Keeping Your Head in the Game (Part 2)
The importance of regular attendance to a bariatric support group is key to maintaining weight loss. Many of your friends and family will support you through your weight loss journey and you will find others that will undermine you. Some may offer you a reward after you meet a milestone or goal. Food should never be used as one of these rewards. You might even stumble across a few people that act as your personal food police. Improve your health and well being with the right mind set, and remember the surgery is just a tool. You must make the necessary lifestyle changes to achieve success.
Preoperative patients gain insight of the lifestyle change necessary for success. Lifestyle changes do not happen overnight; they take work and dedication one day at a time. Members of the group provide great ideas and strategies, such as what protein drink tastes good and where to get the best deals on them. Also, members can provide information and advice on how to keep you on track with your diet when you dine out with friends and family. They stress the importance of many lifestyle changes, such as adding exercise and portion control, to their daily lives. It is also important to identify obstacles or hurdles such as weight loss plateaus. One example might be as simple as someone not getting enough protein in their diet. Furthermore, you can learn helpful tips from others and understand how to incorporate them into your hectic schedule.
Many individuals feel isolated in their addiction to food and struggle to lose weight. Bariatric support groups offer patients a place to turn to and provide an understanding not found in our homes, families, or communities. They offer compassion and keep you honest and accountable for your own actions. There is a huge difference in the amount of support from someone who has encountered the same situation as you compared to someone who has not. It bonds you together and makes you stronger. Members of the group show acceptance of others who share similar struggles that they may have encountered along their journey.
The main reason to attend a support group after your surgery is to keep you motivated and on track. Support groups are not a substitute for individual counseling which can deal with sensitive personal issues. The most important thing that members learn from attending a support group is that they are not alone.