What kinds of professionals are available to me?

As a bariatric patient, you may already be sick of the doctor and nutritionist visits. I’m not going to tell you that I like them at all. However, I know I need to see my professionals to be successful as a WLS patient. In many cases, bariatric patients are left too much to their own devices and don’t make the necessary behavioral changes needed to remain successful, long-term. Did you know that you can still gain back the weight even though you’ve had a large portion of your stomach removed?

Many of us do. It’s far too common. That’s why I am going to strongly suggest that you get professional help during this process. You need to get your mind in gear as well as your body or you won’t succeed long-term.

There are different professionals I work with and I suggest you consider working with at least one of them yourself. They are:

  • psychiatrist
  • therapist
  • nutitional counselor
  • and life coach.

Psychiatrist 

My psychiatrist is a great man. He’s gentle, kind and compassionate. He’s one of a kind. I searched years for him and hope he doesn’t retire anytime soon. I’ve made him promise. His name is J. Bernard Cordoba, MD. He’s in the Austin, TX area and is well worth the money. He does not take health insurance, but he provides me with support and structure. I am not only a bariatric patient, but I am bipolar. In the year since I’ve had my surgery, I have had a deep depression and some manic episodes as well as a period of rapid cycling we both didn’t understand. We’ve adjusted medications – I’ve come down a bit on my antidepressant and slightly increased my mood stabilizer. Dr. Cordoba has saved my life and my marriage as a result.

Therapist

Because I am bipolar, I have been working with a therapist for years. Laura McDowell-Salcedo is my therapist. She has been for over seven years and she will be for as long as she remains in practice. We’ve been through a lot together. She has helped me realize that I did need the gastric sleeve and was there for me during the depression and manic episodes. She would open up her schedule to let me come twice a week when I needed it. I’m sorry to say that I did need it sometimes. She has taught me to stop with the negative talk. I feel much better as a person since I’ve lost weight although I need to come to terms with the new body. That’s next up on our list. Success.

Nutritional Counselor

Alexa Sparkman is a registered dietician, but she’s not a food pyramid robot. She thinks of food differently and has taught me to as well. She runs support groups called “Overcoming Mind Hunger.” I plan to offer support groups for my clients as well. They will deal specifically with emotional eating, a problem I feel plagues many bariatric patients. Truthfully, Alexa has helped me navigate my new eating plan. My body is very sensitive to foods. I am currently a gluten-free vegan. She helps me get as much nutrition as I can with my limitations. I did not expect to never be able to eat animal protein or drink milk again, but that happened as a result of the surgery. If I did not have a professional like Alexa in my corner, I could have become severely malnourished.

Life Coach

I hold a special place in my heat for life coaches because I am one. I can work with emotional overeaters, bariatric patients and their loved ones to help support them through the process. It is a process. You don’t just have the surgery and it’s all over. I also have a life coach who helped me decide to have the surgery. I year and a half ago, I was dead set against it. I still have moments where I wish I could undo it. Clay Blacker keeps me grounded. He keeps me in the moment and reminds me of my successes, not just my weight loss.

I am a different person today because I got professional help. Food is not my problem anymore. I don’t think of it as my friend or cohort. I don’t really think about it. I just eat it when I’m hungry. I’d love to see you have a non-relationship with food. The mind can overcome so much. Let me help you do it because they helped me. Call me today at 512-484-7634. I’m here for you.

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