Starting in 2021, I will be working in partnership with Mark Grant (Southern Weight Loss) to provide a comprehensive service for clients before and after private weight loss surgery.
Considering weight loss surgery? Here are some things to think about
Weight loss surgery will only benefit you if you are willing to make lifestyle changes to work alongside the reduced intake you will experience because of physical restriction created by surgery. It will not let you “eat what you want.”
If you eat for emotional reasons or because of past trauma, you need to work on the reasons you eat. A fair number of clients I see who have the need for weight loss surgery can be eligible for sensitive claims counseling.
Weight loss surgery seldom normalizes body weight. You are likely to be overweight or obese when you achieve your goal weight. The weight loss is to improve function and health, not to achieve cosmetic perfection. You will still find yourself judged as a big person, even if you achieve the weight loss goal we calculate as a successful outcome.
You will have skin folds. If you want a surgical revision of skin folds you will need to work with a plastic surgeon. Skin revision is seldom done in the public system unless there is a health problem caused directly by the excess skin.
Food is more than nutrition
A Maori woman who had weight loss surgery said to me once, “I wish I had known how tough it would be attending events on the marae when I can only eat a little bit of food”. Although she had been extremely public about her journey, the social and cultural pressures that occurred when at events where she was receiving manakitanga were substantial.
The challenges you face with food won’t go away with surgery, and this can put you at increased risk of co-addiction.
Do I recommend weight loss surgery?
After over 25 years of working with a specialist interest in weight management, I am confident that surgery is the primary treatment option for some clients. I have one person starting that journey at the moment and another who I am thinking we should discuss whether she starts down the pathway.
Here are some things to ask yourself if you are thinking of surgery
- What is my reason for wanting weight loss surgery?
- How will my losing weight affect my relationships with others?
- If someone in my close circle of relationships starts sabotaging my weight loss efforts either during the preparation or post-surgical period am I willing to confront that behavior and potentially lose the relationship?
- Am I willing to make efforts to understand the reasons I eat, including participating in psychotherapy if necessary?
- Am I willing to work on being physically active every day and make choices to spend less time undertaking inactive leisure?
- Am I willing to either explain why I can’t eat more, or just say “no thanks” when there is social and cultural pressure to eat?
- Am I willing to accept I will still be judged as an overweight person by society and by people in health who do not understand the nature of weight loss surgery?
If you are considering surgery and want to talk about it, please do not hesitate to make contact with me.