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People who have undergone bariatric surgery and those considering the procedure now have a new resource available to them. St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colorado has developed a Bariatric Support Group that will provide you with support through your journey, as well as information on diet progression for Lap-Band, Gastric Bypass or Sleeve Gastrectomy to reinforce prior education. The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the hospital's North Conference Room. People are welcome to join at any time, and there is no cost to attend.
Patients who attend the support group may see up to a 10% increase in positive outcomes with their weight loss goals or surgery. Also, if people attend the support group and are able to gain more control of their weight, any subsequent weight loss surgery they may end up having will prove to be safer. We encourage full participation in the weight loss support group.
"Our weight loss support group is absolutely free and open to anyone in the community," said Sarah Southworth, R.D., the hospital's Registered Dietitian who partners with all bariatric patients on their nutrition plans. "We encourage you to attend if you have already had weight loss surgery, are considering it, or just want to gain control of your weight. We provide education on healthy eating and exercise in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere."
Participants will enjoy health and wellness education on various topics from nutrition and fitness specialists at St. Thomas More Hospital. Sarah Southworth, R.D., is a Registered Dietitian and Ashley Stark is the hospital's wellness coordinator and a certified personal trainer. Both will partner in facilitating the support group.
The group will encourage people to share their feelings in a non-judgmental environment. The goal is to have open discussion on success and struggles with bariatric surgery, and help people make personal connections with others.
We will offer a comfortable environment that will evoke discussion amongst people who have gone through the surgery, or those contemplating it. We will facilitate the discussion so that they can find comfort in one another and share their feelings openly on how the surgery has impacted their life.
Group meetings will also feature health and wellness education. Some topics to be presented include fitness planning, including 10-15 minute exercises, stress reduction, positive reinforcement to gain confidence, how to make positive behavior change in life after surgery, sample recipes, menu planning and periodic chef demonstrations.
To learn more about the bariatric support group, call 719-285-2548.
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