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  • Writer's pictureAmber Boyd, LMFT

My Bariatric Journey




Hi, Bariatric fam!


Welcome to this safe and judgment-free space for sharing conversations about our weight loss surgery transformation from a holistic perspective. Get comfortable, buckle up, and learn with me as I drive down the memory lane of my bariatric journey!


But first, some disclaimers…


As a bariatric patient, I believe that each of our journeys is unique from the others. There is no proper way to do anything in particular. So I would like to mention first of all that it is very crucial to listen to your doctor, nurses, and staff to ensure that you get exactly what you need.


It is also important to add that while I’m a mental health provider, I’m not an expert as far as the physical health pieces of this journey are concerned. So if you must listen to a voice that you should heed in the weight loss surgery community, it should be your doctor’s, nurse’s, or nutritionists. However, I will be speaking from my personal experience and mental health provider experience. I will also discuss how our physical and mental health impact each other. So, I can only suggest what I know as to how it worked for me and what my doctors and nurses told me. I will not be in any way telling you that there is only one way to do it.


Before My Bariatric Journey


My weight loss battle took a really long time. While I’m not saying that being a bigger person or having weight on your body is a bad thing, it can become a battle, especially as you may need to manage, navigate, and battle health issues. I struggled because I feared being diagnosed with diabetes, which in fact, runs in our family. I did, in fact, get diagnosed with diabetes right before I started my weight loss journey.


I had already made several attempts to lose weight because I believed that if I had acquired it all by myself, I also had to get it off myself. So, in trying to find ways to navigate and manage myself, I got into fad diets: cabbage soup diet, slim fast, and all those things that folx think will help. However, food has been a very consistent friend in my life ever since childhood, and I wasn’t very consistent about my weight loss journey.


I felt at that time that proceeding with the bariatric procedure was a failure and that I, too, was failing – myself and my body. I thought at that time that getting weight loss surgery was a sign of failure.


After My Bariatric Journey


On June 17, 2021, the air shifted. I underwent my bariatric surgery after an arduous and agonizing deep dive into the side effects, expectations, and changes I was about to embark upon. I am overjoyed that I did not listen to the doubt or the concerns or fear that I had about having the surgery. Today, bariatric surgery is one of the best choices that I've made. It supports my intent to get my life back.


Today, I can wear XL shirt sizes, drastically different from the 4XL and 3XL sizes pre-surgery. I am also building my strength with weight lifting and strength training. More importantly, my diabetes diagnosis was lifted. Who knows where I’ll be next? When I decided to undergo bariatric surgery, I understood that it would be a process that is a lifelong journey.



Conclusion


I can definitely go into more detail with my experience, what vitamins I take, and how I take care of my mental well-being. But what always works is paying attention to what your doctors, nurses, or staff say because they can advise you exactly what you should do to manage your bariatric journey.



I also share more insights into this journey in a 4-part series of my podcast, so make sure that you tune in. You can find my podcast on Spotify and Apple. I also invite you to visit my website here if you’re wondering about mental health needs that I can help you with.



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