Weight loss surgery is a huge step and a big commitment, both for your finances and your lifestyle. If you think that you’re ready to take the plunge, there’s a lot you will need to prepare for.
After weight loss surgery, you’re going to lose a lot of weight very quickly. The recovery process will take some time and it may be difficult. Your body will change right before your eyes, and that might be hard to deal with. The foods you eat will have to be completely different in order to maintain that weight loss. People will treat you differently. Overall, your life will improve, but such a change in such a short time won’t be easy to handle.
So how do you mentally prepare for bariatric surgery? Is preparing for weight loss surgery easy? This article will explain how you can get your head right and take advantage of this opportunity to completely change your life and your health.
How To Mentally Prepare For Weight Loss Surgery
Set realistic goals and targets.
You know that you’re going to lose a lot of weight very quickly. But how quickly can it happen, and how much weight are you likely to lose?
First, you should know that for gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery, patients can expect to lose between 50% and 60% of their excess weight in the first year after surgery. Excess weight is your current weight minus your goal weight, usually determined by your doctor based on your height and your frame. If your goal weight is 150 pounds and you currently weigh 350 points, you can expect to lose 100-120 pounds in the first year, ending up at a final weight of 230-250 pounds.
Ask your doctor for help in determining reasonable weight loss goals. Setting your goals too high may set you up for disappointment, which could cause you to start eating like you used to.
Get treatment for existing mental health issues, such as depression.
Depression is an ugly disease that many people have to deal with. An even uglier truth is that bariatric surgery is linked to a higher incidence of depressive episodes, particularly in those who are susceptible to them.
Even though getting to a healthier weight is generally good for your mental health, the lack of carbs and the rapid change in your hormones can cause a chemical imbalance in your brain that could spur a depressive episode.
If you have a history of depression, seek therapy and possibly medication to help you deal with it. Make sure your psychiatrist knows about your intention to get weight loss surgery so they can plan accordingly.
Set up a support group around you.
Losing a lot of weight in a short period of time can be isolating, particularly if you primarily associate with obese people who have not undergone the procedure.
Keep your close family and friends around you, but they may not be able to understand what you’re going through. Ask your doctor or surgeon about mental health support groups for people battling food addiction or who have undergone bariatric surgery.
Maryland Bariatrics at Saint Agnes Hospital provides weight loss surgery in Maryland that also has a bariatric psychologist on staff to help patients prepare for surgery and the resulting weight loss.