Changes after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Changes after Gastric Bypass Surgery
By:  Wendy Ray

Losing weight after gastric bypass surgery is just the beginning for patients; t

here are a lot of adjustments to go through as the weight comes off. P
atients' lives change dramatically. Every thing from the way they eat to what they can do changes after surgery. People see them differently, but gastric bypass patients Joni Adams Bliss and Tammy McLain say they don't see a difference, even though they've each lost more than 100 pounds.

Joni has lost 120 pounds in ten months. Tammy has lost 161 pounds in two years. Joni and Tammy chose gastric bypass surgery. Their lives have changed a lot since surgery. "I can't drink soda again. I can't drink soda and you think is that okay," Joni says. "They were prying a can of Diet Coke out of my hand before surgery. That was one of my biggest considerations, can I get rid of soda?" Not drinking Diet Coke is just the beginning of the adjustments for Joni. She admits it's strange getting around in a thinner body. "I know the other day I went to the middle school ceremony and I sat down on the floor. I would never have done that before," Joni says. "I would have been afraid to stand back up."

Joni and Tammy feel that people look at overweight people differently. "You can walk into a restaurant and if you're overweight they look at you like I cannot believe you're eating that," Tammy says. "You can hardly fit in the booths or chairs." Tammy says some people have told her she took the easy way out, that she should have had the willpower to do it on her own, but she feels great. Tammy and Joni often get compliments on their weight loss, even though they still see themselves the same. "Mentally I guess your self image doesn't change, it's been two years and it hasn't changed," Tammy says. "While I may look thinner I don't see that. I think that your brain has to catch up your body and that's tough too, because you're used to the way you are," Joni says.

There is a lot of adjusting after gastric bypass surgery. Joni and Tammy are in a support group that helps them with those adjustments. The group meets the at 10 in the morning the second Saturday of every month at Southeast Hospital. People thinking about having the surgery are also encouraged to attend.