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Seeking Support From Your Loved Ones

Support from Friends and Family is Important

For many of us, our family is our support system. Our loved ones are who we turn to for help, a hug, and a listening ear when life gets tough. We expect family to support us no matter what, so it may come as a surprise to some patients to discover that their loved ones may not agree with their decision to undergo weight loss surgery. When your support system isn’t as supportive as you anticipate, here are a few suggestions to help you though it. 

Start a Dialogue

Start an open dialogue with your family and create a safe space to ask them directly, but not aggressively, why they don’t support your decision to have bariatric surgery. Communicate your intentions and let them know you just want to understand their perspective. Sometimes, our family members don’t support bariatric surgery out of concern; bariatric surgery is a major operation and your loved ones will understandably worry about potential complications. It’s natural for your family to have some reservations. During this conversation, feel free to share your own insight and feelings. Keep the flow of dialogue open and be honest with your loved ones, hearing both sides of the story will resolve a lot of misunderstanding between you and your family members.


Discuss the Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Many bariatric surgery patients have struggled with their weight their whole lives. Chances are, your family members have seen you go through a similar struggle. Explain to your loved ones that you want to end the struggle, and that weight loss surgery can help you reach a healthy weight. Bariatric surgery is a permanent solution that gives many patients a new lease on life. Bariatric surgery has been shown to resolve type 2 diabetes, resolve sleep apnea and resolve metabolic syndrome patients. Overall, most patients report that after the surgery they are happier, have less chronic pain, and are able to enjoy activities they weren’t able to participate in prior to bariatric surgery. Share this positive information with your family, and let them know how bariatric surgery will have a positive impact on your health and happiness.


Explain Your Reasons for Choosing Bariatric Surgery

Once you discuss the benefits of bariatric surgery with your loved ones, discuss the reasons why you chose to go this route. Deciding on weight loss surgery is not an easy decision to make, so communicate to your family members that this was not a decision you made in haste. Not everyone qualifies for bariatric surgery, so reassure them that you were selected as a good candidate and that you are confident it was the right decision for you. Communicate to them that you have not been able to reach your ideal weight through diet and exercise alone, and that bariatric surgery is a step in the right direction. If your friends and family don’t quite understand your reasons for choosing bariatric surgery, tell them “I know you love me just the way I am, but I know you will love me just as much when I am healthier and happier.” You are taking charge of your health and that is something to be proud of. Weight loss surgery will change your life forever for the better.


Bring Them Along to a Seminar or Doctor’s Appointment

If a family member still feels uneasy about the procedure, bring them along to a doctor’s appointment or have them attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminars. They can hear first-hand from one of Pacific Bariatric’s surgeons just how far bariatric surgery has come. Pacific Bariatric alone has completed over 17,000 surgeries – that means we’ve changed over 17,000 lives. Let your family ask questions, meet with the surgeons, and learn about the process. Hopefully learning more about weight loss surgery from a trustworthy source will alleviate their concerns.


Ask For Their Support, Even if They Don’t Agree

If your loved ones don’t  agree with your decision, you can still ask them to support you despite how they feel about it. The surgery and the pre-op and post-op processes can be emotionally and physically exhausting - let them know how much their support would mean to you during this time. Bariatric surgery is a safe procedure, but is still a major operation that is taxing on the body—it is an experience that no one should have to go through alone and having your loved ones by your side during this journey is important. 

It’s tough for anyone to not feel supported by their loved ones, especially when it comes to something as life changing as bariatric surgery. The key to opening a dialogue is creating a safe space that encourages open communication. It’s not about “winning” or “persuading” your loved ones, it’s about creating an understanding. With a little communication and a lot of understanding, conflicting opinions and feelings can be set aside long enough to help you through the weight loss surgery process