I am a member of a few weight loss support groups on Facebook. I’m not naming group names for sake of privacy of the members. But I have one observation in particular that makes me want to leave a couple of the groups.
First of all, to me, the point of joining a support group is for exactly that: support. So I know there are people feeling temptation pulling them in the wrong direction asking for help or suggestions. However I see so many people asking how long after their gastric surgeries they can have junk food, and it just makes me sad. Part of the process to get bariatric surgery (because I did go through the process without the actual surgery happening), is to go through a psychological evaluation and training and coaching with a doctor and dietitian so that you know that your “diet” is not a temporary change. If you want to keep the weight off, surgery or not, you have to change your eating and activity habits permanently. Eating fatty or sugar-filled foods is not something you can just resume once you’ve had surgery or lost some weight. If you do, you will surely gain back your weight. And if you’re not dedicated to maintaining that weight loss and new healthy lifestyle, then why on Earth would you want to go through the pain and trouble of such a major surgery?
I can understand getting on the group and expressing that you have a craving or something, and asking for suggestions or substitutions to avoid the destructive eating behaviors. But when I log into those groups in search of inspiration and like-minded, health-driven people, and I just see people asking when they can get back to the junk, its very disheartening and discouraging.
I’m not saying I stick to my diet all the time, I’m certainly not perfect. I eat junk food sometimes. I make mistakes and give into my cravings. But I acknowledge it and move on. Or I will make allowances for those cravings and have a very moderate amount, or go without something else so I don’t overdo the calories or sugar or fat. And it has worked for me. I haven’t gained any weight back (thank goodness). I plateaued for quite a number of months, but I am back on the losing track now. It just takes willpower and the drive to be healthier. Easier said than done, but isn’t that what the support groups should really be about? Encouraging one another to do better, rather than to complain about cravings and restrictions?