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What’s Keeping You from Losing Weight?

Feb 22, 2017

weight loss
By Sheri Sellars, BSN, RN
Nicholson Clinic Nurse Educator

If you are overweight, nobody can understand what you are going through unless they have truly walked in your shoes. People who struggle with obesity are afraid to reach out for professional support for a multitude of reasons. Seeking assistance does not indicate weakness, but rather a desire to finally see results in the most efficient way. If you can relate to any of the following hesitations, maybe it’s time to make an appointment and see about making a change in your life.

Doubt and Fear Did you know the average person thinks about weight loss surgery for two years or more prior to making their first consultation appointment? Almost universally, successful bariatric surgery patients state their only regret is that they did not do it sooner. The hardest part about extreme weight loss is not the ability to change lifestyle habits, but rather doubt that one can change lifestyle habits. Years of failed attempts understandably leave self-doubt and debilitating self-recrimination. What would make this different? The truth is that research demonstrates the only treatment for morbid obesity that has any significant long-term results is bariatric surgery. While lifestyle changes remain the cornerstone of successful weight loss even after surgery, the surgery itself provides a tool that at this point in time is unrivaled for success.

Negativity Just as self-doubt plays a role, a lack of support from others can be crippling. They too have seen the multiple attempts, the losses, the regains and the resulting depression and lost quality of life. Family and friends have been known to ask why an individual cannot just perform the same steps a surgical patient does to obtain the same results, without the risks and expense of surgery. Their doubt can exacerbate self-doubt and feel like crushing criticism, which can be emotionally painful. Family and friends may be concerned about the safety and advisability of surgery or may see surgery as the “easy way out,” losing sight of the fact that obesity is a medical condition for which there is no cure. Often, if the patient can bring those closest to them to the initial appointment, they find loved ones become calmer and more invested in the process.

Justification Just as family members or friends may feel similar results can be had if an individual would “just try harder,” patients too can feel this. Seriously contemplating surgery frequently leads to a more determined effort to control eating and change lifestyle. While this can be successful, more often than not it ends as all other diets ended up to this point.

The expense of surgery can feel daunting and difficult to commit to. Whether it is a true financial hardship or simply a sense of guilt for spending money on a problem cast off as a “character flaw,” it may be difficult to contemplate the investment. It can be easy to lose sight of the cost of obesity over the years, in terms of health problems and missed work, but also quality of life and overall happiness. If one does not make health a priority, illness will make itself the priority instead. What is the true cost of that?

Giving Up Seriously investigating bariatric surgery can feel like an avalanche. From anticipatory mourning for foods or bad habits to admitting things are out of control and not likely to fix themselves, the period of coming to terms with the need for surgical intervention may feel a bit like surrendering to the enemy. The real truth, though, is more akin to involving a serious ally in a war unlikely to be won alone. Patients have reported despair at the idea of radical change and reluctance to let go of favorite foods and habits, even while feeling the longing desire to be free from the prison their unhealthy body has become. It may be tempting to simply give up rather than leap into the unknown.

All of these are frequently reported in the bariatric population when considering surgery to treat obesity. You are not alone with your big emotions, your questions, your concerns and your hope. If the above resonates with you, consider a consultation. There, you can speak with the experts, get questions answered for you and your family and arm yourself with the kind of information needed to make an informed decision.  After all, you only have the weight to lose.

If you have questions about weight loss surgery, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for surgery, contact Nicholson Clinic today to schedule a consultation.

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