Going Back to Work After WLS
After weight loss surgery, you are going to need to take time off of work to heal. Some people just take a few days off while others take several weeks off. It all depends on what you are comfortable doing after the procedure. It is nice to give yourself time to heal and focus on your new lifestyle, so I definitely encourage you to give yourself that time off. When you go back to work, it is going to be a transition for you. It is important that you prepare yourself mentally for the changes that will come when you return to your workplace so you can ensure you stay on track with your weight loss surgery journey.
The biggest challenge when returning to work is being able to say no to food. If you were like me, you might have gone out to eat a lot before surgery. It is hard after surgery because you want to network with your colleagues, but you must be careful when surrounding yourself with food right after the procedure. I could not go out to eat with anyone for a long time after my surgery. It was just too hard for me and I knew I did not have the willpower. It might be tempting for you to go visit with your colleagues on your lunch break, but I would encourage you to give yourself time before you expose yourself to that again. This is not me saying that you will never be able to enjoy eating out with your work friends again, but I do think it is important to start new habits after having the procedure. It will be hard at first to say no, but I promise you it is so worth it if you can keep control and focus on your health.
One thing I learned is that you can do other things with your colleagues at lunch time. For example, I had a work friend that I would walk with at our lunch. It was such a nice break and it did not revolve around food. We helped keep each other accountable and still used the time to spend time with one another. We would also do other things together such as run errands. Just because it is your lunch break, does not mean it needs to involve food. Find other things you can do with your colleagues and that way you will not feel left out.
Depending on your comfort level, you may or may not be telling your work friends about the surgery. This is completely up to you and I think everyone is different when it comes to this. I will warn you though, if you spent most of your time at work eating with colleagues, they will ask questions when you abruptly stop. It is important that you are prepared for those questions so you do not get put in a position where you are not comfortable. I liked to use the excuse that I was trying to save money so that is why I was not going out to eat as much. It helped take the attention off the weight loss. I would just always bring my lunch and a lot of time just eat while I was working. If your workplace constantly has food around, I highly suggest that you make sure you have your food on you at all times. Keep healthy snacks on you so you are not tempted to go for the things in the office. I worked at a place that constantly had food everywhere and it took awhile for me to adapt. The last thing you want is to be starving when you are surrounded by cupcakes. So, always be prepared.
This surgery is the start of a new life for you and it will take time to get used to your new normal. Work life can be hard because you have to learn how to manage the responsibility of bringing your own food to work and saying no to going out to eat with your work friends. However, it will get easier through time. You will start making this your new lifestyle and you will not even miss the old you. Focus on one day at a time and remember why you started this journey in the first place.
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