I wrote this entry as a guest editor for another blogger (my friend Donna). I decided to share it here as well, as I really do think it is VERY VERY important!
I have been a fat chick my whole life. I am three months post op RNY Gastric Bypass surgery. I have lost an amazing 70lbs so far, and am still going strong. While I would love to post here and toot my own horn, I am dedicating this post to a very important subject for any post op gastric bypass patient: Support.
Support: give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to. (via google search)
One can not succeed at gastric bypass with out some type of support. It is essential. Support can come from a variety of sources, and my goal here today is to enlighten you fine readers with where you can go!
First off: Family, Friends, Etc...
You say, no duh, but this isn't as easy as it appears. People in this world are very judgmental, "Oh you're having...SURGERY" Why yes, I am having life altering surgery..... "Have you tried dieting?" No...why would I try dieting? OF COURSE I TRIED DIETING!
We've heard it all. When I decided to have GB (Gastric Bypass), I decided to tell everyone. I told all my coworkers, most of my family, all of my friends, all of the Internet even (shameless plug to my blog http://losinglibby.blogspot.com), I have even told most of my clients. I have had the motto that the more people I can educate, the better. That being said, it definitely didn't make it easy to tell. In the long run, I'm glad I did this, as people support me now, and my decision, and even encourage me. They are excited about my progress, and keep me motivated.
Second: Support Groups
Support Groups can be very beneficial for the post op'er. Everyone is basically in the same boat, either getting ready for surgery, thinking about it, or already had it. It is a place to come and complain about how you're feeling, or boast about how awesome you are doing. Some even have added bonuses of clothing exchanges, fun outings, and menu ideas. I find them to be comforting, especially when someone else is missing a certain food you are missing, or can't seem to find the perfect piece of clothing to help hid the skin flaws.
Third: The Interwebs!
When you're busy in life, sometimes you just don't have time to make it to a meeting, or you don't feel like talking to someone live and in person. The Internet then, is your friend!
Sites such as www.obesityhelp.com can provide basically 24/7 support. There are a variety of topics that you can explore through here, from what to eat, what to wear, how to go out on a date post op, and so on. It has been very helpful, and introduced me to a lot of very fun and supportive Internet friends.
Bloggers can also be very supportive and give you new ideas. One of my favorites, http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com, provides delicious and practical recipes for not only pre and post op GB patients, but frankly, anyone who likes food! Reading about someone else's success is very comforting. Also Melting Mama provides a ton of resources and ideas for success. Most people online also keep it real. This life changing surgery isn't always sunshine and roses! Its hard work, physically and emotionally, and you better be ready for it.
Twitter is another great resource for weight loss surgery. You can join us on our Twibe! Twibes makes it easy to participate in the conversations you care about. Come check us out at http://www.twibes.com/group/weightlosssurgery
So this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to support. Not everyone of these resources is going to work out for you. Some will even be disappointing to you at some point, but with the variety of options, you can never use the excuse that you were never supported. You will be supported on your decision to have WLS, you just have to be the one that goes out there and finds it!