optimal weight loss, I should like to remind you all that your good efforts and personal motivation are key components for success. Follow-up is certainly important, and the University of Pennsylvania study emphasizes the benefits of a healthy relationship between the patient and the physician. The physician is a good conduit toward a better you, but his or her best efforts are empty vessels unless you are present for conversation. Therefore, a big hand should be given the physician followed by an even bigger hand for the motivated patient.
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I grew from fit to fat and became a processed food junkie and couch potato with diabetes, celiac disease, depression, acid reflux, asthma, and hypertension. I was in my 30s, morbidly obese and on ~10 prescription medications. Since 2003 I’ve maintained massive weight loss from gastric bypass surgery and remain free from 9 of the 10 prescriptions. Then in 2013 I underwent body contouring and facial plastic surgeries to remove the last traces of my former obesity. Nowadays I am committed to supporting the online patient community with outstanding resources and by sharing my long-term success in defeating obesity and obesity-related illnesses. Today, I’m a size small (down from a size 24W) and living larger than ever!