SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAUndergoing weight loss surgery takes guts. Literally. The choice to alter your life for the better through a change in your body and behaviors is not easy and requires both determination and the will to change.

However, human beings are social creatures who require interpersonal interaction and sharing to remain mentally and emotionally healthy. The health of your mind and emotions has a direct effect on your body and ability to stick to healthful commitments. For these reasons, support groups are an invaluable part of your bariatric journey.

Already enrolled? Great! Whether you are planning to attend your first support group meeting or have been going for a while, it is important to ask yourself the following questions to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience.

Note: Support groups work only as well as the amount of time and energy that you put into them, so be sure to devote yourself to the practice of attending and participating before deciding if it truly works for you.

1. Do I trust and feel inspired by the group leader?

The head of your support group should provide an open and honest environment in which everyone feels respected and able to share if they want to. Is your group facilitator knowledgeable, respectful, and welcoming? At WeightWise, our staff psychologist, Jim R. Keller, Ph.D., brings his extensive knowledge and experience to his role as support group facilitator, and provides inspired support for those seeking an open and sharing community.

2. Are meetings consistent? And do I attend consistently?

To be effective, support group meetings should be offered on a weekly basis so as to offer the most opportunities throughout the month for participants to attend. We recommend that you begin attending weekly to get the most out of each session and obtain the ongoing support you need. A team that offers consistent meetings is most in tune with it’s participants and can best tailor sessions to their needs.

3. Are participants both honest and positive?

Liking your group members and feeling a sense of community is essential to support group functioning. While you don’t need to become best friends with every member of the group, appreciating the way that individuals interact with one another is key.

Support groups provide you with a weekly or monthly touchstone on your bariatric journey. When issues come up, or when you are tempted to return to old ways of treating your body or mind, support groups offer a safe haven where you can share your concerns, listen to others, and gain perspective.

Interested in learning more about the support groups and other programs at WeightWise? Contact us today and check out our online support groups calendar! We’re happy to answer any and all questions.