December marks the beginning of the festive calendar with lots of Christmas parties and get-togethers. Mention the word “Christmas” and two things come to mind busy shops and lots of food. It can be a very challenging time of year.
We asked some past patients to think back to their first Christmas after weight loss surgery. Many stated that the first Christmas was a tough one but many agreed that Christmas has become more enjoyable without the ‘guilty’ feeling from over indulging and not having the New Year’s resolution to loose weight is certainly an added bonus!
Here is a very touching memory from one of our patients….
“I remember vividly, my first Christmas after having a gastric bypass. I was absolutely delighted to be more than five stone lighter, having had my surgery in July, and able to wear something that I actually liked, rather than what fitted me!
“My Mum’s fridge is like a TARDIS: she could feed an army of 100 people in 10 minutes, with the contents of her fridge. Where did it all come from? I had never noticed it before but now that my meals were smaller than a child’s portion, the amount of food on the table seemed to have grown exponentially. It was so overwhelming the smells, sight and amount of food were a sensory overload for me. In hindsight, there was no more food on that table than anyone else’s on Christmas Day. I had never been overly fond of Christmas food. I don’t like mince pies, Christmas pudding or cake and I don’t eat pork so ‘pigs in blankets’ etc. were no problem either. However, my Mum’s legendary trifle was another matter entirely!
“And now to my Mum… she was amazing. She had made tiny little weight loss surgery friendly versions of everything I loved, including her trifle. She made sure I had healthy, delicious things to eat and even provided me with food that only I liked. What a hero. I felt so cared for and loved. And then it dawned on me – that is what family gatherings are all about. It has nothing to do with the food.
“My whole family were so wonderfully supportive that I had to dash to the bathroom to cry: tears of joy. I was so happy. I was alive, healthier, happier, with my family, and felt completely loved and supported.
“Mum came into the bathroom, wiped my tears and turned me around to look in the mirror. She said ‘Nothing on the table, the tree or in this house looks as beautiful as you do.’ She explained that she didn’t think I looked beautiful because I was slimmer, but because for the first time in years, I was talking about, and planning, my future. Can you imagine how fantastic that must be for parents to hear?
“So, in my experience, the first Christmas after weight loss surgery wasn’t easy, but it was one of the happiest I can remember. My wonderful family showed me that anything can be overcome with teamwork and planning.
“I guess what I am trying to say is that the first Christmas after bariatric surgery is just that – the first. With better health and improved confidence, there will be many more to come and THAT is the greatest gift you could ever give yourself, the people you love, and who love you.”
This patient was lucky enough to be spending their Christmas with a very understanding and supportive family. However not everyone is able to do this, do you have tips / advice for these newbies? Head over to our Facebook page and share your tips.