A Healthy Dose of Realism After Weight Loss Surgery

Author: S. Bledsoe, M.D.

Goal setting is important in any endeavor.  If you want to do well in school, you set academic goals for yourself.  If you want to excel athletically, physical goals are attempted.  If you want to have success after your weight loss procedure, you should also set goals that you want to attain.  Realistic goals, though, are key.

The first goal that you should set is to try to achieve a healthy weight.  Identifying a healthy weight can sometimes be a challenge.  People can get discouraged when they see some of the doctor’s weight tables and realize that a “healthy weight” is what they weighed at 14.  A normal BMI of less than 25 is a good rule of thumb, but people with a stocky, densely muscled frame will have trouble attaining these BMI goals.  Talk to your bariatric surgeon in order to see what a good goal weight is for you.


A second goal should relate to your health.  Many of your diseases will improve dramatically after surgery.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all very common diseases that respond remarkably well to bariatric surgery.  In order to attain these goals, simply follow your diet and exercise recommendations.  Most of your diet after surgery should be lean meat and fruits and vegetables.  You should be exercising most days if not every day.  Your workouts should include aerobic training and resistance training.  If you couple a healthy diet and lifestyle along with your procedure, you should be able to at least reduce, if not eliminate, many of your current medications.


The last goal you should set for yourself is to have a better quality of life.  95% of post-operative patients state that they have an improved quality of life after surgery.  This should be your goal as well.  Quality of life is very much an individual perception.  For some people that means being able to play with their children.  For others, it may mean being able to walk up a flight of stairs.  Others may perceive quality of life as having the energy to have a more rewarding social life.  Whatever it means to you- Aim for that goal!


Ultimately, setting challenging but realistic goals will cause you to push yourself to achieve more and will help you avoid discouragement.  As you reach each goal, you will feel a little better about yourself and a little more motivated.  I’m certain that if you push hard, most of your goals can be achieved.

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