It’s that time of the month – no, not that time of the month – the plumbings gone and I never have to worry about that again. It’s the Thursday Post Surgery Discussion Group meeting that the Weight Loss Center requires you to attend before you actually have bariatric surgery. Normally it’s the 4th Thursday of the month, but the 4th Thursday of this month was Thanksgiving, for those of you who have forgotten in the mad dash toward Christmas.
This is the 4th meeting we’ve attended. They are generally a good balance of serious issues and levity, thanks in great part to the group leader who is himself a post surgical patient. His surgery was in 2005. He lost 70 lbs prior to his surgery and another 250 lbs after his gastric bypass – and he’s maintained his weight loss over all this time. Good role model, and funny, too.
Today’s focus was “the holidays” and staying the course. The group leader led a quick exercise. He put the words Holiday Food Plan on the blackboard, then explained that this was a phrase. It was three separate words. We proceeded to brainstorm a minute or so on each word. Holiday: family, stress, fun, food, celebrate, costs, etc. Food: temptation, pleasure, gifts, peer pressure, support, strategy, etc. Plan: organize, avoid, alternatives, etc. Both positives and negatives for each word.
The discussion then flowed from the various words that came up in those few minutes. People shared their experiences and strategies. A woman who had lap band surgery spoke of how she didn’t usually but could eat a Big Mac if she let herself. She’d done it twice in 2 years. BUT she adapted how she did it. It was eaten with nearly no bun and much of the “special sauce” removed, no fries, no soda. The real draw wasn’t the burger – it was the sauce. She just wanted a taste of it.
Others shared their strategy of “just say no.” Make it a matter of choice and it becomes empowering. What do you do when friends try to pressure you to have just a little? Tell them if you do eat it, it will make you sick, literally. That ought to stop almost everyone and anyone that isn’t stopped is not really your friend.
I love the punctuality of these meetings. They start on time. They end on time, give or take a few minutes to finish up the last comments. Some people have been going long enough to make friends and they may stay longer chatting. Most of us bolt for home and the rest of our lives.
I still don’t see myself attending these sessions much when I really am post-surgical. But I’ll keep going to them while I have to. I start the pre-surgical classes in January. Four weeks. Then we see what the plan will be. In the meantime I’ll keep working on the small changes I can make right now.
By the way, I’ve lost about 10 lbs since September – not bad for a fibromyalgia girl who’s just getting to be regular on the treadmill.
Just 100 lbs or so to go!