I am just about a month away from my VSG surgery and the excitement is real. I’ve been actively in this process for nearly six months and dreaming about this for nearly ten years and now that we are in the final countdown? I’m excited, nervous, anxious, thrilled, terrified and curious about what it’s going to be like after surgery.
Part of the pre-op process with my bariatric team is working on habits prior to surgery to set patients up for success. It’s all about making little changes over the course of several months so that way I’m not slapped in the face once I’ve had surgery with drastic changes.
Weight Loss Surgery Prep Tips
10 Things I’m Doing Now, Before VSG
1.) I am focused on drinking a lot of water (but not during meals).
This is something I have to work on every single day, all day long. Replacing diet cokes with water and unsweetened tea has been my go-to lately, even though every once in a while I have a diet coke still. I was drinking Crystal Light but it gave me the worst calf cramps ever due to the aspartame, so I’ve stopped that all together. I’ve been searching for flavored drinks without carbonation, sugar, aspartame and with electrolytes that don’t taste like complete butthole, and so far not a lot of luck. If you have one to recommend, drop it in the comments for me!
2.) I am getting in more protein whenever possible.
This means adding protein powder or having protein bars when possible and eating things like eggs, chicken, and other lean sources of protein with every meal. Per my nutritionist’s recommendation, I start my meal with the protein portion, before diving into the sides.
Shameless plug: my favorite protein powder is Orgain and if you use the coupon code XOASHDURHAM at checkout, you can save 30% on your first purchase! My favorite is the creamy chocolate fudge, but they are ALL delicious. 5 stars!!
3.) I am cutting back on junk food.
This is hard for me, because I am a carb-aholic and I am a very busy momma who doesn’t always have time to prepare healthy meals. But! It’s about little changes. I’m not going out to fast food (and when I do, I make healthier choices), and I’m simply not bringing junk into the house anymore. My kids aren’t exactly thrilled with the lack of special treats and outings through drive-thru’s, but, suck it up buttercup. 😂
4.) I am moving my body more.
This has surprisingly been easy for me since I started wearing my Apple Watch. My goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day and my Apple Watch allows me to monitor my progress throughout the day. How am I doing it? I’m parking farther away in the parking lot, I’m staying off my computer and off the couch as much as humanly possible, and now that I’m also working at our local Tractor Supply – I’m flying around the store a few days a week!
5.) I am encouraging my family to be proactive about their food (and drink) choices with me.
One of my worst fears in life is that my kids are going to suffer from obesity and the subsequent mental and physical health issues that go along with it. I don’t want to pass down my issues to my children and I want the cycle of self-abuse to stop with me. So, this means I’m not bringing junk into the house, I’m encouraging them to drink more water and eat more protein, and getting them to be active. I know that if I can get them on board with my new lifestyle, it’s ultimately going to be a win-win situation for us all!
I’m asking them to help meal plan, grocery shop and cook with me. I have asked them to not drink soda around me, or bring home special treats from school or work. And last but not least, I’m being very vocal about my struggles so that they can see the consequences of a lifetime of bad food choices and learn from my mistakes!
6.) I am teaching myself not to feed my feelings.
Speaking of the Devil: this is another really hard one for me. Ever since I was in elementary school, I have fed my feelings (good and bad). Have a bad day? I deserve ice cream. Want to celebrate? Let’s get a pizza. The truth is – I’ve used food as a way to cope with things and that’s been one of the hardest habits for me to break. Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to actually deal with my feelings, and find alternate ways to cope. Have a bad day? Go hang out with the goats. Want to celebrate? Call my mom.
Food is a big part of life, but it’s not the answer to everything.
The most important weight loss surgery prep tips are ALL mental, friends!!
7.) I am setting myself up for success.
I am doing everything in my power to set myself up for success. Right now, I am in a period of simultaneous mourning and excitement, because I know my life is about to change in so many ways. But I am focusing on the good and doing everything in my power to set myself up for success.
8.) I am staying off Google.
Yup, Google is the Devil. I’m not going to read up on horror stories, I’m not going to do anything but trust my gut.
9.) I am surrounding myself with positivity and inspiration.
I’m a part of a couple Bariatric groups on Facebook, and I follow several inspiring and honest VSG warriors on Instagram. Who are my faves? My girl Lauren, Woke Up Like Dez, Gracefully Getting Fit, Mama Gets Sleeved, the Real Slim Sammi and the Bre SG. I also love following VSG inspiration and education accounts like VSG Facts and Our Sleeved Podcast.
10.) I am sharing my story.
This is the biggest one: I am NOT hiding my story. There is absolutely ZERO SHAME in bariatric surgery, and I refuse to hide because of what other people might think of my decision. VSG is not me “taking the easy way out” and I’m not doing it for vanity purposes only!! I am also doing this to save my life, to feel better, to sleep better and beat my obstructive sleep apnea, to get out of pre-diabetes, and to reduce pain in my back, hips and legs. If someone has a problem with me doing this for me, that’s on them and not a reflection of me. So I’ll continue to share my weight loss surgery prep tips and process as I go along!