The Four Things Anyone Considering Bariatric Surgery Should Know
Prepare Yourself for CHANGE in Every Aspect of Your Life.
This one word – change. At first, when you hear it in the context of bariatric surgery, you are just so focused on getting thinner and healthier that you’re simply thinking of the physical. However, this choice and the change it ushers in will also affect every part of your life/work balance, relationships, mental health, family relations, and friendships. Social dynamics change a lot as you see life through a different lens. Dealing with that feeling can be emotional. Thoughts will go through your head like:
This never happened to me before; more smiles, more friendly people, more willing to help. Why?
However, you may also experience sadness, anger, and disbelief as you realize that people are treating you differently simply because of your appearance. Coming to terms with that can take some time.
Be Ready for Introspection
Am I willing to dig into my past traumas, emotions, relationships, experiences, and habits? Am I ready to change those things that used to make me feel better but were not necessarily healthy for me? If you can honestly answer that question with a yes, with absolute passion, acceptance, and willingness to do everything possible to make this change, you are on the right path. This is the way toward a healthy life to be happier for yourself and for anyone you meet.
And introspection is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself and stay accountable. Introspection is not easy. It’s often difficult to recognize bad habits and patterns in ourselves and we often get defensive if they are brought to our attention by friends or family. It’s not about sitting alone and thinking about your life, but really digging into the good and bad and committing to changing what you can and should.
You need to take the time to learn more about what this permanent change to your body will entail, learn the things to be cautious of, and the common side effects. You want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to surgery like this. Of course, remember that some of what you find on the Internet is conjecture or opinion based on that person’s unique experience with many variables in their social/ environmental life that may have contributed. So being open-minded, taking the information with a grain of salt, and verifying its scientific validity is very important.
Healthy/Fit Conscious Support Group
After deciding to change to a healthier, better life, you will realize that not everyone around you will be happy that you are making these decisions for yourself. You may run into people who try to subconsciously (or very deliberately) sabotage your hard work because of their insecurities.
It is essential to start forming healthy habits a few months prior with consistency before having surgery. Having this routine down and incorporating portioned healthy nutritional foods will help prepare you for your new permanent life change. Get a good group of workout partners, health-conscious individuals who are strong-willed to help support you and genuinely interested in your well-being and success.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes you may have less support than you may have hoped for as you share your exciting news with those you may want to give a heads up of your change. A stigma circulates around bariatric and weight loss surgery as being viewed as the easy way out. Still, following all the steps recommended and the physician’s instructions can be very challenging, especially for long-term success, but all the work is worth it.
Melanie, a BSC contributor, takes a look back at her bariatric journey and lets us know more about what she wished she had been ready for during the process.