Support

Weight loss support groups and bariatric surgery

A group can be defined as a number of individuals or things considered together because of similarities. All of our patients that come to our practice are struggling with obesity. The commonality amongst the patients is the challenges related to weight loss and frustration with diets and numerous attempts at weight loss. For many this has affected their mobility, health and morale.

Family and First Steps

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Children may serve both as motivating factors as well as obstacles for bariatric surgery. An important step in bariatric surgery is talking about the changes that need to be made with the family and enacting that change together when possible. One of the best partners you can find to help make healthy changes might be closer to you thank you think.

The initial consultation is meant for patients to meet Dr. Belsley and to learn about the surgical options available and which procedure may be best choice. At the same time you will meet with the Registered Dietitian; Shara and she will introduce the Bariatric diet and explain how the diet, exercise and lifestyle changes will facilitate each individual's weight loss goals.

As part of the program we have incorporated a group meeting that convenes weekly; the group alternates between Spanish and English every other week. Our protocol asks that each patient attends two group meetings prior to surgery. There is no limit on how many meetings you can attend before and after the surgery so anyone is welcome to use the group setting as a support system and information center.

Group meeting attendance signifies a proactive step

Any time someone sets a goal for themselves; there are necessary steps to take in order obtain a desirable outcome. The attendance of two group meetings is the first step towards the commitment you are making to change your life. There are always going to be obstacles like scheduling work and personal responsibilities, economics, influence from family and friends, and social functions that affect your weight loss goals. Now is the time to start conquering these external factors by carving out time for group meetings and office visits that will be part of the process.

Discuss Change with your Partner

A life partner can sometimes help and sometimes hold back your decision to change. You need to discuss why you want to make changes and why they are important to you. While you can’t force others to change with you, you can at least ask them to compromise when they are asking you to restart unhealthy habits.

Relating with others who share similar struggles with dieting

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States. This means that people who suffer from being overweight will like share many factors in common. A simple example is Yo-Yo dieting. Practically everyone can discuss a history of losing some weight on a diet and then gaining even more back the next time. There are many other stresses, worries and issues that share a common ground and are discussed in our group sessions.

A safe environment for sharing

Support groups offer an opportunity to discuss common issues, stresses and successes. Patients both before and after the surgery are welcome. They are many common issues that may arise after bariatric surgery that are best to discuss in order to fine tune optimal family support.
Support groups offer an opportunity to discuss common issues, stresses and successes. Patients both before and after the surgery are welcome. They are many common issues that may arise after bariatric surgery that are best to discuss in order to fine tune optimal family support.

Since everyone is there for the same reason it may be easier to relate to one another and possibly form friendships or support systems that extend beyond the group setting. Dr. Belsley invites all of his pre and post surgery bariatric patients to attend the group and share their real life experiences with people anticipating a surgery in the future.

These existing patients can guide you through some of the emotions and challenges that you may face and prepare you for the long road ahead. It can be very inspiring to hear their success stories and motivational to see their astonishing weight loss. In addition, they can give you suggestions on how they have learned to maintain portion control and practice good eating habits.

Support groups as a time to ask questions and further understand bariatric surgery

The group is also designed to be informative and acts as a question and answer session. Dr. Belsley is always present and can answer any technical questions about the various procedures. The conference room has anatomical models so that patients can visualize the procedures and learn more about their options.

This would be a good time to address any questions or clarify information that you may have read on the internet or heard in the media. Since many patients become pre-occupied with appointments, insurance concerns and preparing for the surgery they may still have questions about their hospital stay after surgery, dietary guidelines and recommendations related to vitamins, protein supplements and exercise.