Health Care

How a Bariatric Support Group Can Help You

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Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong journey, and for many people, bariatric surgery is one step toward meaningful change. If you’re considering bariatric surgery or just had a procedure, bariatric support groups can help guide you.

At a bariatric support group, you can meet and connect with people who know firsthand what this experience is like. You can share stories, get information and learn coping strategies from people who’ve been where you are.

Years of research suggest that support group participation is linked to better weight-loss results after bariatric surgery — and our bariatric surgeons agree.

“Your weight-loss surgery is just one part of your progress,” says board-certified bariatric surgeon Salvador Ramos, MD, “joining a support group means having a shoulder to lean on every step of the way.”

What to Expect at a Meeting

A support group can be helpful both before and after bariatric surgery. In some cases, pre- and post-surgery patients meet separately. In other cases, they come together to discuss topics that apply to everyone. Family members and loved ones are sometimes invited to join, too.

Typically, there is a group leader to guide the meeting. The meeting agenda might include any combination of:

  • An educational presentation
  • An open discussion
  • A guest speaker (dietitian, exercise expert or a surgeon)

AdventHealth bariatric support groups can help you:

  • Adjust to lifestyle changes
  • Build a positive self-image
  • Build healthy habits for each stage of your journey
  • Decide whether surgery is the right choice for you
  • Maintain your progress after surgery

Making the Most of the Support You Give and Receive

The more time and energy you put into participating in a support group, the more benefits you can get out of it. Whether it’s your first group meeting or your tenth, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be an active participant, not just a silent observer
  • Do your part to help maintain a friendly, accepting and respectful atmosphere
  • Keep any personal information shared within the group confidential

Showing Up Is What Matters Most

Most importantly, show up — for yourself and for others. You deserve to receive encouragement, and by being there, you could help someone else, too.

“Commit to showing up for yourself, and for the people you have yet to meet,” says Dr. Ramos. “Your support could mean the world to someone in the group who may be just starting their weight-loss journey.”

By choosing bariatric surgery, you’re making a lifelong commitment to your health. And by regularly attending a bariatric support group, you’ll always know where to find someone who understands exactly what that means.

Get Started With Bariatric Care That Works for You

At AdventHealth, we know that diet and exercise alone often aren’t enough to get you where you want to be. That’s why our weight-loss solutions go beyond what’s on your plate and how you work out to help you achieve a healthier body, mind and spirit.

Click here to learn more about our personalized bariatric and weight-care options and get started today.

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