Relationship Changes after Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, your life is completely different. You are eating differently, becoming more active, and just looking at life in a different way. More than likely, this will affect your relationships with other people. When you spend your entire life interacting with people a certain way, chances are they will be affected when you start changing some of your behaviors. This is a normal part of the process and it is completely fine for you to evolve on your journey. You might notice that some of your relationships will change based on the changes that you are making. It can be hard to accept some of this, so it is important to be as prepared as possible for the emotions that come with it.
Before I had weight loss surgery, I was constantly wanting to go out with my friends. I loved trying new restaurants and just being a social butterfly. I feel like my friends associated me that way. They knew that I would always want to go out and food was the center of my universe. Once I had the procedure, things changed drastically. I completely stopped going out to eat and actually stayed in quite often. It was part of my journey and it really helped me stay focused. I did not want to be around food because I was so addicted and I knew I would not have the willpower to say no. For some of my friends, this was really hard on them. Sometimes it would come across like I did not want to spend time with them, which was not true. However, I needed to do what was best for me and for some people, they just did not understand that. I slowly started distancing myself from people that did not understand. This was hard at first because I felt really alone, but I realized that I needed to be around people that supported my new lifestyle. Some people even struggle with their spouses. When one person is trying to make positive changes in their life and the other person is constantly bringing unhealthy food around, it can make things extremely difficult on a relationship.
I never wanted to lose any friendships after surgery, but it naturally just happened. However, do not let this discourage you. I truly believe you will find who your real friends are on this journey and you will also meet so many new people in the community. I have gained so many new friendships on my journey thanks to different weight loss conferences and events. It is so freeing being able to find people that are going through the same thing as you. One thing I struggled with was that my friends would always say “oh, a little will not hurt you.” They just did not understand the severity of my eating disorder and how much I was struggling. Once I found friends in this community, I felt like I could truly be myself after surgery.
I did not lose all my friends after my procedure. With many people, we became stronger than ever, especially with my family. They were such huge supporters of mine and it was so amazing finally being able to open up to them about some of my issues. They watched me evolve on my journey and truly find who I wanted to be in life. When you find those type of people who will be your biggest cheerleaders on the toughest of days, you know you have succeeded. Hang in there and remember that it will take them time to adjust to your new habits. Be patient with them and tell them what you need from them. It is completely normal to lay it all out for them and be vulnerable. You need your support system with this new lifestyle so make sure you take the time to appreciate those people on this journey with you.
- Kimberly H.