Bariatric surgery like gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-BAND is life-changing not only for you, but for your family as well. If you have children, talking with your kids about weight loss surgery is an important part of your weight-loss journey.
Children tend to be very observant even at a young age, and once you begin losing a lot of weight after your procedure they might feel afraid or anxious if they think your weight loss is caused by an illness or disease. Talking with your kids before your surgery will help calm their fears, give them time to ask questions, and make it easier for you to focus on your own recovery.
Focus On Your Health
Some parents avoid talking with kids about weight loss surgery because they think their children will see surgery as a ‘quick fix’ for body issues related to being overweight or obese, especially if the children also struggle to maintain a healthy body weight.
By explaining to your kids that your weight loss surgery will make you healthier, you take the focus off your appearance and make it about feeling better. Be sure to tell your children that your operation is designed to help you, but you’ll also need to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly to achieve your goal weight.
Work Out A Plan
Your children might have concerns about the time you’ll spend in the hospital, and how you’ll be once you return home. Be sure to let them know what day you are going for your surgery, and who will be taking care of them while you’re away.
If you have older kids or teenagers, let them know what you expect from them while you’re recovering – this might be a good time to introduce new responsibilities, like picking up a younger brother or sister from school, or taking on extra chores around the house.
When talking with your kids about weight loss surgery, be sure to use language they can easily understand, and check to see if they have any questions. Let them know they can come back to you later on if there is something they’d like to know about – that keeps the lines of communication open and can help kids feel safe.
Explain Your Diet
Chances are good that your diet will change significantly just prior to, and after, your weight loss procedure. Talk with your kids about portion size, and why you now eat much less than you used to. If your family activities included eating meals or treats out, be sure to let your children know that you might need to find new things to do together that don’t focus on food.
By talking with your kids about weight loss surgery before and after your procedure, you’ll make it easier for the whole family to adjust to changes in your diet, appearance, and health. To learn more about how you can make your bariatric surgery experience successful, contact us here at Destination Weight Loss.