The following suggestions are important to reflect upon and take into account if your spouse or partner is about to undergo, or has already had bariatric surgery:
- Be sensitive, caring and understanding. Respect the choice your partner has made to have bariatric surgery. Your partner should never feel as if you are “judging” them because of the decision they have made.
- Demonstrate an interest in learning about the bariatric procedure. Offer to accompany your partner to their doctor’s appointments, and accompany them to their pre-op education class.
- Ask your partner what he/she feels you can do to further support their efforts. In addition to emotional support, perhaps they would like support with food preparation or commitment to an exercise* partnership.*Exercising is a very important factor in facilitating weight loss, muscle toning and contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle, and stress reliever. Garnet Health Medical Center has partnered with AYO Fitness in Middletown, NY to offer a “bariatric patient only” exercise class with one of their professional exercise specialists. The class welcomes bariatric patient partners as well!
- Together, you can find healthier ways to manage and control stress: Prep meals “together.” This is an excellent way for you to gage the amount and type of food your partner will be consuming in his/her new lifestyle. When you become savvy with the type of foods and portion sizes, you may just find yourself losing weight too!
- Openly communicate with your partner how you feel about the lifestyle changes suggested and how you would like to help implement them, for the good of your partner, yourself, but also to improve your entire family’s overall quality of life.
- Accompany your partner to monthly Bariatric Support Group meetings. At Garnet Health Medical Center we offer support groups for pre and post-op patients together, or a post-op patient only support group meeting as well. All support groups are open to the general public. To find out the support group schedule and to register, call the registrar at 1-888-321-6762
Eating After Bariatric Surgery
The golden rules of eating after bariatric surgery are:
- Eat slow
- Chew well
- Make your food moist
- Don’t eat past the point of fullness
- No eating and drinking at the same time
If at any time you notice your partner reverting back to old patterns of eating, encourage them to make an appointment with the Bariatric Dietitian Educator 845-333-2124 to help them to realize it and how to get back on track and stay there before weight regain becomes a real red flag!
Remember: The bariatric surgery team is ALWAYS there to help you keep a smile on your face