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Successful WLS Patients Make Right Their Nutritional Wellness

It seems there are two schools of behavior patients follow after gastric bypass surgery:

The first are the patients who realize WLS is a second chance to make right their nutritional wellness and they exchange the eating habits and poor food choices that made them obese for a smarter way of eating. These patients become champions of healthy ingredients and wholesome eating making conscious choices for how they fuel their bodies. They are non-stop learners in constant quest for information to aid in their health and wellness. They are actively engaged in their own nutrition to improve their health and make strong their bodies against disease. These patients have tremendous success in long-term weight maintenance following massive weight loss.

The second are the patients who rely solely on the restrictive and malabsorptive nature of the gastric bypass to lose weight. They half-heartedly follow the program during the phase of rapid weight loss and little by little the old habits that made them obese sneak back into their daily living. You'll hear these patients say, "I can eat anything I want, just less of it" and they laugh. But the joke is on them because sure enough, these patients will regain weight and suffer from poor nutritional health.

Perhaps the people in the "old habits" school think it's a waste of effort or energy to try and eat healthy - after all, we eat such little portions. Perhaps they think health food is seaweed and tofu and icky stuff like that. Perhaps they simply don't have the information necessary to affect positive healthy change in their diets.

Dr. Bernard Jensen in "Guide to Body Chemistry & Nutrition" writes, "The old saw "what you don't know can't hurt you" just isn't true when it comes to body chemistry, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Ignorance leads to poor nutritional choices, chemical deficiencies and the kinds of diseases that prey on an undernourished body and shorten the life span. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes all take a terrible toll on life in this country, and all three of them are strongly influenced by food patterns and lifestyle habits. . . The right kind of knowledge can always lead us to a better life."

Dr. Jensen writes, "Hippocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food." In my opinion, the kitchen is more important to our health than the doctor's office or the local hospital. If food selection, preparation and cooking are done wisely, intentionally and properly, very little time will need be spent visiting health care facilities." Dr. Jensen, by the way, wrote "Guide to Body Chemistry & Nutrition" at age 92.

Before WLS surgery I believe it is fair to say many of us "let food be our comfort" and indeed we were well comforted - that's why we needed surgery. If we can change that thought to "let food be our medicine" and treat it as such, perhaps our relationship with food will improve, our bodies will become healthier and the quality of life will exceed expectation.

It has been noted by many a bariatric counselor that patients are resistant toward learning a healthier way to live. One nurse told me, "Some people want to have doctors take care of them. They don't want to take responsibility for their own lives." But she noted the patients who are eager to learn good nutrition do not regain weight, do not fight the emotional demons of weight fluctuations and they enjoy boundless physical wellness. They never suffer from obesity again.

Dr. Jensen states, "There are arguments, disagreements, people defending their right to eat what they love. I tell them I don't blame them and encourage them to make the change because it's the right thing for them to do."

Kaye Bailey © 2005 - All Rights Reserved

Kaye Bailey is a weight loss surgery success story having maintained her health and goal weight for 5+ years. An award winning journalist, she is the author and webmaster of and

LivingAfterWLS is a no-nonsense resource for people Living After Weight Loss Surgery. Our community is growing in numbers even as we are shrinking in pounds. Together we support one another in this lifestyle, that it turns out, is NOT the easy way out.

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