A New Year, Not Another Diet
Hello again everyone and happy new year!
Each and every year millions of Americans resolve to improve their health, lose weight and exercise at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, we start out motivated, but the motivation to continue a “diet and exercise plan” for many of us fades after a few months. Most will experience some weight loss and improved energy, but as the stresses of our lives return and old eating habits pounce on us, we begin to lose confidence and self-esteem in our ability to make lasting changes.
The sad truth of most “diets” is that they do not necessarily consist of what or where we like to eat. They also ask us to track portions, calories, fat grams, carbs and many other things that are sometimes difficult to do. The benefit of such dietary and exercise programs is that they attempt to hold us accountable to what we eat, how we eat, when and where we eat and so on. Accountability is a big part of lifestyle change isn’t it. It is often difficult to stay accountable to everything you put in your mouth no matter how motivated you are.
We really are all committed to improving our health and wellness. We are committed to losing weight, but our motivation weans over time, our old lifestyles are corrupted by many years of the “American style of eating and living” and accountability is tedious and difficult to maintain. This is why we experience a 90-95% failure rate of diet, behavioral and exercise to maintain weight loss.
On the positive side, people all across the country do lose weight and keep it off, they exercise 60-80 minutes a day, stay accountable, eat healthful foods and other things, but what about the rest of us, the 90% of us, who feel miserable about ourselves when we fail to persist in our efforts. It isn’t because we are not committed, it isn’t because we don’t care or lack will power. Sure doctors and dietitians tell us that eating a well-balanced diet with healthy carbohydrates, fiber and protein will help us feel full longer and keep weight off. But what about the irresistable pull of the almighty french fry. Also known as the multi-billion dollar advertising campaign of the high calorie, high fat, refined, processed, but tastes o so good American junk food industry screaming at us on a daily basis. Seriously, what’s up with those sinnfully delicious Red Lobster commercials and what is authentic Mexican food? Do people in Mexico really sit around to lunch and dinner each day and eat 1,500 calories and 60 grams of fat worth of greesy enchiladas, ground beef and chips?
Bariatric surgery is the solution for thousands of people each year in the ongoing battle to lose weight, treat numerous chronic health conditions and improve a sense of self-confidence and accountability that is not found elsewhere in the diet industry. Bariatric surgery including the Lap Band System, Realize band, laprascopic gastric sleeve resection and laprascopic R and Y gastric bypass, are life changing, medically necessary procedures of great value. Surgery affords many people in need of a perminant accountablity system, an enhancement if you will of your ability to eat mindfully, with purpose and restraint. To enjoy maybe for the first time, weight loss that has a success rate opposite of a regular diet, about 90% of people losing weight and keeping it off. Yes there are costs, but the costs are often associated with success and not failure as with conventional diets.
Mostly, the surgery itself has life changing qualities. Eating slower, restricted portions, feeling full quickly, having less desire to eat in the first place. With this permanent kind of accountability, one is free to explore opportunities to increase leisure acitivity, possibly pain free or at least greatly reduced, free to explore new healthier recipes without having to worry. Is the scale going to go down to show me I am a success? Success comes with a price. The price of having surgery is a new you and permanent accountability partner. Bariatric surgery is a tool that initially changes your anatomy, then your physiology and appearance; ultimately what is changed goes beyond the physical. For many it changes their lives so much it…………… I can’t truly say what it does. It is beyond me and I am humble enough to tell you I may never understand the “spiritual” side to such a life changing experience. As a challenge for this year. Finish the sentence I started and couldn’t complete, tell someone of your own experience or take the opportunity to discuss starting your own adventure with bariatric surgery. Remember, it is a new year, but not another diet.
David Kellenberger, RD, PA-C