Having support before and after gastric sleeve in Mexico can make a huge difference in whether you achieve your goals—and how hard or easy the process is for you. Most people want to help loved ones but may not know how. Sometimes, their well-intentioned efforts may even make it more difficult for VSG patients. One of the keys to creating an effective support system is communicating exactly what you need from friends and family.
Tip #1: Tell them what words to use.
Different people are motivated by different things. Are you someone who needs tough love in order to succeed? Or maybe you respond better to kindness. This might require a little soul-searching on your part because, often, it’s not clear in our own minds. So think it through. Imagine yourself reaching for a piece of cake. Do you want your partner to shock you out of it (ie: “That’s not going to help you lose weight.”), or would you rather he or she take a softer approach (“Honey, are you okay? Can I make you a cup of tea instead?”). This exercise is especially important if you prefer a softer approach, for example, while your partner is more naturally geared toward tough love.
Tip #2: Suggest practical ways to help.
If you’ve always loved cooking, your partner or older kids may not think to volunteer their cooking skills for your gastric sleeve diet. But if you’d rather they roast chicken and chop veggies while you work out, then tell them! Or maybe you want to be in charge of prepping food but can’t do so efficiently with a toddler underfoot. In this case, perhaps your spouse can best help you by entertaining the kiddos for an hour each evening. Assigning grocery shopping to someone else (so you aren’t tempted by the store samples) or asking a fit friend to show you the ropes at the gym are other examples of clear requests.
Tip #3: Ask for sensitivity—or not.
Most vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients are food addicts, so watching loved ones chow down on off-limit foods can be particularly stressful. If you feel selfish asking them to keep their potato chip snacking out of the house, think about what you’re actually giving them: a healthier, more active you who will be around for many more years. That’s not selfish at all! On the other hand, some VSG patients find it easier to stick to their gastric sleeve diet if they know their loved ones have the freedom to eat as they choose. “Forcing” their family (in their minds) to eat cauliflower instead of potatoes can lead to self-sabotage. So be clear about what will make it easier for you.
Tip #4: Appoint people to specific jobs. You (hopefully) have a good number of people in your life who want to see you succeed. But, just like you, they’re likely better at some things than others. So ask the pal who’s always making inspirational Facebook posts to be on call for some uplifting words when you feel like you’ll never reach your goal weight. Assign your gym rat brother the task of holding you accountable for your workout schedule. And make sure your BFF knows that she can’t give you too many compliments!
Ultimately, your success depends on you, of course. But surrounding yourself with people who know what you need and are willing to give it to you can make your VSG journey easier and more fulfilling.
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