Studies have shown that the only way to permanently lose weight and improve your health is to change your lifestyle. This means eating healthy food options, eating less food, and exercising more. However, these changes are very difficult to do. Even with supportive family, counselling, medications, or acupuncture, only 5% of people who try are able to lose 10 kg and keep it off for more than 6 months.
Surgery doesn’t do the work for you, but it does make it much easier to stick to the changes you have decided to make and comes with a success rate of 80%.
1. Are you ready for weight loss surgery?
Readiness for weight loss surgery is essential for success. Consider the following:
- What are your motivations for losing weight? What specific goals would you like to achieve? (Real things, not numbers on the scales)
- Is this the time right in your life for weight loss surgery?
- Do you have the time to commit to the lifestyle changes involved?
- What benefits do you expect from weight loss surgery?
In summary, you are well on your way to be ready for weight loss surgery if:
- You have a strong personal desire to make the required lifestyle changes,
- You can identify a few obstacles for these changes, and consider ways of dealing with them in advance,
- Have positive feelings and belief that weight loss will result in meaningful benefits and
- Have encouragement and support from your family and/or friends.
2. Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix.
Embrace the program – because it works.
People who undergo surgery for weight loss are often tempted to simply let the surgery do the work without making an effort to adapt to new healthier diet and fitness habits. Although weight loss surgery is so often the last resort for many people, it is not the entire solution. You will need to commit our program with your support team to help you achieve the lifestyle changes that will enhance your success. Ask questions about the after-surgery support and make sure you have the time to commit. Remember, research has shown that people who attend their follow-up support programs achieve much better outcomes than those who rely on the surgery alone. If you are unable to travel to the appointments, ask about how we can help you in other ways.
Generally, we find patients lose half of their excess weight, and often settle to a new steady weight at a BMI of 28. The weight loss is slow and steady: often 2 kg per month. When you are increasing your exercise dramatically, the weight will drop more slowly than your waistline, as muscle weighs much more than fat.
3. Be honest with yourself. Remember – nobody’s perfect.
Understand there will be times when you may “fall off the rails” due to the pressures of everyday life. You’re not alone, this happens to most of us. Rest assured that the support you need is always available to help you get back on track and to succeed. We will help you to set achievable milestones and review them regularly.
- Accept that you will probably only lose 50% to 60% of your excess weight
- Your quality of life will improve
- Your physical and metal health will improve
- You will have more energy
4. Get to know yourself.
Allow your weight loss journey to be a chance to become reacquainted with the real you.
We will help you understand what motivates your behaviour and actions. We work together to develop lifetime strategies to help you on your weight loss journey and afterwards. For many people, this means finding new ways of dealing with stress, loneliness, anger or boredom. Don’t think of it as losing your comfort food: think of it as gaining a new facet to your life!
5. What is the right procedure for you?
Research all bariatric procedures carefully. This allows you to think about which type of procedure is suitable for you. Your friends’ experiences are useful, but everybody is different: what works well for one person may not be a good solution for their best friend.
Your surgeon will provide the details you need to make your final decision. Be prepared for your consultation with your surgeon – make a list of questions and remember to write down the answers. Some questions may include asking about the surgeon’s training, how long he/she has been performing bariatric surgery, what are the outcomes & how long has data been collected and kept, what is the surgeon’s complication and mortality rates. There is some information on the different procedures on the website to get you started.
Accepting the risks and benefits of your surgery allows you to direct your efforts to your life after surgery.
6. The importance of the support programs.
Our has been designed to deliver the best tools to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Ask your local clinic about the program and make the commitment to be an active participant. In addition to holding you accountable for your actions, support gives you an outlet to discuss problems and situations with people who are going through the same experience. You are the key member of an expert team.
Take responsibility for your success. Attend your scheduled appointments with all members of the support team and engage in the process. Ask questions. Make it your own. Be proactive by scheduling appointments as often as you need them. Research shows patients who attend their follow-up appointments on a regular basis have better success.
7. Will I fail?
You have been going through a common cycle of a renewed effort to lose weight and failure. You may attribute your lack of success to a failure of effort (low willpower) or a poorly conceived diet (fad diet). This results in a vicious cycle of self-blame and yo-yo dieting. Our program uses a collaborative patient approach to support patients through specific, permanent life changes. This approach is more likely to succeed at combating the complex issues that contribute to obesity. About 20% of patients don’t lose as much weight as we expected. Half of these are because of persistent lifestyle choices, and we do try to find these and help encourage you to address them. However, we have found that feeling guilty is not helpful. The other half (i.e. about 10%) have some problem with the surgery. More information on the details is included in the relevant sections for each operation, but most problems can be solved.
For these reasons, continuing to see the team annually is vital to your success.
8. Will I enjoy food again?
Of course! We provide guidelines and resources to ensure that you will still be able to enjoy good food. We know that the changes you will make are for a lifetime and we are committed to ensuring you are eating good wholesome food. We also plan to publish great recipes to help inspire you – your ideas are always welcome! Dorinda Hafner has started the ball rolling.
9. How will my life change?
Many areas of your life will change after surgery including your physical and mental health, relationships, activity levels, diet and body image, which can be either positive or negative. Your team will guide you through these changes and provide strategies and support to help you plan and organize your life. You will need to do this in order to allow the time and energy required for success.
- Time to plan, prepare and eat your food
- Time to add some activity into each day
- Time to attend your clinic for follow up appointments
- Time for rewarding yourself (with something other than food)
10. Where do I start?
You have taken the first step – research. There is a lot of information available. You can search the Internet, speak to others who have undergone surgery, attend information seminars and speak with your doctor.
Create a plan. A plan puts in motion the actions to accomplish results. A good plan will set a goal and then outline the steps required to achieve that goal, and include a timeframe for those steps. It is always a good idea to write down your plans and goals, and to review them regularly.
Make a commitment. The simple fact is we perform better when we are held accountable. That includes being personally and privately accountable to our self when pursing goals that are important to us. It is also helpful to tell someone else of your goals and your plan. This could be your family, friend and/or your general medical practitioner.
Take Action. Call your clinic for an appointment: Perth or Flinders or Kensington Park