Mental and Behavioral changes after bariatric surgery: Stay Positive

Your attitude will play a big role in your weight loss journey after Lap Band surgery. Having a strong, positive attitude can encourage you as you develop a healthier way of life. Forming new eating and exercising habits isn’t enough to making lasting changes in your life. To successfully maintain weight loss, it is best to foster a positive attitude as you adjust make mental and behavioral changes after bariatric surgery.

Adjusting to the “New Normal”

Bariatric surgery requires a number of changes in your lifestyle, eating habits and exercise habits. Adopting healthier habits will introduce a new chapter of your life, one that is marked by different eating habits, new exercise goals and a series of mental and attitude changes. The adoption of these habits is a process called adjusting to your “new normal.”

A new normal develops when you cross a threshold to a new way of living. To successfully transition into the new normal, you will need to shift your perception and accept new habits as normal parts of your lifestyle. There are many potential pitfalls that can cause you to fall back into old habits and prevent you from moving forward in your new normal. These are referred to as attitude adjustments.

When assessing your mental readiness to change your lifestyle, you ask yourself these questions:

Are you committed to changes after bariatric surgery?

Commitment to bariatric surgery calls for you to make changes in your diet and exercise habits. These changes are not temporary, but instead will become adopted as a new way of life. Mental commitment to bariatric surgery involves abandoning the concept of “dieting” and instead making more permanent lifestyle changes.

Are you being honest about changes after bariatric surgery?

It is easy to look the other way and ignore small details that might be holding you back. Be 100% honest with yourself about your efforts. Do not exaggerate your progress, your eating habits or your fitness practice. A good way to track your new habits is to keep a log of your progress.

When assessing your progress:

  • Be honest about your portion sizes.
  • Make accurate judgments about the length of your workouts.
  • Consider your workout intensity and decide if you could work harder.

Lying to yourself will only hurt your own progress. Be as accurate as possible when recording the above behaviors.

Are you supported?

Friends and family members make for great sources of weight loss support, but they are not always available. You will have much more success striving towards your weight loss goal if you have the support of loved ones, as well as that of yourself.

A positive support network can help you to:

  • Overcome obsessive thoughts
  • Avoid temptations and slip ups
  • Manage stress
  • Overcome perfectionism
  • Break through weight loss plateaus
  • Stay motivated
  • Overcome anxieties
  • Reduce risk of depression
  • Assist with positive habit formation

Be open with your friends and family members about your need for their support. You can also seek out support from others who have similar weight loss experiences by attending our support groups.

Mental changes after Lap Band surgery are just as essential as the physical acts of eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly. Do your best to encourage yourself, stay positive about your progress and focus on taking the next steps in your weight loss journey.

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