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How to Show Support?

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Hi All,

I had the gastric sleeve done on 12/20, and am doing well with it. Shortly after my surgery, I found out that a family friend (we grew up considering her an “aunt”) had gastric bypass. I reached out to her and we decided to buddy up and support each other. 

Today I found out that she’s given in on foods. She had a bowl full of marinara (with meat), and garlic bread. She’s still supposed to be on the liquid diet. Per the person who was with her at the time, my aunt had said she was so hungry and wanted to eat (a “I can’t help it” tone).

I’m not sure how to approach this with her. I want to support her weight loss, but I feel as though she’s already sabotaging herself and not approaching the psychological aspects of “hunger”. I’ve sent her a link to this forum, and checked in with her almost daily. I know the liquid stage sucks, but it’s necessary for healing. 

I know I don’t know everything about this process, or the effects it has, but I’d still like to help her. Anyone have suggestions? An in person visit is out because she lives on the other side of the state. 

 

 

 

 

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I would say and do nothing about this particular incident unless she specifically asks for your opinion/advice/support. She likely already feels bad about slipping up. Feeling like someone reported her behavior and talked about her behind her back would likely make her feel all kinds of things -- all negative.

That doesn't mean you can't check in with her and ask, "How's everything going?" and go from there.

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I'm with @Gretta on this. I don't think there's anything you could say that would make her "get it" or change her behavior. We all have to get to that place on our own. She most likely knows she's she's not following the rules. I think keeping an emotional connection with her is about the only thing you can do - asking how things are going, maybe send a recipe you like. Anything else might actually cause more of a backlash than anything. We all know what it feels like to be judged for our behavior, and that judgement doesn't usually seem to stop the behavior in question.

I'm glad to hear that you are doing well, though :) 

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I am with @Jen581791 and @Gretta. Stay out of it. Work your own plan and if/when she asks for help, offer it then. 

My food addiction was crazy strong which is how I ate myself to over 300 pounds. It took me years of therapy and 12-step meeting work to come to terms with my addiction and be in a place where I could have surgery and not return to my former eating patterns. I'm not saying this is the case with her - I have no idea of course. Just sharing what I know I would have done had I not done all the of head and emotional work before I had surgery. And, there wasn't anything that anyone could have said to me that would have caused me to see the light. My food addiction kept me in a figurative blackout. 

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I would have been too afraid to mess up my healing stomach to try anything off plan, but that being said, all ppl are different and clearly the food addiction was calling her louder than the don't eat anything because your stomach and intestines are still healing voice of reason.  I would imagine your aunt has more work in figuring this out and squelching the food demons.  Your support can be very helpful, but be careful not to let it pull you down if she is struggling and needs more help that you can't provide.

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What they said !!  I would have been tooo scared to eat bread and meat that early although she could  not have had more then a bite or 2 .  I don't know though RNY is not the same . We have our pyloric valve and they don't.

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I agree with everyone above. For your sake it pays to remember that it is the messenger that usually gets shot in these incidents. Don't be anyone else's "food police".

It's unlikely that your "Aunt" has done herself any damage physically as what she ate was pretty soft. I was on soft foods the day after my surgery while still in hospital.....mind you garlic bread certainly wasn't on the menu!!!! All surgeons approach both the pre-op and the post-op diet based on their own experiences and knowledge, and they can be vastly different from each other. While your aunts mind set right now probably doesn't auger well for her future success, her results will be telling to her medical team very quickly (even if she isn't completely honest with them). Let them pick up the post-op management, because chances are she needs a level of intervention that is beyond your experience. You can be a good role model for her without passing judgement, and that is a far safer way to go if you value the relationship. I'd even go so far as to say it's probably in your best best interests to not take the "surgery buddy" aspect of your relationship very seriously. If you do it could easily drag you down.

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Thank you everyone for the advise. I’m not too great at the human aspect of all this, so I’ll step back and show support in an arms length kind of way (help if asked, celebrate wins, ignore everything in between). I guess if it were me, and I was immediately off my surgeons diet (she starts puréed foods today), I’d want to be called out on it. Everyone is different though and I will just try to remain neutral on the whole thing. 

 

 

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