An interesting article I recently read contained the following paragraph:
Join and participate in a good bariatric surgery support group – patients who actively participate in support groups have about a 10% lower body mass index than patients who do go it alone.7
Participation in an online weight loss support groups or forums is helpful, but it doesn't replace the need for the kind of one-on-one or in-person group support mechanism which every bariatric surgery patient will need for the rest of his or her life to maintain and maximize the benefits of the surgery. If your doctor or hospital doesn't provide a support group, START ONE.
There's nothing like the comraderie of finding friends in your local support group. Just having one or two people to go to, to talk with, to say "have you ever experienced this?" or to share experiences, become fitness partners with ...etc is a huge help with the war on weight loss.
It can be a daunting task to go up to someone and say "Hi...my name is __. Can you tell me about your surgery"...at a local support group. As obese people, we are often the last to want to draw attention to ourselves or to be in a crowded room but we have to remember that when it comes to the struggle of obesity, we are all in the same boat.
I cannot say enough about finding a support group in your area or starting one if you cannot find one.