Alex Brecher is not only successful at weight loss (read his Lap-Band success story), Alex also is the man behind the success of BariatricPal. BariatricPal is an online social network for the weight loss surgery community, where patients support each other before and after weight loss.
BariatricPal grew out of the desire of Alex Brecher to give back to bariatric surgery patients. He strives to help people write their own successful weight loss stories.
Alex Brecher at a Glance
Founder and CEO of BariatricPal
Other: Consultant for Apollo Endosurgery, Councilperson-at-large for American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
Weight loss surgery has given me the best life I could have imagined, and I am so grateful. I am so privileged to be in a position to give back!
Alex Brecher Interview
My Bariatric Life: Alex Brecher what led you to found BariatricPal in 2003? What was your prior career?
Alex Brecher: Before 2003, I had worked in web hosting and VOIP. I was CEO of multiple companies whose services included web hosting, managed IT services, and ICANN-accredited domain registry. I was just motivated to found BariatricPal because of my own experience as a Lap-Band patient.
After coming home from the hospital, I looked online to find a support group and somewhere to ask questions and get answers. There wasn’t one. So, I started LapBandTalk.com, which was a community for Lap-Band patients. It had so much success I started VerticalSleeveTalk.com, RNYTalk.com, and SleevePlicationTalk.com over the next few years.
With my background in web hosting, I was technologically equipped to start LapBandTalk.com as part of WLSBoards and the precursor to BariatricPal. However, I didn’t have any prior experience in the weight loss surgery industry. I learned on the fly, and I am still learning.
Please tell us how BariatricPal helps obese patients.
The weight loss surgery journey is challenging. It’s hard to know which bariatric surgery and surgeon to choose, what to eat and how to keep yourself on track, how to deal with side effects and complications… every weight loss surgery patient needs information and support. That’s what BariatricPal provides.
It’s a non-judgmental place to go 24/7.
The weight loss surgery community can use BariatricPal for encouragement and advice, and just as a place to hang out to make the journey easier. Anyone can join the site for free, so everyone who needs help is welcome at BariatricPal.
The community helps obese patients at every step of their journey. Those who are considering weight loss surgery can visit the site to “meet” others who have been there, done that. They can ask questions to help them decide whether bariatric surgery is for them, and what kind. They can find out what to expect if they do decide to go forward with weight loss surgery.
After surgery, patients can use BariatricPal as a 24/7 source for information and advice. Every weight loss surgery patient has those moments when they need to know now whether this is normal, what they can eat, how they can deal with a challenge. And when they approach goal weight, patients can still use BariatricPal as motivation — plus it’s a way for them to give back by being a support system for new patients.
Alex Brecher, it is inspiring to see a successful bariatric surgery patient supporting other patients. What training and education prepared you to become founder of BariatricPal?
I lived it myself. I know first-hand every step of the weight loss surgery journey, and have spoken to hundreds of weight loss surgery patients, plus tons of bariatric surgeons and other professionals.
Alex, please tell our readers about your book series, “The Big Book on Bariatric Surgery.”
I’m super proud of these books! I believe they are one more resource to help bariatric surgery patients every step of the way, from deciding about bariatric surgery to living their best life after the surgery. There are:
These books take the reader from considering bariatric surgery through the process of preparing for surgery and recovering from it.
The fourth “Big Book” The Big Book on Bariatric Surgery, focuses on life after weight loss surgery – from eating and exercising right to overcoming plateaus to building and updating your support system to meet your changing needs. Each of these books is available in softcover and eBook forms.
Alex Brecher you’ve been busy! What inspires you to give back to the weight loss surgery community?
Weight loss surgery – for me, the Lap-Band – has given me the best life I could have imagined, and I am so grateful. I am so privileged to be in a position to give back! I get a sense of accomplishment and pride every time I get a note from a BariatricPal member or I hear somehow about how BariatricPal touched someone’s life. I am also inspired because I get to meet so many wonderful members of the weight loss surgery community – patients, surgeons, allied health professionals – through my work, such as when I travel to conferences.
Alex, as you know I’ve written several opinion pieces on love and relationships for BariatricPal. In True Love I discuss how I’ve come to love myself — the obese woman I was 12-years ago and the woman I am today. What last parting words can you leave our readers with in regard to self love and acceptance after massive weight loss?
Love yourself! Be proud of yourself for doing what you did. Focus on what your body can do now that maybe it couldn’t do before, and appreciate your body. You may not look like a movie star, but so what? Are you happy? Are you healthy? Can you do the activities you want to do with your friends and family? That’s all I ask of myself, and it’s enough to keep me motivated and proud of myself.
Final Thoughts on Alex Brecher
Well, Alex Brecher, I am proud of you! You took control of your health and your life. And your wonderful online support community BariatricPal helps obese and formerly obese people take control of their health and their lives, too. Keep up the great work both personally and professionally!
Read more inspiring Patient Stories on My Bariatric Life of real people who have taken control of their health and their lives by overcoming obesity.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life