By Garth Davis, MD
All of my friends are very health conscious. I feel sorry for the waiters when we go out to dinner. “Can you put the oil on the side?” “Hold any cheese or dairy products.” “Do you have a vegetarian plate?” (Me) It is like a scene from When Harry Met Sally. Our dinner conversations center around our latest cholesterol levels and our exercise plans.
This may seem annoying, so why would I surround myself with these people? Your social group often determines your habits.
I bring this up because when seeing patients going through weight loss and lifestyle changes, I find their peer group could potentially become a stumbling block if not supportive and encouraging.
Build your support group for success
I am not saying you have to leave your spouse or your friends, but you do need to have a discussion with them about the importance the healthy weight-loss journey you are taking and let them know you would appreciate their encouragement and support. Let them know while your body and health may change, your feelings for them will not.
For additional support look to Facebook. Facebook is filled with excellent weight-loss support communities. Most surgical weight management practices will also have support groups that meet regularly. Consider joining a gym or a Zumba class to expose yourself to new likeminded friends who share your lifestyle goals.
My friends are a bit fanatical in their fitness, but that drives and encourages me. If my peer group drank beer and watched sports every weekend, I may have done the same. Instead, they challenge me to become better and healthier, and I owe a lot of my success to their support.
Garth Davis, MD, FASMBS, is the Medical Director of Mission Weight Management.