Sandi Henderson discusses her role as a bariatric educator. As a successful weight loss surgery patient, Sandi literally has “been there” and brings her shared experience to the people she serves.
Sandi Henderson had been struggling with her weight since she was 3-years old. Finally, at age 56 and weighing over 400 pounds, Sandi made the decision to have the Lap-Band surgery that she believes saved her life. Despite a history of losing and regaining weight, Sandi never seriously considered bariatric surgery because she thought it was too risky and “the easy way out.” Both her appearance and her opinion have changed since her Lap-Band procedure.
Sandi Henderson Bariatric Educator
My Bariatric Life: Sandi, in 2009 you launched a Lap-Band patient community site named Banded Living. Please tell us how your site helps obese patients.
Sandi Henderson: We offer information and articles about weight loss surgery (specifically Lap-Band) and support through our forums to those thinking about, or those who have had surgery, no matter where they are on their journey to health.
Please tell our readers about your book, published in 2010, “Is Lap-Band Surgery for Me?”
It is a step by step “self guided tour” though everything necessary to determine if you are a good candidate for the surgery, complete with questions for the prospective patient to answer and bring with them to doctor’s appointments. It is a great starting tool.
Then in 2012, you co-founded a bariatric coaching and support service named WLS Success Matters. Please tell us about that.
WLS Success Matters is the culmination of my dream to pay it forward to the WLS [weight loss surgery] community through FREE telephone support groups, presenting at reasonably local support groups live, and facilitating the education of the WLS community through our varied programs including Facebook groups, telephone chats, webinars using webcams. So we sit together in one room thousands of miles apart, one on one and group coaching, as well as presenting workshops live to large groups. As patients and skilled coaches, we know what it takes and continue to successfully educate and coach thousands in the WLS community to reach their definitions of success and health.
Sandi Henderson, you’ve been busy! What inspires you to give back to the weight loss surgery community?
The fabulous life that I have created for myself thanks to the gift of a second chance at life through weight loss surgery. I want everyone to have that chance.
Your blog post, Learning to Love Myself Before, During, and After Weight Loss Surgery very much reminded me of my recent opinion piece, True Love after Weight Loss. We both discuss how we’ve come to love ourselves — the obese women we were a decade or more ago and the women we are today. What last parting words can you leave our readers with in regard to self love and acceptance?
You are possible.
You are worth it.
Believe in the Power of You.
Celebrate every success.
It’s a journey, not a destination.
Bariatric Educator Credentials
Sandi was trained through Bariatric Support Centers International (BSCI) to facilitate support groups, Success Habits Workshops, and Back on Track Workshops. She also trained at BSCI to become a bariatric educator.
Sandi is active with the Obesity Action Coalition. She also is active in hundreds of Facebook weight loss surgery support groups, both public and private. Sandi is a member of the Board of Directors for Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, and launched the weight loss surgery support sites WLS Success Matters and Banded Living. Be sure to follow Sandi on Twitter @wlssuccess and @lapbandedliving.
Sandi Henderson Bariatric Patient.
Sani Henderson is a Lap-Band surgery success story. She lost 250 pounds — more than half her bodyweight! And she has kept that weight off for the long term. Read Sandi’s powerful patient story in the second part of our interview, “Lap-Band Surgery Success Sandi Henderson.”
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life