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Do I Need a Weight Loss Surgery Support Group?

Bariatric surgery patients build community and support one another in weight loss surgery support group

Weight loss surgery is a HUGE life change that impacts many more facets of your life than you may expect.  While preparing to undergo weight loss surgery, you may ask yourself, “Do I need a support group?”  Whether or not you NEED a support group is ultimately up to you, but read on to learn how a bariatric support group might benefit you in some unexpected ways!

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of joining a bariatric support group is that you gain an instant army of experts who have been through the process you are about to begin.  While you may not have the time and access to ask your surgeon EVERY question you think of, a support group can be a great resource to answer even the most random of concerns. Remember that your support buddies should not be answering any medically related questions, and they should be directed to your surgeon’s office. It’s always best to speak to a professional if you have any medical concerns.

Group members can be a fast track to great ideas too!  Having access to a support group can get you a wealth of recipes, tools, exercise videos, app suggestions, articles, book recommendations, etc.  Tons of time and money can be saved by taking the sage advice of your fellow group members! Remember that you are not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last to go through this process. Learn from others’ trial and error and make the weight loss processes as easy and efficient as possible.

Support groups can help you manage fears and expectations leading up to the big day.  Having gone through the experience themselves, they can help you mentally prepare and reduce anxiety.  Surgery is scary!  It can be very reassuring to pick the brains of people who’ve had the same procedure. Feel free to call our office and speak to a patient who has gone through the process before you. You can also find hundreds of stories online.

Are you having a moment of weakness?  Fallen off the diet or exercise bandwagon?  Your support group will understand and help encourage you to get back on track!  Members of the group can empathize with the mental and emotional struggles far more personally than loved ones or your doctor.  A support group can be a vital tool in helping you get in the saddle!

Lastly is a benefit you may not have thought about.  That is the incredibly rewarding experience of being that same resource and support for others.  It is a beautiful feeling to address those fears and share your wisdom and lessons learned to help someone else succeed in their journey!  Don’t be too quick to leave your support group.  Stick around and see if there are others you can help at earlier stages in their journey. Also, giving other people solid tips and tricks can help you stay on track. Practice what you preach!

So how do you find a group?  We can help you with a list of local groups.  A quick internet search will likely give you a good list of options.  Some groups may meet in person, while others may meet online through communities on social media.  Try a few different groups to see the best fit for you.  Just because one group doesn’t click with you doesn’t mean that none will.  Give a few a try!

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