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When you look and feel great, you just gotta share the news, right? Thanks to today’s technology and the many choices in terms of social media, it is now easier than ever to share the good news about weight loss after Bariatric surgery. In fact, social media can be a great form of support when your schedule won’t allow time to join a group or attend meetings.

Weight Loss Surgery Success and Twitter

Twitter is one of the more popular choices for those who tweet after weight loss surgery, motivating others with inspiring stories, quotes and personal milestone updates. If you are considering weight loss surgery as an option or if you have already undergone Bariatric surgery, here are the top tweeters that we recommend you follow for inspiration and motivation as well as tips, tricks and recipes.weight loss surgery social media

 

Weight Loss Surgery Success Stories to Share and Follow

Log into your Twitter account and follow these fascinating weight loss surgery success stories! When you surround yourself with success, you will be successful! Here are some of our personal favorites, some of which have gone on to become authors and others who have found ways to achieve greatness in their personal lives.

weight loss surgery successFatDoesn’t DefineMe – A great act to follow, this Bariatric candidate from Orlando, Florida decided to have Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery on September 19, 2014, and has already lost 150 pounds in approximately eight months.

In following her on Twitter, you can easily see that this vivacious and vibrant gal’s weight loss surgery was a life-changing success and she says it’s the best decision she ever made! Enjoy her motivational tweets, videos and before & after photos! Congrats, Stefaeni! #stefaeni2600 #FatDoesn’t DefineMe

weight loss surgery success stories

weight loss surgery success

Cindy Virden –  Describing herself as a leader and mentor to others, Cindy happily shares her weight loss surgery success story with her Twitter followers and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

With a loss of 91 pounds and 59 inches thus far, thanks to the Bariatric surgery called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy and healthier food choices, this gal  is certainly one to follow for motivation and inspiration! Great job, Cindy! #cindyvirden

weight loss surgery success

weight loss surgery success

Ali Porto –  Weight loss surgery is no easy fix, as Ali will tell you. Having lost 60 pounds after having LapBand Bariatric surgery, her goal weight is drawing closer and closer but she still “has a long road ahead”.

Using hashtags such as #livinglonger and  #livinghealthier, weight loss surgery has Ali looking toward the future and taking control of her health. Keep up the great work, Ali! #TicaFox

weight loss surgery success

weight loss surgery success

Karen Gillman – A long term weight loss surgery success story, Karen had LapBand Bariatric surgery in 2004 and has written a book titled ‘It’s Never too Late‘ to share her story with others. Ten plus years and 145 pounds later, this vibrant and beautiful lady motivates and inspires followers on Twitter and other medias.

Be sure to follow Karen for great information and motivational tweets! Thanks for sharing your weight loss surgery success story, Karen! #aftertheband

Weight Loss Surgery Success

weight loss surgery success Lap Band for Men – Follow him on Twitter for the inside scoop describing both good and bad experiences associated with Lap Band Bariatric surgery, told from a man’s perspective. A Christian, author, entrepreneur, blogger, nutrition & fitness expert, he also has a blog to motivate and support others who battle with weight loss.

His story began at 361 pounds and is striving for a goal weight of 235 pounds, a weight loss surgery success story that’s inspiring! #LapBand4Men

weight loss surgery success

Utilize Social Media to Fuel Your Weight Loss Surgery Success

Whether you are a stay at home mom or the CEO of a large company, your weight loss surgery success story can help motivate and inspire others who struggle with their weight.  Surround yourself with support before, during and after Bariatric surgery using social media, and help is never farther than your cell phone, tablet or laptop.

Are you ready to begin your own weight loss surgery success story?

Click here!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and Youtube. Share your story with our awesome loyal followers!!

You have known that it was past time for a change for a long while. Your quality of life is noticeably decreasing and the weight doesn’t seem to come off, even with dieting and exercise. You feel as if you have tried and failed with nearly every diet, breakthrough or fad that has come along. What is the next option?

Weight Loss Surgery: Actions, Not Words

When you look in the mirror, do you recognize the person looking back? Depression and a damaged self-worth are attacking your mind, while the excess pounds have you feeling as if you are pinned to the ground. Your health is starting to be affected and you’ve been researching weight loss surgeries for months.

WeightLossSurgeryMotivation

Stop Researching Bariatric Surgery!

