The changes in your diet and lifestyle after surgery need to last a lifetime. And you'll have a greater chance of long-term success if you surround yourself with people who understand and support your goals.
Things you can do:
- Attending support groups allows individuals to share their personal journey and offer insight into making lifestyle changes. Support groups are very helpful before surgery and even more so after surgery from an emotional perspective and the day to day practical benefits. It helps to know you’re not alone on this new journey. Talking with others or just listening can help you deal with your reactions to this new lifestyle and how to deal with perceptions of other people.
- Motivation is an extremely important and provides positive reinforcement to reach your own personal goals. With encouragement from other individuals undergoing the same lifestyle changes, you can gain knowledge and insight into how to reach your goals. You can even motivate someone else along the way.
- Help your friends and family members understand why you've chosen a surgical solution. Many people are under the impression that weight loss surgery is an experimental treatment rather than one with more than 40 years of history. Direct them to this web site or www.tristatebariatrics.org It's important that they understand that morbid obesity is a disease and that weight loss surgery is only a tool. The surgery helps with weight loss and but it also helps to keep the weight off long term.
- People who are morbidly obese often report that their spouses, or others close to them, seem to discourage weight loss or even sabotage your weight loss. These people see your weight as part of your identity. Understand that this is a fear of change for them. Discuss your reasons for having surgery. They need to know that your health is at stake and you will be counting on them to help you during and after surgery. Providing information and education to those close to you about the lifestyle changes you are making can ultimately help you.
- Attend support groups in your area or visit them online. Your surgeon's office will help you here. Surround yourself with people who share your situation. Ask questions and receive answers in a safe and supportive environment. There are many behavioral issues that impacts ones food choices and lifestyle changes. Learn from others who are undergoing the same lifestyle changes you are about to undertake. Form a network to share recipes and exercise tips. It's important for you to know that you are not alone. There are knowledgeable, friendly people available to support and help you.