Change isn’t easy. It’s natural to resist it, even when it brings better health, greater mobility and a renewed appreciation for life. A good weight loss surgery clinic does everything it can to help their patients adopt new habits and achieve their weight loss goals.
One way a clinic does this is to host support group meetings. Attending a support group is a great way to stay on track, learn new things and bond with people who are on a similar path. This article explores what happens during a weight loss surgery support group meeting and how they can help you change your life.
How will a support group help me?
The function of the support group is to “keep your head in the game.” It’s easy to convince yourself that an immediate temptation is more important than the long-term benefits you’ll achieve when you remain focused.
Another benefit: You realize you aren’t the only one who has challenges. It’s comforting to talk with people who are struggling with the same things as you. They can also share solutions you may not have thought of.
A group also holds you accountable for accomplishing your weight loss goals. Putting your goals out there for everyone to see motivates you to stick with them.
What happens at a weight loss surgery support group meeting?
They usually go something like this:
- A clinician or clinic coordinator opens the meeting
- They present educational information and then introduce a discussion topic
- They encourage people to share their triumphs and struggles
- They facilitate the discussion and help maintain a positive dialogue
You’re not required to share, but you may have better results when you do. Sharing victories not only inspires others, but it can also elicit encouragement from support group members that can help motivate you to continue your success. And when you share your struggles, you’ll get encouragement and tips in return.
How often do they meet?
It depends on the clinic or service. Meetings can take place monthly, weekly or even several times a week.
What is the cost of a support group meeting?
Many clinics offer this service for free to their patients; others may charge a nominal fee. Ask your clinic if they offer a weight loss support group for pre- or post-operative patients.
Can I go to a ‘regular’ weight loss support meeting?
You could, but it’s usually better to seek support from individuals who have also gone through weight loss surgery. There are a number of persistent myths about weight loss surgery, including that it takes no will power to lose weight after a weight loss procedure. If you’ve had your surgery, you know this is far from the truth – and so will other weight loss surgery patients.
There’s no doubt you’ll receive more targeted support from other patients who have experienced a similar journey, but if there are no weight loss surgery support services in your area, consider joining another type of social support group.
No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, attending a support group or reaching out for help can help you stay on track and will give you a good chance to achieve your long-term health goals. With continuous attendance and sharing, you may make good friends within the group, and you can continue to support each other outside of regular meetings.