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The Key to Weight Loss Success: Don’t Go it Alone

Last updated: July 1, 2021

Anyone who’s tried to lose weight knows how difficult it can be. Busy schedules, unhealthy food at every turn, and the emotional toll of dieting can make losing weight seem impossible. That’s especially true when you’re taking the journey alone.

For many, therein lies the secret. Research shows that having someone accompany you on your weight loss journey can help you keep off the pounds. A study of couples, for example, found that when one person started a healthy habit, the other one was more likely to follow in their footsteps.

But what do you do if you don’t have a significant other or loved one to help motivate you? It’s simple — join a weight loss support group.

Lori’s Weight Loss Story

Lori Popp knows the power of support. More than 20 years ago, doctors told her that she had just three to five years to live as a result of her health issues, many of which stemmed from her weight. Eventually, Lori decided to undergo bariatric surgery.

“I wanted to be here with my grandchildren, and I wanted to see my girls grow up,” Lori says. “I had to get real with myself, and I had to have the help. I couldn’t do this alone.”

She chose ThedaCare Bariatrics for its comprehensive program and outstanding track record. The outcome astounded her.

“I lost 200 pounds,” Lori says. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would lose 200 pounds.”

Her health has been through ups and downs since then, but through it all, she’s maintained her positive attitude. She credits Dr. Raymond Georgen, General Surgeon and Co-Director of ThedaCare Bariatrics, with saving her life.

Lori’s gratitude led to a desire to help others. She approached Dr. Georgen with a new idea following her bariatric surgery: a weight-loss support group at ThedaCare.

“Many bariatric patients have lived their entire lives being obese,” Lori says. “They need to know they’re not lazy like people think they are. They are the most loving, caring, awesome people, but this disease has taken their life away. Having someone to talk to can make all the difference for them.”

Lori P - weight loss, don't do it alone

Benefits of Support

As a Patient Champion at ThedaCare, Lori meets with people who have questions about bariatric surgery and the lifestyle changes they’ll experience before, during, and after their procedure.

“Lori has been an inspiration to countless patients who are considering bariatric/metabolic surgery,” Dr. Georgen says. “She has been a tremendous advocate and has helped many of our patients as they recover post-op. It’s hard to imagine how many lives she has impacted with her warm smile and ‘can-do’ attitude.”

Lori encourages people to join or form support groups so they can increase their chances of success and benefit from:

1. Motivation

Surrounding yourself with people who share similar weight loss goals can reignite your motivation when progress seems slow. You care about their success, and they care about yours. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader to keep you on track and help you remain positive.

2. Accountability

A study from the American Society of Training and Development found that you’re 65% more likely to complete a goal if you commit to someone. If you make a specific appointment with that person to check in on your goals, you can increase your chance of success by up to 95%.

3. Long-Term Success

Partnering with a support group can help you maintain your weight loss by ensuring you stick to healthy habits long after the initial weight is gone. Bariatric surgery patients who turn their goals into a healthy lifestyle tend to be most successful for the long term.
“Thanks to the support I’ve surrounded myself with, I still have the tools to maintain weight loss many years later,” Lori says. “[After gaining weight], I went back to the basics and lost 25 pounds I had gained back.”

4. Emotional Support

The weight loss journey has a lot of emotional ups and downs. Having a support group is important for dealing with the emotional toll of weight loss. Your support group is made up of people who want the best for you. They’re here to listen, offer advice, and keep your spirits up.

“Being a patient champion means the world,” Lori says. “We get to celebrate with patients, and even cry with them. It’s such an emotional roller-coaster. I just want to pay that forward — all of that experience.”

5. Fun!

Plan dates or meetups with your workout buddy that blend physical exercise and healthy food with fun. You’ll look forward to spending time together, and you might even forget you’re working toward your weight loss goals.

Establishing a Support Group

Fill your weight loss support group with people who care about you and your well-being. Think about family, friends, social networks, and co-workers who might be able to offer you the weight loss motivation you need.

Has someone mentioned their own weight struggles to you lately? Ask them if they’d be interested in setting goals together and making a schedule for regular check-ins.

You can also work with a wellness coach, personal trainer, or an established support group like the ThedaCare Patient Champion program. It’s filled with people who are going through the same struggles as you and who have knowledge and tools to help you succeed.

For Lori, it’s all about giving back.

“I do what I do because these patients need hope and optimism for their future,” she says. “They need to know they’re not alone.”

Ready to start your weight loss journey? Connect with the expertise and support you need to succeed.

Tags: bariatrics support ThedaCare patient story Weight Loss Surgery Weight Management

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