Guess what? It is time to stop researching weight loss surgery and start doing! Make the decision to have Bariatric surgery because you know it’s your best shot for a new and happy life! Are you scared? Well, don’t be. Bariatric surgery is growing more and more common with each passing year, helping men and women take control of their lives, their health, and most importantly, their own bodies.

Why keep researching but never take action? One reason people never manage to take the next step is because surgery is a scary word. People fear the ‘unknown’, and somewhere down deep, perhaps there is the fear that even bariatric surgery won’t deliver the weight loss needed for a happy, full and productive life. Are you afraid that weight loss surgery is your last option, and that it may not work?

Make the Decision to Change Your Life

First of all, you will never know what weight loss surgery can do for you until you try! Approach this surgical step to lose weight as a major life changing event, and your new lifestyle as a permanent step toward a better you. It may be true that you are out of options, but you haven’t lost the battle against obesity yet, so don’t give up before you try!

In your research, you probably learned that weight loss surgery doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to keep the weight off. However, you will lose weight and you will feel better! Hopefully, you will learn how to eat in moderation and control your caloric intake, and never have to battle the pounds again!

Stop Wasting Years of Your Life

Countless thousands of people battle with obesity every day, and are left feeling as if they have wasted years of their lives feeling bad about themselves, hiding their own bodies, and failing to live their lives to the fullest. It is time for you to take action; let the New Year become a starting point in your journey to lose weight with the help of Bariatric surgery.

Get Ready for 2015, the Best Year Yet

Now that you are motivated and ready to take that leap of faith, say to yourself, “2015 is going to be my best year yet, the year everyone sees me for who I really am.” Send your information using our convenient contact page to ask for the help and support you need and deserve! You will find answers to all of your Bariatric surgery questions and concerns as you begin your weight loss journey.

You owe it to yourself because… you know what?

You’re an amazing person.

Why shouldn’t everyone be able see this?

Christmas Gift Ideas for Bariatric Patients

If someone you love has recently undergone weight loss surgery of any kind, your task of finding the perfect Christmas gift won’t be as difficult as you might think. As the Bariatric patient on your holiday shopping list begins his or her new and improved healthy lifestyle, the following gift ideas can provide support and assistance toward weight loss success.

presents gifts bariatric

Digital Food Scale

Modern food scales are better than ever at helping with portion control and managing healthy food options. A great help when keeping a journal and perfecting Bariatric recipes, today’s food scales have some pretty amazing options such as a Tare feature that automatically deducts the weight of your plate.

High Tech Bathroom Scales

Any old bathroom scale will help track weight loss but there are several brands of high tech scales that can do some pretty amazing things. Not only can a Bariatric patient keep track of pounds lost, but also body mass, weight memory, and daily caloric reference.

Digital Camera

The weight loss journey of a Bariatric patient is often recorded in photographs, allowing the results to be documented and shared with others. A digital camera is vital in recording every milestone along the path to healthy living, making it a great choice for gift-giving. Some cameras are also equipped with video functions, making them even more helpful.

Gym Membership

A gym membership is a wonderful gift idea for anyone who is trying to ‘turn over a new leaf’ and get healthy through weight loss. Some memberships include access to spas and saunas, swimming pools and even child care, making this an ideal choice for Bariatric patients of all ages.

Gift Card from Major Clothing Retailer

This is a struggle every weight loss surgery patient experiences with both negative and positive feelings. While thrilled to see the weight coming off, Bariatric patients struggle daily with ill-fitting clothing, as nothing seems to fit. With a gift card to a major clothing retailer, your recipient will be thrilled to add a few basics to their wardrobe. Of course, nothing makes weight loss sweeter than buying a smaller size.

Gas Gift Card

Most weight loss surgery patients have to keep monthly appointments with their Bariatric doctor, and this can mean traveling more than two hours. Follow-up appointments, fills (Lap-Band), weigh-ins, visiting support groups, and trips to specialty stores are just some of the reasons a gas card could be beneficial for Bariatric patients.

Kitchen Gadgets

There are a lot of great gift ideas in the kitchen for those who have undergone weight loss surgery. A good food storage system such as a Foodsaver can help with fresh food preservation and portion control. Other helpful options include high quality water bottles, shaker bottles designed for protein shakes, pre-measured food containers and measuring cups/spoons. Bento and other portion oriented lunch containers are also quite helpful when making meals on the go.

