A clinical study at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey shows that siblings who undergo bariatric surgery together lose 30% more weight than those who go it alone. The study also showed that siblings can lose 40% more weight than the usual patient.
Another benefit of involving the family is raising awareness of beneficial lifestyle changes. Even if bariatric surgery isn’t an option for the family, adopting healthy lifestyle habits and becoming more active together can be a great outcome.
2. Friends By Your Side
Having friends as part of your support system or even a “surgery buddy” to go through the process is extremely helpful for patients. Family and friends can be a great addition to help keep you on track and accountable. Weight loss surgery is not something you need to hide or be embarrassed about. You would be surprised how much aid you can find from the right friends!
You can even get certain friends to join in on healthy lifestyle habits. Perhaps you have a co-worker who goes to the gym and could use a workout partner. Maybe you have a neighbor who loves to make healthy substitutes for meals.
3. Support Groups
If you still want to seek out additional assistance you can go to at times of need, a support group can also be an excellent option. Joining online communities, such as weight loss surgery forums, are a great way to engage with other members who are in the same boat as you.
We have great resources at Mexico Bariatric Center to aid patients in achieving their goals. Our closed group on Facebook is “Educating, Motivating, and Celebrating” those who undergo bariatric surgery with our company. The past bariatric patients (affiliates) moderate the group to keep a positive environment for everyone’s participation. MBC dietician has regular virtual Zoom meetings to prepare individuals for their operation and guide them through the post-surgery regimen.
Data show that weight loss surgery patients with access to support groups lose 12% more weight on average.
Support groups such as the MBC Facebook support group can serve as a useful place to overcome fear before surgery, make new friends, get answers to questions, and gather knowledge about your journey. You can share your progress after surgery through before and after photos. Some support groups even place clothing swap programs for their members that you take advantage of.
How to Interact With Your Support System
Specifying how you’d like the support system to help is wise. When you determine how they can help you, the guesswork is removed, creating new ways to bond. Having your support system hold you accountable for cheating on your pre-op or post-op diet, provide motivation to be active, or help you vent your emotional struggles over time can make a tremendous difference.
When attending bariatric support groups, be non-judgmental, supportive, understanding, courteous, honest, sharing, and a resource for new patients.
Former Bariatric Patients, Share Your Experience
If you underwent bariatric surgery and want to share the support you received from your family and the overall lifestyle change you made together, please do so in the comments below!