Are You Emotionally Prepared for Weight-Loss Surgery?There is an emotional component to living with obesity that can be relentless, even through weight-loss surgery and beyond. Prior to all that is the emotional baggage that comes with being struggling with this condition. We may have at times, identified ourselves by way of a personal appearance that we are both guilty about and ashamed of. Which is why while there is great relief in finally having accomplished what seemed impossible, there is also a need to adjust to the person you have become after a successful bariatric procedure.** Self-Perception When Living with Obesity**
Living with obesity can be a constant state of apprehension and self-doubt, a repeating loop where we are compelled to take notice of who we have become and question how we allowed it to happen. We begin each morning greeted by the pain that accompanies the simple act of putting our feet to the floor and standing.
"I feel guilty because I cannot play with my children because I don't have the energy. I feel ashamed to go out with friends because I feel the stares and hear the comments that strangers exchange. I grocery shop in the dark of night so the contents of my cart will not be used to judge me."
"I am afraid I am dying."
Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind?
Weight-Loss Surgery and Beyond
The changes that result from weight-loss affect our careers, relationships, marriage, and friendships. Perhaps we are viewed more positively in the workplace. Perhaps our friends gravitate toward the more active person we have become. Perhaps spouses and significant others find us more attractive and romance is rekindled. Then again, perhaps jealousies may even surface. Perhaps old friends no longer feel comfortable with us because they cannot match our new energies. Perhaps our spouses and significant others were satisfied with the old dynamic and wanted no changes at all.
Either way, emotions will present as we come to terms with the new person we have become. Familiarity with who we are may be replaced with a wonder about who this new person is. We are no longer lost in a crowd, but may be the center of attention. We are given compliments and people are curious about the transition we have made.** It is all unfamiliar and can be uncomfortable.**** Post-Surgery Emotional Adjustments**
It is important to stay emotionally grounded after surgery, and there are a few things a person can do to help accomplish that.
To begin, follow you doctor's suggestions. Adhere to dietary changes; take care of your physical needs; and get the proper amount of rest.
Try keeping a journal to help you feel more in control emotionally and to monitor if you may be emotionally eating on occasion.
Set goals for yourself and keep them realistic and attainable. Modify them if needed.
Reflect on your past and recall the moment you recognized the need for change.
Celebrate your success and recognize your efforts and the results of those efforts.
- Be grateful for what you have accomplished but remember that the work is not done.
Suggested reading:** Bariatric Surgery is a Starting Point, Not a Magic Bullet for Weight Loss**** Eating Behaviors: Why You Eat the Way You Do**
How to Break the Grazing Habit
Poor Eating Habits after Bariatric Surgery
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
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OBESITY ACTION COALITION