Weight loss surgery is only a tool. When utilized correctly it is an effective means of losing weight and keeping it off. Most patients are surprised to discover that even after surgery they have to be aware of what they are eating, drinking and engage in exercise to maintain long term weight loss.
The patients who adopt the recommended lifestyle of health by being aware of their eating, drinking, and exercise will maintain long-term success. Tracking progress with frequent weighing and measuring will help improve the awareness you have of your actual success. The surgeons and staff at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) will help you to be a long-term success but the ultimate decision is yours and yours alone to make.
Weight loss surgery not only transforms the physical body but also the emotional, social, and spiritual elements of an individual. There will not be a single area of your life that goes untouched from the changes that occur after weight loss surgery.
Post-operatively, you will have the same life experiences, same joys but also same stressors that you held prior to surgery. In many ways you will become a different person. Co-morbidities will start resolving and you find that you want to do more. You will have more energy to deal with life challenges. New interests are apt to develop. You may find that you are attracted to doing things that in the past held no interest for you at all.
Most surgery patients find that they have to redefine how they look at and feel about the world and themselves. The world may also look and treat you differently than you are accustomed. Overtime you will discover that you have broken free of the stereotypes and social limitations that are assigned to the morbidly obese.
All of this sounds wonderful to you now. However, you must be aware of the fact that change, even when good, presents obstacles and barriers of its own that must be overcome. Developing strategies now for dealing with the changes you are about to experience will make life easier on you and those who support you in your lifestyle of health.
Weight loss surgery patients have reported difficulties in seeing themselves as the different person everyone perceives them to be. You may still look in the mirror and see or feel like the obese person you once were. Although this may not be true for all weight loss surgery patients, it is important to make you aware that this has proven to be common for many patients. Patients have found professional counseling to be beneficial in this transition.
Support Groups and Classes
Attending support groups and classes are a great way to interact with others who have undergone weight loss surgery. Support groups and classes provide interaction and support with other patients. In these meetings the sharing of personal experiences helps provide support both emotionally and physically. Support group and education will help you ensure your long-term success. You are welcome, and we recommend that you attend a support group meeting in your area.
The surgeons at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians require that all patients invest real dollars into an educational program. Utilize your program, websites, classes and support groups to continually assist and remind you of the lifestyle of health that is essential for your success.
Communication with Loved Ones
Don’t forget to include your spouse, family and friends in your transformation. When you commit yourself to living the lifestyle of health your family should participate in that process with you.
It is expected that you’ll need the support of your spouse, significant other, family members, or extended support system following surgery. However, it is imperative that you carefully consider what your surgery and its outcome means to them.
Please talk with them at length about the surgical procedure and its risks and benefits. Discuss the nutritional changes that you will be implementing in your home and the roles they will play in your weight loss process. Having a support system will help you in the long-term.
Relationship/Marital or family counseling is highly encouraged for those who are experiencing problems or having difficulty making the necessary adjustments. Please talk to RMAP if you are in need of any referrals.
The decision to undergo this life changing surgery should never be taken lightly. Begin your preparation both mentally and physically now! This will minimize your risks and improve your long-term success.
For more information on Support Groups, go here.
For more information on Bariatric Surgery support with Michelle Lewis, LCSW, go here.
For some inspiring words from Social Worker, Leslee Miller, MSW, LCSW, go here.
Find more answers to Frequently Answered Questions here.