Bill Streetman was not always obese. In fact, he was once quite an athlete. As Bill matured his activity level decreased. His eating did not. Eventually, Bill weighed 404 pounds. He told me, “Nobody gets to weigh 400+ pounds without lying to themselves and others a great deal.”
Bill finally faced the truth about his obesity and decided to have RNY gastric bypass weight loss surgery. Before his bariatric surgery, he crafted a set of guidelines that would make eating healthy, exercising regularly, and living a healthy lifestyle easier. He writes on his blog “a set of rules/guidelines must be designed and implemented before surgery.”
Bill has maintained his 200+ pound weight loss since 2010. What follows is Bill’s plan of action that ensured weight loss surgery success.
My Bariatric Life: Bill, please explain your point of view that we lie about our obesity.
Bill: When I was heavy the whole construct of my life was based upon lies I told myself. I acted as though the cause and the cure for obesity was outside of me. “They” caused my problems by super-sizing my meals. I expected the cure to come to me from outside… from “out there” somewhere.
How is it you came to face the truth about yourself?
I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in over twenty-years. He looked exactly as he did at thirty-two. During those twenty-years I had gone from thirty-pounds overweight to one-hundred and fifty pounds overweight. All I could think of was “what’s his secret?” He answered, “I eat right and exercise.” Not what I wanted to hear. I would gain another seventy pounds before telling myself the truth: I eat more calories than I burn.
Let’s give readers an overview of your four strategies for weight loss surgery success.
Weight Loss Surgery Success
Weight Loss Strategy #1: Prioritize.
You cannot have two first priorities. I say my family is my first priority but I’ve put my own interests ahead of my family. I am trying to serve two masters. If service to my family is important to me, I’ll best serve them if I make achieving and maintaining my own health and wellness my true first priority.
Weight Loss Strategy #2: Learn to be brutally honest.
We do everything we can to keep the voice in our head from shouting the truth. We cover up wise words with self-serving rhetoric. “They serve too much food at the restaurant.” We do anything to justify why others are being unfair and judgmental.
Weight Loss Strategy #3: Don’t consider weight loss surgery until you have a pre- and post-surgery diet and exercise plan.
Planning that includes the pre-surgery period will create an environment where I am more likely to succeed in my long-term goal of losing weight and maintaining that loss. The most important trait that will need to be learned and implemented is to eat by design and election. By having a pre- and post- bariatric surgery nutrition and exercise plan, you’ll be able to modify your approach on the fly.
Weight Loss Strategy #4: Live with control and within limits.
Too often we sabotage our own best interest. We go off-plan. However, we might recognize the symptoms of loss of control and develop means of minimizing their impact if not eliminating them altogether.
Next, we discuss how to overcome your psychological barriers to weight loss in Part 2 of this Bill Streetman interview, “4 Strategies Defeat Barriers to Weight Loss.”
Read more inspiring Patient Stories on My Bariatric Life of real people who have taken control of their health and their lives by overcoming obesity.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life