Support Groups are Here for You
At Tristate, we like for you to attend 2 support groups before surgery. Ideally, you will get some education, and have an opportunity to ask questions of those who have had surgery. Once you become familiar with support groups, you may find it easier to attend post-op. After surgery, support groups are highly encouraged for many reasons, including the following:
- They get you out of the house. This prevents boredom eating, and gives some structure to your evening or week. You may feel more accountable knowing you will be checking in with others.
- You realize you are not alone in your struggles. Instead of berating or feeling sorry for yourself, you will be reminded of how difficult food issues can be for many individuals. This may encourage you to take that day and the next one with small steps to getting better, and with more self-compassion.
- They help you get back on track. Good advice to support group attendees is to come even when you aren’t doing well. It may be just what you need to steer back on course by food journaling again or going out to buy protein shakes on the way home.
- You will learn helpful tips. A comment someone made may be just what you need to hear later that week. Get advise about navigating social or workplace events, traveling, holidays or dining out that you may soon face.
- Relationships may develop. Seeing a familiar face can add to your day and fill any loneliness. With time, you may become acquainted with others and decide to meet at the public park to walk during the week. Sometimes friendships develop where you have someone to call during the week on a difficult day. You might find it helpful to touch base daily to exchange your preplanned food choices.
Support groups are reminders that you need to continually make your weight loss a priority. All attendees are at different stages of their weight loss journey. Even those at maintenance still have to take time to focus on healthy lifestyle goals. Inspiring stories may come from someone further along, or a new attendee may be motivated by your story, giving a sense of satisfaction in helping someone else. There is reinforcement from these groups, both from the leader, who may have some new education, and also from fellow individuals who have walked in your shoes.
Check out Tristate Bariatrics’ website for the latest support group schedule. You will have the opportunity to share any recent accomplishments or struggles with food choices. (Confidentiality is emphasized at meetings.) If you prefer, be assured that you can just listen until you are more comfortable. Always feel free to bring a guest. We hope you will go home with helpful information and make new connections.