Hello everyone! This post from my mom is the second in a series about bariatic surgery, the surgery my mom’s husband has decided to undertake to reclaim his health and life. These posts might be helpful to anyone considering this type of surgery or just curious about the surgery and how it affects those around you. You can see the first post here: Bariatric Surgery Series: Beginning The Journey Since this post isn’t from or about me, please be respectful in the comments. If you have questions you’d like her to answer, please shoot me an email or leave a comment!
Weight Loss Surgery Series: Preparing For Surgery
This is the second post on the Bariatric surgery – you can read the first where we talked about beginning the bariatric surgery journey. The first post dealt with all the doctors, what kind of doctors are involved, and the meetings before the surgery.
Today we will discuss what it takes to prepare for this surgery and deal in depth as to the things they want you to do before the surgery.
For the last six months preparing for the surgery we have been on a strict diet of no more than 800 calories a day. This very, very strict diet is to prepare you for the surgery. You do this because after the surgery you will not get more than 800 calorie a day due to your reduced stomach size.
The first week or so you can only have soft food, like mashed potatoes. The majority of the calories you will get come from protein shakes, which will also be a part of your regular diet from now on.
You will have to consume at least 80 grams of protein each day within your 800 calories; this is a strict regime and takes a lot of thought and preparations. You can’t be spontaneous and eat whatever you want anymore. You must eat the proper amount of food with the right amount of protein. One thing I suggest you do is get a calorie counter that also has the protein grams on it so you can make good choices on your food.
Believe it or not you can survive pretty well on 800 calories a day. Eating plenty of protein with other nutritional food can feel like a lot even though it is not many calories.
While on this strict doctor-supervised plan you have to put your thoughts elsewhere besides food. You just have to put a lot of your energy into other things, like a new hobby, working out at a gym or walking outside. You cannot sit around the house and dwell on your hunger, this will set you back so far that you will over eat and then you will have multiple problems. The six months of doctor and dietician supervised diet is to make sure you have the will power to stick to this kind of diet before you have the surgery. It is imperative that you can because after the surgery you must or will suffer from complications.
Overeating is a thing of the past once you have this surgery. This kind of bariatric surgery actually cuts away parts of your stomach and then puts a sleeve over it like a zipper so you cannot over eat. You can only eat small amounts of food or you will have no where for it to go and up it will come. This is your first sign that you have a problem.
You also have to eat slowly and only a very small portion at a time, this helps you digest and store your food for your body to live on, but if you over eat and throw it back up, it will weaken your body. Eating slowly is something we have been practicing and working on to prepare for the surgery since it is critical. The dietitian discusses this in detail, so please if you are considering this procedure, listen to the doctors, all of them; because it is very important you understand this is a life changing procedure.
The most important part of preparing for the surgery is realizing you will not be able to go back once it is done. Once your stomach has been made smaller you are on this kind of diet the rest of your life. There is no reversing this surgery and that understanding is a huge part of surgery preparations.
This is why I urge you to make certain this is the right path for you. This is why they make you do six months of an 800 calorie a day diet prior to your surgery. You must be able to survive now in the way you have to survive after surgery.
I would also encourage you to join a gym, so that when you need it to exercise it will be there. Sometimes it is not possible to go for a walk so have an alternative to get you out of the house and keep you active. While the bariatric surgery is mostly about how you eat, adding exercise can help you live an overall healthier life.
Life is short enough so do not do anything to shorten yours more.
Remember to research any surgical procedure before you have it done. Research this procedure and all it entails, so that you go into it with an informed mind, ready to take on all the things that it requires.
You can do this and be happy with your choice if you are informed and have made all the right preparations. You can slim down, learn to sit and eat slowly and enjoy your food, enjoy the company at the table, and enjoy your life once again. Preparing for this surgery will truly change your life for the better as you learn to do all these things.
I will share some recipes next post that have helped us keep to the 800 calories a day for the six months of preparation for surgery. Our time preparing will soon come to an end the first of December when we schedule our surgery and move on to the next stages of undergoing bariatric surgery.