What do you say to someone who’s struggling with obesity? Unfortunately, there are no magic words, especially since you’re not telling them something they don’t already know. However, there is a correct approach. It’s important to play a positive role in your loved one’s support system.
Like what we do at Obesity Control Center®, located just minutes south of San Diego, we don’t treat patients like numbers. We motivate them to stay on track, guide them every step of the way, and celebrate their successes. We treat them like family. Therefore, we understand how nerve-racking it can be to start a conversation about weight. Where do you even begin? Here are tips for what to do (and what not to do) when talking to a loved one about their health.
Helping Your Loved One
Whether it’s your spouse, sibling, child, or friend that you want to talk with about their health, it’s a tricky subject to broach. You want to help, but it’s also a personal and private topic. Any conversation about weight may come across as criticism, which may cause them to feel shame, become defensive, or even secretive. However, you’re worried about them. You should infuse this type of conversation with positivity and respect. Here are some steps to make the process easier while giving your loved ones the support they need:
Learn About Weight Loss Surgery
Educate yourself so you can provide facts and not just suggestions. You can find a wealth of information on the internet. Collect credible research about weight-loss surgery procedures and their benefits. This way, you can determine if weight-loss surgery is an option for your loved one. You can then explain it accurately and address some of their questions.
Begin a Weight Loss Surgery Conversation
Before you begin the weight-loss surgery conversation with your loved one, imagine if the roles were reversed. Would you find a friend’s or spouse’s advice as intrusive or helpful? Treat the person you are talking with as you would want to be treated. This helps you mark your boundaries, too.
When bringing up the emotionally charged topic of weight-loss surgery, be sensitive and caring enough to stop the conversation if you detect feelings of intense discomfort or apprehensiveness. Tell them you love them and that you are not judging them. If they show interest in undergoing surgery, continue the conversation. If not, put the topic to rest and wait for them to bring it back up. Remember, you are only providing support. Even if you are family and part of the decision-making process, let them ultimately make their own decisions about their health.
How to Discuss Weight Loss Surgery with Your Loved One (Dos and Don’ts)
You may have good intentions but always be cautious about how you demonstrate them.
- Avoid being a “know-it-all” and lecturing instead of discussing. It’s like nagging a child to do their chores. Chances are, they will tune you out. Encourage open dialogue, so they know you’re also there to listen and that you understand their feelings are valid.
- Don’t be judgmental and shame them. There is no need to aggravate their frustration or anger, especially when they associate their weight with their appearance. Be sensitive about their feelings and carefully choose your words and how you deliver them.
- Always use a positive approach. Setting a healthy and nurturing tone and atmosphere gives you a platform for expressing your concerns, empathy, and support. Sometimes, just telling them about your fear of losing them because of their weight-related conditions can already help. Love and concern can go a long way.
- Always be armed with the correct information. Provide facts and not unsolicited diet tips. More importantly, focus on their health and not their weight.
Supporting Your Loved One Through Their Health Journey
There are many ways to show support whether your loved one decides to undergo surgery or not. Even if they’ve already decided to pursue surgery, your job doesn’t end there. Don’t just say “I’m here for you” or “if you need anything, call me.” Stay involved. You can research weight-loss procedures e,g, Lap band, Bariatric surgery etc. together, go to appointments, and even join support groups to show you’re with them every step of the way.
Weight-loss surgery is life-changing. Be available to listen to their concerns, worries, and anything that might be causing them stress. Furthermore, be a motivator by encouraging your loved one to participate in activities or exercises, try healthy recipes, or look for new hobbies. By actively involving yourself in your loved one’s journey, you get to learn together and help build a solid support system which is key to weight-loss success.
How OCC Can Help
Weight-loss surgery is not a magic cure. It is merely an effective tool in helping patients kickstart and maintain the lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight and improve health. This is why we put a lot of compassion into our patient care. At Obesity Control Center, we go above and beyond to make every patient feel like family. But it goes even beyond that.
We are the only US-accredited weight loss center in Mexico, boasting the highest safety standards and the lowest complication rate on record. We offer a 5-year post-op care plan that includes personal guidance through our app and our US-based patient coordinators who are accessible by phone 24/7 to ensure our patients receive the support and education necessary to succeed. Check out our patient testimonials to see how OCC has transformed their lives.
We also believe patients can rely on the support of each other for encouragement to take this big step and stay focused on their goals. We offer Facebook support groups where patients not only receive tips and motivation but see firsthand how bariatric surgery is changing peoples’ lives.
Get The Support You Need At OCC
At OCC, we don’t just take pride in having a state-of-the-art facility that helps people achieve their weight-loss goals. We are proud of every single member that joins our family. If you or your loved one would like to learn more about weight-loss surgeries and all the support waiting for you, contact Obesity Control Center in Mexico today.