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Bariatric Community

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Dear Bariatric Community,

Thank you for sharing your photos and stories.  I love to see before and after photos. The month before my VSG surgery I spent hours online looking at photos posted by the bariatric community.  It’s like they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Everyone looked so happy in their after photos, so confident and self-assured.

They were like brave pioneers to me.  They had gone through the journey that I was about to start. I just hoped that someday I could share my success with them.

Well, last week, I finally had the courage to post a “before and current” photo to a Facebook Group I had joined. I say “current” photo because I’m not yet at my goal weight, so it really is a “during” photo.

I have to say that I was afraid to post the photos, but within minutes, the responses started. It was amazing. The encouragement went on for over two days.

The bariatric community is a wonderful group of caring people. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like it. There is no judgment or rude and tasteless remarks. Everyone is helpful, kind and encouraging.

People genuinely care about each other. There are new people asking questions about the approval process, their pre-op diet or what to pack the night before surgery. There are the wise, experienced people who have years of maintaining their goal weight. Then there is everyone in-between. Together it is one big, wonderful, helping community.

It is especially heartening to see so many women who have professionally taken up the causes that we face in the bariatric  community. While researching an article about fat shaming, I came across the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of AmericaAntonia Namnath started this foundation to help raise funds for people who cannot afford bariatric surgery.  She also started the campaign to end fat shame at #taketheoath. Carnie Wilson is an “Ambassador of Hope” for WLSFA. She has chosen them as the recipient of her prize donation when she wins during the new season of Celebrity Apprentice.

Then there are the countless dietitians and nutritionists who help everyone through their journey. I especially enjoy following, Steph at FoodCoach.me. She is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist who specializes with the bariatric community.

From the administrators of Facebook Groups to the foundations, celebrities and all of you, everyone should be very proud of this community. The support offered is heartfelt and sincere. The rest of society could learn a lot from the bariatric community. My hope is that someday they will. Until then, keep up the great work and let’s continue to stand up and support one another.

To your continued success!

Sincerely,

Beth Bianca

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