Supporting a loved one through weight loss surgery
Has a loved one made the important, life-changing decision to have weight loss surgery?
It is important that you are there to support and encourage them throughout their weight loss journey. Understandable you will have lots of questions and may even find yourself asking ‘how can I provide the right support?’
In todays post we are offering some advice on how to do just that.
Knowing facts about bariatric surgery, the procedures available to your loved one and understanding the reasons why they are making this life- changing decision is important and a great starting point.
Weight loss surgery is not an easy choice or way out but a path that requires hard work and commitment. It will be important to be aware of what life after weight loss surgery will be like and how you can help make it easier along the way.
For example, after bariatric surgery your loved one will be required to eat only pureed food for the first month and depending on their surgery they might have to take vitamin supplements daily for the rest of their life, so be patience with them and allow them time to adjust to their new lifestyle.
So, what are the best ways to gain this knowledge?
Many bariatric surgery providers host information evenings, which offer an excellent opportunity for you and your loved one to find out more. In many cases these information evenings are hosted by the surgeon and will therefore also give you both the chance to meet them.
If there isn’t a information evening another way to educate yourself would be to attend your loved one’s appointments. These appointments will give you the chance to learn more about weight loss surgery, what your loved one will be going through and even a chance to put your questions to the surgeon.
The road to successful weight loss can be an emotional rollercoaster. Your loved one might go from feeling anxious about the surgery to having more confidence with their new body.
Your emotional support will be vital during those ups and downs will help your loved one through. Let them know you are there for them and happy to discuss or just listen to how they are feeling. There is much to be said about the power of a good listener, who offers love and support.
Weight loss surgery is a tool that your loved one will have to work with to achieve their target. They will need to make substantial changes to their lifestyle. Show your support by encouraging them in these changes. Whether that is in the form of removing temptation or encouraging them to take part in physical activity. Why not go one step further and become their workout partner? Often sharing a new activity or workout together makes it far more enjoyable and both of you can benefit from the positives of exercise.
Celebrate their success
Understandably, there will be a huge amount of temptation for your loved one to step on the scales to see if their hard work is paying off. These readings can have a huge impact on their mood and, sometimes, even their commitment to their new lifestyle. Be there for them and remind them of the changes they have already made and celebrate their successes along the way.
Why not suggest keeping a photo diary for them to look at on these days, it could be a great activity for you to do together.
The above is a guide on how you can really show you are there for your loved one but each persons experience will be different and some might like more support than others, so don’t forget to ask them how you can help.