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An Open Letter to a Bariatric Surgery Patient

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bariatric surgery patient

An Open Letter to a Bariatric Surgery Patient

Dear friend,

My own personal experience with my lap band weight loss surgery is filled with shame and struggle.

At 23 and 292 lbs, I made the “easy-hard” decision to go through with surgery. To admit defeat when it came to losing weight and food restriction. I was not good at behaving according to society. I was unacceptable.

These self-judgmental thoughts kept me in the shame spiral. Eating was the relief I would offer myself and the shame would just continue.

I know this cycle all too well.

I lost 60 lbs that first year. Then met my now-husband and slowly started gaining it back. We married and when I got pregnant with our first baby, my weight went as high as 320 lbs.

As a new mother, I realized that I did not know how to manage myself. I was so good at taking care of this baby, why couldn’t I figure out how to take care of myself, too?

I decided to flip the script. I started to take better care of myself little by little. This micro-change grew and I started to like myself, little by little.

That first year with my son, I had really changed my thoughts about myself and my worth. I realized that I liked myself too much to keep my lap band. Throughout this whole time, I was not able to sit through meals. I had to be very careful of what/how I was eating, even when I was starving, especially when I was in public.

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I just got to the point where I did not want to live life like that anymore. It was not serving me to keep the lap band. I decided to have it removed, and without a revision surgery.

That day when I was in the hospital out-patient surgery wing, the surgeon was shocked at my decision. “Are you sure you don’t want to have the revision?,” he asked. Of course I was not sure. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I needed to try. I needed to love myself enough to see what happens. I could always get a revision surgery. I did not need to answer that question that day.

My weight was the same on the day my band was removed, as it was when it was first placed. Oh, the irony.

A few months later I got pregnant with our second baby. I started really listening to my body, waiting for true hunger to eat, and not eating when I felt an emotional urge. I maintained my weight during this pregnancy. It felt amazing.

I am now down about 75 lbs and am about half way to my goal. I am here to tell you that there is another way of living. One of acceptance, not resistance. The struggle can end and you can allow yourself to

experience emotional freedom.

That is why I am a weight loss coach. I am an example of what is possible. This can totally be possible for you, too. I’m not asking you to remove your lap band. I am asking you to surrender to the fight. What would change if you stopped judging yourself and feeling terrible?

Who do you want to show up as in the world? What would be different if you could live life the way you want to?

This is available to you today. If you decide that it is. If you decide you are worthy of it.

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Spoiler alert: Nothing about you needs to change in order for you to become worthy. Your worth is infinite. It is complete. It has always been true. It never went anywhere. Step into your worth. There’s no going back.

All my love,

An example of what is possible

Ilana Charette is the life and weight loss coach for women who have had lap band weight loss surgery and are struggling with regain since pregnancy/kids. She teaches women how to trust themselves and their bodies again with self-care, self-integrity, and self-love. She offers one on one coaching where clients become aware of how their brains are working perfectly and are taught how to step into mastery of the brain to create an extraordinary life of abundance and unconditional love -- and permanent weight loss. Find out more about her and follow along as she loses her weight for the final time here: and on her Instagram. 

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