Bariatric Approved Cookbooks

After weight loss surgery, your gift recipient may feel as if he or she is learning how to cook all over again. Finding recipes that are low fat and low or sugar free can be quite daunting, not to mention time consuming. Purchasing Bariatric approved cookbooks will help save time and improve meal planning, making it an exceptional gift idea for Christmas.

Vitamins, Supplements, and Carrying Case

After Bariatric surgery, vitamins and supplements are no longer a choice, but a necessity, since the stomach can no longer absorb all the nutrients your body needs. A carrying case or pill organizer can be a lifesaver to the Bariatric patient, and gifts of vitamins and supplements can save some serious cash.

These are just a few of the many gift ideas that will enrich the life of your favorite Bariatric patient. Can you think of other great Christmas gifts for someone who has had weight loss surgery?

Five  Foods to Avoid after Bariatric Surgery

 

Bariatric surgery is not an instant solution to losing weight, as you will still have to make the right food choices. Once your doctor tells you it is okay to eat solid foods, you will not be able to eat anything you like. There are several foods and drinks that you should never consume again. Here are the top four foods to avoid after weight loss surgery.

five foods to avoid after bariatric surgery

Breads, Pasta, Potatoes and Rice

 

Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta are no longer comfort foods after weight loss surgery. In fact, attempting to eat from this food group can be quite uncomfortable. These foods can form a paste in the throat, making it difficult to swallow. If this happens, there is a fair amount of discomfort and the food may be rejected.

In a few Bariatric cases, breads, potatoes, rice and pasta have blocked the stoma, which is the entrance to the stomach pouch. It is best to give these high-starch foods up entirely, as avoidance will accelerate your weight loss. If you choose to consume one of these foods, do so rarely and in extremely small portions. Take small bites and eat very slowly, remembering not to drink anything thirty minutes before or after your meal.

 

Dry or Tough Meats

 

No matter what type of food you eat, it is important to chew well, taking your time with each small bite. This ensures that you can easily swallow and digest your meals correctly, which is especially important after Bariatric surgery. Because you will not be drinking beverages or water with your meals, it can become even more difficult to swallow some meats.

Lean meats are ideal for your new diet because you need adequate amounts of protein. Avoid meats with fat or gristle, and meats that are tough or hard to swallow  It is recommended to take bites the size of a pencil eraser, choosing meats with a sauce or gravy rather than dry. Foods to avoid include steak, ham, pork chops, and hot dogs.

Other dry foods will also be difficult to swallow such as nuts, granola and dry cereal. Eat these foods slowly and with great caution after Bariatric surgery. As your body heals, you may find that some of these foods become easier to consume.

 

Caffeinated, Carbonated and Alcoholic Beverages

 

The first advice you will probably hear after weight loss surgery is this: Don’t Drink Your Calories! Bariatric patients must avoid drinking beverages with sugar, fructose or corn syrup such as sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices.  These high calorie beverages will sabotage your diet and could lead to Dumping Syndrome, which is very uncomfortable.

After Bariatric surgery, you should consume at least 64 ounces of water daily and avoid beverages with carbonation, which can expand your new stomach pouch. Opt for decaffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea since caffeine can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can quickly become an issue with your new smaller stomach.

Alcohol should be avoided, since these high calorie drinks offer no benefit to your body. Focus on drinks that offer the added vitamins and minerals your body needs. It is also important to remember that, after weight loss surgery, you may become intoxicated much more quickly.

 

Fatty, Greasy and High Calorie Foods

 

Fatty, greasy and high calorie foods should be avoided after weight loss surgery, as these may lead to nausea and sabotage your weight loss. Avoid high calorie, high fat foods such as bacon and sausage, butter, bologna, and whole milk.

You should also avoid foods that offer little or no nutritional value such as candy, chips, pastries, popcorn, rice cakes and similar. Consuming the wrong foods can lead to issues such as weight gain or undernourishment. After weight loss surgery, these foods are dumped into the colon soon after they are consumed, causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats and weakness.

 

After Bariatric surgery, you will want to select low-fat deli meats and cheeses. Consuming too many bad food choices can make you feel ill or experience the effects of Dumping Syndrome. Making wise choices will be key in getting the results you deserve.

