Preparing Relationships for Your Weight Loss Surgery

When you are considering weight loss surgery, there are many changes to learn about and prepare yourself for. Learning as much as possible to help you pick the right surgery is crucial. You need to understand the changes that will take place in your body and how it will affect what you eat, drink, and wear. You will also anticipate how much weight you will lose and what you hope to do once you have lost the weight. However, one thing that is often overlooked is the impact that weight loss surgery, or other significant weight loss, can have on your relationships.

Relationships are an important part of a successful weight loss journey. Your significant other, friend and family relationships can all be affected. While there can be many positive changes, sometimes the changes are not always for the better and we can be woefully unprepared for the range of emotions that can come after surgery. By understanding why these relationships change and learning skills about how to address them, we can help strengthen the connection to those who matter most to us. However, if you don’t plan to give your relationships some attention, it could mean losing that connection.

All of us want to feel loved, safe, and know that we belong somewhere. In the beginning of your weight loss journey your social safety net is usually there cheering you on with a great amount of support. Sometimes there comes a shift in the support when you are losing weight. Having more energy and more confidence, you may worry that jealousy and sabotage might occur. Often times these emotions are not conscious and your loved ones are just trying to get back to the “status quo” or what they know as normal. Your status quo is in the process of changing and your loved ones may not be quite prepared for your new ambitions.

Being able to understand that your family, close friends, and loved ones need their own source of support to adjust to the “new you” is critical for the transition and to help everyone find balance. Keep in mind that they may be feeling scared or threatened and are trying to get back to the status quo. Instead of feeling hurt, angry, or confused, or feeding your emotional stress, try to be more understanding that the status quo in their life has changed.

Talk to your support system and understand they are also in need of their own support. This understanding will provide a key to help you from resorting back to old behaviors such as overeating during stressful, emotional times.  By recognizing that your weight loss transition is difficult for them, you have taken the first step to strengthening your relationship. Open the conversation and be willing to work together to explore and understand each other’s emotions and feelings—it will give you the chance to make your relationships stronger.

Talking with your loved ones can sometimes be difficult, which is why the Weight Treatment Center has valuable resources to offer you. Be sure to attend your support groups and don’t forget that a behavioral health specialist is available to help you work through your personal situations. Whichever path you choose, keep working with your loved ones as a time of great change in lifestyle can either be an opportunity to deepen your connections or can place a divide between those closest to you. Your efforts to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the upcoming changes will pay off as you journey along your weight loss path.

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