So, you’re fat and have tried what seems like EVERYTHING to lose weight. Maybe you struggle with exercise, eating healthy food, having portion control, or emotional eating. Maybe you deal with any number of the above issues and that contributes to your struggle over weight. One of the first steps to the Bariatric Surgery program at KP is to attend an orientation that explains the process, the surgery, how it works and what you will do after, who is supporting you etc.
I attended orientation twice (Lucky me!) because I chose to go away to college. Oh, well! The more knowledge the better, right? — Really, there wasn’t much difference between them, but I did meet different people at each session and for that I am grateful. One of the ladies I met shared her story. She was three years post-op and had lost 155 lbs. she used to be a size 26 and was wearing a tiny size 6 at orientation (she attended at a supporter). — AMAZING! I can only hope for such great success post-op.
Not only were there testimonials in the sessions, there were also these shot glass looking containers passed around. This will be the size of your “pouch” or “stomach” post-op. this tiny 1-2 oz. container. YIKES! — There is NO WAY my lunch would fit in that! — Clearly, this is how the weight loss is achieved. As the surgeon stated during the session, you will essentially be forcing your body to burn the fat because you will be “starving yourself”. Your tiny “pouch” will fill up quickly with a bite or two of healthy food. The surgeon also discusses liquids and how they can be too high in calories. Be careful of eating soups and smoothies as they will probably not fill you up but will definitely add to your daily calorie count. He recommended that you eat food in a particular order to avoid too many calories (i.e., eating solid foods first, then moving on to soups to “fill in the gaps”). I found this surgeon talk to be VERY helpful!
Also present at the orientation were the physical therapy team, social worker and dietician. The physical therapy team discussed getting into the most physically fit shape possible pre-op to make post-op much easier, and to help strengthen your body for surgery and a speedy recovery. You may be referred to PT pre-op and post-op depending on your health & fitness.
The dietician, unfortunately, gave little to no advice on what specifically you should be eating. There are specific “plans” for transitioning from liquids to solids, but not a whole lot on what foods are “best” nor which foods to avoid, besides the obvious sugary, fried & fatty!
The importance of having a support group was heavily emphasized with the social worker. In the KP program, the staff are all great supports, but you will also need family members, friends, and co-workers to be supportive of your new lifestyle. – I am blessed to be going through the process with my mom, aunt and close family friend. I am nervous about my household situation, as my roommates are not much for healthy eating! Wish me luck on that one!