You have taken a massive step and decided that enough is enough. You are going to deal with your weight issues once and for all and this is an amazing step to have taken – well done! Now your next step should be to prepare your family for your bariatric surgery. But this is an often overlooked step, and it’s a big one to leave out!
Your bariatric surgery isn’t just going to affect you, it will also have an impact on your family. Your bariatric surgery is usually a good thing with a strong family as it will allow the entire family to pursue a much healthier and more active lifestyle. But your bariatric surgery also can cause some problems. And this is why I strongly recommend that you take the time to prepare your family for your weight loss surgery.
People aren’t very good at change, in general, and your bariatric surgery will be a drastic change for the entire family not just you. While it is important that you see this as a positive change, you need to prepare your family for your bariatric surgery and the changes it will entail that impact everyone. Get your family on board as soon as possible. It is a good idea to hold a family meeting to get everything out in the open: hopes, fears, excitement, and everything else! Be sure to have a proper conversation about what is happening, rather than an argument.
Steps to Prepare Your Family for Your Bariatric Surgery
The first step is to explain to your family why this surgery is important to you. This isn’t only about getting them on your side, but also making it clear that you want to change your lifestyle for good and get a new start. Perhaps you have had a medical scare recently that has pushed you to lose weight. Or maybe it is just that the time is right and you feel strong enough to manage the new lifestyle that follows bariatric surgery.
When you are open about why you are having bariatric surgery, any members of your family who are opposed will at least be able to understand your reasoning. They may even start to support your decision. Bariatric surgery is always a bit scary. So taking the time to prepare your family for your bariatric surgery will help them see that the life-changing benefits outweigh the risks.
This kind of conversation can be really difficult to have, especially when you are laying out your emotions on the table for everyone. If you think that you will struggle or you need some more support, it may be worth talking to a family therapist to prepare yourself. In most cases, families are supportive and there was no need to worry, but if you are concerned that you may have relationship issues, talking to an unbiased 3rd party can help. Visit www.KMFamilyLaw.com today for more information.
Change is scary but the more honest you are and the more open you are, the more likely it is that your family will be able to fully support you through your weight loss journey. Remember that this isn’t just about you, it is also about everyone around you.
Tell Your Family How They Can Help
Recovering from bariatric surgery will require some help from your family and friends. However, as most people won’t really know or understand exactly what you are going through, you need to tell them how they can help rather than expect them to just get it. Being clear now will help everyone to understand what to do, and what not to do, when you come home from the hospital.
Sometimes, knowing how to help also can be a way for your family to cope with the changes. For example, children quite often want to know what they can do or how they can play a more active role in helping you. So, even if you just want them to keep their rooms tidy and do their homework, this will help them cope with the changes, too.
You also should tell your family all about your plan for after bariatric surgery. Perhaps you have a bariatric diet plan you would like to share, or ambitions for doing more exercise. By sharing this information with your family now, they can get used to the idea of change before it actually happens. This leads to another way they can help, which is by thinking of other ways to get exercise into your family routine and any bariatric-friendly recipes they would like to try as well.
Let Everyone Ask Questions
No doubt everyone will have some questions from the serious ones about the implications of the surgery to the silly ones like why don’t you just eat more apples? Though some of the questions will be hard to answer, the best thing you can do is be honest and treat each question with equal reverence. However emotional this Q&A may get, it is important that you prepare your family for your bariatric surgery beforehand so that there are no surprises later on.
Kids will be just as curious as teenagers and while they might not need as much detail, you still should be honest with them. Make sure that you place the emphasis on feeling better and having a healthier lifestyle, rather than on looks and appearance. This will help them understand that bariatric surgery is especially important. Finally, you should make it clear that they can come back to you with any further questions later on so they don’t feel pressured to ask everything now.
Be patient and understand that whatever the question is, it shows that the person asking cares about what happens to you and the rest of the family. Even if it is a silly question, asking it now is a signal that they are willing to be involved in some way.
So, now that your family is preparing for life after bariatric surgery, it’s time to focus on your own preparation. Hold the image of yourself after surgery living a healthy lifestyle, enjoying yourself, and relieved of the pressure of being obese, in your mind. This is what you are aiming for and you will get there.
In good health,
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