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People helping people -- The importance of a good support group on the Gastric Bypass journey

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I had support group last night. We meet the first Wednesday of every month at the hospital.

I have always found support group to be helpful. I mean, mostly (if I may speak candidly) it is a bunch of former obese people and a bunch of wanna be former obese people sitting around talking about how great it is not to be obese anymore. We share stories and accomplishments and struggles... we help each other, we listen to each other, we encourage each other, and we recognize one another.

Last night, there was a member of my group that has been struggling. She isn't losing as much weight as she "should" be and she is having a lot of issues with emotional eating.

I explained to her, that for however many years of her life, she has used food to cope with the issue. She had surgery six months ago, and there is no way she can undo a lifetime of learned behavior in six months. It takes time, and even I struggle with it because when things go down, I still look for a bag of chips! I wanted her to know she is not alone in this struggle. We exchanged phone#s and Facebooks. I told her anytime she is struggling to get in touch with me and I will help her in any way that I can. Even if it is just listening.

I also gave her some advice on her workouts. Apparently, in my group I am the exercise guru? I am cool with that... :)

I can not stress the importance of a good support group if you are going through or have gone through Weight Loss Surgery. To me, it is critical to be able to converse with people who know what you are going through. A good support system in general is important, but a support group offers things that your BFF can't (unless of course, they have gone thru WLS too)

This is the photo I shared on my friend's facebook this morning. I hope it inspires her

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I enjoyed the blog. I find I have become so busy lately I am not checking in with folks like I used to. Finding myself recovering I find I have missed doing so. I enjoyed the support group blog and agree. Hope you are continuing to do great!!!!
    1534 days ago
    I agree! Especially when I was in the "process" before surgery, it's so overwhelming, it's so helpful to have people give you the "real" story behind it, not the doctor's versions. Sparkpeople support, facebook support, etc is all great, but nothing like face to face.
    1541 days ago
    I agree. Support groups are essential! I agree so strongly, that I started a TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group at my church in January. Had my surgery in April. The wonderful thing about my group, is that out of the 11 members, we have 5 that are post bariatric surgery, 2 that are the daughters of one couple that had the surgery (who, themselves are considering it), and 3 others that are good friends of the others, and watched them go through the process. When I'm having a bad day, I know that I can call on any of them, and they'll commiserate, and help me with ideas. Sometimes, they even come over and tell me what's wrong with my food plans!
    I still go to the support group for the surgeon, but, once a month is just not enough for me!

    1541 days ago
  • PATTYR81
    I always get a lot out of your blogs, postings and comments!

    emoticon emoticon
    1542 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/6/2013 4:31:46 PM
  • BILL60
    Support groups are super. Keep attending and keep helping others.
    1542 days ago
    I'm glad you do have a support group. And I hope the surgery is successful.
    1542 days ago
  • KNH771
    I agree. Some form of support group is necessary. We have a bariatric exercise group that I go to sometimes just to spend time with others in the community, and six years out I still go to the regular support group every couple of months (there are four moderators, and I like some better than others...).
    1543 days ago
    it's cool that you've become a mentor to her! i'll bet it help solidify your convictions as well. does she have a sparkpoeople account?
    1543 days ago
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