Surviving the Big Events After Bariatric Surgery, And All the Little Ones in Between

One challenge some post op bariatric patients face is how to socialize in a world that stayed the same when yours feels totally different. Parties, for example, are fun, exciting, and notorious for featuring delicious, decadent, and over the top food. While at one time you may have thought of the food with eager anticipation, you might now be thinking of it with some apprehension. With the Super Bowl just days away and birthdays and holidays always just around the corner, it is vital to have a plan before joining in on the celebration.Bettina today

One thing I’ve found to be really helpful when it comes to staying on track at parties is to be the one throwing it! When I am in charge of the menu it is much easier to include good-for-me appetizers, sides, and snacks. A dish of mixed nuts here, crustless baby quiches there, some sugar free treats that easily pass for the “real thing” tossed in for good measure and voila - healthy options that everyone enjoys!

When attending a get together where the menu isn’t within your control, there are a few of hints that can help.

First: Eat something healthy in advance that will keep you full and make it easier to pass up the umpteen courses in front of you. Showing up hungry is inviting the munchies (or grumbling stomach) to take over.

Second: Keep a glass of a zero or low calorie beverage in hand. Knowing that eating and drinking at the same time is never a good idea can keep you away from the appetizer table where excess calories abound.

Third: It’s never bad form to bring a dish to share and you can be sure it is something delicious and healthy. Knowing that you have at least one good for you option can prevent you from falling completely off the wagon!

Here are some healthy party dishes that I've made:

anniversary meal

Anniversary Meal

artichoke hummus

Artichoke Hummus

cauliflower mac and cheese

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

new years spread

New Years Spread

shrimp stir fry

Shrimp Stir Fry

It also helps to prepare yourself for the questions you might get if you are fairly early out from surgery. People may ask about what you can or can’t have, how much (or more likely how little) you can eat, or even try to get you to try something they’ve made out of habit. Be patient and remember that just a few months ago you might have been at the front of the buffet line or the first to get seconds (I am speaking of myself here) so your new lifestyle is different to them. Be prepared to say things like, “Oh thank you, but I’m full.” or “No thank you, but that looks wonderful.” You can be polite and still hold firm to the decision you’ve made to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Finally, keep in mind that most parties are not just about the food. There is usually a game, a bride, a birthday boy, or something else to focus on. Enjoy yourself, make good choices, and remember how wonderful it feels to be in control!

- Written by Bettina M. Straight, Employee Engagement & Communications Consultant, LifeBridge Health, Human Resources

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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    lifebridgehealth: "The pictures are in from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair! Thank you to everyone who came out for this great event.  Also, a big “thank you” to Dr. Kevin Crutchfield, Dr. Craig Bennett and Cal Ripken Jr. for the insightful discussion sports medicine, sports safety, Cal’s winning streak, and so much more. #SportsMedicine #CalRipkenJr #SportsMedicine #Sports"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Remember: Join us on Facebook TONIGHT at 7 p.m. ET LIVE from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair for our “Start Your Streak” panel discussion featuring Cal Ripken Jr. and Dr. Craig Bennett and Dr.Kevin Crutchfield from the LifeBridge Health Sports Medicine Institute. Watch Cal discuss his famous iron-man streak and how he overcame injuries in his career, and learn about advancements in medical treatment for sports injuries and more! •
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    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to Kezia Kellam who won our June #LBHbestfootforward contest, socks at Maryland landmarks. Kezia works in the office of pediatrician Dr. Steven Dennenfelser in Forest Hill. Kezia showed off her LBH socks all around Havre de Grace! Along with weekly random drawings, the July contest is for best team photo!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "The #Levindale Auxiliary recently installed new President Rochelle Bohrer and nine new board members. Levindale’s President and COO Debra Graves thanked auxiliary members for what they have done and continue to do for residents…including installing new AV equipment in the town center. The auxiliary also added two new panels to its donor wall to honor and memorialize significant people the in donors' lives."
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    lifebridgehealth: "She knocked our socks off! Congratulations to Week #2 winner Vashay Thompson of campus services. She won a LifeBridge Health gift bag in our social media #LBHBestFootForward contest. LBH employees can win weekly and monthly prizes through August 31. #lifebridgehealth"
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