Weight loss surgery can initiate a lot of healthy changes in your life. The foods you eat, your activity level and even the way you think about foods might change as you adjust your lifestyle to better fit your post-bariatric guidelines.
However, it is not correct to say that these changes will come naturally. Change is often stressful, and healthy changes are no less stressful than unhealthy ones. To maintain your weight loss long-term, you’ll have to make sincere changes to your way of life. This may require some mental and physical support as you attempt to incorporate healthy choices and behaviors into your day-to-day routine.
Benefits of Support Groups
Weight loss surgery is a rewarding weight-loss method, but it takes long-term lifestyle changes to manage your weight. One of the most important habits you can adopt as you move forward on your weight loss journey is to regularly participate in support groups.
Many people find support groups especially helpful after weight loss surgery. This is because support groups present a chance for you to:
- Hear perspective from others on issues you are experiencing
- Listen to the challenges other people are experiencing in similar situations
- Gain insight on the obstacles that may be ahead
- Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your journey
Resources for Support
There are a number of types of bariatric surgery support groups, and many weight loss surgery centers offer support sessions monthly or even weekly. Some groups are open to only bariatric surgery patients, while other groups are geared toward anyone that is considering surgery for weight loss.
Online support groups are another option, which enables individuals to receive support online from the comfort of their own homes. Retreats and reunions encompass support groups that meet less frequently, such as annually or twice per year. Psychological support groups help people deal with relationship or body image issues in conjunction with their weight loss surgery.
In addition to these forms of support groups, you may find it helpful to join an activity-based support group, such as a walking or other form of exercise group. This will give you a resource for encouragement as well as workout accountability as you progress towards your weight loss goals.
Some patients report that a support group helps them achieve long-term success in their weight loss by helping them to maintain weight and keep it from coming back. Being able to hear what other patients have gone through and are experiencing often helps to normalize the weight loss process.
By joining a local support group you can learn about what other bariatric surgery patients are struggling with, and encourage them as they experience their own triumphs along the way.