by guest blogger Jessica Tyner a freelance writer with Webfor, who manages web content for Northwest Weight Loss Surgery, a bariatric surgery clinic in Everett, Washington.
Only a small sliver of the population understands what you’re going through. The decision to undergo weight loss surgery is serious. It comes with risks, sometimes a significant financial burden and severe changes to your body. Some people think that because the changes to their body are positive, there aren’t any residual psychological effects.
It’s equally important to have psychological support both before and after surgery. While friends and family are likely well-meaning, they don’t have the professional background to support you. You need to know that you’re choosing surgery for the right reasons. Afterward, it’s wise to have a pro in your corner as you adapt to your changing body.
Getting to the Root
Consulting with a therapist or psychologist can help you determine if surgery is indeed what you want. Many people think they understand the implications, but it’s very different when your surgery is around the corner. While you might know, on the surface, that there’s no magic surgery to change your life, your subconscious might think otherwise. I know exactly how you feel.
I lost over 100 pounds in less than a year via diet and exercise. This extreme amount of weight loss resulted in loose skin that called for four major surgeries to remove. It took me seven years to get the surgery. I had it done while living abroad in Central America with no one to talk to before or after.
Rallying the Troops
It wasn’t until long after the surgery that I understood how much easier it could have been. Prior to the surgery, there’s likely a part of you that hopes you’ll wake up one day soon with a new body. This isn’t realistic, and you might be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. The fact that you’re still you is unchanging.
It’s important to have a strong support system of your own. A significant other, close friends and family members can all help. Unfortunately, they might not always support you 100 percent. This is where a non-biased, informed professional steps in.
Some Things Never Change
Even after you’ve reached your goal weight, there will be times where you’ll slip. You might find yourself shopping in the XL section when you’re now an S. You might not recognize yourself when you catch a glimpse in a mirror. Coming to terms with who you truly are, including your changes, is critical.
It can be easy to lose yourself during your transformation. Having support to keep you grounded and in check is essential. This can be a journey of great discovery and joy, but it also has frustrating detours. Remember that preparation demands the right support network, so plan accordingly.