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Supporting Role

Supporting someone in your life who has had bariatric surgeryBariatric surgery is a life-changing decision. When someone you love takes that step, a strong support system makes a big impact. If you’re not sure how to help, we can get you started.

But first, have you ever stopped to think about the power of food? It’s almost always the focal point of any social situation. One of the first questions asked after the invites go out is, “What can I bring?” And, let’s be honest, birthday parties, weddings, holiday festivities and impromptu gatherings are all about indulging.

Everything changes when people close to you have weight loss surgery. To achieve their goals, they have to re-evaluate their relationship with food completely and significantly change their eating habits for life. As a friend or family member, you can play a positive role in helping your loved one on the path toward a healthier, happier lifestyle. Here’s how:

  • Be prepared for change. From the type of food served at meals, to which restaurants you frequent, to social interactions and personal relationships, everything changes for someone who had bariatric surgery. If you’re close to that person, it’s possible your lifestyle will change, too. Show your support by going with the flow and trying to find different ways to hang out that don’t involve food.
  • Be respectful of weight loss goals. Eat small, healthy meals with your friend. Be mindful of what you eat around a family member. Try not to tempt them with treats or push them to finish their meal when they say they’re full.
  • Cheer them on. This is the easy part! Let them know how proud you are of their successes every chance you get.
  • Get involved and ask questions. Educate yourself about the surgery, the recovery process and eating plans. Offer to go to doctor appointments and support group sessions. You can even help research where to find specific foods.
  • Reap the rewards. It’s likely that in supporting your friend or family member, you’ll find yourself eating healthier, losing weight and being more active. Bonus!
  • Understand the frustration. There will be setbacks along the way. Offer open arms, a shoulder to cry on and a pair of good listening ears.

If you find yourself having a tough time coping with the changes, talk with your doctor or join a support group just for family members and friends of people who have had weight loss surgery.

If you, or someone you know, are considering bariatric surgery, North Kansas City Hospital’s accredited Bariatric Center provides everything for a successful experience.

Register for a free informational seminar on weight loss surgery options.