What is a Support Person?
You are a part of the struggle and share the difficulties with those that suffer.
To some people, having bariatric surgery and losing weight seems easy. Having the weight melt away, with only 10% of your original stomach left. Others know the struggle; the constant everyday decisions that impact on weight gain, the emotional consideration of diet, simple tasks like purchasing products not knowing if you can eat it without guilt.
These are the issues that my mother, Maria, is facing. The persistent challenge of daily eating; having a sustainable, healthy diet in this fattened and sugared product lifestyle within our society today.
Through this challenge to live a better life, there are a few things I ask of you.
Be honest, with yourself and your close ones. For people that love you, be honest with them and let them help you. Take them shopping, fight with them, cry with them. Secret binge eating like my Mum used to do can only be overcome by honesty.
- The first thing to consider, as a Support person for someone going into this surgery, is a fear of death and the complications. This was spoken of a lot by medical professionals beforehand. Post-surgery patients can also experience eating difficulty, nausea and vomiting, nutritional deficiencies, hair loss and stomach acid leakage.
- The second is altering your lifestyle. To both join the gym and GO to it. Removing all the un-beneficial food from your house. Constantly framing your mind for healthy eating and shopping. Reducing portions and not eating that second, third, fourth plate. Swapping a plate or two of ice cream for a slice of fruit. Habituating exercise. Become unwavering – plan exercise goals and achieve them.
- The third is to brace for the repercussions after surgery. The pain, the loss, the stress. You can’t drink more the three tablespoons of water. Two pieces of bread will fill you up. Get out of the bed and move a day after. You have one year to lose the weight and let your body acclimatise. It is just a tool and you have to use it effectively.
- Fight to ignore society with their shaming and love yourself. Your worst critic is yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about eating four cream buns or that whole tub of chocolate ice cream. Get angry, alter your plan and take yourself out for a short run to make up for it. Its a daily struggle and you’ll face it everyday.
Every day is a new day.
Words of Advice? There isn’t much I can say. There are so many books, website, recipes, techniques, habits, life hacks and ideas out there that can help you.
What I would say is Live. Live your life. Find happiness in a slice of apple. Saviour the taste. Life is meant to be enjoyed, just enjoy it with more thought of your future and how many days you can enjoy that slice of apple.
To be honest, after reading this, if anyone still regards this surgery as a walk in the park then I prompt them to watch the Big Ward, see the struggle of these 6 amazing, beautiful people and to walk a day in their shoes. You all are astonishing for taking on this challenge.
On behalf of New Zealand, I support you all and those like you in our society. It is not an easy feat and thank you for showing us your lives and the struggle you have had.
Vincent Evans-Welsh, Maria’s Son and your Support in your Struggle.