Thinking Well: Preparing Yourself for Weight Loss Surgery

Although most people who choose weight loss surgery come to their surgery prepared for all the physical changes that occur after surgery, often times they are not prepared for the psychological changes that also occur. These psychological changes take the most work to prepare for. It is important to visualize where you want to be after weight loss surgery—not only how you will look but also how you will feel. You will also want to think about the impact it might have on your relationships.

One important thing to do while preparing yourself for weight loss surgery is to be really honest with yourself and understand why you want surgery. Is it to try and please a loved one or to feel “good enough,” or is to be a healthier you? Being mentally prepared for surgery means having a better understanding of the real you and a real understanding of some your behaviors that may be making it difficult to lose weight.

Discover. To better prepare yourself for surgery, you might want to consider journaling as a way to understand why you eat, what you eat, and the emotions that come when you eat. Your journal will help you find certain behavior patterns and negative self-talk that you might not have recognized before. You may have been doing these things for so long they are a subconscious sabotage to your weight loss.

You may also find there are other psychological obstacles to tackle such as depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. Understand weight loss surgery is not a “cure all” for these disorders and that psychological counseling before weight loss surgery may be needed to you help you find long-term success.

Support. You will need to identify your social support safety net. The first step to this is to talk to your loved ones about weight loss surgery and the reasons why you have chosen this path for weight loss. Be prepared for some of your loved ones to be against surgery due to their concern for you and their preconceived negative thoughts about weight loss surgery. This is ok; give them a chance to voice their concerns. By doing this you are keeping communication open and you can then understand what their concerns are. Most of the time explaining the advantages, benefits, and risks of weight loss surgery is all that is needed to help them understand why you have chosen this path. You can also have them attend an in-person seminar or watch our online seminar to understand the true risks of surgery.

If you feel they are still not supportive, give them time. You can still work on helping them understand why this is important to you. Going to a surgery support group or finding a support group online may give you suggestions that others used when talking with their family. Knowing where to go for support will help you be successful.

Remember weight loss surgery is not just a surgery. It’s is a physical and emotional life surgery. You need to dedicate yourself, discipline yourself, and embrace a new lifestyle. You can do it and remember you do not have to do it alone. Our team at the Weight Treatment Center is here to help you wherever you are on your weight loss journey.

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