a matter of support

It’s been some time since I’ve posted anything about weight loss. As I approach 2 years post-op Lapband surgery in July, I have realized that my perspective on what support I need for my weight loss journey has changed.

As a pre-op Lapband patient, I found the discussion forums at http://www.obesityhelp.com/ to be an extremely valuable thing as I prepared myself for surgery. It is such a large community with specialized forums to address many communities, types of surgeries, personal interests, etc.

As a post-op Lapband patient, my support needs changed. The http://www.obesityhelp.com/ forums remained my primary means of support. I had formed many friendships with chatters and had become so familiar with their lives and stories. It was this very personal connection that was so important for the first year post-op. I was fortunate to meet several of these fellow patients and continue top have a great friendship with them.

My surgeon has a support group that is very successful. I attend it faithfully but find it not so satisfying. It was after this week’s meeting that I asked myself why that is and has been that way for the past two years. I think it comes back to the personal connection that I experienced on-line. I have not formed a lot of personal connections within my support group. They are nice people. It is largely a RNY support group with a small Lapband contingent.

Through my cycling and formation of our bicycle club, http://www.spinoffcyclists.com/, I have found a great amount of support and friendship. Many of these cyclists are from my surgeon’s support group. Again, I note that this support is due to personal interaction with these people. I am very fortunate to have these fellow cyclists as friends.

The final piece of the support puzzle is how much support you personally need. Some people need a lot to be successful. I am not that type of person. I think it comes from my analytical nature. I would rather seek out support when I need it. I am definitely not the cheerleader for support.

From my personal experience, I think support is most successful when you form personal ties with others in similar situations. Throwing 60-70 people together in a room to hear about nutrition and food choices is a good thing. I don’t necessarily see it as support. I know others would not agree. Others would not agree that the close personal ties I made on-line is a personal sort of support. That’s the good thing about support. You should make it what you need it to be.

I also have learned that support changes as you move farther past surgery. What I have experienced is that life becomes so much more active. I just don’t have time to check-in on forums. I am out doing things and changing my life. Wasn’t that the purpose of having weight loss surgery?! I still attend my local support group. I know I liked to see successful post-op folks at a meeting when I was early on in the process. I also do get value out of them and like to meet new people and hear their stories.

Well folks, that’s my post on support. Just remember to support the people around you on whatever journey they are on. Never forget that you deserve support and feel free to make it what works best for you.

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