How Can a Loved One Support Me During Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery impacts not only the life of the patient but the patient’s loved ones. Our loved ones need to have an active role in our life changes. Read on to learn how our loved ones can support us and how important that is to our success.
Those close to us need to be educated about the weight loss surgery process. Knowing about the pre-op, surgery, healing process, exercise, dietary changes, etc., helps them understand what to expect. By being educated, they can assist when planning aftercare, meals, grocery lists, recipes, workout routines, etc. Friends and family may be surprisingly good resources or come up with ideas you never thought of!
Invite those you are closest to into the process. Especially if they live with you, it will be important for loved ones to be at least knowledgeable about your dietary and exercise needs. Even better, if they can make some of those dietary and exercise changes WITH you, it can be one of the best ways to ensure long-term success! And a great way to bond too. Whether it is a roommate, family, significant other, and/or children, including those closest to us in our healthier lifestyle is more likely to make it stick.
One of the most important things you can establish during this time is open communication. Help loved ones manage fears or unrealistic expectations. Discuss boundaries and plans beforehand (especially during times that may be difficult, like holidays). Discussing these things beforehand can help you if you must confront food pushers or people who don’t understand the implications of derailing your success. Also, think about what may be driving your loved one’s emotions and actions. They may be scared that they will lose you once you have lost weight and become more sociable and outgoing. They may think that you will change your opinion of them, especially if they suffer from weight-related issues. These are all questions that you should ponder, bring up if you feel comfortable, or even discuss with a mental health professional.
Sometimes, loved ones can be unsupportive or judgmental about weight loss surgery. They may say that it’s the “easy way out” because they believe weight loss is guaranteed after surgery. They may exaggerate potential complications because of a story they heard. You may get asked odd or intrusive questions by well-meaning loved ones who may not understand the subject’s sensitivity. Try to handle these loved ones with grace and patience. Educate people when they are perpetuating myths. Give out good information to those who are curious.
And, anything that you aren’t comfortable discussing… don’t!
Engaging our loved ones in the process is one of the best ways to ensure the success of any life change, including weight loss. Remember, however, that not everybody will come around from day one. Have patience, and don’t become frustrated. Remember why you are having the procedure and what is most important – your improved health and life. Start the conversation today if you haven’t started discussing your weight loss surgery plans with those closest to you!