Give Back – Pay it Forward

22 years later, I still find myself so very grateful for the doctors, who dedicated their lives to provide a surgical intervention option for those who struggle with the disease of obesity. Like many of you, I took that leap and had weight loss surgery in 1995 and my life has been changed for the better, forever. And like you, I want others who struggle to have the same opportunity.

In 2003, my story was featured on the cover of WLS Lifestyles Magazine. The title, “Paying it Forward” You see, that feeling of gratitude and desire to give back is why I created Bariatric Support Centers International. And through the years, we have had the privilege of helping tens of thousands of weight loss surgery patients, supporters and professionals.

That sense of profound gratitude is at the heart of so many great groups, associations & foundations within the bariatric community. Perhaps, it’s your time to give. If so, the opportunities are many. Reach out, get involved, tell your story, share your success, connect people, encourage and support. Here are just a few of the outstanding organizations who welcome like minded people who want to volunteer.

Obesity Action Coalition

Bariatric Pal Community

Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America

Walk From Obesity

Obesity Help

“It is so very important that we, as today’s weight-loss surgery patients, recognize and are grateful to courageous souls who opted to have weight-loss surgery when it wasn’t the ‘in thing’ to do – those daring few from the late 70’s and early 80’s who experienced both successes and failures and in doing so have provided us with greater understanding of what it takes to make the surgical treatment of obesity our answer. Has someone led the way for you, inspired you, encouraged you? Often weight-loss surgery patients express heartfelt gratitude not only to their surgeons for having saved their life, but to friends and family members, neighbors, work associates and even strangers who have motivated them and provided them with the encouragement and support they needed to move forward on their journey. To those looking for a way to express their gratitude, may I encourage you to turn and help others along their way. Become involved; lead a support group; become a volunteer; serve on a patient committee; lobby for better insurance coverage for weight-loss surgery; help new or struggling patients with online posts or encouragement and support. Give back by paying it forward.”

Excerpt from The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients #1 best selling bariatric book. SHBookCvr2012

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cathy Arsenault
    Oct 17, 2017 @ 19:24:24

    Thank you so much for saying it so beautifully. Colleen you are in the forefront for all of us. Always my hero. Cathy Arsenault



  2. Susan Pugmire
    Oct 21, 2017 @ 21:47:04

    It’s so true about getting involved. At my work there have been three people looking into the surgery that have had questions and concerns that I’ve been able to answer. One of the ladies had the surgery recently and I’ve been there walking with her post- op.

    For myself I’ve had a problem for the first time since I had the surgery 21 years ago. About five weeks ago I started throwing up everything I was eating and after several test including a cat scan of my stomach found a block in my intestine where it’s attached to my stomach from the surgery. Had a procedure yesterday to clear it and so far seems okay.



    • Colleen M. Cook, President, Speaker, Author
      Oct 23, 2017 @ 15:50:05

      Sue, so good to hear from you after all these years. So sorry for the struggles, but it sounds like all is well. So grateful to know that you are still supporting and encouraging others. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for your great example of a long term successful patient who is still giving… All my best



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