Weight Loss Support Group
The Weight Loss Support Group meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the NMMC Wellness Center, 1030 S. Madison. Support group meetings are free, but participants may call (662) 377-SLIM (377-7546) or 1-866-908-9465 for more information. The group provides education and emotional support for patients who are considering or have had bariatric surgery. Attendance at one Weight Loss Support Group meeting is required prior to bariatric surgery. This meeting can be attended in person or online.
Upcoming Weight Loss Support Group Meetings
Click here to download a printable 2019 schedule.
For your convenience, we now offer online support groups. Attend a meeting as it is streamed lived from the comfort of your home.
Online support group events
North Mississippi Medical Center has been accredited by MBSAQIP as a Comprehensive Center. The Bariatric Center is also designated as an Accredited Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program and is recognized in the Optum Centers of Excellence Network. Due to this recognition, weight loss surgery at NMMC is covered by more health plans, including those for teachers, state employees and many offered by employers. So, check your health plan benefits, talk to your doctor and weigh your options.
Bariatric Bytes Newsletter
January 3, 2019
Weight Management Visits/Insurance Changes
Audrey Miller & Bariatric Staff
February 7, 2019
Is Exercise Important After Surgery?
Dr. Will Cauthen
March 7, 2019
Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, & Weight Loss
Dr. Vernon Rayford
April 4, 2019
Bariatric Health Fair
Bariatric Center Staff
Bariatric Clinic, 408 Council Cir Suite C, Tupelo MS 38801
May 2, 2019
Dr. Terry Pinson
June 6, 2019
Maintaining Weight Loss After Sleeve Gastrectomy
Dr. Will Cauthen
July 11, 2019
Weight Loss and Women’s Health
Dr. Cassie Hill
August 1, 2019
Personal Testimonies and Living Ads
Vivian Rogers, DNP, NP-C
September 5, 2019
Shape It Up! Redefining Your Silhouette
Dr. Alan Pritchard
October 3, 2019
How Behavior and Emotion Affect Outcomes
Dr. Mike Oliver
November 7, 2019
How to Grow Wholesome Foods
Native Son Farms & Ginger Mark, RD
December 5, 2019
Cooking Healthy for the Holidays
Bariatric Center Staff
Jessica Rahim of Starkville has lost 190 pounds since having weight loss surgery 18 months ago at North Mississippi Medical Center. “I feel so much better,” Jessica says. “I am able to do things without being tired all the time.”
At 365 pounds, Jessica was suffering from sleep apnea and acid reflux. Since her surgery, Jessica no longer has to sleep with a CPAP machine, and her acid reflux has improved greatly. Jessica says her only advice for anyone thinking about weight loss surgery is to “do your research and write down any questions you may have.” “Make sure you are ready for it; this is not the ‘easy way out’ that you sometimes hear,” says Jessica.
“Don’t wait,” Jessica encourages anyone who is considering weight loss surgery. “My only regret is not doing it sooner.” Jessica says the Bariatric Center staff has been helpful since Day 1. “At my first visit, I was still uncertain as to which surgery I wanted, so Dr. Cauthen explained each surgery in detail to help make the right decision for me,” says Jessica. “Dr. Cauthen and his team have been amazing. They help me so much and answer all of my questions.”
Lori Carpenter of Booneville has already lost 70 pounds since having weight loss surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center in January. “It has given me my life back,” Lori says. “I can do anything I want to do now. It has been a game-changer for me.”
At more than 200 pounds, Lori was being treated for sleep apnea, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis. Since losing 70 pounds, Lori no longer suffers from any of these conditions.
“Don’t hesitate. It’s totally worth it,” Lori encourages anyone who is considering weight loss surgery. “I have so much more energy. I can work all day and go home and do what I need to do. There’s no stopping anymore.”
Amber Griffin of Tupelo has already lost 68 pounds since having weight loss surgery in March. When she looks back at old pictures, she doesn’t even recognize herself. “I feel like a completely different person. I feel comfortable in my body for the first time in my life,” Amber says. “It’s about so much more than just losing weight. This tool has changed my life in ways I never expected, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Carrying 204 pounds was too much stress on Amber’s petite frame. “I’m a nurse, and my feet and legs were so sore and swollen by the end of every day that it was hard to sleep at night,” she says. Now Amber eats better and exercises regularly at the NMMC Wellness Center. “As nurses, we do good things for other people all the time. It feels good to know that I’ve done something good for myself so ultimately I can do more for my patients.”
