You’ve had your weight-loss surgery. You’ve been equipped with the best medical advice: Protein first, at least 8 cups of sugar-free fluid a day, exercise daily and take your supplements. You know that this is excellent advice and have every intention of following this plan. Then you’re home. Everything is going great. The inevitable happens – life. You know that your old habits don’t fit in post-surgery, but without the proper mindset, you can find yourself right back into unhealthy patterns. Preparing for bariatric surgery is hard. Healing from the surgery is hard. However, finding and keeping a healthy mindset will help you succeed after weight-loss surgery so that you don’t undo all of that hard work.

Maintaining Self-awareness

No one ever sets out to self-sabotage. Without self-awareness, though, it is too easy to find yourself scraping the bottom of the ice cream container after a stressful day. Self-awareness begins when you recognize that you have used food – or another unhealthy medium – as a coping mechanism. Keep a food journal when there is an urge to eat outside of mealtimes. Put notes on your refrigerator with reminders like, “Is this real hunger or head hunger?”, “Go for a walk,” or “Do something fun just for you.” Maintaining self-awareness and keeping a healthy mindset can be difficult. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling stressed or uncomfortable. If you find you are stressing too much over the change, reach out to a trained professional.

Take Control by Planning for Success

There are so many new, wonderful possibilities opened to you after bariatric surgery and weight loss. Realizing those possibilities and keeping your focus on your new lease on life is a great way to stay positive and mentally healthy. If you spend your time thinking about food and what you are not eating, things will be extremely difficult. Instead, reframe what food means. Make a plan for how you are going to deal with temptation. Call your best friend. Spoil yourself in a bubble bath. Learn a new craft. Having a plan in place keeps you prepared and increases your chance of success.

Celebrate Your Successes

Reframing your mindset is hard. When you realize that you have succeeded by not giving in to temptation, celebrate your win. Buy that new blouse. Book a spa treatment. Tell yourself how well you did and how strong you are because what you did truly takes strength. After a while, your mindset will shift to set you up for long-term success.

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