Motivate Yourself with a Weight Loss Journal

There are numerous ways to find support after weight loss surgery. If you live in a more populated area, there are support groups you can visit weekly, if not daily. Rural dwellers have a more limited access to support groups but several active online weight loss groups can be found that really helps you chase away that feeling of being alone in your journey.

One of the best ways you can motivate yourself is with the help of a weight loss journal. Keeping track of your weight loss and other milestones, including what you eat, can really helpyou on your weight loss surgery. It is best to start keeping a record of your journey from the moment you decide to have weight loss surgery, but it is never too late to start recording your progress.

Additionally, the journaling process could be helpful long after you have reached your desired weight to help keep old habits at bay and remain focused. If you make a commitment to the record keeping process, journaling is also a great way to maintain your ideal weight and prevent any risk of weight gain after Bariatric surgery.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Journaling your Weight Loss Journey

Keeping a record of your weight loss journey can be done in several ways. Choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and will motivate you the most. If keeping a written record such as a joJournaling WLSurnal or a blog, don’t shy away from cameras. Snap those before and afters with pride because you are dedicated to your journey.

The most common choices for keeping a weight loss record include the following: keeping a written journal much like a diary, writing a blog, creating a dedicated social media fanpage such as Facebook, vlogging (which is video blogging), or picture blogging on Instagram. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose so long as you are comfortable and consistent.

When you begin the journal, be sure to log in, write or make your videos as much as possible. Set a minimum requirement for yourself as well. This is a habit which must be properly formed and your schedule may not always be regular.  You can easily balance the journaling process with your lifestyle once keeping a record has become a habit.

Sharing Your Weight Loss Journey

The weight loss journal is a record of your weight loss journey, so share the details that will motivate and build your confidence.  If you aren’t comfortable sharing certain information, then don’t! Using your own personal preferences and making your own rules regarding details will help to create a journal that keeps you focused and hopeful. Below are some of the most commonly shared details in a weight loss journal:

Your Diet: food choices, vatamin and supplement information, nutrient and calorie intake, protein sources

When You Eat: describe portion sizes, hunger times, cravings, giving in to temptation, getting back on track

Your Exercise Plan: what works and what doesn’t, trips to the gym, stamina increases, favorite exercise products

Personal Weight Loss Goals: goals, plans, hopes and dreams, weight before and afters, personal measurements

Your New Life: new sleeping habits, relationship changes, family life, activities you were unable to do before

 

Whether you decide to write or record long emotion-filled journal entries or jot down a quick list of updates, the weight loss record will help keep you focused after weight loss surgery. Search the internet for other recorded weight loss journeys for inspiration and ideas. Be sure to visit YouTube where you will find an entire weight loss community devoted to journaling their results to help not only themselves, but others as well.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Interesting Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Facts

 

If you are like many who are considering weight loss surgery, you have spent a significant amount of time researching the topic across several sites and search engines. New information can be found daily, making the task a bit daunting.

 

Choosing Bariatric Surgery can help an individual achieve long lasting weight loss and a new outlook on life. Patients can lead happier, healthier lives if they have all the facts needed to make a step toward positive change.

 

You are fairly certain that you know all about obesity and bariatric surgery. Just in case your research skipped over some interesting facts, here is a small compilation of important information to help you decide whether weight loss surgery is right for you.

 

Obesity Facts

 

Today, approximately fifteen million Americans are battling life threatening obesity. In 1990, less than fifteen percent of Americans were overweight.

 

Obesity is commonly defined as being one hundred pounds over your ideal body weight. This is the equivalent of a BMI (body mass index) that is greater than 40.

 

As of today, the United States is the most obese nation in the entire world. Twenty-five percent of this country’s children are overweight.

 

Patients who are obese will die approximately twelve to fifteen years earlier than those who maintain a normal weight.

 

Those who suffer with life threatening obesity have many other medical conditions that will affect almost every organ and system in their bodies. Some of these conditions include: Hypertension or High Blood Pressure, Type II Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Depression, Arthritis, and Cardiac Disease.

 

Bariatric Surgery Facts

 

For most, Bariatric Surgery is a cure for the life-threatening condition of obesity.

 

Patients opt for Bariatric Surgery because they want to live longer, healthier happier lives.

 

While Bariatric Surgery is a powerful weight loss tool for the obese. However, it is not cosmetic surgery.

