A little while back I posted a blog/letter to my Weight Loss Surgery Friends. I’m always so moved and motivated by my very own patients and the sacrifices they make to live a healthier life for themselves and their loved ones.
This time I want to take a moment and address the supportive spouse of my weight-loss surgery patients.
To the Husband/Wife of My Weight-Loss Surgery Friends,
Thank you for what you do. For the way you support your spouse by showing up to support groups when you aren’t the patient. For taking time off work to make sure you can be at their appointments. For coming to their diet classes and asking questions on behalf of your spouse when they forget to ask. For taking detailed notes and understanding the process enough that you can encourage your spouse when they start to waver.
It’s my opinion that having a supportive spouse is the secret weapon in this journey to health. Is it possible for patients in a marriage that is not supportive to have success? Surely, but it’s a much more rocky road compared to your spouse that has you on their side.
You help keep the right foods in the house and you don’t mind leaving the foods that you want outside of the house in the name of their success. You prepare their foods and follow the guidelines because you were at their diet classes and appointments. You talk out the meal plans for the week and what you’ll both order when you go out to eat. You talk about the holidays and keep the treats away for their success.
But you do all this in a loving and supportive way. Not in a food police or shaming sort of way. I know full well this is a very hard balance. To love your spouse enough that you encourage them not to induldge in something they really want all the while feeling like the jerk that is telling them no.
In my own marriage this is a hard battle. My spouse is naturally trim and he loves to snack. Out of love for him, I keep his snack cabinet stocked. While it’s mostly healthy options, they’re high in carbs. This is why I keep them away from me, but I want him to be happy so I keep them in the house for him. When he decided he wanted to be healthier, start food journaling, and asked that I help him…it was hard for me to not buy the foods he likes because I love him. But I do it, and I buy plenty of healthy options for him reminding myself that because I love him I need to provide him with the best fuel possible.
Marriage and food life is a tricky, tricky beast. Many spouses don’t even try. They don’t even go there and they don’t learn the post-op diet their spouse needs to eat. This can turn to hurtful comments more because of a lack of understanding or a lack of communication. Once again, I’m proud of you for walking next to your spouse through this journey.
I know you’re proud of your wife/husband. I hope they’re proud of you too. The husband-wife team is a powerful thing and this weight-loss journey is nothing short of needing powerful approaches!
Keep up the great work. You secret weapon you.
All my best,