A great support system is critical to the long-term success of a post-operative bariatric surgery patient. Part of a patient’s responsibility, starting even before surgery, is to plan for and create the support structure that will help them reach their weight loss goals.
Support and motivation from family members is a critical component of your support program. Family members are often the closest to us and, as a result, the people we see most often. Ideally, family members will join you in your weight loss efforts – dieting and exercising alongside you. They may be able to change their lives and health using the same methods you do – and be very successful at it. You can lean on each other to succeed where previous weight loss efforts may have failed. Further, you can use your time together to strengthen already solid bonds or repair fragile ones. Even if they don’t participate however, they should understand, with your guidance, the lifestyle change you’ve committed to.
Friends can also play a significant role in your ultimate success after bariatric surgery. After all, social occasions (holidays, birthdays, travel, going out to eat) are the hardest times to stick to your diet and exercise program. Having someone to lean on during a night out, a party or while on vacation can save you from the frustration and discomfort of overindulging. Beyond your core group of friends at home, you may also make some very good friends at support group. After all, they are experiencing the same victories and struggles that you are and can be very helpful in offering advice and guidance.
The bottom line is that the support of your friends, family and acquaintances are a very important part of the bariatric surgery process. There are not many times we can successfully navigate a life changing event all by ourselves – bariatric surgery is no different. We encourage you to be open to bringing others into your weight loss journey and get your routine into high gear.