Back before I had WLS, I started religiously attending WLS support groups at my hospital. The group meets twice a month, and I hit every meeting, almost without fail.
After surgery, you couldn't have MADE me miss a meeting. It was so important to me! I got wonderful support, advice and friendship. Sure, there were meetings that were DULL, and meetings that gave me a headache. In a support group situation, I think there will always be people who suck more out of the group than they put in. You know the type - endless complainers; the ones who everything is so much WORSE and HARDER for them than everyone else. And even those of us who have been through the same surgery cannot possibly understand how much THEY have SUFFERED.
But fortunately, there weren't too many of those meetings. :) Just sometimes, someone getting under your skin.
These days, I don't attend too many meetings. I'm busy, and it's become less of a priority as my post-WLS life becomes, well...life. Just life. I have a smaller stomach. I lost a lot of weight. Then I sort of stopped. :) And now I'm trying to figure out how to keep losing a bit more, and most importantly, not regain any weight. I could attend to talk about plastic surgery - my new passion! Oh, the things I would Nip and Tuck if I could. :) Talk about Franken-Julie.
It's just been less of a priority, and especially when I am working out, I reserve the right to put the workout before the meeting. But there is value in attending, and not just for me! Pre-op and as I started my journey, I was SO EXCITED when people near goal weight attended the meetings. I wanted to drink them and their success up! I try to attend now, because I want to be a source of motivation for people just getting started. I want them to see my little size four ass and know that THEY CAN DO THIS! It was quite possibly the most tangibly motivating thing for me as I was losing weight.
Well, I went to support group on Saturday morning. Granted, I had a lot to do (little did I know how my plans were about to TANK for the weekend), but there was no reason to skip the meeting, so I went. And granted, Greg called while I was there, and I really wanted to talk to him.* Perhaps my focus was not 100%.
*One good thing came out of me attending this meeting. I spoke to Greg as I had just left the meeting, and boy did he get an earful about support groups and weight loss and surgery and self-destructive behaviors. One thing that has changed in this relationship over time is that *I* am in it. The real me. (Okay, maybe not the me that walks around the house naked and lays in bed all day reading, but a very-close-to-real-version-of-me.) And Saturday proved that we could have a real conversation about what heretofore has been a really difficult subject for me to talk to him about: my weight loss. I've gotten better at it: at some point I decided if he was going to be around, then I was going to have to be myself, for him to take or leave. I feel good about that.
But I didn't walk out until the Chips and Cookies lady spoke. Or rather, until the group applauded her. Or actually, when Cheetos Lady commended her.
Chips and Cookies is three months out from gastric bypass. She has lost 60 pounds and feels great, but she was recently stressed and didn't meal plan and was hungry. So she went to the store, and all she could find were cookies that had 120 calories/serving. So she ate the whole box. Plus a whole bag of chips.
Sadly, this isn't probably all that unusual. Your weird food issues do not go away with surgery. What set my teeth on edge was when she said she was proud of herself for not beating herself up about it, and for getting back on track. Granted, she had just eaten the chips and cookies the night before, so it was a pretty short track she was on.
When the group applauded her, I was a little gobsmacked. Yay, you! I couldn't think of why were applauding. (I was not applauding.)
Then Cheetos lady, who had the same surgery on the same day, piped in her support. "That's just like last week when I ate a whole bag of Cheetos."
Okay, bless their hearts. (This is, I know, a passive aggressive phrase.) But I've got shit to do. If I had been earlier in my weight loss process, I'm not sure what that sort of meeting would have done to derail me. Maybe it would have motivated me to not be like that. And granted, I just got up and walked out. I don't know if the facilitator, an MSW specializing in eating issues, was able to get that particular discussion back on track. But I was heading to the gym: I'm working on my weight and eating issues in a positive manner, not "applaud me for bingeing without regret." And maybe I was a little jealous: for me, there is no screw-up without self-flagellation. Can you really let yourself off scot free?
Anyway, I walked out. And I don't know if I'm going back. I told myself that now, my journey is about fitness and quitting smoking and making better choices. I'm not getting much out of the meetings these days when I attend. And maybe the reason that pre-op, I wanted to drink up the people who were close to goal, is that there weren't many success stories attending! I guess it's kind of hard to work into your schedule the farther out from the experience you get. It's something to think about, anyway.
That said, I tanked my workout schedule last week. Ugh. I ended up spending the whole day at the ER on Saturday with my youngest, who is fine, thank you. Literally, he may have gotten one of his nuts in a twist. They prepped my poor baby with an IV before sending us over to Seattle Children's ER, so sure were they that he would need an untwisting surgery immediately. :( But...it got better. If it twisted, it later untwisted on its own. It was a looong day.
Then Sunday, I spent the whole day bonding with my toilet. And just for fun, I stayed home Monday to finish the job. That one, I brought on myself. I took two laxative pills on, ummmm, Saturday night? Sometime. When you don't have a gallbladder, it's highly unusual to be constipated. I seem to be the exception to this rule, because I was starting to fear dying like that little girl from Poltergeist, of some sort of intestinal blockage. Well, it kicked in with a vengeance, and as I suspected I must have been plugged up tight, because I sure am not now! By Sunday night, I wondered if I should be getting IV fluids. When I damn near crapped my pants on the way to the bus Monday morning, I decided to stay home for the day. :) I have vowed to start taking fiber, haha.
Anyway...awful weekend. Bright spot was Greg coming up to spend Saturday night, even though he had to work early Sunday. Hmm, I'm guessing I took those pills Sunday morning, because even I wouldn't be dumb enough to take a laxative with a hot man in my bed. Sunday was spent laying in bed feeling sorry for myself and making multiple trips to the bathroom.
Workout Summary -
6/18 - 65 min and 5.5 miles on the treadmill. This was my farthest yet!
6/19 - rest, concert with Alli
6/20 - rest, Greg's house
6/21 - 65 min and 3.78 miles on treadmill. Took it easy rather than tearing it up. No weightlifting (we were under time pressure)
6/22 - 65 min and 3.38 miles, just walked. Did a fair amount of weightlifting, though.
6/23 - Nothing, spent day at ER
6/24 - Nothing, spent day on toilet
Total of 12.66 miles last week. Um, this week will be better. :) I hope. Greg is spending the night tomorrow, and I'm at his house this weekend (Fri-Sun). Hmm, did I say less time? That doesn't seem to apply to this week, after all. But it's OPENING DAY OF CRABBING SEASON on Sunday, so we're going out super bright and early in the boat. We're bringing along my Blake, who does not know we are going out super bright and early, haha. And now that I have eaten a fresh crab caught all by myself, I'm pretty excited, myself! Not as excited as Greg. :)
Okay, so I'll have to make a plan here, if I am going to amp up my boyfriend-time at the price of my fitness-time. Hmm. He has a treadmill, I suppose I could use it. Sigh. Ugh. Whine. Pout. Hmm. Think, Julie, think...