5 things I wish I knew before having weight loss surgery
As a bariatric patient, there is so much information that you are exposed to prior to surgery. Between talking with your surgeon, hearing stories from other people, and doing your own research, you are more than likely learning a lot about bariatric surgery. However, there are certain things that people tend to leave out when they are talking about weight loss surgery. So, here are 5 things I wish I knew before I had weight loss surgery.
- Eating too much REALLY hurts. We obviously know that restriction is one of the ways weight loss happens from bariatric surgery. I was told over and over again how I would only be able to eat a certain amount of food at a time. However, I did not know that it would be extremely painful when you ate too much. I thought it would be just a feeling of fullness. It took time for me to figure out how much I could eat without feeling pain.
- Waiters will think something is wrong with your food. When you can’t finish your meal, it will look like something is wrong with the food and that is why you aren’t eating it. Be prepared for the questions. Some people actually get bracelets made that say they are a bariatric patient. This helps when trying to explain yourself to a random stranger. These bracelets can also help you get things of the kid’s menu!
- Your skin might change. Yes, we all know about the dreaded loose skin, but you also need to look out for other skin issues, such as dry skin. Due to the deficiencies and dehydration that you will more than likely face at some point on your journey, you will probably experience a slight change in your skin. This is a sign that you need to be drinking more water and staying on top of your nutrition. Listen to your skin!
- You might have weird side effects. There are a few things that come after weight loss surgery that you wouldn’t think are related to surgery. The biggest culprit is bad breath. Yes, bad breath! This is one of my least favorite things about the surgery. Many patients suffer from bad breath for a couple of reasons. The main reason is because we are more than likely in ketosis, which can cause you to have bad breath. Keep mints on you at all times!
- Alcohol will hit you a lot faster. Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way. Our bodies are different and most of the time our stomachs are empty, which means alcohol will hit you a lot harder. If you are one that used to drink 2-3 glasses of wine, be prepared that you might have to stop at just 1 glass after surgery. Be careful with drinking after weight loss surgery. You don’t want to develop another unhealthy habit.
These are just a few of the things that I wish I knew before having weight loss surgery. Above all else, the most important thing I wish I knew is that this surgery will NOT fix your food addiction. Going into the surgery, I thought everything was going to be great and that I would lose weight and my food problem would be solved. I could not have been more wrong. This surgery is a tool. It will not fix your problems. You have to put so much effort into this journey to make sure it is successful. You might not physically be hungry, but you will crave food and it will take a toll on your emotions. Prepare yourself during the pre-op stage for what is it come. You are strong! Don’t ever forget why you decided to have the surgery. You got this!
- Kimberly H.