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Mona’s Journey Continued: Hydration and Happiness One Year After Bariatric Surgery

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It’s helpful to hear from the people actually trying the things Rick and Dr. Brown discuss. Episode 15 is just that.

Mona is back in studio, just over a year after her bariatric weight loss surgery at Dr. Brown’s Idaho BMI. Looking back, how does she feel about it?

“It’s the best choice I ever made”.

How It Started

A few years ago, Mona was having difficulty losing weight due to heart medication. While it sounded like fun to go out to family gatherings or social events, embarrassment and “fighting her clothes” made her cancel and stay inside. And just as is the case for many of us, COVID only made the weight issues worse.

In her first meeting with Dr. Brown, she was most struck by his explanation that her weight was not all her fault. It’s not her being weak or lazy; it’s how the brain is wired.

This is how Dr. Brown’s conversations with new patients almost always go. They think they’re to blame and they think there are no answers, neither of which are true.

The journey to long-term weight loss is full of ups and downs; Mona had plenty in her first-year loss of 55 pounds, from post-surgery shoulder soreness to the weight loss being inconsistent (As she puts it, “it’s not like you’re losing one pound a day”). But the rewards – feeling good about going out, more energy to keep up with the grandkids, and being able to wear a whole new section of the closet – are more than worth it.

The key is this – the rewards don’t come from one thing, but rather an entire system of tiny habits. Yet these habits are so strong, they help against life’s curveballs that don’t even involve weight. Mona lost her dad and her sister-in-law within the past year. An absolutely terrible time, no doubt. But do you know what actually helped her get through it? A moment-by-moment approach. Mindful breathing. Heck, even hydration (Mona’s motto after all is “drink more water”). These tiny things make up an entire positive lifestyle for the long term, not some cheap and temporary weight loss trick.

Food & Sleep for Weight Loss

Mona loves food just like most of us, but she’s done well in practicing one of Dr. Brown’s key recommendations – restricting time windows in which she can eat. She’s even working toward one meal a day of simple, whole, nutrient-dense foods. But “nutrient-dense” can be tricky. Take celery, commonly known as a healthy snack. It’s not that it’s unhealthy. But your stomach is small, and that celery stick will take up space despite not really packing nutrients, at least not nearly as many as meat, avocados or nuts do, for example.

These are foods that also help in blood sugar control, something Mona still has room to improve. Blood sugar can involve many factors, but one common ingredient has growing support for lowering blood sugar due to recent studies – salt! That’s right, sodium deficiency could lead to insulin resistance. Always speak with your doctor about your lab work, but sodium is something to keep in mind for those with blood sugar issues.

We’ve covered how important sleep is, and while Mona was once really struggling, good habits and sleep hygiene got her sleep on track. These habits are even more important since recent studies show that, contrary to older beliefs, just about everyone does need close to 8 hours of sleep.

A New Look on Life

Mona weighs less, sure. But more importantly Mona is happy, enjoying a positive outlook on life that she didn’t have before surgery. It’s not just that she feels like a new person – she feels like the one she was meant to be.

Her journey has lessons for all of us. In fact, they’ve helped her so much, she wrote them down as her personal power statement.

“Be stronger than your excuses. Get out and do, and be, who you want to be. Look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful. Look around and be helpful. Be brave, be silly, be fun, be different, be crazy. Be you! Life is too short to be anything but happy. You’re never going to change your life until you change something you do daily. So be brave enough to change your daily routine if you want to change your life.”

The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe at Listen Boise now. What have you got to lose?

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