How to mentally prepare for bariatric surgery
The decision to go for a bariatric surgery is not simple. We understand the experiences and considerations that you have thought over. You have probably debated the pros and cons of the procedure, just as you would with any surgery.
Once you have made the decision and have consulted your medical expert to know if the procedure is right for you, it is necessary to prepare your mind and body for what lies ahead.
While physical preparation involves physical examinations, changes in diet, activity, etc. that medical caregivers participate in, a large part of mental preparation lies in your hands. You should be emotionally prepared to motivate yourself through the changes and challenges that lie ahead. And to view the outcome realistically and objectively.
Expect a healthier version of you — in about a year after surgery. You will not wake up from surgery with a thinner body, but your body will be better equipped to start you on the right path to weightloss. Your stomach will be smaller, to restrict food intake. Weight loss will be gradual, provided you stick to the prescribed diet and activity plan. In the course of 1 year post-surgery, you will see a healthy loss of weight.
Approach food with a new mindset
After surgery, your diet will undergo a major change. You will be required to have liquids first and then slowly progress to solids. Smaller portions, slower consumption and well-thought out healthier leaner meals will bring the change you wish to see. A dietician can guide you at all times to align your choice of food to the stage of weight loss you are in now. Your weightloss might plateau at a point. Do not lose heart. A professional can review and make changes in your diet plan to continue your progress.
You can’t do away with activity. Regular activity as recommended will help accelerate you weightloss journey. Plan your activities to rule out boredom and to include what really works for you. Speak to your doctor to know your limits and requirements.
Psychological assessment — before and after — will help to clear your concerns and to open up about any fear your might have. If you have a difficult relationship with food, alcohol or drugs, a counsellor can support you in dealing with your demons.
Support and motivation
Support groups, family and friends play a great role in keeping you motivated. They can keep you focussed and keep your spirits buoyant. Include them in your weightloss journey. Open up to them about the wave of changes you will be going through physically and emotionally. This will take away the pressure on your relationships. Keep yourself motivated. Do not lose focus. With bariatric surgery, weightloss should be your number 1 focus. You work, lifestyle, diet and activities should be aligned constantly with this.
The effects of bariatric surgery can be life-changing. Make that change possible by preparing your mind to stay focussed and welcome a healthier body!