So you are a year or two (or more) post-op from your gastric bypass surgery: how are you doing? I mean, how are you really doing? Are you still following the plan: good food choices, exercise, supplements (including protein!) and involved in a support group? If not, you may not be doing as well as you think.
I recently addressed the topic of post-op gastric bypass diet on my Squidoo lens, but wanted to go into more detail here on the gastric bypass support aspect of post-op life.
Gastric Bypass Support
If you frequent online support forums, you will notice a majority of the active participants are pre-op through new post-ops. It seems that one year post-op is usually a common time-frame when post-ops’ visits to support forums start to dwindle down to eventually very infrequent to not at all.
Having gone through this phenomenon myself, I know that for me, it was due to getting my ‘life’ back and feeling good enough to get out of the house and go and do things! On one hand, this is a very good thing; but on the other hand, the lack of accountability from those who know and understand this post-op life and body can lead to our downfall into old habits.
I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a post-op, 18 -24 months (or more) out from surgery comes back onto an online support forum devastated because they have gained back 10, 20 or even 50 or more pounds! How could this be? Well, it didn’t happen overnight: it happened one pound at a time just like how we became obese before we had our surgeries. It’s the little, small choices we make that add up and before you know it, they catch up with you and you find yourself dealing with a weight gain issue, or malnourishment issue with labs all out of whack, you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck, losing hair again, or worse, such as neurological damage or osteoporosis, all because you haven’t been taking your supplements.
How Support Groups Help
They help in two primary ways:
- Accountability. If you have others who are going to hold you accountable in your post-op journey, you are more likely to stick with the gastric bypass diet, nutrition supplementation and exercise to keep you healthy.
- Education. Even though you know a lot about being a post-op, bariatric surgery is still an evolving medical field. What surgeon’s recommended for post-op care and nutritional supplementation 5 years ago, is not the same as today. These changes effect you, even if your surgeon did not tell you these same things at that time. Surgeons are learning too!
Offline or Online Support
I personally feel that both is best. There will be times you can’t make an offline/in-person support group due to weather, other committments or whatever. So having an online support group that’s always there is ideal.
But, offline support, where you are looking folks in the eyeball, can not be matched with online support. If folks are going to actually see you, it’s hard to hide the truth in how you’re really doing and how well you’re staying on track.
That said, I love online support groups too. There are many fine forums where you can connect with long-term post-ops who have given their time to helping those new to this life. They are paying it forward and helping, just as someone else helped them. You may very well find a wider variety of help online than offline, depending on where you live and what offline support is available to you.
Whether you can obtain the ideal gastric bypass support situation with both offline and online support; it is essential that you do seek out and participate in a gastric bypass support group. It will help your long-term success, and health, as a gastric bypass post-op.
Online Support Resources
A few of my favorites.
Gastric Bypass Info Central (yahoo group)
Graduate OSSG (Obesity Surgery Support Group – yahoo group)
Christian WLS Friends (yahoo group)
Gastric Bypass Nutrition Resources
Veriuni Advanced Liquid Nutrition – 98% absorbability liquid multi-vitamins
Supreme Whey Protein – uses hydrolyzed whey peptides for highest bioavailability
Floradix Iron & Herbs – natural liquid iron
Call to Action: get connected with a gastric bypass support group today.
Are you currently part of a gastric bypass support group? Is it online or offline – or do you belong to both? I’d love to hear your weight loss story and why you are, or are not, part of a support group. Post your comments below.