Bariatric Nurse Cyndi Iduate shares the intimacy issues female bariatric patients may encounter.
Nurse Cyndi Iduate:
Definitely self-esteem issues and with the relationships that they may have. Sometimes, unfortunately, they are in relationships that are destructive, and they feed into their vulnerability and because of their low self-esteem, they are obese. You know, it becomes that kind of relationship, and so it’s unhealthy.
Not all relationships are that way, but we’ve seen probably more destructive relationships when patients meet their significant others when they are heavy versus those that have met them prior to maybe being obese and have worked through all these issues from before and after surgery. So it makes a difference.
Sometimes women shy away from intimate relationships because they feel as if though their partner may not like the way they look because they may not like themselves. So how can they possibly like me, you know? And that obviously affects that relationship.
So it may not really be that significant other who is really shying away from the patient, it’s really the patient distancing themselves from their significant others because of the way that they feel. And unfortunately, sometimes society does put a stigma on women where women need to be a certain way to look desirable or be desirable.
So therefore it creates a lot of pressure on that woman. You know, you see them in People Magazine and all these magazines whereas glamour equals skinny, and all the Hollywood stars, women, and really the focus is more on women. So I think the pressure is more on those women. You know, you’ve got Victoria’s Secret and what have you, so you have to look a certain way to be desirable.
You know, I think it has changed a little bit throughout the years. We talk about 10 years ago, things were definitely that way. I think now we are becoming a little more comfortable with women actually being real. You know it’s not about weighing 110 pounds. Not everybody is built that way, but it’s basically feeling comfortable with your own skin, and you are beautiful no matter what, you know. And that’s what we like to tell patients in our support group. You know, it’s about you inside; it’s not really the outside. It’s the inside that counts, you know.
So it’s a metamorphosis, it really is. So it’s bringing that inner beauty out, and again, it’s not the only reason why women seek this kind of surgery, but we find a lot of women that do for that reason. A lot of them do seek it, of course, for health issues.
About Cyndi Iduate, R.N.:
Cyndi Iduate, R.N., B.S.N, C.B.N., is a certified bariatric nurse coordinator and support group facilitator at South Miami Hospital in Florida. Cyndi lost 196 pounds after undergoing bariatric surgery.