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How to Support a Loved One Undergoing Weight Loss Surgery
If you have a friend or family member that is contemplating weight loss surgery, you have a very important role to play. Your support and encouragement are tremendously important as your loved one faces not only surgery, but also the life changes he or she will need to make afterward.
Below, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas of Advanced Surgicare shares some ideas about how you can support your loved one during their weight loss journey.
Educate Yourself about the Procedure
One of the best things you can do to support a loved one through bariatric surgery is to arm yourself with information about the surgery and how it will change his or her body. Being able to understand and talk about the surgery helps you offer better support throughout the experience. If your loved one asks you to, attend doctor appointments or classes and act as moral support. Keep an open mind throughout the entire experience.
Be Respectful and Sensitive about Dietary Guidelines
One of the challenges bariatric patients face after surgery is sharing meals with friends and family. Sometimes (especially in families), the food being served is a little different than what it used to be, in order to accommodate the patient’s new dietary needs and restrictions. Try to avoid making any critical remarks and instead know that eating healthier is good for everyone! And if you live with someone having weight loss surgery, you might want to remove unhealthy, tempting foods from the house to show your support.
Participate in Exercise with Your Loved One
Be mindful that your family member or friend will need to incorporate exercise and physical activity into his or her lifestyle after surgery. This may be the first time in the person’s life that they are getting regular exercise. Make it easier and more enjoyable by joining your loved one for a walk or a trip to the gym.
Celebrate the Successes
Let your loved one know how happy and proud you are when they achieve a particular goal. Ignore the setbacks and cheer them on for trying. Make sure to celebrate the good choices your friend or family member makes throughout the journey.