Understanding your motivation for seeking weight loss surgery is an important step in evaluating your likelihood for achieving long-term weight loss success. Psychologists tell us that the motivation we usually seek is change which is driven by one of four sources:
- From other people who are important in our lives
- Desire to avoid negative feelings or guilt
- Identification with another person and the desire to be like them
- From within ourselves
In most cases, any or all of these motivational sources may drive a person to seek weight loss surgery, but research indicates that the stronger the motivation is from within us, the better our chances of success.
Internally motivated bariatric patients usually consider weight loss surgery out of a desire for better health. Some research shows that health concern is the primary driver in 62% of bariatric patients, followed by increase in physical functioning, improvement in self esteem, business advancement, and social attractiveness. Together, health concerns and physical functioning represent the primary motivations in over three quarters of bariatric patients studied.
Ensuring that you are seeking bariatric surgery primarily for yourself and not to please other people or to avoid guilty feelings, is an important consideration when discussing long-term success after weight loss surgery. Honest examination of your motivation and a frank discussion with your weight loss surgeon will help you decide if bariatric surgery is the best weight loss option.