Meet Bariatric Educator and Patient Sandi Henderson
Sandi Henderson had been struggling with her weight since she was 3-years old. Finally, at age 56 and weighing over 400 pounds, Sandi made the decision to have the lap-band surgery she believes saved her life. Despite a history of losing weight only to regain it, Sandi never seriously considered surgery because she thought it too risky and as “the easy way out.” But both her appearance and her opinion have changed since her lap-band procedure.
Sandi disusses her role as a bariatric educator here in this second half of my two-part interview. Read part 1, Sandi Henderson Lost 250 Pounds and Found Herself.
My Bariatric Life: Sandi, in 2009 you launched a LAP-band patient community site named ** BandedLiving.com****. Please tell us how your site helps obese patients. **
Sandi Henderson: We offer information and articles about weight loss surgery (specifically Lap Band) and support through our forums to those thinking about, or those who have had surgery, no matter where they are on their journey to health.
**MBL: Please tell our readers about your book, published in 2010, "Is LAP-Band Surgery for Me?" **
Sandi: It is a step by step "self guided tour" though everything necessary to determine if you are a good candidate for the surgery, complete with questions for the prospective patient to answer and bring with them to doctor’s appointments. It is a great starting tool.
MBL: Then in 2012, you co-founded a bariatric coaching and support service named WLS Success Matters. Please tell us about that.
Sandi: WLS Success Matters is the culmination of my dream to pay it forward to the WLS (weight loss surgery) community through FREE telephone support groups, presenting at reasonably local support groups live, and facilitating the education of the WLS community through our varied programs including Facebook groups, telephone chats, webinars using webcams. So we sit together in one room thousands of miles apart, one on one and group coaching as well as presenting workshops live to large groups. As patients and skilled coaches, we know what it takes and continue to successfully educate and coach thousands in the WLS community to reach their definitions of success and health.
**MBL: Sandi, you’ve been busy What inspires you to give back to the weight loss surgery community? **
Sandi: The fabulous life that I have created for myself thanks to the gift of a second chance at life through weight loss surgery. I want everyone to have that chance.
MBL: Your blog post, Learning to Love Myself Before, During, and After Weight Loss Surgery** very much reminded me of my recent opinion piece,** ** True Love****. We each discuss how we’ve come to love ourselves the obese women we were a decade or more ago and the women we are today. What last parting words can you leave our readers with in regard to self love and acceptance? **
Sandi: You are possible.
You are worth it.
Believe in the Power of You.
Celebrate Every Success.
It’s a journey, not a destination.
Sandi was trained through Bariatric Support Centers International (BSCI) to facilitate support groups, Success Habits Workshops, and Back on Track Workshops. She also trained at BSCI to become a bariatric coach.
Sandi is active with the Obesity Action Coalition, in hundreds of Facebook weight loss surgery support groups both public and private, a member of the Board of Directors for Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, and launched the weight loss surgery support sites www.wlssuccessmatters.com and www.bandedliving.com. Be sure to follow Sandi on Twitter @wlssuccess and @lapbandedliving.
You may enjoy these related articles!** Inside the Bariatric Support Group**
I also invite you to share YOUR story of weight loss success!** Living larger than ever,**** My Bariatric Lifisit me on MyBariatricLife.org,** ** Flickr**, Vimeo, Twitter, YouTube,** ** StumbleUpon**, Google+ iew my** ** Borne AppÃ©tit recipe collection on Pinterest**
Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.