though i’m in the final month of my six-month supervised diet, i had yet to dip my toes in the waters of the program support group … at least, not until this week.
the group meets once a month, and the topic for this month’s meeting was “new year, new you.” (see my feelings on “new year, new you” here).
for me, the term “support group” conjures up a whole host of ick – transparency (with strangers), public speaking, butterflies, puppies, rainbows and hand holding. one of those “avoid at all costs” situations. but my dietitian insisted that it would be worth my time, and because i am a people-pleaser by nature, i felt i had to at least give it a shot.
right off, i noticed that i was only one in the group – which was evenly split between pre-op and post-op patients – who wasn’t best buds with the practice coordinator. heck, we hadn’t even met yet. sure, we’d e-mailed back and forth regularly and talked on the phone, but never in person, as she’d been at a support group meeting on the day of my consult.
so to kick off this month’s meeting, she announced that she was leaving the practice.
great. so that’s why they had moved up my february (FINAL!!) pre-op appointment.
(aside: maybe it’s a good thing we never made any sort of connection; i might have felt abandoned during such a critical time in the surgical process.)
regardless of the change, i did start to panic a bit. i could just imagine the paperwork i had painstakingly collected over the past six months getting lost in transition. i have tried to reassure myself that it won’t happen … and it won’t, mostly because on top of the fact that i have copies of everything, i will be on them like white on rice to get the approval and subsequent surgery date ASAP.
but back to the group: i was the youngest person there – and the only one under 50 (guesstimate). while it was great to hear the post-op patients speak, i felt like it was all stuff i’d already read about on the internet. on top of it, i didn’t feel like i could relate to where these people were at in life – not physically, mentally or emotionally.
the “success story” looked directly at me (eyes burning a hole through my head) as he talked about what a challenge exercise would be, and that i wouldn’t know where to begin. another person talked about how he would, prior to their band, eat an entire pizza or 40 chicken wings in one sitting.
i could relate to their frustration with being overweight, with the little things made all the more difficult by the extra weight we carry. i didn’t judge them, nor could i, but that isn’t – or has ever been – me.
my heart hurts if i miss a zumba class, and i can barely eat half a pizza, let alone a whole pie.
i started to panic (again). is this right for me? will this work? what if it doesn’t? what if the band fails me? worse: what if i fail it?
at this point in the game, i know that i have to put aside those self doubts, those what-ifs, and realize that for me, this decision was made long ago.
- i gave up.
- i admitted i couldn’t do it on my own.
- i asked for help.
i came to terms long ago with the fact that i had to move more and eat less to lose weight, adjusted accordingly, and hoped it would be enough. unfortunately for me, my body didn’t seem to want to go along with the new plan. it’s why, for someone who was so adamantly against the idea of weight loss surgery (“that’s not for people like me!!!”), the band became the light at the end of my weight-loss tunnel. even if i ended up failing miserably, i would know that i had attempted every last avenue, even one that might appear so drastic to everyone in my life – including me.
some people act like those who struggle with their weight are weak because they’ve “allowed” themselves to get to a point where their waistline is affecting their ability to put on a pair of pantyhose. not only do i disagree, but i suppose that’s the common thread between myself and the rest of the group. we’re strong enough – brave enough – to ask for help when we need it. and while it might take me awhile to get used to the idea of hand holding and rainbows, maybe it’s just what i need.