For weight loss surgery patients, every day is filled with decisions. Are you hungry? What should you eat? Do you have time to exercise? What workout will you do today? These and a million other little challenges are always present, and they can make it stressful.
Stress can be even higher during the holiday season for bariatric surgery patients. You may be pressured to eat foods that are not on your meal plan, or being extra busy may make it more difficult to keep up with your exercise routine.
This year, the added challenges from COVID-19, such as health concerns and safety restrictions, are an added burden. You may be unable to follow long standing family traditions or be grappling with decisions such as whether to see extended family and friends as usual.
Feeling alone and confused are very real problems for the bariatric surgery community, and it is important to get the support you need to get through it all. A strong support network can include people you live with, friends, and people who are going through the same things as you.
Members of your household, such as roommates or family members, can provide support in all kinds of ways. They can:
- Help you prepare and eat healthy meals.
- Walk with you or watch the kids while you walk.
- Learn about your diet so they know what you can and cannot eat.
- Make it easier for you to eat right by buying your foods when they go grocery shopping (or order groceries) and ordering only from restaurants that have meals you can eat.
Keeping the lines of communication open is key so they know how they can help and so they know you appreciate their efforts.
Other Family, Friends, and Coworkers
It may be harder to socialize in person during COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean your social world should not expand! Checking in, by phone or video chat, with relatives, friends, and coworkers, can help you stay accountable and positive. You can even make it a point to call someone different each day and talk for 30 minutes as you take a walk.
BariatricPal.com and BariatricPal Facebook Group
There is nothing like support from people who know what you are going through because they are going through it, too. BariatricPal.com, BariatricPal Facebook Group, Gastric Sleeve Support Group and Bariatric Surgery Support Group are supportive, always-open communities of people just like you: people who are connected to the bariatric surgery community and who are dedicated to losing weight and getting healthy. For a shoulder to cry on, encouraging words, recommendations about surgeons and products, and weight loss recipe ideas, these online venues are safe places to get support.
Do you want support from the person who knows you best, wants you to succeed more than anyone else, and is always with you? Look in the mirror! Believing in yourself and pushing through the hard days can keep you on the path to success, so be sure to keep yourself in mind when looking around for support.
The holidays can be a tough time of year for the weight loss surgery community even in the best of times. This year can be more stressful than others, so it is critical to surround yourself with strong support. BariatricPal can help as we provide our online communities for peer-to-peer, anytime, anywhere support so you are never alone.