It’s that Thursday – the one where I have to go to the bariatric surgery support group meeting. I haven’t done it yet, or even been accepted for actual surgery, but it’s required. They say it’s required, but they don’t take attendance. I guess it’s the honor system.
It actually was fun last month and I’m not dreading it like I was last time. I just hate the running around that the weight loss center places in my life. Appointments and support groups and who knows what all else there will be. That’s in addition to the doctors’ visits for fibromyalgia, sleep apnea and “female care.”
But there is good news on the weight loss front. I’ve lost 4 pounds without doing anything too major – less snacks and more exercise. Yes, I was on the treadmill this morning! Half an hour – not as fast as many of you, I’m sure, but I’ve learned that you have to start gradually with fibromyalgia and work upward. Even when it doesn’t seem bad while you’re doing something physical, it can catch you the next day, when you least expect it. So I started with 15 minutes at a time. Now I’m up to 30 minutes – that’s progress.
I don’t think I’ll be going to the monthly meetings afterward, if I am able to have the surgery. Partly it’s because there are other things I’d prefer doing and partly because I’ve never been one to need that kind of support. Any support group I’ve attended, I’ve always ended up giving the support instead of getting any.
I guess I’m not that needy. I was reading an article earlier, in “Readers’ Digest,” and it said that research is supporting what I (and Oprah) already knew. Gratitude for what you have in life makes your life better in many ways. They actually did experiments where they had people look for things that made them aggravated or looked for things they were grateful for. Those who started looking for things that made them grateful daily had better lives: they used less medication, they were liked by people more, they were more likely to help another person, they were healthier, their immune systems functioned better, . . . .
So imagine how your life could be changed by looking for the things you should be grateful for instead of stewing over the guy that cut you off on the highway or the person in the “Express Lane” who obviously can’t count to 10. It’s how I live my life. I had the good fortune to read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale when I was 12. That’s something I’m more than grateful for. Sure, some of the techniques are rote and a bit corny (they weren’t at 12 yrs old), but they work and I can’t argue with success.
Today, I am grateful that my hair came out nicely, since I have to go out tonight. I grateful that I had the self-discipline to get on the treadmill. I’m grateful that I put soup in the slow cooker last night so we could have a good lunch, since we have to leave as soon as my husband gets home from work (the meeting is 6 PM). I’m grateful that my body seems to have conquered the cold I was starting to get early in the week. I grateful the sun has come out. I grateful we had rain when there are so many places who don’t have enough rain. I’m grateful that my husband is so thoughtful when it comes to travel arrangements – it will make our spring trip with his parents much more pleasant. I could go on and on, I suppose, but you get the idea.
It can be big things but it can be the small things, too. It isn’t what you are grateful about, it’s the fact that you are grateful. Gratitude is a positive emotion. It strengthens the body physically. Negativity increases those stress hormones you hear about that are so bad for you over the long term.
So am I grateful that I have to go to this support group meeting. Yes. If I think about it at all, I realize that just by listening, I can learn about the surgery, the “side effects” and recovery, the emotional and psychological results of significant weight loss. I don’t have to talk or be in charge. I’m grateful for that, since I seem to end up in charge (not by my own desire) more often than not. It’s good that they have a forum to seek support if things don’t go exactly as hoped. I’m grateful it will be there for me should I really need it. I’m grateful for the group leader that is willing to be in charge and put it all “out there” for the rest of us. I suspect he is a practitioner of gratitude also.
Lastly, I’m grateful that I have this forum to vent when I need to and share the wonderful things that happen in my life. There have been so many wonderful things, it amazes me every day!!