Even at 20 years post op, I still clearly remember that fateful day when I reached the “End of Invincible” That fateful moment when the honeymoon phase ended and the real work began. I am anxious to share with you what I have learned about the top 5 ways to recognize that your personal WLS honeymoon is over and what to do about it. Here is the fifth of five installments in this series. (Subscribe to this blog)
#5 You stop attending support groups, telling yourself “They are just for the newbies anyway.”
We always suspected that those who regularly attend support groups after weight loss surgery are more successful than those who don’t. Thanks to our collaboration with Stanford University Medical Center, we now have the hard data to prove it. Put simply, “Successful WLS patients are 3 times more likely to participate in support groups than their less successful counterparts.” (Read Research)
Unfortunately, sometimes we find that support groups focus on and cater to the newbies, leaving the veteran patients bored, un-motivated and less likely come back. If the topics in support group are not of interest to you, suggest some that would be. Work to be part of the solution. Perhaps offer to do some research, share your experiences or even prepare and teach a lesson.
If you have found that you have lost interest in your support group, please consider that if you don’t need the support group, perhaps the support group needs you.
I, for one am so very grateful to the two WLS patients who at 10 years post op volunteered month after month to share their story, coach, encourage and teach those of us coming along behind them. Perhaps it’s time to give a little back by paying if forward. (Become a BSCI Certified Support Group Leader) There is nothing more motivating than having people look up to you, learn from you and help keep you on track as a good example.
For many, support groups go way beyond, “What is the topic?” People view support group attendance as a commitment to themselves to stay connected and accountable. Support groups offer opportunities to connect a network of like-minded people who understand your journey as many do not. So many life-long friendships are established at support groups.
Make support group attendance a must do on your calendar to help you stay on track and accountable. If you are unable to attend a live group, web-based forums, Facebook groups and telephonic groups are easily found. BSCI’s DreamTeam of educators host free telephonic support groups every week. Fun, easy and a great way to stay connected. Telephonic Support Group Schedule
Read our Support Group Survey and gain insights and perspective from over 1,000 bariatric patients and how they view their support groups.