Weight loss surgery is not like any other surgical procedure because individuals need to follow a strict diet afterward for the whole process to be a success. The idea of changing one's diet might seem like an easy one to implement, but the reality is different. Change is never easy, and a patient's health depends on their ability to commit to change. Failure to follow the specified dietary guidelines can result in adverse health consequences.
Support groups are important for individuals who've undergone weight loss surgery because aside from recovering, they also have to adjust their bodies to a new diet. Support groups provide patients with a support system as they navigate emotional change. Individuals who regularly attend support groups are more likely to lose more weight than those whose attendance is sporadic.
Why Are Support Groups Important?
Even though every weight loss journey is different, patients share common experiences. Such a significant occurrence in one's life is bound to affect an individual's close relationships. Family, friends, and intimate partners might be there for the patient. However, they'll never fully understand what the patient needs. Spending time with individuals who have gone through the same experience is essential to help patients stay consistent. Dieting and exercise after surgery are tough, and patients need all the motivation they can get. Below are reasons why attending a weight-loss support group is important;
Be Educated on Weight-loss and Healthy Living
Support groups offer patients more than just emotional support and a safe space to talk about their challenges. Quality support groups provide a structured agenda that incorporates scheduled discussions to educate patients about weight-loss and proper dieting. There are participatory activities that enlighten members on different concepts surrounding their weight-loss journey.
After bariatric surgery, individuals need to learn about their bodies and how exercise and the food they eat helps with weight loss. Support groups provide educational opportunities and make learning easier. Members can arrange for sessions with guest speakers who have vast knowledge on specific subjects. Aside from focusing on their weight-loss journey, patients also need new insights when it comes to aspects of their life dating, cooking, and even grooming. The support group setup gives members the opportunity to learn from each other. Even though it seems like they are going through the same experience, individuals naturally react distinctively.
Be Motivated to Keep Making Healthy Decisions
The beauty of support groups is that it comprises of individuals at different stages of their weight loss journey. Patients who have just gone through surgery can use the advice from those who are months into their journey. Such educational and motivating conversations gives patients hope for the future. Having success stories among them makes it easier to believe that it's possible to integrated exercise and follow a strict dietary guideline.
Most of all, patients learn how they can overcome obstacles. Weight loss surgery is a significant event in an individual's life, and having people to share this part of them helps patients live a wholesome life. Individuals should continue attending support groups for months and even years into their weight loss journey. Patients need constant encouragement to maintain to make their lifestyle changes permanent. The sense of accomplishment an individual feel when they share their achievements motivates them to keep going. A long-term commitment to healthy living is easier said than done; that is why regular positive feedback is so important.
What is a Good Support Group?
The best support groups are those with regular schedules; preferably once every month. Patients need to get support on a predictable basis, and an experienced medical professional should moderate the sessions. Even though the moderator should keep patients optimistic, they need to feel free to share both their accomplishments and challenges. Creating a safe space for these patients ensures that this is not just something they have to do. Patients should be excited to attend the next support group meeting. A good support group should make members feel;
Weight-loss surgery support groups have people at different stages of their weight loss journey. This means each person attends the meeting for a different reason. So, what draws these people together? Well, to begin with, patients need to be validated. Bariatric surgery is not a simple procedure, and often patients are left wondering if they made the right choice to push through with it. A support group should be a place where patients get to answers they ask themselves before and after the surgery. Even though each individual has to decide to feel good about their choice, different perspectives and insights make it easier.
Nothing is as fulfilling as having the opportunity to share successes with others. Each patient should feel celebrated as they journey through weight loss; overcoming obstacles and maintaining a clean diet. Support group sessions should be an exciting time for weight-loss surgery patients. Struggling with weight issues takes a toll on anyone, and the prospects of leaving all that behind should feel like having a moment in the sun. Even though support groups have many members, each patient should receive personal recognition for their achievements.
The first few years of attending support groups make patients feel invincible because they can see themselves achieving success. However, it is not uncommon to have some patients who slip back into their old habits. Regaining weight can be quite disheartening. The connection such patients made with the support group couldn't be more important at this point. The element of accountability that comes with checking in every month gives such patients to rededicate themselves to their long-term goals.
Losing weight is an uphill struggle that is why having a support system is so important. Weight-loss surgery support groups help patients stay positive and work towards their goals. A good support group should reassure each member that they made the right choice and that it's possible to change their lifestyle for the better.