Discussing Your Decision to Have Bariatric Surgery With Family and Friends
Sometimes the most challenging part about making a life-changing decision such as having bariatric surgery is talking to your family and friends. Often, people spend days or months contemplating their decision before discussing it with their loved ones. Remember that the decision to have bariatric surgery is a personal one. You can consider your loved one’s opinions, but ultimately, the decision is yours. It is your body, your life, and your conclusion. Let’s break down how to approach discussing the subject of bariatric surgery, what to expect from your loved ones, and considering others’ thoughts.
How to Approach Discussing Your Decision to Have Bariatric Surgery
First, remember that with whom you want to discuss your decision about having bariatric surgery is up to you. Of course, you will have to talk to the people in your household about your choice because they will be needed for support, but if you don’t want to talk to anyone else about it, that’s your call. Your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers – anyone outside your home doesn’t need to know your business unless you want them to. You can keep your decision private if you prefer.
You will have to discuss your decision with those in your household. They will need support before, during, and after your surgery. They will need to understand that this is an invasive procedure, and you will need recovery time. You must follow a special diet up to and after your surgery, so having a loved one supporting your decision is essential. They can help you go to your pre-surgery appointments and classes, promote the diet and exercise needed before and after surgery, be there for you during your hospital stay and help you when you get home. Having a supportive loved one can significantly improve your post-surgical life.
It is normal to feel scared when approaching the topic of bariatric surgery with your loved ones. Everyone has a unique relationship with the people closest to them. Consider bringing the issue up during a family meal or meeting when everyone is seated and free from distraction. If you are anxious, you could write a few notes beforehand. You can even print out research or informational material for your loved ones to help answer any questions. Make sure to communicate that this decision is important to you and that you’ve given it the requisite thought. Tell them why it is important to you and your reasons for getting bariatric surgery.
What to Expect From Your Loved Ones
We cannot control others’ actions, thoughts, or opinions. The best we can do is to prepare ourselves and know that things don’t always go as expected. Hope for the best, but understand that not everyone will be on board. Some reactions you may get from your loved ones about having bariatric surgery could include:
- Questionable and wary
- Completely opposed
- In denial
No matter their reaction, they will probably have questions and comments. Be prepared for questions and words such as,
- You could use just diet and exercise.
- You’re not that big
- I’ll support you
- You don’t need that
- Is it dangerous?
- We’ll try that new diet and exercise plan instead
- Who will do the surgery?
- My friend had weight loss surgery ten years ago and it didn’t work
Remember to stay optimistic about your loved one’s reactions and opinions. Sometimes, it may just take time for your loved ones to accept your decision. They may need some time to think about and discuss it. Try not to get defensive about unexpected reactions. Remind them that this is an important decision that you have already spent much time considering.
Considering Loved One’s Thoughts and Opinions
There is nothing wrong with taking your loved one’s opinions into account. The process of deciding and having bariatric surgery should not be rushed. It takes time and consideration before you know you are ready. The choice is yours and yours alone.