WLS and Relationships
Weight loss surgery makes a huge impact on your life. It is more than likely one of the biggest changes you will ever go through. You will have to change the way you look at food and this will impact how you look at social events and life in general. Through these changes, there will be many challenges that you have to get through. Many people think weight loss surgery is the easy way out, but that is far from the truth. You will need a support system to help you during your tough days. The most crucial person in that support system is your partner. Whether you are dating or married, you need their support to help you on this journey.
There are many people who have a healthy support system and their partner jumps on board with the healthy changes that need to happen. This is an ideal situation because it makes your new lifestyle so much easier. A lot of times people who have the surgery often have partners that are in a similar situation where they make unhealthy choices. When one person decides to have the surgery, it can cause the other person to make healthy changes, and possibly even consider the surgery themselves. On the other hand, there are people who are in relationships where the other person refuses to make healthy changes. This is extremely challenging for someone who is on a weight loss surgery journey and can cause you to become distant with your partner. I have learned through experience that people are much more successful when they are on a weight loss journey together. When one person is still making those unhealthy choices, it can be toxic for relationships.
Relationships take work, especially when someone is going through a weight loss surgery journey. It is so important that you are open with your partner about the importance of them being supportive. If you have spent most of your relationship doing things like going out to dinner, this will have an impact on the way you interact with each other. One of the most difficult parts of this journey for me was finding ways that my partner and I could spend time with each other where food was not the focus. So much of our life together had consisted of food, whether it was date nights or nights in. Food was always a part of our activities. It took time to find the solution to this, but I learned that we could have intimate moments without food being involved. We started doing activities that promoted our new healthy lifestyle, such as hiking. We got closer because of this and it helped our relationship become stronger.
When your partner is not supportive on this journey, it can cause distance. Some people even say that their partner leaves them for losing too much weight. I will say that I think if anyone says that, you aren’t meant to be with them. Finding someone who is supportive of your healthy lifestyle changes that could save your life, is much more important than staying with someone who refuses to let you be happy with yourself. The people that stand by you on this journey are the ones you should be with.
The best advice I can give you if you are going through this would be to communicate as clearly as possible to your partner. Tell him/her what you need to be successful. They should be your biggest cheerleaders on this journey. You are already under stress when making these changes, you don’t need any additional pressure. At the same time, remember to be patient with your partner. It is a change for them too, so it will take time to adjust. Be patient and show your compassion towards them as well. Always show how much you appreciate their support and it will reinforce their behavior. Remember, you need support to help you through this. Find it with the ones you love, and you will be on the path towards success.
- Kimberly H.