Amanda interviews Dr. Ricardo Lopez
Topic: Segment 4
Bariatric Coaching : How often should an individual have a Bariatric Coaching session?
Amanda: Welcome everyone to our fourth and last segment of today’s interview on the topic of Bariatric Coaching. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Ricardo Lopez, he’s a Bariatric surgeon from Guatemala and he owns the Obesity Center. Thank you so much Dr. for being here with us today, I appreciate your time.
Dr. Lopez: Thank you again for the invitation Amanda, and it’s my pleasure to contribute with this learning that helps us and helps our patients in a better outcome in this Bariatric path patients have. This is a very nice topic about Coaching.
Amanda: Yes, absolutely. One thing that you and I talk a lot about in our meetings is accountability. Some keywords that I use with my clients are: accountability, consistency, health food choices and not going back into the old habits. A lot of my clients, whether they are a couple weeks after surgery or even clients who are 10 years post-op, talk about going back to old “bad habits”, as we were used to doing so for our whole lives, that is what got us into getting the Bariatric surgery done. We really want to make sure that clients don’t go back to their old habits and they have a healthy lifestyle, so they can thrive at their Bariatric living. Knowing that (and you also tell me about some of your patients’ challenges and struggles they face in their Bariatric journeys and some of these words you hear as well), being a Bariatric surgeon yourself, how often would you recommend Bariatric Coaching sessions to your patients?
Dr. Lopez: I think I will have to go back to the question of our first session which was what is the actual real meaning of coaching? and when we talked about what coaching is. We know that if we compare it to sports for example, there is no way that an athlete or a team can have only one time, one stand Coaching and then you’ll win a championship. You need persistence and as you said, you need consistency in that training, in that change of matters, in that change of habits, that will guide you and lead you to a better outcome. If you have a coach in whatever field you have, for example in your work, in your house, in your discipline, if you have a one-time Coach, it is something that will probably only going to teach you or give you an example, but will not lead you and will not take you in the path in order to have a good outcome. So, I would say that if you want to have a better outcome, you need to have at least weekly basis Coaching sessions in order to have very good guidance for your Bariatric life. And it doesn’t only mean in a post-op, it means in a pre-op and an immediate post-op. I believe (as we have talked, you as a Bariatric patient), you know that immediately after your operation and every week it’s going to be constant changes in the questions that you’re going to have in your diet, in your recovery, in your pain, in your post-op, and you (who have already have years after your surgery), you know that there are weekly questions when something comes such as reflux, pain, feelings, hunger, and those things will lead you to do bad things, to go back to old habits if you don’t have the right Coach that will tell you what to do and what not to do! So it’s very important and you know it as a Bariatric patient, right?
Amanda: Right! And emotions… that is a huge one! That’s definitely one of the things people don’t talk about it, because actually we have been eating our emotions all these years. So it’s very important to talk about emotions, of what is really in the back of your head, in your brain that is making you go back to the old bad habits, absolutely.
Dr. Lopez: And as you know also, when we talk about the success of a surgery, we need to talk about weight loss. When we talk about weight loss, there is something important that’s called regain. When you have a percentage of weight regained, that’s not immediate, doesn’t mean that Coaching needs to be only in the immediate process of your surgery. If you have already five years or six years post-surgery, then you can also have weight regain, there’s the moment when you need to know if you’re going back to old habits that are making you to have weight regain or to not get to the excess weight loss that you were pretending, your objective or your weight loss, probably you are not getting into your objective, because you’re not breaking your old habits. And why do you need a Coach that will constantly take you to the exact path? I will have to mention something that’s called the 21/90 rule, which means that in 21 days you can change a habit and in 90 days, if you persist and that habit, you’re going to make it a lifestyle, even if it’s a bad habit. If you do it as a bad habit, you can make it a lifestyle. So, we can help you in your process of recovery on how not to go back to old habits that’s going to make you have weight regain, or not to succeed in your weight loss journey. And even in your pre-op process, you need to have somebody who can tell you not to be afraid to do things and to change your habits in order to have better success in your surgery. So, having a Coach like Amanda in Bari Better, is definitely going to help you to have better success in your weight loss journey.
Amanda: Yes, I love the 21/90 rule, they are very important in lifestyle and that’s one thing that you and I talk a lot about when we talk about Bari Better. It is about support and it is about lifestyle Bariatric changes, because we are Bariatric every single day in our lives. It is very important to also mention the pre-op: a lot of people think: “I got this, I am a pre-op patient, I have all the information that I need from the clinic”, and often on, when these clients come to me and they are already post-op, I also ask them “what was your Doctor’s weight goal for you?” or “what is your weight goal for you?” A lot of times they don’t remember, they don’t know, and that’s why I always tell my clients that at Bari Better, we don’t give medical advice, that it is very important for clients to have their Bariatric surgeon, to follow through very constantly with your Bariatric Multidisciplinary team, with your Nutritionist, it is very important for you to be on top of what your goals are and what your surgeon wants for you, because again, everyone is very different. Talk about pre-op is key, because there is so much information that is given to us, and let’s say for a person is their very first surgery in their lives (if you already had a surgery in the past, I would say it’s a little bit more familiar having to go through the surgical process, all your appointments), but a lot of times people get so much information during this pre-op phase, that you think you got everything that you need and you think you’re ready for it, so therefore people say: “I don’t need any other help, I don’t need to go to any support groups, I just need to go to my appointments, and that’s about it”. People do get lost in the process and then it comes the surgery day and, as you mentioned, the couple weeks post-op, they start going back to their paperwork and they thought they had read everything and they didn’t, and they start doing things in the wrong way, and a lot of times, it is just a matter of if you had read it or had the Coaching and things that you can start preparing beforehand and obviously afterwards, it makes that accountability, consistency, healthy food habits just a regular habit in your life on a daily basis. Those are the things that we really help our clients in Bari Better, Inc.. They all have their goals and that’s the importance of Bariatric Journeys, you know what to do, you know what not to do, you know when to eat and importantly as a said, when not to eat and we really help you as a client to the get from your point A to your point B.
Dr. Lopez: Questions are going to pop up in any part of the journey, even if it’s pre, trans, or ten years after your surgery, so we are here to help you, in order for you to have a very good outcome and it doesn’t mean that only pre and immediate post-op patients can come to us, can come to you in Bari Better. In any stage of the process, there are going to be questions that are going to need Coaching and consistent Coaching, a good Coaching it’s better to have in order to have a very nice outcome in your weight loss journey, so here we are to help you.
Amanda: Yes that’s right! This was great! Thank you so much, I really appreciate your time being here with us answering these questions and giving your perspective as a Bariatric surgeon. People hear from me, I’m a Bariatric patient and I’m also a Bariatric Coach, and hearing from a Bariatric surgeon means a lot, I think it is really wonderful to have your thought process on that as well. Dr. Lopez, please share your information with our listeners and viewers so they know how to find you.
Dr. Lopez: Thank you. I’m in the Obesity Center in Guatemala City. You can find us as Obesity Center through our Facebook page and Instagram, and there you will find links to our emails and soon we are going to have the link for our web page.
Amanda: Great! It is my pleasure to interview you on the Bariatric Coaching topic, looking forward to our next video. Take good care of yourself.
Dr. Lopez: Thank you for the invitation and thank you everybody for listening.