Amber says people who think weight loss surgery is the easy way out are wrong. “This tool isn’t magic. It doesn’t magically cut me off from food when my body is full or force me to go to the gym. I struggle to make the best choices for my body every day, and this tool is a constant reminder of a lifestyle I don’t want to return to,” she says. “It’s more of a behavioral change. I eat better and I exercise now because I want a healthier body.”
Kim Mayhall of Fulton is 75 pounds lighter since having weight loss surgery in November 2007, just a few months after North Mississippi Medical Center opened its Bariatric Center. “The Bariatric Center team is both motivating and supportive,” Kim says. “They want you to succeed and are there every step of the way. I visit the clinic for yearly follow-up appointments and call any time I have a question.”
Kim’s advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery is this: “Do yourhomework. Attend a Weight Loss Support Group meeting and research the surgery you are considering. This surgery is a wonderful tool, but you must do your part every day to be successful. Many times over the years, I’ve been asked if I regret having had the surgery. My response is always the same… never!”
At 219 pounds, Kim suffered from high blood pressure and was at risk for heart disease. That’s when she turned to North Mississippi Medical Center’s Bariatric Center.
The biggest benefit from losing weight was being able to stop her high blood pressure medicine and reducing her risk for heart disease. “Of course, feeling better about myself and enjoying quality time with family and friends top that list!” she adds.
Matt Lindsey from Pontotoc has lost 85 pounds since having weight loss surgery at NMMC in June 2016. "I was a severe diabetic, had sleep apnea and was tired all the time,” Matt says. “Two weeks after surgery I was off blood pressure medicine and the CPAP machine."
Matt says weight loss surgery has been a life-changing experience. "I haven't taken insulin since July 2016,” says Matt. “I feel like it has added 20-25 years to my life."
April Murphy of Booneville has lost 110 pounds since having weight loss surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center in March 2016.
At 253 pounds, April’s knees, legs and back hurt. “Being a teacher, I had to be on my feet a lot,” she says. “I didn’t have a lot of energy left by the end of the day.”
April says the Bariatric Center staff has “gone over and beyond to help me through my journey. The staff provided me with all the information needed to be successful from surgery.”
“If you are considering gastric sleeve, go for it!” April says. “You will not regret it! I feel so much better about myself, and I enjoy outings with my family. I am proud to say that I had the gastric sleeve surgery.”
“The best part of losing weight is that I feel great all of the time and I enjoy doing fun things with my family,” April says. “My knees, legs, and back do not hurt. I continue to ask myself, ‘Why did I not have the surgery sooner?’”
Brandy Doss of Pontotoc has lost 159 pounds since having weight loss surgery in December 2016. Her greatest accomplishment from the surgery is quality of life. "I lost both of my parents due to them not taking care of themselves. They both had diabetes and heart disease and was overweight. I knew I was headed in the same direction. The night my dad passed away in May of 2016 I told myself I had to make a change fast. That’s what got this journey started. I had yo-yo dieted in the past and the weight always came back."
Since having surgery, Brandy says her health has never been better, and she has reduced her risk for diabetes and heart disease.
To anyone contemplating weight loss surgery, Brandy says, “Do it now rather than later. It is a wonderful tool that will aid in your weight loss journey. You will still have to work hard, but the rewards are great.” Since having surgery, she feels like she has her life back. “I didn’t realize how much my weight was making me unhappy with myself, which affected the people around me,” she adds. “I have gained confidence. I am now able to run three miles and play with my kids without being out of breath. I owe thanks to God and my family for their support through this journey.”
Anna White of Pontotoc is down 100 pounds since having weight loss surgery in December 2016. White says the best part of losing weight is her newfound confidence and self-esteem. “Oh, and cute LITTLE clothes!” she adds. “I would strongly advise individuals anticipating surgery to work on themselves mentally,” White says. “Whatever psychological reason you have for being overweight is still there when the surgery is over. Your mouth is not sewn shut, and it is still easy to eat junk you shouldn’t.” She also encourages others to begin the weight loss process before surgery. “Start eating, drinking and exercising like you have already started the journey!” she urges.
Matthew Parker of Guntown has lost 155 pounds since having weight loss surgery at NMMC in November 2016. “This was one of the best decisions I ever made for my health,” he says. At 389 pounds, Parker suffered from high blood pressure, sleep apnea, thyroid issues, back pain and pain in his knees and other joints. “I loved to eat. I planned my whole day around eating,” Parker says. “I was living to eat. The Bariatric Center staff showed me how to eat to live instead.” “I love to hunt and fish, but my weight had become a problem,” Parker says. “Now I can walk long distances and enjoy being outdoors.”