Weight loss surgery brings many changes, both physically and mentally. So many people think that the biggest change will be from the physical weight loss when in reality the biggest change must be with your mind. More than likely, you have spent most of your life using food as a coping mechanism. These behaviors must change after weight loss surgery in order to be successful. You must change the way your mind thinks about food and the way you see yourself as a person.
After bariatric surgery, the weight loss is so fast that it can sometimes be hard to mentally keep up. You might look in the mirror and not recognize the person you see. You might still see the 400-pound you. Mentally it can be frustrating. You might feel healthier than ever, but you don’t see a healthier you when you look in the mirror. Psychologically you must learn to accept and appreciate your new body. This can be very challenging at times, and some people might also suffer from body dysmorphia. One of the most important things on this journey is to learn to love yourself at every stage, even if you don’t feel like you are at your goal yet. This is not easy, but it is something you can overcome. One tip to help you through this is to look yourself in the mirror every day and give yourself a compliment. You don’t need to go seek other people’s opinions or approval. You are the only what that matters because you must live with yourself every day.
You must make psychological changes in order to be successful after surgery. Looking at yourself in a healthy way is one step, but another step is being able to look at food in a healthier way. These changes are critical if you don’t want to relapse and regain the weight you have worked so hard to lose. So many of us are addicted to food and because of this, it can be extremely devastating when it is taken away from us. At first, it feels like the world is falling apart, but through time it will get easier. Learning to look at food for survival instead of pleasure takes time. However, it can be done. In order to get to that point, you must be able to separate food from other things in your life, such as social events.
You have the power to make these changes. Psychologically this surgery takes a toll on you. However, you will get through it. You are going through one of the biggest changes in your life. It can be scary and exciting at the same time. Don’t just focus on physical accomplishments. Take the time to recognize when you are mentally getting stronger. Perhaps it is when you say no to a piece of cake at a celebration, or maybe it is when you feel empowered after finding the perfect dress. Don’t sell yourself short. These are huge non-scale victories and they deserve to be celebrated. Stay strong and remember why you had this surgery. Do not ever give up. Ever!