 

Bariatric patients are most successful when they participate in a comprehensive program, one that provides follow-up appointments, support from a dietician, support groups (in persona and online), and assistance from exercise and fitness specialists.

 

Bariatric surgery requires a conscious effort to make a major commitment to changing their diet and behaviour regarding exercise.

 

When considering the risks of life threatening obesity, the risks of bariatric surgery are minute in comparison.

 

Only five percent of patients have shown long term positive results after Bariatric Surgery from diet and exercise alone. However, Bariatric Surgery gives patients long term weight loss results.

 

Many who undergo weight loss surgery have found that as they became more fit and healthy, other medical conditions lessened, or disappeared entirely.

 

After weight loss surgery, patients enjoyed reduced costs in healthcare and became more productive at work or school.

 

With Bariatric Surgery, you write the story of your life, as you are in control. What other changes did you experience? After Weight Loss Surgery, besides weight, what will change about you most? Your comments are welcome below.

 

 

The gastric sleeve procedure has become very common in terms of weight loss surgery.  In spite of its recent popularity among patients and surgeons it’s still controversial, especially regarding bougie size.

 

What is a Bougie?

 The bougie (BOO-zhee) is a measuring device in the form of a long, flexible tube. Surgeons use it to guide them when dividing the stomach.

During the surgery the bougie is inserted through the mouth and guided through the esophagus and stomach to the pylorus.  The tube creates a bulge that the surgeon uses to guide the stapler in dividing the stomach.  After the sleeve is formed the bougie is removed.

Bougies come in various sizes and the unit of measurement is called a French, abbreviated F.  1F = 0.333 mm or 1/3 mm.  A 40F bougie is equal to ½ inch for example. Standard bougie sizes in the U.S. range from 32 – 50F.

Generally, the smaller the bougie used, the smaller the new stomach size.  But the same size bougie doesn’t always create the same size stomach.  A lot depends on the surgeon and whether he/she over sews the staple line, and if so by how much.

There is no unanimous agreement on the ideal bougie size for a given patient.  This is a challenge because each procedure requires the surgeon to find the size that will be the safest, yet allow for the most amount of weight loss.

The smaller the bougie that is used, the smaller the sleeve and the resulting stomach restriction.  But there is a greater risk of leakage and instances of stricture.  A stricture occurs when scar tissue develops and interferes with the normal movement of food and liquids into the stomach.  It can only be corrected with surgery.

On the other hand, if a larger bougie is used, there is less risk but then maybe less weight loss as well.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

 

2008 Gastric Sleeve Bougie Study

 This study showed a very minor difference in weight loss results when using a 40F bougie vs a 60F bougie.  At 6 months the difference was less than 2% and at 12 months the difference was less than 6%.

Study: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: does bougie size affect mean %EWL? Short-term outcomes. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2008 Jul-Aug;4(4):528-33. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2008.03.245.)

2013 Gastric Sleeve Surgery Study on Leaks

The results show that bougies of 40F and larger had incidents of leaks with virtually no change in weight loss.  Pending further research but caution is recommended in using the smallest possible bougie due to the risks outweighing the benefits.

(Study: The Effects of Bougie Caliber on Leaks and Excess Weight Loss Following Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. Is There an Ideal Bougie Size? Obes Surg. 2013 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print])

2012 Gastric Sleeve Study

Surgeons surveyed reported that in the range of 32F – 50F the most common size being used is 36F, (used by 32% of them).  Studies showed that the procedure is relatively safe while there are still variations in bougie size.

(Study: Survey on laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) at the Fourth International Consensus Summit on Sleeve Gastrectomy. Obes Surg. 2013 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print])

What is the Best Bougie Size for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Many variables determine bougie size including patient input, their height and weight and of course the surgeon.  It’s typically smaller when this is a stand alone procedure (32-50F) rather than a duodena switch (50-60F).

Depending on the bougie size the new stomach will be 60-80% smaller.  After surgery the new stomach will hold a meal of ½ cup to 1 ½ cups, rather than the normal 4 – 6 cups.

Before undergoing the sleeve gastrectomy procedure you must discuss bougie size with your surgeon.  You need to understand his reasons for recommending the size he intends to use.  It’s your stomach and you need to be comfortable.

The sleeve will help reduce hunger and limit food intake, but you need to follow a reduced calorie, nutrient-rich diet if you want to be successful.