Support Group Sages: Community Bariatrics

Over the next few months I will be presenting at weight management support groups throughout Indiana. In these meetings, I will share concepts contained in my recently published book, A Size That Fits. My goal is to encourage people who feel stuck or discouraged. For those who are currently riding the train of success, I hope these groups will propel them towards a sustainable long-term commitment to their health.

Although I will mostly present at St. Vincent Bariatrics’ groups, the fine folks at Community Bariatrics were kind enough to invite me to two of their locations. Thanks super RD Sarah Muntel for the invitations!

Here are a few take-aways from my time at Community Hospital...

First of all, you guys are awesome!

Thanks for your hospitality and interest. I was thrilled that nobody slept through my presentations!

The groups contained a mixture of preoperative, postoperative and medical weight-loss patients. Interestingly, the problems and concerns of these three categories of people were remarkably similar. People were talking about dealing with stress, finding the right kind of support, fitting in exercise, and dealing with set-backs.

It affirmed my belief that no matter which medical approach we use to treat excess weight, we must address the stuff going on between our ears to have long-term success.

One person mentioned that she re-reads her program materials even though she learns nothing new. “I already know everything that’s in there, but it’s an important reminder,” she said. This isn't a waste of time--just because we know something doesn’t mean it is at the forefront of our mind.

The things that we read, talk about, and meditate on influence how we act.

I’m reminded of the Biblical text that says “…fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”

In a discussion on emotion-based coping, two ladies mentioned they have a phrase they repeat to themselves when they are trying to cope with something they can’t change.

I was impressed at how easily these phrases flew out of their mouths. It was obvious that these were well-rehearsed mantras, easily accessible when they started feeling that they weren’t good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to handle what was going on in their lives.

Lastly, one lady approached me at the end of one of the groups with my book in her hand. “I bought this a while ago and wanted you to sign it.” She proceeded to show me where she had highlighted parts of the book that had helped her. There were bright yellow lines throughout the entire book. I smiled but felt a little like crying. I have no idea how many people will read my book.

But having this one person tell me (and show me) how helpful it has been made the long hours of writing so worth it.

Thanks to all of you who joined us at the Community North/South groups!