by: Dr Adam Smith
We are in the Holiday season, a time to enjoy friends and family. An opportunity to count our blessings and also to help others who may not be so fortunate.
For the weight loss surgery patient, the Holidays present additional challenges. For the person who is on their first round of Holidays there can be a sense of almost grief. Our lifestyle situation has changed radically and the constant onslaught of food offerings, many of which are poor choices can become a challenge. For the seasoned veteran weight loss surgery patient, there are still challenges to make good choices.
When we have weight loss surgery we have made a fundamental lifestyle change. Many people who have not walked in our shoes have strong opinions about what we have done and for some reason feel empowered to share those opinions with us. This can result in a myriad of feelings from embarrassment, anger, frustration, or simple annoyance. Well meaning friends or relatives will say the most outrageous things. Unless you have walked in our shoes, you cannot ever completely understand what it is like to accept the fact that we could not control our weight without surgical help.
To cope with the emotions of the Holidays it can be extremely useful to make an appearance at the support group. If the support group is not a feasible option there are a lot of online resources available to help.
Some behaviors I have found useful to cope with the holidays is to focus on the relationships with people rather than the focus on food. Choose the healthier options when at a holiday party but do not judge yourself too harshly if you choose to indulge a tiny amount. There is no such thing as a perfect patient so set reasonable goals for yourself during the season. Do not forget to exercise as this can be a tremendous stress reliever in addition to the obvious health benefits.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.