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BariatricPal Local Chapters…a New Way to Connect!



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Hi, BariatricPal Members,

I hope you are doing well!

BariatricPal provides a social platform that is safe and welcoming for the weight loss surgery community. The main goals are to provide information and encouragement needed to allow for healthy weight loss and better patient weight loss surgery outcomes. I am always trying to figure out how to improve BariatricPal to better achieve these goals, and today I am coming to you for your input on a potential new opportunity called BariatricPal Local Chapters.

BariatricPal Local Chapters…a New Way to Connect

With BariatricPal Local Chapters, you would get to meet BariatricPal members in person. This could speed up your weight loss by expanding your knowledge about success after weight loss surgery, increasing your accountability to yourself and your Local Chapter friends, improving your boosting your confidence. Plus, you might make new best friends for life! Each BariatricPal Local Chapter would be defined geographically, so that you would belong to the location nearest to your home.

I am considering the following items:

  • Monthly or quarterly meetings.
  • A fun or educational activity at each meeting. Examples include preparing a weight loss surgery-friendly meal, filling out a customized meal plan, or going for a group-wide nature walk.
  • Presentations by surgeons, nutritionists, other professionals or bariatric product companies at local meetings.
  • Annual national meeting of BariatricPal Local Chapters in a location such as Los Angeles, New York, or Huston.
  • Option to go on an annual cruise

What Do You Think about BariatricPal Local Chapters?

  • What I would like to ask you for is what you think about the above suggestions. Also, what are your answers to the following questions?
  • Would you be interested in attending regular local chapter meetings in person?
  • Would you be interested in being a leader (or co-leader)?
  • Would you like BariatricPal to provide agendas for meetings?
  • What additional support could BariatricPal provide to encourage your participation and/or leadership?
  • Should there be limits on the minimum and maximum numbers of members that each Local Chapter can have?
  • What other ideas do you have?

Please join the conversation thread below to let me know what you think about BariatricPal Local Chapters. I really value and appreciate your opinions, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again!

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Wow, great idea Alex. I like my doctor's support group but often miss meetings due to the time they are held which is either mid-day when I am working or early evening which is hard to do sometimes as it is a bit of a drive to get to where the doctor's office is. This would give people in my area a great opportunity to connect.

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I am very excited about this idea! I have not had a support group to be part of at all since surgery. There is one in my town but after attending three meetings I found there was no structure to them at all all it was was basically a gossip session. What I was looking for was encouragement. Advice on what to eat or not eat. Work out support and so on .

I hope there will be one close enough for me to be a part of. My dr is almost 3 hrs from here so I don't go to those it's too far.

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I love the idea of a local chapter & am def. interested in joining if made available in my area...my surgeon's office stopped having support group meetings one month after my surgery. I spent the next several months flailing on my own, feeling very isolated, until I joined this site. I am glad to say that the feeling of connectivity I've experienced here has helped me feel grounded, and I am finally making some progress-I credit the inspiration I receive here for helping me get on the right path. The opportunity to enhance the support experience via face to face meetings would be so beneficial. I do not feel qualified to take a "leadership" role, as I am still struggling, and not a success story (yet!) but am willing to contribute anything I can offer if this gets underway in the south suburbs of Chicago ; ) what an exciting prospect! And the cruise idea? Woohoo! I'm in!

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I think this is an awesome idea! I don't know of anyone around my area except for one person. I would be super interested in this and helping in any way I could!

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I absolutely love this idea!! I am lacking support around me locally, I would be very interested in this! Monthly meetings would be awesome, or even every few months. I would be interested in helping with the organization in my area as well (New York City)

To answer some of the questions asked

  • Would you be interested in attending regular local chapter meetings in person? Yes with out a doubt!
  • Would you be interested in being a leader (or co-leader)? Yes- though I'm not at goal, but would love to be in a position like that eventually
  • Would you like BariatricPal to provide agendas for meetings? Yes structure would be fun. Like a set idea of what will happen at each meeting, or perhaps take feedback from attendees to see what they want
  • What additional support could BariatricPal provide to encourage your participation and/or leadership? Overall I think it sounds like a great idea, the online support is great but to have in person meetings would be awesome
  • Should there be limits on the minimum and maximum numbers of members that each Local Chapter can have? No I don't think a limit is needed- perhaps if it eventually grows to the point it will be overwhelming but even then I think it should accommodate everyone who wants to attend
  • What other ideas do you have? I love the idea of cooking classes, meal prep ideas and healthy foods. Perhaps a look at different Protein powders and supplements. Also a good mix of discussion ranging from pre op, newly post op and vets

Overall I think its an awesome idea and I'm excited to participate!

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This is an awesome idea. I would definitely be interested.

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Love this idea. Actually I've been thinking about it so I'm happy it could soon come to fruition! I would love to be a part of it. The setup could be a speaker or presentation followed by open discussion. I'd love to see peers and a group list. Annual meeting or outside activities would be a great idea also. Looking forward to hearing how this goes. Thank you for everything thus far.

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I forgot to mention that we would be open to training group chapter leaders and co-leaders. We plan on offering free Bariatric Support Group Leader certification courses (23 CE's) to members that are interested in assisting us.

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Ooh! I would love a good local support group. I have been to several in my area and they are not focused on what I am interested in.

so to answer your question:

Would you be interested in attending regular local chapter meetings in person? YES

Would you be interested in being a leader (or co-leader)? MAYBE. I don't have a lot of free time.

Would you like BariatricPal to provide agendas for meetings? FUN IDEA. Then we could discuss online after.

What additional support could BariatricPal provide to encourage your participation and/or leadership?

Help with location, topics, speakers, handouts.

Should there be limits on the minimum and maximum numbers of members that each Local Chapter can have? NO

What other ideas do you have?

BP would have to provide enough resources for this to be a value add over my setting up a group myself.

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I would love to attend meetings. Unfortunately, there are no support groups in this area of Eastern WA. I am currently studying to be a social worker, so, my schedule is fixed. Maybe after I receive my MSW in 2016, would I be interested in hosting a group.

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Love this idea!! Would be very interested.

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I love this idea and would be very interested in leadership or co leadership. I am an RN who is very interested in a role in the bariatric community. I live in south Mississippi and know there are many others in the area that would be interested in attending. Monthly meetings and fun educational activities would be awesome. Maybe an annual 5k walk run. I know my nutritionist and surgeon would be glad to speak with members. I can't wait to see what the outcome of this idea will be.

Edited by SuNMooNStaRS816

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I love this idea and all it entails. We have become more than a forum more of a family really. I'd definitely be interested in training etc.

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