Today, we’re diving into an essential aspect of the journey:  the psychological and emotional aspects of undergoing bariatric surgery.  We understand that while the physical changes are significant, the emotional rollercoaster can be just as intense.  That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize mental health and find effective strategies for managing stress and anxiety throughout this transformative journey.

Understanding the Emotional Landscape

"Woman hiking"Embarking on the path to bariatric surgery can stir up a whirlwind of emotions – excitement, anticipation, fear, and anxiety.  It’s perfectly normal to experience a range of feelings as you navigate this journey.  Acknowledging and validating these emotions is the first step toward maintaining good mental health.  Remember, you’re not alone in how you feel, and reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Strategies for Managing Stress and Anxiety

1. Mindfulness and Meditation

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help alleviate stress and anxiety.  Take a few moments each day to breathe deeply, center yourself, and focus on the present moment.  Meditation apps, guided imagery, or simply sitting quietly can all be effective tools for calming the mind.

2. Seeking Professional Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals who specialize in bariatric surgery support.  Therapists, counselors, and support groups can offer invaluable guidance and support as you navigate the emotional ups and downs of the journey.

3. Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Find healthy ways to cope with stress that don’t involve food.  Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, walking in nature, practicing yoga, or spending time with loved ones.  Exercise is also an excellent way to boost mood and reduce stress.

4. Open Discussions and Peer Support

Encouraging open discussions within our support group can be incredibly empowering.  Sharing your experiences, fears, and triumphs with others who understand can foster a sense of community and validation.  Remember, there’s strength in vulnerability, and together, we can overcome any obstacles that come our way.

5. Setting Realistic Expectations

It’s essential to set realistic expectations for yourself and your journey.  Bariatric surgery is a powerful tool for weight loss and improved health., but it’s not a magic cure-all.  Be patient with yourself, celebrate small victories, and remember that progress takes time.

As you embark on your bariatric surgery journey, remember that your mental health matters just as much as your physical health.  By prioritizing self-care, seeking support when needed, and fostering open discussions within our community, we can navigate the emotional terrain together.  Remember, you are strong, resilient, and capable of achieving your goals.  Stay connected, stay supported, and remember that you’re never alone on this journey.



Janet Klein, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE
By Janet Klein, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE
Janet Klein, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE is Garnet Health Medical Center's Bariatric Surgery Program Director. 

She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from the State University at Oneonta and her Master of Science in Education from Queens College University. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator, a Registered Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist, holds an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics certificate of Training in Obesity Interventions for Adults and is a member of the Integrated Health group of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

She brings more than 35 years of clinical, educational and leadership experience to Garnet Health Medical Center, where she spearheaded the Bariatric Surgery Program in 2008, received Accreditation for the program through the ASMBS in 2011, re-accredited the program through the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) in 2014, 2017, currently and continues to lead the program with passion.

Janet can be reached at 845-333-2123 or

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