Support Groups after Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery will initiate a series of changes in your life. Even before undergoing your weight loss procedure you’ll be encouraged to make changes to your diet, your exercise habits and to other lifestyle habits that may be influencing your weight loss efforts.
Adjusting to these changes takes time, and may be stressful. To help you cope with these changes and to encourage an easier transition to a healthier way of life, support groups are a recommended resource.
What are support groups?
A support group is a network of peers who offer encouragement and motivation. These groups are generally formed of individuals who do not know one-another, but are given the opportunity to grow close in a controlled, non-threatening environment.
Following weight loss surgery, a support group creates a place where people with similar backgrounds can come together to discuss their personal experience. These groups often provide several benefits during the weight loss process:
- Increased sense of community
- Environment to talk openly about fears, frustrations and obstacles
- Opportunity to gain practical advice
- Safe space to share problems and discuss emotions
- Ongoing guidance and support
- Stress management strategies
- Outside perspective on issues developing along your weight loss journey
You may not know anyone in your direct social sphere that has undergone weight loss surgery. While online forums and discussions with your weight loss surgeon are great, there is an added value in sitting down and making a personal connection with someone who is either going through the same thing as you, or has just had a very similar experience.
What to Expect in a Support Group
Support groups are intended to be open and judgment-free environments. When you join a support group you will be invited to share as much or as little information about yourself as you feel comfortable doing.
Most support groups are small, often with between 10 and 20 members, sometimes even less. The group is generally led by a qualified professional, such as a mental health counselor or trained community advocate.
Negative and insulting comments are not tolerated in support groups, as this is intended to be a fostering environment where you can feel comfortable sharing information about yourself and seeking advice from others.
Support groups are a valuable resource that you can take advantage of following weight loss surgery. While there are support networks that you can access online, consider reaching out to a support group in Naples or Ft. Myers. They are a great resource for connecting with people and making new friends as you lose weight.