Healthy Tidbits

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Emotional Side of Bariatric Surgery

Nov 25, 2014

Whenever weight loss surgery is discussed, it is done so in terms of the physical. Of course, this is no surprise. It is to be expected considering that this surgery – whether it’s gastric bypass, Lap Band, or gastric sleeve – can literally transform a person’s physical appearance. Loss of weight – especially for those who have literally spent years in an obese body – can be transformative on many levels and the physical part is really only one piece. In fact, for those who are considering weight loss surgery, it is important to consider how such a transformation will affect you emotionally. Truly, just as much time should be put into planning how you will navigate the emotional side of extreme weight loss as you do planning for a physical change that you may only be able to imagine at this point.

Your weight loss surgeon will certainly – and rightfully – inquire as to your state of mind regarding surgery to determine if you are up to the task of navigating the necessary lifestyle changes following surgery. And these are also the questions that you must ask yourself. Spend time putting a plan in place to provide you with the much-needed after surgery support. Consider the following:

  • Nutrition Support – Weight loss surgery is only the first step in actual weight loss. Whatever procedure that you have done will allow you to ingest less food. But it is up to you to adjust your diet accordingly. Just following surgery you will have a strict diet to follow as your body becomes adjusted to the changes; but following that you will be able to return to a normal – if altered – diet. Consider working with a nutritionist to ensure that you are eating the right mix of food to get the proper nutrients and that you are eating the right portion of food at each meal/snack.
  • Support to Get Moving – Exercise is critical for good health but especially important through a weight loss journey. Consider aligning yourself with a professional trainer who can guide you through the process to avoid injury and help you establish a routine that will benefit you for a lifetime.

Surround Yourself with People who Understand – Emotional support is so important to the weight loss surgery process that it cannot be stated enough. Losing weight at this level can be overwhelming, as can be establishing a whole new way of eating and living. Getting support from those who are going through a similar experience – or have gone through a similar experience – can be a game changer. Your weight loss surgery center should have information about local support groups where you can go and gain the support and understanding that is so important for long-term success.