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Set the Bar High
Best friends believe in each other. You believe your friend can do anything she sets her mind to. Even if you are unsure that she can achieve her goal, you are willing to help her do everything possible to get close to her goal. Support yourself in your WLS by:
- Being positive.
- Keeping off-limits foods out of the house.
- Stocking up on the foods you need at each stage of your pre-op and post-op diet.
Sympathize First; Question Later
The hallmark of a good friend is taking your side. Whenever your friend tells you that something is going wrong, you automatically take his side before you even hear what the problem is. Only after letting your friend know that you’re on his side should you listen to the story and ask questions.
Similarly, you should take your own side automatically, then ask questions. For example,
- Problem: “My doctor says WLS won’t work for me.” Response: “Yes it will.” Question: “Why did my doctor say that, and what can I do about it?
- Problem: “My husband won’t stop eating junk food around me.” Response: “That’s selfish and hurtful.” Question: “My husband deserves to be able to make his own choices, just like I make mine. Can I come up with a compromise such as letting him eat whatever he wants, but making sure the leftovers are out of reach?”
Listen without Judgement…
Everyone needs a sympathetic ear when things are not going right. You will have struggles, whether it is because the scale is not behaving, you are having trouble with insurance or getting through to your surgeon, or you are falling off the bandwagon and eating in ways you know you should not. Admit it to yourself, and go a step further. Explain your problems to yourself just as you would want a friend to explain them to you, and listen to yourself without judging. When you really listen to yourself, you may not only feel better but might even come up with a solution.
…But Demand the Truth
You would start to wonder if your friend came to you every day and said he was doing everything right, but was not losing weight. Your friend needs to vent, but as a best friend, it is your job to get at the truth. There is a chance that your friend is not being honest with himself or you.
Ask yourself if you are really being honest. Are you measuring each bite? Are you hitting your daily protein and fluid goals? Are you “tasting” any of the foods you prepare for your family or that they bring home from restaurants? Have you been working out consistently the way you should?
Thankfully, being a good friend does not only involve the tough times. It includes being an enthusiastic cheerleader. Recognize each scale and non-scale victory by congratulating yourself, just like you would congratulate a friend. Remind yourself that you deserve it and you worked hard for it. Celebrating each victory helps you look forward to the next one and be more motivated to achieve it.
You are the only one who is guaranteed to be there for yourself the entire WLS journey, so you might as well make sure you are giving yourself the most support possible. Act like your own best friend, and you may be well on your way to being strong support for yourself.