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Does anyone go to any local support groups for people have have had wls? Have you found it helpful? What have you learned?

Pros & cons?

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Kay I go to a few support groups. My surgeon has a twice monthly group meeting of pre and post op patients. The benefit of these meetings are the chance to talk to pre op patients about what they will experience. The meetings did help me pre op. As for post op, we compare notes and root for each other and give support.

I also go to a group meeting that my therapist has. The meeting isn't productive. Everyone talks over each other and there is no structure for people to participate. It's the loudest and pushiest that get to speak. I actually go to these meetings for the entertainment value as I don't get much therapeutic value out of them.

My last support group is Overeaters Anonymous (OA). My therapist was able to show me that I was a Compulsive Overeater. No matter how much weight I could lose it would only come back due to my compulsion to over eat. OA is based on the same 12 step program as Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a very good fellowship that helps to get one spiritually grounded and to help with the compulsion of overeating. I attend a few meetings a week and I also have a sponsor who I call every day for guidance and support and to help me be mindful of my eating habits..

Any support group that you feel comfortable with and that will help you succeed is worth joining. I know that I cannot be successful on my own. I am 100% successful in failing at all of my previous attempts to keep my weight loss off. I take it one day at a time. If I can be successful today then I try my best to carry that success over to the next day. So far, I'm doing better than I thought I would. I'll be 18 months post op at the end of this month and I've been able to achieve my goal weight and maintain it. How long can I do it for? I don't know. I do know that I will never again get the advantage that I now have from the WLS. I don't want to squander this "Golden Ticket" that I've been given.

Good luck in your weight loss journey and I wish you much success.

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I agree with Danny that you should find a support group that you feel comfortable with.

I was required to go to the support group at my hospital for 3 months before and after. I really wanted it to be useful, but (like Danny's therapist's group), people just yell over each other and there are several conversations going on at once. It stressed me out so much I actually threw up once.

Now i go to one offered by my therapist (who specializes in weight loss/bariatrics). It's new, but so far, great. We share our experiences, fears, emotional issues with foods. She prepares a topic to discuss if we don't have anything specific to talk about.

I'm also looking into seeing if one of the other hospitals has a convenient group. My therapist's group is pretty small, and I'd like to meet a larger community of WLS patients. Most hospitals will let you attend even if you had surgery elsewhere.

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My hospital has monthly support groups for WLS patients, but unfortunately it only available to their own patients. It is well attended and the facilitator is very skilled at providing the perfect balance of structure and flexibility. For pre-op people researching surgeons and programs, I would highly recommend finding one with consistent and robust groups. There are people who have not missed a meeting in 10 years and they partially credit the support for their continued success.

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