Right now, ask yourself a simple question about what you believed your role would be after your bariatric surgery. Do yourself a real favor though, dig deep and be truly honest with yourself. 

Did you know you would need to change the types of food you ate? Yes, I said Type not portion.

Did you think about what “Change” really meant and how you'd accomplish it?

Ask yourself what you were really thinking. Because if I’m honest, and if I can speak on behalf of the tens of thousands of post-ops I’ve been supporting for the past 20 odd years not a one of us realizes that with surgery we’d have our stomachs almost completely removed. Which is why it stings when I see so many mentioning eating in “Moderation” so they can “avoid depriving themselves.”

OUCH. It is obvious that there is a vast difference in the level of understanding and commitment to surgery in our Facebook support groups. There is too large a number who really believed they wouldn't have to do much other than have surgery. Because they really didn’t eat a lot before surgery, it was their knees, or their PCOS that made them gain. Their sugar addiction, or just plain bad luck with genetics.  

Frankly speaking, my team of Admins and Moderators waste a great deal of their time and resources trying to help people who are not going to make it to goal. They won’t even get close. It’s not that they don’t want to, it’s not that they aren’t trying. It’s that they are not using surgery as a pivotal point in life. It’s obvious and many of the other members of the group notice it from time to time too. Those, like my team, are often called “Bullies” and are called out for being “Unsupportive” when we mention things like finding NEW foods to try instead of fighting with ourselves to truly enjoy a 2oz serving of spaghetti when our families are dinging into mountains like we used to.

We suggest pairing grilled proteins with lovely grilled vegetables for a fast summer dinner and are hit with “But I don’t like vegetables. I'm picky. I have a gag reflex.” Or “But it's diet soda and I use it to calm my nausea.” When we tell someone that they could likely hit that 64oz of water a day if they skipped the 20oz Coke Zero when they drove home every afternoon and had 20oz of water instead. People gasp and ask “Are the protein shakes CHALKY? Im afraid I wont like them.” When we suggest that they try Inspire so they can meet their Dr’s protein goal and hopefully put their hair loss behind them. People are shocked when we suggest sliced cucumbers or mini bell peppers when they ask “I need crackers with my tuna or I wont be able to eat it. I NEED CRUNCH, what do you do for crunch?” Because they can only eat 4-5 crackers after all, and they lost 50 pounds in 4 months, surely it’s OK right? Yet that same person comes back in month 9 worried that they haven’t lost in 3 months, wondering about Mounjaro or maybe a Reset cause things aren’t working right.

And then there’s the fast food….The grilled nuggets, meatballs in a cup (which are actually fairly high in carbs if you check), people peeling cheese and other toppings off pizza in a work meeting. Or using your family as the reason. They wanted ice cream right? There’s every excuse in the book, cheese is low carb and has protein. My knees are too bad to exercise, protein shakes are too expensive but insurance will pay for weight loss drugs. Why is it so expensive to eat healthy? I have to buy it for my kids. My husband wants it and I can’t punish him just because I don’t have willpower.

Tell all that to Judge Judy. WAKE UP if this sounds like your brain.

There is a possibility that its NOT too late. And even if it IS you, if you’ve regained, if you feel hopeless. It’s not too late. You can turn it around.

Yes, we are sorry but you can only eat a few forkfuls of food. Yes, its hard to eat chicken. And yes… if you’ve been trying to figure out why protein makes so bloated and constipated you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that it’s because you’re supposed to be pairing it with fruit and vegetables so you get FIBER to keep things moving along. So, have some green beans with your dinner, some berries with your breakfast and stop saying YUCK, you are not five.

Yes, you have to stop drinking soda and sweet tea. Even the no sugar added stuff. If it was OK you’d be where you want to be weight wise.

YES, you do need to clear the snacks from your home or your face will be in the chip bag. Yes, we know you are already IN the chip bag, you fool no one. And really, take a REAL HARD look at your kids, spouse, partner whomever else is in the house. Are they healthy? Not thin. I’m not just talking about not obese. How’s your husband’s blood pressure? How’s your teenager’s skin? Their mood? Does your grand baby have mood swings, yes I know all toddlers do but sugary snacks are hard on little ones. And the truth is all of those things I mentioned can be helped with dietary changes. NO ONE needs constant access to junk foods. They can get that stuff outside the house, keep your home a safe haven of health for you AND your loved ones.

If you need snacks, veggies, and fruit are lovely. And very filling, for everyone.

This is a big one… but it’s the truth. It IS smarter to make ONE MEAL for your entire family. Be honest with yourself (I already know the answer) but how long can you really hang on eating leftover chicken and veggies alone while your family has a Dominos Fest in your living room? Cook for everyone in your family, it’s easier than you think. Four pieces of frozen salmon and a bag of pre chopped broccoli is less than that drive thru bag you got last night. Throw some chicken on the grill rusting in your backyard and make a bowl of salad. Heck, buy the bagged salad with all the stuff in it.

Yep, I said it. Take care of yourself. Feed your family good food. CHANGE the entire dynamic of your home. STOP killing your kids with the same weapon you were using to kill yourself. SHOW them you aren’t weird, that being HEALTHY isn’t eating different food.

But remember, ultimately, no one is going to save you. You had this surgery to save yourself, it’s time to do that. You’ve got this.

Bariatric Recipes Advice, Rants & Support Podcast: Real Talk